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Author Topic: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter  (Read 10806 times)

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Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #80 on: October 16, 2018, 04:55:29 am »
I'm enjoying watching this come together.  When you design in CAD or sketch up or similar you can explore complex solutions to design challenges before ever cutting any wood.  Heh, fabricating those parts you designed in 5 minutes is another matter!  I wouldn’t approach a project any other way though.

Thanks, Ond.  I'm having a great time watching RoToron, so I'm glad to return the favor. 

This evening was metalwork.  TOTALLY METAL.  work.   \m/   


People have asked me in this thread what my go-to tools are, if not a router.  My all time #1 answer is my horizontal/vertical bandsaw.  If I can possibly use it to make a part, I probably will.



Here, I'm about to shorten one of the 2x2 square 1/8" wall aluminum legs to 34" to be one of the rears.

It's a metal cutting bandsaw, which means small teeth and a slow feed rate.  It doesn't make a big fuss or commotion, it doesn't shriek like a wood saw - it just quietly cuts.  You can have a conversation at a regular volume while cutting things.  I use it on wood without changing the speed or the blade; you just have to take your time.  It doesn't require quite the eternal vigilance a wood cutting saw does, either - if you were to touch the running blade, you'd pull your hand back with a relatively minor injury.  It's downright friendly.



The cut quality is decent.  As the scrap end shows, this is mostly flat and square, though not perfectly square.

I have a fix for squaring it up, though.  This is an appropriately sized job for my little benchtop mill.



All I had to do was make sure the leg was bottomed out in the machining vise when I grabbed it.  I've dialled this vise and mill into being pretty true, so, just putting it in the vise sets the leg reasonably level with the bed and parallel with the ways.

Then, it's just making incremental passes until full contact on one end, flip it around, and make passes until you are at the exact desired length.



With this hasty setup, this tiny mill seemed happiest taking about .005" off per pass. 

Good thing I'm not in a hurry.

I don't want the legs to have directly visible fasteners on them when this is done, so I'm going to be using pem nuts to bolt them into the wooden structure.  The 3/8" pem nuts I got want a half inch drilled hole to install.  They press in, and displace metal around the serrated portion of the crown.  Here's an example of one in a 1/8" aluminum sheet that I was practicing with.



You're supposed to install them with a press in a very specific way, but, I'm going to be putting them into a deep blind space that I can't possibly get my arbor press into.  In a pinch, you can as an off-label method draw them tight using the screw threads.  It's utterly wrong, but it works great.  (Don't do this if you're in aerospace.)

Here's the result, and one of my back-cabinet side panels test mounted onto the first completed leg, to check all the hardware works right.  They'll all have washers in the end.



Six 3/8"-16 screws per leg should be enough, right?   :)

Here's the view down the top, to see how the hardware stacks inside.  It also shows how flat and nice the end milled finish turns out after just a touch of sanding.




So, that's my plan for the legs!  Now I just... gotta make three more of them.

Mike A

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #81 on: October 16, 2018, 05:42:28 am »
Nice. I have always wanted a bench top mill. It would be the gateway into metalworking.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #82 on: October 16, 2018, 09:59:26 am »
Mmm... Threaded inserts... :drool
%Bartop

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #83 on: October 17, 2018, 03:07:46 am »
Now I just gotta make two more of them.  (And resolve a handful of correctable fitment issues.)

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #84 on: October 22, 2018, 11:07:48 am »
Lots of progress on the back cabinet.

My backbox isn't hinged.  I wanted a neck there to visually separate it from the playfield and the main cabinet.  However, an LCD panel runs through that joint, so the best trick I could come up with is a reduction of thickness of the front plywood there.



Here's the front of the neck being skinned. 

The backbox sits above that neck.  Here's the floor, with the LCD monitor passthrough and ventilation holes.



The speakers will mount in the lower corners.  Yeah, the mounts taper to almost nothing in a few spots, but they won't be under much load at all.  There's just not much clearance in here.



As viewed from the back.  All this structure is now glued and screwed together.  In places, screwed a lot.  The legs are still removable for painting.  I'll be filling over all the small screwheads here, only the big leg bolts will show in the end.



Here's the floor being installed.  The front panel of the floor is a removable piece for installing or swapping the intake fans.  The power relay goes through the fixed back panel of the floor. 



Here's a close up of the power area.  I found a 3x2 power strip that fits along a wall under the 3/4" hatch clearance, so that mounts on the wall just above the power relay. 

