(Topic ID: 231017)

Finding my Place in the Food Chain while Taking on the (Bally) Frontier

By TractorDoc

2 years ago


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There are 1098 posts in this topic. You are on page 22 of 22.
#1051 3 months ago

Here it is!

1980 Bally Frontier.

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As you can see from the picture I've had this one for a bit. If you've read thru this thread you know I've restored the Fathom you see sitting behind it.

No wild story about finding this one. It was simply listed here on Pinside by Skypilot and I was fortunate to see/reply to his ad in a prompt manner. Being able to buy the game was nice, but getting to meet Keith was probably the better result of the situation as he was kind enough to give me a tour of his collection and workshop. I can't guarantee he can do the same for the next guy he sells to; hopefully I did not overstay my welcome.

Keith had the game in his garage folded up with the legs off and I think that is how we loaded it. He told me it booted/played and I was good with that as I was just thrilled to find this title so close to home. After unloading I set it up and it did play good. . . for the first few games.

Not long after some glitchy behavior presented itself. It started with first losing all the under playfield insert lamps, followed by some garbled displays, then finally the game decided not to boot after being powered on. It was officially moved to "Project Row" until I could give it proper attention.

Frontier's turn is up and I'm looking forward to refurbishing this game as I like the theme. . . plus I'm one of those people that enjoys the cricket background sounds. Especially when you have the bonus up and the frequency/intensity of the chirps rises along with it.

I will try to get some "before" pictures posted in the next couple days -- forgot to bring my camera with me to the farm workshop today.

#1052 3 months ago

Really amazing, how much does it cost you to refurbish a machine like you did on Seawitch?

My Flight 2000 would benefit from a playfield swap.

#1053 3 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Here it is!
1980 Bally Frontier.
[quoted image]
As you can see from the picture I've had this one for a bit. If you've read thru this thread you know I've restored the Fathom you see sitting behind it.
No wild story about finding this one. It was simply listed here on Pinside by Skypilot and I was fortunate to see/reply to his ad in a prompt manner. Being able to buy the game was nice, but getting to meet Keith was probably the better result of the situation as he was kind enough to give me a tour of his collection and workshop. I can't guarantee he can do the same for the next guy he sells to; hopefully I did not overstay my welcome.
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Keith had the game in his garage folded up with the legs off and I think that is how we loaded it. He told me it booted/played and I was good with that as I was just thrilled to find this title so close to home. After unloading I set it up and it did play good. . . for the first few games.
Not long after some glitchy behavior presented itself. It started with first losing all the under playfield insert lamps, followed by some garbled displays, then finally the game decided not to boot after being powered on. It was officially moved to "Project Row" until I could give it proper attention.
Frontier's turn is up and I'm looking forward to refurbishing this game as I like the theme. . . plus I'm one of those people that enjoys the cricket background sounds. Especially when you have the bonus up and the frequency/intensity of the chirps rises along with it.
I will try to get some "before" pictures posted in the next couple days -- forgot to bring my camera with me to the farm workshop today.

Keith’s an awesome dude, glad you got to meet him!

2 weeks later
#1054 3 months ago
Quoted from DanMarino:Really amazing, how much does it cost you to refurbish a machine like you did on Seawitch?

Thanks! Cost? I have all the receipts for each project kept in a folder. . . but I'm always too scared to add them up!

#1055 3 months ago

I'm long overdue for an update.

Here is a pic of how the game sat as it patiently waited its turn with the other projects.

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The backglass was removed for stable storage and safe keeping.

My Plan is as Follows:

1. Cabinet. It will be sanded, primed, and painted with automotive paint / Pimp stencils much the same way Fathom was.

2. Playfield. It presents ok, but there is enough wear in certain areas that bothers me. Because I like to try new things (and because there is no aftermarket playfield available) I will be going the hardtop route thanks to Outside Edge.

3. Backglass. Keep it original/try not to break it.

4. Boards. Update/Upgrade as needed. Definitely a new rectifier board, perhaps a new Weebly MPU and/or Alltek Lamp Driver if I decide to go with LEDs.

