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Projects


On this page you can see some projects that are in the back of my mind.
I always think about making a game with custom art, and I have two themes in mind :
1. A Porsche Boxster pinball.
2. A Beavis & Butthead pinball.
I'm thinking about both and sometimes I'm really excited but then realism falls over me like a wet blanket and I give up.
Here's some idea's I already have...


Porsche Boxster Pinball



I've always had a soft spot for Porsche and although Checkpoint is pretty really a Porsche machine otoh it really isn't.
Things I thought about so far :

1. The donor game should be a Checkpoint, I've got a very nice Checkpoint machine and I have an extra populated, wired playfield, the main purpose is to have the things that show on the DMD and in the sound/speech should be appropriate to the theme
2. All trim (like the lockdownbar, legs, etc..) should be in Arctic Grey, Porsche's racing color.
3. On the drop targets there should be Boxster spelled instead of Carrera in Boxster font. I've already changed that in the proms (kinda) it's giving me a checksum error, but the game further boots without problems.
4. Boxster Matchbox instead of the red 911
5. 986 on the mushrooms (986 is the official model n for a Boxster)
6. Startbutton shaped like a key on the left side of the game (just like the one on Checkpoint and like all Porsche's)
7. The turning wheel rim in the backbox of the Checkpoint, will be replaced by a larger rim ;) and instead of in the o from Checkpoint it should take place in the o from Boxster.
8. I'd put the DMD display between the speakers and make it look like a car stereo and the speaker grilles should have pictures of odometers in them.
9. Gamewise in Checkpoint you have to collect "countries", here you'd have to collect Boxsters or Boxster parts or (my latest thought) give the game a "pace-car" theme and still collect countries.
10. I'd also try to fit in a large scalemodel with things that lite up depending on what gets hit on the playfield.
11. A real cool topper could be a yellow/orange chasing light like you see on towing trucks.
12. Another idea is to leave the drop targets where they are, but make them look like garage's. When the drop target is shot down, it should reveal a Boxster scale model.
13. Pit stop could be a Porsche facility.
14. There should be neon in the backglass too !
15. Another thought is to put a real car radio in the game, with amps and quality speakers, that way I'd have a good playing stereo in my gameroom too !
16. There should be some 356 or Speedster thingie on the game too as it's the Boxsters pedigree, an automatic antenna could be it.
17. Surfing the Internet I came up with a neat idea, a car radio with DVD player and a 7" or 8" TFT in the game.
18. "Kronis" had an idea of putting a Boxster dash on the backboard panel, might include LED's too and ditch the odometer on the playfield.
19. Chrome flippers ??


The Boxster project has officialy started as of 05 July 2005 by buying a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pinball as a cabinet and boards donor.
I'm going to keep a logbook on things proceeding :

06 July 2005 : A guy wants to help me getting the translite done, I've told him what I like and am awaiting his response.

07 July 2005 : Took the TMNT playfield out of it's original habitat and put the Checkpoint playfield in, AFAIK now only a couple of connectors need rewiring.


08 July 2005 : Started to tear down the Checkpoint playfield.

18 July 2005 : Installed the antenna and the start key, prepared the PC power supply for mounting into the cabinet thereby removing the cardboard tube normally installed next to the transformer, and removed the factory "subwoofer". Checkpoint playfield is empty, but thinking of using the TMNT turtles playfield, heavily adjusted to work with the Checkpoint roms. Wish me luck !

19 July 2005 : Took the nearly bare Checkpoint playfield out of the game and installed the TMNT playfield again. The Checkpoint playfield will probably end up being used as a coffee table in my living room. Started disassembling of the TMNT playfield.

20 July 2005 : Plastics from the TMNT game have gotten the dishwasher treatment, I will scan them and assemble the "old" plastics back on the playfield, that way I can make new plastics one at the time meanwhile keeping an eye on what's possible or not cc adding neat stuff like ... a 7" TFT monitor which arrived today, along with a car radio/CD/MP3/DVD player, 2 subwoofers, 2 midrange speakers, 2 tweeters and 2 crossovers.


21 July 2005 : Tried the PC power supply in the game and made all the connections with trifurcon pins, enlarged the hole in the bottom panel to install the first woofer and moved the knocker a bit to the left to free up some space for the woofer. The Jensen 2 x 100 Watt amp will probably be installed where the coin box normally resides. Hooked everything up to hear what it sounds like and might I say : it sounds good !! Even though I had only one set of speakers installed . Let the game play for a while, pretty loud, and it seems the 8A PC power supply is up to the task.

