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Lamer Deluxe tm

Real or reproduction Mine Storm overlay?

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I recently got a really nice set of 16 Vectrex games with overlays and manuals (and an extra controller). It included the Mine Storm overlay as well, which was awesome, as I had been using one I printed and laminated myself for about twenty years.

 

Sadly, when I tried cleaning it with some lukewarm water and soap, only using my hands to gently rub it, some of the blue coloring flaked off and left a large clear spot near the center of it.

 

Instead of waiting another twenty years, I decided to immediately look for a replacement and found one at a retro store. I received it yesterday, but it is not the same as the one I had.

 

It is thicker, has a much more intense color, the white paint at the back is more opaque (and it doesn't completely reach one of the corners) and the cross hairs at the back are black instead of red. There's no mention of it being a reproduction on it anywhere, but one other difference is a number after the copyright text: 120001-0001

 

The resulting image is much better colored and really sharp (the old overlay has a lot of micro-scratches of course and this new one is in a really good state).

 

Now if this is a reproduction, it is incredibly well done and I am unable to find out who could have made it. I only found one small image where the overlay had a number and this lady just said she had found an overlay for her Vectrex, seemed to indicate an original one.

 

Another possibility would be that this is another (later) version of the original overlay. I live in the Netherlands, so our Vectrexes are later versions and my model doesn't buzz either for instance.

 

I haven't heard anything about different versions of original overlays, does anyone here know about that? Does anyone here know anything about the added number? Or who could have made this if it is a reproduction?

 

EDIT: Checking my other overlays I notice a variation in thickness and color intensity, white paint thickness as well. I have two Star Ship overlays and they have a number of differences (pause text on one and not the other, red instead of white text), this is very interesting.

Edited by Lamer Deluxe tm
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Until now, I haven't heard of any variations of copyright text on original Vectrex overlays. So my guess is that your Minestorm overlay is a repro due to the addition "120001-0001".

 

Long version:

It's very hard to say whether the Minestorm overlay that you have bought in the retro store is a reproduction or not. Most reproduction overlays are printed using an inkjet printer. Typically, inkjet-printed overlays have very small dots because inkjet printers mix colours by using base colours cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Those dots can be seen when looking closely. Silk-printed overlays are printed with the exact (premixed) colours (several layers of ink can be applied to mix colours, too, but in this mix you won't see any dots). There are silk-printed Vectrex repro overlays around; e.g. Vectrexmad (http://www.vectrex.co.uk) offers them. FAIK, Vectrexmad's Minestorm overlays have a small addition "Repro" to the copyright text. I guess in your case the creator of the repro overlay added "120001-0001".

 

 

 

Edited by hcmffm

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I was using a Mine Storm overlay I printed myself on a transparency overlay and had laminated. That one is much less clear the the real thing. This new one is the most clear and has no dot patterns.

 

I thought it was a reproduction as well, until I noticed the very obvious differences between the two Star Ship overlays (as well as the overlay and white paint thickness and color intensity differences between different overlays). Both of those Star Ship overlays are old, my first one twenty years old, bought from a collector, the other one was store bought in the eighties by the seller I bought the set from. I went there to pick up the set and the seller told me all about how he played his Vectrex a lot as a kid. I have no reason to believe his or my Star Ship overlays are reproductions.

 

Up to now I've only found an image of a similar Mine Storm overlay with the extra numbers owned by a lady in Sweden.

 

 

Edited by Lamer Deluxe tm

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On 9/29/2021 at 9:58 PM, Lamer Deluxe tm said:

... until I noticed the very obvious differences between the two Star Ship overlays ...

Interesting. Do the colours and the white paint of the two Star Ship overlays differ, only, or does the copyright text also differ?

