(Topic ID: 234189)

My Strange World playfield fix


By manitouguy

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by koji
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

Hi all – I haven’t posted much lately and when I have my projects seem to go on for a very long time

At any rate – I am slowly moving through some of my pinball projects and with the completion of some spin out decals, buccaneer spinner decal and a last little piece to finish up my centigrade 37 mess from years ago – I am now moving on to finish up the next one

I have a beautiful Strange World but it has the typical wear at the kick-out hole and stubborn staining / ball swirl in the center off-white areas.

I cannot afford a full playfield replacement – and would likely never get the playfield swap completed at the rate I work anyhow so ...

Just like my other projects I took the time to photograph and then trace in adobe illustrator the necessary artwork, and with some back-and-forth printing it onto transparent sheets through my laser printer, test overlaying on playfield and adjusting as needed I now have a properly registered and aligned template.

Originally I had planned to do one monolithic centre decal to print like my others on vinyl with the proper laser cut outs - However the fact that there are so many alignments around the grid of light inserts ( which concerned me and my perfectionist approach ) and the paint in orange areas aren’t that bad - I started exploring doing a series of smaller deckles for just the off-white portions . This allows for a more unique or independent positioning or adjustment for each small decal piece not only for my game but possibly for others playfields should anyone else be interested in giving this a try on their Strange World.

Here are a few photos so you can better understand the approach – at this time just a very quick colour print on paper with a couple of pieces snipped out and held up against the playfield to get an idea of the colour match them to double check on the alignments - stay tuned more to come.

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#2 1 year ago

Nice work!!

I'm VERY interested in your techniques. Is there always some photographic distortion in that process you have to dial out? And color matching using laser printer must also involve quite a few iterations to get right, and then how does it look and hold up underneath clear coat? Or do you even plan on using clear coat with this method, since the artwork is printed on transparent sheets?

Lots of questions I know, but this is extremely interesting and your results so far are impressive. Please continue to keep us in the loop!

Cheers,
Bill.

#3 1 year ago

Hi Bill - I have other topics on here about how I developed my process.

I will dig for a few of those links

Essentially the initial photograph allows me to do a drawing in Adobe illustrator, which I can then print as a black line on to piece of clear through my home laser printer, and then lay that over the playfield to see what needs to be adjusted in terms of line positions, thickness etc. I can go back-and-forth with this until I am happy with the artwork being exactly right. For colours i use a Pantone guide set - like a fan of paint chip samples but used by commercial printers, interior designers etc. I match the closest Pantone sample to the colour I want and then when I send my art file to the printer I tell him and he can print a very very close match from that reference.

The art file goes off to the printer who prints on a 3M vinyl – my art file has a “cut path layer’ which his machine then follows for fantastic laser cuts as it prints

Lastly the printer applies a clear top layer of Mylar which helps the decal look a bit more glossy and also makes it bulletproof as far as protection goes

When the decals come back to me it is simply a peel and stick process - no visible ridge or edges – no bubbling- you would never know that it wasn’t original paint - The decal edges don’t lift at all and there has been zero wear across the ones I have had on my machines for quite some time now

I only have 70s Gottlieb wedge heads – so no desire or need for these decals to live under any new playfield coating or clear for me

The vinyl we use is really amazing, it can be stretched and repositioned as needed and is also temporary in that it will come up without damaging the playfield below - at least that has been my experience so far – I make sure to have a good wax under the decal before I put it down too

#4 1 year ago

That’s a fantastic process! I’ve done some minor repair to a few wedge head playfields which turned out nicely but what you’re doing is just amazing. If it’s not too much trouble please do point out the other threads where it’s talked about more.

Many thanks... Bill

#5 1 year ago

Would you sell me a set of these? I could really use them.

