(Topic ID: 280899)

Cuphead Home Brew Pinball

By scottacus

11 months ago

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  • 418 posts
  • 57 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 days ago by PhilGreg
  • Topic is favorited by 86 Pinsiders


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    There are 418 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 9.
    #51 11 months ago

    As I'm getting closer to actually building the cab I'm working on tying up a lot of loose ends. One of these it the attract mode light show. MPF has a really cool tool that was made by Pinlandia called "MPF SHowmaker." This tool gives you the ability to make complex light shows with just a few set up tasks.

    If you populate all of your non-gi lights in MPF Monitor, MPF Showmaker can know the x/y coordinates of each of these lights. The tool then lets you choose a shape and place it's start position, start color and size and then set up an ending position, ending color and size and transition between the two in various ways.

    I think the best way to show is this by demonstration so here is a quick screen cast of the tool in action.

    Here's a video of the cuphead playfield in MPF monitor showing a couple of different shows running to demonstrate how this will look on the actual playfield.

    #52 11 months ago

    Today was splatter day in the workshop. I mixed up some grey Createx paint using 30 drops of white to 5 black and one blue and used a toothbrush to splatter the paint onto the cab. One nice thing about Createx is that it cures with heat so you can work really fast with it. Here's a section of the main cab showing the pattern.

    I totally screwed up on my apron and shooter guide painting. I usually use high build auto primer to coat over the old paint on the apron and then shoot white onto that. This time I picked up so Rustoleum all in one Paint and Primer, figuring that would build pretty quickly. It did to a good job of covering up the original ALI paint but unfortunately the original art telegraphed through the white paint when you held it one an angle to the light because of slight height differences in the ALI lettering. I ended up taking the apron and shooter guide outside and used a wire wheel on my bench grinder to take them back down to bare metal. The original ALI graphics paint was very hard to remove. I think you could use it as tank armor.

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    #53 11 months ago

    Painting the artwork is next up. I've done this a few different ways in the past and the way I like best will only work for the "CUPHEAD" logo because the lines separating the red and blue on the characters are too fine for this. To do this technique I project the artwork onto a wall with a piece of poster board on it and trace the letters. These are then cut out with an x-acto knife and used as a mask for airbrushing on the colors.

    The nice thing about this technique is that you can get some overspray around the edges that looks just like the old EM's since this was (sort of) the way they were painted. Unfortunately the Createx paint that I use will curl the posterboard (water soluable) so the fine lines between colors on the characters will most likely lead to disaster.

    For the characters I fed the graphics into Circut Design Space and cut them from vinyl. The blue sections were removed and the stencils were then put onto the cab and painted by brush. The red sections were then uncovered and painted and all the paint was set with heat (Createx will air dry but will not set until hit with heat).

    The final result turned out great! Now for the other side, head and front...

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    #54 11 months ago

    The painting saga continues... Stencils were made for the sides of the head and front of the cab with vinyl on the Circut because the lines are way too fine for cardboard. I had some minor problems with the vinyl pulling up my white paint where the paint went over the original yellow and orange of the cab but otherwise the job went smoothly.

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    #55 11 months ago

    That looks great!

    #56 11 months ago


    I don't know why but I'm always excited when a machine can stand on its own four feet. Here are photos of the cab, head, coin door and rear cooling vent all back together again. You can now see how the artwork from the cab blends with the head. I've got a Williams lockdown bar sitting on top for reference.

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    #57 11 months ago

    Speaking of lockdown bars, I've got the lockdown bar blues...

    The cab was missing its lockdown bar but does have the receiver. I contacted a couple of pinball parts guys that I've bought from in the past and neither has one, has seen one or knows someone who might have one. ALI used a lockdown bar with posts and slots, sort of like Bally did in the early 60's but the spacing of the posts is different (I tried a 64 Grand Tour lockdown bar just to be sure).

    I was afraid that this could be a problem so I pulled an "easy to find" Williams receiver and bar from another pin but unfortunately there are issues with interference of the receiver with the plunger. In addition to this ALI aprons are 9" deep while Williams are 8 1/2" deep. The difference has to do with the depth of the lockdown bars (ALI's hangs over the front edge while Williams is all inside the cab). Here's a photo showing that I can't get the old PF to fit into the cab because of the 1/2" difference in sizes. I have to be mindful of plunger reach because I've got to get the playfield and shooter guide into the right position to meet the plunger correctly.

