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.
Having a set of pop bumpers on the playfield is almost mandatory for me when looking at pinball machines to play. The designers of Whirlwind must really have loved pop bumpers. Why have just one set on the playfield when you can have two? The only down side to pop bumpers is disassembling them as it cam be fiddly, especially those lamp sockets. The end result though after working on them really improves their performance, along with the presentation of a machine. It also makes them sound great too. The set I did in my previous update came up really nice and now it’s time to rebuild the second set. This update will be covering the final assemblies in the machine I need to look at, all of which are located at the top of the playfield. I’ll be starting first with the pop bumpers though.
Time for an update on the service and repair on my X-Files pinball machine. After the work done so far, the game has been holding up well. I have really come to appreciate it and going by the audit menu, I’ve put just over 150 games into it. It’s a fun title and I think does not get the credit it deserves. While it’s playing well, it can be even better. To get the machine into the state I want it, I need to give the playfield (and all its surface components) a really good clean. I also want to rebuild the pop bumpers and add LED’s for the GI. That means it’s time to take the machine offline for the next week (maybe two) and give the playfield and it’s parts a solid clean.
First to come off the machine were the ramps. This then allowed me access to the plastics below. With the plastics off I could then access all the various posts and ball guides. There are quite a few to remove. The plastics all need a good clean and these will get the novus treatment before being installed again. Often, dust and crap attaches to the underside of the plastic too, which can affect how well they look lit up. So both sides of each piece will require a clean. I also removed the sling shot parts and return lanes.
Following on from my previous update, it’s now time to get everything else back onto the playfield. The plastics are being cleaned and polished as I go. I started out with the sling shots and then began moving up the playfield. As part of the first pass I also reinstalled some of the clean plastic pieces towards the top of the playfield, along with the plastic around the bonus kicker. All new rubber is going on, along with new white star posts.
Time for another update on the repair and service on my Gottlieb Counterforce. The momentum has been pretty good, although playing Pinbot is cutting into my repair time 😉 For this outing, I’ll be looking at the two sling shots and top area of the playfield. Normally my next step after the apron would be to look at the flippers. But while waiting for flipper kits to arrive, I decided to shift to the slingshots. There are two sling shots on the Counterforce playfield. The first is on the left, above the lower flipper. The second one is not directly opposite (as you’d normally expect), but a bit higher up on the playfield – across from the upper left flipper. I’ll start with the lower one first. Sitting behind the slingshot, we have an out lane and two in lanes. Like with the entire machine – it’s seen a lot of action and had much neglect. Lots of cleaning required and some damage I can’t undo. Thankfully the plastic is reasonably good and is not cracked. The green lane hoods are damaged (melted) from the bulb that sits below them and one has a few cracks on the front. I’ll try cleaning these up, but will most likey replace them.