Bally Vampire restoration (transfusions required :)

(Topic ID: 190341)

Bally Vampire restoration (transfusions required :)


By Colsond3

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 595 posts
  • 58 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Colsond3
  • Topic is favorited by 28 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“What should I do with the armor and legs?”

  • Get nice, shiny chrome finish 7 votes
    14%
  • Chrome finish for armor and powder coat the legs 1 vote
    2%
  • Powder coat the armor and legs 10 votes
    20%
  • Keep original finish and just get it polished 33 votes
    65%

(51 votes)

Topic Gallery

There have been 398 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

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There are 595 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 12.
13
#1 1 year ago

So...I finally started the resto on my 1971 Bally Vampire. Not a game for everyone, especially with the theme and monstrous outlanes, but as a collector of horror pins and anything vampire, this was a must have. With a confirmed production # of only 799, not an easy game to come across. One of only 3 true USA-produced vampire pins (Vampire, Stern Dracula and BSD). Of course there's MB, EATPM, etc., but those are not purely vampire-based or themed.

I've only seen a few Vampire pins during my time in the hobby, and this one popped up in Louisville, KY last September through a friend of a friend. Despite my excitement, this thing might as well have been with a barbershop quartet in Skokie, Illinois. Given it's rarity, I was not comfortable with shipping, but I wanted this game badly so I started planning the trip. Luckily, a friend who is a truck driver (and much more tolerable to extremely long distance drives) was willing to make the trek west for me. After a 24-hour round trip drive with my SUV, the game was sitting comfortably in my driveway.

Time is a little tight right now, so this is going to be a process. But I thought I would share, especially in the event anybody had suggestions, recommendations or input, or just wanted to check out the game as I go along. This will be my first full (or mostly full) resto on an EM, so bear with me. And I'll probably over-document everything, but hey, that's me. Also need input on the armor and legs, so I added a poll. Thanks for looking and participating. Can't wait for this thing to be finished...here's the game when I brought it home:

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#2 1 year ago

Before / starting the tear down...

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#3 1 year ago

Awesome score. Great pics! Cant wait to watch the progress on this one!!!! Love the horror/vamp themes!

Best wishes on what will be a great restoration!

#4 1 year ago

Double post...but I'll still leave the part guy on here anyway!

#5 1 year ago

Just playing that game the other week having fun; I like it.

I would go all original personally. Not a fan of powder coating myself...although that bad boy wouldn't look horrible all blacked out. You start getting into "it being red cause it's blood" etc it just gets too American Chopper to me.

Anyways, Grand Lizard!

#6 1 year ago

I think the first thing you need to do is get those horrible Green LEDs out of the backglass around the score reels!!! Pure or Warm white, I can understand (not cool White) This, coming from a fellow Vampire owner.

#7 1 year ago

Definitely fellas...thanks for checking in and the input. I'm gonna tear more down tonight while I'm watching the Pens beat on Nashville (hopefully).

I think the game is fun, and not just because I'm biased on the theme...once you play a few games and get the feel of the shots, it's challenging. And definitely requires some skill and old-fashioned nudging to keep the ball from draining down the sides. The kickback in the left outlane is definitely a novelty on a game from way back in 1971.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Just playing that game the other week having fun; I like it.
I would go all original personally. Not a fan of powder coating myself...although that bad boy wouldn't look horrible all blacked out. You start getting into "it being red cause it's blood" etc it just gets too American Chopper to me.
Anyways, Grand Lizard!

Funny you say that...as I stare at my red powder coated BSD...hahaha. I'm trying to stay original, but I'm torn. This one is a keeper, so I want it to be nice and attractive. Some of this metal is pretty tarnished, so not sure how well it would clean or polish up. I was thinking chrome to make it shiny and "new" looking, while trying to keep the metal / somewhat original look. Black actually sounds interesting. I wasn't really banging too many powder coat colors around just yet, but it definitely wouldn't be red. Not much of that in the game, and I would want to stay true to the cabinet art.