    I've put a wanted ad on Mr. Pinball but who knows what good that will do. I think my best bet is to make my own "receiver" and use a Williams lockdown bar. I took a look around and an old buddy of mine (Hauntfreaks) in the VP world came up with this idea for holding down what looks to me to be a Williams bar. I should be able to drill into the metal housing that is spot welded onto the casing of the bar and attach clasps that the hasps can clamp to pull the bar down. This is very similar to how arcade machine control panels are held in place so it should work out fine once I get the geometry figured out.

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    #58 11 months ago

    Ive never played Cuphead but its just one more reason to own a Tesla , really cool thread BTW. nice job!

    #59 11 months ago

    I haven't played Cuphead either but I love the "rubberhose" animation style of the late 20's - 30's and was drawn in by the VP table because of that.

    Today was a good day for a "road trip"! I had spent the better part of an hour trying to improve my beat up spare Williams lockdown bar and was realizing that it was probably a loosing cause. I then received an PM from animesuperj saying that he had a lockdown bar that I could use so I drove about 40 miles to pick it up. I've met a fair number of folks through pinball and the vast majority are great people. Thanks animesuperj, after this Covid thing is done you're welcome to come by and play Cuphead first hand, that is assuming I get it built and it's worth playing...

    #60 11 months ago

    Well this is no white washed series of posts, you get the success along with the failures...

    Painting the apron, shooter guide and the flippers should be a walk in the park, I've done it several times before without a problem. All you have to do is lay out the graphics in Photoshop, cut vinyl with the Circut, mix Createx colors, paint and then pull the masking off and bask in the glory of beautiful pinball excellence. Yeah, its worked out that way several times in the past but NOT TODAY.

    I did all of the fiddley stuff mentioned above and got all of the masking in place, mixed the paints, painted the graphics and then pulled off the masking. That's where things started to go South. You may recall that I mentioned that I didn't do my usual high build primer under the color coat because I picked up a paint and primer all in one product? Well some of that beautiful white paint lifted up with the vinyl so I was left with some bare metal spots. This wasn't the usual crappy paint under primer that fails but paint and primer in one failing on clean bare metal. This is bad.

    I then proceeded to mask off the colors, filled the pits with Createx white and then shot the whole thing with more Rustoleum white. Why did I use the crappy paint? I'll answer that with another question, "what's the hardest color to mix?" At least for me it's white because there are so many varieties (just check out byou local paint department if you don't believe me) and if you are off by just a little bit in terms of hue and saturation, it looks horrible.

    The end result was pretty good and I'll seal the whole job in with clear coat once it sits and cures for a week or two. Cue the Darth Vader Soundtrack "Rustoleum Paint and Primer, you have failed me for the last time!"
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    #61 11 months ago



    Apron looks awesome!

    #62 11 months ago

    Yowza that looks good.

    #63 11 months ago

    It's kind of fun to see your virtual artwork in real life!

    #64 10 months ago

    Time to take a break from artwork and get back to building stuff. As I mentioned earlier the game did not come with a lockdown bar but I was able to get a GamePlan (not ALI) bar from nimesuperj so I needed to come up with a solution for a receiver. This is a harder problem to solve than it might seem at first because there is a lot of geometry to take into account.

    First off, will the receiver be narrow enough to let the 42" playfield drop into position? ALI receivers hang out over the front of the cab towards the player and the retaining pins that lock into the receiver actually slide into holes bored in the top of the cab front. This meant that a standard Williams or Game Plan receiver will not fit. In addition to this the playfield has to sit at just the right location so that the plunger can reach a ball resting against the shooter guide. Also the bars that run on the back side of the lockdown bar need to be able to clear the top of the apron.