 

EDIT: I just looked through all the overlay scans of Chris P. The copyright text of the Pole Position overlay says "*Pole PositionTM is created by Namco (c) 1982. General Consumer Electronics, Inc. 1983. All rights reserved. 120001-0021 ART REV A". So on some overlays they added the part number. "120001" is the prefix number for "overlay" and "0021" is the game number of Pole Position. This number can also be seen on the back of the Pole Position manual. MineStorm has game number "0001" - therefore it says "120001-0001" on your Minestorm overlay. So I'm pretty sure that your Minestorm overlay is an original despite the small difference in the copyright text.

Edited by hcmffm

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14 minutes ago, hcmffm said:

Interesting. Do the colours and the white paint of the two Star Ship overlays differ, only, or does the copyright text also differ?

 

EDIT: I just looked through all the overlay scans of Chris P. The copyright text of the Pole Position overlay says "*Pole PositionTM is created by Namco (c) 1982. General Consumer Electronics, Inc. 1983. All rights reserved. 120001-0021 ART REV A". So on some overlays they added the part number. "120001" is the prefix number for "overlay" and "0021" is the game number of Pole Position. This number can also be seen on the back of the Pole Position manual. MineStorm has game number "0001" - therefore it says "120001-0001" on your Minestorm overlay. So I'm pretty sure that your Minestorm overlay is an original despite the small difference in the copyright text.

Thanks for that information! Great to have confirmation that this is indeed an original overlay, it is a lot better quality than the one that got damaged.

 

As for the differences between the two Star Ship overlays:

 

The one with the pause button text compared to the other one:

The transparent blue is a lot less intense (it is covered in tiny scratches though)

The transparent yellow also, but that is a bit harder to see

It is slightly more thin

More opaque white paint at the back

The red of the round logo at the bottom left is opaque instead of transparent

The red of the corner brackets inside the yellow square at the center is also opaque instead of transparent

Both of these elements are opaque red, not made opaque by white paint at the back

'FIRE POWER' and 'SHIELD STRENGTH' texts are white instead of red.

On both overlays these texts don't quite line up with the white paint at the back

Blue of the Star Ship logo and overlay border is more of an azure blue than a deep blue

Copyright text is the same, but text is more clear at the front. Interestingly it says trademark of Paramount Pictures, even though these are called Star Ship instead of Star Trek.

The yellow square overlaps the blue for about 1mm all around, almost no overlap on the other overlay

The notch of the overlay is slightly larger

The slim white border doesn't align well with the blue border on the right

'PLAYER ONE' and 'PLAYER TWO' have a much thicker black border around the red to the bottom-left and a much thicker blue border to the left.

So the different layers don't line up as well on this version in general

 

And again both of these overlays are very old

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Thank you for your detail description of the differences of the two Star Ship overlays, Lamer Deluxe tm. From what I can see the differences that you describe are basically variations in silk printing and producing the overlays: Different colour tones, offset between colour layers, and more.

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6 minutes ago, hcmffm said:

Thank you for your detail description of the differences of the two Star Ship overlays, Lamer Deluxe tm. From what I can see the differences that you describe are basically variations in silk printing and producing the overlays: Different colour tones, offset between colour layers, and more.

Agreed. As well as completely different colors for some elements. I wonder if this is because of revision or maybe also different factories producing them.

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I've taken some of those older, thicker overlays that were extremely scratched but not creased and brought them back to a clearer vivid life by using this "As seen on TV" 20+ years old impulse buy, GS27.  I don't think they make it anymore but I would imagine there are other plastic polishes or scratch removers out there that would work as well.

GS27 Scratch remover.jpg

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46 minutes ago, XLurker said:

I've taken some of those older, thicker overlays that were extremely scratched but not creased and brought them back to a clearer vivid life by using this "As seen on TV" 20+ years old impulse buy, GS27.  I don't think they make it anymore but I would imagine there are other plastic polishes or scratch removers out there that would work as well.

GS27 Scratch remover.jpg

Thanks for the tip! I have used a plastic polish called Displex on CDs before. After how easily my Mine Storm overlay flaked I'm a bit scared of the same thing happening to my other overlays if I tried to polish them. But I could experiment on one that is extremely scratched. 

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