(Topic ID: 159118)

Batman 66 Retheme Project - From Diner to Caped Crusader

By docquest

3 years ago

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#1 3 years ago

Since the rumors of the Stern making a vault edition of Classic Batman and another pinsider (Drano) starting his homebrew Batman thread I decided I should finally start my thread as well. This isn’t a jump on the bandwagon moment. I’ve been think about doing a re-theme for several years and decided on my Batman theme about 1 ½ years ago. I didn’t start the actual build until this winter. This thread will try and document what I’m done already and what I’m planning to do. I should have started it earlier but I was worried about totally screwing it up and having it come out half-assed so I was procrastinating sharing anything until it looks like it might actually come together. I should have started a build thread earlier because I probably would have gotten a lot of advice from fellow pinsiders on better ways to do thing or point out pitfalls before I fell into them. I’m hoping by documenting the process of the re-theme it will help others in the future when they decide to do a similar project of their own.

Why Batman?
So of out of all the themes that you could make into a pinball machine, which one been the most the most neglected over the years? Batman of course (insert sarcastic emoticon here). Ok so with all this Batman pinball history already why make another one? In addition to liking the dark, gritty, serious Batman also love the classic 66 TV show. Adam West as My first exposure to the world of Batman and comics in general. I fondly remember running home from the school bus hoping to get my little 2'nd grader butt in front of the TV before the opening credits started. I loved it as a kid for the pure action of it and still appreciate it just as much as an adult for all for all the cleverness of it. I think it’s a fantastic blend of action, writing, humor, art design, costumes, props, and overall entertainment. It’s just a fun show to watch. I think it was one of those lightning in a bottle moments that was a product of the time it was made and could never be duplicated. I always wondered if this theme was ever considered for pinball game during the 60’s and early 70’s. When the show premiered in 1966 it was an instant hit. In that era three B’s dominated pop culture: Bond, Beatles and Batman. With all of its crazy villains, cool music, campy humor, a Batman ’66 re-theme offers a ton of pinball possibilities.

What Style of Game: EM, Early Solid State, Alpha-Numeric, DMD, Full Custom?
When I first started think about doing a re-theme project Batman was always the title I had in mind but I wasn’t sure what style of machine I wanted to use. So the next step was to decide what kind of game do I want to build with this theme? Do I do a total scratch build game or just new art on an existing game? If I use and existing game do I want to use an EM, early solid state, or fully modern DMD?

Once I knew my theme I began auditioning possible candidates. Whenever I went to a pinball show or played a location machine I would ask myself if its layout lent itself to a Batman re-theme. I originally started looking at EM’s as possible donor machines. It though this would keep things simpler and easier. I would just need to redo the art and keep the original game rules and chime/bell sounds. I was thinking about re-theming it as if it was actually designed from a mechanical and artistic viewpoint in that 66-73 time period. For example, make the art look like Christian Marche might have actually drawn it. I even bought an old fixer upper EM that has a layout that would work well with a Batman theme. However as I thought about it more I decided I wouldn’t be able to draw new art that looked enough like real “pointy people” art. I also decided that this theme needed more complexity than what an EM design could offer. I wanted multiple music tracks and sound effects from the show, I wanted mult-ball and ramps, and I wanted to add cool “gadgets” integrated with the game play.

I thought about going with a P-Roc or Fast board set approach but I decided I didn’t want to go that complex. I wanted to find a game with a rule set and layout that I could use as is. I also didn’t want to have to make DMD animations so I focused on early solid state and alpha-numeric games. If I go totally nuts with ideas that require a new rule set or more complex toys I might migrate to a new board set in the future.

A recent mod I picked up was a Pinsound board that I put into a DE Star Trek. This board allowed me to totally re-do the sound package on the game with relative ease (once I made it past the learning curve).The Pinsound board is extremely flexible and lets you replace all the existing sounds, music, call outs, etc. with whatever replacement wav file you want. It also allows you to offer multiple sounds for a single event. For example if a drop target in the existing game always makes the same sound when hit, you can replace it to randomly play 1 of 100’s of sounds when hit. Other re-themes have used external sound boards (like wav trigger or mp3 trigger or Arduino based coupled with additional switches added to existing switches. While this approach can work fine I decided I‘d rather not deal with adding so many new switches and wires. Pinsound talks directly with the main MPU board so no additional switches needed to be added. Another feature of the Pinsound is that it will be able to (FW for this is still pending) trigger external devices. So if you want a shaker, extra flashers, smoke machine, etc. they could be triggered to turn on by Pinsound board whenever the pinball CPU actives a particular sound. So based on the ease of installation and flexibility of sound use I decided I needed a donor machine that was compatible with Pinsound. This narrowed the list down to DataEast R3 games, System 11C games, and WPC/WPC-95/WPC-DCS games. Since I didn’t want the complexity of a DMD I decided to focus on the system 11C games.

Why Diner?
I didn’t have a lot of experience with Diner previously but as I researched it more and played a few I realized it was almost a perfect match for a Batman theme. The main appeal was that it’s just a fun great game. The rule set is not super deep but still very challenging with lots of different objectives to accomplish. Being a sys11C, Diner is also pinsound compatible so all the audio will be easily modified. The picture below shows the re-theme plan. The little art clips are some of the art I’ve already stated pulling together.


#2 3 years ago

After acquiring the game I had my first big moment of truth. Do I have the kahunas to take a perfectly fine working Diner machine and take a belt sander to the playfield? Well to be honest the playfield had issues. It had the typical highly raised inserts in the center of the playfield and the Mylar in many areas was separating and in some cases lifting artwork with it. When the ball rolled those areas of the playfield the separated Mylar made that crinkling noise that sounds like a toddler walking around in their pampers. I decided it was a good Diner player’s machine that would soon become a great Batman homebrew machine. So I played one last game, then grabbed the tools and started stripping everything off the playfield. I took a ton of pics to make sure I could put it all back together again.

Even though I was going to sand the whole playfield I wanted to see how much of the Mylar I could remove without destroying art underneath. A little experiment for future reference. I used the freeze spray method using a 2 pack of compressed air I bought at Wally world. The general idea is to hold the can upside down and the liquid inside the can comes out and is very cold. The cold liquid freezes the glue attached to the Mylar and the Mylar then just peels off. So you are removing the mostly Mylar only, the majority of the glue is still stuck on the playfield.


#3 3 years ago

This method worked great for me at removing the Mylar. Except for the paint that was already lifted, I didn’t remove any additional paint when lifting the Mylar. The harder part of the job was removing the residual glue. I used an old credit card as a scraper and some 91% Isopropyl alcohol and a chemical called goof off. It was a slow and tedious process but it all came off eventually. Again I could have just sanded all of this off right away. My intent for this experiment was to see to just see how well I could do this if I was just restoring a playfield not re-theming it. Based on this test. I would feel comfortable trying to remove Mylar in a future game using the freeze spray method. You can see in the pic below the used Mylar and gunk that came off in the process.


#4 3 years ago

Now that’s all done I can put on my dust mask and whip out the power sander with the 50 grit sandpaper and go to town. I’m definitely past the point of no return now. Next update will show how I prepared the playfield once it was fully sanded.


#9 3 years ago
Quoted from TheCnyPinGuy:

don't forget the MOST important thing
The Batusi !!!

You mean this?

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

...sorry to lose a Diner...

I was expecting a little bit of that type of reaction from some.


#14 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Are you basing this on Batman 66 or the TV series?

It's kinda both since batman 66 comic series is based off of the tv series. I like most of the art from the Batman 66 series (each issue had a different artist) and will be using mostly that for the playfield. Most of the covers and one of the issues itself were done by Mike Allred. I like his stuff the most. I think the game will look better with comic art vs actual photos from the show. For the translite I was thinking of using a more photo realistic look or actual photos. I'm probably breaking some kind of art design rule by making the playfield a different style than backbox. Like I said, I'm not an artist so I'm just picking stuff that looks good to me. Here's a Chris Franchi poster I have hanging up in my gameroom that I really like that could be the basis of a nice translite.


#19 3 years ago
Quoted from Tomahawkjim:

Galloping Ghosts Batman! Why are Robin's shorts so short?

Good question. I assume Batman made the costume for Robin. Makes you wonder.


#21 3 years ago
Quoted from travisbmartin:

How are you going to do the artwork and plastics? I see so many rethemes, but noone ever seems to go into detail on that parr

I'm near the end of the playfield art process now and will detail my approach to that next. I'll be tackling the plastics after that. I'm still not sure what method I'll be using for the plastics art yet and will probably experiment with a few techniques. I'll try to provide lots of details as I go through it.

#24 3 years ago

Playfield Scanning
A step I forgot to mention prior to sanding was the playfield scanning. I wanted a scan of the stripped playfield with all of the original artwork on it before I sanded it off. My copier at work has the ability to scan an 11x17 sized original so I scanned in sections of the playfield at 300 dpi one chunk at a time. I then used the “Photomerge” feature in Photoshop to automatically stitch the separate scans into one continuous image. It took a few attempts to get it right. I found out that if the individual scans are skewed too much then Photoshop has a tougher job aligning them back together accurately. So I ended up re-scanning it a second and tried to more carefully about not skewing the playfield as I scanned each section. You can see an example of a Photomerge error if you look at the text over the spinner insert in the original scan below. So watch out that if you use the Photomerge tool. An alternative to scanning the actual playfield would be to get a large sheet or paper and lay it on the empty playfield with a strong light under it. Then carefully trace the outline of each insert onto the paper. You could then take the paper with your tracing on it to a staples and they could scan it for you and give you a digital image to start working with.

