Been filled with self-pity, anxiety and a sense of dying the last couple of days, in other words -
I've caught a cold. It sucks.
The good news is that I've managed to get a little metalwork done. I've more or less completed all the metal guides and rails now. Despite it being salvaged and reshaped pieces from another machine it looks quite good and sort of made for this machine.
When "manufacturing" the metal parts I solved a couple of things I've been thinking about, such as how the left ramp would be protected...
Stern's blue rubber pad to the rescue!
I drilled a couple of holes in the metal railing and attached the rubber pad on it. Then I simply aligned the ramp and rail so that the rubber extrudes beyond the edge of the ramp. As it is the left side of the left ramp it doesn't really matter if there's screws, since the ball cannot ever hit them due to the angle. The ramp is also by design a little shorter so there's plenty of room for another screw for the rail. It's almost as if they were designed to match this way!
I also created a couple of one-way gate wires so now I've got all the gates I need. I bought a DIY kit with steel wire and bent them myself. Really easy and extremely price worthy compared to buying each gate, especially since it's hard to guesstimate if the dimension are correct by looking at a picture on the web...
I did manufacture one piece (note the lack of quotes) that is at the end of the left ramp. It's basically a very simple protector and stopper that drops the ball dead to the floor below. Then the ball rolls down to a VUK that acts as a ball lock or relay depending on mode and if the lock is active etc. Similar to the sword catch/release in Lord of the Rings, for instance.
I also got the new toy/decoration that I ordered a while ago. It looks really cool and fits in very well with the rest of the playfield.
Have a look:
It will most probably not interact with the pinballs physically, but it will light up during certain modes and affect the game aesthetically in a very cool and mood-setting way.
I must do a quick rant on the shipping costs across the globe. Well, now that I wrote 'across the globe' it kinda seems lame to rant about it, but anyway -
I bought the toy itself for around $45.
When all shipping and customs were payed for it totaled for $150!
That's some serious expensive shipping and probably the most expensive toy I've ever bought...
Sucks to live in a country where all the cool stuff must be imported!