We were made aware of this thread a couple days ago, and thus had been tuning in periodically watching the conversation after that. Couldn't believe where the assertions went, but we chalked it up to a dozen guys letting off steam, and enjoying some light drama. So we decided not to interject immediately and just let it go, as frankly it was a busy week, and a few misinformed grumblings and personal anecdotes weren't the end of the world.
But today, with it being lazy Sunday afternoon and I have some time to burn - I've gotten a consensus from my partners that this thread (these assertions of the CPR Viking backglass reproduction being a botched mess) does warrant a strong retort. Not just because the sentiments here are incorrect and anecdotal, but because threads like these become history on Pinside that gets read in the future by potential customers who are researching about this glass. Obviously, we can't just leave this thread (above) to stand as the final gavel of judgement on how (allegedly "not") good this backglass is.
So we're being called to the carpet on this backglass. A couple buying customers here, are shocked. We were given no consultation (nobody sent an email to even ask us anything, before running to Pinside). So the answers being given here end up coming from folks who had zero involvement in this reproduction project, thus become the ones filling in the blanks with their opinions. As usual, *their* games are self-considered to be thee example of how things should look. "CPR f*cked up" is basically the sentiment created, and disappointment stokes more disappointment. So here we are.
In seeing what some of you guys have for Viking backglasses - I completely understand the "shock". But I had assumed that with the final glass graphics being shown on the site, and assuming most Viking owners realised many Viking glasses (today) have a vast array of exposure issues... that Viking customers would be happy as hell to see a reproduction that is the original, restored, brown-wooden-ship look. We truly believed that guys with the orange-yellow color-shifted examples would be clamouring to replace that ratty thing. Happily. This was one of the main exciting things during our sourcing and development of the Viking glass layout - that finally Viking owners will have the awesome original look. Well... guess not. Tables turn, and we're called to the carpet. The old aged exposed glass is being preached as 'gospel' ... and our completely colormatched reproduction of a rare completely unexposed NOS original that has been in storage for decades is a f*ckup. Wow. Not only that, but the unexposed NOS (which got revealed here, voluntarily by its owner) is being called a "reject" !!! LOL Wow. Wow. Wow.
Now THAT is ballsy. To be shown EXACTLY what a Viking backglass looked like NIB... a rare specimen that we had been looking years to find (knowing the crap color-shifted Viking glasses all over the place out there)... and the thread continues upholding the narrative that the unexposed NOS is wrong, and the personally-owned ones in ('my') game is correct. "I mean, every one "I" have ever seen looks that way." Personal anecdote, piling upon personal anecdote.
Guys, you have to realise that we put a TON of effort into sourcing and doing our research. God knows yes, in the last 15 years, we have flubbed a color or ended up with a less-than-stellar final result here and there. With 1000 balls in the air, things can and do get missed. But the goal for every reproduction item, is to perform due diligence, look back into the past, find out what issues have historically effected each of these items (versions, color shifting, fades, etc), and to search for the best possible source to work from. To produce a reproduction that goes "back in time" to restore and get rid of past historical issues seen in examples today... and get as close as possible to that rare example specimen. Not only that, but to check & re-check the final masters. Getting lab proofs, laying them down next to the prime specimen, and confirming a match. Even tweaking here and there, and re-proofing if necessary. Only after all that, does the master go to the press to make the individual glasses/plastics/playfields. And we can print them confidently, knowing the exact provenance, knowing everything is confirmed, and we have a doppelganger match of THAT prime example. The PRIME example... not *your* example
Now, some of you may disagree with this process. But I can't understand why. CPR will *never* master a reproduction based on an aged, faded, or color-shifted example - unless after years of hunting for prime source, we have to concede to 'lesser' source. I can't understand why anybody would ever expect us to match anything other than the best preserved example we can get. To make some guys feel better about continuing to see what they were used to seeing in THEIR game? Not a good enough reason. Not even in the ballpark of reasons, when doing reproductions if anything... in any industry. Individual anecdotes are individual anecdotes. But there is a paradigm out there for almost everything - and we strive to find THOSE as master source. To bring back what most have lost, or didn't even KNOW what they had lost (as in this case). Because in reading this thread, nobody seemed to have a clue about the true historical look of the Viking glass. Nada.
