Friday, March 16, 2012

Green With Envy!

Mr Bubbles got a quick upgrade today.

His arm got hot-glued and painted and will hopefully endure the coming adventures in Rapture.
The colors are not 100%, but close enough from where the player will be standing.

1) Front. The wrist has been replaced by a motor. Hot-glued in place and given a slight texture/paint job.

2) Back. The two cables from the motor could probably be better hidden, but hey - too late to change that now!
In any case I could make them a part of the character instead of trying to hide them. We'll see.
For reference, see here and here for before-pictures.

I can live with this arm.
I believe Mr Bubbles can too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Them Bolts

I've snooped around on the net a bit for reference photos regarding the playfield hinge bolts, and I found that more or less all pinball tables have a bolt-through solution.

Check out Medieval Madness here, for instance.
It's not immediately obvious that the bolts are there, but they are.

So I'll go for the standard solution - I mean, those tables have lasted for eternities without falling apart!


Said and done, and it doesn't look bad at all actually (besides from a little wood chipping, but nothing a little filling won't fix):
1) Attached brackets. The bolts are visible from the outside and will thankfully NOT cover any crucial graphics! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The nasty cuts...

Remember the first playfield sample cutout I was getting?

It turned out most of the elements were missing and a couple of holes were actually in the wrong places (my bad). Luckily it was just a sample, so I'm of to the drawing board and correcting the mistakes and sending the new blueprints to the woodshop once more.

This time I'll separate each hole-type into a separate layer so that no information gets missed. My mistake was trying to include to much information in one file, which unfortunately lead to me getting less holes drilled.

Mock-up, you say?

Time's a real luxury these days!

But I got some work done on the playfield hinges, which hopefully turned out alright. I had to make a mock-up playfield using a small wooden board and the actual playfield hinges, brackets and supporters. If I had been using a proper playfield it would have been near impossible to position the playfield correctly since the actual playfield would be blocking most of the view...

1) Front of the mock-up. It turned out to be crucial in aligning and positioning the brackets for the hinges.
The supportbracket is not in it's final position and will come closer to the center of the cabinet. 

2) The mock-up "playfield" in an upright position.
The brackets are not attached in this picture and the "playfield" will extend 5 cm
beyond the end of the hinge on a real playfield. 

I need to decide on how to bolt the brackets for the hinges, since I'm pretty sure the bolts will cause big holes in the forehead of the Big Daddy that is featured on the sides of the cabinet. But on the other hand, if a proper bolt isn't used the whole playfield could drop down into the cabinet if we're unlucky!

I might do a compromise by having the bolt go through the cabinet sides, but lowered into the wood so that the head of the bolt does not protrude beyond the surface of the board. It should be stable enough, I hope. The downside with this approach is that I have to cut a (big) hole in the sideart if I ever need to unscrew those bolts. Not a big deal, but something to consider.

I also need to make a small wooden box that protects the circuitry in the bottom of the box since the cables of the playfield might possible cause damage when lifting or rotating the playfield. It would also protect the circuits if the playfield would drop into the cabinet, and also from any rogue balls that might drop onto the circuits in case of any catastrophic events containing coconuts and machine failure.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mr Bubbles Re-assembled!

After weeks of dismemberment Mr Bubbles has now been put back together. Hopefully this is the final disassembling he will endure. There's still a bit to be done, mostly shrink-wrapping the cables, fixing the motor more permanently and hiding the surgery scars on the elbow. If the new LED's inside his head works as intended that would be nice too!

Here's some pics for you...
1) Front, almost impossible to tell he's been taken apart and operated on.

2) The new elbow and motor-joint. Pretty sweet, but still needs a little touchups.
The motor is functional and the drill is mostly centered. Centering the drill was the trickiest part since it vibrates like crazy when off-centered!

3) The wiring on the back will be less intrusive when completed.
There's also two big plastic gas-tanks that are missing in this picture that will hide most of the cabling.
I might try to paint the shrinkwrap around the arm and legs to further hide the evidence.
The plan here is to drive 3 LED's and a motor (and possible a relay).
The black bandaids on his back and elbow are obviously final thou...

I think it turned out quite nice, the real hurdle will be to make it last for years without too much repair needed!

As a bonus -
The woodshop has finished making a sample piece of the playfield using the programmed route. I can't wait to get it!