Quoted from CactusJack:

I think the first thing you need to do is get those horrible Green LEDs out of the backglass around the score reels!!! Pure or Warm white, I can understand (not cool White) This, coming from a fellow Vampire owner.

Those LED's will definitely come out. Bulbs will be last...not first on this puppy. Much to get done before that. Being the owner / co-owner of a pinball company that sells LED's, hopefully I'll come up with something LOL. I don't believe in LED'ing EM games with color, but natural or warm white are definitely going in...maybe one or two subtle color accents. Definitely LED's though..incans have toasted the plastics enough already, and I'm not risking damage to this backglass.

#9 1 year ago

Making some progress...

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#10 1 year ago

This thing is friggin dirty. Nice clean pedestal though...no chips or damage.

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#11 1 year ago

Man I hear ya... And I'm not a powder guy so take it with a grain.... But just look up some pics of blacked out machines... They're actually quite striking

#12 1 year ago

I've seen a few in the powder coating thread...and in person. Black definitely might be fitting for this. I think some of the metal is too far gone or tarnished to salvage with just a polish.

#13 1 year ago

More dirt...I don't think this thing has been shopped or cleaned in 20 years.

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#14 1 year ago

Most of the metal is off...decision to be made.

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#15 1 year ago

Wow, crazy color difference under the posts on PF. I honestly would not have thought that since it looked pretty even and solid in pics. Since it has such even fade, I'm sure the paint will look nice all cleaned up and posts back on!

#16 1 year ago

I would lean towards a grey or silver powder coat, keep it as original looking as possible.

#17 1 year ago

I've been thinking about doing an over the top cabinet restore on mine, I just finished a Fireball for a friend and it looks so so nice all redone. I have a feeling your going to push me over the edge as things progress on yours. I haven't looked around yet are stencils available or are you going to be making them yourself?

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from Evilive69:

I would lean towards a grey or silver powder coat, keep it as original looking as possible.

That's kind of why I was thinking chrome. I would imagine when this game was NIB, the armor and metal parts were pretty shiny.

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from ssbodyman:

I've been thinking about doing an over the top cabinet restore on mine, I just finished a Fireball for a friend and it looks so so nice all redone. I have a feeling your going to push me over the edge as things progress on yours. I haven't looked around yet are stencils available or are you going to be making them yourself?

Hoping to get more people / games involved, so hopefully you do get tempted to start ripping into yours. Like I said above, IMO this game is more than well deserving of a refurb.

Not sure yet. Most of the art is in perfect shape on this cabinet. Might do reverse stencil and redo the blue with white speckling. Debating, but open to suggestions. The front of the cabinet is pretty rough, so that will have to be redone, at least in part.

#20 1 year ago

Saw chunks out of front...that sucks! Just the same, not gonna sugar coat or lie....I would leave it original and buff metal and playfield as pretty as I could and leave it at that.

I mean, those are not that common ( I really want one!!) So I kind of hate to destroy original art and coat orignal metal pieces unless they are super bad....stuff is only original once.

But that's just me...I'm one to have imperfect original for life than redone...I guess I feel like anybody could redo something, but not everyone could clean up and keep as original as possible.

Again, no arguments or complaints in any way to full rebuilds!!! It's just me

#21 1 year ago

Chrome looks great but is a bitch to keep clean. As much as I like keeping things as original as possible the cabinet needs to be restored and painted.

#22 1 year ago

Love the artwork on this game.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from TomT:

Love the artwork on this game.

