Hi everyone, Davey here. I’m an Aussie mod maker and pinball freak who now lives in London UK, and has to deal with people asking me why the hell I moved here at least once a week. Hopefully some of you will be familiar with some of my previous work, like the Godzilla Tokyo Neon and Lolly UFO mods, and the soon to be released Scooby Doo Phantom Lanterns mod. This has been the most exciting year for us, and I can’t stress enough how much that has been down to the love and support I receive from the peeps on Pinside. Love and support from Pinside you say? Who is this guy and why is he talking crazy!
For anyone following along in the Tokyo Neon thread, you’ll know that I’ve been dropping hints for a while now that we were going to look at expanding the Neon idea to the 3 back buildings in Godzilla as well. You know the ones - flat plastic, totally intact despite being in the warpath of a rampaging Kaiju. Those ones.
As lame as these building are, there’s actually some cool ideas to harvest here. Number one, its a noodle bar. Everyone love noodles! That’s like, common knowledge. Number two… its a bar! Bars are even better than noodles! Three, it has a nifty King Ghidorah neon! Sure, it doesn’t light up, but there’s definitely a lot we can do with this.
When we initially floated the building idea in the thread, one of the concerns raised was whether we’d be able to pull off something that looked ‘organic’. The Tokyo Neon sign mod is a fairly simple structure really, which suits that style of sign (in my opinion) but wasn’t going to translate well to a building that needed to look more like it was part of an actual city - and a destroyed one at that.
With that in mind, we identified a few key features we wanted:
- Realistic looking building, hand painted and detailed
- Building should look like its just been trashed by Godzilla (of course!)
- The representations of the noodle bar, both in the existing building and on the Premium translite, should be used as inspiration
- Tokyo Neon style should be used to match existing sign mod
- As many cool animated features as we could cram into the space
Here are come of the early 3D designs:
Hopefully you can see where this is going!
Cut the chit chat. Show me the final version!
In the last few weeks, we’ve made huge progress, both in terms of the final resin sculpt, the painting, fit, and the code. I couldn’t be happier with where things are at right now.
Cue pics and vids!
Light that sucker up!
$$$$ https://www.youtube.com/embed/VS9s3uz0GM0 $$$$
Ok fine it looks good. What about in the game tho? I bet it sucks in game.
You bet wrong!
$$$$ https://www.youtube.com/embed/Aj6tN5sZJ5o $$$$
There’s a lot going on here. What’s the feature list?
- Silicone moulded and hand painted cast resin building sculpt
- 3D printed frame and sign (same material as Tokyo Neon)
- Animated King Ghidorah neon
- Animated ‘Ramen’ neon (with noodles!)
- Animated ‘Electrical spark’
- Animated windows (x2)
- Animated neon sign border
- Flashing detection (for a nicer fading sign flash), and differentiation between ‘flashing’ and ‘always on’ sign modes.
- 3 x circuit boards
- 8 x independently controlled LED channels
- All colours and patterns 100% configurable over WiFi
- 3 x sign acrylics to choose from (red, blue, black)
- Water slide ‘Noodle Monster’ decal
- Flasher on/off detection for smart fading during game dimming sequences
All the patterns, colours, brightnesses etc are all infinitely configurable over WiFi, as anyone who has delved into one of my Lolly products knows. Some of the different colour configs are demoed in the video, but honestly, the only limit is your imagination. Configs can be imported and exported easily too so if someone creates something amazing, you can pull it into your setup easily (and revert).
Code updates all happen over the wire too, so you can benefit from the constantly evolving Lolly ecosystem without having to do much other than pressing some buttons in your browser - the way it should be.
Wait a minute… I don’t speak Japanese!
Who does! The neon lettering says “Ramen” and the sign lettering says “house” (bash building), “Battle” (light battle) and “Bridge” (bridge out).
Hold your horses - I’m super picky and don’t like the sign graphic… again!
Aha! We gotcha. There’s 3 to choose from (again!)
The blue one I’m not massively happy with, so will probably change on the production version. The red/yellow one looks dope though. The black is included for people who want maximum readability.
Erm.. I can spot some issues!
There’s always one isn’t there, but I’m glad you brought this up! What we’re looking at is a production prototype. There are a bunch of things that still need be addressed before we go live:
- The Ramen noodle ‘bowl’ animation isn’t quite working yet. The bowl to the right of the Japanese lettering is supposed to animate so it looks like noodles are being pulled out of a bowl, but it doesn’t work quite right yet. But it will - and when it does, it’ll be *glorious*.
- The King Ghidorah neon contrast needs work. Because this is essentially one flat resin, it’s hard to see the definition of the Ghidorah character. We’re experimenting with contrast paints (which work well) or potentially a back decal that acts as a baffle. We’ll get there.
- The roof of the building will be a lot flatter in the production mod. The one I’ve demoed here has some nice destruction on the roof. While this looks great out of game, it can’t be seen when installed, and causes fit issues. We’re going to simplify that section.
- The colours on the building need to be brighter. We’re on it. The bricks will be redder and the grey plaster will be slightly bluer, to be a better match to the existing colours in the game.
- The waterslide ‘Noodle Monster’ decal is a little big. The supplier got the size wrong :-)
- In some of the shots you may see the window LED strip, or the wires. Don’t worry - it won’t be visible on the production version.
Goddamn it, I’m in. Name your price, hustler!
I hope I’ve been able to get across how much more we have going on in this one. It’s more expensive to produce and harder to assemble than Tokyo Neon, so the price is more also - £239 plus p&p - which at current conversion is $287 USD. This is $67 more than Tokyo Neon, which to be honest, I’m really happy about considering how much more we have going on here. I really hope you agree.
A little size comparison between the two:
(Not quite to scale, I was holding the building in front a bit)
You may be living across the pond in London England - but I like the cut of your jib!
Your jib is also very nice. You must tell me who your jib supplier is.
Tell me when I can get this marvellous thing and I’ll send you a selection of my very best jibs!
Here’s our current build plan… as best as I can predict!
Jan/Feb - Lolly UFO build round 1 (#0-#320)
Mar - Tokyo Neon March run (#868-#1223)
Apr - Noodle Bar *or* Phantom Lanterns (or both!)
So, earliest would be April ‘23, or possibly a month or so after that. I’ll keep everyone updated as much as possible as when the actual start date will be.
That’s about it! If you want in, head on over to the product page or the pinside thread and register your interest.