So yes, CPR has flubbed in the past. The Viking backglass is not one of those times. I'm going to plant my flag here with this lengthy post, to stand as a testament to anybody who discovers this thread in the future. This is our retort to being called to the carpet. We took a lot of time on this glass and getting it to look right. If people still disagree after this in-depth presentation I'm about to lay out (below)... well, nobody can say we didn't try to explain ourselves and back ourselves up. With indisputable evidence.
I'll also be briefly replying to some of the more assertive pull-quotes from above, here and there. Please don't take these retorts as snippy. I'm actually in a great mood today, and I'm just firing back honestly. Some of these assertions deserve a snapback... OK ? That's all it is. I hope you all will allow me that freedom, without prejudice. My turn at the mic, OK? This isn't about fighting. It's a debate. One sided, until now. Thx.
Actually... it is. Completely what it's supposed to look like.
The glasses being used as counterpoint above, are NOT paradigm examples. They're just not. Sorry.
*THIS* is what the Viking backglass is supposed to look like:
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
This is the CPR reproduction, a fresh picture I just took today. Beautiful ! The overall color scheme is supposed to be this. A deep brown belly of a ship, with reddish-lit (fireside) scenery. Offsetting colors like blue and green are used in some of the armour and clothes. That's Viking.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Here it is from the front. Naked in the outdoors. No household lighting. No flash. Some of the submitted pix above were just dark and murky... so I'm not going to hide anything here. All the detail is there. It's not even that dark of a scene, once you analyse it. It's just brown tones that influence the eye. Brown is a darker color, period. But that IS the color theming of the original glass. Period. It's correct. It's not orange/yellow.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Just to repeat the image, here is the actual glass we were loaned for the project. Posted above in the thread by it's owner. Thank you again, for participating in the repro project. Extra thanks for attempting to come to rescue this discussion with your post. Now this picture isn't lit the brightest, but we can all plainly see this is NOT an orange/yellow example. This glass was stored unexposed for decades, and only recently emerged for this project. We were extra-excited to have this unshifted of a specimen, and to impress the Viking crowd with finally a glass that isn't orange/yellow. Well here we are
viking lab proof.jpg
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
To hammer this home - here is a peek behind the curtain. I had Stu take out our lab proof print, the final one we consider master, and lay it on top of the NOS Viking glass we matched. You can see it in the pic (proof print left, NOS glass right). This is an illustration of how close we bring our new artwork as a colormatch to the original specimen. What you see on that proof print is EXACTLY what we consider final here, and print to the reproduction glasses. So essentially, the repro glass is a ~99% colormatch to the original specimen. When you buy the Viking glass, you are holding a copy of a decades-preserved unexposed NOS specimen.
Again, I get that this is shocking some people. But that is what you are holding and looking at, if you have our repro in your hands. Dwell on that for a moment. It's virtually the same as holding that actual rare NOS glass in your hands. IF one doesn't like that look, okayyyy then that is personal preference I guess. One either decides to become re-educated on the look, and learn to accept it (because it's the person, not the glass!), or holds fast to the look of the one in their game. As you all understand, that cannot be our call. That's on the end user.
Quoted from Ballypalooza:
I’m pretty shocked at the stark differences in the detail, color and overall tones of the remake. It’s SO dark and saturated that it loses most of its original detail. The colors are off some, maybe that could be lived with.