Creating The Insert/Holes Mask
The insert mask is just a print of each of the inserts and holes on the playfield. The idea is to have a white canvas with just the insert outline on them and then you fill in all the artwork around the inserts later. You don't want to put all the artwork on all nice and pretty like and then find out one of your inserts was off by 1.5mm and have to shift everything around again. So you want to get all your insert locations nailed done before the artwork goes in.

Using the full color playfield scan I then used Photoshop (could use any other image editing software you are comfortable with) to make outline of each of the playfield inserts and everything else is white. When I’m ready to test my insert placement I print out the image at my local Staples (cost about $3 to print an approx 21x48 black and white image). I could then lay the print on the playfield and shine a light from below to check the alignment of the inserts on the print to the real playfield. I found it hard to be precise using this method So I decided to actually cut out the inserts from the printed map using a sharp Xacto knife. I then overlay the printed map onto the playfield and see if my insert cutouts match where the insert actually is. A lot of the inserts had to adjusted a small amount to be in the right location. Ultimately I ended up doing this 3 or 4 times before all the inserts were precisely located. Once you are at that point you have a working canvas to start laying out your artwork in Photoshop

The pics below show the full color scan after photomerging, the full color scan with all the inserts marked with a black mask, and the final insert map that you can print out and check for proper registration with the real playfield. The last image is the printed out insert mask to test my alignment. You can see where I started cutting out some of the inserts to see how well it would line up.





#26 3 years ago

Insert Replacement
I should also mention that I replaced the center inserts. The game as I received it had raised inserts in the center of the playfield. This appears to be a very common problem in a lot of Diner machines. I think the large size of the insert coupled with hot incandescent lamps causes the insert to get hot and move around a little over the years. Once the insert gets raised the ball starts to chip away at the art on the raised edge. Over time they get a bit chewed up. This game had that issue. Some try to fix the missing art around the insert by applying a new decal over the whole center area. This will work as long as reset to be flush with the playfield.

Initially I tried to save the existing inserts. I used a heat gun to heat the insert from underneath and then gently pry out the insert. While doing this I found that there is a fine line between not enough heat to budge it or too much heat which can cause the insert to deform with the slightest amount of pressure. As I pushed the inserts from below to free them, some of the inserts deformed slightly because they were too hot. You couldn’t really see it until you put the insert on a flat surface. I also noticed that the inserts we very yellowed from years of light exposure. Lucky for me you can buy this 2 ¼” x 1 1/8” insert at pinball life for the low low price of $0.50. The have totally clear ones, and red or clear ones with a starburst pattern in it.


See if you can tell which insert is the new vs old in the pic below. Prior to putting the new inserts in I did my best to remove all of the old glue from lip inside the insert hole. The old glue was very “gummy” so it would come off mostly in chunks but it was still a very tedious process to clean out all 10 insert holes. However if I wanted the new insert to stay put I’d need to try and get all that old glue out and rough up the wood a little out so the new glue would have a good solid surface to bite into.

I used the recommendations by Vid1900 in his ultimate playfield repair and restoration thread:


In my opinion that thread is the single best thread in all of pinside history due to the shear amount of good information in it. Big shout out to Vid1900 for making that thread (and all the other similar threads he has created). As he states, most new inserts need to be sanded to get them to fit well and be flush with the playfield surface. The new inserts required some sanding on all four sides to get it to fit well within the existing hole for a snug fit. Without the sanding it would require some vigorous hits to get it in the hole (phrasing?). Once in the hole the new inserts still sat a little proud of the playfield surface and required additional sanding to get it to be totally flush. I used some basic 2 part epoxy from harbor freight to glue them in.


Before gluing the insert Vid recommends putting an adhesion promoter on the plastic edges. I found this product at home depot:


I'm not sure if its the most effective material or not to use on plastic insert or not but I gave it try. I decided to test it out using my old used inserts. I put a blob of the epoxy on the edge of an insert and on another insert I put the adhesion promoter on first then after it dried put on the same epoxy. After letting it sit overnight I compared the two. The epoxy on the insert with no adhesion promoter could be peeled off with some effort. The epoxy on the insert with the adhesion promoter was much harder to remove. So I guess it works as intended. This stuff can in a spray can so to use it I just sprayed it into a paper cup until I had a small puddle of it and then used a small brush to apply it to the insert. I painted the sides of each insert with the adhesion promoter and let them dry before gluing them in. On one of the inserts I got a little of the adhesion promoter on the surface and it clouded it up. This didn’t matter to me because these insert were going to be painted white later. However if I wanted the insert to stay crystal clear this might have been an issue. It’s possible that if I clear coated it the cloudiness would go away. Once all the inserts were in place I let the epoxy sit overnight and then re-sanded the playfield again to get the inserts totally flush and smooth. Once done it was now smoother than a baby’s butt with nice non yellowed inserts.



#27 3 years ago

What Technique to Use to Get New Artwork On the Playfield?
For the new art they are several approaches I’ve seen used on playfields. You can hand paint the art on. This is the method used on “The Cave” re-theme:


and “Silver Bullet” re-theme:


If you look at those threads you can see that if you are a real artist you can get fantastic results. Since I have no artistic ability I’m SOL do it this way.

Another technique is direct ink printing. John Greatwich has done this for some repro playfields and I think he can do custom one-offs. This approach can give great results to but it can be fairly expensive when compared to a just printing an overlay. A few other projects I seen on pinside used this technique with great success like the DE Batman restore and Zitts Mirror universe pin.


The vinyl overlay method seems to be the most common way to re-theme a game. Probably because it can be made at most all print shops and compared to the other methods is fairly inexpensive and doesn’t as much skill.

#28 3 years ago

The Vinyl Overlay Method
The most popular method seems to be using a custom overlay, i.e. a big sticker. With the overlay you can print in two styles. You can print the overlay on clear vinyl or you can print it on white vinyl. Let’s look at the difference between the two.

Print on White Vinyl Approach:
The advantage of printing on white vinyl is that you don’t need to paint white you playfield. The disadvantage is that you need to cut out the areas that go over an insert if you want the insert to be visible. On some inserts (like the center inserts in diner) there is full artwork over the insert so those types of inserts could be covered with white printed vinyl and look correct. However, most inserts were not meant to have full artwork on them, just a small amount of text. You could try and cut the vinyl by hand after it has been printed but would be difficult to get precise clean edged cuts and there are usually quite a few inserts on a typical playfield. It would be preferable to have the printer also cut the vinyl automatically using a cut file that you would provide, typically in Adobe illustrator vector format. The cut file would be a map that shows the cutter exactly where to cut. The cut file should be easy to generate from the full art file because all of the inserts to be cut should have no art in them. The printer will likely charge you extra to do the cutting operation. I’ve never had something printed and cut before so I’m not sure if it’s a big deal to get perfect registration between the art and the cut file. If the registration was off, even just by a small amount, it would likely be noticeable. Another disadvantage is that you now have overlay with a lot of holes in it for the inserts. Those holes need to be filled with something or you will have discontinuities in the surface as the ball rolls over them. So you would either need to use a large piece of Mylar or one of those makrolon protectors on top of the overlay like these:


I guess you could clear coat it as well. I had playfield touched up and cleared by HSA pinball and asked him about clearing overlays and he said he doesn’t do that. I’m assuming they don’t hold up as well? Maybe someone who has cleared an overly before can chime in with their experience.

Pinsider, gameroompinball, has done some great re-themes that I’ve had a chance to see up close.


He prints on white material with insert cutouts for his custom projects. His print shop prints and cuts small pieces of clear material perfectly sized to fill in those holes. Intuitively you would think they would be a noticeable seam between the edges of the overlay with the insert hole and the new insert “plug” piece. On the contrary, I’ve seen his playfields up close and they look like a perfectly flat continuous glossy surface, just beautiful.

If you go the pinballbuilders.com website the Journey re-theme blog entries show the overlay being made with white vinyl and cutouts were made for the inserts in the vinyl.


Printing on Clear Vinyl Approach:
The other approach is to print on clear vinyl. The advantage of this is that there are no holes in your overlay. It will be one continuous piece of material that gets overlaid onto the playfield. Wherever you have an insert there will be a clear area of the overlay. The disadvantage of this approach is that you need to make all the portions of your playfield that will have artwork over them white. The colors on the printed overlay will not look correct unless there is a white backing behind them. So you need to prepare you playfield by masking off all of the areas that you either want to retain a wood finish (like the shooter lane or under the apron) and all of the inserts that you want to be visible.
The goonies pinball re-theme used this approach. I got a chane to mee the creator Mike at a show and check out his machine. It looks even better in person than in the pics in his very well document thread.


