I had planned to begin this update with a really bad pun, but I’ll save you the anguish and get straight in to the good content! This update will be focusing on the assemblies in the lower section of playfield, along with cleaning up the drop target areas. I’ll also the look at the upper orbit shot as some screws that attach the metal rail to the playfield live under plastics in the mid section – so easier to do that all now in one go. The game has been played a lot over the years, with broken plastics across most areas of the playfield. The sling shot and return lane plastics are cracked or missing a few pieces. The bikes are still in one piece though, which is good news.
Colour displays on pinball machines are awesome! That’s probably stating the obvious, but once you’re playing in colour, it’s hard to go back to boring old orange and be satisfied. The owner of this Apollo had been thinking of adding a colour display from ColorDMD and decided to go ahead with it. There are two versions of colour display you can get – LCD and LED. This one’s the LED version and comes with everything you need to get it installed – it’s designed to be simple to install. Let’s get that new Colour display installed and see how it looks!
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!
After the initial hold up (and frustration) with the board issues on Dr Who, progress has been moving along smoothly. Aside from that slow start, the game has been enjoyable to work on. In this update I’ll be focusing on the middle section of the playfield. In terms of assemblies, this area has the Tardis ball popper on the right, with the left side home to the upper flipper and trap door assemblies. The popper was mentioned in a previous update as I had to replace the optics which had been cut out. This time I’ll be removing the whole assembly for a service. As usual, all plastics, targets and posts will be removed for cleaning and the playfield will also receive a clean. I’ll need to remove the ramps for this part, and won’t be putting them back on until the end. Time to get started and I’ll begin with the right side.
With my holidays just about over, I was keen to complete the last steps of the new side art for X-Files and have the game back online before I returned to work. In the last update, the big tasks were done and it was now a matter of getting everything back onto the cabinet and have the game running. With the cabinet still inside, I installed the side rails, headbox support brackets and buttons next.