Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This is the box of wonder I received today from "ADV Idé & Design" here in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Sideart, translite, playfield, front, playfield whitemask, speaker art etc. All in glorious 300 DPI, so the quality of the printing is EXCELLENT! (In fact, Stern should learn a thing or two about printing art from these guys...)

A quick peek inside reveals the whitemask for the playfield. Since the playfield is transparent and does not contain any white color, the playfield needs to be painted white first. Imagine masking each of these individually...  Now it's just a matter of taping it down, paint and remove - ready for the playfield art!

A small teaser of the middle right section of the playfield. Looks incredible! Can't wait to see it all lit up in colors etc! The playfield print is made on a transparent film that has been laminated for extra protection before the clear coating. Obviously the white in the pictures is transparent or cutout, and will show the insert color shining through.

Another great thing about this company is their cutcontour printing - After the artwork was designed I simply had to create an additional layer where the cutting should occur. Smooth, perfect edges with minimal work. This allows me to get that nice bit of visible wood on the edges of the holes that professional tables has. Very nice!


  1. Will you clear coat over the top of the vinyl? If you do what will you use?

  2. Yes, I will put 2-3 layers of clear coating on top of this. My plan is to let a professional do the clearcoating, since my own attempts on clearcoating a test-piece failed miserably... The good thing about the clearcoating is that it gives you a surface that you can polish and sand down etc if needed. On top of that - excellent durability. And for added protection I will add mylar to certain areas as well.

    Hopefully that will keep the playfield looking fresh a long time!

  3. Have you done the artwork yourself or do you have anybody else helping you with the project?

    And how much does this cost to print? Actually, I would very much like to see a running tab on cost of the whole project.

    I'm really amazed at how far you've gotten. My own project has been on hold now for so long that one can't even call it a project at all. :-(

  4. The artwork is designed and composed by me, but I have not created the original Bioshock art. The composition and layout is all my work thou.
    The printing really depends on what you're after. I went the extra-all route and the results are great! :)

    There's probably no way building a single machine by hand could compete pricewise wuth an assembly line machine. And with a lot of trial and error, customs, taxes etc the cost quickly escalates. I do not have a tab on the project, nor do I have a fixed limit... Can't put a price on dreams! ;)

  5. I should add - it all boils down to what quality your aiming.
    My goal is to have a machine that is indistinguishable from a production line machine in terms of quality. Even the nuts and bolts I'm using for my machine is genuine pinball parts. So ultimately, I will have to cash out a bit more than the people on Youtube building a machine with rubberbands and cardboard...

    Remove the chokehold on your project. Once you've started again you'll wonder why you ever stopped.
    Visualize the finished product and just keep going. Try to do a small thing everyday to keep it living.
    It really helps having a set goal in your mind, and even better, a plan to follow.
    Right now I'm kind of winging it, but I know how the end result should feel and look like, so I'm just going backwards from there. :)

  6. Yes, I'm fully aware that building the machine I envision will cost a lot more than a LOTR and probably has less functions than a pimped mid-80s machine. Building ones own first machine isn't really done because "I can't afford a real one". :D

    Did you just print one copy of your art and hope it will fit perfectly or did you get a few extra copies? I'm just running this video of Ben Heck applying his art to the Bill Paxton game over and over again in my head :-/

    I'm not really sure I follow what you have printed/bought either. Is it paper/plastic that is transparent where it isn't printed or is it paper with holes cut out by the printing company?

    And how much does this cost to print? ;-)

  7. Ben's application is actually rather good. He's sprayed the white painted wood with water+soap first so the glue doesn't bond before settled. The same way screen protectors are applied. :)

    I only got this one playfield art printed. It is a fully transparent, laminated and cutout plastic-decal that is quite stiff, unlike Ben's which is a regular white-background "sticker". My application will be described in detail further on (as in - when I've received the playfield from the CNC woodshop) but it boils down to:

    1) The playfield will be properly sanded and inserts are glued in place etc.
    2) The playfield will be masked using the whitemask seen above. Basically, an inverted cutout image of the playfield leaving some spots protected (i.e the inserts, hole-edges etc)
    3) The playfield is now painted bright white since the playfield art transparent and does not contain the color white at all.
    4) Once dry the actual playfield art is put in place using a water+soap approach so that I may get the best possible match.
    5) Although laminated, the playfield will now receive several layers of clearcoating to get a nice durable surface that is polishable for years to come.

    The biggest problem will be to align the white and color layers so that no edges are visible that shouldn't be. But my girlfriend has been working with decal application and removal professionally for a couple of years, so hopefully we'll be safe! :)