Using clear overlay is the approach I’m going to use. I thought it would easier to align the clear overlay with the playfield inserts if the overlay was one continuous piece. With all the inserts cutout on the overlay, I was worried that the vinyl would stretch and distort as I was putting it down, like a big piece of Swiss cheese. I also wanted to have a single continuous surface for the ball to roll on. My printer can also put a laminate covering on the overlay which should make it more durable. By not doing the cutting operation I’ll should save a little bit on the printing cost as well. I will still need to cut out the outer boundary of the overlay after it’s printed. I can do that by hand or make a cut file for the printer to use. In the end going with white or clear vinyl is more of a personal preference. I think you can get excellent results either way. Proof of that is in the link I posted above.

#29 3 years ago

Preparing Playfield for Clear Vinyl Overlay.
Since I’m using the clear overlay method I need to paint most of the playfield white. Once the playfield was sanded totally smooth and all inserts were flush I put a few layers of Varathane clear coat down. It dries fairly quickly, is inexpensive, and will seal the wood so the paint will go on easier and be more consistent. I did 3 or 4 coats with day in-between coats. A week or so after the final coat I lightly sanded with 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out imperfections and give a little rougher surface for the paint to adhere to.

Before painting the white I masked off the shooter lane section of the playfield and all of the inserts. To mask off the inserts I used the paper insert cutouts I had left over from when I made my original insert map to test the alignment (see pics of insert test print a few posts up). I ran insert shaped cutouts through my Xyron sticker maker machine. I’ve had this little device for a while. It comes in handy whenever you need to make a small decal or sticker of something. It cost me about $25 after coupon at Michaels craft store. You can buy different types of adhesive cartridges for it. For this situation, I used the re-positionable adhesive which is designed to stick on stuff but still be easily removable. The adhesive is slightly stickier than a post-it note. They also have a permanent adhesive cartridge which is much stickier.

I stuck my home made insert stickers over each insert that I didn’t want painted white and was ready to paint. For the center inserts that represent the villains and the 6 henchman I wanted those to be painted white. If you look at the original diner playfield these inserts have full art of them so the insert itself is hidden behind the art. I did a little test where I spray painted a clear overhear transparency with the same white paint I was using on the playfield. Once dry I placed it over a center insert to make sure it still had some translucency so an LED behind the insert would still be able to light it sufficiently which I did. see pic below for the paint I used on the varathane coated playfield.

One coat seemed like enough. I then peeled off my masked areas about 5 minutes after spraying so the so it would peel cleanly without pulling up dried paint. There were a few inserts where the mask wasn't perfectly on the edge that I later touched up. To touch it up I took a paper cup and spayed the paint into it into it until I had a little puddle of paint and then used a fine brush to clean up where I needed to. There were also a few spots where the paint got a little under the edge of the sticker mask. For those areas I put some paint thinner on a q-tip and cleaned up the edges of those inserts. After about 3 days of drying I then put another 2 coats of varathane over everything to seal it all up. I’m now ready for insert decals and then the overlay itself.

This is basically where I am today with the project so the updates will be a little slower now. My playfield art is about 90% done and I hope to have it printed in the next week or two. I just got some laser waterslide decal paper and will be playing with that next week. I'll try to update the thread when I have new stuff to show. Hopefully all this info will be useful to other homebrew makers or re-themers. Now its time to get ready for the trip to Allentown tomorrow.

So tune in next time same Bat-Time same Bat-Channel.







#30 3 years ago
Quoted from vireland:

I use Goo Gone rather than Goof Off when removing residual mylar adhesive. Let it soak for a bit and it comes right up. Goof Off can remove paint Goo Gone never will (not that it mattered in your case, though).
Also, did your dust off have bitterant added? That's the worst thing ever! One can I got from Office Depot had SO much I was tasting the nasty residue for days from just casual contact in the area I was applying the freeze spray. From now on, I seek out bitterant free dusters, only.

You are right that was a typo on my part. I used goo gone shown below for my glue removal. Sorry about that.


#37 3 years ago
Quoted from Lame33:

Do you have any plans or a method to change the Diner themed words on the alpha-numeric display? (I'm not aware of an easy way to do it and I'm selfishly curious)

I want to but haven't figured out how to do it yet. In many ROM's you can open them in a HEX editor and see the text in there like "PLAYER", Bonus", TILT", etc. But in Diner there is no text visible. Williams must have used an alternative non-ASCII encoding method for that game. I know on Got Sys80 ROM's you can view and edit text in HEX editor then burn a new ROM chip.

Some posted a thread asking for help on this and no one could provide an answer"

In the link I posted there is another link to a sys 11 hacking manual. It describes a way to use pinmame to open ROM's and emulate the machine on your computer. Using piname in a debug mode I might be able to find where in the ROM the text is being encoded and then change it. I haven't tried this yet but it sound like it might work. The other issue if the checksum could change and the game may or may not have a problem with that and need another hack to disable checksum verification if its being used.

1 week later
#39 3 years ago

The Allentown show and another trip to NYC afterwards ate up some time the last few weeks but I was able to do some tests on my insert text. I’m printing the playfield art on a clear vinyl overlay so all of the areas that I want the insert color to show through will be clear. I could have my insert text printed on the clear overlay as well but I wasn’t sure how translucent the text on the printed overlay would be. I wanted the insert text to be as opaque as possible so it can be easily read when the insert is off or on. I thought if I applied my insert text to the playfield first (under the overlay) I would have more options as to what technique I used, such as; waterslide decals, sticker letters, rub-on dry transfer letters, painted text via stencils, etc. My first choice was to use waterslide decals as I think that’s the easiest and most direct approach. Then if I wasn’t happy with the opacity of the text, I could try one of the other techniques.
I ordered clear waterslide decal paper for laser printers from decalpaper.com. A pack of 25 sheets was $23 plus shipping.


I also got some “micro-set” decal setting solution. I’m not sure what it is chemically but it’s supposed to soften the decal so it follows the shape of your substrate better and forms a better overall bond when dry. You use a small brush to apply it on the surface the decal will be going on and then apply some more on top of the decal as it’s applied. I’m not sure how essential this stuff is but since it was only $6 a bottle via amazon I figured it was worth the money.

amazon.com link »

This was my first attempt at using waterslide decals so I wasn’t sure how well they would turn out. I have a bag of loose random colored inserts so I could try the decals out on those before putting them on my own playfield. I used the recommendations in Vids guide on how to apply/set the decals.


They were much more fragile and thin than I thought they would be. It was very easy for them to bunch up and fold onto themselves. When you apply them use a small brush dipped in the micro set (or just water if you don’t have micro set) and carefully smooth out the decal to remove any air bubbles, wrinkles, or folds while it’s still very wet.

Right off the bat (pun intneded) I could that these were not very opaque when back lit. When they are not back lit they look fine but shining a light behind them really shows any non-uniformity in the toner coverage. When I printed them on the laser printer I boosted the print density as high as possible to try and increase the opacity. In addition I tried printing multiple times on the same decal. I was able to run the same piece of decal paper through the printer 3 times before it started having trouble getting through with jamming. The pic below shows the difference. The text on the right was printed once and the text on the left was printed 3 times. You can see that its thicker on the left, it even has a little raised edge due to more toner being laid on it. you can also see the danger of multiple print passes as the registration from pass to pass is not perfect so text gets a little more “bloated”, which in most cases would be a good thing with this application.


#40 3 years ago

This pic shows a single print pass decal vs a triple pass one after it has been applied to a white insert and back lit. The pic after that shows that even a triple printed decal still has a lot of translucency.



#41 3 years ago

The prior image is probably the worse cast scenario for opaqueness since the symbol here is much larger than typical insert text. When I looked at just text printed on an insert, the non-uniformities were not as obvious since the solid areas of text are much smaller compared to the bat signal image.


#42 3 years ago

I also played around with text style. While the tilted text looks cooler I’m not sure it will be as easily legible as just a simple straight line of text. Still not sure which type I’ll go with. Opinions?


#43 3 years ago

So I’m not happy with the current opaqueness of the waterslide decals. I don’t thinks it’s due to the decal brand itself. I thinks it’s due to the opacity of the toner in the laser printer I’m using. Perhaps a different laser printer might work better? Before I give up on using the waterslide approach I want to try some white backed (as opposed to clear) waterslide decal paper. I know the white backed will still be translucent but the white backing with the toner on top might be enough to give me the opacity I’m looking for. Also I think the black text with a white outline makes it more readable. This is the style Stern is using on the new Ghostbusters pin for their insert text, I think it looks nice. I just ordered some white backed decal paper and I'll give it a try in a few days and post some pics if it looks better or not.


#44 3 years ago

Another part of the game I was thinking about was the skill shot. On Diner there is a molded jukebox piece in the upper right corner at the end of the shooter lane. It alternates flashing a light between 25K, 50k, 75K, 100K, and 150K points. When you launch the ball with the right amount of force to the saucer in the upper left corner (too much plunge force and it bounces out, too little and it doesn’t reach the saucer) you are awarded whatever points were lit when it lands in the saucer.


