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
My Bride of Pinbot has received a lot of loving attention since I purchased it. Now, I’m facing the final mountain before I can say – It’s complete!. Doing up the cabinet was always going to be one of the final two things to be done. It was a bit of a race to see if the final challenge would be the playfield or the cabinet, with the cabinet winning (or is it losing?) that race. The plan had always been to do it around late December last year or early January this year, but that got pushed back to February – and here we are! I spent quite a bit of time last year deciding what path to take with the new decals. Do I keep it original with new BoP decals from PPS? Or now that it’s a 2.0 machine, go with 2.0 decals from Retro Refurbs. In the end, after much deliberation and weighing pros and cons, I went with a 2.0 make over. Some may hold back tears while proclaiming – “But it’s not original anymore!”. Meh. This is a 2.0 machine now. It will remain a 2.0 machine. I love 2.0. There are not many 2.0 machines in the world and very few that are done up in this manor. So new 2.0 decals were purchased to bring this cabinet back to life. Naturally they arrived the day I started back at work (after 4 weeks of leave), which means the process will take longer to get done. The decal set includes the head box, cabinet sides, coin door and a 2.0 translite. The art is heavily based on the original, but with a more modern look (and some 2.0 branding).
When it comes to my Bride of Pinbot 2.0, I can’t help myself. I’m always looking to add upgrades and improvements as it’s my favorite game. With a four week break coming up, I have plans for a playfield swap and new decals over the Xmas holidays. Before I get to that however, there are a couple of smaller things I want to get done. The first is replacing the board that controls the lamps on the brides helmet with an upgraded version. When switching to LED’s, you lose the fade effect that would normally be present as part of the lamp sequence that plays out. As a result the different chase sequences that play out on the brides helmet are not smooth. Luckily, a pinside member created a new board to solve this. It can be used in a standard BoP and also a 2.0 machine.
Batman Forever has been cleaning up really nicely. The game is in excellent condition, which makes my task easier. In this update, i’m now going to work through the last of the playfield assemblies so I can begin getting everything back together for a proper test. That means for this progress report, I’ll be covering the top playfield section. This includes the VUK, ramp diverter and three pop bumper assemblies. I already covered the orbit rail, saucer assembly and upper left and right playfield / plastics in a previous update, so won’t need to worry about those now. There’s a large ramp and rail that will need to be removed first, but from there it should be smooth sailing.