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.
I managed to locate some extra pockets of time (from somewhere) over the last couple of weeks to continue making progress with my SWEP1 service. In this update, I wanted to focus on the apron and lower playfield areas. That way I wouldn’t need the game to be offline for long periods, allowing me to continue playing. First up will be the apron area. SWEP1 has an awesome transparent blue apron. The decals are in excellent condition except for one small spot on the shooter power gauge.
Time to wrap up the work on Apollo 13 and get it back into one piece for testing. First item on my to do list in this update is the rocket assembly, as it’s the last outstanding part of the playfield to get a clean. Then I can go through the process of getting everything back together (which is mostly the rails) and test the game. The end is in sight, which is exciting as I’m keen to play (…test) it. Time to get started! The rocket ship is the shot responsible for working towards the 13 ball multi ball mode. There is a ramp you shoot the ball up and a small assembly at the top which traps the ball, updates the countdown and then returns the ball back to the player. It is connected to a motor below the playfield, which performs a lift off and drops the ball into the large red ramp below the playfield.
The Apollo 13 overhaul has continued over the last couple of weeks. Sometimes progress can feel like slow going, but it’s surprising how quickly time gets sucked up as you work through sections of a machine. Plus, it’s getting cold at night time, so working on games once the sun has gone down is getting tougher. The previous update was heavily focused on the apron area of the playfield. Shifting my attention 30cm higher up the playfield, this update will be focusing on the next lot of assemblies – so things like the flippers, up post (ball save), ball return VUK and sling shots. Technically the VUK lives under the apron area, but i’ll ignore that fact for the sake of including it in this update instead of the last one 🙂 I also want to get the CPU controlled lamps switched over to LED’s as the kit arrived. So let’s get started and begin removing some parts!