At this point I couldn't resist screwing the rear hatch on, because the backbox roof can attach to it, just to get a sense of the scale of the thing when it's done.



It is big.  Looks about right to me when standing at the lockdown bar, though.  I can dig it. 

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #85 on: October 29, 2018, 01:23:18 am »
Builder's log, build date 102.

With the fabrication of the front pair of legs, the construction of all legs are now complete. 
I had to bolt them up to test the fit.



The spacing of the inner leg-attaching button screws is set so that, once this box is sealed up, the upper two can be reached through the open coin door, and the bottom one can be accessed through gaps in the partial floor (which is still to be built).  However, after playing with it a bit, I think these six inside the front cabinet would be easier removed via a ratchet and socket, so I'm going to flip these over to normal hex head bolts.  (The other 18 leg attachments will stay button head.)

Moving to the back cabinet...

 I've been confirming and fine tuning the layout of parts.  This is roughly the current idea for the back lower cabinet:



The DMD panel looks off center, but that's an illusion caused by the unused speaker area formerly below the display, but now beside it.  The display glass is centered in the neck, and that's also the defining reason for the neck's total width.

The amplifier power brick is above the amp, tucked off on the left.  The amp is up on a shelf, which means you can't see the driving-mode speaker directly behind it.  Below that is the Ultimark IPAC Ultimate-IO that will be the main computer interface brains of the thing, which I'm giving fairly prime real estate here to ease future diagnostics and servicing at the header pins.

On the right side, from top down, there's a chunk of DIN rail housing several relays and a breakout box.  Then, a 3x2 power strip, a 12v power supply (to run fans, linear actuators and solenoids) and the USB-controlled power relay, which is also the main power in.

The unused area in the center is a wind tunnel to get airflow from the bottom-mounted intakes, behind the DMD panel in the neck, and up into the upper backbox. 

The entire PC will live elsewhere (just in front of the rear legs) and there's also going to be a few other large project boxes elsewhere to house other guts - so this is by design only a portion of the internals. 

This weekend was, however, mostly about bodywork.  So much bodywork.

The bondo goes on.



The bondo comes off.



I am not good enough at this to nail it in one.  So, at this point I can see everything I've failed to fill sufficiently, and coat two goes on. 

While I'm a big fan of the strength of the cured bondo, my technique with it leaves much to be desired, and it's a much bigger hassle to work with.  By the third pass, I flipped over to using jointing compound instead. 

More filler goes on.



This picture of filler going on the bottom also nicely illustrates that shelf that the amp rides in, and how the speaker sits beneath it.



This stage of power sanding had me looking like possessed King Theoden by the end of it, white beard and all. 

But, I'm now mostly done with the bodywork on the back cabinet.  I think.  At least, until I put a layer of primer on it and see all the sins that still remain, at which point it's probably back to more filler again, because I don't want to disappoint Ond more than I absolutely must.

Behold, three layers of fill:



From here, there's only a fistful more things before priming, I think - I have some fine adjustment to do to clean up the leg mounting holes, I have to fabricate the partial roof and floor panels for the front cabinet, and I think then I get to proceed to priming and painting the interior.

I gotta admit it's kind of funny that Malenko has built an entire vpin in the time I've been working on this... and I'm maybe 1/3 done.   :lol

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #86 on: October 29, 2018, 08:47:21 am »
I gotta admit it's kind of funny that Malenko has built an entire vpin in the time I've been working on this... and I'm maybe 1/3 done.   :lol

Apples to Oranges man. I took the existing guts, setup/config/etc and put them into a prefab kit. I wasn't making my own legs with threaded inserts and everything else :)
And, it wasn't my first vpin. You're making something that's never been made before!
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #87 on: October 30, 2018, 02:29:05 am »
Simply amazing, makes me wish I had your skill-set and tools as my current vpin build is child's play in comparison.

Can't wait to see the end result.

 :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:
 :cheers:



Multi-Cade x2 (full size and bar top) / 3 screen Virtual Pin

Ond

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #88 on: October 31, 2018, 06:19:24 pm »
You won't disappoint my friend  :).  Plywood is always a bit trickier to surface finish than MDF.  There's nothing wrong with filling over with jointing compound.  Your work is excellent.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #89 on: October 31, 2018, 09:17:01 pm »
You're making me want to build one  :)  - good thing I don't have the room..
Nice work & joinery.
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #90 on: November 06, 2018, 05:08:07 am »
Quick update...