22 July 2005 : Made the hole for the second subwoofer and started dismounting everything in the bottom of the cabinet. I've had it with those half painted, half bare pinball bottoms, so this one will be all black. Only things not removed so far are the cable holders and the ground braid.


23 July 2005 : Further removed everything from the inside of the cabinet and gave the first layer of black paint to the inside cabinet ... Sweeeeet !! Made the wooden speaker panel (same size as WPC games), made all the holes for speakers, tweeters, car radio and DMD and painted the base for the chase lights.

24 July 2005 : Installed everything in the speaker panel, gave the second layer of black and painted the middle of the chase lights.

26 July 2005 : Installed nearly everything back in the freshly black painted cabinet and does it look smooth ! The bare silver ground braid on the black inside, the 2 woofers, the crossovers etc...

29 July 2005 : Installed the amp, PC power supply and made some connections (all the speakers, RCA cable etc...)


30 July 2005 : Made all the low power connections for the amp, radio and power supply : sound is promising even though the playfield still has to be installed and the other speakers haven't got a "bass box" . Removed everything from the backbox to paint it black and removed the backbox itself. Bought a piece of clear plastic and drew all the plastics from the TMNT on it to make the playfield plastics. Proms are on order and should be here next week.

01 August 2005 : Tried my saw on the plexiglass I bought and it works wonderfully. Cut out the speaker panel but still have to make all the holes in it. Sanded the backbox and gave the first layer of black : Very nice !!

02 August 2005 : Spent all evening trying to come up with some art for the sides of the head, finally came up with the following... The game is about Porsche and Boxsters, I'm giving it a Pace Car touch to get away with a beacon light on top of the game. I've sent the files to Classic Arcade Grafix where I've been told the resolution was rather low, I told them to print it anyway and hope they come out good.


03 August 2005 : Made all the holes in the speaker panel plexiglass and touched up a couple of corners on the backbox with "Bondo".

04 August 2005 : Gave the second layer of black on the backbox, painted the speaker panel plexiglass and wired a new double ON/OFF switch to the bottom of the game (1 switch for the radio and 1 switch for the pinball game).

05 August 2005 : Wired a small Amperage adapter into the system to keep the radio's settings when the game is switched off and mounted everything on the speaker panel.

07 August 2005 : Mounted everything back in the backbox and painted the underside of the backbox.

08 August 2005 : Got the Tamiya paint in today, made the beacon light to go on top of the game, tried to fit the speaker panel and ... it fits !! Still have to cut the original speaker panel to give the new speaker panel something to "attach" to.


09 August 2005 : Mounted the antenna the way it should in the backbox and - shrug - made holes for the flashers on top of the backbox, 3 on each side. I'll probably wire them to the 6 flashers which light up "Checkpoint" on the CP game. I'm still undecided on whether to use bulbs to light up the backglass or a fluorescent light.

10 August 2005 : Installed the 6 flashers on the backbox, hooked one up to see how the beacon light looks like and once again .... Sweet !! I really could use some good news cause I've put the playfield back in the machine and started wondering how to change the Checkpoint rules into the TMNT and started to cry ! :)

11 August 2005 : Introduced the original speaker panel to my metal disc and mounted the remains of said speaker panel to the new speaker panel. The TMNT mushrooms have a corresponding flasher, which obviously is not supported by the CP software, so I wired them in parallel, tested it and apparently the double flasher bulbs seem to handle the current just fine.

19 August 2005 : Made a whole new backboard panel for the GI and flashers to light up the translite, mounted it in the head and installed the locking mechanism. Still have to make all the holes for the flashers, bulbs, motor and maybe the TFT screen though. I'm going to have to make the translite first before making any holes though.

24 August 2005 : My backbox sideart arrived yesterday and it's *sweet* ! In the following picture you see : the beacon light, the antenna, the radio and the applied sideart ...


07 September 2005 : Found a very nice "chequered flag" decal to rub on and peel off. Installed it just above the car stereo, pulled off and took some paint with me :( The speaker panel will have to be repainted.

14 September 2005 : Started drawing together a translite with no experience on Adobe Photoshop at all, here's the first result :


and here's the second result :


19 September 2005 : Took some more stuff from the TMNT playfield (standup posts, targets etc..) and wired the flashers in the beacon light preliminary, put the game in test mode and wooow... it's just 6 flashers flashing, but *I* wired them and they run perfectly from left to right !! Also uninstalled everything from the speaker panel and repainted it (in black this time, as I think it will be prettier than the grey it was).
Getting second thoughts about putting the TFT screen in the game. I think the translite will look better without a screen in it and I haven't got enough play between the ramp and the playfield glass to put the TFT in the game. I thought about lowering the playfield and turn the rear legs a bit higher, but the game will stand next to my Checkpoint and I like the top of the games to be aligned. Maybe the TFT screen will be put to better use in the (possibly upcoming) Beavis & Butthead machine.
I also took everything off the underside of the Checkpoint playfield in order to turn it into a coffee table. The upperside of the playfield got a good cleaning & waxing followed by reinstallation of all plastics, standups, ball guides, rubbers etc... It will be a *very* nice coffee table, alas this means there's no way back now : I'm obliged to use the TMNT playfield with Checkpoint ROMs.

