(Topic ID: 12177)

Best Pin to Re-Theme?


By RyanClaytor

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 37 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Psw757
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 7 years ago

    Hi Pinsiders,

    I'm new(ish) to the hobby, just got my first pin last weekend, and I'm already thinking about future projects (natch!). I think I may be approaching my next project a little differently than most, though. I'm not so mechanically/electronically inclined as I am artistic. (I'm a cartoonist and university art prof.) So here's my question to you:

    What pinball machine would be the best to re-theme?

    ...but before you answer, let me lay down a couple of guidelines.

    I'm looking for something that I can take as-is, sand down the artwork/plastics/backglass, and make my own art package for the pin. I'd like something that does NOT have VOICE cues, so that I don't have to worry about incorporating those into my new theme. However, I am not a big fan of EM machines *cringe* (sorry EM guys), so let's leave those out of the equation. Which pretty much leaves us in the late 70's/early 80's solid state era. I'd also like to find a pin that is FUN TO PLAY!!! I'm sure I could just find any old beater to repaint, but I'd like the machine to actually be enjoyable after I spend all this time retheming it.

    SO! What do you guys think? Any suggestions for pins to look out for?

    Thanks for any and all suggestions,
    Ryan Claytor
    Elephant Eater Comics
    http://www.ElephantEater.com

    -1
    #2 7 years ago

    Voltan would make a good re-theme candidate.

    #3 7 years ago

    Hmmm... It would be a shame to sand down a lot of those games. Maybe something like Monte Carlo? There were over 4000 made, so you wouldn't exactly be destroying a rare game from that era.

    #4 7 years ago

    Probably a Buck Rogers. It had a large production and can be found for a decent price. Someone rethemed one for the anime Akira. http://otomblr.tumblr.com/post/6629878771/all-time-top-most-must-have-want-mr-sam

    Rather than fudging the letters of BUCK up top, you could scrape the paint on those inserts, sand and polish them, and put some other four letter combination. The gameplay on the table is basic, but very fun when set on steep settings. There is more than one sound setting for it too.

    #5 7 years ago

    Harlem Globetrotters.

    #6 7 years ago

    Voltan would make a good re-theme candidate.

    jahbarron,
    I've never even heard of Voltan! Ha-ha! I knew you guys would have some good suggestions.

    It would be shame to sand down a lot of those games.

    kevinleedrum,
    This is my one reservation about doing something like this, so I'm glad you brought it up. I just didn't want to add to my already lengthy list of guidelines. I'm glad you suggested a game with higher production numbers, as that should make it easier (and hopefully less expensive) to find.

    Maybe something like Monte Carlo?

    Wow!!! I just looked this up on YouTube (as I've never seen this one before either). I can't believe a game made that late did not have voice calls!!! I'm really excited about this suggestion!!!

    Probably a Buck Rogers. ... There is more than one sound setting for it too.

    DEVILinIRON,
    More...than one sound setting???

    730.gif

    #7 7 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    More...than one sound setting???

    The sounds are basic, but you can switch it to two different sets of sounds.

    #8 7 years ago
    Quoted from bballfan:

    Harlem Globetrotters.

    bballfan,
    Huh! That's another interesting suggestion. I'm fascinated by the pyramid of inserts at the bottom. ...almost like it was originally designed to be a bowling game or something. Odd.

    Quoted from DEVILinIRON:

    The sounds are basic, but you can switch it to two different sets of sounds.

    DEVILinIRON,
    Still pretty darn cool. This is the sound set-up I've been able to find on most videos (Is the alternate system of sounds more like a chime-unit? ...like from the old EM's?):

    #9 7 years ago

    I'd be very interested to see what kind of art you throw down on the PF. I don't want to discourage you, but to get the PF sanded down you'll have to take pretty much everything off of the top of the PF. It's really not too difficult, just make sure to take pictures and notes.

    #10 7 years ago
    Quoted from Deaconblooze:

    to get the PF sanded down you'll have to take pretty much everything off of the top of the PF. It's really not too difficult, just make sure to take pictures and notes.

    For sure.

    #11 7 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Still pretty darn cool. This is the sound set-up I've been able to find on most videos (Is the alternate system of sounds more like a chime-unit? ...like from the old EM's?):

    Hmm... Mine doesn't sound quite like that one though. Maybe my sound board is different. Guess I'm not sure if they all come like mine. One set of sounds is like a laser battle and the other can best be described as not. I wish they were emulated chimes. That would rock.

    EDIT: Nevermind. It must only be my pin that does this. I figured out the other set of sounds is from Genie, another Gottlieb sys 1 table.

    #12 7 years ago

    WOZ :-p

    #13 7 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    What pinball machine would be the best to re-theme?

    ...but before you answer, let me lay down a couple of guidelines.