#45 3 years ago

One thought was to just replace the plastic in the jukebox with a plastic that has pictures of the various bat-vehicles; bat-copter, bat-mobile, bat-cycle, or bat-boat. Unfortunately there are only 4 bat vehicles I remember from the show/movie that batman and robin used. The fifth choice could just be a pic of them running. That would be the lowest point option.


#46 3 years ago

Instead of just a plastic with artwork on it I was thinking about using the match box versions of the classic vehicles. In place of the jukebox I could build a little “vehicle alcove”. There would be a shelf for each vehicle and a back lit sign with its point value next to it. Not sure If I have enough room back there or not for that approach.

Another alternative would be to make a long plastic that lays above the shooter lane and each of the vehicles is mounted to that plastic one after another in a single line.
Whether I went with the “vehicle alcove” in place of the jukebox or a row of vehicles above the shooter lane area, each vehicle would be spot lit one at a time just like in the jukebox. If the ball is plunged into the saucer at launch then the pinsound board would play the appropriate sound clip according to which vehicle was lit.

I just found these at my local Walmart. I'm surprised they all of them there.


#49 3 years ago
Quoted from Insane:

You could also do the bat cycle and side car separately, as I seem to remember at least one episode where batman shot out the side car with robin and robin "drove" it at least a small distance.

I think they did that in the 1966 movie, It splits up as they approach the bat-copter.

I think in the commentary track on the film Burt Ward complains about how it was hard to control and he had a few spills on it.

#50 3 years ago

I didn't think of that. I'll have to see if hot wheels made that one as well.

#54 3 years ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

could it be possible to paint the inserts with the bat symbols instead of using a decal?

That's a good idea. I should be able to make a sticker/stencil for the 4 inserts that get the bat symbol and paint it on. I think I'll give that a try. Thanks

#55 3 years ago

Another approach to increase the opacity is to just put multiple decals on top of one another. Anyone do that before?

#59 3 years ago
Quoted from awarner:

Incidentally, A re-theme to Batman 1966 has been done before. We had a bonus item on one of our DVDs with it. I think yours will be amazing and I wish you much success!

I would love to see that. Do you know what dvd had it?

#64 3 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

when you're printing the black, make it a full process black. That means, if you're doing the artwork in Illustrator, make all four color sliders 100% of each of the four colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key(black).
Some laser printers will print this kind of "full" black with all four colors and make it MUCH darker with just a single pass.

I tried printing process black (YMC + K) but the registration was a tad off which caused some color fringing on the edges. Maybe if I did a few treis I'd get one perfectly registered. I think I'm happy with the opaqueness of the double decal method though.

#65 3 years ago

I tried putting a duplicate water slide decal on top of the the first water slide decal to increase the opaqueness of the black. It looks much better. First pic is the single decal and the second pic has a duplicate decal applied on top of the first. You have to let the first one fully dry before applying the second one. Otherwise they both slide around too much and its too difficult to align them. My order of the white backed water slide decal paper wont be here until Monday. Once I get that in I want to experiment with black text with white border or white text with black border.



1 week later
#68 3 years ago

My white Backed waterslide decals finally came in last week. I had some time to play around with them this week to see if I like them better than the clear backed decals. I got my white backed decals from amazon.

amazon.com link »

As I hoped the opacity was much better with these but there were some tradeoffs. My goal was to print black text with a white border around it. Since the paper itself is white I decided to render the text with a white border and also have a black border around the white border. This helps guide you as to where to cut the text out. You can see the extra border in the pic below.

It was very difficult to cut the text out without getting frilly or jaggedness on the edges. I was using new scissors and a new exacto blade and they were still difficult to get a nice edge consistently. Even with the extra black border it was difficult to get a consistent white border width around the text. The smaller text areas were really difficult to cut out. Luckily you can fit a lot of labels on an 8.5x11 sheet so when I printed out a sheet I tried to fill it as much as possible with multiple copies of each insert text block. This gave me plenty of retries.


#69 3 years ago

I wonder if one of those electronic cutter machines could work on the water slide material. Itdidn;t mention waterslide decals ins it approved materials list.


#70 3 years ago

The white backed decals were easier to handle and apply than the clear ones. They feel a bit thicker and don’t seem to fold up onto themselves as easily as the clear ones did. The toner from the laser printer seemed more fragile on these then the clear backed decals. As I handled them, parts of the toner would sometimes flake off if you weren’t careful. If you wanted white text with a black or color border it would be difficult because as you cut through the printed areas you sometimes cause the toner to flake off in spots. Maybe this wouldn’t be a problem with the inkjet versions?

I found that when printing black the process black (uses yellow, magenta, and cyan toner combined to make black) was not very black at all. Forcing the laser printer to print black using the black toner produced a much nicer black. I tried colored text on some of the inserts but in the end I think just plain black with a white border was the most readable.

I needed the white outlined text since a lot of my inserts are dark and just putting black text on them made them very hard to read when unlit. The white border makes it much more legible when unlit. When lit the opacity is enough that it’s still readable. Here are some examples.







#71 3 years ago

As a side experiment, I found some white dry transfer rub on letters at a local hobby shop. They were just like these on amazon:

amazon.com link »

Although they looked fine when unlit they were not as opaque as the white backed waterslide decals. Another limitation is that there is a very limited selection of fonts and sizes to choose from. The pics below show unlit and lit using the rub on dry transfer letters. There were only $5 so it was worth a try to see how they worked.



#72 3 years ago

Although I wish the consistency of my white border width was better from letter to letter I think this is good enough. The Batman TV show font I’m using is “Ad Lib”. It is a blocky type of font that fits well with my crude border cutting.
Some interesting facts regarding the Ad Lib font:

Ad Lib is a decorative typeface that was designed in 1961 by Freeman Craw for American Type Founders. It was extremely popular from the early- to mid-1960s, and is often used today to evoke that era.

Ad Lib was used for episode titles and "Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel" text overlays on the 1960s Batman television program.
Ad Lib was used in the 1976 film The Bad News Bears.
Ad Lib was used in the Pink Panther titles, as well as in the credits of the Looney Tunes shorts that DePatie-Freleng Enterprises produced from 1964 to 1967.
Ad Lib was used in film credits, such as The Outrage, A Guide for the Married Man and "A Man Called Dagger".
Ad Lib was used as the font to display scores on the television screen and for the logo on the first season of the 1996-99 version of The Newlywed Game.
Ad Lib was used for the titles of the television series Night Gallery which ran from 1970 to 1973.
Ad Lib was used for in the 1967 film In The Heat of the Night and the 1988 TV series based in the film.
Ad Lib was used on most Animaniacs tie-in merchandise.
Ad Lib is also used in the opening and closing credits of the animated series American Dad.
Ad Lib is used in the logo of the website Rotten Tomatoes.
Ad lib is used throughout the Worms video game franchise.


#73 3 years ago

I also started thinking more about my translate design. I really like the clock back box animation in the current Diner game and want to keep that in my Batman version. To those unfamiliar with it here’s how the current Diner clock works.

There is a circular hole in the translite that allows you to see a rotating clock mechanism in the back box. Each hour on the clock corresponds to the number of millions collected in the “DineTime” jackpot. You advance the clock and add to the jackpot by accomplishing certain tasks during the game. As you advance the jackpot the clock physically rotates and points to the current jackpot amount (3 o’clock is a 3 million jackpot, 8 o’clock is 8 million jackpot, etc. Once you finish serving all 5 customers the “DineTime” insert will lit and you have a short amount of time to shoot the ball into the upper left saucer to collect the jackpot.




#74 3 years ago

For my version I want the clock to become the bat signal being projected into the sky. Since this will no longer be a clock with numbers around it I need a new way to indicate the current jackpot value. I thought about going electronic with an LED type display but decided I’d prefer to keep it as mechanical is possible. The clock face is just a flat disc with a clock hand printed on it. In my case it will be replaced with a graphic of the bat signal symbol. However I will also add a ring of numbers around the outer edge of the clock. These numbers will align to a second small window I have in the translite to indicate the current jackpot value. The gif below shows a mock-up of what I’m thinking. Still not sure about the actual art style of the translite (photos from the show or hand drawn) or the actual layout of the translite. I’d prefer to not have to move the clock mechanism but I will if the final layout I like dictates it.


1 week later
#77 3 years ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

Very cool...definitely following this thread. You're doing a "Bam" up job on this so far! Like the mechanized translite idea. Perhaps Batman and Robin on one side with the Bat Signal in the middle so you don't have to move the mech, and the villains on the other side?

Thats exactly what I was thinking except maybe add Batgirl at well.

#78 3 years ago

Progress has been a little slower this week as I've also been doing a cab restore on my Gottleib Centigrade 37. I'm trying to get it fully repainted and stenciled and back together in time for the New England Pintastic show in a few week. I'll post my results on that project in another thread.

I did have some time though to finish up all the decals for my inserts. I'm about to put a final layer of clear over everything to seal it all up in prep for the finally art overlay. As I was doing the insert decals I decided to make a small change that took some extra work. In the original Diner art there is a large rectangular insert centered just above the flippers. Labeled as "Serve Again", this lights up let you when you have a an extra ball ready to go.


