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!
Just before I was finishing up the previous Bride of Pinbot post, an important parcel arrived from the USA. It contained the BoP ramp entry protector set from Cliffy! Due to the issues with the heart beat ramp, I was in some ways forced to replace the ramp (or leave the various hacks that had been put in place for it). I had no intention of putting the new ramp in until the protectors arrived – so I was glad to see these.
After completing the remaining work on the Williams Whirlwind recently and the owner taking it home, it was time to move onto the next machine for repair & service. This time I’m looking at a Baywatch machine. Released by SEGA in early 1995 and able to be played by 6 players, it’s got a fairly decent playfield layout and is a lot of fun to play. The game play caught me by surprise as I’m not a huge fan of the theme (I’m sure my teenage self would have been..), but I find myself saying ‘just one more go’ when playing it. That’s a good sign for any game. The machine has been in the owners collection for awhile, crying out for a full service. As you’ve seen in my other threads, I get in and rebuild everything. It’s not a restoration, nor is it just a quick wipe down and fresh rubbers. Each assembly will be stripped, cleaned and worn parts replaced. The playfield will be stripped and everything properly cleaned too. Any game play issues will be sorted out and I’ll also spend some time doing presentation improvements (mostly things the owner has pointed out he wants addressed). Anyway, time to get started.
I must really love punishment, because here I am again fixing another EM pinball machine. I can’t help it though, their tendency for faults aside, EM’s are beautiful machines and every line up should contain at least one. This time I’m looking at another baseball themed machine by Gottlieb, appropriately (maybe boringly?) named “Baseball”. It was released in 1970 with around 2350 units shipped. It came out about a year before Playball (which I fixed up recently) and both machines share a very similar playfield layout and feature set. This isn’t my machine and I’m simply repairing it for someone else (the same guy owns the Playball I fixed up and documented recently). It’s not a restoration, just a fix up for the issues it’s having.