An attempt from google translate:
The little Pinheads! When you are told that in France we have nothing to blush about the world's number one pinball country, namely the United States, it's this kind of thing we want to talk to you about: personal initiatives, brilliant and executed masterfully!
So yes, we're not going there with a dead hand, but what you're going to see (and read too) is worth such an introduction!
Moreover, we are not the only ones to say it because this little Frenchie, Joris not to name him, is nominated (Warning! Boom! Figure of style between the epiphore and the anaphora for the most attentive!) In the finalists for the Twipy awards!!! Well, incidentally, we too in three categories so it's time to go vote because you only have a few days left...
So, it is with pride that we French people, for once it is not customary to recall it, who are at the origin of the pinball machine (see: the quiz of episode 8 of the second season of Ze Pinball Podcast) have so many nominations for the Twipy awards!
But let's go back to our sheep! Here we're going to talk to you about mod. But not just any mod! Yes, we know, you are used to talking to you about mod we talk to you about a small trinket that we place on a tray. Well, it's the whole pinball machine that is THE mod!
Don't you believe a word about it? So let us show you...
Pinball Mag.: Hello Joris and thank you for accepting this little interview about your mod, which, let's say right away, is fabulous! First of all, can you quickly introduce yourself in a few words?
Hello everyone, my name is Joris Bartkowski. I am 32 years old and I live right next to Clermont-Ferrand in the Puy de Dôme. I started pinball 7 or 8 years ago.
Today, I work as a carpenter that I learned from companions. But before I graduated in biology.
When I discovered the world of pinball, I realized that this hobby could offer me a multitude of possibilities to flourish in my skills. And since I constantly have a lot of projects in mind, I focused on developing them around machines.
Pinball Mag.: Can you explain to us a little the genesis of your project? What gave you the idea to do it?
It all started with the acquisition of my Indiana Jones gleaned in the south of France. I must admit that as a big fan of the saga, I came across the Holy Grail: the box was in its juice and the set was rather correct but there was still work to renovate it. Unfortunately, the breakdowns quickly accumulated...
An Indiana Jones pinball machine, not in her juice at all
The famous version of Disneyland's Indiana Jones
One day, I saw this famous version of the Indy circulating on the net. It was in operation at Disney Park in Los Angeles. I looked at the photos and said to myself: "Wow that's what an Indy should look like! The use of wood, its vintage, dirty and worn look, as well as its adventure side with bamboos fit perfectly with the theme! I kept this idea in a corner of my head.
Pinball Mag.: When did you say to yourself: "ok, let's go, I'm starting! ”
With successive breakdowns, I began to get my hands on my machine and invest crazy sums in repairs!
Seeing this, I asked myself the question "okay, what do we do with the checkout? The classic of resting new decals and passing it in full gold? ". That's when Disney's memory resurfaced and the idea was launched!
Even if it means investing thousands of euros and spending tens of hours as much to go all the way and do what almost no one had done!
Pinball Mag.: What did you start with? The pediment or the cash register?
The reality is that we don't get into it by moving forward from day to day and wondering "here, how will I manage it tomorrow and after tomorrow...". The amount of work is enormous, but what we see is only the tip of the iceberg so to answer I would simply say: neither of them of course!!
The project therefore began with a very long study period, it is important to anticipate all stages of manufacturing from beginning to end so as not to leave room for chance and therefore technical or visual failure.
It took me 4 months of study, which includes the detailed technical drawing of the case and all the elements including paints, the choice of materials used, the choice of colors and the complete process of finishing the case (which still includes 8 steps), the establishment of lists of all the necessary supplies, the study of technical solutions and so on...
Joris' 100% modded Indiana Jones pinball machine
Pinball Mag.: Are there things you have changed compared to the Disney pinball machine on which you rest
I think we can say shamelessly that it is a copy and not a simple inspiration. The idea was to remain as faithful as possible to this wonderful creation, I fully assume this position!
However, the only real change I made is the removal of the traditional backbox hinges that can be found on almost all pinball machines offered today.
Indeed, the hinges were hidden by the two "ears" added to the body, and they simply do not work! It is impossible to have the right rotation with a complete fold of the pediment without changing their location on the body and backbox.
The very discreet hinges of the modded Indiana Jones
It doesn't seem like anything but I spent several days peeling my hardware supplier catalogs to find an alternative solution to arrive at hinges that look stupid. But believe me, it wasn't so obvious!
Afterwards, in absolute terms, there must be differences because I based myself only on 5 or 6 poorly taken photos of the original and nothing else!
Pinball Mag.: What materials are used for its realization?
This is an interesting question because from this choice already results in the success or failure of the project before it even begins.
For non-visible parts, I opted for Valchromat Noir, it's about the same as MDF (medium density fiber board) but much denser and dyed in the mass. They are high-quality and aesthetically beautiful panels.
For the visible parts I chose oak, it is this wood that is used on the Disney copy and it would have been impossible to have the same rendering by choosing anything else.
The oak has been treated in two ways, into panels to form the structure of the box and backbox with the use of solid oak veneered slatted panel (again the slatted panels are of high quality and stability with first-class veneer).
For all the parts brought back on the body (mouldings, side rail coverings, lockbar etc.) it was simply solid oak that was used.