The front corners of the front cabinet are tricky, with how I want the legs to work.  Aligned the corner blocks, glued and screwed them on, and gave it quite a bit of fill.



I want to blend all this such that it looks like one piece when painted, so I made myself a sanding longboard out of a two foot bar of aluminum I had around.



Got all that fill sanded back down to something resembling flat.  The longboard helps... though the aluminum turned out to rub dark grey onto the wood, oops.

Installed the legs, and here's the current layout.  It looks as though I'm building the shortest pinball machine ever. 



The upper backbox doesn't have it's sides yet, as I'm deciding whether or not to groove them so as to hold a bezel type overlay in front of the screens and speakers.

So now I'm finally at the point where I can prime and paint the inside of the front cabinet, I think - since painting it once finally assembled will be impossible.



From the back here, you can see the profile of those side blocks, and how the top of the leg tube interface works with them.

I set this all up to prime... and then decided to sleep on it, just in case I realize some other urgent step I really should do first, heh.

SOON.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 05:20:55 am by Laythe »

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #91 on: November 13, 2018, 02:48:08 am »
Well, this has been a heck of a journey.

I went ahead and primed the interior of the front cabinet panels.  Priming is easy and fun, nothing much to say about it - I've primed a lot of things before and I'm comfortable doing it with a roller brush and a foam brush. 



I knew I wanted the interior of the front box painted because you'll see it when you open the coin door.  I kind of regret not painting the interior parts of Mimic, so I figured I'd go ahead and paint up the inside of the back cabinet too, though it'll only show when the access hatch is off for service.



It'll help block light leaks on the buried DMD monitor.  There's no good way to get a paintbrush up into the side cheeks, though, so I'm just going to do the main atrium / wind tunnel down the center.



I dry sanded the light grey primer with a couple passes of 250 and 400 grit, then rolled on a coat of gloss black latex paint, and it looked bad.  That's okay, though the first coat on primer always looks bad, that's to be expected.  I knocked the high spots off with another pass of sandpaper, rolled on the second coat, and that's about what most of the bookshelves I've made get - full coverage, but it could perhaps be called utilitarian.

My base layer sanding didn't do as much as I thought.  But hey, I thought, I've watched Ond's video, I just need to do the process.  Sand more. 

So I sanded down to accidental burn through into primer, and rolled on more black paint, and sanded through it, and rolled on more, and the results were just wretched.

I mean, awful.

Awful, like, this is what I had after about 10 hours of work.



That is like five coats of paint.  I'd gone through maybe ten complete sheets of sandpaper by this time, full of pilled up impacted paint bits.  If anything, it looked worse than the brute force two-coats-and-done I've used in the past.

My spirits at this point were pretty low.

I found myself remembering:

You won't disappoint my friend  :).

... yeah.

I kept going.

By hour 18, with rigorous care dry sanding and the most careful sanding block discipline, I had something that reflected light like this:



(That's the white specular reflections of the shop lights in the high gloss valleys, and I'm maybe halfway down to meeting them with the flat matte finish left from the hours, and hours, of dry block sanding I've done.)

So at that rate, what, it should take 30 hours to hit the bottoms if I don't screw up and knock a hole to primer somewhere first?  Hrgh.

I started getting experimental.  Why not, this is a lot of doom and ruin anyway.  I thought about Ond's video, and watching him dip his sandpaper in water to clear the dust.  I grabbed the water bottle I use to dampen my soldering sponge, and hosed a dab of water right onto the middle of the panel with a shrug.  Plopped the sanding block into the pool and instantaneous magic happened.

Where I was fighting stiction and pill-rolling and a nightmare of slow progress interrupted by dusting the paper and the work surface every fourth stroke... a fine slurry of silky paint sludge began to flow.  The feel of the sanding block changed entirely - I could read the remaining contours in the surface from the way the pad moved, and everything started to WORK.  Wet sanding this stuff is like a 10x speed multiplier.  It is -amazing-.  It is -magic-. 

About 18 hours to get to that picture above.  Add water.  And then it's about 15 minutes to get to this.



Well hello there. 

The rate of improvement of the surface is astounding.  I think some of the slurried dust of water and latex paint is reattaching in the bottoms of the valleys or something, because the surface improves faster under wet sanding than just knocking the tops of the peaks off seems to explain. 

Another fifteen minutes, and,



I think I've learned how to do this, maybe!

