When my Black Knight arrived, I wondered how long the shield would last before issues kicked in. It’s a part of the machine that takes a real beating during play, so I’d expect it to wear out over time. I didn’t expect to experience issues on the second night of owning the game however. Part way through a game, I noticed the shield was no longer sitting correctly and was now on an angle.
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.
The newest game to arrive in my line up (and next on my to do list) is a Star Trek: 25th Anniversary. The game was released by Data East in late 1991, with 4400 machines made. Being one of the early DMD games, it features the smaller 128×16 pixel DMD. I love the artwork on this game as it contains so many references to the 3 seasons of the original Star Trek series. It’s a shame that some of it is covered by various playfield parts. The game arrived working well, with just a few small things needing to be looked at. It needs a good clean and a rebuild though, which is what I’ll be focusing on.
After all the work I’ve done to the cabinet and playfield, there was one part that still stood out as needing attention. The apron. It’s by no means terrible, as I’ve seen much (MUCH) worse. But it now stands out as being below standard when compared against everything else done to the game. So it’s time to give the apron a face lift. There were two options in front of me to consider for the face lift. The first is a set of black decals to keep it looking original. The second option (which was more appealing) is to go with a fancy set of 2.0 apron decals from Retro Refurbs. These are printed on a chrome style material and give a cool looking rainbow shine effect when light reflects off the surface. The perfect look for a 2.0 machine with this theme!
There are some things that remain on my pinball “to-do” list for quite awhile before I get around to them. Addressing the picture quality of my SWEP1 has been one of these things that I keep pushing back. In the current state, it’s not terrible and the game is very playable which is why I’ve considered it a low priority. But, I know it can be SO much better as much of the detail in the video and playfield animations is lost. The issue is the contrast. The contrast dial (which is responsible for the “white” level) is already at max and cannot be increased further. That’s where the small video amp board from Ultimarc comes in. This little board sits between the PC display output and the monitor, boosting the video signal. It’s available here, along with some additional information: http://www.ultimarc.com/vidamp.html