(Topic ID: 161885)

A bit disappointed with new plastics

By redundor

3 years ago

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#1 3 years ago

I got a set of new plastics for my demolition man from plantetary pinball to replace my beat up set, and I am wondering if I am being a bit to picky. Maybe I was expecting to much. My main complaint is that just like the original, the black keyline around the plastics isn't a consistent thickness. In various spots it isn't even left after being cut out. I has always assumed that the reason the older games were like this was because of the manufacturing limitations at the time they were made, and that new plastics would be properly centered to ensure that they look the best.

However, I bet there are people out there who value authenticity and would be unhappy with re-centered and cleaned up plastics since it isn't true to the original game.

Anyway, here is a scan showing what I mean


#12 3 years ago
Quoted from pinsanity:The perfect marketing strategy. Why let them spend only $15 when you can make them spend $159.

If I could have bought just the pieces I needed I would have, but I have enough with damage that it made sense to just get the whole set. And I must say, it can with a lot more pieces than I was expecting. Every single piece of flat plastic in the game was included including the clear ones, the ones that are installed vertically beneath the ramps and even the key fob! Even though I am not overly impressed by the alignment, overall it's definitely worth the asking price.

Quoted from swanng:

You have a valid point, but if Planetary used original films to reproduce them, well..............
It is kind of irksome, no doubt. But if that's all you can currently get, then i's better than broken or nothing, yes?
I don't think Rick would spend time or money modifying original films or scans to make plastics aesthetically perfect, and if he did that for one machine, he would most likely have to do that for all of them.
For those of us who have been in the hobby for awhile, I think I can safely say that authenticity/originality is still appreciated.

Yup, definitely better than broken/cracked/missing. I don't know what the original files look like, but I can't image that it would take all that much time to tweak them to align better. Do some test prints on paper showing the graphic and the cut lines and it should at least be better than it was.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from accidental:

You'd be surprised how hard it is to get printed artwork to be cut accurately when it is a large sheet comprised of complex shapes, like a plastics set.
For my JP scoop light icon mod (www.loopcombo.com) I've spent lots of time and money doing R&D with various printing and cutting processes to get a good alignment of artwork and cutting.
Plastics artwork like DM that has a key line or a border really highlights any variation in thickness/distance from the edge. For my mod artwork I foolishly designed a circle inside a cut circle. SUPER easy to see any misalignment. Anything more than 1mm misalignment looks bad and I have to throw out the part. That I paid for printing, adhering to acrylic, shipping to laser cutter, cutting and shipping to me. For my first few suppliers my yield was below 50% which is terrible!
The main problem is that both wide format printing and laser cutting paths suffer from 'drift' across a large area. Which is when the proportions of printed/plotted data changes over the physical length of the job. So even if the laser cutter is 100% accurate and has no drift, if the wide format printer had even minute variation in feed speed throughout the job, some parts will be out of alignment to the cutting path when it gets laser cut.
The only way I've found to solve it is to find a supplier operating a modern high-end laser cutter that is less susceptible to drift, and is also willing to babysit the entire cutting job, adjusting the laser as the cutting job progresses to account for any drifting. It is expensive but I get probably 90% yield now.
TL:DR; Cutting large artwork is very hard to get right and misalignment is super noticeable. I've gone through many printing and laser cutting suppliers to get it right myself. Pinball plastics are historically horrendously misaligned so there's no incentive to go to the effort to make new ones that are cut better.

I have actually done some plastics ad well for my x-men through a local print shop and they turned out really nice on the first try. I guess I got lucky, or the fact that they could print and cut in house meant that everything lined up properly.

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