UPDATE from the CPR end of things:
The Joust run is starting to emerge from clearcoat, meaning we're going to start shipping soon. We'll begin orderly contact with the Preorder Group (who all have their deposits locked in) to finish up payments and see these to their final homes over the next couple months. We ARE going to be shipping them bent & bracketed, using brand new brackets (included) reproduced by Terry at PinballLife. This will maximise their rigidity, which is crucial for shipping survival.
Slow and steady wins the race, as it took 3+ years to collect 50+ participants to justify Joust as a reproduction project here. So to all the Jousters who got onboard, you can thank yourselves for making this viable. It was a very very very long wait, but as the group slowly got bigger over time, the ducks were all being put in a row, as little by little the demand proved itself enough to have inserts molded, get artwork started, and secure NOS samples. All of which was originally considered a "boutique" pipe dream, for such a rare machine. Well, the Jousters and their patience proved the 'pipe dream' wrong.
The biggest thanks (from all of us) should go to Jim Smith, lead artist for the CPR Joust repro playfield (AND plastics/aprons). This gentleman took on the gargantuan task of completely vectorizing and layering the Joust playfield art package, from scratch. The Joust playfield artwork is no ordinary playfield art package (on both an aesthetic and technical level). There is no way to cheat, speed up, or cut corners with the Joust artwork. It's a brute force effort of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of manhours. There was no way to auto-trace. No way to automate it. No way to even get worthy results from mocking up layers of scans of the original films. All of those methods sacrifice too much loss in detail. It's either genuine silkscreen from the original films, or a complete new hand-vectorized art package needed to be made. Jim was the man. Jim is the hero, as far as I'm concerned. In all my years of drawing, seeing, and working with playfield art packages - I would have to say (as far as complexity goes) that Joust would trump Fathom, and even Black Knight.
Just as a teaser, I'll put some images below. These (and more) will eventually appear on our web site. The preorder group will have first dibs to view the entire gallery when they use the custom Store page to Cart out their final order.
When you look at this artwork, I want everyone to realise... Jim had to create EVERY SINGLE OBJECT, one at a time, by hand. This art package contains nearly a million separate and discrete objects. For complete authenticity, every halftone texture "dot" is individually created and inlaid. This maximizes the authenticity of the "hokey halftoning" that gives the Joust artwork it's distinct "look". These aren't Letraset halftone inlays like most playfield artists in the industry utilised years later... these were handmade swaths of texture, optically converted into variable halftones back in the day. Again, there is no way to create these again, in any authentic fashion, without doing EACH AND EVERY DOT by hand... and Jim did it !! I can mouse-select and grab any dot you see in the halftoning arrays. Each one is placed exactly where the original laid. The look and feel is completely authentic, due to this effort. All the visual distortions are there, all the dissonance, and all the crossfades. The goal was to make sure the repro's looked like minty originals, so Jousts with the repro's swapped in, would not glare as "fake" or "repro" or "too new" looking... it would give it all away, for such a valuable game. That would have been a shame. This, among other things, made all of this take so long, once the numbers were met. Jim (and the other Jim!) wanted this as perfect and genuine as possible. Slamming this out in a couple months is not what Joust requires. It's an extremely nuanced art package, unlike almost any other playfield out there.
Anyway, contacts will be going out to the Preorder folk, in small waves. Please be patient to receive your email notification & instructions. Everyone with a deposit will be done - don't you worry. Because these are widebody, and everything here is set up for 20.5" wide... racks, carts, transport, our clearcoater, etc... they will be going through clearcoat in handfuls at a time (hand carried, and babied) alongside our standard runs. So each week, we'll move out 5-7 to end users... and thus it will be a couple months until everybody is served. Thanks for your patience.
CLICK PIX TO ENLARGE FOR DETAIL !
Classic Playfield Reproductions
Crazy stone slab halftoning
Duotone halftoning, orange over yellow
those crazy halftoned lava pools
those crazy halftoned lava pools
Close up - was Jim crazy?
Subtle duotone fades, lava pools, amazing
More authentic texturing on the rock slabs
More orange-yellow duotone - thousands of individual unique dots