(Topic ID: 300071)

Build a White Water from scratch?

By mamawaldee

18 days ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 days ago by dsuperbee
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 18 days ago

I'm in shock about prices again...again.

I was obsessed with Monster Bash before and considered a scratch build, there is an old thread somewhere on here about it.
I got as far as seeing a $1k Frank assembly on Ebay and called it quits. Just too expensive. There was actually a disassembled game in boxes going for $7k, it was crazy.

As soon as possible I made the deposit on the remake. MBrLE still sits in the basement. Been very happy with it.

I missed out on a beautiful WH2O for $3.5k before, its been on the wish list ever since.

But the current market is just depressing as hell.

Average WH2O priced higher than MBr classic NIB, and is approaching MMr level pricing. Sure its a good game, but not MM good.
$10k by Christmas is not a joke, I expect it to happen.

So many White Water pins for sale now too, just like all the original MB that suddenly showed up in the market for crazy prices ahead of the announcement. Maybe CGC is up to something, I don't think so, but it would be great if they were.

Has anybody ever made one of these from parts? What would be the cheapest donor machine? Ideally something with a few key common mechs. I know the topper is unobtainium, most of them out there are disintegrating anyway. They should at least remake the topper.

I wouldn't be surprised if somebody was to try to sell just the original topper for like >$5k. Nothing in this market surprises me anymore.

#2 18 days ago

Well ramps & boulders you're already $600 down; good luck with all that.
I mean I got some old shitty ones for you on the cheap side though.

#3 18 days ago

About a year ago I spent a weeks time researching all parts needed to build a MM from scratch using a NBAFB as donor game. The result? I would be forced to get parts from 6-7 different vendors all over the world and the shipping + import taxes alone would be a lot. Some parts like the wire harness and backbox tub are unobtainable and would be a pain to find or make myself. The parts cost including donor game and a new playfield amounted to about the same price as buying a playing MM in decent condition and in my calculations I had not included a single screw, nor LEDs and such but only the larger thungs like mechs/lamp boards/ball guides/ramps and similar items. Add to this at least hundred hours (probably more) of work to put it all together.

I came to the conclusion that the only upside with doing a scratch build (apart from hopefully having fun doing it) is that you get a game in great condition with lots of new parts in it.

Sure, you could go with used parts as much as possible but to me putting in all that work and money and still end up with a game in rather bad condition (like a used worn playfield, scratched cabinet and so on) would suck.

You will absolutely NOT save any money compared to buying a used one and call it a day. I would say this insight is true for any scratch build, including white water.

#4 18 days ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Well ramps & boulders you're already $600 down

New ramps only are $660 shipped. Might be lucky to get new boulders for $120.

#5 18 days ago

I did it for around 3500, but I kicked off with all the backbox circuit boards and major playfield mechs and lamp pcbs for $1200.. you’d probably be hard pressed to get the board set for that. Got mostly used ramps, used playfield and a free cabinet. Had to make some guide rails and various tidbits, and have upgraded to new boulders, real topper and such over time, but had a playing game for mid 3k. Wired from scratch,
The manual is great, i recall one error i think with the bigfoot circuit otherwise it was a perfect guide for wiring from scratch.

#6 18 days ago

Well the fly in the ointment for WH2O is the topper. Yeah you could do a reproduction if you had one but it really takes the seriousness out of it for me.

#7 18 days ago
Quoted from whthrs166:

Well the fly in the ointment for WH2O is the topper. Yeah you could do a reproduction if you had one but it really takes the seriousness out of it for me.

Can you even reproduction topper parts? I know you can get the dome but think that's it.

#8 18 days ago
Quoted from Lhyrgoif:

About a year ago I spent a weeks time researching all parts needed to build a MM from scratch using a NBAFB as donor game. The result? I would be forced to get parts from 6-7 different vendors all over the world and the shipping + import taxes alone would be a lot. Some parts like the wire harness and backbox tub are unobtainable and would be a pain to find or make myself. The parts cost including donor game and a new playfield amounted to about the same price as buying a playing MM in decent condition and in my calculations I had not included a single screw, nor LEDs and such but only the larger thungs like mechs/lamp boards/ball guides/ramps and similar items. Add to this at least hundred hours (probably more) of work to put it all together.
I came to the conclusion that the only upside with doing a scratch build (apart from hopefully having fun doing it) is that you get a game in great condition with lots of new parts in it.
Sure, you could go with used parts as much as possible but to me putting in all that work and money and still end up with a game in rather bad condition (like a used worn playfield, scratched cabinet and so on) would suck.
You will absolutely NOT save any money compared to buying a used one and call it a day. I would say this insight is true for any scratch build, including white water.

