(Topic ID: 48087)

New Star Gazer & Seawitch Playfield Production


By greatwichjohn

7 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 days ago by greatwichjohn
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#13 7 years ago

Hi John. As we discussed at Chicago Expo, I'd like to be in on the Stargazer playfield repro. I'll prepay for one Stargazer playfield.

You mentioned above that PayPal can now be used. Can you specify please what email address you would like used when sending funds via PayPal?

#23 7 years ago

Paypal funds sent yesterday for 1 Stargazer playfield!

Quick question - will there be any issue using the standard hardware with the slightly thinner playfield thickness? Such as screw length for those screws that go in from the bottom of the playfield?

5 months later
#82 6 years ago

John, can you tell us whether or not the Stargazer playfields will come with the 2 star rollover pieces (the white piece that sits inside the rollover insert above each flipper)?

1 month later
#98 6 years ago

John, no problem waiting on my part for Stargazer playfield. The main concern is that they be done right, not rushed thru in a period of peak business.

1 month later
#120 6 years ago

Here is my count of playfield lamp sockets, for anyone that may be thinking of installing all new sockets on the Stargazer playfield during the playfield swap:

6 flush/staple mount
13 1/2" bracket
5 3/4" bracket
58 1-1/8" bracket
2 1-5/8" bracket (at the rollover stars)

These are all bayonet sockets for 47 type bulbs. PBR has all these lamp sockets, except for the 1-5/8" ones. I think either 1-1/8" or laydown lamp sockets could be substituted for the 1-5/8" lamp sockets.

1 week later
#123 6 years ago

What is the white coating on the bottom of the playfield, and will the production versions have that?

1 week later
#128 6 years ago

Thanks for the update John!

1 month later
#138 6 years ago
Quoted from Tridentphoto:

A little off topic, but why were there so few star gazers produced? I've never played it, but the art is really nice.

I was told the low production numbers for Star Gazer was because as soon as Flight 2000 was ready for production Stern converted the production line to produce Flight 2000. So, that was it for Star Gazer!

1 month later
#162 6 years ago
Quoted from Talon2000:

The colors are spectacular.

What have bulbs have you used on the playfield in this picture? Looks gorgeous!

#164 6 years ago

How do you build the star post led lights, and what color star posts do you install them in? In your picture they fit in very well with the playfield color scheme!

3 weeks later
#185 6 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

You can reach me through http://www.greatpinball.com or johngreatwich at outlook dot com

I emailed you on 4/23 at the outlook address you listed, but I didn't get any reply from you. Wasn't sure if you are confirming receipt of the pre-order info as each person contacts you?

7 months later
#310 5 years ago

Merry Christmas John. I hope you are NOT working on Star Gazer playfields today!

1 month later
#349 5 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

still needs more pull back around the inserts & ink edge

John, could you tell those of us with less knowledge of playfield inking what that statement means?

So exciting to see a vibrant unworn Star Gazer playfield!

#364 5 years ago
Quoted from Talon2000:

Just a reminder of how good they will look when you get them completed.

The blue looks much darker in your pic than in John's pics of the printed playfields. Is this a function of lighting and the presence of the clear coating?

3 weeks later
#436 5 years ago
Quoted from BrianBannon:

I hope that something can be done to cover these rollovers.

The 2 Star Gazer rollovers though are in a very visible location and subject to significant ball travel / wear, so in my opinion those do need to get cleared just as much as the remainder of the playfield. If they weren't cleared, they'd have less protection and they would appear to be "recessed" below the rest of the cleared playfield which would also cause more wear. Just for clarity, I'm talking about the need to clear the star rollover housings (the inserts glued into the playfield), not the white star rollover buttons that sit inside the star rollover housings.

#437 5 years ago

I have never tried cleaning out clear from star rollover inserts. Can someone provide good instructions on how to do this with the Harbor Freight files? I don't want to end up chipping the clear on a new playfield.

For example, do you file in one direction only (down into the star insert) to avoid chipping off clear?

#442 5 years ago
Quoted from BrianBannon:

Well, if you don't like the way it looks, I certainly understand that viewpoint. As far as wearing out a new star rollover insert, I doubt that would ever happen in home use. Not saying it can't happen as I have replaced broken star inserts before, but it is pretty unusual.

Roy, after you clean out a few of these star inserts, you might change your mind about having them cleared

I was thinking more about wear to the ink at the edge of the insert. If the star rollover insert isn't cleared, then it would be "lower" than the cleared surface surrounding it. I'm wondering if that wouldn't lead to earlier wear of the surrounding black line, as compared to if the star rollover insert were cleared. Opinions?

Your comment about cleaning out the inserts.... Yep, I have not experienced the joys of doing that. Trying to weigh the pros and cons of clearing the inserts vs not clearing...

Edit - ahh, moot point given the post John just made.

#444 5 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

I use a drill bit the same size for the shaft to gently clean it out by hand turning. Figure its similar to cleaning a gun barrel. Not that I own any fire arms!

