Nine Ball: the only pinball game affectionately adored by attractive blondes, bearded movie directors, and...wizards?
I love this game. I love the bizarre art, I love the bizarre layout, I love the orange cabinet. Seriously, this is one of those "hidden gems" of pinball currently. As a result, I knew I had to get one.
After a long search, I finally found one that had extremely little wear on the playfield, a beautiful cab, and actually played. I paid a fair price for it, but unfortunately had to buy it only going off of pictures as the game was quite far from me. I had STI ship it to me. Here's a few shots of "dropoff day":
Not a bad deal at all for me! Unfortunately, as with most classic Stern games, most of the inserts were quite cupped:
What I hadn't thought about (remember I couldn't play it before purchasing), was that Nine Ball has so much of its real estate taken up by inserts. As a result, while the game looked pretty, it played like crap. The ball would get hung up on cupped inserts and take bizarre turns on the way down the playfield. I quickly realized that the playfield was going to need more than I had originally thought.
After researching how to "un-cup" inserts, I decided that between doing all of that, touching up some of the paint, and clearing, I'd rather send the playfield off to HSA. They did such a nice job on my Seawitch playfield (that restore can be found here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ahoy-matey-there-be-a-seawitch-a-restoring), that I really didn't think twice about it.
Here's some shots of the playfield "naked" after the teardown:
Like I said, not a bad candidate to start from!