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(Topic ID: 231099)

1976 Bally Led Zeppelin (retheme)

By rotordave

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 480 posts
  • 112 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by rotordave
  • Topic is favorited by 119 Pinsiders


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Topic poll

“Led Zeppelin?”

  • Yes! 5 votes
  • Hell Yes! 18 votes
  • Why the hell not? 4 votes

(27 votes)

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#1 1 year ago

This is a project I’ve been waiting to get into for quite some time.

So, away we go!

A few years back, I ended up with a 1976 Bally Freedom as part of a deal. It was pretty beaten. I got it all playing good though. Not the worlds best EM, but fun enough to play.

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I have a soft spot for the 75/76 Bally EM machines - the era just before they went electronic. Some of the games (including Freedom) were made as both EM and SS versions.

I have a line up of Freedoms sister machines - Wizard, Capt Fantastic, Bow and Arrow, Old Chicago ... they play snappy with their gruntier flippers, very much like their SS brothers. We play these machines maybe more than any others in the collection. They are real levellers.

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#2 1 year ago

So, Freedom was a bit of a clanger - not really cool enough to restore - so an absolutely ideal candidate for a retheme.

The thought process started as to what it could become.

One thing that I don’t like about some rethemes - the pin doesn’t suit the era of the pin. For example, you don’t want to put Apple IPhone as a theme on a 1976 pin - it’d be stupid.

So, what was big in 1975/1976 - the era of the pin?

For me, the answer was pretty obvious. Led Zeppelin were one of the worlds biggest bands between 70-76, breaking attendance records around the world.

And I have a tie in - LZ were my gateway band into heavier music, as I’m sure they were for thousands of others. I remember watching the New Year’s Eve music request TV show here in NZ around 1981 - the last song they played around 1am was Stairway to Heaven from the Song Remains the Same movie. At the start of that, the spotlight is on Robert Plant illuminating his blond mane, and 10 year old RD says “wowwwww! That guy has light up hair! Amazing!” Lol

Within a few days I had bought the Song Remains the Same double cassette, and proceeded to play it until the tape snapped. A black Swan Song logo Zeppelin shirt followed very shortly after. I had LZ books and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the band. I could have chosen them as my Mastermind topic.

I eventually moved on to heavier music, but LZ always has a place in my music library.

So, theme decided! LZ was one of the biggest bands in the world in the mid 70s, totally era correct to the pinball machine, and it’s a wonder Bally never made a LZ pin in the first place!

Plus - Dragon Pants. Dragon pants.

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#4 1 year ago

So, now I think, how am I gonna do this?

I can handle all the mechanical aspects, no problems.

But artistically, I’m pretty hopeless. I can design buildings and furniture (I have done both) but human forms and cool stuff? Fuuuuggggggetaboutittt!

Photoshop - I know my way around the program, but I’m amateur hour compared to some people.

So I need some assistance.

The first guy I hit up is Jeremy, a top ranked pinball player from Wellington. He’s just a clever dude. I had spoken to him about this project a while back, and a few weeks ago he told me that he will be tied up for most of 2019 working on the new Avatar movies, so the time was right to get this thing started!

Jeremy will handle the photoshop aspects of the project, mainly altering the PF graphics to the new theme.

Then I needed someone with real artist skills, to bring the backglass and plastics to life.

I mentioned the project on the Head2Head podcast a few weeks back, and got an email from a talented guy Stateside who is both an artist and a pinball player, and a LZ fan.

Meet Brad Albright, from Dallas, Texas.

Making this retheme a truly international event!

So the first step was to remove the PF, strip it down to the timber and scan it for Jeremy.

I also decided that I will add another pop bumper to the playfield to spice things up.

This is next to the collect hole, and near the right spinner - so if you have poor accuracy, you will get punished!

Also - 4 band members means 4 pop caps, right?

You can see the wear track on the PF from the left flipper to the scoop. The pop will be situated so that the scoop shot is clear, but don’t miss!

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The PF was scanned with my hand held scanner. Not really ideal, a flat bed would have been better, but I didn’t have one to hand. Scans came out pretty good.


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#6 1 year ago

Next up - strip the cabinet down and sand it for repainting.

Generally, I’d repaint the cabinet in my “garden shed spray booth” (lol) but on this occasion, I had it done by a friend who is a spray painter and has just bought out his boss. He’ll do it better than me, and it’s not that more expensive than me buying the car paint and doing it myself. Car paint is expensive stuff!

The cabinet paint was so flakey, it all needed to come off.

All dents were filled - all external bolts were removed and filled. I remove extraneous bolts from all my restores now, and fix things from inside the cabinet instead. Just looks better imo.


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#7 1 year ago

Next up, scan the backglass for my new American friend.

I did complete scans front and back, and then measured the position of everything and marked it on the back.

The new artwork needs to be arranged around the score reels (they can’t be moved) - however I can move the feature lights around the backboard if the art requires it. Not a big mission to do that.

Unfortunately when I was scanning it, the BG cracked in half! It was destined for the rubbish bin anyway, as it was pretty flaked out, but it’s still a shock when you hear that “CRACK!” That’s the first BG I have broken, and hopefully the last. Like I say, it was not going to be used anyway.


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#8 1 year ago

I’ve had the external look of the pin in my mind from the start.

Sometimes that’s a bit dangerous, as there might be better ideas out there and you end up closing your mind to other concepts.

But with this one, I was pretty sure it would work nicely.

Pretty simple, same as the other 75/76 pins.

No band/pin names, like most other EMs .. Wizard has “wizard” on the side, that’s one of the very few that does.

I wanted something that could have been made with a simple metal stencil in the Bally factory in 1976.

I decided to use the 4 Symbols, famous for being on the untitled 4th LZ album, which has earned the nickname “4 symbols” over time.

I got a good copy of the logo, and worked out the rough proportions of what sizes I wanted on my Wizard pin.

Roll of tape was 100mm - 4 symbols that size on the head worked nicely ...

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Saucer from the wife’s dinner set was 200mm. . Seemed about the right size for the sides ...

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I also measured the fronts and got some smaller ones done while I was at it. I didn’t know if I was going to use them, but let’s get them done now while we are at it.

