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(Topic ID: 130912)

Scratch Rebuild of a Pinball


By Admiral688

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 41 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Riptor
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 5 years ago

    Has anyone here tried a complete recreation of a hard to obtain pinball?

    #2 5 years ago

    A couple years back a Pinsider posted on building a new Medieval Madness. The Summer before the remakes were announced.

    He posted pictures and info here on Pinside. Did an amazing job.

    LTG : )™

    #3 5 years ago

    "From scratch"... Not that I'm aware of. There are more than a few cases where machines have been converted into other machines with new old stock or reproduction parts. NBA fast break to medieval madness, for instance.

    Building a reproduction machine from basically nothing would be very difficult and probably not worthwhile. At minimum you'd be buying the electronics from someone. Depends what you mean by "scratch" though.

    #4 5 years ago

    By from scratch I was referring to getting the schematics and guides of the machine in question and just building a bill of materials to get the parts necessary and piecing it together. I know this is probably doing it the hard way, but I've had to do that with some of my vector arcade collection pieces. Its got to be better then just knocking around on a virtual pinball table.

    #6 5 years ago

    Some games have unobtainable parts. Other games have almost everything available as either used or reproduction parts. If the game is too rare, you might have to end up fabricating parts from scratch.

    You would probably spend way more money finding/fabricating all the parts than to actually outright buy the original game.

    However, if the game in question is a $10k game like MM or CC, then it *might* cost less to build from scratch. Then again, someone wanted a few grand for a NOS CC playfield not too long ago.

    #7 5 years ago

    Well, it will be one of three.......Addams Family, Twilight Zone or Funhouse.

    I'm a network engineer by profession and refurbish and rebuild arcade games, so the technical stuff is all cake.

    #8 5 years ago

    For TZ or TAF:
    $600 for a WPC virtual pin cabinet, or a couple hundred for an empty used one.
    $1200 for the boardset
    $1000-$1400 for the playfield
    $150 translite
    $300-$500 ramps
    $300 for plastics
    $250 flipper assemblies

    That's already in the $4500 ballpark just for some of the major parts. it's not even counting all the other various assemblies, parts, and game-specific toys/assemblies/mechanisms, such as TZ's clock and mini playfield or TAF's thing hand and bookcase.

    You might as well just buy a game. You won't save any money attempting to buy all the parts individually.

    #9 5 years ago

    With the definition being .... sourcing parts (new or used or repro) from a bill of materials or parts list, making unavailable parts, making the wiring harnesses from scratch, getting/assembling a cabinet, and putting it all together.....yes......a handful of people have done it, including myself. Made an MM. Why? For a challenge. Doing something very few have done and to get an awesome game out of it. Took me over a year. Wasn't cost effective. But, I had a blast doing it and it turned out great. No regrets. (Special thanks to Wally for leading the way.)

    #10 5 years ago

    Yep, MM, AFM, Bally KISS, and I'm sure a few others.

    #11 5 years ago

    I did a thought experiment on this with Cactus Canyon. If I could find the train and the mine I think it could be done.

    #12 5 years ago

    I have a friend who is going to embark on making his own 1978 Gottlieb Gemini 2 player EM pinball from just the leftover play field and back glass from when I installed NOS play field and back glass in my game. Only 300 confirmed made originally and I have no doubt he will pull it off.

    #13 5 years ago

    any of those 3 games are widely available. Some of the most produced games made. You would be invested more trying to piece one together, than to just buy one, and that's if you value your time at $0 per hour. Now if you are trying to build something like Krull. I'm listening.

    #14 5 years ago

    Didn't Tim Arnold assemble a TKO em pinball machine ?
    I remember reading about it or maybe it was even in the Top video tapes..

    #15 5 years ago

    Someone here did a Stargazer from scratch.

    #16 5 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    Someone here did a Stargazer from scratch.

    A 70s/80s game is *much* simpler than a DMD-era game.

    #17 5 years ago

    A group of people have started CC.

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from Admiral688:

    Well, it will be one of three.......Addams Family, Twilight Zone or Funhouse.
    I'm a network engineer by profession and refurbish and rebuild arcade games, so the technical stuff is all cake.

    I don't think it would make sense to build any of these titles versus buying. Just not cost effective.

