Archive for May, 2010

Building up the Bookcase

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Building up the Bookcase wasn’t difficult. I just reversed the procedure of taking it apart. However, before reconstructing it, I cleaned the opto-boards with Isopropyl Alcohol – which they definitely needed!

Bookcase built into playfield

Home-made protector for the Swamp kick-out

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Whilst putting the swamp back together again, I decided to make a customer hole protector for the Swamp kick-out (similar to the one under the electric chair). So I made one out of aluminium channeling and screwed it onto the front of the kick-out hole:

A glimpse of the protector in place

Swamp lighting

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Another popular “enhancement” to the TAF pinball machine is lighting up the swamp. So using another BA9s Noflix PLUS L – Superflux LED, this time in green, and a bulb holder and wire which I had won on eBay, I built this enhancement into my machine:

Swamp lighting enhacement (rear)

Only slight adjustment of the LED was then necessary to give a very pleasing effect for the swamp lighting:

Swamp lighting enhacement

Train wreck plastic

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I built in my first custom plastic today.

Based on the instructions here (in German) I took the custom Train Wreck plastic which I had already had made (see here for more information and as to reasons why) and applied the graphic and white backing to it (which was extremely difficult, time consuming and required me to develop my own methodology). I was however pleased with the results:

New Train Wreck plastic

The new (larger) size of the hole for the flasher bulb holder (it turns out) made the plastic very fragile and dropping it once actually cracked the plastic at the thinnest points of the plastic. However, the plastic flasher bulb holder held everything together nicely.

Installing the plastic with the new bulb holder brought with it a new problem however, which I hadn’t thought about: the new bulb holder was actually lower than the original. Directly underneath the flasher is a GI bulb, which, because of the lack of clearance from the playfield to the base of the bulb holder, meant I couldn’t use a normal GI bulb. So instead I tried out an LED solution. produces a range of LED based lighting solutions for pinball machines. One that took my fancy was the BA9s Noflix PLUS L – Superflux:

BA9s Noflix PLUS purple L - Superflux

By using this LED based solution (in yellow) instead of a standard #44 bulb, I was able to solve my head-room problem under the Train Wreck flasher.

Not only did I solve this problem however, this solution gave me an additional advantage: by pointing the LED vertically upwards it shone onto the flasher housing and cap (which I had also chosen to be yellow), thereby making the flasher cap glow yellow.

Yellow flasher cap "glowing"


This combined with my earlier solution to use aluminium foil behind the back GI lamps really made the corner under the ramp light up – thereby overcoming one of the major criticisms of the TAF pinball machine.

Plastic assembly

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

I started with the real re-assembly today. First up was the plastic around the Vault.

The plastic piece on the vault holding the lamps is normally white on one side and black on the other, which I don’t like. So I decided to cover it with the stone pattern. Spraying it (like I have done the bookcase base) would be too much effort for the reward (the plastic is not too obvious) so I tried to use a water slide decal. Unfortunately the decal wouldn’t stay on the plastic properly, so I used adhesive paper instead:

Vault plastic with stone pattern

In assembling the entire Vault plastic the only other addition I made was to use black tubing for the wires in order to better hide the wires:

Fully assembled Vault plastic from right

Vault plastic from left showing wire covering

GI bulbs

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Today I replaced all of the GI bulbs in the playfield with coloured variants. I matched the colours to the playfield:

Coloured GI lamps

Note that under the red staircase, I’ve used red and orange bulbs to blend the colour in to the train-wreck plastic.

I noticed that the light from the green and blue GI lamps at the very back of the playfield wasn’t easily seen, it being hidden by the ball guide. Plus the backboard being black didn’t reflect much of the light. So I stuck some aluminium foil on the backboard with the same height as the ball guide and was very pleased with the results:

Aluminium foil on the backboard reflecting light from the GI lamps