06 June 2016

Maddening Payne Medieval Bliss


Back into it. Death is everywhere. I had finally catapulted into the TSPP restoration as my beautiful dog lay dying. It had been a bitter cold winter despite our Broncos' Superbowl victory. Old hips gave way fast to time and suddenly immobility stopped the tail wagging, despite the good barks and daily appetite. Willpower would have nourished his entire survival -true testament that a dog stands like a knight, happily fighting every moment without a care for "only the flesh wounds." They truly all have three legs and a spare. It's all about the madness of living that the game gets played --right 'til the last breath.

"I'm Django the big German Shepherd Dog, who the fWoOfck are you? mWoOF!"
King of Shepherds


The 2015 TSPP resto finally took my new shop's pinball cherry, and the space became comfortable and efficient for good work completed. Just like every game, burn-in testing is the best and I covet the game for days playing it with mad satisfaction when it's finally done. The Simpsons had to go back on location ASAP to earn some more bank for its new rubbers (and relieve the quarter-ops Space Shuttle that was pinch-hitting for it). Time to start working these PBM restorations from the top: queue the Medieval Madness into the new, comfy warm bay. This dude had been open going for -seriously- three years up at my warehouse space. I had tore into it there just as my ex hit me with the papers. Like some bombed castle maddening metaphor, my life started to look the same: all that junk had to come off to see how dirty the field really was, how many broken pieces there are, and how worn out this beautiful game was. Sure enough it was filthy and non-op --need just pay attention to all the details again and things will be right. As usual, clockwise from the left flipper, I had everything torn off back to the 3 pop bumpers. Ramps and pieces were detailed clean as they were removed and the nearby Counterforce PBM became the 'resto-table' for everything to put back whence the big jobs got done. I had to get an entire castle front-piece just to get the swinging door back on this game! Feck! Know what I'm sayin'? Restoration is CLEANING! Start disassembling just to clean it and a) you finally see the stuff that's broken in person and b) you break it cleaning it so must restore it before you continue; a simple formula, sometimes years in the balance before electricity is ever introduced again. Medieval polishing and dirty work --unless you have an intended sword to truly kill it, haste makes definite waste.

Long-open-project awaiting its parts and attention sits original N. location

Right, so it had begun February 2013, hauling back-box pieces back to my home shop/garage, where I was also busy digging mad through a STTNG. C'mon folks, this many vintage games, understand they are all on project phase all the time; I'd (labor to just) get them safely set somewhere to shop them for awhile, always thwarted by parts availability or whatever, ergo jumping around accommodating multiple restorations and as many games as possible simultaneously. Perhaps this is why my ex thought I'd become mad! lolol <wry grin>  METHOD & MADNESS! Listen, get here this far with this crazy many and you'll understand, otherwise stfu and stop asking so many mundane questions before consulting ur gugl. RTfM, K? Which reminds me too, see the picture, I slammed out an RFM playfield resto while I was at it.

O my blissful fresh setup and cool warm shop space gone..

To be clear: in 2013 I had my newly built home shop/garage. Like the 'clergy' influencing the King surreptitiously, the moat gets vastly murkier and the throne usurped by Her Majesty while the Dude honorably fights idiot hoards on his own lands' end. OMGWTFBBQme!

..e'er the other side ye see... WHAT is your name?

WHAT is your quest?

WHAT is your favorite color?

WHAT is the capital of Assyria?

WHAT is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Anyway, the new shop let me tear into the STTNG setting nicely in warm safety (while playing the Embryon and Robotron every night), running to the MM 50 blocks away at the shop with the rest of the collection setting safely (a serious (stupid biz vent) man-cave away and another few nightmare/solace chapters altogether later nevermind). TWO shop spaces --yay! Anyway, as it always seems, life flashes your picture public while your pants are around your ankles. MEH. Shocked awake again, I at least persuaded her that with this much at stake and age, give me the benefit of moving out the STTNG in one piece rather than the few hundred little ones it was now benched. So I proceeded to tear everything I'd just built down and whittle it elsewhere safe, getting this mofo star trek pin flashing sweet clean playing gtfouttadodgeasap (if it's the last damn thing I take out of my beautiful new heated/cooled garage)!