    Yeah, lots to consider! I ended up using some adjustable locking hasps from Amazon to achieve all of these factors. The nice thing about the GamePlan lockdown bar is that the locking tabs are further towards the edges than the Williams bar so I was able to use those as anchor points for the hasp grabs. I needed to grind down the stabilizing bar that sits closest to the playfield to get it to clear the top of the apron.
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    #65 10 months ago

    Next up I needed to get the computer, hard drive, power supply and table power feed mounts figured out. The game board from Thunderbolt was not wide enough to fit the CPU and CPU PS so I ended up adding 1/2 inch plywood extenders under these to mount them to the board. I 3D printed a bracket to stabilize the GPU as well as a bracket for mounting the HD.

    To feed power to the beast I bought a 15 foot three conductor extension cord and wired it to a junction box with double outlets in it. I ran a wire from the incoming hot to the game's on/off switch and shortened the original TB power cord. In addition I removed the TB power feed access to the on/off switch and thus set the power to be always on. This way when the table's power switch is flipped, it energizes the four outlets which turns on the pin.

    I've set up the BIOS of the CPU to boot when it sees power so switching on the table automatically starts the CPU. The extra outlets will be for the backbox TV and possibly a power supply for the amp needed to drive the speakers. My current plan is to feed the amp 12v DC from the CPU PS but if this dirty power causes audio problems I'll have the option of adding a dedicated PS for the amp.

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    #66 10 months ago

    Finding a TV for the machine was a bit of a problem. The goal was to make the TV as wide as possible but because of the width of the machine most 40" TVs are too wide by about 1/4" with their bezels on. One common fix for this in the world of VP is to uncase the TV to remove the bezel but this is fraught with problems since the thin film display will fracture or loose pixels if you look at it funny. I personally have destroyed one TV in the making of my Multiball Vpin and I had no intention of repeating that stunt here.

    I drove over to Lake Geneva's Best Buy to take a look at a 39" TV from Vizio but when I got there there were none on display to see how the TV looked. The TV was also HD which I've learned now means 720p while "Full HD" means 1080p. I was not about to buy a TV without seeing if the colors were washed out or if the pixelation would drive me crazy so I went about measuring 40" sets to see if one might have the magical width needed to fit into the cab.

    It turned out that a Full HD 40 set by Hisense would squeak in by about 1/16" so I brought it home and by the grace of God it fit.
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    #67 10 months ago

    Next up it was time to take the training wheels off and see if I could get MPF to talk to the CobraPin board. When MPF is run in virtual hardware mode it doesn't need to see the exact switch and coil numbers that a particular hardware system like OPP requires. This let me get by to this point in time with rather generic numbers for switches and coils like "1".

    I took my photoshop image of the playfield and laid out imaginary wire runs to see how best to run the wires for the game's switches. Because CobraPin does not have enough direct switch inputs for Cuphead I had it set up to use a switch matrix in addition to 22 direct inputs. I used the direct inputs for high priority switches like flippers, pop bumpers and slings as well as remote switches on the cab that I didn't want to send multiple lines from a matrix to like start and the various tilt/slam switches. The matrix is currently set up as 4x6 just because I figured it would have fewer wires than a 3x8 matrix. If this is not the case I hope someone with experience wiring switch matrixes will let me know.

    I applied USB data and power to the CobraPin and had all kinds of mpf errors that I had to sort through. These were all "switch and coil number don't exist" errors that I was able to make go away with changes to my switch and coil numbering system. Once I had eliminated the errors it was time to apply 5v DC from the power supply. The little red LED for the supplemental 5v LED lighting went on so this was a good sign. I then hooked up a 50 bulb string of addressable LEDs and let mpf drive them to display the attract light show that I made earlier. SUCCESS!

    #68 10 months ago

    Wait, what is the giant TV for? I'm lost.

    #69 10 months ago

    Backbox, it will hang down into the back of the cab and display scores, videos and other artwork during game play.

    #70 10 months ago

    Today was the day to make big cuts into the head and cab to make the TV fit. I started out by removing some of the MDF trim on the base of the head's front panel and then drilled holes through the bottom of the head and top of the cab back to see how things lined up. The back plate on the cab is the limiting factor as to how far forward the TV can sit in the head. The further forward the better because it will give me room to mount speakers and baffles inside the head.

    I drew the TV cut out profile on the bottom of the head and cut it out with a saber saw. I then put the head onto the machine and traced that outline onto the top of the cab. There were reinforcing blocks behind the back plate in the cab so those had to be cut and pried off the give access to the entire span of the cab so the TV could fit in.

