O U T D O O R
G A L L E R Y
Artwork by STUART WRIGHT, CPR Art Team
The FIRE playfield does warrant some production notes, as
it was one of the stranger playfields to tackle, for CPR to
Our first discovery was that this playfield has at least two
(maybe more) distinct versions - mostly defined by the art
the quickest identifier. Many FIRE playfields out
there are printed with black (or near-black) substituted for the
This is most apparent in the flipper/lanes areas (surrounding
the golden leaves), as well as the upper playfield areas heading
the orbit and right up the middle. Some playfields are a
dark dark brown - so dark it looks black... and others are true
With the undeniable theme of FIRE being based on brown
(just look at the cabinet and apron), we chose the Brown design
preferred version of the playfield. There were also
distinct differences in the upper right (top of shooter lane)
artwork, and we opted to
follow the design of the "group of 3" and "group of 2" switch
rollovers, rather than (5) individual openings.
Many of the factory FIRE playfields out there have the
burning buildings as turquiose-peach-blue,
but we opted for the much more
layout. We're not sure if the factory "blue" building is
simply color-shifted violet, or if it was truly
a gaffe in color mixing one of the runs. Regardless, we
feel the violet (three distinct building colors that are
different) is better.
On the physical design front, FIRE features two large
hidden thick plastic windows - permanently embedded into the
seamlessly ground down as part of the continuous wood surface -
so the artwork flawlessly covers over them without gap or
Unlike Haunted House or Black Hole, or any other playfield with
a routed window opening - these windows weren't installed as
something that is tweaked and leveled via little foam rests and
Allen-keys. These had to be inlaid like giant flushmount
and they had to be perfectly level with the wood surface to
match flatness. We found the design of the smaller FIRE
to be extremely poor (a rectangular window behind an
emblem-shaped piece of artwork) and thought it was ugly that
lights came on, you see a rectangular glow behind the logo.
We designed a custom-cut window that scaled exactly to the
size and shape of the FIRE logo, and now the logo
illuminates exactly in the shape it should.
Lastly, the FIRE playfield involved a strange hidden
under-layer (printed even underneath the white base) that we've
never performed before.
It acts similar to the lightblock layer on the back of a
backglass. An extra-opaque black enamel layer that
shapes/eliminates the light
from underneath insert graphics, the ladder shot logo, and of
course the burning building flames & windows. They also
used it for the
"secret multiplier windows" where 2X 3X 4X etc. are not revealed
until illuminated. We found that the Williams
blocking layer was quite weak, and when illuminated you could
still see the shapes of the insert(s) or embedded windows.
We printed using a super-opaque enamel, and our reproduction
lightblock layer is 2X to 3X lightfast, as compared to factory.
This makes the contrast of those playfield features much much
more impressive, and shaped as the designers intended.
We even added our own lightblock underlay to the "flaming
arrows" - so when they light up they are shaped as the artwork -
instead of the
factory look of "three sided arrows lighting up underneath
flame-shaped arrow artwork". Now those flame-shapes are
See bottom of Gallery for comparison photos.
REPRODUCTION (left) - brown design -vs- FACTORY
USED (right) - common "black" version
CLICK TO ENLARGE TO 20 MEGAPIXEL
A LOOK AT THE LIGHTBLOCK MASKING
The CPR reproduction preserves the intended lightblock
techniques as found on the Williams originals, with improvements
layer opacity. This playfield is backlit by the sun.
Note that the 2X 3X 4X etc. glow in their cream-colored windows,
but are hidden
when dark. Also note how there is no indication that there
is a large plastic window embedded in the wood. We made
opacity of our lightblocking layer was 2X to 3X darker than
Williams used. Thus only the intended areas of the
glow with light. Note the white window frames, walls,
roofs, etc do not glow whatsoever... they stay dark. As
Here is the factory masking/lightblock as found on
originals. The black is thin, usually cracked up, and not
Here is CPR's improved masking with our extra-opaque
enameling hidden behind the artwork. 2X to 3X as
opaque as factory.
Factory window behind the FIRE logo. Rectangular.
Gross. When lit, you see a rectangle behind your artwork
from the front.
CPR's custom window behind the FIRE logo. With
corrected masking to match. Now your logo will illuminate
in its exact shape,
with the glow ending exactly at the yellow/red border around the
logo artwork on the front.
Factory Original - FIRE logo lit from rear, using a
regular flashlight. Rectangular window is obvious.
Ugly artwork cropping.
CPR Reproduction - FIRE logo lit from rear, using a
regular flashlight. Custom shaped window by CPR.
Your logo glows perfectly.
END OF PHOTO GALLERY