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Thread: Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Pinball

  1. #21
    My Friends on the DFW Pinball list made a suggestion to improve the shooter scale by putting the scale as a warp factor. The result:

    Inspired by TheAngryAngel’s TOS crew; I began working on the apron triangles. I started by changing the color of the insigna “frame” to red so it would match the background I picked in Rev0. After playing with Photoshop; I decided while it was an awesome piece of art... it didn’t really match the mirror universe; so I began the search for high rez mirror universe photos from the original episode.

    Using his work as a “template”; I began to photoshop in the various mirror alternates. Dropping Chekov as he hadn’t join the crew yet. In his place; Marlena Moreau.

    For the other triangle; I decided a “credits” listing would be appropriate.

    Rev 1:

    At the moment; I think I’m going to lay down the black and reds using powder coat; maybe even the outlines. As far as the pieces themselves; I’ll going to try to see how direct printing looks. If not; I’ll print them to plastics and bolt them down to the apron.

    Thoughts / Comments?

  2. #22
    I’ve completed assembly of FAB B of the NIXIE tube displays. The emulation and 7 digit native modes work as designed. I’ve posted a youtube video with it installed in the backglass.

    Obviously; the 7digit modes do not work “ideally” with a machine designed for 6digits. I may spend some time in the future to make a 6 digit “right angle” board if there is enough interest.

    Need to confirm in a 7digit machine that it works properly. I already have a volunteer.

    Next step is to write a blog post with schematics and pictures.
    Need to send the boards out for Black PCB fabbing.

    Also completed Rev0 of the Proximity sensor PCB. Got them back from oshpark today and they look good right now. Waiting for parts from Digikey before I can start assembly and debug.

  3. #23
    impressive skills and good taste .. each time you revise something it makes it all the more perfect

  4. #24
    Things have been quiet here lately... why? Well; I had to put the ST:M project on hold so I could build a storage shed in the back yard. Public Storage was charging me nearly 400/mo to store my projects... that was money I could be spending on the Mirror Universe... or a ST:LE. Luckly, I completed that project last month.

    I've been slowly working on the cabinet for this project. I'm reconditioning a fairly beat up Bally Star Trek cabinet. What've done is re-glued the front corners... and stripped the paint off 3 of the sides of the machine with CitriStrip.

    Right now I'm experimenting with Cabinet prep. I've put the first coat of ebony wood stain on part of the cabinet. My goal is to get the wood dark enough to simulate the black of space. Then I'm going to do a custom stencil set to paint the ISS Enterprise firing on the Planet.

    Has anyone done wood stain instead of regular black paint? Were there any Solid State machines with Stain instead of paint?

    Worst case I'll just paint over the stain... but I'm kinda hoping I can get the wood dark enough with stain to make it look good.

  5. #25
    As I stated; been working on the cabinet for the Mirror universe project. I bought a couple of "project" Bally Star Treks from a fellow pinball collector out of Shertz a few years ago. These have been setting in storage for a while... and were very rough.

    I took the cabinet with the most flaking and damage as the donor cabinet for this project. Here it is in all it glory:

    I began by stripping all the hardware (coindoor) and side rails off of the machine so I could access the state of the "bones" (ie wood) of the cabinet. I noticed that the front corners were beginning to separate.... also some of the plywood cores were starting to come apart.

    First I used some white gorilla glue to repair the plywood core:

    Then I used ratchet straps to re-glue both sides:

    I CNCed a diamond shaped piece out of MDF and glue it in the old shooter hole:

    With that I began stripping the old flaking paint off with CitraStrip along the way I tried to save as much of the wood as I could. When possible; I reglued the laminate back to the plywood... or used some wood filler to fill in the rough areas.

    I also repaired the bottom - not pictured. 3 of the four sides had lost the plywood under the grove... which means the bottom would probably fall out at some point. I fixed this by saving as much of the plywood core on the 1 "acceptable" side... then using quarter round pieces from Lowes. The quarter round piece was secured with the same gorilla glue and some 18 gauge pin nails.

    I bought some mill wax ebony oil stain as I wanted to stain the cabinet black instead of paint. I wanted something "different" looking. Here's one side stained with several coats. Looked like absolute trash...

    That just would not do AT ALL.

    The next day I went to our local WoodCraft store ... they seemed to have a better selection of stain.

    Since I was in new territory on this project; I decided to get a couple of product. The first was a Ebony Wood Dye product and the second was a Black Water-based Stain. The guy at the store claimed the dye would dye the fibers of the wood in a "molecular" like fasion ... while the Stain is pigment based (and would act more like paint). I added the later. I figured I'd buy both and try it on the cabinet.