    Lastly the original backglass did not sit perpendicular to the floor and neither will the TV. I put the TV on top of supports in the bottom of the cab to line everything up and see how much fill needed to be placed in front of the TV at the bottom front of the head. I picked up some .080 acrylic that will sit in front of the TV and will be painted on its back side to fill the side spaces around the TV. I needed to add an allowance for this .080 at the top of the TV and also cut a groove in the back of the fill pieces at the bottom front of the TV. Lastly I cut a spline to fill the old groove for the backglass.

    After all the pieces were fitted I cut a piece of wood to span the back of the head and drilled holes to accept M6 screws and mounted the TV to this plate. Once I had the TV in position and square to the top and sides I used the old mounting brackets for the head's light/credit/score display plate and fixed the TV mount to the head.

    Lots of fiddly work but it's very important to the overall look of the machine.

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    #71 10 months ago

    "Wait, what is the giant TV for? I'm lost." Ha!!
    Just hopped onto this thread today so catching up. BIG fan of Scott's vp work - especially the Zale's. But even more impressed with this work in the real realm. And he has a Park bike repair stand!
    Awesome undertaking Scott! Looking forward to following this.

    #72 10 months ago

    Will it be as hard as the video game?
    nice work

    #73 10 months ago

    Super cool! I did similar with my backglass on my virtual.


    #74 10 months ago

    I'm not sure about how hard it will be in comparison since I've never played the video game. I do like the animation and theme though.

    Vader77 I really wish that I had done this on my Vpin. When I built it I thought that the BG and DMD had to go on their own screens so I built mine that way (shows how much I knew...). Were you the first one to set up a Vpin this way because I thought I was copying Borgdog's idea but I see yours is from way back in 2013!

    #75 10 months ago
    Quoted from scottacus:

    I'm not sure about how hard it will be in comparison since I've never played the video game. I do like the animation and theme though.
    Vader77 I really wish that I had done this on my Vpin. When I built it I thought that the BG and DMD had to go on their own screens so I built mine that way (shows how much I knew...). Were you the first one to set up a Vpin this way because I thought I was copying Borgdog's idea but I see yours is from way back in 2013!

    I saw his and another one before I built mine.

    You have plans for the side space because the monitor? If not I'd probably build a skinny head for it. Maybe a williams reverse wedge head just to be different, although one of the skinny rectangles like on vader77 vpin would be easiest to build.

    #76 10 months ago

    I've made 3 like that now. I just cut the top and bottom of the backbox so it fits the tv. It's a little weird to be the same width as the cabinet but it works.
    My old pc couldn't handle vpx but I've upgraded this year and have had a blast setting up pup packs, toppers and big color dmds...
    Sorry, don't mean to hijack.
    Love your build. And Cuphead is fun but really hard, I first saw it at a barcade in TX that had built a custom, dedicated cabinet. I, like you, fell head over heels for the amazing art and the respect and commitment to the style

    #77 10 months ago

    The video game is insanely hard. The vp pin however is one that someone like my gf -that never plays pinball enjoys, and also one that those looking for a challenge can spend hours with. A perfect vp pin to bring to life! BorgDog's wedge-head is going to be my template for my 4k build. Thanks for the link to your build Vader77! Wow, you had to be pushing the envelope back then.

    #78 10 months ago

    BorgDog the space to the sides of the TV will have speakers or speaker baffles mounted on it. I'm going to paint the plexiglass on the back side to make the paint look reflective and deep. The side spaces will have plywood cut for them that will be hidden behind the painted plexiglas. If I can get speakers that are narrow enough I'll mount them to the plywood. If not I'll 3d print speaker grills and baffles that I can use to direct the sound from speakers mounted on plywood behind the TV to the output holes beside the TV. I'll also put a car subwoofer in the cab and drive all of the speakers with a Lepai amp powered from the CPU PS unless it is too dirty in which case I'll add a dedicated 12v PS.

    Here's a photo with the plexiglass mounted and all of the fill trim painted, splattered and sealed.