#79 3 years ago

I was going to leave this basically as is except the text would read "Fight Crime Again". However as I was laying out the artwork for the rest of the playfield I decided it needed something a little more interesting there. Once of the unique features of the original Batman show was the big cliff hanger that ended the first part of each episode pair. Batman and/or Robin would be in some kind of wonderfully elaborate and complicated killing machine or trap of some kind with no obvious method of escape. The show narrator Desmond Doomsday (voiced by the show’s executive producer William Dozier) would say things like "Is this the End?", "The Worst is Yet to Come !", "Infamy of Infamies!", and the often "Tune in Tomorrow, Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel".







#80 3 years ago

So I wanted to evoke those memories with my shoot again insert by putting an illustration of a retro TV there with the text reading "Tune In Again" and "Same Bat-Time Same Bat-Channel" below the TV. The only problem was that my insert was a wide rectangle so if I made a TV image around it the aspect ratio would be way off. There were no 16:9 widescreen TV's in 1966.

The 1mm in the pic is a notation I made on my earlier test print to make sure my insert holes lined up with the play field inserts and I needed that one to move over to the right a little.


#81 3 years ago

So I used my black water slide decals to make a mask around the insert. As before, I used two decals on top of one another to try and fully mask out the light under the black areas. Since my final art overlay is printed on clear material I'd need to put white on top of the black so that my artwork of the TV had white underneath it. The decals are extremely thin so I don't think multiple layered decals are a problem. I'm also putting a final clear coat on top of everything before the overlay goes on which will also help smooth things out I put an LED under the masked insert and verified that the combination of the black decals plus the white backed decal on top of it effectively blocks the light.


#82 3 years ago

The white was not quite the same white as the rest of the playfield so once the white decal was dry I then painted over them using the same white I used on the rest of the playfield. Since it was spray paint I just spayed a bunch into a paper cup to make a little puddle and used a paint brush from there. I probably could have masked the are and just sprayed it on but I didn't want to accidentally pull up the water slide decals if I used a paint mask with adhesive on the back of it. A little light sanding when dry followed up with my clear coat should make it smooth again.


#83 3 years ago

After the paint was dry I cleaned up the edges a little and then printed a cropped section of my playfield art on an 8.5" x 11" clear transparency (I couldn't believe we had these in the supply cabinet at work. I can't think of any reason these still exist in a modern office environment). Here's how it looks with my sample artwork over it. I thinks the TV graphic is much nicer than the original idea of just "Fight Crime Again" in a plain red rectangle.


#84 3 years ago

Next step is to finish up a few more tweaks to the final playfield overlay art and get it printed and installed.

#88 3 years ago

As far as programming goes, the game will still be running the stock Diner code with some enhancements. One of the reasons I picked diner for the retheme is that the layout lent itself perfectly for the approach I was thinking of (customers become villains, clock becomes bat signal, cup becomes villain hideout, etc). Plus more importantly the Diner layout and rule set is a proven classic and just plain fun to shoot. There's no way I could create my own game layout that would ever be as good as this.

For the enhancements, I'll be using the pinsound board to replace existing Diner sounds and music with new Batman versions. I also plan on adding a pinduino or pinlightshield to add some extra pizzazz to the game lighting. For example, as a villain (was a customer in Diner) is active I can trigger the pinduino to change the game GI to match the villains color scheme. For example, Joker has magenta GI, Riddler green, King Tut gold/yellow, etc. Not sure what color Catwoman would be unless I just make it plain white.

I'm also planning on adding some toys to the game. I want the villains to mess with you as they are active. For example in my earlier pic you can see that in the Joker insert he's got a big electric joy buzzer in his hand. I could use the same technique in those gag shock pens to put a small static shock on metal flipper buttons or the lock down bar. If I get to nervous about killing someone with a pace maker I might just settle for a strong shaker motor effect.

#89 3 years ago

This might be cool if the smoke was colored.

#91 3 years ago

Reminds me of classic Batman villain tactics.


#92 3 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

Nice work on the art! The character inserts looks awesome. Were you able to pull that from the new comic series or another source?

Most of what I'm using was from the recent Batman '66 comic series. The series ended last year and the final compilation volume (voume #5) came out last month. They are doing some one off story lines now, "Batman vs The Man From Uncle", "Batman vs The Avengers" (that the 60's spy show Avengers not the Marvel Avengers).

amazon.com link »

Quoted from Drano:

I also love that you've matched the font. I started looking for the right one a couple of weeks ago but I'm not at the art stage just yet so haven't really worried too much.

There were a couple of fonts used in the opening and ending credits. The adlib one is the most recognized one I think. The "chunky" style made it easier to distract from my poorly hand-cut insert lettering.


#101 3 years ago
Quoted from thundergod76:

Spell check needed on Batusi!

Nice catch. I was wondering if anyone noticed that. That was an early test decal. I've since fixed it on the current inserts. I wasn't sure if it should be "Bat-Tusi" or "Batusi". I went with "Batusi" since the insert is small and I wanted it a little bigger to make it more legible.

#103 3 years ago

I never saw that Batusi TV collectible. That's pretty cool. A dancing Batusi Batman figure in a retro TV case.

When you get the Batusi mode active (same as Rush mode in Diner) I'll play video footage.of Batman doing the Batusi on my mini LCD screen amd play the batusi music. My mini LCD will be mounted in the Bat computer (was the cash register toy in Diner).

#107 3 years ago

Way ahead of you. Moviestop stores near me are going out of business and I already picked up these 3 with a nice discount.


#108 3 years ago
Quoted from Max_Badazz:

Is that Miss Tiffany Case from James Bond's Diamonds are Forever at the bar with him?

Sure is. The lovely Jill St John as go go dancer and part time Riddler hench-woman, Molly. That's from the premier episode of the series. I love it when she puts on the mission impossible style mask to pretend she was Robin. Amazing that she would have been able to fit that body into Robins custom. As a kid I never would have questioned it but as an adult its hilarious. Another great Batman quote after she accidentally falls in the Bat cave atomic reactor, "What a way to go go".


#110 3 years ago
Quoted from AlexSMendes:

These bust coin banks are so cool.... I have some as toppers on my SWT, CftBL and Freddy!

For future Alien pinball owners they have Alien heads and Ghostuster lovers can get Sta-Puft marshmallow man in original or extra crispy version.

#112 3 years ago
Quoted from AlexSMendes:

I didn't see the GB pieces yet but the Alien busts are very nice... Love the Alien Queen and the Predator busts too!

Regular and extra crispy



#113 3 years ago

I dropped my final playfield art file to the printer last week and I'm still waiting. I wanted to do it local so I could show/explain what I was trying to do but this is taking a long time. I'm assuming this "one-off" work isn't something they are too excited about. A few other print places I tried in my area didn't never called back with a price estimate once I told them what I wanted. Maybe I should try one of those online print on demand places and take my chances?

In the meantime i started looking into using one of those micro display screens for my bat computer. I already had one of the OLED 1.5" 128x128 pixel displays (μOLED-128-G2-GFX, same one used in the Tron arcade mod) from a previous project.


I ripped some video to it from the TV show to see how it looks.


The display looks a little washed out in that video clip but it looks much better in person. The scrolling is also much less noticeable in person. This particular display has an aspect ratio of 1 so the video is a little squished. If I decide to use this display I would either have to letterbox my video slightly or just crop off a little on the sides. the alternative is to use another display with a a more retro TV aspect ratio of 1.33. There is a display with the perfect 1.33 ratio, uLCD-32PTU-GFX, and it would fit in the Diner cash register but its a lot more pixels to render at 320x240. These displays weren't meant to be full motion video display devices. They were more meant to be GUI screens with pictures and text and occasional video snippets. Keeping up a decent refresh rate (10-15 frames per second at minimum) might be too much at that screen resolution. I think I'll buy one just to experiment with it.

3 weeks later
#118 3 years ago

Ok time for an update. I brought 5 machines to the pintastic show this year and my time getting them ready for the show. Most were in good working order but one of them was my first all inclusive restoration of an EM machine, in this case Centigrade 37. I got in a little over my head so it consumed most of my free time for the last few weeks. Thus no significant updates on Batman. After I recover from the weekend I 'll put up a restoration thread on my C37 and get back to work on Batman

However before I began my nightly swearing session at the EM gods I did have some progress on my overlay that I can update you with.

I wanted to use a local printer to make my overlay. I thought that way I could talk with someone face to face and show/explain what I was doing and they would recommend to best way to do it. I’ve found that trying to explain what you are doing with an overlay for a pinball machine regarding is very difficult. Using a white or clear vinyl overlay on a pinball playfield is a very unusual application compared to what they are used to doing. The printer I found was only 2 minutes from my house and seemed very receptive to the project when I talked to him. He gave me two very small sample pieces of clear backed and white back vinyl to play with and said the cost of a playfield sized overlay decal of that size would be in the neighborhood of about $100. I dropped off my art a few weeks ago for printing. After about a week of not hear anything I called them and the sales person I talked to (not the same guy I talked to initially) said they were backed up at the moment and their designers didn’t have a chance to go over my artwork yet. I thought it was all set to print but I guess they want someone to look it over before printing. A received about a week later with their estimate. Needless to say I was shocked at their revised cost, about 2.5x over what I was thinking it would be. Here's a snapshot of the bottom line.