If you hadn't paid much mind to the artwork pic on our site, combined with intimately knowing (for years) the look of your own original glass - then yes, I completely understand the shock factor. But what is going to happen here is that you're suddenly going to be educated to learn a whole ton about the Viking backglass that you obviously never thought about before. There IS a better, browner, more wooden, unshifted look of the Viking glass. The one that matches the original watercolor painting. It's not that it's less detailed - I assure you, all the details are there. It's not dark and saturated - it's that yours is lightened/lifted and colorshifted. Chicken and egg. Egg and chicken. Let's get it right.
Yup. You got it. Your glass IS severely color shifted / lifted.
That repro is a 99%+ colormatch (best we could muster) to the unexposed NOS piece. The NOS was not a reject. The NOS was not a misprint. The NOS was a perfectly survived example. To prove this NOS wasn't some single oddball glass, I'll be showing y'all a bunch of random examples of Viking glasses that have survived really well - and are completely in the dark-brown camp. ALL the Viking glasses were released that way on day one. ALL of them. It's just that the worst-surviving examples today are that orange-yellow look. Like the glass you own.
Believe it. Amazing, eh ?
For future reference, everybody... please make us your FIRST stop to check a perceived grievance.
A whole lot of anecdotal fallacies, outright wrong answers, and misinformed opinions could have been avoided.
Wow. A LITTLE research might have been warranted. But we'll get to that further down...
Quoted from fattdirk:
Maaaann that's a pile of hot garbage. How does CPR let something like this out the door.
Because the reproduction is gorgeous, and correct. Quite proud to pack and ship, actually.
See folks, this is what happens... guys end up being set up by an incorrect premise, and then these comments easily pile on.
You've got that right. Now if people would approach the difference via investigation that assumes good faith, rather than jumping to "f*ckup" ... then stuff like this calling to the carpet wouldn't happen.
Bam. The crux of why these "grievances/questions, run to Pinside first" threads are so problematic for us.
Quoted from cp1610:
Seeing this difference makes me wonder how cpr does such beautiful work as for as the playfeilds but somehow not intentionally get such a difference in the back glasses.
It would make one wonder, wouldn't it? Great point. This is where it seems, and I repeat, it seems, that the fashionable assumption these days is to go in the direction of bad faith, and error. That we're just fumbling around up here, not thinking about these things. That a glass like Viking, would actually be made "this wrong" and we had no idea. LOL Look, I fully admit across our 15 years there have been flubs here and there. Nobody is immune to that. But as years go on, and we get stung over and over, we're essentially hyper-aware of EVERY DETAIL before anything goes to release. Viking was no exception. So when we were notified to come look at this thread that emerged... it was like "you've GOT to be kidding me"
But see, they DO look like the originals Just not THESE GUY'S originals
Everybody wants to believe their game is paradigm. It's a natural instinct I guess. But as we're learning here, Viking glasses today have a range of exposure changes... and these guys happen to be at the end of the spectrum where it's the most lifted, and color-shifted from browns to red/orange/yellows. But not everybody has red/orange/yellow look glasses... there are well survived examples out there in games, wayyyy better than what these guys have. As we'll be getting to down further...
Quoted from Whysnow:
Unfortunately that is a NOS reject. There is a reason it was not put in a game originally. Sadly the same reason it was 30 years without being seen. It is the wrong color.
That is a very ballsy claim. So the donor dude, on his own, posts a pic of thee NOS specimen we followed... which should essentially shut down the entire previous chatter. Feet into mouths. But then this? It's a *reject*? That is the response, to maintain the narrative here? Wow.
OK. Let's shift gears...
That brings me to the meat of the evidence that is much needed to just snuff out this whole debate altogether. I'm going to put a button on this, and just leave it at that. There may be a few that will want to pick and chew after this post - and that's fine. But just know, the colorshifted/lifted orange/yellow look is NOT the correct look. One may personally PREFER it - fine. Have at it. But that is not what CPR reproduced, and we expected Viking guys to be pleased with bringing their backglass back to what it's supposed to look like - not fight for their shifted OG.
