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.
After completing the remaining work on the Williams Whirlwind recently and the owner taking it home, it was time to move onto the next machine for repair & service. This time I’m looking at a Baywatch machine. Released by SEGA in early 1995 and able to be played by 6 players, it’s got a fairly decent playfield layout and is a lot of fun to play. The game play caught me by surprise as I’m not a huge fan of the theme (I’m sure my teenage self would have been..), but I find myself saying ‘just one more go’ when playing it. That’s a good sign for any game. The machine has been in the owners collection for awhile, crying out for a full service. As you’ve seen in my other threads, I get in and rebuild everything. It’s not a restoration, nor is it just a quick wipe down and fresh rubbers. Each assembly will be stripped, cleaned and worn parts replaced. The playfield will be stripped and everything properly cleaned too. Any game play issues will be sorted out and I’ll also spend some time doing presentation improvements (mostly things the owner has pointed out he wants addressed). Anyway, time to get started.
A good way to continue working on pinball machines (without going broke buying them), is to work on other peoples machines and bestow to them the same love I give mine (the machines that is, not the owners..). I’m always on the look out for a new Pinball project to work on as I love giving them a new lease on life, but pickings have been slim lately. The universe has other ideas though and through a chance message, I was asked if I could work on some machines that needed a bit of TLC, with Whirlwind being first on the list. How could I refuse? 🙂 This isn’t a restore but also not a simple service either. I’ll be doing my usual rebuilding and cleaning of all assemblies, along with fixing any game play issues and giving the machine a bit of a face lift along the way. I don’t have plans to do any board work and the owner has a few requests on specific things he wants addressed, which i’ll be following. Whirlwind is a great game and I’m very excited to be working on it. Once complete, it’s going to be hard to let the owner take it home.
There is rarely a dull moment in owning pinball machines as there’s always something that needs fixing or adjusting. A small fault was recently noticed in my Pinbot machine, where the left out lane switch would not register when the ball rolled over it. It was a quick and easy fix, but wanted to cover it for future readers anyway. First up, I put the game into test mode and activated the switch with my finger – as expected, the switch did not register. I then manually tested other switches around the playfield. Interestingly, the left in lane switch also did not register. Other switches were fine though. So two were switches (right beside each other) were misbehaving.
I must really love punishment, because here I am again fixing another EM pinball machine. I can’t help it though, their tendency for faults aside, EM’s are beautiful machines and every line up should contain at least one. This time I’m looking at another baseball themed machine by Gottlieb, appropriately (maybe boringly?) named “Baseball”. It was released in 1970 with around 2350 units shipped. It came out about a year before Playball (which I fixed up recently) and both machines share a very similar playfield layout and feature set. This isn’t my machine and I’m simply repairing it for someone else (the same guy owns the Playball I fixed up and documented recently). It’s not a restoration, just a fix up for the issues it’s having.