Definitely very fitting and "pinballesque", but creepy at the same time. And the coin door couldn't work better...looks like a coffin. Nice color palette on this game. I wish the webbing on the playfield was more visible...it gets mostly hidden underneath the plastics unfortunately.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from pacmanretro:

Saw chunks out of front...that sucks! Just the same, not gonna sugar coat or lie....I would leave it original and buff metal and playfield as pretty as I could and leave it at that.
I mean, those are not that common ( I really want one!!) So I kind of hate to destroy original art and coat orignal metal pieces unless they are super bad....stuff is only original once.
But that's just me...I'm one to have imperfect original for life than redone...I guess I feel like anybody could redo something, but not everyone could clean up and keep as original as possible.
Again, no arguments or complaints in any way to full rebuilds!!! It's just me

Ok, well...after looking at pics of front closer, I understand why you would repair it...I didn't notice it was that bad until I zoomed in a bit ti check out the coin door you mentioned....

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from pacmanretro:

Ok, well...after looking at pics of front closer, I understand why you would repair it...I didn't notice it was that bad until I zoomed in a bit ti check out the coin door you mentioned....

Yeah, no question the front needs some love. A simple touch up won't do it for that...

#26 1 year ago

Pens losing, so the tear down continues. At least I can feel productive. Coin door out, front of the cab needs a lot of love.

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#27 1 year ago

And if this thing truly has less than 16,000 plays...awesome.

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#28 1 year ago

I was given a Vampire by a friend who had 2. The art work is wonderful, very close in style to EL Toro and King Tut. I like the game play. You need to keep the ball under control as much as possible, build bonus, then up the right side rail to the top hole to collect bonus. Keeping the up-post, up, is also important in order to make a tap shot to position the ball on the left flipper for the bonus shot. If I remember right Vampire was one of the pinballs in the background in the movie American Graffiti. Its in the scene where the Pharaohs force Richard Dreyfuss to break into the pinballs to steal the money. I have not started my restoration on Vampire, so it will be very interesting to see what you come up with and where you place any color LED's. By the way I always but 455 blinkers behind "Bally" and the name of the game. Many of the games from this time period came from the factory that way. Have blinker LED's come out yet? The legs look great in gray hammertone.

#29 1 year ago

Well I guess I'm going to have to watch American Graffiti now.

#30 1 year ago

I may replace the coin door with one of the chrome coin doors that came on latter Bally games. The one with angled coin slots. Has anyone tried this? Does it fit the opening? I sure the wiring will need to be modified. I love the look of this door

#31 1 year ago

It's going to be awesome when finished! It would look great if you could somehow keep or paint it that original stormy grey/black look to the hardware. It's not true black, but like a dark slate. That would look killer.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

Before / starting the tear down...

Ok ok, I'm totally nuts....I just had to zoom in real good to realize that must be a rag or piece of brillo or something in a couple pics sitting on apron.

I seriously (assuming toy of course) thought it was a bat!!

Too many cool drac/vamp things in my head lately I guess. Lol

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from pacmanretro:

Ok ok, I'm totally nuts....I just had to zoom in real good to realize that must be a rag or piece of brillo or something in a couple pics sitting on apron.
I seriously (assuming toy of course) thought it was a bat!!
Too many cool drac/vamp things in my head lately I guess. Lol

That is too funny...LOL. I try to clean parts up a little as I take them off...I find I'm lazier if I just toss them in a box and want to do it later.

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from fingersport:

I was given a Vampire by a friend who had 2. The art work is wonderful, very close in style to EL Toro and King Tut. I like the game play. You need to keep the ball under control as much as possible, build bonus, then up the right side rail to the top hole to collect bonus. Keeping the up-post, up, is also important in order to make a tap shot to position the ball on the left flipper for the bonus shot. If I remember right Vampire was one of the pinballs in the background in the movie American Graffiti. Its in the scene where the Pharaohs force Richard Dreyfuss to break into the pinballs to steal the money. I have not started my restoration on Vampire, so it will be very interesting to see what you come up with and where you place any color LED's. By the way I always but 455 blinkers behind "Bally" and the name of the game. Many of the games from this time period came from the factory that way. Have blinker LED's come out yet? The legs look great in gray hammertone.

Finger...Is the coin door on yours wood on the backside? Or yours SSBody?

