Let's finish off the year by repairing a classic Bally game! But first, I've got to be honest. I've never been much of a fan of late 70s/early 80s Bally games. I generally find the blips and tunes of the early sound boards grating, which makes them hard to play for any length of time. Some say it adds to the nostalgia, but having no nostalgic connection to these games, I can safely say I prefer the sounds of traditional chimes or modern digital stereo. That said, Bally games are classics in terms of gameplay and artwork, so it was a pleasure to get to work on this one for a customer: Six Million Dollar Man (Bally, 1978). This machine had not been working ever since the customer got it from a relative, and they wanted it up and running for their 60th birthday party in a few weeks. We were on a deadline, and there was lots to do!
Time to lay down the law! Judge Dredd was the last Bally/Williams machine I had left to restore of my original road trip haul. I had left it to last mainly because the look of all the ramps criss-crossing the playfield, the idea of having to fiddle with the Deadworld, and the sheer size and weight of the damn thing all told me that this would be a painful restoration. Just looking at it and comparing it to Demolition Man (Williams, 1994), my only other widebody game, the Judge Dredd playfield was packed with more features and more mechanisms, which meant more to clean and more to service. But, as always, I was up for the challenge!
It has been just over a year since I restored my first Doctor Who (Bally, 1992), so I guess it is fitting that I'm now finishing up restoring my second. My first Doctor Who was purchased by a local collector and, since I sold it, has been treated to a new layer of clearcoat on the playfield, LEDs, a USB TARDIS, opto improvements, and a host of other upgrades. Just when you think there's nothing else to do to a machine, someone does some more! I'm glad it made its way into good hands.
There was a reason that I restored this machine second. This machine was in much poorer shape than the first and required a bit more work to get it into a presentable state. But with the experience of the first Doctor Who restoration, and now with some additional experience from the two Fish Tales restorations, I thought I may as well finish dealing with the doubles of all my machines and get this Doctor Who back into action.
Having repaired a couple of Doctor Who (Bally, 1992) machines, I've found that the Time Expander mini playfield always needs to be rebuilt. There are two main parts to this:
This is a small write-up of how I approach these repairs and what the end result looks like.
After my World Cup Soccer restoration, I was rearing to go for another. Doctor Who (Bally, 1992), was another machine I had bought at the same time as World Cup Soccer. I had a lot of mixed feelings about Doctor Who as a pinball machine. While I wasn't much of a fan of the TV show or other Doctor Who media, I hadn't played the pinball machine much before and many pinheads insist that it is a really cool game. The mini playfield is the main feature on Doctor Who. It's a section of playfield that rises and sinks to reveal objectives to hit; it is very similar in style to the ball lock area on Jack-Bot (Williams, 1995). Doctor Who definitely looked like more of a technical challenge so I decided to sink my teeth into it and see how far I could get.
Here you will find logs of our pinball machine restorations, repairs, discussion about general pinball topics, and recounts of our random pinball adventures.
Check back regularly for updates!
Running this website is a hobby for me, just like pinball. I like being able to show my restoration work to everyone so that others can learn from it and learn to fix their own machines. If you enjoy reading the content, please consider donating to offset some of the website's operating costs.