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    #79 10 months ago

    If you're planning a subwoofer I have these, that I pulled from a Boston Acoustics Sound Bar. They are 6.5" from center of mounting holes and 1 5/8" wide. If interested, I'll test today. Glad to send to help the project.

    speakers (resized).jpg
    #80 10 months ago

    Thanks Onevox! How many ohms are they and are they full range speakers minus the bass (ie not just tweeters)? The 10" sub woofer speaker that I have is 4 ohms.

    #81 10 months ago

    I connect all my machines to subwoofers. Highly recommend...

    #82 10 months ago

    The best I can tell is they're 4 ohms. There's no markings on them and I see nothing in the specs: Boston Acoustics TV Model 20. I did find this for the matched subwoofer ...


    i have two of these subwoofers for SSF, one in the front of the cab for front channel and one in the rear. Overkill, but my SSF is awesome.

    I'll hook them up and post video of the sound.

    #83 10 months ago

    Awesome, I asked my brother who is a sound expert and he said the impedance of the speakers doesn't matter since the amp has separate control for the sub and speakers so that can be used to match them. I'll definitely take them, I'll PM you my address and see if I can send you something to cover postage.

    #84 10 months ago

    No dice on speakers (ha). One is dead. Not even a crackle. Sorry for false hope. I have some 4 ohm Sony front channel speakers from a 5.1 system, they're 3.5"wide cased. Like 3" round with a port. Can send pics if you want.

    #85 10 months ago

    Looking good! You are really putting this thing together fast. At least it seems that way to me!

    #86 10 months ago

    Thanks Boatshoe my brother said the same thing but from my point of view it is progressing at a normal pace for a project. Once I get to making the playfield it will slow down in terms of things to post about.

    I put the car sub into the cab and the enclosure is massive so I'll pull out the speaker and ditch the case, I guess the pin cab will be the enclosure! On my Vpin I built a 1.5 cubic foot enclosure for the 12" sub per the subs spec sheet and I wish I didn't. It takes up a lot of valuable real estate and I doubt that it effects the sound very much since it is a sub and already is in an enclosure (the cab).

    I held the sub speaker up in a bunch of different spots and the best one looks like the very back of the cab facing the wall behind the machine. It looks to be a good spot so long as the grill doesn't impede standing the cab on end. One other thing about my Vpin that I wish I hadn't done was put a grill over the sub's cone that projects out from the cab. It prevents little kids from sticking pointy objects into the cone but it also makes the bottom of the cab not flat so I can't just put my Harbor Freight lift under and pick the pin up. I have to span the sides with 2x4's so the grill isn't crushed when the cab is lifted. Live and learn...

    #87 10 months ago

    Pardoney moi for my ignorence....but
    What's a cuphead?

    #88 10 months ago
    Quoted from jorro:

    Pardoney moi for my ignorence....but
    What's a cuphead?

    probably one of the hardest retro style video games ever made. Such a beautiful art style too!

    #89 10 months ago

    Subwoofer mounting and custom grill. I moved the 10" sub speaker around the cab and found that the back wall of the cab was the best place to put it. I made a CNC pattern for a 1/2 thick ring to act as a standoff between the speaker and the cab and used it's internal circle to scribe a line that I used to cut out the opening with a saber saw. My saw blade was a little dull and the old ply was pretty tough because the process put almost as much smoke in the air as was at the late 70's Foghat concert that I went to at the Milwaukee Arena.

    I needed a grill for the speaker that was thinner than the standoff feet on the back of the cab so I pulled out some scrap acrylic and made a CNC pattern for that and CNC'ed out the grill. I wanted to experiment and see what hammer paint would look like under acrylic so I sprayed it with the same paint used for the legs and coin door. It turns out that hammer paint works by clumping so that there are thin areas that are nearly transparent and other high build areas. I thought it looked best with the paint side out so that's how I mounted it.

    To add a little jazz to it I made a Cuphead graphic out of vinyl and put it in the center. No one will see it but I'll know it's there...

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    #90 10 months ago


    #91 10 months ago

    yeah, what he said. I think you need black screws on that though

    #92 10 months ago

    Hey BorgDog what sized router bit did you use to make the tapered route for the shooter lane? If I remember right you made a sled and ran the router on the incline of the sled to make this cut. Very nice idea!

    #93 10 months ago

    Nice work!