    After I got home; I stripped the back of the cabinet and put down some test swatches:

    Upper right hand: Ebony Dye
    Upper LEft: Satin Black Stain
    Lower Right: Stain over Dye
    Lower left: 50/50% mix of both

    I didn't like the ebony stain as is... as it still had a purple/blue hue to it.
    The stain looked ok; but had a paint like view.
    The Dye under Stain had what my mind thought was the best of the two. The Dye in effect raised the wood grain a little; and the stain still let the overall look like a satin look. The 50/50 worked; but wasn't as vibrant as the Stain over dye.

    With this decision; I proceed to dye then stain the cabinet. The Outsides of the cabinet were stripped of all paint; then dyed then stained. The inside of the cabinet I decided to lightly sand the interior then spray it with a Satin Black spraypaint from Rustolem. I also sprayed the bottom side with the same Satin black so it'd look more finished.

    The results:

    Yes... I proably could have save myself some more time by just painting the cabinet with some latex black... Or any black paint; but I kinda wanted to have the wood grains show thru the background. I may regret this decision later... but I'm currently very happy with the way it turned out.

    Tonight I worked on the stencil design for the cabinet. Obviously; it's going to be a black background; however, I wanted to pay a nod to the original cabinet design. I traced the existing design and pulled it into Corel Draw. Given Black background; I still wanted to keep some of the same colors in the stencil. So the stars became Yellow. The planet Yellow/Red... and The Phasers became blue. I going to make the Enterprise BattleShip grey.
    I removed the Klingons ... instead having the Enterprise fire on the planet.

    Still need to work on the front design... and the Head. I'm thinking about keeping the Head design the same... but change the blue background to black.


  6. #26
    Did some more work to the side art; terminating the phaser beams on the planet. Not ideal; but probably the best I can do with a stencil application.

    I also worked on the front art; "inverting" the shooter location and making the color scheme similar to the sideart.

    Not sure about the text at the bottom. Again limited by a stencil; but need to look at this further.

  7. #27
    After visiting with at Quakecon 2013, Lockman, MrRed, and I picked up a donor head from DonW in Garland. Don graciously donated this head to the Mirror Universe project.

    It started life as a Supersonic head... and was a rough from a paint flaking/ding perspective. All of this mattered nothing to me... as it was going to be dye/stained black just like the cabinet. Here are some before shots of the head:

    The back vent hole were coming apart; good because I wanted to improve the ventilation anyway...

    I went about destructing the head... to create new vent holes. Since eventually I plan to put more than just the original boards in the head... I decided I wanted some active cooling (IE DC FANs)... What better way to integrate vents... but using something from the Enterprise.

    Using the great work by, I recreated the Enterprise's impulse engines in CAD using the following as a guideline:

    The resultant CAD file yielded the following rendering of the DXF file. In order to practice for the upcoming Playfeild CNC work; I wanted to practice with by CNCing out these vent holes in the Russian Plywood. Ken and I went to this past Saturday and CNCed the back vents:

    Once I got home; Saturday night I began re-assembling the head:

    Then I lightly sanded and vacuumed the inside of the head to prep it for interior paint:

    This time I decided to paint the inside prior to staining the outside; so:

    After the interior dried; I needed to replace the Veneer which I removed during the deconstruction phase.

    I thought about going to woodcraft to get it; but really; I didn't want to drive 30minutes in traffic... so I opted to get the iron-on type from Lowes. It comes in a roll; and you melt the glue with an iron.

    The smaller roll of veneer was on clearance; so I opted for it... but turned out to be a hair short. I filled the seams with Plastic Wood filler so the seams wouldn't be visible on the back without a close inspection.

    Not sure what I'm going to do about the small section... worst case I'll apply a patch after-the-fact.

    After some lite sanding with the orbital sander the back and the head was ready for the Black Dye:

    followed by the Black Stain:

    Even the bottom didn't escape the black of space...

    The plan is to let the Stain/Dye cure overnight. Then I'll begin to spray the Polycrlic Satin clear coat over the stain to seal the wood and prep is for future Stenciling.

    My head did not come with any of the metal trays for the displays... if anyone is parting out a early 80s Bally Solid State machine... I'd very much appreciate the opportunity to obtain these trays for my Nixie tube displays. Please PM or email me. Thanks!

  8. #28
    Yay! on track again !
    Great work .. this is going to epic when done

  9. #29
    While waiting on the Head to cure... I decided I wanted to do a little something extra for the background of the cabinet - approx where the Klingon ship would have been. I debated internally in my head of I wanted to go this far... in the end deciding "it's my machine; make it yours!".

