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!
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 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.
I am forever tweaking, adjusting, tuning and upgrading my machines. Some updates are minor, such as a new shooter rod or ramp. While others, like new decals, are much bigger 🙂 It’s X-Files turn to receive some attention. Applying new decals on my X-Files has been on my to do list for at least 12 months now and after organising a new set in November, it was time to get them installed. These are a reproduction and although close, are not 100% accurate. They’re pretty damn good though.
Time has gotten away from me lately, with my attention being drawn to family, along with a string of projects all wanting my attention at once. I managed to finish off the final few things on Baywatch a few weeks back, so want to close off the work with a short update. In the last update, the playfield had been put back together after a full strip and clean, ready for testing. One issue I noticed when the machine first arrived was the auto launcher. Sometimes it would not shoot the ball all the way into play, and the ball would roll back to the shooter lane (this isn’t to be confused with the ball serve I issue I reported on and fixed in an earlier update). I thought perhaps cleaning the assembly would be enough, but after testing with the playfield rebuilt, I was convinced it was more of a mechanical issue. So I lifted the apron off the playfield to take a look.