#119 3 years ago

Based on this I decided to look into some of the many online print services that are available. The one I choose was http://www.echodgraphics.com in new York city. Their price seemed very reasonable and I liked how their website lets you order everything ala carte such as type of material, type of ink, lamination or not, etc. The price shown below doesn't include the $10 shipping cost, so total cost with them was only about $70. You can also do a proof print which is a small portion or your image (18" x 18" of whole image shrunk or cropped portion of un-scaled image) printed on actual material to verify color match before printing the full image. The proofing option is $35 extra so I just decided to go with the free digital proof (they send you a digital image to verify content is correct). They were also very fast from time of ordering to my door was less than 1 week.


#120 3 years ago

Things weren't entirely rosy when the overlay came in. They apparently used the wrong type of overlay and it had a very matte sort of textured finish. They handled it great through when I brought it to their attention. I had a full replacement overlay within 3 days that looked great.

Here's the first printing which had the finish problem.


#121 3 years ago

Here's the second printing which looked much better.


#122 3 years ago

The good part about getting interrupted by Pintastic was it gave my varathane clearcoat more time to cure. So this weekend I'll get back to work on it.

Before I apply the overlay I need to make a new hole in the playfield. I decided to add a "bat gadget" that will be enabled when a particular villain is active. Lets see who can guess what it is.

The hints are:

Its a very cool toy borrowed from another pinball machine.

It will be turned on only when Penguin is lit since the toy fits that villain.

It's something that will make it more difficult for you to defeat the Penguin.

As mentioned above, I will need to drill a hole in the playfield to mount it.

Anyone know what it could be?


#124 3 years ago
Quoted from FunkyFreshWalrus:

This project is fantastic! I ran into you at Pintastic this weekend, and thought it was such a great idea I had to look up this thread.
I have a craft cutter, and would be happy to cut you any stencils you might need. The Silhouette craft cutters have a PixScan feature that lets you print something on a computer, then the cutter can cut our around the print. The software handles the alignment/registration automatically. That could be very handy for trimming around decals.

Thanks for the offer i may take you up on that on some of playfield toys artwork i might need later.

1 week later
#126 3 years ago

I did some more research on applying decals and decided to spend the extra $10 on some rapid tac.



#127 3 years ago

I definitely don't want to apply the overlay dry since it will be very hard to get it precisely place in one attempt. Some people argue that the soapy water or Windex homemade solution is the same as rapid tac but for $10 I'll spend the money just in case. Rapid tac claims vinyl decals will actually bond better using rapid tac vs just dry application. I guess I'll see how it works myself in a few days. If it works well I'll also use it on my side and head decals.

Still no guesses on what my Penguin pinball gadget I mentioned a few posts above is?
Here's a clue; Its a mechanism from a Data East game.

#129 3 years ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

I was thinking it's the flipper blinders from tommy.

We have a winner.
Sorry no prize.

When penguin is the current villian selected I want the blinders to open and block the players view of the flipper area. After you defeat penguin and go to the next villian they will close back under the apron. I'll put an umbrella graphic on it so it looks like an umbrella is opening and closing.


#130 3 years ago

I have a few interference problems i need to deal with that are keeping me from centering it where I want. Here's a short video showing my test of controlling it with an arduino.

#132 3 years ago

I have an apron from a Guns and Roses game that I'll need to use instead of the current apron. I had to cut the left side of it off so it would fit in Diner. This apron is all open in the front so the blinders can come in and out. Since it's open I'll need to make some new guides to keep the ball from going under the apron.

My rapid tac should be arriving tomorrow or Friday so I'll finally get to apply the overlay this weekend. On the plus side it's given me plenty of time for the varathane to cure on the playfield.

#134 3 years ago

I want each villian to have their own gimmick to try and mess with you as you play.

Penguin gets the blinders as shown.

Joker will get a shaker to "shock" you. I might also have an optional wrist strap or finger ring you could put on so it actually shocks you when Joker starts heckling you.

Still thinking about the other villians. For Catwoman she had an episode where she had a dart gun that could put Batman in a"Cat-atonic" state by paralyzing them. For this I was thinking to freeze the flippers randomly when catwoman was active. To unfreeze them I would have a button labeled "universal bat antidote" that when you hit restores the flippers. I like a task that requires you to remove you hand from the flippers to keep going. Kinda like in SWE1 where you need to manually plunge the balls while fighting Darth Maul.

For Riddler and King Tut I don't know what to do. Maybe unique lighting tricks? Some kind of UV mode. When Riddler is active UV lights turn on that illiminate a bunch of question marks all over the place you could not see before? Or maybe a strobe effect (like hypno beam in RFM) to try and blind you?

If you got any other cool ideas post them.

#136 3 years ago
Quoted from ls1chris:

how does an arduino work? can you set points for open close where you want it to of only full open full close? does it measure resistance to stop the servo at full open/close? the motor looks like a servo from an RC car, you can get those with a middle spindle (rather than an end like currently) to shorten the throw and get it closer to center. you could also try rotating the current servo 180deg and see how the geometry works on that but i would do it by hand before trying it with the juice and break something

Arduino servo library lets you set exact positions for servo starting and stopping as well as speed. Tons of info here:

The blinders are a repro set meant for a Tommy. It can with all the parts ready to bolt onto a Tommy. I'm trying to avoid recreating new linkages to make it all fit perfect. If I trim the plastic base a little I can make it fairly close to center but not perfectly center. This will probably look fine.

If you remember whenever they showed the bat villains in their hideout the camera was never straight and plumb it was always off center a little because the villains were "crooked". Never noticed that as a kid. So maybe being a little off center fits the theme.


#137 3 years ago
Quoted from Gerrard17:

Those villain modes sound awesome! You must have some real know-how to even consider some of this stuff.
For the Riddler you could do a couple of things at once - Maybe take a page out of the Space Station Green mode and have have all the normal GI go out and everything is lit up in Green and maybe have it flashing. Then to add the riddle element to it you could reverse the flippers (not sure if that is possible) while the playfield is strobing green.
Wizard mode could combine all the villain modes! Imagine trying to make shots with the penguin blinders up, cat-atonic paralysis and reverse flippers on a strobing green playfield.

That would be a wild wizard mode with everyting active at once, I like it!

I also like the reverse flippers idea. If I need to add a relay to paralyze the flippers it would probably be easy to also make it reverse the flippers.

King Tut had an episode where he made a mind control juice call "Abu Rambu Simbu Tu". Maybe that could be the reverse flipper mode since he is "controlling you". I could keep them that way until you again hit the batman universal antidote button.


#139 3 years ago
Quoted from Knoler:

Love the ideas for Penguin and Joker!
For Riddler, how about turning off all the insert lights, and putting riddles on the alpha numeric display in order for someone to figure out what they need to shoot next? The player is forced to "play in the dark," which seems like a very Riddler thing to do...
For Catwoman, you could do a timed mode, and have her "steal" your ball locks, or your progress from other modes if you don't win the mode in time?

Since I think Diner has an nearly perfect rule set and layout already I'm trying to just use the current board set in the game. I'm trying to add the new features via add on mods. If I can't get the new mods to trigger or behave like I want them to then I'll have to migrate to a totally new board set like a proc.

The only thing I'm not sure how to change using the current board set is the display. The text strings aren't shown in the display ROMs hex code so I still need to figure out to to update text on the alpha numeric display. My current plan is to use pinmame as a simulator and start playing with english vs other language versions of the display ROMs until I find where the text is located in the code.

Anyone hack the display ROMs on a system 11C before got any tips?

#140 3 years ago

Got my rapid tac on Friday and went ahead with the overlay install this weekend. Unfortunately things didn't as smooth as I had hoped. Prior to printing the overlay I printed it on paper to test the alignment and everything looked good. When I applied the it looked like it was a little small. So either my paper print was printing a little too big and the overlay printed a little small or a combination of the two.

For the inserts on the left side outlanes the overlay was too far to the left. However for the outlanes on the right the overlay is to far to the right. so if I centered on one side it would make the other side worse. So my only choice was to pick a compromise point that minimized the offset. But as you can see in the pics below there is still a bit of misalignment. So it looks like I'll need to re-position the art elements and order a new overlay. Not a huge deal just disappointing to have to re-do again.



#141 3 years ago

Other inserts we off as well.


#142 3 years ago

Another realization after installing the overlay was that the clear parts of the overlay weren't entirely clear, which I expected to an extent. But the text under the overlay looks a little to hazy and not as crisp as i'd like.

The main reason I went with black text with a white border via water slide decals was because that was the only way you could see the text on the darker inserts. On Diner, a bunch of the inserts were dark red and green. If the inserts were all lighter ones or clear or white then I could use simple black text. If I stick to just black text I could have the text printed on the overlay instead of using the water slide approach. If the text is printed on the overlay it will be darker and crisper.

