There's one more MM

Started 2 years ago by wallybgood in forum All PinballAll Pinball.


Forum » All Pinball » Topic

There's one more MM


Topic summary

  • Started 2 years ago by wallybgood
  • 47 Pinsiders participating in this thread.
  • Latest reply from pinballlife

Tilts/ ignores / abuse

Sharing and favs





Games linked to topic

Help us build a pinball game knowledge base by linking topics to the games discussed in them!



    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    I have been working on building a MM from parts for the last 15 months as a hobby. It has been a very challenging and enjoyable project. I didn’t work on it every day and usually only for a few hours at a time. Some weeks not at all. Any frustration meant quitting for the day. In retrospect, it has probably helped keep me from making any big mistakes. The first four months were spent searching for parts and building assemblies. Much time (most of the summer) was spent preparing the cab/head for decals, something that I have never done before.
    Early on I came to the conclusion that it would impossible to build a MM without having one on hand to get some critical measurements in order to fabricate parts that were not available. The wiring harnesses would also be more difficult without a sample. Since none were near, I bought one with the thought to restore and sell it. My plan was to replace the playfield, plastic ramps, all three castle assemblies, all playfield plastics and posts, clear plastics, dragon/wings, side art, apron/backboard decals, trim, targets, updated Mantis castle gate assembly, troll assemblies, translite, DMD, coin door, lock bar, legs, glass, side rails and so on. As a matter of fact, the ball guides, metal posts, and wire ramps are probably the only parts on the upper playfield that aren’t new. The old parts would then be used with my own harnesses and other hand built parts to build a “player pin” to keep. This was my first attempt at a complete restoration. I don’t feel like I am in the same league with some of the restorers that are on the forums and would not call my restored pin collector quality or mint or anything like that. I consider myself just an average pinball enthusiast with some time and patience. I usually did a lot of research before attempting any portion and didn’t mind redoing something if it wasn’t right. This worked for me since I had no schedule to meet, and could play my other MM in the meantime to keep my enthusiasm for the project up. I really not a collector, so keeping a player type pin works just fine for me.
    I bought a donor routed WPC- 95 pin (NBAF) to keep costs down and obtain some rare parts like the backbox lamp insert panel or tub (which had to be modified), transformer, speaker panel plus just a big supply of parts (flippers, slings, jet bumpers, ball trough, auto fire) , not to mention all of the WPC-95 boards. Only minor modifications were needed on the cab such as drilling a hole for the launch button and removing some cabinet wood so that the castle would clear like on the original.
    I built the wiring harnesses myself from the schematics and using a wiring template/ fixture that I made. There were six major harnesses to build; solenoid/flash, switch, feature lamp, GI, backbox GI/flash, and opto. The original design has the feature and GI together but it was easier for me to split it into two. There are also some small harnesses for the drawbridge opto, back board lamps and plastic ramps. Sections of all NBAF harnesses were modified to work in the MM, especially the solenoid/flash. Overall, quite a bit of the NBAF wire was reused. My son came up with a simple tool to stripe (color code) wires. Exposed wiring for the ramps was purchased from BAA.
    I also made the wooden side rail and back panel, hex posts, gearbox shafts, and other metal parts that were not available. There are 14 hex posts that had to be cut, drilled and tapped for 8-32 hardware. The two gearbox shafts were made with an improvised lathe (drill and dremel). There are 22 additional individual metal pieces that had to be fab’d. Fifteen were ball guides. All metal pieces had to be removed, measured, and put into CAD files. I wanted them originally high pressure water or laser cut but had to settle for plasma due to resource availability, not technical issues. A lot of time was spent polishing, grinding edges, and re-drilling holes in the 18 ga stainless. Every metal part had to be bent. Some were a lot more complicated than others. A small metal brake (18 in Harbor Freight) was used to bend the parts. Four wire ball guides were bent from 1/8 inch rod. (one was available)
    A template was made in order to cut additional holes in the NBAF backbox insert panel so that the lamps would be in the same position as the MM.
    I gave up looking for two of the wire ramps (I actually found a Peasant Ramp) and was practicing bending 1/8 in rod and then by luck found a metal sculptor who said he could duplicate the originals. He has made the Catapult and Right Wire Ramps with stainless rod. Up close, they wouldn’t pass as originals but they look fine in the player pin and the TIG welds seem to be a lot stronger than the original spot welds. Maybe later I’ll get these plated but they look pretty good in stainless.
    At the present time the player pin is complete and running with the NBAF board set, new ROMs, used plastic and castles parts, used playfield and plastic ramps, all handmade harnesses, hand built metal parts, and the custom catapult and right wire ramps. I have not done a lot to this pin, basically a good cleaning , flame polishing the ramps, and replacing decals on the drawbridge and troll flaps.
    The restored pin is also completed. It is being play tested to make any final adjustments. It is amazing how different a pin is with a new playfield. It is really fast and smooth. I can make shots much more easily than on the player pin.
    Having been through this, I believe that a person with some moderate metal, woodworking/painting, soldering, and electrical skills could build a replica MM for under $7000 (minus labor- lol). It, of course, would not be as valuable as an original but would have many, many new parts as I have outlined in my restored MM link below. This estimate is based upon procuring each part from the lowest cost vendor, taking advantage of the good deals found at pinball shows, building assemblies rather than buying completed ones, finding a donor WPC-95 relatively inexpensive (under $1500), and having an actual MM close by. If you have welding skills and can fab the wire ramps, the cost would be a lot less. The time commitment is huge. I bet I have over 100 hours invested in wiring harnesses and over 100 hours in making/bending metal parts alone.
    Recent part searches have led me to the conclusion that this project if started now would be a little harder (not impossible) because some parts are getting more difficult to find. For example, I can no longer find some lampboards. That results in the need to use individual IDC sockets for the feature lamps like Stern uses.
    Big thanks go out to the vendors who have made parts available, especially those who remanufacture new parts. Also to all who post restoration tips/pics/ideas on the forums. (Clay’s DVDs and Bryan Kelly’s gallery of restoration tips were especially helpful.) Thanks to Gary Martin and Eric Schmitt who originally posted on RGP in Aug 2010 that a project like this was definitely doable and got me thinking.
    I have over 1000 pics of the process and have included a portion in the link.
    If any of you are ever around Frankfort Il and would like to see the player MM, contact me and stop by. There is a buyer for the restored MM and it is going to be picked up in a week or so.

