Thursday, July 26, 2012

Faith in humanity - Restored!

Sometimes individuals have the power to make the world a little better for somebody else.

A couple of days ago the build came to a screeching halt since I ran out of screws (hey, I miscalculated the amount needed, could've happened to anyone!). Since I wanted to 'keep it real', only genuine pinball screws are allowed in this build so things were standing still for a couple of days.

But here's the kicker - I was offered help in a most unexpected way:

1) Humanitarian aid - hardware style.
I was given a large quantity of screws and a couple of fuses as well by a person who doesn't know me, but would like to support the build. In return, he just wants a couple of credits in-game when the build is done.

So I say, a big thank you, ALF!
And you're more than welcome to join the pinball party when my machine is playable!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Busting Caps!

I think I'll go with red bumper caps!

One of the VUK-guides is in place, so is the playfield "background" and most of the other elements. The whole upper floor needs a bit of planing so unfortunately I won't be able to get it in place any time soon.

A couple of things I need to do -
Create the whole motorized 3-target bank bracket assembly.
Create the underground channel from the right scoop to the VUK above it.
Create standoffs for Up-Post, VUK's and launcher assemblies.
Create a nicer captive ball post-arrangement. The current is not very attractive.
Make cutouts in the playfield background for the ramp and second floor.

After that's been done I'm pretty much done with the playfield assembling!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Decisions, decisions...

Finally got around and attached the dreaded bumpers today.
But then it hit me (well, not really there and then - I wrote that for effect): Should I pick purple or red bumper caps?

1) Red caps...

Red caps.

These caps are nice, but they're not a perfect fit and would require some work to attach properly.
I particularly like the faceted look on the edges. I imagine this will look wicked when lit...

But they are red. A lot of red in the theme already. But they do fit the theme rather nicely and that area, since there's already blood stains in the artwork around the bumper edges etc.

2) ...or purple caps. Tough choice!
Purple caps.

Looking pretty sweet and adds additional color to the playfield. But the actual caps are pretty dull and would, in my humble opinion, require some artwork on the top to look appropriate.

Another downer would be that the board the shot layout is loosely based on has the very same bumper caps. Could possibly draw the attention to any similarities?

Indeed a tough choice. Not crucial at the moment to decide thou, but it would be nice to be done with that area... What do you think - red or purple?

3) Just for the heck of it - the flip side.
They're not in their fixed positions in this shot, but more or less.
I don't know if I mentioned this previously, but all solenoids are having
specific connectors for positive and negative, so that they're impossible to connect wrong. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Status update

Just doing a quick status update to let you know how I'm doing.

1) Right middle-playfield. It's taking shape!

2) Closeup on the center scoop. This is not the final fixture of the metal housing, I've simply screwed it in place so that I may see how much space it allocates. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Screw you, hardware!

I've begun attaching some hardware to the playfield, but man - it's taking time!
Since many of the parts hasn't had their holes predrilled I'll have to be careful not to mount anything in the way of the next part etc.

I've got most of the stand-up targets in place and the metal rails as well. The main loop rail is not yet in place since I need to verify the return angles so there's a good flow in the shots before bolting it down. I also need to cut a couple of through-hole pins on some of the guides since their blocking/being blocked by the hardware underneath.

 Thank <insert your higher power here> for reversible targets...

1) Underneath the skin. It will probably never be this clean / neat again. Lots and lots of hardware and cables will cover almost all areas of the playfield soon! 
2) The right drophole/saucer revisited. The DNA standup targets are in place, along with the metal rails etc.
The playfield plastics are just for show at the moment, since they will be removed before inserting lamps etc.
Although I have an idea for the color scheme, I guess I'll have to adapt to whatever looks the best for each spot.  

3) Reversed look of the flipper and drain area. I wasn't (and still isn't) sure exactly how the drain guides and their holes should be placed, so I improvised there.. but it works as intended so I guess we're good! 

4) Mr Bubbles targets. I'm still not sure about using this standup target... even thou it is rather funny and goes quite
well with the little sisters vision of the Big Daddies... They're viewed as cuddly gentle giants and are called 'Mr Bubbles'. The various corpses around the world are referred to as 'Angels' as a part of the brainwashing they've experienced in quest for ADAM... I might have to put a little padding behind the targets thou.

By the way, does anyone recognize what game the stand-up target is originally from?   

5) Overview of the playfield. At the moment the playfield plastics kind of melts in into the playfield (visually, that is) but I figure the will be more separated once lighting is in place etc. Also, everything looks rather barren without the rubbers - not to mention the lack of the entire upper playfield and ramps...  

Friday, July 13, 2012

My shine is bigger than yours!

Picked up the finished clear coated playfield today and it's looking might sweet -

1) Not so fancy from this angle, but get a little closer...

2) ... and behold! The smoothness and glossiness must almost be experienced to be believed!

3) Almost mirror flat and reflective!

4) Unpolished, still really glossy. Very nice!

It will look extremely nice with all the different colored lights bouncing around and reflecting everywhere!

Only downside is that I'm a little scared of putting screws in it.
It's just... so... beautiful!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Waiting for the shine!

I've finally managed to get the playfield to the car paintshop for clear coating.
The sample clear coats we tested looked great and hopefully it will turn out just as awesome!
I was worried that the decal edges would cause troubles, but the clear coat evens out all the differences so it will be mirror smooth. Nice!

So while waiting I'm killing time with Mass Effect 3. Damn those Reapers!