I kept at it with the wet sanding, learning the feel of it.  Once I got it somewhere I liked, I broke out the Novus #3 and #2 polishes, and I got this:



Not bad, for foam-rolled latex paint, hey?


Thanks, Ond.  I wouldn't have believed I could do it.  Now, I think I can.  Water is the epiphany.  Water is the answer.  I still have much technique at this to develop, but I feel I can see the way now.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 03:08:55 am by Laythe »

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #92 on: November 13, 2018, 09:38:40 am »
looks fantastic, keep up the good work!
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #93 on: November 13, 2018, 09:43:34 am »
If you are sanding for hours and hours w/o progress - you are using too fine a grit.. 
Getting a polished finish is all about a finer grit taking out the scratches of the previous grit..

Wet sanding is great - but don't kill yourself for hours using 400G when you can cut the high spots down with 180/220 (wet) first...  then step through 320/400/600 to get the final results.
Keep up the good work  :)
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #94 on: November 13, 2018, 09:56:45 am »
Thanks for sharing those steps.  Always good to see what worked AND what didn’t.  Project is looking good.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #95 on: November 13, 2018, 12:59:48 pm »
You've done some hard yards mate!  This is why your work is excellent, you persevere through challenges.  Mimic was awesome for the same reason. Wet sanding allows the grit to cut efficiently for sure.   :cheers:

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #96 on: November 17, 2018, 06:21:18 am »
Thanks, Malenko, Ond, Arroyo and bperkins01.  That you all think I'm on the right track is encouraging.

(bperkins01:  My problem was that if I used any coarser grit dry, I was blowing through the color coat into the primer in places long before getting through the orange peel everywhere else - the only way I could get the control to avoid having one deep pill-rolling corner of the paper breaking through, was killing myself for hours starting at 400g and cleaning the paper every four or five strokes.  Doing it dry is just the the wrong way to go.)


I've got the inside of the aft cabinet painted now, and I am verifying and tuning the fits with the thickness of paint.

Here's what the bottom will look like - three intake fans, the power relay, and a big cable passthrough. 



Pardon the upper fan screws and the button head upper panel screws not being installed - the paint is still tacky so I don't want to go clamping things together yet, this was just a quick check. 

The screws through the fan guards also bite into the boards between the flanges of the fans, which is neat.  To replace a fan, you pull the guard screws, the button head screws, remove half the floor, and slide the fan out. 

The view from the inside of the cabinet looking out through the fans was also kind of cool.



(Cable routing will of course eventually happen here, to keep the fan wires tight to what currently looks like the floor.)


I am looking forward to filling this thing up with the electronics and routing cables, but there's still a lot more cabinetry work to be done before that.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #97 on: December 03, 2018, 02:05:20 am »
It's a good thing that this project doesn't have any deadlines beyond my inevitable mortality and so on.

Progress this weekend focused on the backbox.

My backbox is weird.  One, it's very shallow front to back, and two, I want a giant hatch that can be removed for access - the whole back wall of the back cabinet comes off for access and I don't want anything attached directly to it.  When that hatch is off, though, the backbox is pretty much an open frame.  So, to mount a monitor floating in the middle of that ring, I figure I need really solid monitor mount brackets.  Because it's very shallow, I only have about a quarter inch to work with, and I've got to fit an 80mm fan down the centerline...  and Shapeshifter currently contains nothing that will rust. 

So, stainless steel they shall be.  1/4" x 1".  First I cut the brackets to length on my bandsaw.



It'll cut stainless, it's just slow.  Don't be in a hurry.  My cuts look nice, but the stainless steel strap stock I got had fairly ugly sheared edges on the sides.

This is what a factory edge looked like.



(That's the factory sides, not my cuts, I hasten to say.)

I wasn't happy with that.  I've got a knife grinder, though - 2x72 vertical belt sander, it's handy for a lot of things.



These brackets are not wholly unlike a knife blank.  (grin)

After a bit of grinding cleanup, I got surfaces I'm a lot happier with.



Once I had the blanks looking good enough, it's time for layout and marking. 

On paper, the design for these brackets looks like I'm drunk.  They've got to center up in 3/4" plywood, so the lowest hole is 3/8" up... then you go another 11" up for the DMD monitor and the overhang on the bottom of the monitor I'm using... and then you go 100mm further up for the VESA spacing...  the VESA square is 100mm wide, too, but an 80mm fan has to nest between these, so the holes are 10mm in from the edge on both sides...  and so on, and so forth, it continues in an unholy marriage of inches and millimeters.