6 months later
#7 9 months ago
Quoted from manitouguy:

Hi Bill - I have other topics on here about how I developed my process.
I will dig for a few of those links
Essentially the initial photograph allows me to do a drawing in Adobe illustrator, which I can then print as a black line on to piece of clear through my home laser printer, and then lay that over the playfield to see what needs to be adjusted in terms of line positions, thickness etc. I can go back-and-forth with this until I am happy with the artwork being exactly right. For colours i use a Pantone guide set - like a fan of paint chip samples but used by commercial printers, interior designers etc. I match the closest Pantone sample to the colour I want and then when I send my art file to the printer I tell him and he can print a very very close match from that reference.
The art file goes off to the printer who prints on a 3M vinyl – my art file has a “cut path layer’ which his machine then follows for fantastic laser cuts as it prints
Lastly the printer applies a clear top layer of Mylar which helps the decal look a bit more glossy and also makes it bulletproof as far as protection goes
When the decals come back to me it is simply a peel and stick process - no visible ridge or edges – no bubbling- you would never know that it wasn’t original paint - The decal edges don’t lift at all and there has been zero wear across the ones I have had on my machines for quite some time now
I only have 70s Gottlieb wedge heads – so no desire or need for these decals to live under any new playfield coating or clear for me
The vinyl we use is really amazing, it can be stretched and repositioned as needed and is also temporary in that it will come up without damaging the playfield below - at least that has been my experience so far – I make sure to have a good wax under the decal before I put it down too

Thanks for sharing this. I also have a SW, but mine needs quite a bit more work, so I put myself on a new PF list (lucky timing), but still interested to perhaps try this to get the current PF to look nice. Funny how many Strange Worlds seem to have found a home in BC. Are you willing to share any of the graphic work you have for re-use? also wondering which printing service you use to do this great work? Any opinion on water slide decals with a thin mylar cover?

Thank you-

#8 9 months ago

Koji - yes seem to be a good number here around Vancouver

As for my strange world – honestly I just sold it and five of my other babies couple of days ago to fund a new project – 1928 ford five window coupe hot rod

Having said that the graphic files are done and I am going to print them for the new owner – if they work out OK I will post the results on this thread and can most likely work something out to also get you a set if you’re interested

I send them to a local sign printing company – and if you look up some of my other posts you can read a lot about the vinyl printing and cutting process which I think is as good a process as any out there right now – I have been very happy with the results of my other projects

Stay tuned

#9 9 months ago
Quoted from manitouguy:

Koji - yes seem to be a good number here around Vancouver
As for my strange world – honestly I just sold it and five of my other babies couple of days ago to fund a new project – 1928 ford five window coupe hot rod
Having said that the graphic files are done and I am going to print them for the new owner – if they work out OK I will post the results on this thread and can most likely work something out to also get you a set if you’re interested
I send them to a local sign printing company – and if you look up some of my other posts you can read a lot about the vinyl printing and cutting process which I think is as good a process as any out there right now – I have been very happy with the results of my other projects
Stay tuned

Thank you, yes, Congratulations on the Hot Rod, sounds like a cool project. Reminded me of my neighbor who finished this a few years ago. Part of a local club, who took me for a ride <Attached pic from my driveway>. I saw him work on this for over a year (started with just a shell), was neat to see the progress over that time.. the amount of fabrication and thought that goes into it.

---------
I was speaking to Dale about your machines. I wish I could have been ready to buy, was hoping I might have more time to make space, but I was beaten to the punch, but such is pinball for the average working person .
-----------

Yes, I read through the posts, it is very interesting, particularly since it obviously works well, but doesn't seem to be common knowledge either. Great work.

Please keep me in the loop for the files, I'm curious to know and see. My SW is pretty rough in other areas as well, so I'm not sure if it makes sense for this small area for what you have, but maybe. I guess it also depends on how far away the new PF is.. seems to be in the queue, but this is backlogged to next year now.

One question tho, is if this is approx. the same thickness as Mylar used for protection? I have found that at a low speed, and if it hits the layer at the correct angle, this can deflect the ball.. but at the same time, it is fairly rare, and in this case, the ball would be rolling across the decals, and not so much along a potential seam.

Thank you-

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