Monday, February 11, 2013

Revisited Illustration 4: Pop Bumper

There's a funny story behind this pop bumper illustration (from DTZ issue 1) that I think is really indicative of how oblivious I used to be about pinball.  Before I start yabbering away about said illustration, here it is:

Ok, so here's what we have going on: the pinball hits the bottom lip of the pinball machine.  This lip depresses, like a giant button, sends a signal to the coil control board to activate the the solenoid.  The solenoid is charged and becomes magnetized, driving the central piston down, this pulls the top ring of the pop bumper down, hitting the ball away.  This all happens almost instantaneously.

"So what's the big deal?" I hear you cry.  Well that IS how a pop bumper works, but when I drew this that IS NOT how I thought it worked.  Originally, I thought that the *metal* pinball would touch the top and bottom lips which I *thought* were made of metal.  I thought this would compete and electrical connection that would activate the pop bumper.  I tried to find the original art so that I could take a snapshot of it, but when I drew this, there was no arrow on the left illustration!  It was a couple more of those shocking-bolt-electricity-things.  My perception of pinball was so flawed!  In what universe would the Jon Chad Pop Bumper System (trademark) work!?!  Luckily, I caught myself before the illustration hit the layout of DTZ one, and I "corrected" the image in Photoshop.

I might be making something out of nothing, but I think it's interesting how simple a pinball machine is, and yet can be so hard to initially understand.  (Gets up on Novus box) I would LOVE to do an illustrated book where I describe the different simple machines that amalgamate to form a pinball machine!  I'm putting this out there, universe!  Make my dreams come TRUUUUUUUE!!

1 comment:

  1. It's even a little more subtle than this - the top ring is steel, which has a 0.7 coefficient of friction with the steel pinball. The table is around 0.2. So when the ring comes down, it pulls it forward, putting a lot of backspin on the ball. - Duffy Toler, former Sega Pinball engineer.