Reproduction plastics

scottniven

New Member
Jul 29, 2018
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Scotland
Hello All,

Just curious about your experience of reproduction plastics? I purchased a set of slingshots for SWE1 and am shocked at the poor quality of them, I sent a message to the seller stating this and was told I don't have experience in pinball :/ To be fair I said they belong in the bin - so if he'd made them himself (which it kinda looks that way) I probably insulted him. None the less, here is what I received.... Is this what I should expect when buying "Reproduction, Top Quality!"? The grain in the flat colour IS there and the black lines are bleeding terribly, the plastic itself also has a yellowing to it.

81221

Thanks,
Scott.
 

Banzaipinabll

Active Member
Aug 16, 2011
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Aberdeen
They are awful, did he state they were new or homemade. you should be able to buy better repo's than what I see in that photo
 
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scottniven

New Member
Jul 29, 2018
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Scotland
Hello, thanks for the quick responses. I haven't removed the film, no (which is only on the back side). I didn't think it would make all that much difference if i'm being honest. My main complaint is that it appears to have been printed on poor quality paper and stuck to the underside of the plastic. I wasn't expecting NOS but something of reasonable quality, for the money paid. @Banzaipinabll very interesting you should pick that link as that's where they came from.
 

Banzaipinabll

Active Member
Aug 16, 2011
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Aberdeen
Interesting, what you have does not look that close to the image on there website. I have bought from them a few times, most of the time what I have received has been good, I have had one item that was crap and have heard others have item or 2 which has not been great. As you have said, the sharpness / quality of the 2 black lines are very different. Will they allow you to return??
 
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scottniven

New Member
Jul 29, 2018
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Scotland
Thanks @Banzaipinabll I'm not in any rush at the moment and may try my hand at making them myself, I think I could make better with transfer paper and a sheet of acrylic. They have said to return them, I'm just curious if better reproduction exists or if this is the Pinball World definition of 'High Quality'. Perhaps I set my expectations too high.
 

Sven Normansson

Site Supporter
Mar 12, 2016
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Leicester
They vary greatly. If you're not happy you should be able to send them back otherwise live with them for now and await better ones. Swep plastics should be sourceable.
 

Moonbus

Active Member
Feb 21, 2017
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Forest Hill
I'm not sure the print is on the underside.
They look poorly laser cut to me.
The browning on the white in your first pick is indicative of the laser cutter being set at to higher power and also slow. The honey comb bed on the printer is also knackered and dirty. Combined the residual crap on the honey comb bed has ignited and left soot trails on the white protective sheet on the back side of your plastic.

I can go on, but I would return them.
 
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scottniven

New Member
Jul 29, 2018
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Scotland
Thanks @Moonbus I think there are too many negatives to warrant keeping these. I'll be sending them back tomorrow. I appreciate you taking the time share your thoughts! :)
 

Sven Normansson

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Mar 12, 2016
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Leicester
The browning on the white in your first pick is indicative of the laser cutter being set at to higher power and also slow. The honey comb bed on the printer is also knackered and dirty. Combined the residual crap on the honey comb bed has ignited and left soot trails on the white protective sheet on the back side of your plastic.
You remove the protective plastic from one side, then print the sheet and cover with a low tack paper. The yellowing is from the smoke given off from the material. the extractor was not set high enough.
I urge you to try and remove the film from both sides, it's there on both sides even if you think its not! Pinball center do make some crap plastics but these actually look ok to me.
 