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I sent the dimensions to Jeremy, and within the day I had the logos. My signwriter made me a stencil mask that afternoon.

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#9 1 year ago

All the metalwork was stripped off, and sent to the powdercoaters.

For a clean look, I wanted a black/white look - so all the metal was finished in gloss back.

I had it all back 48 hours later. Nice!

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#10 1 year ago

The same day, I got the cabinet back from the car painters.



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Forgot to say - cabinet is painted in a satin white. No real gloss to the finish. Didn’t want a shiny glossy cabinet on this one.

#13 1 year ago

Now, on to the stencil work.

Stick on stencils aren’t really the best - you don’t get the overspray look of the original EM stencils.

But - not much other alternative unless you want to cut some metal stencils as per the originals. And we ain’t doing that! So stickers it is.

First up, I did the headbox.

I took a long time to make sure they were positioned in a manner that I liked. All the symbols are a different size - especially ZOSO - in fact, ZOSO was a complete pain in the ass because it was a totally different shape/size to all the others. It needed to be spaced differently to all the others to look correct.

I decided to do them all one at a time until I got the drying point of the paint sorted out.

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Stencil was all masked off with tape and paper, and painted. I used Rustoleum satin black spray paint (yep, you can get that in NZ now ...)

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A little wait for the paint to tack a little, and the masks get pulled off.

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The end result - I was pretty happy with how it came up.


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#14 1 year ago

Next, onto the cabinet.

First, I marked the leg positions, and the side rails, and tried to guestimate the correct positions. Again, ZOSO was the pain in the ass as it is totally different to all the others.

I marked each stencil with centrelines and worked around that. ZOSO is quite a lot closer to the other ones with the tape (from memory 20-30mm) but visually it looks correct. If you just go by the measuring tape, it appears to be too far away. You can see my writing on the tape at the bottom, 29cm between centres, and ZOSO is moved 2-3cm closer.

So always mock up things like this and make sure they look right to the eye before spraying any paint.

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#15 1 year ago

I left it all to dry overnight - and put it all back together!

Well, the cabinet, headbox and mechanics anyway.

Looking pretty smart, I reckon!

It’s always pleasing when you have a picture in your mind, and the end result looks just as you’d planned it.


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#16 1 year ago

Now I have all the mechanics back in the cabinet.

I didn’t put the graphics on the cabinet front as yet - they are a little finicky - so I thought I’d wait and see how it looks first. I can always add them later, no problems.

At this stage, I have left the coin door as polished stainless. Maybe I will change it to black later ... again, I’ll wait to see. Easy to change later!

So, now we wait for the final backglass artwork, as this will define where we go with playfield colours and extra artwork we might want to add on to the playfield (if any)

Next week we are off to the USA for a road trip and INDISC ... so LZ will sit there until we get back.

So for now, that’s all from me!


#20 1 year ago

Oh yeah.

While the EM running gear was out, I gave it a clean up, got all the 40 year old dust off it (without going crazy overboard)

One of the fuse holders was missing, and it had a “fuse bypass mod” ... the two wires cut off the broken holder and taped together. So that needed sorting.

3 new fuse holders installed. Much easier when it is out of the pin.

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With my EMs, to make them nice and snappy, I do the famous “Clay Mod”. This is to run the machine off the low tap setting, which is a few more volts output than normal. This makes all the coils that little bit more grunty. You can read about this in Clays EM repair guide.

The low voltage tap is the one on the right, with the red wire. (The wire was previously on the 3rd from left output)

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You can see the NZ 230-115v transformer in the background. This Freedom came from Los Angeles and had the USA only 115v transformer fitted, so it needed to have a step down installed. I have them made in Auckland for me, they’re commercial quality, not some junk that’s going to burn my house down.


#24 1 year ago
Quoted from ghostbc:

Some pic's might be on the Rocky Mtn Pinball showdown thread .

Hi Kevin! Yep, I saw pics of that machine from that show. Looked pretty cool.

I forgot to say at the start, this one will play some songs too.


1 week later
#26 1 year ago

The draft of the backglass surround is done ....

Man, this Brad Albright guy is good ....


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#27 1 year ago

So, what we were going for with the BG (the design brief, if you like ..) was to tie it in with Wizard and Capt Fantastic, it’s sister games.

So here’s Capt Fantastic...

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You can see how they’ve used a frame to incorporate all the lights etc - we thought this was the best way to do it, as opposed to the Freedom (and most EM) way of just having a light bulb illuminate some random part of the glass and the hidden number shows through the glass.

So, so far so good!


#30 1 year ago
Quoted from wrb1977:

Just an idea...instead of same player shoots again on the backglass...maybe “The Player Remains the Same” or “Player Remains the Same”???

That sounds like a winner .....!

Good thinking champ.


#36 1 year ago
Quoted from AvidListener:

Very cool machine re-theme and these are really neat ideas being posted.
"No Quarter" seems to have some connection
Thanks for the thread!

No quarter - I gotta get that on the coin slots.

These ideas are gold!


#43 1 year ago
Quoted from freddy:

Or the swan song label

Swan Song was Peter Grants/LZs record label - the SS image became associated with the band as well, but that was more after the fact than 75/76. I don’t think LZ themselves ever used it as LZ imagery.

A Zeppelin on the side could have been cool if done properly - or ghastly if done wrong - think of a big long dick sausage on the side ... I just wanted a nice clean simple look for it.


#45 1 year ago

New “doodling” in from Brad Albright all the way from Dallas, Texas ... do you ever take a second to think that the Internet is a fantastic invention? Crazy stuff ...

Can’t upload the format here, so click on this link and check it out!

Robert Plant comes to life!



#50 1 year ago
Quoted from Nevus:

I enjoyed you talking about this in the podcasts. Please upload some video along with finished pics when your done.

Will do for sure.

Jeremy emailed me yesterday, said he has almost finished the vectoring of the playfield layout.

Once that’s done, we will be able to colour it in to match whatever Brad comes up with on the BG, and tie some playfield plastics in with that too.


#57 1 year ago

So, while I’m dicking around on holiday, the lads have been busy.