It was the last thing I moved out after playing it like a madman all night when it was finished...

Fire the Cannons!

So is this post about MM, or STTNG?? Eat me, my point is I restored both and more under extreme duress and moved (300lb ea.) around multiple times all while fighting a ferocious killer rabbit! I still have them and both are now 100% restored gorgeous historic pinball machines. Funny how much work I got done, actually, so so many things just fast fixed so they could be accounted for quickly and made safe. HEH, the SQueEkY wheel gets the grease, non? <nudge nudge wink wink> Distressing damsels always detaining and diverting ...DAMNED! (Some other post ...NOT)!

"They took our pinball machines!"

Let's fast forward the troops a couple'o years past all the the bivouac stories and just go to the real battle: getting this rapscallion game to fight back for some fun. :-)

Queue the gathered parts all nicely organized ready, shrubbery in-hand and the cabinet safely set so, let's go! Ni! MY own great new space was now comfy and my grief was now every day ...soothing the worst of my pinball angst I will DO IT AT LAST!

A quick note about that shop bench there, see. That bench was dearly built in 2002 for my brick computer biz in Lakewood. I reinstalled it in my new home garage shop biz 2004, cutting it down perfect fit for that space. It received a building upgrade in 2013 so again got reinstalled sweet new space. Then again after the divorce, down it shuffled stored 'til I got this new garage 2014. Another setup here shown, it's still working hard MDF stacked to the gils with (too many) parts and projects, but the capacitors are in their drawers and the WESD51 has its space and things get done again. BTW, tool #1 in any of my shops is the stereo!

"It's not tragic, you have Merlin's magic!"

So here I am again seriously, all back to the 1 o'clock playfield tear-down. Zounds!

First thing to get this trebuchet wound again, put those new troll door graphics on and replace those two center targets, soldered-in solid with the posh backing foam: BAM! As well, get those restocked SuperBand post rubbers out and make a color choice; (black looks normal nice, purple is cool, but) RED matches the field base: BAM!

This is my first game to really need to repair all pop-bumpers --have to get a new tool. No way to fix these (and I have the 3 new purple skirt replacements) unless I can staple the exposed leads to the underside. Love it, KooL new TooL in hand (a shrubbery), I can pass! Like my Hakko 808, whence in the belt, ya wondere wtf ya been w'out 't!  ID 10 T  Stimpy!
Cannot you cut down the shrubbery with a herring?

PURPLE CAPS worn out filthy with thrashed bodies & mismatched skirts

I **noted something here: the metal ring had eroded holes into the plastic bumper body. It was obvious a razor edge 3x 4x 90˚each of the metal up-N-down was like a grinder --deep internal infestation! As I installed my new metal, I filed down round each 3, all 6 smoothed suspect edges, hoping they will not hack the new plastic housings like the originals. Just an FYI, as it's a LOT of work to get to the three bumpers located under ALL THE RAMP assemblies! Think and plan best you can, Sir Lancelot. I give you pictures for your quest, Tim the Enchanter web-reader, seek and ye shall finde hopefulle. Ye carved in mystic runes..follow, ye men of valor, doubt not your courage or y'er strengthe, behold ...

into it

Note the original ring and the sharp edges that carved these holes in each bumper body

rigid fresh successor and six-side-smoothed-n-ready rings on the ol' bodies

O my yummy! Now I want to play it! Adrenaline finish!

Violet PopBlasts (the website to the game is a long way)

strike the hammer while the iron is hot:  new 26-1200 coil and refreshed bracket/spring/yoke

Nothing works hot on top without a good wire connected underneath! And so it began, using this great new air tool that staples perfectly smooth flush, deep over a tangle of harness wiring. The leads for each bayonet light in the bumper body had to be secured away from each moving mechanism below. These flat wires remained stealthy flush out the underside when stapled tight: I placed shrink on the prepared/tinned wires, getting each pair (all 6) secure for battle.

