In this article, Chris Poibug looks at one of the options available to Star Wars owners if their backglass looks like it's gone 10 rounds with Darth Vader.

All views are all IMHO etc etc and are based on a Star Wars Data East translite by Arcade Overlays that I recently received. Cost including delivery was $68 - $18 of which was postage which, in itself a bit strange as it was actually (according to the USPS label) $25. It took about two weeks, although they did send it quickly - no delay on their behalf. This may be the first problem to some - or a plus point for others.

See I was expecting it to come rolled up in a tube. Instead it was sent fully opened out, with paper around it and then cardboard. Quite a size as the original is about 570mm x 650mm!!!!!

No damage occurred - probably because of the cardboard - but at that size surely the chances of it being damaged increase significantly?

Your call I guess. I'm sure it could be sent in a tube,especially as it'll be cheaper for them.

Onto the actual translite itself which, because of how it was sent I was able to lay flat out without it rolling up on itself.

I looked at it and thought it looked a BIT dark. Compared it to how I recall the ones I'd seen looked and pics on the net. My existing one was a paper scan (no kidding). Only a minor point and it was way, way better than the one I had, so time to fit it onto the new glass I just had cut.This was, incidentally, £5.84 - although it had to be 4mm and not 3mm.

Fitted it in and then powered up. Wow - straight away one thing hit me.On SW translites I had seen before they always had "light leakage". Bad term but what I mean is, areas
where it is blatantly obvious there is a bulb behind it - instead of just giving off the nice general illumination feel on WMS/bally ones.

Here’s what I’m talking about on the original

So an improvement on the original-bonus,especially the bulb cover on Yoda - he has a mild tint now. See below for the repro translite picture - please forgive the camera flash on the “R”

Now powered up “the darkness” that had bothered me (NOT "I believe In A
Thing Called Love" but the translight!) had, for want of a better phrase, virtually
disappeared - it may be marginally darker.

The exploding flames on the ships looks great. Hans' blaster flame looks crap but so did the original so no loss there!

The "feel" of the translite is good too - it'll probably take a bit more abuse than the original!!

A small amount of excess ink visible on the bottom of Luke's cloak. I'm guessing this isn't on all SW ones - looks like spilt ink from when it was made - hence why I don't think it would be on all SW ones.

On the letters of Star Wars it's a blended bluey white colour on the original, which it is here, although close up it seems a LITTLE hazy/blurry. Difficult to describe, especially as the original effect is similar. Here is the repro on the left and original on the right

Also on the original, R2D2 has a LIGHT blue tinge on his right leg.

Here it's more like a graffiti artist has spray painted it on!! - it’s even darker in reality than it shows. See below:

This is the worst part of the translite. I think it would be noticeable even if you weren't knowledgeable of a SW translite. Doesn’t look quite like it does in real life in the photo.

But this is not really bad - I'm just pointing out the flaws. But at the end of the day it
probably will not sway your mind.

Certain people would never buy them as they are not original - even though they still have the DE logo and the copyright on.

Also, I guess, for some they could not buy them even if they were perfect, as their brain would keep telling it's not right.

So onto people like me, the kind who WOULD consider buying this - not the person always searching for better machines than the condition I already have. None of my machines are collector quality - like a lot of people's. They all have the odd scratch on the cabinet/backbox, and most have the odd bit of playfield wear.

In this instance it was a no brainer due to what my original was like but would I buy another one? Well they don't do STTNG which I need, but they do have a RS.For me if I can repair the 1" by 2" scratch which Isn't through the colour,only the white I'll
stick with the original,so long as it looks good. If not I'll go for another arcadeoverlay one. Although I noticed the copyright is missing from SOME the WMS/Bally ones - and that does bother me having a bit of the original missing.

On the repros, the copyright is missing from RS and AFM, but there on WW - go figure.

I tried a few contacts to get an original SW one and the only one I found was expensive-so £35 or so for this was well worth it. Would look great framed too.

Bottom line - very well done but, as always, original is better but a lot dearer. Someone else who bought a SW one thought it was great and they couldn't notice any difference. If you have a usual condition pin with translite "issues", go for it.

Chris Poibug,
The Yellow Hatted One.

Thanks to Andy Bilton for additional photography.

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