Mine is, and every component is mounted to that. I've had other Bally games from the early 70's, and have a Hi Lo Ace that has a regular coin door. Granted that game came a few years later. I don't recall the other early 70's Bally games have a wood backing on the coin door.

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#35 1 year ago

I have been looking for a vampire for about 5 years now. I even have a nos pf for one! Great combo of being odd/diffrent, along with great artwork. I have never even played one. I saw one at the ohio show 5 or 6 years ago for sale for stupid money, even to todays standards, but I know I wanted one right away. Plus I dont know anyone else with one, which makes me want it more. I am the opposite of the collector that has the top 10 a titles in his collection. Being broke and a gottlieb fan makes it even easier to have a more eclectic collection. anyway bummer you are in pa, or I would offer a hand in your restoration. enjoy. Do it to the 9's!
kruzman

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from kruzman:

I have been looking for a vampire for about 5 years now. I even have a nos pf for one! Great combo of being odd/diffrent, along with great artwork. I have never even played one. I saw one at the ohio show 5 or 6 years ago for sale for stupid money, even to todays standards, but I know I wanted one right away. Plus I dont know anyone else with one, which makes me want it more. I am the opposite of the collector that has the top 10 a titles in his collection. Being broke and a gottlieb fan makes it even easier to have a more eclectic collection. anyway bummer you are in pa, or I would offer a hand in your restoration. enjoy. Do it to the 9's!
kruzman

Definitely man...wish you were closer. A hand with these things is always helpful. sohchx is going to clear the PF for me, I hear his work is stellar.

So how much do you want for the NOS playfield?

And I hear you on the game. Like I said above, I've seen 3 or 4 of them over the years including mine. Not a frequent game you come across. I may have seen the one you saw out there for crazy money at the York Show here. Should have bought it then also, but didn't pull the trigger. Regretted it after, but luckily I found another one a year or two later. Definitely let me know if you have any input as I go along.

#37 1 year ago

My coin door is also wood. That's why I want to change it to the chrome and stainless steel door. I'm in Florida right now and spent the weekend at "The Pinball Asylum". They had a number of Bally's from that time period and they all where wood door's. It looks like the opening is the same size. I saved a chrome door from a game I parted out.

#38 1 year ago
Quoted from fingersport:

My coin door is also wood. That's why I want to change it to the chrome and stainless steel door. I'm in Florida right now and spent the weekend at "The Pinball Asylum". They had a number of Bally's from that time period and they all where wood door's. It looks like the opening is the same size. I saved a chrome door from a game I parted out.

That's what I thought...thanks for checking. My Hi Lo Ace (1973) and Old Chicago (1976) have all metal coin doors, so I wasn't 100% sure.

If I were you, I don't think I'd switch out the entire door. Not sure if the newer typical Bally skin would fit this game as good as the original "coffin" skin. It just seems more fitting.

#39 1 year ago

Here are some pics of my nos pf. it was used as a table with glass on top and it has some 2 sided tape on it which has left marks, the pf is in my living room and not my studio, but I just spent 1 minute scratching off a piece of tape with my nail and it came off easy without damage. the stuff around the edge will come off in the studio when the top is sanded for clearcoat. the last pic shows where I removed and scratched.

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1 week later
#40 1 year ago

That PF is definitely nice...and thanks for the PM's. Cool chatting with you. I'm still mulling it over...

#41 1 year ago

Some more progress last night before leaving for the parade today...metal going to the powder guy this week, so trying to get that all stripped off.

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#42 1 year ago

Long live Ted Zale and Dick White.
May they always be remembered, although some already say, "Who are these people?..."
I just smile and state, "Some of the designers who brought you modern pinball ideas."