I tend to do my layout with dykem, and scribing lines into it with calipers. 



Especially with stainless, if you want the drill bit to stay anywhere in the same zip code to your layout marks, you'd best center punch them.



Then, you just... drill... the stainless. 

This is left as an exercise for the reader, right?   :D



Took me a couple cheap drill bits to get my technique dialled in, I admit.  It's not intuitive - you can't advance slowly into it, or it work hardens up past the hardness of a cheap drill bit, and you're done.  You have to jump on the feed rate hard - but you can't keep doing that for long, or the chip gets hot enough to weld onto the bit, and then it gets ugly fast.  So I found it to work best as extremely aggressive peck drilling - attack the vertical feed, then get right back off it a quarter second later, clear the chip, re-oil it, and repeat.

It was a fight, I admit.  Stainless truly is the devil's metal.  But once I got the feel for it, I did the last 7 holes on the same drill bit, so it really is just a technique thing I think.



So:  Two backglass monitor brackets!



Next up, giving them a home.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #98 on: December 03, 2018, 02:28:07 am »
These brackets hang the monitor from the roof, but they also locate on the perforated floor.  The floor is the critical reference dimension, so I built it backward.

I also found a loose freestanding 100x100mm VESA mounting plate that I could bolt both brackets to, to give me some faith in alignment that after I built them into the backbox frame, a monitor would still attach correctly to them.   ;)

So, working up from the floor - the brackets attach to the floor.




The side panels of the backbox attach to the roof panel...


 

And then the resulting arch attaches into the floor and monitor brackets.  This locates where the bracket holes line up onto the back of the roof panel. 



This shows the skeletal frame of the backbox while empty, when the hatch is not present to form the aft wall. 

I'm pretty much hanging the weight of the monitor off four screws through 3/4" plywood here, so I wanted all the engagement on them that I could get.  I didn't want to lose the strength that the tapered tip of a wood screw would have given up, so I went with over-length screws on purpose.



Since this is all going to be getting a lot of bodywork before paint anyway, I trimmed the excess screw length with a cutoff wheel and dressed them flat.



Little uglification going on around them, getting them flush - but I think I can fill that before the primer.  I feel a little better about them knowing I've got all 3/4" of threads in there that I could possibly get.



The exciting part:  take the 100mmx100mm VESA square out, and install the monitor.  Does it fit?



Does it ever. 



And a great sigh of relief was heard.  This shows a lot of the interior structure going on here, some of which makes sense now, and some of which will probably make more sense as the project goes on.

Still to be added, the speaker mounts below the backglass... and a ton of bodywork.


In closing, here's the front view so far - I'm using a 16:10 instead of a 16:9, due to a nonexistence of 29" class 4:3s... and I think I've maybe got a pleasing aspect ratio going on the backbox as a whole - at least, this doesn't look wrong to me, where some vpins do.




So, that was my weekend and this is my backbox.  I'm exhausted and physically sore, but, I'm happy with it.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 03:25:23 am by Laythe »

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #99 on: December 03, 2018, 08:15:20 am »
Great work - I'm enjoying your work   :applaud:

I've never played a video pinball machine..  I have no idea what its like. 
Now I want to try one :)
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #100 on: December 03, 2018, 08:21:46 am »
 :applaud:
lookin' good.

It is always satisfying when your pile of parts starts to look like something.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #101 on: December 03, 2018, 10:18:42 am »
That is an engineering feat.  All I did was screw some 2x4 scrap together to be a pinball table ....pinball table :p

This is a great project to watch and I'm glad you're being so detailed with the build. Are you planning to add solenoids and the like inside the pinbody? It honestly makes all the difference in the world AND you should have a lot more space inside than I did.
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #102 on: December 04, 2018, 03:16:28 am »
This is a great project to watch and I'm glad you're being so detailed with the build.

Oh, thanks!  I wasn't sure if I was being too boringly pedantic and posting too often - I'll keep on at this level of documentation.

Are you planning to add solenoids and the like inside the pinbody? It honestly makes all the difference in the world AND you should have a lot more space inside than I did.

I hope to.  There are places in the cabinet I could shoehorn them in.  I haven't played with that part of the software yet whatsoever -  it will depend mainly on whether I get sufficient control over the toys in software.  Because I'm planning on using a lot of the light outputs on the Ultimate I/O to drive the actuators to transform the machine between vpin and driving cabinet, I absolutely need 100% certainty that no errant pinball toy feedback signals get mapped to ANY of the U I/O outputs, or in the words of Egon, it would be Bad.