It's not that bad. For the price of bad/average condition MM, I purchased a donor machine, and required parts, built all playfield harnesses, lamp boards and other pin specific parts.
Of course this is a lot of time (over 200 hours before assembly stage), but that's part of the hobby.

#9 18 days ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

Can you even reproduction topper parts? I know you can get the dome but think that's it.

I bought the dome, the plastic standup that the decal goes on, and the lamp PCBs fairly recently.

#10 17 days ago

I am about to undertake this task shortly and plan on documenting the whole process for youtube viewers. It took me 20 years to find all the NOS parts for WWH2O. I hade to sit and wait for years to find NOS complete ramp assemblies. This was only possible when the Canadian arcade guys bought out an operator and he happened to have all the NOS ramp assemblies in a box. Wound up buying the whole lot but it was the only way to get the ramps I needed. Along the way I picked up an nos Bigfoot assembly but it cost me big. I got lucky with an NOS waterfall assembly when IPB had one left. Then one year I found NOS playfields I got from Dennis directly at the Milwaukee show. A little bit here and there when they showed up.

I am personally doing this out of love for the game. Others have tried to duplicate the waterfall header with no true success. Unless Chicago Gaming figures this out it will be tough because of the unique parts needed. Your best bet is to find a decent used game and make it as good as possible with the current parts available. It’s a great playing game and as some others have said looks like a diorama under glass. Is it the best game, no, but a great difficult game that can kick your ass sometimes.

Thanks
Dougram69

#11 17 days ago
Quoted from dougram69:

It’s a great playing game and as some others have said looks like a diorama under glass. Is it the best game, no, but a great difficult game that can kick your ass sometimes.
Dougram69

I always thought WH2O was a fun game but didn't really appreciate how good it was until I owned one. Tons of details in rules that are easy to overlook. Sound/music is just fantastic and something you usually cannot appreciate in load location environment. Of course the game looks fantastic with great artwork, waterfall topper, and world under glass. Love how mine looks with leds, ocd boards, and light strips under boulders.

#12 17 days ago
Quoted from dougram69:

I am about to undertake this task shortly and plan on documenting the whole process for youtube viewers. It took me 20 years to find all the NOS parts for WWH2O. I hade to sit and wait for years to find NOS complete ramp assemblies. This was only possible when the Canadian arcade guys bought out an operator and he happened to have all the NOS ramp assemblies in a box. Wound up buying the whole lot but it was the only way to get the ramps I needed. Along the way I picked up an nos Bigfoot assembly but it cost me big. I got lucky with an NOS waterfall assembly when IPB had one left. Then one year I found NOS playfields I got from Dennis directly at the Milwaukee show. A little bit here and there when they showed up.
I am personally doing this out of love for the game. Others have tried to duplicate the waterfall header with no true success. Unless Chicago Gaming figures this out it will be tough because of the unique parts needed. Your best bet is to find a decent used game and make it as good as possible with the current parts available. It’s a great playing game and as some others have said looks like a diorama under glass. Is it the best game, no, but a great difficult game that can kick your ass sometimes.
Thanks
Dougram69

Please document that here as well, would love to follow along

#14 17 days ago

I’ll build one with you!

#16 12 days ago

Yep, Wally is awesome

#17 12 days ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

New ramps only are $660 shipped. Might be lucky to get new boulders for $120.

Where did you find ramps for $660 shipped? Starship fantasy has the set of 7 for about $100 more

1 week later
#18 4 days ago
Quoted from nerdygrrl:

Where did you find ramps for $660 shipped? Starship fantasy has the set of 7 for about $100 more

Well, I forgot where I got them new from. Also, that was the price 10 years ago on my amateur restoration.

#19 4 days ago
Quoted from nerdygrrl:

Where did you find ramps for $660 shipped? Starship fantasy has the set of 7 for about $100 more

That is what my cost was many years ago as well.

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