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.
As mentioned in my previous update, progress has been moving pretty smoothly so far on the Baywatch overhaul. Part of the reason for this is due to working on a few things at the same time. I had been waiting on a couple of parts to arrive for the flippers in the previous update, so started work on the apron area. That way I kept making progress and it ended up being completed around the same time. It doesn’t always work out that way, but I like to keep things moving forward as much as possible so the owner isn’t without their machine for too long. As a result, you’ll see some photos in this update which contain progress from the flippers and slingshots in the previous update 🙂 Anyway – this update is solely focused on the apron area. This includes the ball trough, ball serve, shooter, up kicker and ball save assemblies. There is one problem I need to look at too, which is the ball not being served to the shooter lane correctly. Often it takes 3+ attempts to get the ball into the shooter lane. The metal apron is in excellent condition, as are the decals. A few small scratches are present on the SEGA logo, but nothing worth worrying about. The old instruction card (in Italian) will be replaced by the time I’m done. Two very minor scratches on the metal (just to the right of the SEGA decal) will be touched up with a very small amount of satin black, so you’ll never see them.
Time for another progress update on the Whirlwind repair & service I’m currently carrying out. This time I’m looking at the apron and all the assemblies contained within. I managed to work through this area pretty quickly, which is why this update is so soon after the last one. I forgot to take a photo of the apron before starting, so the one shown below is from the day the machine was dropped off to me (you’ll notice the old flippers, rubber, etc which were taken care of in the last update). The apron itself is in really good condition. The paint is mostly unscratched and no rust showing or paint flaking. There is an old operator sticker that needs to come off on the left side and some old white sticker on the right which also needs to be removed. It’s a bit dirty, but with a clean, I think it’s going to come up really nice.
First target on my hit list for this update was the broken opto on the 3 bank drop target PCB. As mentioned in my previous update, the opto component had been ripped off the board. I had originally thought the whole drop target assembly needed to be removed from the machine to work on the PCB, but on closer inspection I found the board is attached to the drop target frame with a set of e-clips. Removing these allows you to slide the board off the back of the assembly – nice! Now that I was aware of this, I decided to push this up my priority list and repair it. A replacement opto was ordered so this issue could (hopefully) be resolved sooner than I expected.
Progress on Counterforce has been good over the last few weeks and the machine has served as an excellent introduction to the System 80 platform by Gottlieb. My attention is now turning towards the playfield and the various assemblies that make up the game. I like to start working from the bottom of the playfield and progress up to the top. It helps break the overall task down into a more manageable state and also allows me to test things as I go. So first up on the playfield will be the apron and ball serve assembly. The apron and shooter cover are in reasonable condition and won’t need much more than a clean. I have the alternative score and instruction cards that were unused and can go on once complete. The shooter rod has already been removed and rebuilt (included in my last update).