Free time & empty space. Who needs it? Well, I do.. but I enjoy working on pinball machines too, so those things have to wait. I didn’t get to enjoy 5 minutes of free space this time before the next game arrived for me to work on. In fact, I had a small shuffle around to create some extra space for this additional machine to work on. The freshly cleared area was instantly filled with a beautiful Apollo 13 from SEGA. I say beautiful because the condition is actually really good, with only a few small spots that need addressing. It’s Australian delivered and spent most of it’s life in a home. The game was released towards the end of 1995 and has so many balls (13) it needs two troughs to store them all. You’re up for a slab of beer every time you need to replace the set. That’s something to think about 😉 The game arrives with one known issue (sound not working), which will be my first item to address before I begin working my way through the game like I normally do. Although the game is reasonably clean on top, it looks like it hasn’t been given a good service in a long time (if ever) as there is a nice build up of black coil dust across all the assemblies below the playfield. I’ll be going through cleaning each one and replacing parts where necessary.
With Funhouse completed and back to the owner, I was able to enjoy the vacant space it left for a matter of minutes before it was filled with the next machine on the list. The next game to receive a rebuild is a Dr Who. Released by Bally in 1992, with over 7700 machines built – it’s a great theme and a really fun game to play. In its current state, the game is basically unplayable due to a few issues which I’d like to get sorted first. Overall condition (once you see past the dust) is actually really nice. Cabinet is solid (some fade, but minimal damage) and the playfield is really decent. It’s going to clean up nicely and I’m excited to test it once complete!
Welcome to a new Repair & Service log series. I’m still working away on machines for other people, but it feels good to also be making time to work on a game of my own again. This time I’ll be going through a Bride of Pinbot, which has the 2.0 upgrade kit from Dutch Pinball installed. Originally released by Williams in early 1991 and over 8000 machines made, it’s a game I’ve been wanting to own for awhile. The kit from Dutch Pinball was released in late 2014 and updates the machine to a colour display with an entirely new rule set. It also allows you to switch to the original game rule set too – which basically means it’s two games in one. It runs the original game under emulation though and as a result there is some sound quality issues on a couple of the original speech sounds. I’m told this is due to the quality of the original speech clips being played out of the updated sound system. All up though both games are a hell of a lot of fun to play. I plan to do my usual clean and rebuild of the game, with additional plans in the future for a playfield swap (game came with a clear coated playfield) and new cabinet decals (to be purchased later). For now I’m keen to tackle it in small doses to keep the game in a playable state as much as possible.
My recent pinball updates have been infrequent, which isn’t common for me as I like to keep on top of them. Usually my updates sit around 1 -2 weeks behind my actual progress. The Sopranos machines have been coming along well and I have plenty of content to get more posts up – I’ve just been a little slack in writing. Not slack on the actually physical side though and have been going non stop on doing various pinball things for people. To help get back into the swing of regular updates again, I’ve decided to start tracking the next machine in the queue since it’s so fresh in my mind. This next machine I’m working on is one I’m extremely excited about. This time I’ll be doing a repair & service on a “Funhouse” from Williams pinball. Released at the end of 1990 and over 10,000 units made, it’s a game I’ve been really looking forward to working on since the owner mentioned it to me a few months back. As with a number of my previous write ups, this isn’t a fancy restoration, nor a basic service as it sits somewhere in between. I’ll be working my way through each assembly and playfield part on the machine, cleaning and repairing as I go. Various things will get a face lift while staying within a budget. The game is quite dirty (although I have seen much worse) but is in a mostly working state.
After finishing work on Baywatch recently and sending the machine on its way back home to the owner, it was time to advance to the next game in the queue. Only this time it’s not one, but two machines, making this a double repair & service log for The Sopranos. I have to admit – I’ve never watched the show and haven’t really been interested in it. But the game looks like it’s got some fun shots and lots of things to do during play. The owner of these machines will be keeping one (the machine on the right) and the other will be sold once my work on it is complete. Working on two of the same game at the same time makes sense as it saves the owner money in parts postage and also some time as I can do the same task on both machines together. Similar to my other threads, this isn’t a restore, but the game will be pulled apart, cleaned, serviced and rebuilt. Broken and worn parts will be replaced. Missing parts will be sourced where possible and anything interesting will be pointed out. The games arrived to me mostly working, with only a few minor faults to address before I get stuck in to them. They are in reasonably good condition (mainly dirty) – so should come up looking great for the owner once done.