Jeremy has the playfield layout sorted.

I need to print it out and double check it against the PF when I get home.

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#58 1 year ago

And Brad has got the BG looking pretty freaking awesome ....

It isn’t finished yet but you can see where he is taking it.

“The player remains the same” !

And dragon pants.

Dragon pants.


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#65 1 year ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Sticks swirling like a helicopter

Sticks twirling like a motherf**ker!

I think later in their career, maybe he was too drunk to twirl much. He did like a few drinks ....

I love those old concert clips. Check out the audience, all sitting politely like they’re at the movies.

And the low key way they just saunter out to the stage. “Hello everyone...”. No fog. No flames. No explosions. No wall of stacks to the roof, one tiny amp each. Then Boooom! Off they go!


#70 1 year ago
Quoted from RonSS:

Would it be in poor form to use this as an avatar? I don't want to steal work or lesson the originality of someone's machine.
As a Led Zeppelin fan, I find this retheme fantastic! I'm also a hack drummer, so Bonzo is my focus.

I wouldn’t have a problem with it - I’m sure Brad would see it as a tribute to his work - but he can chime in if he sees different.


#72 1 year ago
Quoted from trk12fire:

Is it possible to create a translite?

Translite is no problem.

Printing on glass — We are about to find out.


#74 1 year ago
Quoted from GoneFishinLvMsg:

How is it we have so many lesser bands getting mass-produced pins, but no LZ yet? Licensing issues?

Yeah, it’d have to be.

Remember, Plant has sorta disavowed himself from LZ. Page wanted to do more reunion shows, Plant wasn’t interested.

Let’s face it, they don’t need the money ...


1 month later
#84 1 year ago
Quoted from jbovenzi:

Any updates? I am enjoying this thread.

Not really ... got back to NZ 18th January, had 40 people at my apartment for a tournament the next day, then had to fly to Christchurch for the NZ Championships ... now I’m finishing off a full restore on my Scared Stiff which has been 8 years in the making.

I have a vector scan from Jeremy to print up, to check that everything lines up with the old Freedom playfield. Hopefully I can get that to the signwriter this week.

Once that’s done, Brad has offered to add some of his awesome skills to the playfield as well ....

Stand by!

Meanwhile, here’s some Scared Stiff progress shots.


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2 weeks later
#85 1 year ago

Just to update - got back into it - finally got the printout from the signwriter to check out the alignment with the playfield.

Quite a few things need a little tweaking, so we will measure up and get on to it ASAP.

Pincade is next weekend (7-10 March) so it’s pretty full on around here at present!


2 weeks later
#86 1 year ago

Further update - the playfield and the scan printout have gone 800km down to Jeremy in Wellington for final correction.

Once the files have been corrected, we can get back onto the artwork.


1 week later
#90 1 year ago

So, the playfield and scans got safely down to Wellington (600 miles away)

Jeremy has marked up the changes required, and will now transfer them to his CAD drawing so we can start on the art.

Meanwhile, I’m about to get Brads backglass printed up, just working through the options on that now.

Pincade really slowed down the progress on this, but now that’s all over and I’ve almost recovered, full steam ahead again!


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#92 1 year ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

What kind of service are you using for your backglass? I’m looking at options right now for my Halloween pin.

Just working through options now, hopefully should be able to put that info up next week. Gotta go visit a few people first ...


#93 1 year ago

Right - back in Pukekohe today - remember I don’t live in this house all the time so hard to fix pins when you’re 50 miles away.

First up - the nails for the side rails arrived. Living in New Zealand, we have to wait weeks for orders to arrive. In this case, I ordered a heap of pin stuff before Xmas, and put it inside my Trident pin I got from Mrs Mezelmods in Albuquerque, and shipped it all back on a boat out of Los Angeles. It showed up here at the beginning of March. So restoring pins in NZ takes some good forward planning, if you want the parts to be on hand when you do it.

First job today, make the nails black.


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#94 1 year ago

Next up, fit some more black stuff to the cabinet.


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#95 1 year ago

The light board in EMs is rarely ever seen (you access everything from the back) but nonetheless it looks pretty rag, so let’s spruce that up a little.

The old light bulbs stop the paint going in the sockets. They’re all going in the trash anyway.


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#96 1 year ago

Side rails ready to go back on.

Because the old holes are loose - could fill them but then you’re nailing into filler - I’m moving the rails back 1-2mm so they are nailing into fresh wood.

(He said wood. Heheheheheheheh)

There is play around the flipper button holes so you can do this easily.

I’ve mocked it up with tape while the paint dries on the nails.


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#98 1 year ago

Got the nails in ... those twist nails are a pain in the ass so I drill a tiny pilot hole first, makes it much easier and less likely for me to whack the side rails with the hammer. Tapped them in further after the photo - Nails are in there as tight as anything.

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#99 1 year ago
Quoted from swinks:

are you still using the original game system and then a WAV Trigger for added sound / music ?

Yep, that’s the plan at this stage.

Original chimes - plus added AAAAHHHHH A AHHHHHHHHH - AHHHHHHH!!!



#101 1 year ago

Oh yeah. Mounted the light board/mechs all back in the top too, as you can see in this photo.

That’s all I have time for today, but I will be getting on to the BG printing this week.



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#102 1 year ago
Quoted from FuryosJustin:

That white looks so crisp bro. Clean as fuk
Love the "Yea, nah "chair!

The Yeh Nah chair is one of about 10 people have left at my place at various big pinball events - they leave them there and then when I have a big event I get them all out again and they use them again.

Welcome to RDs chair minding service. lol


1 week later
#106 1 year ago


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#108 1 year ago

So, what you see there is the test print I did on paper. It’s taped to the old broken Freedom backglass which is now held together with racing tape. Lol!

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Looks like all those measurements I did on the back side have paid off ...

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I cut out all the holes with the Stanley knife ...

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Here is the paper taped to the backglass - Brad has the reels pretty spot on!

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The lights on the back board will be moved to suit the new layout - the freedom light arrangement didn’t suit what we wanted to do, so Brad had free licence to do what he wanted!


#109 1 year ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

So bad ass!
You gonna paint that tilt panel black?

