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(Topic ID: 254894)

Motörhead - Born to Lose, Live to Pin (re-theme)

By SurlyOldPunk

11 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 36 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Pinslot
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders


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    #1 11 months ago

    Motörhead is one of the GREATEST bands ever and have been my absolute favorite band for about 38 years now. I'm not gonna go into the merits of why or try and win anyone over, if you know- you know! Lemmy was a huge fan of pinball, as well as slots and other pocket change emptying arcade games. It's only fitting that someone pay tribute. I'm not the kind of guy to wait for something cool or that I want to be made, frankly- if one of the big pinball manufacturers decided to make a Motörhead pinball machine, I wouldn't touch it (for any price). I feel like Motörhead’s ethos has always been “fuck you, we don’t need any corporate suits to help us” so I’m carrying on this project with that spirit. I'm not gonna go into a rant about how I feel about modern pinball machines, I'm just going to do something about it.

    Even though it's always been a dream to have (or build) a Motörhead pinball machine, it's only in the last 6 months i've gotten more serious about actually doing it. I started looking around for a donor machine and decided to go with the simplicity of an EM. Most early EMs had open layouts and minimal insert lights in the playfield. I didn't want a machine that had specific insert patterns, just something that would lend itself to a good design without being overly complicated.

    After looking for a while, I came across a fully functioning 1962 Gottlieb Sunset. The cabinet wasn't original to the Sunset machine, but was correct for 1962 Gottlieb machines. The playfield was worn, but not terribly and all of the playfield plastics were warped/yellowed/chipped. I paid $200 for the machine and started planning out my attack.

    This is what it looked like when I brought it home (and started stripping it down):

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    #2 11 months ago

    I worked up a concept for the cabinet/back box and had a loose idea for the playfield. I contacted an artist friend in England, who also a huge Motörhead fan, and asked if he was into the idea of doing art for the playfield and back glass. He excitedly agreed and I told him I would send a scan of the playfield as soon as I could.
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    #3 11 months ago

    Meanwhile, I started stripping down the cabinet and figuring out how I wanted to paint it. As I mulled over painting ideas, I had a brainstorm…. What if the machine was wrapped in leather? And better yet, what if it was wrapped in leather and studded. I was picturing all the band pics I had on my wall and the sea of crazy fans every time I got to see the band live. Wringing my hands, I muttered to myself “this is gonna be good”

    I wanted to try and keep the entire project under $750 if possible, so that meant RESTORING all of the original parts instead of just ordering everything new. So after stripping off all the cabinet parts, I assessed what could be saved. Turns out, almost everything was just dirty/grimy/scratched from years of play on this old girl. I carefully bagged and inventoried everything and got to work on the cabinet. First up was a good clean and vacuum, I sprayed the inside of the cabinet black and tried to find leather to wrap this. I knew that real leather would be expensive but I looked anyway. I wanted one giant piece that would wrap around the cabinet without a bunch of seams. Around $250-$300 was the cheapest I found for real, dyed black leather. Nope- time to look at the (p)leather. I ended up buying a 54’ by 5 yard roll for around $50 shipped. This would be plenty to do the cabinet and back box without any problems. I also found cone stud shaped upholstery tacks that were EXACTLY what I was looking for. I got 600 studs for around $40 shipped.
    For the Snaggletooth design on the sides of the cabinet, I decided to hand cut a stencil and paint it sliver on top of the leather. Any old metal heads out there can kind of see I was going for the look of a leather/demin jacket with all these materials and the way they were done. I’m going to keep a running total of what was spent as I progress. At this stage, just under $300.00

    Here’s the progress so far

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    #4 11 months ago

    Hell yeah! Looks great so far. Can’t wait to watch this play out.

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    #5 11 months ago

    Fuckin A yasss

    #6 11 months ago

    Looks great! This will be fun to watch.

    “We are Motörhead. And we play rock and roll.”
    ― Lemmy Kilmister

    #7 11 months ago

    Hell Yeah!!!

    #8 11 months ago

    Crank that cabinet up a notch

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    #9 11 months ago
    Quoted from SurlyOldPunk:

    Here’s the progress so far[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

    Looks awesome!

    Somebody needs to do a pleather Centaur.

    #10 11 months ago
    Quoted from Jjsmooth:

    Crank that cabinet up a notch[quoted image]

    Yeah, your centaur looks bad-ass - like a fuggin mad max pain machine. I was going more for a pre-80's metal vibe with the cab. Don't worry though, I already have plans for some tastefully placed spikes on the playfield hardware. Probably replace all the plastics hold down screws with threaded posts to spike this thing up.

    #11 11 months ago

    Next, the side rails, front top rail and the coin door got some love. The side rails/front rail were in decent enough shape, only some minor finish wear that went down to the bare metal. I started with 220 grit sand paper, then 600, 1000, 1500 and finished with 2500 dry. I don’t want this machine to look like everything was buffed to a high shine. I still want it to maintain some age and wear. Once those were finished, I sprayed them with a few matte coats of Permalac. This stuff is supposed to protect raw metal finishes without clouding or yellowing over time. It wasn’t cheap, but it sprayed on nicely and I got the finish I was after.