#43 1 year ago

Hi guys, I decided to buy the NOS playfield. I want that playfield in a game. I will need to have it shipped to me first for dimpling and then off to someone for clear coat. It has been suggested that a matte finish clear coat be put on so I think that is what I will do. Any comments? Also if anyone has information on the dimpling process please let me know. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

#44 1 year ago
Quoted from fingersport:

Hi guys, I decided to buy the NOS playfield. I want that playfield in a game. I will need to have it shipped to me first for dimpling and then off to someone for clear coat. It has been suggested that a matte finish clear coat be put on so I think that is what I will do. Any comments? Also if anyone has information on the dimpling process please let me know. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Damn it!!! I was really debating on getting it for this restore. Congrats...thing looks good and colors are nice and bright. I would reach out to sohchx. He does a lot of playfield work, clearing, etc. and can probably answer any questions you have. He is going to clear my Vamp playfield.

#45 1 year ago

I had contacted Ron about the playfield before he posted the pictures in your post and money was sent before I knew you where interested. If sohchx is clear coating your playfield maybe he can dimple mine at the same time. I have never dimpled a playfield before not sure how complex a task it is. Maybe some of the others following this can provide some insight.

#46 1 year ago
Quoted from fingersport:

I had contacted Ron about the playfield before he posted the pictures in your post and money was sent before I knew you where interested. If sohchx is clear coating your playfield maybe he can dimple mine at the same time. I have never dimpled a playfield before not sure how complex a task it is. Maybe some of the others following this can provide some insight.

It's all good...I was just joking. He offered it to me a while back and I sat on it...mine is in pretty good shape except for some fading. I'm still not sure...so I'm glad you got it. It looks very nice.

I would reach out to Darin...he can help you out. I've had one marked/dimpled, but I've never done one myself. It is a little tedious from what I've seen, but shouldn't be that bad on a Vamp.

#47 1 year ago

Personally, if you are going to clear coat the playfield, I would go for Gloss, not the matte finish. Perhaps maybe not so many coats?

While some purist don't like it, I personally love the play of an EM with a glossy clear coat. Those older Bally's with the no-link flipper plungers can certainly use any help they can get. I upgraded/converted my Champ to the newer link style hardware and was very happy with the improvement. It takes a lot of power to slam those messenger balls up to hit the Special target. Vampire doesn't need as much power but it is certainly benefit to not have to repeatedly fight it to collect bonus!

#48 1 year ago
Quoted from CactusJack:

While some purist don't like it, I personally love the play of an EM with a glossy clear coat. Those older Bally's with the no-link flipper plungers can certainly use any help they can get. I upgraded/converted my Champ to the newer link style hardware and was very happy with the improvement. It takes a lot of power to slam those messenger balls up to hit the Special target. Vampire doesn't need as much power but it is certainly benefit to not have to repeatedly fight it to collect bonus!

I'm glossing mine...I also love that look and really like the way it feels during gameplay. Smooth. Couldn't agree with you more.

And thanks for the flipper info...I wasn't even considering upgrading to link style...but am now. I'm also putting translucent red flippers on it, which some purists won't like. But like I said, I'm aiming for this game to be ridiculously nice and fast playing (as much as can be) by the time I'm done, so it's not going anywhere anyway. Besides, I think the translucent red flips will look fantastic on this thing.

#49 1 year ago

Hmmm. Maybe red faceted posts (not the ribbed ones) with green silicone rubber rings? I see nothing wrong with dressing your game up! Make it stand out. It sounds like when finished, it could take home a ribbon or two if you brought it to a local show.

Just don't start gluing fake plastic fangs on the plastics. Or Count Choc-ula figurines. LOL

#50 1 year ago
Quoted from CactusJack:

Hmmm. Maybe red faceted posts (not the ribbed ones) with green silicone rubber rings? I see nothing wrong with dressing your game up! Make it stand out. It sounds like when finished, it could take home a ribbon or two if you brought it to a local show.
Just don't start gluing fake plastic fangs on the plastics. Or Count Choc-ula figurines. LOL

LMAO. I needed that.

Actually, I was thinking about glow in the dark rubbers...think that green would match the PF / cab greens better also. And I was already thinking of converting to red posts..great minds think alike. The white posts on this game just don't work or do it justice, plus mine are practically the color of the Constitution, so they were getting replaced anyway.

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