Hmmmm probably not. That’d mean I’d have to do the big relay panel too - ain’t nobody got time for dat!


#112 1 year ago
Quoted from noob-a-tron:

Damn nice work mate hopefully it motivates Stern

Cue another Whoa Nelly version ...

Whoa Nelly Big Juicy Zeppelin


#113 1 year ago
Quoted from noob-a-tron:

I love how you have done the player 1-4 little things you have thought about are so cool.

That’s all on bradalbright

I pointed him in the direction - and he ran with it. Looks pretty swish I reckon!


#115 1 year ago
Quoted from PhilGreg:

That backglass is incredible. My favorite homebrew with Hot Rod ( and I'm not a Zeppelin fan.

Well, as we know, pinball is all about the art these days (forget about gameplay or anything like that...) so thanks to Brad we are right on track!


#118 1 year ago
Quoted from PhilGreg:

That backglass is incredible. My favorite homebrew with Hot Rod ( and I'm not a Zeppelin fan.

That’s a cool thread, hadn’t seen it before. Very similar to what I’m doing here. Thanks for posting it.


#122 1 year ago

Yesterday Jeremy finished the corrected playfield scans and layout, so it’s all coming together nicely.

Here’s the layout of the original Freedom playfield.

The plan was to riff on this for LZ to keep it in the 1976 vibe ... but Brad might have some different ideas ...


Original -

Original Freedom Playfield

#124 1 year ago
Quoted from PoBoyPinball:

For some reason I was thinking the playfeild was going to be black and white like the rest of the game.

That’s the original one .... new one isn’t done yet ...


#128 1 year ago
Quoted from VectorGamer:

This thing is going to be sick when complete. Are you going to take it to any shows when it's complete so people can play it?

If the shows come to New Zealand, sure!

It’ll be well played in the competitions and events we have down here. Already slated to be in the Pincade Classics tournament next time around (we had 100 players in that comp this year ...)


#129 1 year ago
Quoted from cletus:

Have you considered having parts of the backglass mirrored? I’d be interested to know if this is something that is available for the hobbyist.

Yeah - but I don’t think we can do it down here. Something I am working on at present.


#131 1 year ago

I had a couple of ideas -

1/ use some mirror adhesive as used in Signwriting - cut it into thin strips and run it where necessary...

2/ I got some Mirror spray paint - think it was Krylon - when I was at Walmart. I’ve seen it on you tube and it has pretty good results, for something that comes out of a can. You’d print out the glass, leaving some lines blank, then mask it all up and hit it with the spray. I think it could work well. And if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be too noticeable ...


2 weeks later
#135 1 year ago

Hopefully the backglass will be in my hot little hands in the next day or two. The Easter holiday weekend has stuffed everyone up for the last week ...

Stand by!


#142 1 year ago
Quoted from RonSS:

I'm picturing a huge Swansong, , ,

No SwanDude - I mentioned it at the beginning of the thread, the SwanDude was their record label SwanSongs logo, actually had nothing to do with Led Zeppelin, although later it got associated with the band.

The glass that is getting made is the glass version of Brads artwork, as per the paper mock-up a few posts ago.

Should have had it by now, but because we had 2 big public holidays very close together here in NZ, all the employees have taken the opportunity to skive off for a few weeks holidays. So hopefully I might get it this week. No stress.


#145 1 year ago

The old playfield has trekked back 800km from Wellington. Thanks to Jeremy for his work and Mark for transporting it around the country for us!

1E4E34D7-8856-461B-A28C-E325BD0942CC (resized).jpeg

Next weekend I I’ll get on to sanding it back to the wood in preparation for its next life.

In other news, the backglass will be ready Monday our time, I’ll go get it Tuesday and report back.


#147 1 year ago
Quoted from swillie:

I ask because my brother has this game

Your brother has the early production version!

Note the pop bumper between the flippers. They removed this and reverted to a normal bottom layout soon after production started. Your brothers game is sort after by some people!

Mine is the normal “Italian bottom” version.

I like your idea of the skill shot. Like Tron!

I am adding a 4th pop just under that hole.

The idea being:
1/ four pops for 4 band members.
2/ if you miss the bonus collect hole, you get punished! Lol

Work in progress!


#150 1 year ago
Quoted from swillie:

Band members faces on the pops??? Spoiler alert

Spoiler alert - it’s all about the symbols.


1 week later
#152 1 year ago

Finally the backglass is done - there was a hold up because the toughened glass place supplied the blank glass with a “toughened glass” engraving on it (even though they were asked not to..)

I haven’t picked it up yet, I’ll go get it Monday.

But nice to see it done! Picture is on the light box, but the guys say it looks awesome in person.

I’ll be working on the PF over the weekend.


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#155 1 year ago

Had a spare afternoon - and a roll of sandpaper - so away I go!

Out with the old ...

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And in with the ... nothing.

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That was an hour of sanding! 60 grit on my little orbital sheet sander. That old varnish was like concrete! My arms are still tingling. Haha


#157 1 year ago

Holy shit!!

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#158 1 year ago

The backglass looks amazing.

Really has a 3D sorta look about it.

I can’t get the pics to do it justice - you’ll have to come to NZ to see it in person.

(It still has the protective backing paper on the back .. hence the score holes are white..)

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#162 1 year ago

I’ve had a few people who’ve wanted prints of the backglass artwork - I’ve had a chat to Brad and he can offer them up printed on archival paper (like the Zombie Yeti prints)

You can get a 16”x20” for $40 or a full size backglass sized one for $75. Plus some postage from Texas.

I don’t make any dough out of it! It’s all for Brad - it would be awesome to see him move a few prints.

Plus I’m taking him out for BBQ and beer next time I hit Texas. Priceless!

Check out his website and email him directly if you want something snazzy for your pin room wall.

Dragon pants!


#169 1 year ago
Quoted from cletus:

I just found this Led Zeppelin logo generator online. It might help make some rule cards or something.[quoted image]

The font remains the same!

Good find!

Interesting that when I searched for Zep photos to create some ideas of where I wanted Brad to go, that LZ official site never came up. There are some great photos there.

