(Topic ID: 159310)

Flash Retheme Project: QUEEN!


By TopMoose

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 373 posts
  • 109 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by TopMoose
  • Topic is favorited by 101 Pinsiders

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There are 373 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 8.
#1 3 years ago

Like every other pinhead out there, I've dreamed about making my own machine. Recently, I've put some serious thought into how to actually go about it.

I've read Aurich's posts about simplifying the pinball experience and agree that tangles of ramps and endless complicated rulesets are getting out of control, which is perfect because my dream theme is sort of "the game Bally never got around to making." I want to create a real late-70's throwback with electronic beeps, no ramps and lots of character.

My other inspiration is a lack of space in my home. I'd love to own a Golden Arrow, Buccaneer, OXO, Strange World and Gemini, but I have room for only one more game at this point (in my bedroom, if I move some furniture around). So I want to make it count and create a sort of "wedgehead multicade," capable of playing several different games on a single layout.

After getting advice on these Forums, I've decided that re-theming an existing game would save countless hours and dollars. I took the plunge this week when I found and bought a Flash playfield on Craigslist - it's missing most of the plastics (which I'd replace anyway), along with four coils, one of the flippers and a few standard parts, but the bones were there - all the brackets, switches and game-specific parts were in place. At $250 I overpaid a little, but at least this gets me started.

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#2 3 years ago

I did a lot of research before deciding that the ideal game for a re-theme is a Williams Flash. It has several great things going for it:

1. Fantastic layout with lots to do. Great flow, a cool spinner shot and a kickout hole to pause the action if I need to. The bonus counter is arranged in a circle, which helps with some of the ideas I have in mind. Also, I love love LOVE the short shooter lane that launches the ball across the playfield into a figure-8. It's like an architect saying "elevators have gone up and down for a hundred years. What if this one went sideways instead?"

2. Terrible artwork. I'd feel bad about obliterating a pretty game, but the art package on Flash is so awful that I'm eager to get started. Seriously, it looks like margin doodles from a high school burnout's social studies notebook.

3. A high production run. Over 10,000 Flashes were made, so I feel better about hacking one apart. I'd never do this to a rare title.

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#3 3 years ago

My first order of business is to clear (nearly) everything off to get a flat playfield. I did it in sections, putting all the parts for each slingshot, flipper, bumper, etc. in a separate labeled Ziplock bag. Posts and ball guides went in their own bag so I can clean them later. I also clipped most of the wires on the back and removed the wiring, as I'd be re-stringing everything down the line. Then I wiped it all down with some Windex to remove a couple decades of grime.

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17
#4 3 years ago

Wow, that playfield is in great shape for a Flash!!

#5 3 years ago

To make new playfield graphics, I'll need a full-size representation of the existing layout. I don't have a portable scanner and can't justify buying one buying one just for this project, so I went old-school. I taped a large piece of paper to the playfield and rubbed it down with a stick of graphite. I can now take this page, run it through a scanner, import the file into Adobe Illustrator and design new graphics around the existing playfield layout.

Notice how the relief rubbing picked up ball trails and even some of the printed graphics.

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#6 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Wow, that playfield is in great shape for a Flash!!

It was a pretty good find! I'll want to re-seat or replace some of the inserts though. I have some specific questions for you - I'll post on your restoration thread.

#7 3 years ago

your going to destroy a rare game like flash to make your own

Definitely sounds like fun and good luck with your project

#8 3 years ago

For future reference, this scanner is only $78 and USB powered so hooks up to a laptop without power cord. The lid comes off so you can easily scan a playfield. It's how I did my iron maiden project. amazon.com link »

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Wow, that playfield is in great shape for a Flash!!

I was thinking the same thing. Not a fan of the art work but I would be more inclined to paint over it if the PF had excessive ware. Too bad you couldn't trade it to someone with a worn PF, then it would have been a win-win. Either way I'll follow your project. Good luck!

#10 3 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

For future reference, this scanner is only $78 and USB powered so hooks up to a laptop without power cord. The lid comes off so you can easily scan a playfield. It's how I did my iron maiden project. amazon.com link »

HP 4670 is good too - see thru window for alignment, and Win10 capable.

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1 week later
#11 3 years ago

Nothing wrong with the bonus inserts except for the old graphics. A light sanding does the trick.

