Star Trek LX-8: EPROM Labels

On Feb 15, 2023; ingo333 of Pinside released a bug fix update to the Williams Star Trek Pinball machine from 1993. You can download his rom patcher from: his proton drive for free. Included in the change list is the incorporation of the Lamp matrix patch to make it it more compatible with LEDs and this feature is controlled by an Feature Adjustment in the game’s settings. There are several other improvements including randomized shuttlecraft caves which are clearly documented in the STNG_LX8.pdf inside his archive.

In celebration of their work; I created a set of EPROM labels to cover the eprom window. I’ve decided to release the labels for free personal use. Enjoy!

Printed on 1×2.75″ mailing label stock. Compatible with Avery 5351.

To install the new rom;

  1. power off Pinball Machine.
  2. Unlock Backglass and place in a safe place to prevent breakage. Key for the lock should be in the coin door of your machine.
  3. Open service door and locate CPU board on left hand side. You shouldn’t need to remove speaker panel to install new rom.
  4. Remove AA batteries to drain game settings. The reason why is explained in Chapter 4 (Troubleshooting) of their manual.
  5. Using a chip puller; carefully remove the existing rom on the CPU board. Note the orientation of the existing rom. It should be with the notch facing the right hand side of the game. Set old rom aside incase you want to back out this upgrade.
  6. Carefully install the new LX-8 rom chip in the same orientation. The notch should face the right hand side of the game. Watch during installation to make sure no pins are bent as the rom is installed in the socket. The pins can bend under the package so best to do it with a flash light.
  7. Inspect newly installed rom to insure no pins are bent and that you didn’t offset during install.
  8. Re-install batteries. We’d suggest taking the time to install a fresh set so that you don’t have the batteries leak.
  9. Verify the notch orientation a final time.
  10. Once you’re sure it’s installed properly; power up the game. You should be greeted with a “Factory Reset” message.
  11. Open coin door and enter service mode using the buttons. You should see LX-8 displayed on the DMD.

    Adjust settings as desired based upon STTNG_LX8.pdf manual in the proton drive archive.
  12. Close service door, re-install backglass, and return the backglass lock to the coin door.

Monster Bash: Mummy Painting

This is part 2 of the Monster Bash figure painting series. For part 1; please see the painting of The Creature from Black Lagoon. In Part 2; I’m going to tackle The Mummy and his sarcophagus which reside above the lanes on the Monster Bash pinball machine. The mummy was chosen mainly because it can be fairly easily removed from the game with a single 1/4inch screw between his legs.

Like Part 1; we start with spraying the cream colored Mummy with some Adhesion promoter so that the air bush paint would more easily stick to the figure. Here’s a picture of the figure attached to some scrap acrylic material as we wait for the promoter to partially dry per the can’s instructions:

This also had quiet a bit of detail; just no paint. I set out to use only neutral tones on this piece adding some shadowing as needed.

I started by putting some Transparent Black in the “cracks” of the mummy as a background for the raised bandages:

The idea here was the bandages had “layers” so the ones in the back needed to be darker. In retrospect; I probably should have used something less black; maybe more grey… or maybe a custom mix of Sand and black. However, I didn’t figure this out until the end of the project. I may revisit this later.

I had applied the black with a paint brush. In fact this whole paint process would use airbrush paints applied with a paint brush; as it was just easier to work on the details. With the paint still wet; I used a toothbrush to aggressively work the black into every “crack” in the mummy’s casting:

I then used a dry paper towel to remove most of the black paint leaving mainly the cracks filled with paint:

I then thermally set the black paint with a heat gun on low.

Then using a paint brush; I added some pearlescent white as a highlight on the raised bandages:

I then used some thinned out transparent gray and airbrushed a light coating over the whole figure to knock down the aggressiveness of the new white highlights:

Again thermally setting the paint with a heat gun on low.

With the paint thermally set; I sprayed the mummy with matte acrylic clear coat and let it dry:

As I stated; he’s a little to dark for my tastes; so I may revisit his paintjob at a later date. Here’s a picture of him installed – sorry for the flash; it kinda washed him out:

A Mummy transformation wouldn’t be complete without some work on his sarcophagus. On Monster bash; this looks to be a vacuum formed piece of orange acrylic. I took this off by examining the assembly drawings in the manual. It became clear that I could get it off if I just removed the e-clips securing the lid to the solenoid. Take care here; as those e-clips are tiny and could easily be lost in top of the playfield. Once I had the lid removed; I cleaned the surface with some Naphtha to remove excess oil which may have been present from my handling of the piece. Once I had it clean; I used some blue painters tape to mask off the areas I didn’t want paint:

With the paint mask complete; I had decided earlier that the original artist was proably trying to duplicate part of King Tut’s sarcophagus with the unique shapes of the head and the heirogyphics on the side panels. This picture form is a pretty good guess:

With that picture as a guideline; I bought some metallic “Sapphire” blue acrylic paint from amazon and had it delivered. I haven’t seen the sarcophagus in real life; but figured that paint would probably at least be close enough for the game.