Interesting also that on that offical Warner Bros LZ font generator one of the pictures has the Swan Song label picture associated with the band logo. Certainly something you didn’t see “back in the day” ...


#172 1 year ago

Right - just got back to Pukekohe.

Peeled the backing off the backglass, looks good.

NZ glass is metric size thickness, so the American imperial size trims are a little loose. I have put a few dobs of silicone on them to hold them tight, so I’ll let it sit for an hour before fitting.

Check out the gloss black lift trim.

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#173 1 year ago

Looks the goods!

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#174 1 year ago

So, I got all the cabinet together, and decided to put the standard coin door back on to see how it looked (not polished or anything...)

The original idea was to have a polished original coin door ... you can see the polished shooter knob I did ... but I’m sorta 50/50 on having it original polished stainless or gloss powdercoat black, like everything else.

Probably both would look fine ...

What does Pinside say?


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#182 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

Here it comes...

Stand by ....

#185 1 year ago

MOF is jazzed after the Warriors win!

Ironically - I’m also watching the Warriors. Albeit a different sport - and on the other side of the planet.

White would work - but it’s going to be in a row of tidy all original 75-76 Ballys so something that fits that mould would be preferable.

I’m thinking the polished door would be the way to go. Same as the Evel Knievel... the good thing about the polished door is it isn’t really any colour. It’s just ... there. lol

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#188 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

Nothing loud. (Chrome is loud.)

It wouldn’t be chromed. That’s too bling for me!

It’s just polished. The EK one is too. Polished with my metal polishing kit. Dulls off over time. Probably looks like they did when they rolled out of the factory 40 years ago.


#190 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

victory by the Warriors in game-6

My Warriors won too! Booooooyaa!!

A great birthday present for Dave.


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#199 1 year ago
Quoted from Dantesmark:

Just a thought... the cab art looks a lil repetitive with all the symbols.

The cabinet is all finished.

I wanted a nice simple 70s stencil look for it.

The clean looking cabinet draws your eye to the sexy backglass. The playfield will also be reasonably straight forward, in line with the standard Freedom playfield and the 75-76 EM vibe.

If it was an 80s-later machine, maybe I would have gone more detailed.


#201 1 year ago

I just saw this photo on Facebook and it reminded me how much I hate powdercoated coin doors. Lollll

03E09A12-B498-43C5-8BCD-DC1FD782D606 (resized).jpeg

I’ve powdercoated heaps of pins, never done a door in a different colour. Generally it just looks wrong to me. Don’t know why - just doesn’t float my boat.

So, decision made! Standard stainless door it is.


#203 1 year ago
Quoted from Psw757:

This thing going to play some real Zeppelin music? I hope!

Yep, that’s the end game - first move is to get it all up and cranking first, then add the cream on top later.


#207 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

Then why did you ask if it should be done in black?


Haha! There’s always a first time for everything ...

I’m more meaning like yellow coin doors on Simpsons or Family Guy for example. Looks bad in my eyes. Maybe because the coin door is so much real estate on the front of the cabinet, it tends to dominate the whole thing.

I think either black or white would look fine on this machine. But not purple. Lol


#212 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

Can you mask during a powder coat?

I think so .. like the Transformers combo LE lock down bar ..


#214 1 year ago
Quoted from trilogybeer:

Looking great Dave! Happy Birthday!


For my birthday this year I got the 2x Bladerunner DVDs, and the flu! Haha

Had it for a week now - it’s still hanging around.

Away from the workshop for two weeks ... when I get back I’ll get on to stripping and polishing that door and the surrounds.

Another job that needs doing is moving some of the lights in the backboard to match up with the new backglass positions.

Good times! (Bad times)


1 week later
#215 1 year ago

Little bit of progress over the weekend as the playfield art is meticulously crafted in Texas ...

Sanded the whole playfield back with 800 grit to smooth out all the inserts etc. Some of the more scratched ones, I carefully rubbed by hand.

Then I laid a quick sealer coat to seal everything up. I’ll need to do the overlay “wet” to get the alignment right, so sealing it will make sure none of the wood grain raises up when it gets damp.

All the inserts look great.


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#216 1 year ago

Then I started on the door restore and polishing.

No sooner do I have the door disassembled, than old mate Mitchell shows up with his barn find High Hand he’s been struggling to get running for the last month.

Silly old Dave said “bring it out some time and I’ll take a look” ... so ... 5 hours later ... we have a nicely running High Hand ... and no door progress. Lollll

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#217 1 year ago

So this morning I had a couple of spare hours to get into the door.

First up, I polished all the surrounds with my trusty $15 polishing kit in my drill press. I’ve really got my $15 worth out of that kit.

All 4 surrounds plus all the bolt heads got buffed up to a nice shine.

Came up nice!


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#219 1 year ago

Next up - the door itself.

This door skin isn’t perfect - but it’s the best I have to hand.

Hey, it’d be nice to just order a new one and have it show up tomorrow - but reality is, living in NZ that doesn’t happen. The freight cost is double the price of the door skin. So maybe next time I’m up there, I’ll grab one and bring it home in my suitcase.

So, the old one got polished up as good as it can be.

It’s pretty good for its age. Polished up nicely.

I got the door mounted up ... then ran out of time, I’ll finish the rest of it next time I’m home.


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#220 1 year ago

I think the polished door was the way to go.

Looks pretty swish.


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#221 1 year ago
Quoted from trk12fire:

Give us a pic of the trusty $15 polishing kit in your drill press

I’ve left now - but it’s pretty similar to this one.

My one hasn’t got all these little pieces though.

I mainly use those medium ones in the press, (the cone looking one and the one next to it) and move the metal pieces against them while they’re spinning.

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#223 1 year ago
Quoted from trk12fire:

I've tried to polish metal doors and rails, but I can't come close to what you have done. It looks great, good job!


I find the drill press helps ... I have a big old dirty drill press, bolted to my bench .. it’s pretty stable. So I can get my polishing kit in there, load it up with the compound, and lay into it. It takes a while ... each of those surround pieces is 3-4 minutes polishing I guess?