So even though its a bit of extra work I think I'm going to strip the playfield and redo the inserts with clear/white inserts. In addition to making the insert text easier by printing it with the overlay it will also allow me to use multi-color LED's for the inserts. So I'll have a lot of flexibility with my color choices later.

I don't mind doing the extra work as I think it will look better.

#147 3 years ago
Quoted from fanuminski:

Isn't it Batusi instead of Batsui ?

I had that typo early on and made new decals but one of the old ones was still in my pile of decals. Yet another reason to do a second attempt.

#148 3 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

I have an idea for the Riddler mode, how about the score runs backwards till a shot to the target or orbit gets made, then it pauses for say 3 seconds then starts counting down again till you hit the next shot etc.

That would be very cool. If i decide to go with new board set instead of the current board and code rules I'll definitely put that on the rules idea list.

Any other games run the score backwards?

#149 3 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

I apply the clear overlays wet. I use wet paper towel wet across the surface of playfield. I lay the overlay on top & spray the adhesive side with water & drop of liquid soap in the bottle. Lift it up & flip it so its folded (u shape), keep spraying the overlay & playfield. Pick some lenses in the outlane or middle. Lay only that section (6"), keep redoing these steps until you are happy. If it still isn't correct after laying flat, spray again to both surfaces & continue on. It takes me 5 - 20 times to get best fit. My printer does them on clear film & cold laminates them for protection.

That's pretty much how I did it except I was using the rapid tac instead of soap and water.

I knew pretty quickly that I was in trouble when I tried to center the left and right out lanes inserts.

#151 3 years ago
Quoted from Jackontherocks:

What the original movie for some ideas

I actually ripped the audio from the 1966 movie as well as all 3 seasons of the TV series into mp3 files. I've been listening to them in my car during my commute. Whenever I hear a good quote I write the episode number and time in a little notebook. There were a lot more subtle jokes than I remembered as a kid. The writers on the show were pretty clever.

#152 3 years ago

I got all my replacement clear and white inserts. It was a busy weekend so I didn't get a chance to replace the old inserts with the new yet.

Since the old inserts now have a varathane clear coat over them I'm hoping they aren't too difficult to remove. I could sand everything back down to the wood then remove them but then I'll just have to re-sand again once the new inserts are glued in. So I'll see if I can get the old ones out first just by using a heat gun. If they are too stuck, then Ill sand it all down again.

#154 3 years ago
Quoted from jim5six:

Pardon the question if this has been covered but i couldn't find it... I am beginning a custom game undertaking and an trying to glean as much information as I can from other forum threads. Can someone please explain the reason for individual insert lettering versus the lettering just being a part of the table art print?
Thank you in advance. I love this theme and what you have done looks great I am very much interested in how this goes!

I thought I'd have more flexibility if I made the insert lettering separate from the overlay. Using that method I was able to try a few different approaches with the inserts. If I made them part of the overlay then I'd have to reprint the entire overlay if I wanted to change anything.

A disadvantage with having the text as part of the overlay is that my clear overlay can't print white. So If I want colored text on the insert, I need to put white on the insert that aligns perfectly with the colored text on the overlay to they lay on top of each other perfectly. I was worried that this precise alignment would be too hard to achieve. So text on a clear overlay should be black unless you have white mask on your playfield. Many of my inserts were dark so black text would have been very hard to see. So i was able to use white water slide decals to make white bordered text that I though look better than just black text. If my inserts were clear or white than plain black text would have been OK.

That being said I have since decided to print the insert text as part of my overlay. When I installed the overlay I thought the text looked a little "hazy". even though I used an overlay with clear areas for the inserts it wasn't 100% clear and I didn't like how it looked.

Also, my first overlay had some alignment issues so I decided to redo it so the second one will have insert text as part of it. Since I was re-doing it I now had the chance to replace all my dark inserts with clear or white ones. This allows me to use black text and also allows me to have any color I want for the insert via a colored LED's. Changing all this is adding some more work but I think i like this approach better.

#155 3 years ago

Also wanted to point out that Varathane does yellow after it dries. For my first overlay I painted my playfield white. Then applied my waterslide decals to the inserts then put clear Varathane down to seal in the decals, then applied the overlay. When I removed the overlay it took off the top layer of Varathane in some areas (mostly around inserts). In the pic below you can see the change in color between the white paint only and white paint with Varanthane on top of it. I don't thinks its noticeable when the entire playfield is uniformly covered. Plus after the overlay is applied it would be even less noticeable. But based on this I'm going to try min wax polycrylic instead of
Varathane for my next attempt.



#156 3 years ago

I'm gluing the new clear and white inserts in today. Its a lot of tedious work removing the old inserts and getting all the old glue out. using a dremmel tool with a mini sand paper drum helps clear out the holes. I also need to tweak the shape of each insert by sanding them a little as they are all not a perfect fit.

I'll be going on vacation with the family for two weeks so the inserts will have plenty of time to dry but no new updates for a while. As part of our trip we'll have two days in San Francisco. I'm hoping we can squeeze in time for a quick visit to the pacific pinball museum.




#160 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinballgeek:

As a batman fan i'm really excited and intrigued to how this turns out; Just a shame i'm in the uk and will most probably never play it . Have you thought of using missionpinball to program this ?

Only if adding extra stuff (shaker, shocker, blinders, custom lighting, etc) goes beyond what I can do via pinduino type controllers and the pinsound board. I think I can get everything working using those mods with the existing board set.

I might do this in 2 phases. Phase1 would be a retheme with a few simple tings added. Phase 2 could be replace the board set with PROC or mission and add more customization like LCD replacing the current display for example.

#163 3 years ago

Wouldn't you still need to mask off the insert area to keep paint out of the hole?

I also wanted the playfield to be very flat so after I glue the inserts in then I sand the entire playfield super smooth then paint.

#165 3 years ago

Did you sand the clear after it dried or did it self level enough on its own?

1 week later
#169 3 years ago

Just back from my 2 week vacation yesterday. Has a great time with the family but its good to be home. I tried to stay disconnected so I'm just getting caught up with pinside now and it it looks like a Batman 66 edition is actually happening from Stern.

I saw the Stern expo party flier which showed a VIP meet and greet with Adam West. It said to ask your distributor for details so I called one and it appears you need to pre-order a Batman 66 premium machine from Stern to get a ticket to the meet and greet. Unfortunately there is currently no info on the machine so that makes it difficult to be comfortable with a pre-order.

Rumors are all over the place on this one. Some say its just a re-skin of a Stern Batman Dark Knight with traditional DMD, others says its a whole new layout with a color LCD. If it is a new layout, with color LCD, video clips, and custom speech by Adam or Burt I'm seriously tempted to jump into this one. If the art package and video clips are similar to what was used on the slot machine I think it will look great

And if they use Chris Franchi for the playfield or translite art then it would be a real home run. Chris has done a lot of Batman art in the past and is the artist for the DVD cover of the new Batman 66 animated film. He has a nice description of the design of the DVD cover art on his Facebook page.



#170 3 years ago

So the big question is what happens if I really like the new Stern version and decide to buy it.

Do I continue with my Batman re-theme and own 2 Batman 66 machines?
Do I skip the re-theme and just restore my playfield back to a Diner via a new overlay?
Do I re-theme the Diner into something else?

I already had an alternate idea for a re-theme in mind before settling on Batman (if you look at my pinside avatar you can probably guess what it is). If I change my re-theme idea I would would have to start over with new art elements but since I already have my inserts mapped it wouldn't take as long as the first time.

Decision, decisions. I guess I just need to sit tight and wait to see what the Stern version looks and plays like.

Someone earlier asked for the full playfield art. Here's what I came up with. Most of the art is from the Batman 66' comic.


#173 3 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

I'm sure the guy that turned a flash gordon into a ghostbusters is still holding onto it even though Stern made one.

That would be pinsider betelgeuse. You can check out his excellent Flash Gordon to Ghostbusters retheme via these threads:


His thread was also an inspiration to try my own. I saw a few of his posts on the various Ghostbusters threads and saw he ordered a Ghostbusters premium. He has since canceled due to what I assume are playfield concerns. Not sure if he'll re-order it once Stern solves their problem.

A big difference between me and betelgeuse is that he finished his re-theme a few years before the stern version came out. I should ask him if would have continued with his theme if Stern Ghostbusters came out while he was in the overlay design stage of his version or if he would have choosen another theme instead.

Another problem is I don't have a lot of room in the basement so two Batman 66 pins would be a bit much. I like to keep as much variety as I can in my small space.

#175 3 years ago
Quoted from Arcade:

Johnny Quest would be awesome.
We could bomb the invisible Electric Blob monster with paint bombs.
The giant black spider would have to go on it as well.

It certainly would. Dr Zin, Lizard men, The Pterodactyl, all great stuff.

I was wondering though if an EM machine would be a better fit for Jonny though?
That was on my shortlist for when Batman is done.

Also a huge fan of the modern take on Jonny, The Venture Bros.
I love the episode where they paid homage to the giant walking eye from Jonny Quest.
The benefits of a walking eye are many and clear.

#180 3 years ago
Quoted from Insane:

Jonny Quest would be fricking awesome. Lots to pull from. Either retheme would be great. I personally wouldn't feel the need for it to be an EM.