3 new coils, wired lights, and solid brackets for refreshed bumping!

"There IS a DOORBELL!"

Mmmm ...catapult me into new territory! Nice to have these done, really, as they were the stopping point long ago, knowing I needed to get that tool first and so many multiple parts from many sources. Time.
Time Time ticking ...like sand in a glass, aye!

I had procured a few things for this machine (like the staple gun). One thing I had to get were a few LEDs (for many machines, keeping RGBW standard stock). begin rant/ I'll cite an earlier post I made here about how nuts it is IMO to buy 'kits' for whole LED upgrades. NOT crazy about losing the warm aesthetic of vintage incandescent machines, particularly where simple, bright, lights the already there great colors of the plastics. When I can though for the better, I shoot for an intuitive, homogenous taste catered to each PBM; continuity considered, specific placement for illumination, and keeping with overall game theme. There are far too many options for today's gamer --too much such that EM pins get hacked stupid bling and cool things get garish and sick. Upgrade these tasty pinball games with some reserved taste, pleasekthanks.  /end rant ANYway, I got one of those green flexi-direc-LEDs from cometpinball, yanked an old socket from some ol'thing, and wired it to the playfield GI --now the green moat has really cool green underglow!

OMG I have modded my game ... easy cool green moat

OK so I wanted to mention one more thing here about the green moat. Mine was battered broken and repaired by previous ops with hot glue. Good luck finding any replacement let alone removing it from the game. It made sense to me on this game to epoxy the breaks in place, like this photo here where the ball drops in behind the castle. The old ops glue was still working and I just bolstered it and repaired this critical back corner. Another hairline fracture I secured with a nice piece of tin tape --functions 100% and looks great unnoticed from above. Better to have it working than cracked getting worse irreplaceable thing.

L-restored  < FL-11626 >  R-original

L flipper clockwise rebuilt built back to the now-completed bumpers

This is the most fun, the homestretch after the big jobs are complete and the bulk of new #44s and rubbers are in. I make good habit of cleaning parts on immediate removal. Moving in sections, I stack the polished screws (yes indeed a detail here) and shined plastics aside until I can clean the playfield area and replace the lights. These 90s vintage games can have so many toys and parts I find it extreme (and stupid) to remove everything at once --simply too much to get shuffled wrong or lost. It's easy to just section any pinball field into quadrants, doing only 1 or 2 at a time. This MM is a story of a crazy section of my own castled-kingdom gone mad --I'm surprised I didn't lose something important while it was scattered in boxes moving around.

"Big deal! I have another one just like it down the road!"


OK, so I think I lost myself in ultimate pinball madness for about a solid week. Seriously.

I cannot even begin to express to you the satisfaction of this game and its 100 % 'ness.

I could not get enough of this game, loving pinball; it's legend for reason and you know when it gets you in flipping, er, hurling steel at castles. The theme is it --I think not a better metaphor made for flipping steel pinballs around. Classic in a classic game made classy classless priceless gas.

I feel lucky to have gotten a nice cabinet despite all the operational wear. By the time I have all this playfield done and electricity to it (backbox/DMD already years done), I Novus the entire thing and detail touchup all I can. It really starts when you get it, as all games are about condition, condition, condition. Nonetheless, the side graphics look great, it's just the front of the backbox that needs some new detail: insta-paint-room masking mastery!

Behold the Renaissance of Pinball!

Special Dragon Effects by:     Olaf Prot

Dragon choreographed by:     Horst Prot III

Dragon trained to solder and work complicated WPC95 code by:     Uncle Ernie Wigg

Large dragon on the right hand side of the pinball in the first scene, given a thorough grounding in Latin, French and 'O' Level Geography by:     Bo Benn

Suggestive poses for the dragon suggested by:     Vic Rotter

Wing-care by:    Liv Thatcher

Thank You:     Merle Z. Llama IX