I'd love some advice on that side of things.  (Possibly useful info, I am only running VPX.)  Is there a solenoid control board and software to run it that you'd suggest, that won't cross-talk to the Ultimate I/O at all?

(Also, I don't plan on making Shapeshifter tilt/nudge capable.  It's just going to weigh too much, and I don't really want anyone trying to toss it around.)


« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 03:37:23 am by Laythe »

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #103 on: December 04, 2018, 11:52:38 pm »
Oops, I see you specified the board in your thread; sainsmart USB relays.  One stupid question retracted, one remaining!  :)

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #104 on: December 05, 2018, 07:11:43 am »
If I were you, I'd have separate controls for the pin, tahts both for inputs and outputs. Check out the pinscape board, it'll what I'll be using for ginger 3.0
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #105 on: December 06, 2018, 12:18:11 am »
I've been doing some bodywork on the backbox, now that it's constructed.



Filled in the various screw holes, working on flattening the plywood grain out now - I've got a little primer on parts of it, so I can see better what's still not flat.



Have to admit, I am really looking forward to getting to try out the excessively red paint that's going to go on parts of this section after the surface is adequate.   :)

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #106 on: December 17, 2018, 04:54:35 am »
Been working on the backbox.

Did a lot of bodywork on it to cover up the screwholes, blend the corners.  Filler, sanding, primer, sanding, repeat.  You know the drill.

Painted everything that needed to be black, black, first.  I figure the slurry of wetsanding paint, red is going to clean off of black much better than black will clean off of red.  I avoided putting any black paint anywhere red will need to go later for the most part, so that I don't have to try to overlap red over black as I expect that'd be a pain.

Here's the backbox, primed and with black interior paint.



I wanted to visualize how everything is going to look fitted into it.  Figured it would also help explain the thing.  So:



Here's the fit of the main backglass monitor, the DMD monitor, and one of the speakers.  The remainder of the DMD monitor will be hidden inside the neck of the back cabinet I was working on previously.  (Hiding most of monitors is, apparently, my thing.)

If you look at it square on from a player's-eye view, you get something like this:



I may make a thin black bezel piece that goes over all this, with speaker grills and rectangular holes for the screens.  The surfaces are close enough to flush to allow for that.

The main thing I was sweating in this region back in the design phase was wanting it to have the right looking proportions - not to tall, not too much blank space.  The realities of the hardware going into it drove some compromises, but this result looks OK to me.  You can see from this why there's so little meat left in my speaker mount.

The big news, though, is that I've finally hit a big milestone I've been looking forward to for months now.

I got to use the colored paint.

Shapeshifter attempts to hide its monstrous unholy mutations as a vpin, by drawing the eye to the pinball parts that have pinball lines.  To achieve that, I wanted the most striking color I could get for those pinball table looking parts. 

It's still the first few coats and far from perfect yet, but here's what I've got.



It is so very excessively gratuitously red.





I'm really excited to see how this red polishes up, once I've got a thick enough coat of it on to allow for doing that.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #107 on: December 20, 2018, 02:44:08 am »
Day 153. 

There is nothing but the endless task of painting.  Priming.  Sanding.  Painting.   

I have always been painting.  I will always be painting.  I am become sisyphus with a paint roller. 

My mantra has become, "Oh.  Well.  I guess I can still fix that in the next step."

I'd post photos, but honestly, they'd look about the same as the last ones. 

If I get out of this groundhog day time loop, I'm pretty sure this will all eventually turn out pretty cool, but in the meanwhile wow this thing's fiddly.

Just had to go for a two tone paint scheme on complex shaped parts, while painting the interior too, didn't I.  At least, I think I vaguely remember some distant previous incarnation of myself deciding that...  that guy is a jerk.  :)


This is of course all good-natured grousing - I'm sticking with it, and it's coming along.

Slowly.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #108 on: December 26, 2018, 09:13:31 pm »
I jumped ahead a bit in the process to get the red and black on the backbox because I needed to see PROGRESS.  But, that was getting ahead of myself, and it causes me inefficient use of disposable rollers and brushes to have things in different stages like that.  So I've got more slogging to do.

Blah blah blah lots of bodywork again.   :blah:


Unfortunately, fixing defects in a matte grey surface is hard to photograph.  I'm sure the defects will show glaringly when it comes down to the final polish of the gloss paint, by which time it will be too late to do much about them. But for now it's hard to accurately document this part of the project.

