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 (I still need to get around to doing the final write up), 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.
There was a time where I would have weeks (often months) between pinball projects. Not any more though. As one machine goes out the door, the next one rolls right on in. This time it’s back-to-back SEGA’s with a Harley Davidson replacing the Apollo 13. The last SEGA game before Stern took over. It was released in 1999 and there ended up being 3 editions released. The first from SEGA, which Stern then continued once it took over. That was followed by 2 additional editions a few years later by Stern. The game powers up, but has a few issues to look at. It needs a really good clean, but that’s typical of most games that come my way. The main issue I’m concerned about is (seemingly) random resets, which I will get to shortly. It has some mechanical issues, but those won’t be a problem to sort out. Let’s get started!
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.
As mentioned in my previous update, progress has been moving pretty smoothly so far on the Baywatch overhaul. Part of the reason for this is due to working on a few things at the same time. I had been waiting on a couple of parts to arrive for the flippers in the previous update, so started work on the apron area. That way I kept making progress and it ended up being completed around the same time. It doesn’t always work out that way, but I like to keep things moving forward as much as possible so the owner isn’t without their machine for too long. As a result, you’ll see some photos in this update which contain progress from the flippers and slingshots in the previous update 🙂 Anyway – this update is solely focused on the apron area. This includes the ball trough, ball serve, shooter, up kicker and ball save assemblies. There is one problem I need to look at too, which is the ball not being served to the shooter lane correctly. Often it takes 3+ attempts to get the ball into the shooter lane. The metal apron is in excellent condition, as are the decals. A few small scratches are present on the SEGA logo, but nothing worth worrying about. The old instruction card (in Italian) will be replaced by the time I’m done. Two very minor scratches on the metal (just to the right of the SEGA decal) will be touched up with a very small amount of satin black, so you’ll never see them.
With the sound issue issue covered, and the ball serve issue to look at, I wanted a bit of a break from problem solving to exploring the different assemblies on the machine and giving them a clean. The problem was – where do I begin? I want to cover the entire machine. In the end I figured I start from the bottom of the play field and work my way up.
So to begin with, I’d remove the apron and see what lurks below.
The apron on these early Bally machines are secured by two small metal brackets at the front and two screws at the back. The last person to work on the machine didn’t secure the apron to the brackets at the front and as a result it was lose (which isn’t good when you go to lift the play field by it…)
I have to say the two screws at the back don’t feel like the most sturdy attachment for the apron. I may be that due to age, it has just seen better days – but I don’t trust lifting the play field via the apron like I do on my Nugent and Space Orbit machines..