I thought I would share a bit about my current Space Shuttle pin that I purchased earlier this year. The machine was in a good state, outside of some lamp row/columns issues and a blown transistor. Since I am new to pinball in general, performing my own maintenance has been an educational experience. My background is in IT/electronics and I was able to grasp most electronic and mechanic processes quickly. However I am not an art person, nor am I that proficient in woodworking.
When I purchased my Space Shuttle, I had noticed that it had a giant overlay already installed. Never seeing one of these before, I thought "Great, that will save me some time on doing something like that myself." However, after months of playing the pin, I noticed two things:
1. The ball travel across inserts was not level and cause the ball to take "weird" bounces.
2. Part of the overlay in the U-S-A rollover lanes was delaminating from itself and rippling.
First, I looked into reproduction playfields, but they're either sold out, not available, or folks like $1,000 for one (which literally is close to the price of the entire pin)!
So as in the video, I am trying out this new product from Outside Edge, which acts like a protection layer with artwork printed to the underside. He was kind enough to send me a prototype version, which he is working on to make a commercial product. A couple of observations:
1. This thing is thick! 0.03" to be exact. I was really surprised when it shipped to me because I assumed it was going to be rolled up in a tube, but it was flat packed to me.
2. Underneath the white protective coating, the artwork looks great. The colors all seems to match, and there doesn't seem to be any print registration issues from the screening.
3. I'm told that the adhesive is ungodly sticky, which is good, as long as you don't make a mistake. At the time of writing, I've yet to feel it's wrath.
4. Also, Outside Edge mentioned that that the ball surface is actually custom hard coated and far more scratch resistant than standard PETG. I'll have to investigate this more once the application is completed.
The teardown was pretty boring as we have all seen that before. First, after removing the apron and ball trough, you can get a sense of what my current overlay looks like in its current state:
Next, I did find a couple of key pieces that needed to be desoldered from the playifeld:
1. The coil for the outhole.
2. The switch on the black ramp.
3. The three pop bumpers (as usual).
Day Two: I begin Day Two by removing the wood rails and then removing the current overlay. What I found is that the overlay was getting really worn on common ball travel spots. When removing, the overlay became "flaky" requiring more than 3 hours to remove. In the video here, I had just completed removing the overlay and look at the current state of things:
Now with the teardown completed, in my next post, I'm going to attempt to complete the following:
1. Pull out my playfield and get it prepped for sanding.
2. Sand smooth all of the playfield, and remove all the writing on all inserts.
3. Potentially replace both hotdog inserts if I can find a good source for them.