I would not have thought of that method, at least not for a while. Hmm, there are a million different Dremel accessory bits available, would any of those work safely?

#447 5 years ago
Quoted from Xenon75:

I did end up using a dremel with a very thin routing bit to finish off my flash gordon rollovers. The filing was taking forever given the thickness of the clear. With a steady hand they were not too bad to get perfect.

Can you show us a picture of that Dremel bit?

#452 5 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Here are pictures of the playfield getting sanded & put back through sealing & printing for the second time. Seems harder to remove than traditional screened playfields

Well that's a pain for you in this specific instance (needing to sand bare the playfield), but sounds awesome from the standpoint of durability of the ink on the finished playfields.

1 week later
#467 5 years ago

So what are people thinking for coating on the backside of their new playfield? Gray, varethane or bare?

My original has gray on it so that would be the choice from an authenticity standpoint. Varethane might seal better and be easier to clean. Either gray or varethane would seem to be a better choice than bare from both a cleanability and moisture resisting standpoint.

1 month later
#573 5 years ago

Star Gazer playfield #6 has arrived and been unboxed! I'll share some pics and observations tomorrow when I have better light. Tonight I think I'll just ogle this beauty.....

#576 5 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Strange both didn't arrive the same day by UPS Roy.

Actually they did. But haven't had time yet to unbox #5, that will be today!

#577 5 years ago

So how well does John pack these playfields for shipping? Pretty darn well. Full paper wrapping. Then an inner box, including the white stars for the star inserts. Then an outer box. Both boxes are nice heavy weight cardboard. Instructions for cleaning the star inserts are included, and each playfield (and the box too) have the playfield serial number on them.

Outer box.JPG Star inserts.JPG Inner box.JPG Inner wrapped.JPG
#578 5 years ago

While great care was taken in packing for shipping, or course we want to see what is inside! I don't have good enough light to take good pictures of this beauty inside without having the playfield laying on a table under fluorescent light (causes reflection and I can't get the whole playfield in one shot) and the outside weather hasn't cooperated while I've been at home so I needed to use a flash and stay close to the playfield, so these pics are the best I can do for now. The partial pictures from outside don't show off the clear coat as well as you can see it in person, so I included the final picture under indoor lighting (ignore the fluorescent tube reflection) to help show the glossy clear coat.

When I bought this Star Gazer years ago (my second - first one was sold to Duncan Brown) I never thought it would be possible to restore it properly, but John has changed all that. Its quite something to look at one of John's repro playfields and realize they probably look better than the ones that originally rolled off the Stern production line!

Playfield lower.JPG Playfield mid.JPG Playfield upper.JPG Partial playfield glossy.JPG Backside.JPG Serial number.JPG
#606 5 years ago

I'm curious what those about to use their new Star Gazer playfield think about putting down mylar rings around the pop bumpers. Opinions?

4 weeks later
#650 5 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

14 new ones cnc'd need to be gone over, missed some drill holes.

Not sure if the CNC work is always done exactly the same for all the StarGazer playfields (same software and files driving the CNC?), so just thought I'd ask if those same drill holes were also missed on already shipped playfields? Thanks for confirming either way John.

4 months later
#721 4 years ago

I picked up the best 2 of John's first batch of Stargazer playfields - #5 and #6. Both without the white under the slings (and I have to say that bare wood there looks gorgeous by the way). My plans for use of the second playfield may not happen, so I'm interested in offering one for sale which I could take to Chicago Expo for delivery next week. Buyer can inspect in person at Expo, much better than pictures although you can see pictures of the first 6 earlier in this thread. I'm really not interested in shipping the playfield so this would be a cash and carry sale.

I'm posting here with John's permission in case those following the thread know of anyone wanting a Stargazer playfield that didn't get in on the order. I don't want to hijack this thread with replies though, so if anyone is interested PM me please and we'll discuss offline.

#722 4 years ago

Playfield is spoken for. Thanks all.

#723 4 years ago

Is anyone bringing their Stargazer to Expo this week with one of John's new playfields installed?

1 year later
#872 3 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

Finished my SG playfield swap a few days ago!
Turned out pretty nice and plays great.

Looks nice! So I'm curious, could you tell us what parts you decided to install "new" during the swap vs. what got cleaned and reinstalled?

8 months later
#978 2 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

5 SG finished printing

I see the picture of those 5 SG playfields shows the white layer printed where the playfield plastics will mount. I think it looks best that way!

2 months later
#1125 2 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

I missed the 4 first Star Gazer, that didn't receive white under plastics also.

Actually you missed the first 6. I bought #5 and #6, and they look awesome with the natural wood under the plastics!!

Thanks for the great work John!

2 weeks later
#1153 2 years ago
Quoted from stangbat:

New stand up target faces from Robert Langelius

I didn't know it was possible to buy just the standup target faces. Contact info for Robert?

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