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Discussion in 'Pinball Blogs' started by DRANO, Mar 10, 2014.
Love the work Drano! Never knew about that high performance filler product.
Thanks for posting.
It's not bad... but when I first used it I was a bit disappointed to discover that it was pretty similar to Bondo.
It's nice and hard though and I've used it to repair some pretty blown out stuff. Like anything, if you apply too thin there is always a risk of it coming off or chipping. Sometimes it's advisable to make the damage even worse in order to create more "bite".
Here's an example on a TAF playfield I did a few years ago. I made the damage as gnarly as possible with a rasp/file and then even drilled a few holes in order for the filler to really grab the playfield... especially in such a high wearing area.
AFAIK the game and repair have held up very nicely over the years.
This is after clearcoat. It's hard to make the edge look like plywood again, but from the player's perspective (and once the metal scoop and posts got installed) it looked fine.
That TAF now belongs to luch and few times I saw it over the years at previous owner William in Collingwood it looked fine.
Still holding up real nice , people who play it love how the clear coat makes the ball glide like it's on a sheet of glass
Well done on the touch ups, hard work and post mortem on letting us all know how much of this transpired.
Still one of my very favourite reads anywhere in pinball. Drano (and Spiroagnew) get better with every project.
Thank you for sharing.
Now if only I had time to swap my own TAF playfield
My fear is exactly that it'll play like glass and I'll have to learn the game all over again.
These clearcoats are beautiful but they do change the way the game plays until they've been well broken in.
THE BIG PAYBACK
I just wanted to follow up on this Bally Atlantis playfield repair and clearcoat.
In the last installment I had done the physical repairs and applied some base colour just as a primer before starting my clearcoating process.
Once I had the first protective layer down and sanded, I proceeded to apply some frisket masking film and trim the various different colour sections one at a time before airbrushing. After each major colour was matched and sprayes, I would apply another coat of clear to seal it in. I also sanded in between each layer so the playfield would get progressively smoother.
On the 2nd last layer I also applied the waterslide decal for the new insert. I created this from a scan of the matching insert on the other side of the playfield. I also did a small touch up behind the bottom shark's eye where a pretty bad scratch existed. It wasn't worth spraying the whole shark so I got as close as I could by hand.
Two more coats of clear and I was done. The final product turned out pretty nice!
This should play punishingly fast!
On to the next project.
That looks great, I want an Atlantis, looks like a fun game.
Great work, Drano. Needless to say I'm happy we have a good thing going with the Clearcoat-For-Cabinet exchange. I may fast track this one in the swap queue (leapfrogging Transporter and Fire) because it looks so great! Let the 6803 headaches begin!!
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Forgive me father... it's been 2 months since my last post
In truth I have been working hard on a crazy conversion project; turning a Bally Fireball II into a Fathom. A crazy idea planted by my friend Monkeybug. I've posted the project in a few different places but I will be compiling it here once I get closer to finished.
For now I wanted to share a small mod that I've been working on.
Most Scared Stiff owners are aware that the Boogie Men figures above the 3D slingshot plastics were originally supposed to move during gameplay and were tied into the slingshot kicker. This feature was 'value engineered' by Bally/Williams and left out... along with various others on this machine.
Venerable pinballer Robert Winter had recreated the original mechs and sold them for a while. When he stopped, another modder started making a similar part that could bring this neat feature back. Unfortunately, these cost $99 USD!!!
Here's an image of that kit:
I didn't want to spend anywhere near that much so I figured I would draw up something similar and try printing it on my 3D Micro using their new flexible extra durable filament.
Once I got the fit right, I drilled through the part and the kicker arm (it was pretty easy) and threaded a small machine screw. Same size used for securing micro switches. I cut off the excess screw length with a Dremel and the part was ready to install.
I already had the over sized boogie men from a recent Marcos order so it cost me a few pennies in filament and a bit of time. I also bought some new plastics for the slings because my old ones were trashed. Coincidentally, these are $90 from Marcos!!!! I found a guy on eBay selling them for half that. Still, a lot of coin. They're not painted as well as the originals, but I will likely fix that next.
I want to make a few small adjustments to the file, but I will make this available to anyone who wants to print their own. I won't be selling these as I don't want to be running my printer non-stop, but there are plenty of 3D print services out there if you don't have your own machine.
That's all for now!
Thought I would post this quick video showing the final product!
HEAVY METAL MELTDOWN (proto???)
I wanted to share this cool find with an interesting twist.
I've been in love with Bally 6803 games for some time now. I love my Special Force and several others have come and gone over the last couple of years. Motordome, Black Belt and Strange Science. I love how Bally had their back up against the wall competing with Williams in an era where they were kicking butt from a technology and design point of view. Yet, the Bally designers, with one hand seemingly tied behind their backs, still managed to come up with some awesome concepts and unique layouts. To me, these "ugly duckling" games that were poorly made and value engineered to death, are so bad that they're kind good
One of the grail 6803 machines for me was HEAVY METAL MELTDOWN from 1987. It was a Dan Langois design with art by Tony Ramuni and it bears a lot of similarity to Strange Science in that the player must lock 5 balls to start Heavy Metal Meltdown multi ball. I'll get more into the game play another time but it's really cool how the shots are very interactive and the player is basically creating music and riffs as he/she shoots around the table.