03 October 2005 : Installed 2 white ultra bright LED's in the Maisto 1:18 Boxster prototype scale model and applied some decals I bought on the web, looks like a very nice pace car to me ... the chequered flag decal is the same as the one applied to the beacon light on top of the game.

04 October 2005 : Sanded the TMNT playfield down to bare wood, now is the time to come up with some art to put on the playfield. This is the hardest part.

10 October 2005 : Spent all evening until 01.00 AM drawing the playfield in Photoshop

11 October 2005 : Spent all evening until 01.00 AM drawing the playfield in Photoshop

12 October 2005 : Spent all evening until 01.00 AM drawing the playfield in Photoshop

13 October 2005 : Spent all evening until 01.00 AM drawing the playfield in Photoshop

14 October 2005 : Spent all evening until 01.00 AM drawing the playfield in Photoshop

15 October 2005 : Spent all evening until 11.00 PM drawing the playfield in Photoshop

16 October 2005 : Spent all evening until 01.00 AM drawing the playfield in Photoshop, this is the result so far :

Looks good to me so far, although I'm a bit worried the inserts won't line up well in real life. Thinking to get one printed just to see how bad "the damage" is before continuing to add the text. This baby has got about 50 layers at the moment. Only thing that's left to add is some text on the inserts. It's a bit grey as of now, but the plastics which will be done in red and white "kerbstone" colors + some of them in yellow and black "caution" colors should live it up in no time. Anyway, the game should have "Capcom" artwork. That is screaming vibrant colors like Breakshot or Airborne, or ... ofcourse, the pinball of pinballs : Big Bang Bar. Some guys offered to help me on the translite and sideart, it will be *very* expensive (just kidding you Stefan) but hopefully well worth it. Sideart should be something like this :

Anyway, it should be a couple of entertaining weeks coming...

23 October 2005 : Compared the sizes of the playfield to the different cutouts I made on the playfieldprint in Photshop and concluded that *nothing* alignes like it should. It's going to be impossible to have all the inserts lined out perfectly so I deleted them all from the playfield art and spent the further evening measuring and comparing and redrawing so the "biggest" features of the playfield line up well, for instance the rotating wheel, the four big flashers just above the slingshots, etc.. I also added some "aim guides" to the playfield art.

24 October 2005 : Took the PSD file to the local printer here in town.

25 October 2005 : Went to get my playfield art and am a little dissapointed, the colors are not as vibrant as they were on the screen and it's all a bit grainy, it might light up well once all the plastics have been installed and the game is lit, but so far I'll probably just use it as a guinea pig to train my skills at cutting out inserts. Here's a pic of said art with the ramps "installed" .

26, 27, 28, 29, 30 October 2005 : Spent every evening redrawing, adding and eliminating stuff on the playfield, I installed the guinea pig playfield mylar and failed miserably, so the next playfield mylar is going on order.

1 and 2 November 2005 : Started drawing the playfield plastics : red & white kerbstones on grass.

10 November 2005 : My sideart is finished, this is what it looks like :

Both images (playfield and sideart) have been sent to Classicarcadegrafix for printing. Before they arrive I should remove the first playfieldmylar from my playfield. Thinking about clearcoating the playfield *before* I put the playfieldmylar on. That way I can use the "wet" method of applying the mylar.

13 November 2005 : Removed the badly printed and badly applied art from the playfield. Had a few holes to fill up + a square hole of about 2" x 2" where a trapdoor used to be, everything's drying right now and afterwards I'll have to sand the playfield again.
Started measuring the size of the different inserts to let Jeff at Classic Arcades know what I need concerning inserts and what text to have on them. Total # of inserts needed is 47 + about 20 misc. "messages" and letters to put on the playfield.

15 November 2005 : Gave the bare playfield three layers of clearcoat and completely cleaned and rebuilded the three mushrooms, with new sleeves, new black skirts etc...

20 November 2005 : Removed all the bulb sockets from the TMNT backboard panel to use for the new backboard panel, a total of about 40 bulb sockets. Also gave the playfield it's last sanding before applying the new playfieldmylar which has been sent to me about 4 day's ago. It's going to be a long week !