    I did some looking around on google images for Hubble space telescope pictures when I came across this picture of the M82 Galaxy:

    Remember to Click the image to get higher rez shots you can zoom in on

    Now that I had the picture... it was time to figure out how to get in on the cabinet. I had some White backed Water slide decal paper for my color laserjet; so I figured I'd give it a shot. Some water slide work... some Airbrush work... and we are left with two similar yet uniquely different reditions of the M82 galaxy on either side of the cabinet:

    I coated the airbrush/decal work with some Matte clear spray paint while we waited on the head to cure.

    I knew I wanted to do something different with the background black... that was adding holographic gold and silver flake to the topcoat before I stencil. So I did some google searching and ended up purchasing some gold and silver flake from The idea was I wanted to have a star field over the black. Nothing really special about this webstore; other than they seem to be the most competitive w/ regards to color selection as well as price/ounce.

    I mixed about 1/8 a tsp of silver and 1/8 tsp of gold into the polyacrylic clearcoat I was going to spray over the black stain to seal it. With my Harbor Freight spray gun I sprayed the cabinet and head.

    In retrospect; the metal flake at 0.004 inch was just too small... looks more like star dust; not a starry night. Ideally; I'd have gotten several sizes and mixed them for a more random look. Here's a close up showing the gold/silver flakes:

    Here's an attempt to capture the holographic nature of the flakes in the sunlight:

    If I had it to do over... I'd proably have used less "dust"... and gotten some larger flakes to try and break up the eye candy... I may still try to apply some bigger flake; but honestly... I don't want to spend more time / money on the internet. Maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow.

    In general; I'm pleased with the result... just need to put the finishing touches on the stencil designs so I can start that process.

  10. #30
    This past weekend; I intended to wrap up the Impulse Engine modification to the Mirror Universe pinball head. Unfortunatly it spilled over to Monday; mainly because I couldn't get my Laser cutter into a completely operational state.

    Anywho; The intent was to make the vent holes to look like the Enterprise's Impulse Engine. To do this I created a stencil using the same scale and rendering as before. Since My laser cutter only has a 12x24 table; I had to only do 1/2 the stencil opting to flip it for the opposite side. Here's the stencil I created:

    I laser cut this out of dry erase poster board and sprayed it lightly with some stencil spray adhesive. Here it is positioned for the left Impulse Engine vent:

    Since I didn't have any grey spray paint on hand... and it was near or after midnight; I opted to spray with primer grey:

    I then flipped the stencil (after the primer had dried for a couple of hours) and sprayed the other side with light stencil adhesive and then grey primer:

    Now I needed to do some shading of the upper piece; So I used the drop pieces cut from the stencil as a stencil. Adhesive and some transparent black airbrush paint:

    Next I needed to stencil the center panel lines. I had already laser etched the panel lines into the wood; but I decided attempting to hand paint the etch lines would be problematic. Cue Stencil number 2:

    Adhesive, positioned:

    Sprayed with Black Opaque Airbrush paint:

    With the Stenciling complete; my attention returned to the Vents themselves. When I CNCed the wood; I also Laser cut a grill based upon the original render of the engines. The CorelDraw file looked like so:

    As you can see; there are two grills (finger guards if you like) and two 60mm Fan brackets. The grills were a particular bitch to cut... The heat would cause the grills to warp. I went ahead and cut them; only to find that one of the long lines broke on one of the grills. The result of these grills it pictured here:

    Upon reflection; I determined that the cause of the warpage was proably the amount of heat "transferred" during the long cut lines. The "spaces" between the grill lines were about 0.1"... while the solid part of the grill was ~0.8". This ratio was critical to the look I wanted (and to match reference photo). I also knew that the long runs were just too flimsy; so I had to modify the grill design to keep more "solid" acrylic in place. This would strengthen the grill and should help reduce the heat-induced warping. Design Rev#3:

    I also changed the order of cut on the file. I opted to do the periphery outline AFTER the center grill portions were cut. Again in an effort to minimize heat transfer and aid in preventing cutting mishaps if I had to restart the cut.

    Here's the Laser At cutting the Rev3 grills:

    With the new grills complete; it's time to begin the assembly of the fan brackets:


    And the Test fit along with overall shot:

    And a Closeup of the grills:

    With that the back of the Star Trek: Mirror Universe head is complete. The grills were wrapped up and stored safely until the final stenciling is done on the sides and the whole piece is clear coated.
    Last edited by Zitt; 08-19-2013 at 10:08 PM.

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