A couple of months ago I was talking with Sylvain (pinballfan87) and he just happened to have seen one on his recent travels and agreed to help me get the machine.
A few weeks later Ian was very kind in collecting the machine for his upcoming drive through the GTA... and he even gave it a once over for me.
Thanks so much guys!!!
But the fun part is that this was no ordinary HMM... not that they are very common to begin with, but this one was different.
The game had the generic "Bally Midway" cabinet art. This was common with a lot of 6803, but HMM shipped with custom art. I figured that someone must have swapped in a different cab because these pressed board cabinets are almost always trashed.
Then, a photo of the playfield showed a feature not seen in the production games. It had what appeared to be a drop target blocking the main ramp shot. This was a feature used in Motordome but HMM normally does not have it. On this example it looked like a piece of black tape was covering the target so I had no way of knowing what was underneath and I wasn't going to get more photos.
I eventually found a thread on pinside with another example similar to mine and found a guy out in BC with another. Both had the basic artwork but neither had a functioning drop target. This didn't fill me with a lot of hope. I really wanted to have a functioning target but I had no idea if the mech was even there or even if the feature was supported in the code. These other examples were considered sample or 'test' games that may have gone into bars or arcades for early testing or sent out for regulatory approvals.
Needless to say, I could not wait for this machine to arrive so that I could investigate further.
Here are some of the photos I got from the seller and from Sylvain:
HEAVY METAL MELTDOWN (proto???)
Once the machine was in Ian's hands he did a little bit of digging as he had some old schematics for this machines (apparently Ian had his own history with HMM )
He found a mystery coil that was labelled as "German Only" and also an unused switch in the matrix diagram. Bally used photos of the playfield instead of schematic line drawings for their parts lists and he even noticed that the drop target mech had been very crudely scratched off for final release.
I was getting very hopeful that the change was done at such a last minute that the DT feature was still buried in the code and that, with a little bit of work, I could install a suitable drop target mech and wire it up to find out.
Finally the machine arrived last weekend!
As luck would have it, my shop and basement were so full that I had no space to set it up. I had to get these other projects done so that I could fold something and get HMM looked at. With work also taking up a lot of my time, things were just not moving along fast enough.
Last night I just decided to set it up on my dolly, raise the head and take a look.
It was already nearly midnight and I had just finished tuning up my new EK, but I just had to know.
The cabinet wasn't too pretty, but it was very clean inside. Topper was intact and the playfield seemed very good.
Then I peeled back the black tape covering the drop target hole. Looks like a real drop target and not a filler like other similar examples. I was cautiously optimistic... then I raised the pf and WOW!!!
A full drop target mech was present. I raised the target and found a VERY rare beast indeed. This was a custom hot stamped HMM target and not some generic target thrown in for testing. This was amazing!
The mech also had a switch that was wired into the game and a coil... but one wire was missing from one of the lugs.
The machine was full of electrical tape and odd fuse holders at every flasher. At first I thought much of this was done by an operator, but it became clear to me that it was a sample and all of this was done at the factory. The Bally Alladin's Castle plate on the side of the cabinet further reinforced the idea that Bally probably put this into one of their controlled locations for testing.
Lastly, I started digging around near the coil and noticed a lot of electrical tape around the harness nearby. On a hunch I started to undo some of it and found a wire!!!
This was too good to be true. Everything on this machine was left intact... but disconnected for some reason.
This opened up a lot of questions. Was the target working and they just disabled it to be able to test the machine as it would be produced? Was the feature removed before the code was completed for it? It's hard to tell but the target does look very new... maybe like it was never hit.
Of course it was now very late and I didn't have time to solder the wire and plug this in.... plus I figured it would be more suspenseful this way
So, the next installment should come tonight. I will plug in the machine, make sure everything else works and then will attach the mystery wire and pray.
I feel a little like Geraldo Rivera digging for Al Capone's vault.... but stay tuned!!!
You've already found more than Geraldo in Capone's vault, so this is a win in my books! Can't wait for the next installment, hopefully it's not titled Heavy Metal Literal Meltdown.
I can't get over how clean it looks on the underside of the playfield! Can't wait to hear if the DT is plug & play! (Well... solder and play!)
So... I got some bad news
Plugged the game in and tested it out. Seems to play fine except, for some strange reason, hitting the extra ball target when it's flashing doesn't actually award an extra ball.... but that's not the main issue.
Once I was satisfied the game worked I tested the switch at the drop target mech.... nothing :?
Then, to be thorough, I soldered up that solenoid wire... again, nothing
Lastly, I tried to find the solenoid in test mode... nada!
In switch test I did get a reading when the DT switch was closed, but it was very odd. The readout was: STROB 1 RETRN 7. I also get this as an error on game boot.
So, obviously the game sees the switch but doesn't do anything about it.
I also found this cheaply made rule-card in the coin box.
It obviously mentions the target feature. Now I know why it was in the coin box.
The good news is that I'm not entirely beat just yet.
I suspect that the ROMs may have been updated and the wires disconnected and rule card pulled.
Hopefully that means that an earlier version of the code exists. The danger with that, is that any earlier code may come with its own issues and imperfections... but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now, I'm hunting for the code!
That's really cool. You found the machine you've been looking for AND it has extras. Cool find.
That looks like Menace ink...
30 years in the making!!!
This is just a test ROM. Still needs a few fixes and polishing... but it was awesome to get this working... and so soon!