With work coming to a close on Corvette, it was time to start giving some attention to the next machine in the queue. Next up is a Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The game was originally released back in 1993, with over 6800 machines made. This one has some great shots on it and plenty to do. I’ll be giving the game a full rebuild, with all assemblies to be removed, cleaned and worn parts replaced. All playfield parts will be removed, cleaned and many new parts added also. There are some additional presentation things to do on the game too, so this one is going to keep me busy. Time to get started!
Time to dig deeper into the Star Trek overhaul and look at the middle playfield section. This area is home to two banks of drop targets, a VUK and also a swinging target that moves during play. There is a large ramp that covers the sections of playfield I need to get to though, which will need to be removed. Once that’s off, it will remain off until I’ve finished working on the playfield as it’s a pain to get on and off again. There is also a subway ramp below the playfield that links up the top left and middle scoops to the VUK which can be removed in this update too.
Who likes self punishment? I do, it seems. My BoP 2.0 machine came with a touched up and clear coated playfield when I purchased it 14 months ago and it’s a task I knew I would get to at some point. But when you’re having fun playing a game, it’s hard to take it offline for some major changes. Playfield swaps are a time consuming process, so it’s not something I’ve been looking forward to. I gained some excellent experience when I did my Pinbot CPR playfield a couple of years ago and I’ll be rolling that knowledge in to how I approach this one. The up side here is the replacement playfield is an existing playfield, so all screw holes (both sides) are already there. New playfields have (most) screw holes dimpled, but can be up to 1mm out in any direction (according to CPR – not sure if that also applies to other playfield makers). On my Pinbot playfield, I found many dimples missing on the underside. This can be a pain for assemblies under the playfield that are made up of 2 or 3 components, consisting of up to 12 screws, which all need to line up in order for it to operate smoothly. The current playfield in my game isn’t bad by any stretch as mylar across the central playfield and pop bumper areas has protected most of it. I actually think it would make a great drop in replacement for someone who has a trashed playfield or someone who wants to touch up and clear coat one for themselves. Time to begin the process.
Time for a quick update on the Batman Forever progress. For this post, I’ll be focusing just on the assemblies and parts that form the playfield area. In general the area is in pretty good shape. There are a couple of small mylar patches below where the ball exits the return rails that have helped protect against playfield damage where the ball lands. The playfield condition in the area is really nice, with a only few marks around the insert edges – but nothing anyone should worry about. The playfield surface needs a clean though to remove a layer of filth that has formed over the years. It’s not immediately visible to the eye, but when you run your fingers over the surface, you can feel it. The right slingshot has a small chip broken off the lower corner of the plastic, and the colours have faded somewhat on the left piece – but they are otherwise fine. Alright, let’s get to it.
Having already made good progress on my SWEP1, I was keen to keep going and complete the remaining work. It’s no good having a half clean machine, so I made the decision to take SWEP1 offline for a couple of weeks to address the remaining playfield areas and assemblies. The lower playfield area around the apron and sling shots was covered in the last update and now I need to look at the middle and upper sections of the playfield. This means taking both ramps off to get access to everything on the playfield in these areas. The only assemblies I need to look at are the pop bumpers, so most of the work is cleaning at the playfield level and getting the parts back on.