Homemade Plastics

Surfing on flippermarkt.de (my favourite forum) last night, I discovered that it could be possible to make some repro plastics for my TAF.  “But why?” I hear you cry; why should I want to do that? Yes, despite the fact that I’ve nearly got two complete sets of plastics in addition to the one on the pinball machine, there is something I would like to change, as far as the plastics are concerned:

Despite the fact that I want to keep my pinball as true to an original TAF as possible, one thing has really bugged me in the short time I’ve had it, namely replacing the flasher bulbs under the “permanent” flashers. These are the ones with the plastic flasher cover riveted to the plastic directly, meaning that to change the flasher bulb means removing the plastics. There are three candidates here: the flasher next to Thing’s flipper, the flasher behind the telephone and the flasher behind the train wreck target. Despite the fact that I’ve already changed the last two (which also happen to be the most difficult to change) so that they probably wont burn out again in my life-time (they’ll burn out tomorrow now that I’ve written that) I really would like to change these flashers to the ones with the removable caps (as on the ramps, for example). This would give me a couple of advantages, firstly, I could easily change a broken bulb, and secondly I could try out different coloured bulb and cap combinations easily, to see which I like best. However, there’s a problem…

Replacing the Flasher Covers

It turns out that the footprint of the screw in flasher cap (ie the hole required for the bulb holder which allows the flasher cap to be inserted) is almost 15mm larger (in diameter) than the hole for the “permanent” variant, meaning that to substitute the screw in version would require making the bulb socket hole significantly larger (the rivet holes are almost the same distance apart). Whereas this wouldn’t be a problem for the flasher behind the train wreck target, the phone flasher seems like it would be too close to the ‘phone plastic. And the hole for the flasher next to Thing’s flipper would in fact be too big for the location on the plastic, where it currently is.

Therefore in order to replace the flasher caps with the screw in variants will require me to relocate the flasher holes. Hence the need for some homemade plastics.

Watch this space…

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