With the door front, I put that in my vice, and use Autosol metal polishing paste and a wool polishing pad in the drill. That door had 3x passes with that process. It was pretty scratched up - it still is if you look really closely but it is 200x better than before.

I did all the metalwork on my Evel Knievel restore on the press ... legs, door, ball trough, lock bar, everything. That one came up really shiny.


#225 1 year ago
Quoted from trk12fire:

I was polishing by hand using 2000 grit sand paper. It was taking forever and didn't come out that nice. Thanks for the follow up. I'll be trying some over your techniques.


I thought there’d be a pic of the drill press polishing setup somewhere in the background. Enhanced as much as possible.


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#227 1 year ago
Quoted from trk12fire:

Have you tried these, sponge type cones for rims. It also comes with a wool buffing cone? It's on Ebay
Burnishing Foam Sponge Polishing Cone Pads + Wool Buffing Ball For Car Wheel Hub
Sorry the URL wouldn't come up

Yeah, I’ve seen those - haven’t tried them.

I reckon you want something really hard, not soft ... the ones in the polishing kit are solid. You really need to dig into it to shine them up.

Wear gloves too! The friction makes the parts get hot!


2 weeks later
#229 1 year ago

Not much LZ pinball progress to report ... but in the mean time I can regale you with my recent Led Zeppelin adventure!

I mentioned back at the start, back in the 80s when I was a kid, I was right into Led Zeppelin. This book came out in 1982 .. I had it and had it all memorised.

9A8A9B7F-B0D5-4199-B20D-3B4E33C5B251 (resized).jpeg

Alas ... about 15 years ago I lent it to a guy ... and it was never seen again!

Last week, that knowledge came into use!

Warners Music announced an on line Led Zeppelin context - I just happened to see an ad for it on line.

You had to complete 10 LZ quizzes ... song lyrics, timeline, band facts ... with some good prizes up for grabs.

F8683C78-A927-4E0B-A59B-5EABD9AFECF6 (resized).jpeg

To be in to win, you needed to qualify in the top 100 to get into the final.

There were over 1200 entries ... and my 1982 memories got me qualified in 32nd place! Boooya.

So ... last night was the final.

They had done it very cleverly. They emailed you a special link ... you had to log on at 8:30pm and you had 3 minutes max to answer 15 questions.

Very clever, as there was absolutely no chance for people to cheat. By the time they’d typed the question into google the time would be up. So it was a real test of genuine knowledge ... so I thought I was in with a chance!

With the lack of my book, I did a quick online revision in the afternoon.

I was around at my buddies place watching some B movies - my phone alarm was set to 8:25pm so I could get ready to go.

Beep beep ... time to go! Sneak out of his cinema and head to the dining room to do my contest.

Shit!! The cell phone coverage is down!! F#*K!!

Phone into airplane mode. Back off airplane mode. Cell coverage came up, but no 4G! SHIT!

Shut down phone. Reboot phone. Still no 4G.

Run into cinema. YOU GOT WIFI? Yep! Sign me in!

8:29 and I’m on. The 30 second countdown is running!

Sit down at the table. Off we go!

I thought I was pretty clued up, but some of the questions I had no clue on. They’d really dug deep.

But I managed to get 10 out of the 15.

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The phone had a countdown down the bottom to see who won ... 10/15 wasn’t perfect, but the questions were tough and I thought I was in with a chance.

Alas! Not to be ... there were only the 3 prizes and I dipped out.

But it was a fun experience ... and it tied into this project nicely! How cool would it be if I won it!


#232 1 year ago

“It comes from the land of the bar bee que ...”

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#234 1 year ago
Quoted from PoBoyPinball:

Playfeild preview?



#237 1 year ago

Brad is the man.

We’ve made a few tweaks, and she’s getting pretty close.

First up I’ll print a test print and check alignment with everything, then we can move on to printing the colour overlay.


1 week later
#238 1 year ago

bradalbright is weaving his magic over in Texas ....


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#239 1 year ago

I wish I could draw like this ...


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#242 1 year ago
Quoted from drummermike:

Saw this yesterday in NY city at the Met.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

That’s better than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - LZ hardly rated a mention!



#245 1 year ago

Funny! 25c .. score!

I was digging in my old boxes of cassettes the other day and found some of my original Zeppelin cassettes ... including the double album that started it all, as mentioned back at the start of the thread.

I’m sure I have more LZ cassettes around. I have a few on original vinyl too, but not many.

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#246 1 year ago

So ... some other exciting things happened today ...

Playfield artwork test print!

Boooooom bradalbright knocks it out of the park!

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#247 1 year ago

Followed by arts and crafts time to cut it out ...

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The circles were ok ... the arrows were a pain in the ass ...

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#248 1 year ago

After trimming it to size, and cutting out all the inserts and pop bumpers, it went on the timber playfield.

Thanks to the skills of Jeremy and Brad, it lined up with 99% of everything! A couple of minor adjustments to make, and we can print out the vinyl overlay.

I shot a video of the light test (shining light through the inserts) and sent it to Brad.


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#250 1 year ago

Here it is with the pops and rails installed.

NOTE: rails will be painted gloss black! The shooter lane rail will be cut back to suit the side pop.

- white layer (under plastics) not printed here

- The side pop will be dropped down a little bit so the shot to the bonus collect hole can be made ... but it will be a tight shot! Miss and get punished!

- all the holes and inserts lined up - we need to finesse the area around the arrows a little

- need to bring in the border a little

Otherwise everything is going to plan!

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#255 1 year ago
Quoted from Theo_Ioannis:

Can you cover the red round insert with oval shape? match the vinyl record?

Like this?


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#256 1 year ago

Playfield test print take 2!

- showing white areas - except the top one which I mistakenly cut off lolllllll

- oval insert not on this one (will be on final one)

- arrows line up perfectly - even with my hand cut paper

- Brad made quite a few adjustments ... 99.5% complete now

- side pop location moved - should work sweet

- black rails!

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Centre circle got a bit mangled when I cut the circle ... oh well ... we know it’s ok.

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1 week later
#257 1 year ago

Right! D-Day! Let’s get this playfield art printed!

My buddy Jay, who is my usual signwriter, unfortunately is undergoing treatment for cancer at the moment .. so he is off work for some time. Bummer.