    Also networking and arcade games have little to do with what you're proposing. It's mostly just a scavenger hunt for thousands of doodads and widgets. I wouldn't try it without a being in a group like the MM guys did.

    #19 5 years ago
    Quoted from aeneas:

    Didn't Tim Arnold assemble a TKO em pinball machine ?

    Yes he did. It was in one of the TOPs tapes. He started with just NOS playfield and backglass for the game.

    #20 5 years ago
    Quoted from Cheddar:

    I did a thought experiment on this with Cactus Canyon. If I could find the train and the mine I think it could be done.

    I was thinking the same way. I'd think perhaps 3d printing of the object in question?

    #21 5 years ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    any of those 3 games are widely available. Some of the most produced games made. You would be invested more trying to piece one together, than to just buy one, and that's if you value your time at $0 per hour. Now if you are trying to build something like Krull. I'm listening.

    I'm just kicking around the ideas at this point. I know in the arcade world I can reproduce a game if I cant find an original reasonably priced with relative ease if you try, and yes, the sum of those parts are probably the cost of a fairly reconditioned game +25%

    I didnt know if aftermarket pinball parts/boards kept parity. I noticed a youtube post of someone using a Raspberry Pi to control an Addams and the board he was controlling looked like a universal replacement for any pin which could be programmed with any available ROMs (cant think of the name of the board off hand). Using this information, I figured there may be folks doing this and I just was unaware or not looking in the right place.

    #22 5 years ago
    Quoted from radium:

    I don't think it would make sense to build any of these titles versus buying. Just not cost effective.
    Also networking and arcade games have little to do with what you're proposing. It's mostly just a scavenger hunt for thousands of doodads and widgets. I wouldn't try it without a being in a group like the MM guys did.

    My point was I'm technical enough to understand the hard details

    Anyone have any good tech doc sites for pins....like schematics etc?

    #23 5 years ago
    Quoted from Admiral688:

    My point was I'm technical enough to understand the hard details
    Anyone have any good tech doc sites for pins....like schematics etc?

    ipdb.org
    http://www.planetarypinball.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=BOOK

    Most (complete) scans of manuals have all the board and wiring schematics. The parts catalogs show parts, part numbers, and exploded views for assemblies.

    #24 5 years ago

    There was a guy on the german forums who created a couple of bally voltan's from donor supersonics.
    Respect!1

    #25 5 years ago

    I've recently started on my NBAFB to CC conversion:

    I also did the NBAFB to MM conversion a couple years ago ( #4 is the completed project video if you want to skip the others) :

    #26 5 years ago

    Since the CC video above, I have received my playfield and begun the hard part of the project.

    image.jpg

    #27 5 years ago

    that's great, but your videos would have been better if you showed how you wired up the wiring harness, where you found all the little unique things like troll brackets and every other custom part like metal rails and what not. finding the lamp boards, metal guides and stuff is the hardest part. Then getting the game to talk to the components in the correct order. none of that is shown how it's done.

    #28 5 years ago

    Well, I never really intended to make any "how-to" videos. I made them as an after thought to show my progress to a few other guys that are doing similar projects. I do have some more pictures, but unfortunately, I'm not the best at remembering to take pics during my projects. Perhaps one day I'll make a detailed video or blog.
    I am happy to answer questions if I can or point one in the right direction.
    -Ed

    #29 5 years ago

    I'd say go for it myself.

    Regardless of what others think, I'm all for someone getting adventurous with their hobby; it's not always about the investment/return. Sure it could be a money pit but if you're having fun and trying something new who cares?

    Sometimes it does make sense to spend more and create as affordability allows rather than try and save the funds in the hopes that someday you have accumulated enough to purchase a used machine with what someone else thinks is an awesome improvement at whatever the inflated price of the machine is at that time. I'd never have owned a Harley if I had to save for one, but the one I built piece by piece was an enjoyable experience and truly mine by the time it was done. When I eventually sold it I got nowhere near what I put into it, but I couldn't begin to put a dollar value to the fun that experience brought me.

    Hobbies are about exploring and enjoying, and if you think you can achieve the end result and be happy with the journey then why not? My only suggestion (and it is just that, a suggestion) would be to exercise the obvious and research the heck out of it to avoid potentially getting frustrated with it and stopping at some point. Hopefully it won't happen but if it should, there is a vast number of those on here that you can draw upon for support and assistance.