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#12 3 years ago

Some of the other inserts needed to be replaced, though.

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#13 3 years ago

how many of us would have liked to trade our beater playfield for that beautiful example that was sanded down...
cool project, I love these threads

#14 3 years ago

Can't wait to see what you do with this.

#15 3 years ago

Fun with Bondo.

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#16 3 years ago

More work with the inserts.

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#17 3 years ago

Watching this one. I hate the artwork on flash, so I can't wait to see it go bye bye.

#18 3 years ago

I thought I'd keep close track of spending on this project as well. So far:

Playfield: $250
Marco Order #1: $34.99
Pinball Life order #1: $20.35

Total: $305.34

#19 3 years ago

I like your tracing method.. You still need to scan that, but it's easier to scan paper than wood. Also Flash is the PERFECT playfield to retheme. Plentiful, cheap, and a decent layout. If your theme turns out well, others can potentially also make one by finding a cheap flash under $1k.

#20 3 years ago

I'm excited to follow along. If the pop bumper caps on the PotC that I picked up from you are an example of your talent, this is going to be a sweet pin. Hope I get to come play it when you finish!

#21 3 years ago

Ooh, I'm watching very carefully... I'm finally starting my Flash retheme this Summer as well. Thanks for all the great pics! My theme is Megaman (taking art/music from the first 5 NES games) and I'm taking a lot of inspiration from that Flash Gordon to Ghostbusters retheme from a few years back. Hopefully I will keep track of it at http://megamanpinball.blogspot.com/ (but nothing there yet... need to get off my butt and get going on it).

Good luck with the project!

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

how many of us would have liked to trade our beater playfield for that beautiful example that was sanded down...
cool project, I love these threads

I would have been happy to trade my worn playfield for that nicer one...

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

how many of us would have liked to trade our beater playfield for that beautiful example that was sanded down...

Quoted from ForceFlow:

I would have been happy to trade my worn playfield for that nicer one...

Ermagerd, you guys, it'll be fine. Please just let me do this.

#24 3 years ago

It's not like they have much choice at this point, right?

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

Ermagerd, you guys, it'll be fine. Please just let me do this.

Just ignore them. They gave me a hard time too when I sanded down a MB and turned it into a whitewood just to see what it would look like.

#26 3 years ago

Wish my Flash playfield was half this nice. Cringing very hard.

Love the artwork too, although I know I'm a minority there.

#27 3 years ago

There is nothing wrong with rethemeing a pinball machine because at the end of the day it is still going to be a pinball machine.

25
#28 3 years ago

Jeezy creezy.

Clearly, there are people who hate my choice of materials and they'll probably hate my artwork and they'll HAAAAAAAATE my theme and my cabinet and my programming and they'll second-guess every single choice I make in this project. Please understand a few things:

1. It's okay if you don't like it. There will only ever be one of these and I will pretty much be the only one who plays it. I'm going to make it look and play the way I want it to.

2. There are literally THOUSANDS of other Flash playfields in existence. I'm just using ONE of them for my personal project. There are plenty of other Flash playfields to enjoy and - who knows - maybe someone will make reproductions some day.

3. Forgive me if it's not worn down to the wood, but I was specifically looking for a Flash and this one was available near me at a reasonable price. This particular playfield was hanging out on Craigslist for six weeks - if you really wanted it, you could have bought it yourself.

4. Even in pristine condition, Flash's artwork is ugly as sin. Please stop acting like I'm splashing paint on a Vermeer.

5. It's going to be fine. We're in the early stages of the project where everything is messy and ugly and it will look better a few steps down the road. There will be plenty of other, more important things to complain about in future posts.

I know you guys mean well and I hope you enjoy seeing the progress on this project. If it really upsets you, please just avert your eyes.

#29 3 years ago

Flash has some of the worst hand-drawn art ever, particularly the backglass. I support this retheme. Any thoughts on what the new theme will be?

#30 3 years ago

I agree with stuff not selling on Craigslist and other sites...who cares if a game is rare, if no one wants it, rip into it!