    The link to the pics is http://tinyurl.com/7nvg88v (some date stamps are incorrect)

    And the link to the new parts installed on the restored MM is http://tinyurl.com/82buqey

    Wally

    EDIT------For some reason Micosoft has shutdown my Skydrive account. I'll let you know when I get the pics back up.

    The link to the photos used in my seminar at Pinball Expo on 10/18/12 is: http://tinyurl.com/9fxljdo


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    wow


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Awesome work Wally!


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    You are the man. Pics?


    NM

    Pinball master
    1,940,550 2
    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Unbelievable accomplishment!

    Congratulations!


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    I dub your machine number:

    4,016 1/2 !

    Nice job! Now, how long before you get the cease and desist from wino down under?


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Very cool!


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Awesome!


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Tremendously cool! What an ambitious undertaking. Thanks for sharing, Wally!


    RobT

    Pinside legend
    12,366,173 3
    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Holy cow, that was a lot of work. Well done!


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    pics are not working for me...anyone having the same issue?


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    We dub thee, "Sir Wally the Dedicated", and henceforth, thy name shouldst be held and upheld in the greatest esteem throughout all of Pinlandia and beyond its borders.

    Holy Moly, dude! Incredible!

    Dan


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Simply amazing endeavor.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Now that is amazing stuff there!! I seen these pictures a couple of months ago and was blown away.

    Nice work Wally..

    Jim


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Put me down for one. Looks great Wally.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Wally, do you find that the game plays any differently than an original one? Would someone very familiar with MM feel as though something was, for lack of a better term, "off"?


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Simply amazing. Thanks for sharing, Wally.

    Pinballer22 said:

    pics are not working for me...anyone having the same issue?

    I finally had to use IE to be able to see them.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Awesome Wally! Great to see all of the photos and to know this IS possible. Here's to hoping it inspires a few more MM "clones" into existence, or out of hiding...


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Nice work.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    I would like to find out more details of how you produced the stainless steel ball guides? Obviously you didn't un-bend the originals?


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Wally, That is great. Congrats on your success.


    NM

    Pinball master
    1,940,550 2
    2 years, 2 months ago
    #
    Pinballer22 said:

    pics are not working for me...anyone having the same issue?

    Worked for me at the time of my first post on this thread, now I'm getting this message:

    "This item might not exist or is no longer available."


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Was it fun?


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    I can't see this pics either.....