    I'm looking for something that I can take as-is, sand down the artwork/plastics/backglass, and make my own art package for the pin. I'd like something that does NOT have VOICE cues, so that I don't have to worry about incorporating those into my new theme. However, I am not a big fan of EM machines *cringe* (sorry EM guys), so let's leave those out of the equation. Which pretty much leaves us in the late 70's/early 80's solid state era. I'd also like to find a pin that is FUN TO PLAY!!! I'm sure I could just find any old beater to repaint, but I'd like the machine to actually be enjoyable after I spend all this time retheming it.

    Some nice suggestions so far. Ryan, you seem artistic/creative/talented enough to do a simple "talkie" machine. Here's a cool video that someone did where they re-themed a Hollywood Heat into a Evil Dead.

    #14 7 years ago

    There's been a few threads on this. The trick is to find a good playing table with a theme you wouldn't mind destroying in favor of another. That is either the end or the beginning of the real work, depending on how much/well you want the new theme integrated into the existing ruleset. Coming up with a theme that matches the existing ruleset is harder than it may first seem.

    The part I'm going to have difficulty with is generating the new art. I can visualize a nice theme/artwork, but getting it actualized onto a pf, cabinet, etc is a whole nother matter.

    http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/great-playing-totally-fugly-pins

    #15 7 years ago
    Quoted from DEVILinIRON:

    I figured out the other set of sounds is from Genie

    Ha-ha Wow, that game's a hoot, too! I dig the mini flippers up top too!

    So far I think I'm leaning toward some of the later versions, a la Gottlieb's Monte Carlo or maybe something like Arena. Any more suggestions like these, with some ramps, multiball, and more modern features, but still sans voice?

    #16 7 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Any more suggestions like these, with some ramps, multiball, and more modern features, but still sans voice?

    I wouldn't worry about the sounds of an existing theme....particularly if you use a newer non-DMD table. There are plenty of cheap sound solutions you can use to take the existing triggers and supply new sound.

    #17 7 years ago

    Probably the Dolly Parton game.

    There is always one for sale on CL, the game is pretty fun to play, it is cheap (250-350$), and no one would ever cry that you defaced a valuable gem.

    #18 7 years ago

    wizzardz,

    I just read through your entire thread. Thanks for pointing me to it. There were a lot of suggestions that would be fun to work with (JM, RG, etc) that I couldn't do based on the sound. There were also some pretty horrific one's (Hotdoggin'? A wide-body with eighteen in-lanes? ...oh, gawd. Ha-ha!). But then the titles like Hollywood Heat, Raven, and Genesis looked interesting.

    How is your retheming of HH coming along??? Did you decide on the football theme?

    Finally, I know you said,

    Quoted from wizzardz:

    I wouldn't worry about the sounds of an existing theme

    ...but I really don't have the technical know-how to change this stuff, so I really feel like I should just stick to the art package, otherwise I fear getting in over my head.

    Quoted from vid1900:

    Probably the Dolly Parton game.

    vid1900,
    Hm! Never considered that one. I'll have to look into it.

    #19 7 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    How is your retheming of HH coming along??? Did you decide on the football theme?

    That was the one I had developed the furthest along. I'm currently developing Zombie and Rat Rod themes.

    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    but I really don't have the technical know-how to change this stuff, so I really feel like I should just stick to the art package, otherwise I fear getting in over my head.

    Sort of the opposite of where I'm at. The sounds solutions are largely based on a self contained MP3 player that play the sound assigned to the particular input trigger. But as you mention, if this is outside your comfort zone, it then becomes this big task. I can get all the inputs and outputs and design the theme for the ruleset - at least conceptually (and even in mockup). But the moment I put pen to paper to actualize what I visualize, I'm stymied by the IBKAC.

    #20 7 years ago
    Quoted from wizzardz:

    But the moment I put pen to paper to actualize what I visualize, I'm stymied by the IBKAC.

    Ha-ha! Sounds like you're having difficulty committing to a theme. I can see how that would be a big commitment, as you're gonna have a lot of work into it once it is finished.

    I don't know if this helps at all, but I'd PERSONALLY like to see a theme that is different from anything that has been produced and possibly even a unique interest for you. I mean, it's not like you're going through all the trouble of reworking the components of a game just to resell it. You'd never make your money/time back! So you may as well make it something you're uniquely passionate about. I guess the football theme doesn't do much for me because, well, it exists in several pins already. (Complete disclaimer: I'm also not much of a sports spectator.) Ha-ha!

    Based on that final comment, I suppose I'd better hunker down and prepare for the hate mail.

    I'M REALLY INTERESTED IN HOW YOUR PIN PROJECT PROGRESSES, THOUGH!!! ...no matter what your final theme may be. Even if it is football.

    #22 7 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Sounds like you're having difficulty committing to a theme

    not so much difficulty to commit, more of finding one that I really like as well as makes sense with the rule set. I was more settling on Pro Bowl initially because I could make it fit really well with the ruleset.

