Date: 16th September, 2022

After months of development and teaser images, Taiwan-based Homepin’s much-anticipated This is Spinal Tap game has debuted at the Pinfest show in Newcastle, Australia.

Pictures from the show were posted by Tony (‘Pinball_Syd’) on the Pinside thread about the game and are used with permission of Homepin head, Mike Kalinowski.

The games at Pinfest in Melbourne
The games at Pinfest in Newcastle

This is the first public reveal of the new title. Homepin had previously said that they would be relying on their distributors to publicise and promote the game. In this case, Australian distributor, Highway Games, were exhibiting the machines at the show.

The game's playfield
The game’s playfield

Several of the features in the game had already been announced or leaked by Homepin including the ‘exploding drummer’ and the ‘pod’ but this is the first time the whole playfield has been seen.

There are two stainless steel ramps on the left side of the game. The right-hand one has a lifter mechanism allowing shots to be made either up the ramp or underneath. The left ramp feeds, via a wireform, to the right inlane, while the right-hand ramp feeds to the left inlane when the ramp flap is down.

There are two ramps, with the right one having a lifting entrance
There are two ramps, with the right one having a lifting entrance

There are three pop bumpers which can fed either from the top rollover lanes, or from a direct flipper shot. Three drop targets in the centre are matched by three A-M-P standup targets on the lower right side.

The standup targets on the right
The standup targets on the right

Above these targets are two guitars, with the lower one being able to move when the targets are hit.

To increase illumination levels on the playfield, there are ‘Arena Lighting’ LED strips running down the inside of the cabinet, as you can see in the image above.

We know where that goes!
We know where that goes!

The guitar theme is replicated on the left side of the playfield where Derek Smalls’ double-neck bass is featured.

Derek Smalls' double-necked bass
Derek Smalls’ double-necked bass

The raised ‘pod’ mechanism is used to lock a ball which then has to be freed. The ball is fed by an upkicker on the main playfield level, and the pod opens to release it.

The pod ball lock
The pod ball lock
The pod mechanism
The pod mechanism

As you would expect, the “goes up to eleven” theme appears several times in the game’s artwork, and if front and centre in the middle of the playfield too.

That's one louder
It’s one louder

Rather than using rollover switches in the inlanes, outlanes and top rollover lanes, Homepin use opto switches to sense the ball by shining an infra-red beam which is reflected back to a receiver when the ball is present.

Likewise, the game’s spinners use magnetic Hall-Effect sensors to detect motion rather than a physical switch, leading to much smoother, lower-friction spins.

The backbox features a large 27″ Marshall amplifier-themed LCD panel as well as a traditional LED dot matrix display (DMD) flanked by illuminated speaker grilles. The LCD mostly shows clips from the movie, while the scoring and game-related information appears on the DMD.

The game's two displays
The game’s two displays

The game has an optional interactive topper which Mike from Homepin showed being boxed in the factory.

The interactive toppers for This is Spinal Tap
The interactive toppers for This is Spinal Tap

And this is how it looks, complete with animated jaw and illuminated eyes.

The game's optional topper
The game’s optional topper

Inside, the game is as neat and tidy as we would expect from Homepin, featuring both a switching power supply and a toroidal transformer for improved power handling. This is Spinal Tap also includes a shaker motor as standard.

Inside the game's cabinet
Inside the game’s cabinet

The computer board, stereo audio amplifier and driver boards are housed in the backbox, along with a knocker and, yes, a bell.

Inside the backbox
Inside the backbox

A flyer showing the playfield features has also been released. Here it is:

The flyer front
The flyer front

Exact pricing has yet to be announced by distributors, but is thought the game may be pitched at around the US$9,500 mark in the United States. We’ll update these details once firm prices have been announced.

The flyer's back
The flyer’s back

Many thanks to Tony for the pictures. We’ll have more from Homepin’s This is Spinal Tap game soon, so check back for the latest updates right here at Pinball News.

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