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

Jeezy creezy.
Clearly, there are people who hate my choice of materials and they'll probably hate my artwork and they'll HAAAAAAAATE my theme and my cabinet and my programming and they'll second-guess every single choice I make in this project. Please understand a few things:
1. It's okay if you don't like it. There will only ever be one of these and I will pretty much be the only one who plays it. I'm going to make it look and play the way I want it to.
2. There are literally THOUSANDS of other Flash playfields in existence. I'm just using ONE of them for my personal project. There are plenty of other Flash playfields to enjoy and - who knows - maybe someone will make reproductions some day.
3. Forgive me if it's not worn down to the wood, but I was specifically looking for a Flash and this one was available near me at a reasonable price. This particular playfield was hanging out on Craigslist for six weeks - if you really wanted it, you could have bought it yourself.
4. Even in pristine condition, Flash's artwork is ugly as sin. Please stop acting like I'm splashing paint on a Vermeer.
5. It's going to be fine. We're in the early stages of the project where everything is messy and ugly and it will look better a few steps down the road. There will be plenty of other, more important things to complain about in future posts.
I know you guys mean well and I hope you enjoy seeing the progress on this project. If it really upsets you, please just avert your eyes.

Relax... its not that big of a deal...we were just commenting that your playfield is very nice and we would like to have one that nice in our game...you can light it on fire if you want, it belongs to you...I think you misunderstand the comment I made, I apologize if you took it personal

#32 3 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

Flash has some of the worst hand-drawn art ever, particularly the backglass. I support this retheme. Any thoughts on what the new theme will be?

Thanks - I have a theme and I've already created the playfield artwork, but I'm going to wait a bit longer to reveal it. Maybe after I meet with my printers this weekend.

#33 3 years ago

This is hands down THE best game to retheme. One of the largest production numbers, easy to retheme due to limited complexity, and hideous art nobody will miss. If I were going to make a custom game, it would be from one of these.

#34 3 years ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

Relax... its not that big of a deal...we were just commenting that your playfield is very nice and we would like to have one that nice in our game...you can light it on fire if you want, it belongs to you...I think you misunderstand the comment I made, I apologize if you took it personal

+1 on this.

#35 3 years ago

Trigger warning: today I remove the old mylar.

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#36 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

Maybe after I meet with my printers this weekend.

I'm curious, where you are getting this printed and on what kind of material? For my own project, I've been looking both online and locally for the best option. What is your (or anyone else's) opinion of this: http://www.banners.com/decals/3m-control-tac
IDK anything about this material as far as being used for a playfield, but definitely cheaper than anything I've found locally, even with the added optional die cutting.

#37 3 years ago

Have two last NOS inserts, if you need one, let me know.

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#38 3 years ago
Quoted from mr2xbass:

I'm curious, where you are getting this printed and on what kind of material? For my own project, I've been looking both online and locally for the best option. What is your (or anyone else's) opinion of this: http://www.banners.com/decals/3m-control-tac
IDK anything about this material as far as being used for a playfield, but definitely cheaper than anything I've found locally, even with the added optional die cutting.

I met with my printer this weekend, explained the project and asked a lot of questions. Option 1 is to get my graphics printed on a black-backed white vinyl decal with holes laser-cut out for the pops, drops, inserts, screw holes, etc. and then get a second set of insert decals printed on clear vinyl. Option 2 is to mask the inserts, paint everything white and get the graphics printed in a single sheet on a clear vinyl decal, so I wouldn't have to worry about doing it in layers. My printer recommended Option 1 because my design features some areas of white, light gray and yellow which wouldn't print as well on the clear material.

We also talked about the clear protective veneer he uses and how it would be affected by the clearcoat. The veneer gives a bit of extra UV protection and prevents scratches, which might occur during application. My Obi-Wan on this project, Vid1900, recommended doing a test, so I headed home with some samples. With some leftover clearcoat from my last big project, I coated a piece of scrap lumber, let it set up, and applied three samples: an uncoated piece of printed vinyl, the regular clear laminate, and a printed sample with 3M brand laminate. Then I cleared over all three, let it dry and checked the results.

The clearcoat stuck to all three samples, no problem, but I noticed something curious on the 3M sample - a strange criss-cross texture is apparent when the light reflects in just the right way. Very strange. But with this data in mind, I now know to order black-backed white vinyl with the regular laminate.