    Next was the coin door – it was pretty beat up. I decided when I started planning the design, I was not going to use the coin slots, returns or any of the mechanisms. I wanted it to have a cleaner look without looking like some shitty home version. Once I assessed the coin door (which was horribly painted silver) I knew I was going to have to do some serious repair. I sanded off all the silver paint, plugged the coin return button holes and got out the auto body filler. Coat, dry, sand x 4 and it was ready to be primed. I love flat black primer and wanted to try and use it as much as possible for the finished look of the game. Too bad it’s just primer and almost nothing out of a can looks as flat. Screw it, I’m doing it anyway and I’ll flat clear over it.

    I also pulled out an old Motörhead belt buckle I had and thought it would look pretty cool on the coin door. I still haven't mounted it properly yet, but the back has been leveled and its ready.

    Total so far $330.00

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    #12 11 months ago

    Also- Got the first draft of the playfield art from my buddy:

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    #13 11 months ago

    Looks great. Can't wait to see your progress.

    #14 11 months ago

    This is awesome!

    #15 11 months ago

    Next up, cabinet side lettering. I could’ve just spray painted these, but man I wanted something that would scream MOTORHEAD. I had such good luck with the cabinet wrap (p)leather, I decided to use more of it for the lettering. I purchased some distressed grain red pleather and got to work. Once I figured out the sizing and made the stencil, I had some second thoughts about how I was going to stick to the pleather already on the side of the cabinet. Pleather has a cotton backing so I just figured strong spray glue would do the job. Before I made 1 cut, I decided to test the glue theory. 2 different type of “super strength” spray mount didn't work, 3 different glues were messy and didn’t work anyway…shit, is my pleather lettering dream gonna get derailed?

    Nah, never give up. After talking to some friends in the sign/trade show display field- I was directed to VHB 2 sided tape. this stuff is super sticky and exactly what I needed. I found the tape in 2" wide rolls and proceeded to cover the back side of the red pleather. Once that was done, I cut out all lettering by hand with an Exacto knife and mocked up its position on the cabinet. The lettering went on without any snags.

    Once the the lettering was all in place, I was able to put in the studs that make up the spade patterns on the sides of the cabinet. Total cost so far-around $350
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    #16 11 months ago

    Love Motörhead and miss them too.

    1 week later
    #17 11 months ago

    More progress!

    Got the front of the cabinet studded, the back box pleather wrapped/stenciled/studded. Put the legs back on with new black leg bolts and black leg levelers (OG bolts/levelers were missing). Sanded and polished the shooter rod, new springs and a new beehive housing (OG was broken). Coming along nicely!

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    #18 11 months ago

    Also made some bumper caps-

    Recycled some old Bally black sun caps and some old EM deco caps. Painted the sun caps satin apple red and the deco caps outer ring satin black. has been spamming my inbox with coupons for awhile so I decided to take their offer for 10 custom stickers shipped for $10. came out pretty good.

    Grand total so far: $400
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    2 weeks later
    #19 10 months ago

    The original plan was to mount an old MH belt buckle I had, on the coin door. Stupid me, I dropped it on my concrete basement floor and broke it so ....plan B.

    Decided to hand cut the snaggletooth logo and spray paint it on the door in silver. Came out pretty good.

    Replaced a handful of inserts on the playfield and got it ready to sand down.

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    #20 10 months ago

    Back glass design, final version

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    #21 10 months ago

    Playfield design, still needs some tweaks and the middle green plastics finalized

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    #22 10 months ago


    #23 10 months ago

    Jeez. Incredible work.

    #24 10 months ago

    The talent on Pinside never ceases to amaze me. Looks incredible!

    3 weeks later
    #25 10 months ago

    Wow.. bang up job so far. Can’t wait to see the finished pin.

    4 months later
    #26 5 months ago

    Bump to an awesome thread for an awesome 40th anniversary year of the Ace of Spades!

    Hope progress is going well.

    #27 5 months ago

    This is unbelievable work. I have to say, the Snaggletooth you cut out for the coin door looks way better than the belt buckle. Outstanding. Now how do you get it to play the tunes?!?

    #28 5 months ago

    This is so badass. Nice stuff.

    #30 5 months ago

    More updates coming soon. VirusShit2020 has delayed printing of the playfield/backglass. I've done some mechanical updates as well as cleaning of old parts etc. Here are the final designs for the plastics

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    #31 5 months ago

    Lemmy would be proud

    #32 5 months ago


    #33 5 months ago

    I love everything about this.

    2 weeks later
    #34 5 months ago

    Just saw this today ..... Thought I would leave it here.

    2 weeks later
    #35 4 months ago

    Love this: here is my MET with tribute to the boys (and Lemmy with Metallica playing Damage Case and Too Late...)

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    #36 4 months ago

    Wow! Amazing work.

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