Pinball buddy Mitchell had some friends with a sign company up in Albany called Airborne Signs, and they offered to help out.

I headed up there today and we got into it.

First step, Ash readied Brad’s files for their printer.

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#258 1 year ago

The artwork was printed on their flash HP printer on some top quality glossy media.

My old man is a printer by trade .. when I was a little kid, I used to go into his workplace and watch the huge old machines clank clank clank and stamp out basic printwork. When I show him machines like this it blows his mind ...

The printer heats up to 100c and heat sets the printing so it is ready to go.

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#259 1 year ago

Then it goes to the plotter/cutter which follows the cut lines Brad had put in the art files.

All the edges were cut, along with the inserts.


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#260 1 year ago

All the excess film is removed .. the insert cut outs are all fished out.

A clear application film is applied to the surface, then we can work on laying it out correctly so that everything lines up. We centred it on the arrows as I knew from my paper templates that they were the crucial part. Once they were correct, everything else lined up.


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#261 1 year ago

And there she is!

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#265 1 year ago

Such a sweet riff ...


#271 1 year ago
Quoted from BradAlbright:

Today I made a couple of art print pairs for a nice dude in PA... Shout out to Cryss

Cryss Stephens ... ace pinball player and all round nice guy.

That artwork looks awesome all printed out on the nice paper. I had my copy shop mockups, which looked cool, but not cool like your ones.

I’m sure you’ll be getting a few more messages for some! Including me.


#272 1 year ago
Quoted from Psw757:

yeah...this is really awesome!
Want to build a few of these? I’d buy one in a heartbeat! Lol

All I need ...

1/ a never ending supply of Bally Freedoms

2/ a hookup with James Patrick Page

Should be pretty straight forward ....


#276 1 year ago
Quoted from LeonSpinkx:

I think it'd be rather awesome to rig up a 2.1 stereo rig on/in/around the machine and add a soundtrack

Stand by ....


#277 1 year ago

Back in the workshop ... cutting out the lights and inserts with the xacto... getting it ready to go to the carpainters tomorrow.


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#279 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

Are you considering cutting away the white pops too so you can try out clear bumper skirts and see the woodgrain?

Clear pop skirts! Get outta town! Never seen those ...

No, I thought black ones would look cool against the white art, white pop housing and white/black top. I’m a K.I.S.S guy ...


#282 1 year ago


The playfield went to the clear coaters today.

So let’s make some plastics!

The signwriter made a proof of Brads plastics ... it needs to be printed in reverse for us to use, but I can use this one for mock up purposes.

Here I have the Freedom plastics over the printout, and they are sized perfectly.

Thanks Jez and Brad!

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#283 1 year ago

Next, I lay out the freedom plastics on my sheet of high impact acrylic, and draw around them with a Sharpie.

I’m generous with the marking of the edges, as I will make them a little oversize to allow for any trimming later.


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#284 1 year ago

Next up ... cut em out with my jigsaw.

A bandsaw would be best ... but I sold all my big woodwork stuff a few years back.

So I use what I have!

Here they are just cut out roughly. We will shape them next.


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#285 1 year ago

Why buy an expensive sander when your belt sander can go upside down in your vice!

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Here I sand the edges down to outside the black lines. The Freedom plastics were inside the black lines, so there is plenty of room for fine tune trimming later.

You’ll see I put on a wider belt in this picture, that way I can use the side of the belt to get into the sharper angles. Bit of a trick to that, just take it easy ...

Half an hour and a heap of sanding dust later, here are the edge sanded plastics. I’ll wait until I get the final print of the stickers before I do the final trim, and drill them to suit the PF posts.

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#287 1 year ago

My doppelgänger plastics with the Freedom plastics on top. My ones still have the protective plastic on them so they look a bit raggy on the edges.

All present and accounted for.

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#289 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

How did you get the shop floor to look like carpet?

It’s garage carpet. It’s in my garage.

Don’t weld out there! Lol

Alas I don’t have a proper dedicated workshop any more. When I had my sofa factory I could whip up there and play havoc with my tools.

The carpet is more pleasant to work on than cold concrete floors though ...


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#291 1 year ago
Quoted from RCA1:

Sofa King?

Sofa King good!


#295 1 year ago

Got the reverse printed stickers for the playfield plastics. He printed up two sets .. must have been the width of the sheet of media I guess. So I have some spares.

Alas, I’m away till next weekend, so it’ll have to wait till then.


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#296 1 year ago

Plastics are made!

Just final trimming/edge sanding to do.


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#299 1 year ago

Well ... tonight my rugby league team got gypped by the ref. Again.

So out to the shed to drown my sorrows with beer and power tools.

Crank the stereo to the max and put on some For those About to Rock.

What shall we make tonight ...?

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#300 1 year ago

Beer and acrylic ... and jigsaws, sanders and hand files ...

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#301 1 year ago

Hmmmmm ....


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#307 1 year ago
Quoted from BradAlbright:

With everything in place, I think it will make more sense and draw your eyes to the right places on the playfield. I think

Quoted from dasvis:

Looks just like Bally would have done it back in the day.
Less is more!

I concur ... I think the overall package works really well, and each component complements the other one to make a nice package.

If you strip down most 70s EM games, there isn’t a lot to them art wise (excepting the backglass) It really wasn’t till the SS era where a lot more detail went into the artwork.


#308 1 year ago

Shooter lane came up nice!


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#309 1 year ago

So, shooter lane looked good ...

But alas! We got some wrinkling on the playfield decal - so back to square one.

Off it all comes again! Lol


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#310 1 year ago

This time, I left the wood sanded, and didn’t put any sealer on there.

I dunno what happened last time ... sometimes shit just happens. He said the first coat went on sweetly ... when he did the second coat, that’s when it wrinkled.

So, yesterday my guys put another decal on the PF ... and today I trimmed it, and she’s back at the painters for take 2.

I also made a dummy rig ... some wood with some other stickers on it ... so he can blast those ones first, wait for 20 minutes, make sure it’s fine, then do the playfield. Just slow and steady this time, I’m away for 2 weeks anyway.