    -1
    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Truly incredible, do you believe this project will cost more or less than purchasing one? Obviously yours will be nice and new, which is worth more, but curious where you expect this to come in at investment wise, if you don't mind sharing. Don't need actual, but curious if you think 5k or 12K. This is crazy cool, and usually projects like these are more for the fun and experience than anything. Love to see pics as well, thanks


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Looks great!!! Well done.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Think you could rehost the pics in an http://imgur.com album? Much easier to access. I can't get your pics to work on my computer at all.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    First off thank you for all of the kind words. My Skydrive account has just been shutdown by Microsoft for some reason. I'll let you know when the pics are back up.
    Gweempose, the two MM's do play differently. The restored MM with the new IPB playfield is faster and smoother. I have never played on a brand new playfield so I don't know if that is normal. The flippers have all new parts and coils and they seem stronger. I think that other differences end up being in adjustments. My son has been play testing the restored MM and has given me a list of items to "dial in". He is a "MM super fan" (I've seen him play for 8 hrs straight) These items for example are like "trolls need too hard of a hit to registor" So I have been readjusting things.
    My homemade guides are not exact. They could be off maybe 0.010 in spots and I don't know if that is enough to make subtle differences.
    I guess that I need more people to actually play both pins to give me their opinion.
    PinballHelp, I removed each ball guide and carefully measured each with either a micrometer or a small metal tape. I did not "unbend" any originals. You have to measure the inner dimensions (or adjust outer dimensions for the thickness of the metal) because as you bend metal the "outer" metal stretches. Hope that makes sense. My daughter in law is proficient in CAD and was nice enough to take my drawings and put them into that format. Bending each piece took some thought because if you make some bends out of sequence the won't fit into the brake or vise.
    Wally


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Wow that's an impressive feat you took on. I don't want to come off the wrong way but I can't see this as something that would make sense financially. When you factor in the amount of time and effort and $$$ in what it took to do this it seems you would be better off just buying a MM in the 9k range. Of course if someone like yourself was looking to take on a creative project and had nothing but time on his hands it would make for a very interesting project.

    Just the sheer time it would take and the frustration factor from not being able to find stuff to the tech issues at building it let alone having to find another MM as a model to base it off of seems like this may be a one time deal.

    All that being said I applaud you for your effort. Can't wait to see the pics when your page is working again.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #
    smassa said:

    I don't want to come off the wrong way but I can't see this as something that would make sense financially.

    I don't think he set out to make a profit, I think he wanted the challenge.

    Remember the Heathkit kits? You could often buy the already assembled item for the same (or less) money. You bought the kit so you would have something to do (this was before cable TV sucked up all your evening hours).


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    what a labor of love.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #
    vid1900 said:

    smassa said:I don't want to come off the wrong way but I can't see this as something that would make sense financially.
    I don't think he set out to make a profit, I think he wanted the challenge.
    Remember the Heathkit kits? You could often buy the already assembled item for the same (or less) money. You bought the kit so you would have something to do (this was before cable TV sucked up all your evening hours).

    Wasn't saying he was trying to sell for a profit. Was just making a point that if anyone wanted a MM it would be quite a bit easier to just buy one.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #
    wallybgood said:

    The restored MM with the new IPB playfield is faster and smoother.

    This will "slow down" some as the CC gets a few plays on it. The new
    "stock" flipper coils and a CC was simply too much for my MM so I had to put in slightly weaker coils, it dramatically cut down on air balls and wicked bounces.

    Wally, awesome work and glad to see you shared your experience with the pinball community. And thanks for the previews as you progressed!


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #
    smassa said:

    vid1900 said:smassa said:I don't want to come off the wrong way
    Wasn't saying he was trying to sell for a profit. Was just making a point that if anyone wanted a MM it would be quite a bit easier to just buy one.

    But what fun would that be????


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #
    kmoore88 said:

    smassa said:vid1900 said:smassa said:I don't want to come off the wrong way
    Wasn't saying he was trying to sell for a profit. Was just making a point that if anyone wanted a MM it would be quite a bit easier to just buy one.
    But what fun would that be????

    Might not be as fun but also not as stressful trying to locate NLA parts.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #
    smassa said:

    Might not be as fun but also not as stressful trying to locate NLA parts.

    I suppose all those mountain climbers could take helicopters to the top as well to avoid the stress.....


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    I have been privileged enough to actually correspond with Wally recently about this. He has shared his pictures and updates with me.

    I have to unequivocally say that this is the MOST impressive thing I have seen from an individual in regards to pinball. He actually pulled off something that I did not think anybody could or would do.

