It has taken me longer than expected to advance to the next pinball machine in the queue. I did have plans for a short break after completing Harley, but a parts delay delay and sorting out a few mechanical issues at the end of that game ate up the gap I had planned. Sometimes, that’s how it plays out. The good news though, is this next game is one I’m really excited to be working on. It’s been raining SEGA’s here lately, with the next game up for a complete rebuild being a beautiful Batman Forever. It was released by SEGA in 1995 and roughly 2500 units were made. I don’t think SEGA games get enough credit and as a result, people miss out on some great fun. The game has plenty to offer players, serving up multiple ramps, rails, a diverter, 3 flippers, pop bumpers, targets, drop targets, a VUK, canon, Bat cave ball lock, large display (192×64), video modes and up to 6 players at once. The only thing it’s missing for me is a spinner. The game is also a widebody, but with plenty of things around the playfield, it feels filled to the brim. There’s even an easter egg hidden in the game – “After a certain number of slingshot hits, after a 3 second lag, a giant bat will appear on the screen and screech at you. If you hit the trigger then you will get 50M extra points”. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one – easy points! There are a few issues that need to be sorted out along the way and I’ll go in to those as I work my way through the game. For the most part though it’s working well and just needs a good clean. Time to get started.
I’m a fan of the Pinball 2000 (P2K) games released by Williams and I’m excited to now be working on one – especially since it’s my own. I have a little bit of down time while waiting for the Harley CPU board, so decided to keep my hands dirty and continue tinkering. The next machine to get a rebuild is a Star Wars Episode One. It was released mid 1999 and is the very last game to be made by Williams before they sadly closed. Interestingly, you can (or at least could) buy conversion kits for this and Revenge from Mars – meaning you could run both games in the same cabinet by swapping playfields, ROM’s and shooter assembly. It’s a bit of a manual process to swap them, but still nice to have two games taking up the one spot. There were sadly only two P2K machines made (with a couple more planned – Wizard Blocks and Playboy) and it’s a shame they were not able to continue with them. I feel they are very underrated! There isn’t much wrong with the game that needs to be sorted out. It mostly just needs the assemblies serviced and some cosmetic improvements. I’ll be doing my usual rebuild of all assemblies and cleaning, along with some presentation fixes too. Time to get started!
With four weeks off over the Christmas break, it is the perfect opportunity to continue with the overhaul of my Bride of Pinbot 2.0. The plan was to try and do the next few phases of the overhaul in smaller chunks, avoiding the downside of having the game off line for long periods. But this update turned out to be much bigger than expected and has been split into two updates. This happened mainly because getting the top layers off the playfield was a pain and having to put them back on only to remove a few days later for the next phase would create a whole heap of extra work. So once I realised I was in up to my elbows, I decided to keep going. Starting off small though, the first assembly on my hit list for this update is the shooter rod.
Back for the second episode in the series covering my work on two Sopranos pinball machines. To kick off this episode, I wanted to sort out a missing piece from the keeper machine. On the right side of the playfield there should be a spot light attached just above the two targets. This was completely missing and so will need to be replaced.
Time for another progress update on the Whirlwind repair & service I’m currently carrying out. This time I’m looking at the apron and all the assemblies contained within. I managed to work through this area pretty quickly, which is why this update is so soon after the last one. I forgot to take a photo of the apron before starting, so the one shown below is from the day the machine was dropped off to me (you’ll notice the old flippers, rubber, etc which were taken care of in the last update). The apron itself is in really good condition. The paint is mostly unscratched and no rust showing or paint flaking. There is an old operator sticker that needs to come off on the left side and some old white sticker on the right which also needs to be removed. It’s a bit dirty, but with a clean, I think it’s going to come up really nice.