** PROOFS FOR THE "DARKER & BROWN" VIKING BACKGLASS **
There are *lots* of well-survived Viking glasses out there, sitting at (or on) the dark/brown end of the spectrum. This is a counter to the claim that we used a oddball, freak 'bum glass' that was 'rejected' by Bally. Nope. Not true. If anybody had taken the time to do some research, some hunting around on Google Images for a few minutes, one may have discovered that dark/brown examples of glasses are out there and completely normal. Glasses put into the games at the factory, and just survived better across the decades. It's that simple, really. But nobody seemed to want to go look. It was all personal anecdotes, personally owned machines being held up as paradigm. If only it were that easy, we could take any loan of any specimen at any time, and just reproduce THAT. But it's never that easy. Sometimes years of hunting are required. In the case of the Viking glass we used, we hit the "jackpot" as far as a dream-specimen goes. The most unexposed, still deep/brown specimen likely out there. Even better than most of the games that I will show below. But just to show people DO own Viking machines with dark/brown look (better survived) backglasses... here are some pix from the interwebs:
This pic was actually forwarded to us by a sympathetic customer who also recently got his Viking glass. He scoffed at the tirade, and agreed that his original glass was right on par with the reproduction. He couldn't believe the "yellowy glass guys" were so strident with their "ugly ass glasses" LOL . Posting with permission, although he preferred his face was blurred out.
Backglass for sale on the WorthPoint web site.
And again, for reference - the rare stored NOS we used as source.
And for easy scrolling, here is the CPR reproduction again...
To hammer the point home... THIS is not paradigm... DEFINITELY not a specimen we would master from or match...
And neither is THIS:
Quoted from BallyTim:
I've NEVER bought into the "faded" backglass thing.  I just have never seen one.  Please educate me if I'm wrong.
Lastly, at the end of this extremely long winded response, I'll finish by commenting on the general belief many have, that is found in the above comment.
It doesn't matter if anyone doesn't "buy" into the colorshift & fade "thing" ... it exists whether people want to believe it or not. It's astounding what we've seen in the last 15 years. "Faded" is likely a poor word anyway... It's more accurately 'colorshifted' ... it's not that the inks 'fade' per se (as in disappear away), it's more about the pigments in the inks losing their vividity, slowly changing to other tones, or losing their density. The effect over a long period of time culminates in the artwork appearing to brighten/lighten, redden up, yellow up, or shift tone completely ... or all the above.
As some of you may know, we've been taken to the carpet at one time or another, over colors, for years. All usually starting with the same premise - - - guy buys repro item, guy gets repro item, guy compares to his (unknowing) colorshifted original, we get accused of not matching that, and thus we're wrong.
There are dozens and dozens and dozens of examples of color restoration we've incorporated into our reproduction parts - as some parts historically have suffered from exposure. Some haven't suffered, and fare fine today. Depends on a ton of variables, and how the original parts were printed. I'll just leave a couple of examples here to stake the point... the notorious Banzai Run backglass colorshift (from leaf greens to ocean seafoams), and we'll never forget the shock when people first got their Fathom playfields (finally seeing the ACTUAL original Pantone spot color palatte, as indicated on the original Bally films). Many had thought Fathom playfields were based on greens and teals... NOPE... they were all based on blues.
Pics are ancient, and used to be on our web site many years ago, but you get the drift:
Banzai Run backglass - restored greens
Fathom playfields - old and new
If you've made it to the end of this ridiculous TL:DR, thank you. Hope if anything, that many learn something today. If not how CPR works and treats these projects, at the very least learning how everybody's games aren't the same in small (and big) ways. Depending on their past life, and exposure. It's not a myth that the looks of parts change over decades, and can sometimes differ staggeringly among examples.
I'm heading off now to enjoy my sunday evening. Back to work tomorrow, and onward things continue. I won't be coming back for a back-n-forth, as that was not my intention. I think our position is more than clear, if not excessively so, above. Onward and upward. Thanks for taking the time to read and consider.
Classic Playfield Reproductions