Hmmmm..... Maybe a Jonny Quest EM and a companion Venture Bros solid state? Sorta fits.the shows since Venture Bros is a more modern funny take of the older classic Jonny Quest.

#181 3 years ago
Quoted from PeterG:

I would stick to your plan. Your Batman is build on a more traditional machine, the Diner. If a new batman VE will come, it will be a DMD and totally different experience. Will it be the same '66 version or just a comic style version, we don't know? The new VE will compete with the old Batman (2010) machine, same like the Spiderman and spiderman VE, as the shots and layout are the same.
So stick to the plan, make a great machine, show it off and enjoy your unique piece. If I had the time, I would love to do something like you do....maybe someday...

I think my decision depends what the new stern machine is like. If it's different layout than DK with a color LCD that would sway me to get one a lot more than just a simple response skin of DK with DMD.

If i decide to buy it then I won't want two 66 batman machines. If i don't buy it then I think I'll continue as planned.

#187 3 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

I'd say the same for rick & morty
» YouTube video

Rick and morty was on my retheme shortlist as well.

#192 3 years ago
Quoted from awarner:

I know you're moving on, but I was just thinking:
"Police Force would have been a great choice for the Re-Theme". Williams was planning to do Batman but they lost the license to DE so they had Python re-theme the game. I have a spare PF playfield, now you have me thinking...

I was thinking about using police force for a while because I know about its Batman history. The reason I didn't was because I couldn't use the pinsound board with it. Changing the audio mix is a lot easier with pinsound so I decided to limit my choices to pinsound supported machines. Plus I think the layout of Diner fit my theme integration better and i think it's a better game than police force (sorry police force fans).

#193 3 years ago
Quoted from AlexSMendes:

Dude, sitck with that awesome Batman 66 re-theme! If you change it, I'll drain this thread! (that's all the pressure I can make)

Still waiting to find out what stern does with their version of Batman 66. If the art looks good I'll be very tempted to get it. If the art is good but they don't use the classic voices or music I can always change those via pinball browser.

An advantage of the stern version over mine version would be the display. I still haven't figured out how to hack the text in the sys11c display. In the stern version it will have either a DMD or LCD which will be full of Batman 66 goodness.

A lot of the "gadgets" I was thinking about adding to my retheme ( blinders covering flippers, disabling flippers, elec shock to lock down bar, bat computer with vid clips, etc could also be put into the stern version if I wanted to as well.

Hoping stern release some more info soon so I can decide which way to go. The anticipation is killing me.

#195 3 years ago
Quoted from Taxman:

The toys for a Batman 66 could be incredible. But with the Diner re-theme turning the bottomless coffee cup into the Bat Cave reactor would be awesome.

Diner cup would also be a nice fit for the flying cocoon lair of the monarch.

#198 3 years ago
Quoted from taz:

they've gotta show Batman and Robin stuck in ice cream cones.

like this

batman_on_ice (resized).png

#204 3 years ago
Quoted from VacFink:

Your 66 artwork looks great, will be interesting to see how you like it compared to Stern's, as an artist, I'd always favor my own save for art done by a select few artists.
that said if you like theirs enough, your on good footing for another theme.

Patiently waiting for stern pics before I decide to continue with this theme or not. If i end up buying the stern ill probably mod the crap out of it and if the music isnt authentic score from nelson riddle ill probably be changing that. Lets hope pinball browser works with spike 2.0.

If i buy the stern batman ill still be continuing my diner retheme it will just be a different theme.

If i dont like the stern version and pass on it ill probably use pinball browser to lift all the custom adam west callouts for my version of bstman 66.

2 weeks later
#207 3 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Nelson Riddle? Don't you mean Neal Hefti?
That's the thing I most like about the idea of your Diner re-theme - using all that super groovy bat-music in the background. Big improvement over Diner, great as the game is...

Neal Hefti only did the main theme. All the groovy score that happens during the show is Nelson Riddle (at least for seasons 1+2).

Sounds great via pinsound on my Diner. If I get the Stern version and it doesnt have enough Nelson Riddle in it I'll definitely be adding it via pinball browser.

Nelson did a lot of movie scores. I was watching the John Wayne film "El Dorado" and noticed the score reminded me of Batman. I watched the credits and sure enough, saw Nelson did the score for that movie in 66 right after Batman.

#208 3 years ago

So I ended up buying season 1 of a new show that just came out on bluray. It was a show based on a movie series my kids and I already liked so we ended up binge watching it this week. We all loved it.

One of my kids said it would make a really cool pinball machine. I wholeheartedly agreed. I guess I need to add this to my short list of themes in case I buy the Stern Batman and decide to convert my Batman game into something else.

What do people think of this as a theme?

ashcs (resized).jpg

1 week later
#211 3 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Shit, I need to look into this further. I have a CD which claims to be entirely Neil Hefti and which has various themes ("The Batusi", "Mr. Freeze", "Evil Plot to Blow Up Batman") but it makes not mention of Nelson Riddle. The man has been robbed!

If its this CD, I have it and its not very good. I think the only music on it from the actual show is the main theme.

514lHyn6PAL._SS500 (resized).jpg

#212 3 years ago

Heres another CD that features a few songs by adam west, burgess meredith, and frank gorshin, and others. None of these were on the show either buts it's more entertaining than the neil hefti one. For the real tv show music you want the 1966 tv soundtrack album or the film score monthly release of the 1966 movie soundtrack. Both of those have the nelson riddle music.

MI0000137914 (resized).jpg

4 weeks later
#218 3 years ago

Ok time for a long overdue update.

I was at expo so I got a chance to get a real closeup look of the new Stern Batman 66. I really liked it. I thought Stern did a great job integrating the theme into the art package. I was a big fan of the artist before I even knew he was doing the art package for the pinball machine. A cool surprise was that the artist, Chris Franchi, was at the autograph signing at expo. I was able to meet him and get some of his art signed along with the rest of the Batman 66 design team. Really glad I finally got a chance to meet him.

I was really impressed with the size and placement of the LCD. I think they found a great balance for a good sized color display while still having a decent amount of space for a traditional translite. Although it was only in attract mode the clips they showed looked good and captured the tone of the show. I was surprised that had clips of so many other villains playing. Everyone assumed the license for this game was a piggy backed off the one used for the slot machine. When I played the slot machine I only saw riddler, catwoman, and joker. I didn't see penguin at all or any of the the lesser villains. Maybe they are there, deeper in the game but I never saw them. I assumed they couldn't get approval from Burgess Meredith's estate and that's why he wasn't there (along with all the other sub-villains). Glad to see the Stern game will have Penguin and a lot more villains on display.

I wish the game was playable at expo but we were told it wasn't at a state they were ready to show it. Stern can't really win here though, if they showed the early code people would have complained, if they showed no code people will also complain. I've had a chance to get some time with a Stern BDK the last few weeks which uses the same crane mechanism which is on Batman 66 and I really like that toy. Its fun to shoot and by putting a cab on the crane with Penguin driving it is a great fit with the theme. I like how sometimes it just moves to a location and stays there until you shoot it and other times its moves quickly so you have to time it just right to make the shot. People were complaining about re-hashing the BDK game by including it but if its a good mechanism why not keep it? Steve Ritchie's cannon from T2 was fun and its just as fun on STNG and AC/DC. I also talked with Lyman and found out he is a big Batman fan as well. This makes me even more confident that that game will have great rules when its done. I was very impressed that Lyman knew all three Mr. Freezes from the show, Otto Preminger, George Sanders, and Eli Wallach. He said they are using the Otto Preminger Mr. Freeze in the game which is great since his was the most fun.

I agree with others who said the price is definitely high compared to what you are getting with other recent. When you consider that you could buy 3 ghost busters pro's for the same cost as a single Batman 66 SLE is crazy. I get that the idea is not getting more value for the money but rather exclusivity for the money. I also think the LE and Premium are also overpriced for what you get. I'm not sure if its just Stern capitalizing on a hot nostalgic theme or maybe this game really is costing them more to make for the license and also having Kapow getting their piece of the pie. If I wasn't a classic batman fan and didn't like the artist already then I'd definitely be out based on the large price increase. So based on everything I've seen so far I've decided to get in on the pre-order list. This could potentially be a "perfect storm" since it has my dream theme, an artist I love, and Lyman coding.

Since I getting the Stern Batman game I don't want my re-theme project to be Batman 66 as well. My game collection is way too small to have that redundancy on it. The main reason I wanted to do a re-theme was to try out another aspect of the pinball hobby that I hadn't tried yet. I wasn't doing it just because I wanted a classic Batman themed game, I wanted the experience of re-theming a game and Batman was going to be my vehicle to accomplish that.

After thinking about all the re-themes I could switch to, I have decided to go with the new Starz TV show "Ash vs The Evil Dead". It's funny and campy just like Batman, has great one liners for call outs, and has a fantastic 70's/80's classic rock soundtrack.

So I started another thread to continue where this one left off. You can find it here:


I hope to see you on the other thread. Thanks all the kind words and encouragement along the way. I hope my project inspires other pinsiders to go out of their comfort zone and try their own projects.

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