26 November 2005 : The art arrived and looks awesome, best printing I've ever seen !! However, the top coat decided to live it's own life, both on the sideart and on the playfieldart. Other art is on it's way. So, it was back to an empty playfield for the third time, still have to remove the glue before I can apply the new playfieldart :((

27 November 2005 : The translite is also ready and will be sent along with the rest of the art.

05 December 2005 : The past week I really couldn't bring myself to work on the game any more. I can only bare *so much* disappointment. Today I felt like continuing because, well, I have to, the new art should be on it's way, I've got a couple of games coming in to shop, I had to do some prepping of the cabinet and I had to do it now, before the dirty games come in.
Removed everything from the front of the machine, removed the legs, the siderails and the head (once again) in order to prep the sides of the cabinet. The cabinet was in really good shape so I only had to "Bondo" a little spot. I then continued by painting the corners, the front in- and outside and the back of the cabinet. I also cleaned and rebuilt one of the two drop target assy's, with new sleeves, drop targets etc...

You see the difference between the clean one and the rusty one ?? It moves smoooooooth !!!
I also took the display panel apart once again (fourth time I believe) because it wasn't pretty. I bought real Lexan and I want the panel to be in Lexan instead of the type of plastic first used.

14 December 2005 : Gave the cabinet the second layer of black and removed the glue from the last playfieldmylar.

19 December 2005 : The art arrived and it looks sweet once again, the translite is perfect !!!

22 December 2005 : I wanted to install the sideart of the machine, but the artwork has the same problem as the previous set of artwork : the top coat delaminates !! I then went for the playfieldmylarinstall and it also starts delaminating again once I start to cut out the inserts, so I'm back to a bare playfield and a bare cabinet. I then moved on to the translite which has to have two things cut and apparently that holds up well.

From 2 until 7 January 2006 : I took a week off from work, first to recoup of my sidejob (waiting tables at a local bar), and ofcourse to work on the Boxster machine. I'm still waiting for my sideart and playfield art so the only thing I could do was to attack the backbox. Made all the holes, placed all the sockets, installed all the wiring hooked it up and it lit up like a Bryan Kel.. euh, Christmas tree ! Put the game in Flasher test but apparently the flashers that are hooked to brown wires don't light, the ones that are hooked upon the black wires work perfectly. The only thing left to do is to paint the backbox panel white and check why the brown wired flashers don't work.
I also redid the speaker panel for the fourth time, and hooked up an extra Pioneer Amp (2x70 Watts) for an extra Pioneer subwoofer.
The game had a couple of burnt connectors so, now was the time to change those and everything works perfectly.

26 January 2006 : Apparently internal wiring between TMNT and Checkpoint is different, that's why the brown wired flashers don't work, spent an evening with manuals and schematics and so far 1 of the three brown wired flashers work.

27 January 2006 : Still waiting for the new art to arrive and couldn't hold myself any longer ... I * want * a * playfield !! And I want it now !! So, eventhough the top coat isn't reliable, I decided to cut out all the inserts with an exacto knife (this is a labour of love) hoping that a few layers of clear wil hide the delaminating top coat. Worst case scenario : I'll have to redo everything.

28 January 2006 : Further cut out the inserts and gave the first two layers of clear. This will have to dry now, then I'll see if I can use the playfield or not.

30 January 2006 : Gave the third layer of clear after a quick runover with some fine grit sandpaper.

31 January 2006 : Gave the fourth layer of clear after a quick runover with some fine grit sandpaper. The difference in height between the cut out inserts and the rest of the playfield is nearly filled.


I also installed the sideart and installed all cabinet hardware...


Apparently the top coat doesn't delaminate this time, so other things started to go wrong : the TFT screen is broken, but I'm about to buy another one, and the new backglass decided to form a crack on the lower right corner, so that should be replaced as well.

Somewhere in February 2006 : bought a new backglass, and a new TFT screen, Boxster is happy again.

7 May 2006 : Wrote the text on the inserts and gave a light layer of clear.

8 May 2006 : Gave a couple more layers of clear.

9 May 2006 : Some more clearcoating. The inserts are now level with the playfield.

10 May 2006 : Began the reconstruction of the playfield : the three pop bumpers and the wood along the playfield.

11 May 2006 : Installed everything "small hardware related" : star posts, lane guides etc... The playfield is now ready to receive the plastics which - at this time - still have to be made. Meanwhile I'll reconfigure all the switches, lamps, flashers and solenoids for the TMNT playfield to work with Checkpoint roms...
This is how it looks like today ...