We can also go further with the assembly techniques, glues, screws used but I think we go too far in the technique for our pinball enthusiasts, but overall all materials, varnishes, paint, hardware are high-end professional products.
Pinball Mag.: There is a lot of painting work that has been done. Did you already have notions or is your work empirical and self-taught?
Once again, it was the preliminary study that made it easier for me! I made the decision to work with stencils that I drew in CAD (Editor's note: Computer Aided Design), it was for me the only way to have symmetry on each side of the case. Finally, the application is not very technical. On the other hand, it is very long because it is entirely done with a brush and it takes about 20 hours per side and tons of paper tape.
What technical difficulties did you encounter during your project?
I did not encounter any particular difficulties during the project because all potential problems were identified and resolved during the preliminary study.
Details of Joris' Indiana Jones modded pinball machine
Pinball Mag.: What caused you the most problem?
The most complicated thing was to determine the finishing process of the pinball machine.
Indeed, obtaining an aged/vintage and worn effect starting from something new is paradoxically very difficult, the solutions are numerous but do not all give the desired result. Many tests have been carried out. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friend Jonathan, a former bodybuilder, who helped me a lot on this occasion!
The choice of technique to make the drawing was also very complicated, the solutions were numerous (gun, freehand brush, self-adhesive stencil, rigid stencil, screen printing etc...).
And I take advantage of this interview again to thank Yann from Flipperled.com who was of great help to me for my stencils and finally Ludovic Michel from Neoretropinball for the electronic part of the pinball machine.
Pinball Mag.: In total, how long did it take to complete this undertaking?
The entire project lasted more than a year. This duration must be put into perspective: I have a family life, a job and no dedicated workshop to work properly. On the other hand, I want to tell you that I spent the worst two weeks off in August of my life. I almost had a depression (and divorce) so much I worked on it!
And even more details!
Pinball Mag.: You shared the progress of your mod on the American Pinside site, what was the reception reserved by the American Pinhead community?
Indeed, my project was shared on pinside.com and also on the Germanic corner with the flippermarkt.de forum. However, the project was shared very late, a simple reason for this, I simply did not want someone with greater technical means to overtake me in my project.
When I started, I wasn't really confident about his welcome by the community.
Indeed, attacking the Holy Grail of pinball, to completely distort it, we are entitled to expect some criticism from purists... But it was not the case, I would say that I had 99% of incredibly complimentary returns to the US, and 95% in Germany. Really I didn't expect to receive as many and especially as beautiful and incredible!
As far as our beautiful country is concerned, it is more difficult to say... Indeed, originally, I never shared anything in France. My project came out on facebook groups following a mockery about its selling price found on collectordeflipper by one of the members.
It is for this reason that I had never shared anything in France...
I then did a little pedagogy around the project in order to restore the reality of things and calm the angry. Obviously the pinball machine was then very well received. I received a lot of messages, interest, congratulations etc... On the other hand, as soon as we talk about prices, here we have a problem, Hahaha!
Pinball Mag.: If a Pinhead is interested in your mod, can he contact you to make one? If so, how much should he provide?
Several people have had a keen interest in buying this pinball machine, including Chris Kooluris (aka Kaneda pinball podcast) with the condition of limiting my run to the two caisses produced. Unfortunately, he was dubbed in his initiative by another American.
In principle, there are two numbered and stamped crates of this Indy and I do not plan to do others at the moment because it represents a colossal amount of work.
However, it is not excluded that it will happen again one day, but for the moment it is no.
Regarding the price, we must roughly count the price of an LE for an empty cash register ready for swap (Editor's note: change of tray from one pinball machine to another pinball machine).
We pay for the number of hours of work, but also the investment, the know-how and finally the rarity of the thing! A must have for any fan of the Indiana Jones saga!
The Indiana Jones pinball machine modded by Joris bien, in full foot
Pinball Mag.: Just like Pinball Mag., you were nominated for the Twipy Awards for your work. Did you expect it or was it a surprise for you?
Well, it was pleasant news!
But to be honest, we can't say that it was a big surprise: I tried to do everything possible to make the maximum communication around and obviously, it paid off!
I now hope to win this Twipy, it would be a magnificent consecration for my work, but also to represent France across the Atlantic!
In addition, it would really, really please me for my two buyers to be able to tell them, "Guys you have both copies of a mod that won the twipys! Bravo". Really, I would like to offer them this!
And finally, last question: Ask yourself a question that I didn't ask but that you would have liked me to ask you!
This is not really a question, but I would like to come back to Chris Kooluris aka kaneda of pinball podcast, multiple twipy winner and therefore direct competitor for you!
Chris spoke at some length (maybe about ten minutes) about this project in his podcast on Chicago Gaming. I really liked the way he used my project to get manufacturers to question themselves. He generally told them:
"Hey guys! This is what we expect from a Collector's Edition or a real Limited Edition: a masterpiece! Stop sticking a different artwork, an extra toy, lacquered body armor and three printed plastics. That's what we expect today from manufacturers! Real collection pieces. ”
I found his analysis interesting and his desire to make a difference in this environment, which remains above all a business for many of today's major manufacturers.
My little dream now?
If Chicago Gaming Company were to make us a remake of the Indy, I would love it to contact me to work on a Collector's edition worthy of the name with them!
Pinball Mag.: Thank you for this interview!
Thank you for all Pinball Mag., it's with great pleasure and see you soon!