Sometimes I get a really obvious case, like this plywood manufacturing defect:



This is a spot on the inside top edge of the big rear access hatch, where the plywood making machine just smashed a bunch of crap together and left a mangled wreck. There's no screwhead there, that's just a roughly circular bit of wood.  (Surprisingly, this one wasn't too much of a fight to fix.)


Much more often, though, this is representative of what I end up with.



This is on a board that has already been filled, sanded, primed, sanded, filled, and sanded.  That mostly-horizontal line above the speaker hole - that's not a scratch, that's a ridge, buckled up in the top surface ply of the plywood.

I primed the board after this photo, sanded it down, and a bare wooden line shows through. Primed over it, sanded, and that wooden line showed up AGAIN. Primed, sanded, yep, there it is, bare wood above the contour.  Clearly, paving it and sanding the whole thing wasn't getting me anywhere.

So, I tried sanding just the line itself, using the edge and corners of folded-over sandpaper... for about an hour. Primed it, looked great. Sanded it.  Wooden line. Still a ridge.

So I said some strong words of power.

Alright, four coats of primer and sanding on this board and I've still got the defect?  FINE.  Needle file.



I defy this sucker to stick through the paint now!  After all, I know how to fix gouges, that's just filler.

Ha ha ha ha.  So I filled it, primed it, sanded it, and it was still a dip below contour.  So much for "I know how to fix gouges", I guess.  It only took me three more passes of palette knifing primer into the gap and sanding everything down to hit flush.



So this is how I am finding bodywork to go - an awful lot of work, for a very small return, to fix something that looks like it should have been easy to fix. If I don't fix it, it'll show through and look like I didn't care about the build and then bother me forever.  It yields to effort, but only very slowly, and it's very gratifying, but only in retrospect.

Stepping back, here's the whole panel.



This is a rather visible portion of the machine. This will be the wall to your left when you are in driving / simpit mode, pretty much smack dab at eye level.  The ridge, and the gouge, are at least gone. For now, maybe.  I won't be surprised if they reappear in the color coat.

(Also, notice that scar where the freehand dremel burr got away from me at the corner of the speaker is now gone.)



Here's the front of that piece, as primed and prepped.



An interesting detail here is the radius to blend into the lockdown bar at the top. I need it square where it fits into the leg, but the top needs a bit of radius to flow into the lockdown assembly - so the corner is kind of a tall conic section to patch between them.


The lower rear cabinet is also getting attention.



I've done a lot of work on the cheeks that sit atop the rear legs below the neck, that surface was initially pure dog's breakfast. Now it's all the way up to kind of probably maybe okay.

I think all of these surfaces are now good enough to proceed.  I am very much looking forward to getting a color coat going on these, to catch them up with where the backbox is!

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #109 on: January 08, 2019, 05:29:21 am »
Short update.

When we last left the pedal frame on the driving sim side, it looked about like this:



So, I filled it.



And I sanded it.



And primed it, and painted it.

(The driving/flightsim/starfighter/mechwarrior parts of this cabinet are all going to be the same gunmetal grey that the accent panels of Mimic are, while the pinball parts above are extremely red, and the connective structure is gloss black.  I think this will work out visually, and help tie the two machines together thematically... but, we'll find out!)



This detour brought to you in part by my increasing need to populate some parts with stuff, to break up the endless cabinetry and bodywork I'm otherwise facing.  It feels like progress when I get to mount stuff.

So, pedals installed again, and wires routed with strain reliefs -




Thus producing the completed painted pedal subassembly - which I think I won't actually have to take apart again - knock on plywood.



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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #110 on: January 08, 2019, 05:37:04 am »
Man that's a lot of work. Kudos for the dedication. It is definitely paying off. :cheers:

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #111 on: January 08, 2019, 08:33:37 am »
Looking good Laythe, keep it up.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #112 on: January 08, 2019, 08:39:28 am »
This is my favorite thread to follow. Color scheme sounds great and if you want art printed I'll get Ken to hook you up.
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #113 on: January 08, 2019, 08:46:48 am »
This OND-level dedication. Really nice!

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #114 on: January 12, 2019, 08:48:55 pm »
Heh, thanks Mike, Arroyo, barrymossel and Malenko.  Appreciated!  (And glad to know the thread's worth reading and updating.)

I did a little body work on, then primed, the rear hatch panel / back cabinet spine.