    Redoing a wire harness, creating his own wire ramps, and various self made metal parts - WOW

    I really enjoy watching experts restore pins that were trashed, this goes beyond even that.

    Congratulations.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Based on your experiences, what MM parts should I find and buy now in order to be sure I have them in the future when they are NLA?


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Again guys, thanks for all of the kind words. I just wish that Microsoft would let me know why they have closed my Skydrive account without any notice so that I could get the pics back up.
    Whysnow, I wouldn't worry at all about finding parts for your pin in the future or trying to "stock up" . It seems to me that parts which wear are available and will always be available. An example would be all plastic playfield parts. Also some parts which can break can also be repaired fairly easy. I've seen welds repaired on wire ramps that look better than the originals. Hope that makes sense. I don't have any spare things besides lamps, fuses, an assortment of screws and rubber rings. Wally


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #
    kmoore88 said:

    smassa said:Might not be as fun but also not as stressful trying to locate NLA parts.
    I suppose all those mountain climbers could take helicopters to the top as well to avoid the stress.....

    I suppose you milk your cows for dairy products and have a bunch of hens out back for your eggs too huh? Dude gimme a break I told him what a great job he did just not sure it's the best idea for someone looking to pick up a MM.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    man i'd like to see this marvel also but i can't see the pics.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    thanks wally! I would love to give yours a rip should the chance ever arise. I can let you know how it 'feels' relative to mine.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #
    smassa said:

    Dude gimme a break...

    yup, exactly.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    It's funny that someone mentioned 'Heathkit'... Wallybgood built a few of those in his younger days (he's my Dad... and I hated those TVs as a kid). He's just that kind of guy... loves to build stuff. Always has.

    And of course this could not be done for profit. Not only do the numbers not add up (not even with free labor), actually selling the one that is built from parts 'could' start to wander into intellectual property areas that one would rather not venture into.

    But I think the owners of the I.P. have nothing to worry about. Even at minimum wage, this thing would have to sell for >$30,000 if he counted his labor, and by all rights (as he mentioned in the original post), the converted NBAF with the custom built parts isn't worth as much as an original. His hand built parts aren't quite as good as the originals, but they play fine as far as I can tell (and are still an amazing feat for someone hand building parts as a hobby).

    It was a challenge and a hobby for him, and there might be another couple of people in the world that would take on something like this for the same reasons. But no one could ever make a business case out of this.

    I just hope he decides to build another one for fun and it somehow ends up in my game room. But please no Heathkit TV for me Dad... I've finally gotten used to NOT having to adjust the vertical hold every couple of minutes...


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    My account at Skydrive has been reactived (lets see how long it stays up this time) so for the time being the links to the pics are back working. Wally


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Looks great! I grabbed all the pics to rehost on Dropbox in case Skydrive goes down again:

    http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/54764/1/wallymm?h=227530

    Amazing dedication!


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    PZY, thanks for putting the pics in dropbox. Wally


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Incredible job Wally, it turned out great!

    I was lucky enough to meet Wally recently during this process. He gave me some FH touch-up paint, and a couple of sacks of original FH parts, all for free. Heck, he probably would have given me the shirt off of his back. Really a class act.


    2 years, 2 months ago
    #

    Ovfdfireman, concerning costs, I believe that a person (who has the basic skills and a MM nearby) could build a pretty nice replica for less than $7000 in parts. (based on the original conditions that I outlined) It would have all new parts with the exception of parts obtained from the donor such as flippers, slings, ball trough, auto fire, board set, cab/head ....... My project costs where a little more complicated since I essentially restored an existing MM and then built a replica with the used parts and homemade parts basically at the same time. So my restored MM costs are greater than 7K and the "player" replica was less. The time commitment is huge. If you look at your labor as a cost, the totals are out of sight. Also, if you include "beer costs" as a result of my br-in-law coming over to help me with bondo and painting, add another 1K.
    Wally


    1 year, 10 months ago
    #

    I missed this post originally. I was always curious if this could be done and obviously with the right driven individual, it can be and now has been. Cool! If I had the spare time, I'd love to try this.

    Considering that these are now selling for 15k its really looking like something that would be worth someones time investment.



Reply

Wanna join the discussion? Sign up for a Pinside account, or sign in if you already have one.





© 2001-2014 Pinside.com All rights reserved. Jump to topRSS feedsHelpContactCookiesDesigned by Keeple