Unlike the Mummy himself; I didn’t want to risk “foggin” the orange acrylic with the Adhesion promoter; so I just liberally applied the paint using my latex gloved finger to work the paint into the groves of the acrylic:

Then using a wet paper towel; I cleaned up the surface as much as I could so the orange acrylic still showed thru on the high points:

I let it sit for about 2 or so hours before applying a second coat and repeating the process:

Letting the second coat dry for about 3 hours in front of a fan.

I then remove the blue painters’ tape and cleaned up the masking lines with light scraping pressure from an exacto knife:

If you are going to replicate this look; I do mean light pressure from an exacto knife as you do not want to scratch the surface of the acrylic. Here’s the sarcophagus lid re-installed over the mummy in the game:

With that the Mummy has completed his transformation; short of a lighter color-scheme revisit.

Part 3 of this series has not begun. I’m still trying to decide which of the remaining monsters is easiest to remove. I’m guessing the Bride of Frankenstein might be the next easiest… but I’m not sure how her assembly is put together. I somewhat hopeful that I just remove the screw on top of her head and then her head comes off the pogo stick – then maybe her body will just slip over the stick. Not sure.

WMS Monster Bash: Creature Painting

Earlier in the month; I purchased a great condition 1998 Williams Monster Bash pinball machine from a local collector. This machine was restored in that it had a new Playfield and new set of decals but it was still an original machine (not a remake). Everything looked pretty good except it had the original unmodified set of figures for the Universal “Classic” monsters. There are some fellow pinball vendors which offer to paint these classic figurines as a set for north of $140. I am not one to shy away from attempting to do this myself; and this was one of those situations. Also; I didn’t really want to leave my machine in pieces and parts for that long.

I decided to take a stab at the Creature from the Black Lagoon since he was relatively easy to remove from under the PF. The original figure is really pretty nicely detailed; it just lacks a finished look. This creature originated in a 1954 as black-and-white film so the only real “color” representation is the Theatrical release poster from that movie. One could say that there was a modern film release in 2017 but I haven’t seen it… nor have I any real desire to look for images of this modernized monster. Using some vague recollection of the movie poster (before my time); and probably some influence from pictures seen of fellow pinball vendors; I set about painting my figure. In my minds eye; I wanted him to be green with a yellow chest outside of that; I just let the piece “speak” to me as I worked on it.

The first step I decided to do was to spray my figure with some Adhesion promoter so that the air bush paint would more easily stick to the figure. Here’s a picture of the figure attached to some scrap acrylic material as we wait for the promoter to partially dry per the can’s instructions:

While the promoter was getting ready; I custom mixed a light yellow color that I wanted to use for the chest. I mixed some transparent yellow with some pearlescent white and some Airbrush thinning reducer. I sprayed the chest area, face and hands:

I then mixed green for the body. When I painted my Romulan Bird of Prey for my STNG pinball machine; Michaels had some pearl green on clearance for $1.77. I mixed it with the reducer and sprayed the rest of the figure. I had forgotten the thermally set the yellow prior to applying the green so it wiped away when I got a little aggressive with the green:

This time I used a heat gun on low to thermally set the green and remaining yellow before moving on to the next color.

I resprayed the yellow areas and thermally set the color:

I used some Transparent Black I had on hand to fill (a small paint brush) in the mouth and eye pupils on the face:

I then mixed the transparent black together, transparent green and some pearl green to get a very dark transparent green. This was then applied to the thighs and sides of the body:

Finally, I used a paint brush to apply a little more black to the area between the legs. Once heat cured; I sprayed the whole figure with clear matte acrylic to protect the model from scratches and dust when back in the machine:

Overall; I’m extremely happy with how this figure turned out. Took about 3ish hours with all the heat treatments. One of the disappointments: now the Creature doesn’t actually show up very well in game. I suspected painting it would mean it wouldn’t show up behind the green acrylic in the PF – This is probably a secondary reason for leaving it white. I’ll post a picture of it later once I put some green led strips under the PF to light him up better.

Part 2 of this series; Painting “The Mummy” should be available shortly.