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scottniven

New Member
Jul 29, 2018
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Scotland
I don't want to start a witch hunt against Pinball Center and they have agreed to take them back, so that's all good. My concern has always been the print quality - the lines aren't sharp and the black bleeds in to the main body colour. Regardless of removing the film this does not change. Were my expectations of quality unrealistic or is this what is to be expected from reproduction? If and presumably so, they made them themselves or even bought them from elsewhere is this the best quality you are going to get currently from reproduction of plastics for that kind of money? Would a different supplier use a different technique or would I get the same quality from elsewhere?
 

philpalmer

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Oct 21, 2013
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The amount of people who phone up telling me that (genuine PPS) plastic sets are either used, terrible quality or something else when they just need to remove the bloody protective film is untrue. Even our very own number 1 pinball LED seller 😂
 
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scottniven

New Member
Jul 29, 2018
14
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Scotland
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have attached a new picture showing the front and back covers partially removed, but as I said the bleeding of the black is still present. If this is what I should expect, I'm happy to concede - it's the first time i've bought a repro plastic and thought it would be of better quality - I thought the lines would be smooth and the colours wouldn't be so mottled.

81253
 

Mercifull

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Jun 2, 2018
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www.mattsims.com
Yeah that’s how my replacement from pinball center looks like too. I was happy with it as a one off to replace a completely smashed piece but I wouldn’t buy a whole set from there. It’s because it’s ink printed rather than silk screened.
 
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scottniven

New Member
Jul 29, 2018
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Scotland
ok, thanks @Mercifull. It seems like this is what the normal is then. I'll apologise to PC tomorrow for jumping the gun and put it down to my inexperience of repro plastics. Lesson learned :( I found a Youtube link which I think i'll also try:
 

Marvello

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Oct 6, 2015
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LOL, I remember watching that video when I had a go at making a Joe's Diner plastic for my Flintstones. The results were...not great.

20170212_181359.jpg

I ended up printing onto sticky backed photo paper.

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Don't use acrylic as it is far too brittle. After the above attempt I re-did it with polycarbonate.

20170505_201657.jpg
 
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RudeDogg1

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Dec 27, 2012
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I doubt there is such a thing as silk screen printed plastics anymore it’s a very expensive process. Just now some print at a much better resolution than others
 

Mercifull

Site Supporter
Jun 2, 2018
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www.mattsims.com
What to CPR and RetroRefurbs use for printing?

I found the quality of the plastic from PinballCenter fine, but the print resolution is definitely not super sharp. Even flat areas of colour are a bit blotchy when up close.
 

DRD

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Oct 26, 2014
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I have found pinball center plastics to be poor quality. But they are better than nothing

I will do a post shortly that compares, side by side, original Williams to CPR and Pinball Center plastics
 

PeteB

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Jun 28, 2014
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As with nearly all reproduction pinball parts, plastics are very hard to make to get them looking right. I/we/Retro Refurbs started making plastics out of frustation with the "that'll do" attitude from people like PPS, CPR, Classic Arcades, and to some extent Pinball Center and Marco.

The way we make them is a special printing process that I developed with a industrial print facility up here in the North East. Without making a very lengthy post it basically consists of having 3 separate layers of UV cured ink printed directly on to the plastic and then it has to be laser cut, not CNC'd, and the laser has to be set up just right to get that smooth finish. I see so many burnt and bent plastics being sold which simply weren't cut right.

Of course, it all starts with the artwork as well. You cannot do this just by printing scans - as you end up with crappy dull and pixelated plastics like the ones Pinball Center are selling. Ours are all completely redrawn (by hand) to a vector format, which takes A LOT of hours.

Getting colours right is also a HUUUUGE problem. Designing stuff on a screen (light) which will then be printed (with pigment) and trying to get it to match things that are 30+ years old, where now no one knows what "brand new" really looked like, and everyone has an opinion on what it SHOULD look like, because THEIR game is the best and it's been indoors since new and blah blah blah... BOLLOX!

Here's some close up photos:

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More high resolution photos on my Flickr page here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/retrorefurbs/albums/72157679559781601

Here's a comparision I made between Retro Refurbs plastics and someone else's (I think CPR) ones:

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You can see all of the sets I have available at https://www.retrorefurbs.com/shop-cat/plastics-sets/

I wish I could make these for EVERY game out there, but it takes time and we need good quality 1:1 scans to get the size of the cutting right. We're currently working on 3 new full sets which should be ready at the end of this month, and we're also making more of the mini kits for different games.