To verify that things still fit together with primer and some of the paint, and to transfer the positions of the stripes between parts, I did another test assembly.



These test assemblies also serve as integration checks for me - this is the first time the whole backbox mounted to the back cabinet with the rear hatch installed, and that took quite a bit of sanding and adjusting to make work.  I also like keeping pictures like this around to look at while I've just got a bunch of subassemblies in front of me, to reassure myself this can yet become A Thing. 

But, next on my list is more paint.  There are three panels here - the front of the back cabinet, the front of the front cabinet, and the back of the front cabinet, that all get a tricksy two-tone horizontal stripe division out in the middle of the panel dividing red above black, and while I'm rolling black paint this time I'll also be doing the back hatch.

The back hatch is relatively easy, and since this face will be inside the cabinet and invisible in the end, I'm considering just painting it, I'm not doing the full on sand and polish to be sufficient - I've got plenty to sand and polish that will matter a lot more elsewhere.



(Well, okay, maybe I will sand it a bit, that looks awfully ragged...)

The main thing I've been working on, though, is the two tone paint.  I figure to do the black first, because the slurry of wet sanding red paint is more likely to come off the black than the black slurry is off the red, I think.  I made the terrible discovery on a prior part that masking tape will in fact lift my primer - so I don't dare use it for this line. 

So... I'm freehanding it.  Aw yeah.  Slapped a yardstick up, traced a pencil line, painting up to it, freehand with a disposable sponge brush, out in the middle of nowhere.



Good enough!

It's... decidedly tricky to polish up to an edge like this, and not over.  I'm not 100% sure that this is going to work when I've got live red and live black paint abutting each other and I'm trying to polish them both, but at absolute worst, if it all goes south I'll just stick pinstripe tape over the seam and pretend like I meant to do that.

I've got a fifth coat of black on the three tricky panels right now, and once it's good and cured, I'll come back and give it the sand and polish treatment because I think it's thick and flat enough now.  Black Mirror, here I come.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #115 on: January 13, 2019, 07:06:40 am »
The work you've done on the pedals is very nice.  I particularly like the softened edges on the woodwork and your colour choices.  I know what you mean by needing a "detour" now and then. Painting and surface prep are a ruddy bore.  No one gets too excited when you're patching with filler or sanding back for the umpteenth time and yet all that hard work is what makes the real difference in your project.  I have a few projects on the go so I can get some diversion and then and just keep going with my prioritised one.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #116 on: January 17, 2019, 02:52:06 am »
Thanks, Ond!

I finished sanding the first panel - got it to about here, at 400 grit wet.



This is the best panel I've done yet - I've got a defect where I burned through the color coat at the lower left corner, but it's in an area that will be covered by the control panel rail assembly, so I'm okay with that.

Gave it a polish.



It's getting there, I've still got a lot of swirl scratches to buff out, but if I hold my hand up next to it...



Polishing up to the line and not over seems possible at this stage, when it's primer above the edge - managed not to smear a lot of black onto the grey primer, and that gives me hope.

Next up, the other two panels get this level of sand and polish, and then as a long term goal I get to paint the red down to these lines.  The grand challenge will be to see if I can get a two tone panel where both sides are polished like this up to the seam.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #117 on: January 22, 2019, 04:02:59 am »
Now that the black is decent, it's finally time for RED.

Application is in progress, and I'm chuffed at the results, though I have a long way to go adding coats before I can even begin to sand in earnest.



The dividing lines have now been freehanded 6 times - black up to the line 4x, and red down to the line 2x, with at least two more to go.

Here's the four pieces with fiddly red+black combinations all sitting in my shop curing:



I am really liking this red-over-black, seeing them together and on the panels.  It struck me as kind of hauntingly familiar, and then I figured it out - I think I'm painting this thing like a Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer.  No wonder it looks good. 

I wanted to see how the black lower - red upper - black bezel - yellow button(s) - black text combo looked, so I mocked up one of the buttons into the front panel to give it a look.



I've got a thousand miles of sanding and painting red and sanding it down still in front of me, but at the moment - I'm feeling good about it all. 

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #118 on: January 22, 2019, 08:06:25 am »
I like the colors.

There was a Hard Drivin' for sale near me this week. It took a lot of discipline for me not to pick it up.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #119 on: January 23, 2019, 06:46:45 pm »
Heh! 

Now that you mention it, the full size Hard Drivin' cabs were red over black, too...