    I often wonder at times about the direction this site seems to be going, and refrain from posting often because of that.....it is still a hobby, not a mutual fund for subsidizing/funding your eventual retirement. Have fun with it....

    Just my .02 for what it's worth...

    #30 5 years ago

    If it wasnt' about the money, and being cost effective, then why is it only the high dollar games that people attempt this for? You don't see someone trying to make a T2 or Demo man from scratch. Reason being, is that they try to pull it off and see if the end result can be cheaper than just buying one. I just don't know how one would track down all those special parts, like lamp boards, special brackets and assemblies and customize the harness.

    #31 5 years ago

    I agree. I am surprised there is not an active 'kit' market for remakes. I actually played a Midevil Madness today and honestly I would prefer TAF or TZ. I cant drop the cost of that one at this time so I was looking to pick it off part by part

    #32 5 years ago

    i'd take TZ or TAF over MM any day of the week. Unless it was dollar for dollar. Then i'd take the MM, sell it and buy TAF and a TZ.

    #33 5 years ago
    Quoted from zebulon:

    Hobbies are about exploring and enjoying, and if you think you can achieve the end result and be happy with the journey then why not?

    I fully agree with this. I started designing from scratch a firepower alike pinball. But instead of trying to order all the parts, I design them and print them with a 3d printer. It is so satisfying to design your own parts - e.g. a flipper or bumper - print it out and see it working! Priceless! Possible I went bit over the top, and even would make my own coils and plungers.. But it all for fun.

    Another aspect for hobbies for is, that you learn so much by doing it yourself. New technics, new approaches, new idea's.

    #34 5 years ago
    Quoted from goldpins:

    With the definition being .... sourcing parts (new or used or repro) from a bill of materials or parts list, making unavailable parts, making the wiring harnesses from scratch, getting/assembling a cabinet, and putting it all together.....yes......a handful of people have done it, including myself. Made an MM. Why? For a challenge. Doing something very few have done and to get an awesome game out of it. Took me over a year. Wasn't cost effective. But, I had a blast doing it and it turned out great. No regrets. (Special thanks to Wally for leading the way.)

    Greg,
    Congrats on completing your MM build from parts!
    Wally

    #35 5 years ago

    Im doing a KISS right now. I started with a completely trashed machine and when its done about 80% wont be original parts. Its all done except for the playfield. I had a setback on that when my clearcoat decided to solvent pop and left it full of air bubbles. So back out to the garage and hope I can get all this clear off without damaging the art.
    Here is a pic of my home built lower cab. The head is original but had a ton of work done to it.

    Dsc04549.jpg

    #36 5 years ago
    Quoted from Riptor:

    Its all done except for the playfield. I had a setback on that when my clearcoat decided to solvent pop and left it full of air bubbles.

    Pics?

    #37 5 years ago

    Here is a shot of the worst area. I ended up stripping the entire playfield and starting from scratch. The sad part is this was smooth as glass several hours after I sprayed it. The next day I went to check on it and that is what I had.
    I got in a hurry and sprayed the last coat entirely too thick instead of doing a few thinner coats.

    DSC04588.jpg

    #38 5 years ago

    Ouch, sorry man. So you think the clear was just too thick that caused it?

    #39 5 years ago
    Quoted from radium:

    Ouch, sorry man. So you think the clear was just too thick that caused it?

    Pretty sure. Once the top flashed over there was nowhere for the solvent to escape.

    #40 5 years ago

    I'm going to try to build a Centaur around a playfield if I can find the playfield cheap enough

    1 month later
    #41 5 years ago

    Its all finished after having to strip the playfield and install a new overlay after a clearcoat mishap. Worked out great the second time around. Here are a few pictures of the finished product. Just a recap, the lower cab is all hand built with the exception of the head mount. I reused that since it was in good shape, the rest of the cab was rotted. The head is original although it also has a ton of work into it. The entire back panel has been replaced. The machine has all its original boards except the mpu. All of the coils were original Bally and none appeared to have been replaced. All in all this machine appeared to have very low plays on it before some dumb ass put it outside with a tarp on it for a couple years.

    Finished15.jpg

    Finished16.jpg

    Finished18.jpg

    Finished17.jpg

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