Fingers crossed for this one!

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#313 1 year ago
Quoted from rvdv:

Sure following this
It’s Like a Stairway to Heaven

Or a Highway to Hell.


#319 1 year ago
Quoted from RonSS:

Great attitude though. I probably would have been throwing shit around!


At the end of the day, what ya gonnna doooo ... shouting and swearing ain’t gonna make the wrinkles go away.

I learnt a long time ago that rather than bitching about something for an hour, you can use that energy to just dig in and fix the f**king thing. Then go home and have a beer.


4 weeks later
#321 1 year ago

It’s been a busy few weeks ... spent 12 days over in Australia at the Brisbane Masters. 10 whole days of competitive pinball! Crazy.

While I was away, this happened. And all was good with the world.


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#324 1 year ago

Errrrr ... yeah!

Came up pretty nicely.

By the time the playfield is all populated, it should look pretty swish.

The painter used the same paint etc as last time ... the secret was to let it dry a week in between coats, and that eliminated the issues we had last time.

Like I said before, I supplied another board with some other stickers on it to use as a test rig, and that was a real good idea I reckon.


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#328 1 year ago

Half back together already.


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#330 1 year ago

Assembled most of the playfield today. I still have to build the new 4th pop bumper assembly up, and do the flippers, and install the drop targets.

And do the spinners. And make the custom skill shot I’m doing.

But you can see where it’s headed!

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#336 1 year ago

Right, so here is the skill shot I made.

Basically the same as Tron ... you can soft plunge, and if you get it right, the ball will land into the saucer and give you the lit wheel value. Could be really valuable!

Too hard, she’s going around the top ... and even if you go get it in the sweet spot, she could roll over the saucer and head into danger ...

So now there are 2 skill shots. Soft plunge for this new one, or hard plunge for the original top saucer, which also scores wheel value.


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#341 1 year ago
Quoted from Psw757:

What songs are going to be implemented?

You’ll have to wait and see ....

That will be the last thing on the list. The plan is to get the pin all finished and playing properly first, and then I’ll do that down the track.


#342 1 year ago

Unglamorous mechanical work today.

Just built up the new 4th pop from scratch. It’s wired together with the other pops, so it will award points and work just the same as the other 3.

Also rebuilt all the other pops with new sleeves and gave them a tune up.

Now, on to the flippers.


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#343 1 year ago


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#344 1 year ago

Whattya know?

It works!


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#356 1 year ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

Any plans to make special faced drop targets?

Just standard Bally bullseye targets in there for now. Custom ones maybe down the track ...

Quoted from Nihonmasa:

Might have missed it but how do you manage the rules etc?
Multimorphic? 100% custom EM?

Standard Bally Freedom rules, with added pop bumper to add some chaos.


#357 1 year ago

You wanted a video ... you got the video.

Still a few things to do ... I’m out of star rollovers, and I need some flipper parts to kill the buzzing. I’ll get them on my next order.

But otherwise, she plays pretty fast for an EM! And she all works!


#366 1 year ago
Quoted from Zzap:

Just had a look at PB Resource to see what black and white Bally drop targets we’re available. Looks like the musical note ones might look pretty good on this

I’m sorta digging the bulls eye targets to be honest!

Secret fact - Brads first drafts of the playfield art had musical notes on it, running up under the spinners. We eventually went with the logos instead ... more rock n roll.


#369 1 year ago

Thanks to all for the kind comments!

I put the video on Facebook yesterday, it went “pinball viral” lol! It had 3,700 views last time I looked. Haha

Happy that everyone likes it!

I’ll get back on it in the next few days - first chore is to remove the whole light board, and rebuild it so the lights match up with Brads backglass. Most of the feature lamps are now in different locations.


#374 1 year ago

Funny you should say that ....

I best finish this one first though!


#376 1 year ago
Quoted from MadPole:

Have you considered album cover artwork stickers for those drop targets?

That’d be some pretty small album covers.

Houses of the Tiny!


#378 1 year ago
Quoted from o-din:

Speaking of small, your backglass seems to be missing a tiny detail.
[quoted image]

I’m all about the package pants.

You’ve seen my tight ass jeans in person.

I’m living the Percy Plant dream, Oddddinnn!!


#379 1 year ago

We’ve made the big time now!


#380 1 year ago



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#382 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

I tried rating it...
of course, and it rejected me...


thanks for the effort though!


#385 1 year ago
Quoted from swinks:

real nice work mate, looks awesome and love the marketing slogan

Thanks champ ... nice to (briefly) meet you over at Brisbane! Sorry I was so busy ... the event was pretty full on!


1 week later
#387 1 year ago

Right! After a few days working on other pins, I’m back to finish off the LZ.

First job, we need to make the old Freedom backbox lights line up with Brads new backglass.

In hindsight (hindsight is a wonderful thing..) I should have paid a little more attention to this when we were drafting the artwork. There is some text on the BG that can’t line up with the lights ... but kiwis are world reknown for their “number 8 wire” mentality, so I will make it work!

First step is to remind myself of where the feature lights were on what’s left of the Freedom BG.

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Then mark them up on the backboard, noting the wire colours for when they are moved.

Only 4 of the feature lights line up. Players 1-4. All the others will have to be “reimagined”.


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#388 1 year ago

I have it all dummied up, and the wiring has been done.

All the Match lights have been repurposed into GI lights.

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The “over the top” lights have been moved down to between the player 3-4 reels. When you roll it, the symbols light up, corresponding to your player and your “Player X - rock and roll” text.

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The old surrounding timber with the holes in it has been cut and modified to fit the new lights. Waste not, want not. Boooya.

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#389 1 year ago

The hardest bit was, the GAME OVER and TILT and THE PLAYER REMAINS THE SAME text on the new backglass was right under the reels.

So after a bit of ummmming and aaahhhhing I decided to take out the metal reel holders and cut them so I could mount the new lamps there.

Took a little work, but it came up good! And most importantly, it works well. Lamp socket is insulated so it doesn’t arc out on the metalwork, even though it is about 4-5mm away. Better safe than sorry.


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#390 1 year ago

All sanded back and ready for repainting.


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#391 1 year ago