12 May 2006 : Worked some more on the Boxster despite the good weather. Today I've put the blue targets in place and the drop target bank, I also rewired the first switches : 6 switches are rewired (the LAP switches). I connected the playfield once again to the boards, and, they work !! However, none of the controlled lamps seem to work anymore.
Until now I used my Checkpoint Roms on the Boxster machine but today I burned a set for the Boxster *with* the custom display program.
Here's some of the stuff that will be used on the playfield...


16 May 2006 : Started drawing the playfield plastics, amazing what someone can do with Photoshop once you get into it.

18 May 2006 : Continued on the playfield plastics, very happy with the results.

19 May 2006 : Designed the art for the front of the cabinet, along with score cards and other misc. stuff. The art is finished now !! Only thing left to do is to send it to the printers. Created a CDR with all the PSD files and all the used JPG files, so if my HD should crash I've got a backup.

20 May 2006 : Happy Birthday to me !!!

21 May 2006 : Rebuilt and mounted both flippers including new flipper bats, mounted the large drop target, the slingshot plastics and the scale models on the slingshot plastics. I also did some small stuff like changing a shorted lamp holder, some rewiring etc... Waiting on the plastics to arrive ...

23 May 2006 : Started to reconnect the switches.

24 May 2006 : Continued reconnecting the switches, all switches are done !!! I also mounted a ball kicker where the sewer hole used to be. Some switches were already renamed in the prom but other switches will still have to be renamed.

25 May 2006 : Started rewiring the solenoids, hell of a job, I thought TMNT and Checkpoint were going to be very similar but alas, more often than not things have to be reconnected on the boards too. Anyway, the first ball rolled on the playfield today ! I had to test my "Pit stop kicker" which fills the "Sewer hole", and it works !

1 June 2006 : Connected a "thingie" to the Boxster's sound board to weaken the already amplfied signal in order to be able to pass it through my amplifier, and it works flawlessly, no hums, no others distortions : nothing ! Now I've got to wire the potmeter in between to be able to control the volume.

7 June 2006 : Spent all evening rewiring two coils (!!!!!!!!!!!!), much wiring is similar between the two games, but the ball launcher coil and the knocker are both wired completely different. Tonight I swore I might tackle another "custom pinball" project, but I will never, ever do what I have done now. There's just *too* much difference between the two games although, at first they seem very similar. I will probably have to rewire all the flashers in the backbox too (flashers which were already rewired) as some are very strong while others are very weak. Rewiring the lamps will probably have to be redone completely, while some of the switches were wired the same, none of the lamps line up if I look at the schematics.
So, at this point all the switches are wired as they should, and all the coils are wired as they should, next up : the flashers ! In the mean time my plastics are on their way to Belgium, once they arrive they get priority ! :)

8 June 2006 : Started rewiring the flashers, it went mostly well, but at the end of the evening one of the coils started energizing while it shouldn't, that's when I turned off the game and went to bed.

10 June 2006 : The plastics arrived today, so today was cutting and sawing day, but the result is once again beautiful, in the picture you see the art on the drop targets, spinner, plastics and score and instruction card :


The art for the front of the game also got installed, here's what it looks like :


So, all the game further needs is some eye candy which will be installed as the game moves on, now it's back to rewiring flashers and lamps.



Beavis & Butthead Pinball



I know, I know, I'm a big kid but the show really does it for me. Here my biggest concern is that it should probably be an alphanumeric game as "the wrong dots" would give it away. Another problem is the speech, a B&B game must have custom speech !
Things I've though about so far :

1.Donor games I have had in my mind so far :
Big Guns : playfield is divided perfectly in two, one half for Beavis, the other for Butthead. It's a game I really like but it might be too difficult to make those 3D cannon plastics.
Grand Lizard : an ugly game IMO, so I would be doing it a favor as I really like the gameplay, the lizard's head would be replaced with B&B sitting on a couch.
Swords of Fury : another "not one of the prettiest around" but also fantastic gameplay.
Hurricane : this way it should be "B&B join the circus" to theme in with the dots.

2. Ball plunger should be a finger ie "pull my finger"
3. Drop targets should be white with black patterns like a cow, this would be cow tipping.
4. Figurines from B&B would be installed on the slingshots to move with the slingshots like the dancing boogiemen on SS, it would look as if they're headbanging.
5. The backbox of the game would be very much like the television set they're always looking at including the half *ss antenna as a topper.
6. Inline drop targets : ie cow tipping.
7. The outhole would be referred to as the "bunghole" with some TP ofcourse !


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