    I'm working on a zombie theme as there, surprisingly, aren't a lot out there, and then Rat Rods because they are just cool, visually striking, etc - as well as both theme ideas being appealing to me. So now I'm working the merge the design between theme and ruleset for these. It would be much easier to pick a theme if I didn't care too much about how they fit with the ruleset - but for me it has to make sense during game-play as well as just visually cool looking

    I would have done a rock theme, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd - something classic most likely - as well as any number of other unique themes (Far Side, Top Gun, Off Road, Airport). But I simply couldn't get these theme ideas to fit the table well enough to work thru.

    I have absolutely no delusions that the game would sell for what I have into it in the end. Fortunately the HH was about $250 and is mostly working....so i don't have a lot of bucks tied into it. It will likely be much more in sweat equity than actual cash.

    #23 7 years ago

    Ryan,

    go buy the Special Force that Todd has for sale (I know you've already seen it.... ).

    No voices at all on that one.

    Later,
    EV

    #24 7 years ago

    Popeye. []

    kwiKimart,
    4560.gif

    It would be much easier to pick a theme if I didn't care too much about how they fit with the ruleset - but for me it has to make sense during game-play

    wizzardz,
    Most definitely. It's nice to hear you're taking that part of gameplay seriously. You listed some great themes there, too. I had no idea what "Rat Rods" were until I looked 'em up right now. I could definitely see that fitting to the HH retheme. As I said before, I'll be really interested in seeing what you come up with. Do you have plans to show it at any expos once you're done with it?

    go buy the Special Force

    EchoVictor,
    Ha-ha! I'm pretty sure he's sold that one long ago. That'd be a tough one to retheme for anything but a battle game.

    See you in a few!

    #25 7 years ago

    Swap the Skull out of NF and replace it with a bull and it's a Red Bull Pin.

    #26 7 years ago
    Quoted from DEVILinIRON:

    Someone rethemed one for the anime Akira.

    I would kill for some anime pins. One piece please!

    #27 7 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Swap the Skull out of NF and replace it with a bull and it's a Red Bull Pin.

    TheLaw,
    Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't have much of a connection to Red Bull.

    Quoted from Firebaall:

    I would kill for some anime pins.

    Firebaall,
    Yah, some sort of an alternative comic book theme could be fun. I'm not too knowledgeable manga/anime, but some comics themes are definitely a potential.

    All,
    Still looking for other games that would be good candidates for re-theming. Any other suggestions based on the restrictions above?

    #28 7 years ago

    Raven or hardbody. Do it up. I have both. They are fun and ugly pins.

    #29 7 years ago

    I've heard the Hardbody suggestion before, but honestly I'm shying away from that one due to the audio. The constant huffing and puffing make it difficult to theme it to anything besides a gym or a porn video. Not interested in either, sadly.

    #30 7 years ago

    I have always thought that retheming a Genesis into a Weird Science would be both fairly easy and better than the original theme. Thought about attempting it myself but then remembered that I am lazy and lack the skillset.

    #31 7 years ago
    Quoted from jitneystand1:

    Thought about attempting it myself but then remembered that I am lazy and lack the skillset.

    jitneystand1,
    Ha-ha! Yah, I'm trying to take that into consideration, too. I mean, I know my strengths (art stuff) and I know my weaknesses (tech stuff), so I'm trying to focus on something that would allow me to do a minimal amount of audio reworking and just focus on the re-art-ing of a pin. Genesis is a good suggestion and definitely on my short list. Thanks for chiming in!

    P.S. You've got an admirable line-up of pins there! Lots of fun titles. Nice work.

    3 years later
    #32 4 years ago

    I raised this topic form the dead. I am interested in a custom theme pin and wondering some of the same questions.

    For the older games that have back glasses, do you have a translight made? Can you have a back glass custom made?

    I have playfield art ideas, but can't draw a stick figure. I would be inclined to have one of the playfield restoration shops help me?

    #33 4 years ago

    Hello,
    I retheemed a 80s big game into a greyhound theme. It was more about avalibility, cheap, missing back glass, and legs. Theme didn't translate well originally. I was able to make it work better as a race home theme.
    Midely fun game. No voice calls and non specific sounds. Would like to redo the abounds on the game someday.
    I'm not done with the art yet, my artist friend dropped off the face of the earth.
    Fortytwo

    image.jpg image-101.jpg
    #34 4 years ago

    Thanks. The sounds seem like they would require someone with specific skills.

    1 year later
    #35 2 years ago

    are there any recent machines say last 15 years that would make a good candidate for a music based re-theme. I'm thinking good candidate in game play and music being able to be integrated into the gameplay rather than just using MP3 triggers for switches etc....?

    Keep cost out of it, just brainstorming at the moment.

    #36 2 years ago

    Seems to me that the newer Stern Rolling Stones or Big Buck Hunter get used often

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from travisbmartin:

    Seems to me that the newer Stern Rolling Stones or Big Buck Hunter get used often

    Already have a stones which I like so that one won't work.

    I was thinking maybe an Austin powers or even a Elvis could make a good music re-theme donor.

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