For quite awhile now, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing my own home brew pinball project. The idea first crossed my mind around 4 years ago, but I didn’t give it much time. Thoughts about doing it came again and again since that time, each being stronger than the last. But again I had always pushed it off as building a machine from scratch is more work than I was willing to do. It was more work than I could even get my head around. What about extending something that already exists though? Now that was something I could start getting my head around. Enter Bride of Pinbot 2.0. Owning a BoP 2.0 allowed me to see just what was possible with extending an existing game and how it all hooked up hardware wise. I was impressed with what a platform like P-ROC could do and the fact it was all reversible, means the game can be switched back to stock configuration again. I don’t have a large collection of machines that I could choose from in order to do this project, but there was one in my line up that stood out the most. Pinbot.
My work on servicing Counterforce is now coming to an end. It’s great news because now I can actually play and enjoy it! This project has gone quite quickly compared to my others (just over 2 months in length). First task for this update was to clean the legs up a bit. They are old and have some rust, but I’ve certainly seen worse. I have a two options I can consider. First is to clean them up and the second is to clear off the rust as much as possible and spray them. I guess a third option is buy a new set – but these legs are still good and I think a clean will do. New legs on a machine with faded and scratched cabinet art won’t look right anyway. Each leg was placed onto my work horse to have the rust cleaned up. This was done mostly with a wire brush attachment for my drill.
I enjoyed working on my Nugent so much that I had to get another machine to work on.
I knocked back a few machines in the process of searching which I’d love to own (and had the funds for) – but they required no work.
I wanted a machine that was in need of some love. After a few false starts in the hunt for a project machine, I ended up getting a Fireball Classic by Bally (1985).
As a game, it ticks many of the boxes I was looking for. Pop bumpers? Check. Multiball? Check. Messenger ball? Check. Ball save? Check. Early Bally/Stern SS? Check.
As I’ll show shortly, the machine does need some cosmetic love, along with some fixing up to the game play. I will be able to apply much of what I learnt while working on my Nugent here, and also extend myself into areas not yet explored. Perfect 🙂
I expect my work on this project to take a few months at least as time and funds permit. Given I now have two other machines, getting this finely tuned is less critical as I can always turn to my Nugent or Space Orbit for some awesome fun.
To start with, the machine boots up and does allow you to start a game. This wasn’t a requirement in my search, but is a bonus.
While I’ve been enjoying my Pole Position restoration, I have been getting the urge to construct a new machine again. I recently acquired a few different PCB’s that would go great in a new cab. I posted about the Mortal Kombat 1 set a few weeks back, but I’ve put that on hold for the moment as I’m undecided on what sort of machine it will go into (a replica upright, or a custom themed lowboy). Meanwhile, another PCB was screaming out to me to go into a machine – Arkanoid.
While I don’t find Arkanoid to be overly exciting as a game, the fact it uses a spinner makes it different to other cabs I’ve build, and some of the original Taito cabs are pleasing to look at.
One game I have very fond memories of growing up with is the original Mortal Kombat. I never got the chance to play it at the arcades much, but did sink plenty of time into playing it on the Sega Master System, Mega Drive and Amiga 500. I recently came across an original arcade Midway Mortal Kombat 1 board set, with the sound board and couldn’t pass up the chance to buy it.