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#39 3 years ago

Find someone who can print directly on wood. Its definitely possible.

#40 3 years ago

Is the 3M example 3M's Controltac vinyl or just a vinyl with a 3M laminate? After posting my question, I searched the forum for 3m controltac and found a user who used it for redoing his Flash Gordon. Looks pretty nice.
I understand the part about white/light colors not printing very well on clear. When I talked to print person locally here, they had said you straight up cannot print the color white at all, only combinations of CMYK; the color white is printed as blank. I wouldn't say this person totally seemed to to know what they were talking about, but what they were saying makes sense.
I had considered the idea of even doing one layer and having the light from the inserts just shine through the vinyl, similar in appearance to some of the in-playfiled lights of DE Simpsons for example. I don't really care for the way that looks on DE Simpsons, but it might work for my application.

#41 3 years ago

Skip to 3:30 on Ben's mini shuttle pinball build:

#42 3 years ago

Hi guys - although not as extensive - I worked w printer and 3m vinyl and have seen zero wear over it w no clear coat

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/my-c37-disaster-confessions-of-a-magic-eraser-junkie-pointer

#43 3 years ago

You should check out this thread, he went into a lot of detail on material for playfield. etc.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/batman-66-retheme-project-from-diner-to-caped-crusader

#44 3 years ago
Quoted from mr2xbass:

I had considered the idea of even doing one layer and having the light from the inserts just shine through the vinyl, similar in appearance to some of the in-playfiled lights of DE Simpsons for example. I don't really care for the way that looks on DE Simpsons, but it might work for my application.

That was Option 3 - cover the inserts with white translucent vinyl - but I immediately rejected it because that's not the look I want for this game.

Quoted from toyotaboy:

Skip to 3:30 on Ben's mini shuttle pinball build:
» YouTube video

Excellent - thanks for posting that! He's basically doing my Option 2, but with a layer of white vinyl instead of painting the board white.

#45 3 years ago
Quoted from mr2xbass:

When I talked to print person locally here, they had said you straight up cannot print the color white at all.

Printers like Alps and Oki have been able to print white for many years.

Every hobby shop that prints waterslide decals has an Alps with metallic silver, gold and of course white cartridges.

#46 3 years ago

All this discussion about how Flash is the perfect re-theme candidate... I was going to re-theme an Alien Poker, which I think has hideous art... but I also have a spare Flash that I could use.

Maybe someone out there has a special place in their heart for Alien Poker?

Mac

#47 3 years ago
Quoted from Sheprd:

All this discussion about how Flash is the perfect re-theme candidate... I was going to re-theme an Alien Poker, which I think has hideous art... but I also have a spare Flash that I could use.
Maybe someone out there has a special place in their heart for Alien Poker?
Mac

Do an ALF retheme and call it "Real Alien Poker".

For as much as I dislike the art on Flash, AP might be worse. Looks like a elementary school art contest entry.

#48 3 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I would have been happy to trade my worn playfield for that nicer one.

Quoted from TopMoose:

There are literally THOUSANDS of other Flash playfields in existence. I'm just using ONE of them for my personal project. There are plenty of other Flash playfields to enjoy and - who knows - maybe someone will make reproductions some day.

Agreed fellas..we can all relax. I mean there are only 19,504 other Flash machines in existence...give or take at this point. I've owned 4 or 5 since I got into the hobby, most of which had great playfields. Great job so far OP, and I'm definitely following this one.

Now back to our originally scheduled program...

1 week later
#49 3 years ago

I hope someone can do me a favor - I'm working on designing plastic parts while I wait for my graphics and clearcoat orders to come in, but most of them were missing from my playfield.

Would any Flash owners be able to take four of the plastics, trace them on a piece of paper (including post holes), scan it at full size and email it to me? I'd need:

- the plastics on both sides of the upper lanes
- the plastic between the lower pop and the 3-bank of drops
- the larger piece on the lower right that surrounds the kick out hole.

Let me know if you can help. Thanks!

#50 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

I hope someone can do me a favor - I'm working on designing plastic parts while I wait for my graphics and clearcoat orders to come in, but most of them were missing from my playfield.

I might have some plastics left from the Flash pins I've had. I can take a look this weekend and let you know, if nobody else gets back to you by then.

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