    #94 10 months ago
    Quoted from scottacus:

    Hey Borgdog what sized router bit did you use to make the tapered route for the shooter lane? If I remember right you made a sled and ran the router on the incline of the sled to make this cut. Very nice idea!

    I had to look it up, but it was a 1" bit. details https://nobs-pinball.blogspot.com/2017/04/routing-shooter-lane-groove.html

    #95 10 months ago

    I made a pretty basic pup pack if you're interested. Given our monitor similarities it ought to look pretty similar...

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    #96 10 months ago

    Did you release the PUP? I'd love to see it.

    I've not posted for a couple of days because I've been slogging my way through how to make the backglass in mpf. I don't know why but I have such a hard time figuring out how mpf works but I do. The documentation is all there but I find that I'll miss critical points and then stumble upon the answer that had me banging my head against the wall right there in the docs. At any rate I now know how to divide the "window" up into "displays" that I can send slides to so that the backglass can consist of a "topper", "main viewing area" and "scoring section." All of this is working on my rotated screen which only uses a portion of the area available (which complicated things at first).

    I guess if I had a time machine I'd go back a couple of days and tell myself:
    1) MPF always tries to center things
    2) MPF's 0,0 coordinate is in the Lower Left corner not the upper left
    Those two pieces of information would have saved me hours of wasted time.

    Thankfully I have a graphical genius (A_Bord) helping me out with the artwork so I'm pretty sure that the end result will look great. It's getting there that is the hard part.

    #97 10 months ago

    Cuphead on back speaker cover! Will that only be available on the Signature Edition?

    #98 10 months ago

    The past week or so has been spent working on getting the animated backglass designed and coded. Thankfully I've gotten help from A_Bord with his graphical genius and Anthony from mpf with his crazy good computer science skills.

    A_Bord came up with some really nice artwork which included a set of animated scoring reels that he made in blender and then generated a series of PNG animations that I can use in mpf for the graphics. The problem is that there is no way in mpf to implement this. MPF does have the ability to drive physical coils of score reels but nothing is there for something more virtual like these. Anthony came to rescue and has developed mpf code to make this idea a reality. It is not fully implemented but the movie output that he sent out shows that it will look stunning once in place.


    I was able to learn how to make a "window" in mpf which is really the area of the TV that graphics can be displayed. Onto this window I was able to make "displays" for the topper, main section and scoring section. This took me a crazy long time because my mpf skills are pretty pedestrian and because my TV is spun 90 degrees so locating the "window" was a bit of a challenge. In the end I got it working, learned how to make animations in mpf and also used ffmpeg to make 10 Boss Videos that will play on the main screen while a ball is in play.

    Here's a video of the current set up minus the score reels. I've got A_Bord's initial score section graphic in place. If you look closely you can see my spinning star animation behind Cuphead and Mugman on the topper. Subtle but cool!

    #99 10 months ago

    Slow progress, here is the Attract Screen minus borders between the sections.

    The top section plays a widget that moves "PRESS START" across a static background. The middle section plays a 3 second animation I made in Photoshop of Cuphead and Mugman thanks to artwork from A_Bord followed by 20 second silent clips from each of the 10 bosses featured in the pin. The bottom section has a place holder score screen that will be replaced by virtual reels. I'm planning on changing this to a 2 player game because I think it fits the theme better. Player 1 can be Cuphead and Player 2 Mugman.

    #100 10 months ago

    Today I installed the speakers and Lepy amp. I took a 12v DC lead off of the computer power supply to feed the Lepy but unfortunately I got a lot of computer hash noise in the amp. I then hooked up a bechtop power supply to the Lepy and it drove clean and strong. I pushed the Lepy past what I would consider a realistic amount of output and the benchtop PS showed that it was putting out less than an amp. This confirmed that I was feeding the Lepy dirty power from the PC so I then found a 12v wall wart and used that to power the amp. My brother is designing a power filter and I'll probably build that to clean up the cpu PS.

    Thanks again Onevox for the sound bar speakers they work extremely well and fit the space perfectly.

    More work on the gameplay graphics. I now have animations that will pop up on the screen for the CUP, MUG drop targets, SOUL top lanes and both dash saucers.

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