5. Personal Tweaks/Touches. I'll have a couple -- you'll just have to wait and see what I'm thinking.

#1056 3 months ago

Several Cabinet Pictures.

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Its dusty on the inside but mostly unmolested. The exterior wood is planked, the cabinet is separated in places, and the blue looks to have been touched up sometime in the past.

My primary goal for the start of this project will be to have the cabinet sanded down and repainted before the cold weather comes in a number of months. I know it seems like there should be plenty of time to make that happen, but sometimes life has a way of prioritizing other projects. I will try to stay focused!

#1057 3 months ago

Playfield Pictures.

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The mylar did a good job of protecting the center region(s), but there is enough wear in the inlanes/outlanes, outhole, at the top arc, around the Frontier bonus saucer, etc. that I will go the hardtop route.

Fear not for this playfield though, I thought it was good enough that I would have felt bad sanding it down. Sometime back I sourced up a second Frontier playfield with much more wear than mine that will be used for the hardtop project. The good thing about this having this game in waiting is that I've been able to gather up a good number of parts already. . . but that will not stop me from having another dozen or so parts orders to get it finished though.

1 week later
#1058 85 days ago

Some interior cabinet pictures before I started with disassembly.

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#1059 85 days ago

It did not take long to have the insides bagged/tagged.

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The playfield and other long, skinny parts will be tucked away for awhile.

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Bare lower cabinet (minus ground braid) ready for sanding/examination/repairs.

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#1060 85 days ago

Damage Assessment.

The panel the upper cabinet mounts on has pulled away from the base. I had noticed the upper cabinet wiggling back and forth a bit when it was not bolted down. I think nails are usually used to hold the two pieces together. I'll replace those with a combination of screws and glue.

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My old nemesis, particle wood. I think I can rebuild it.

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The bottom panel is separated from the rest of the cabinet in a number of areas. A replacement (bottom) may be in the future.

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There is more, but those are the biggies.

#1061 85 days ago

I used a wood chisel to nibble away at the sections of plywood that were holding the bottom panel in place and soon enough it was free. I still have some of the nice plywood I used to make the new bottom panel for Fathom. . . I'd hate to have to buy a new piece now! The metal security plate looks like it will cleanup well and can be reused.

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#1062 85 days ago

A sharp eye notices the cabinet in the above post has had some sanding done.

Your eyes do not deceive you (if you noticed).

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I like how the Serial Number follows the contour of the Cougar. I'll hope to align the new stencils up accordingly.

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Most of the heavy sanding done. Still a lot of little areas to hit around the inside.

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Some nice plywood was used on this cabinet. I did not come across a single knot or patch anywhere.

I'm still working on a plan for how I want to proceed with the upper cabinet. There are parts of the interior I'd like to preserve, but I'll save those details for a future post.

#1063 85 days ago

Finally I understand where your your nickname comes from

#1064 85 days ago
Quoted from harig:

Finally I understand where your your nickname comes from

Here is another from the weekend for you. At least for the Tractor part anyway.

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#1065 85 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I'm still working on a plan for how I want to proceed with the upper cabinet

You don't call that the head?

I wonder what people think in public if they overhear 2 pinheads talking about where they're going to stash the heads and the bodies....

#1066 85 days ago
Quoted from slochar:

You don't call that the head?

I wonder what people think in public if they overhear 2 pinheads talking about where they're going to stash the heads and the bodies....

I like to mix it up a bit. Head, backbox, upper cabinet, display box, etc.

An extended vocabulary lessens the monotony of discussing the same topic at length.

To your point, I have a couple heads and bodies tucked away on a shelf in my shop.

#1067 85 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

To your point, I have a couple heads and bodies tucked away on a shelf in my shop.

It’s a good idea to keep the legs shrink wrapped together near by.

#1068 85 days ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

It’s a good idea to keep the legs shrink wrapped together near by.

I keep those next to all the balls I've collected over the years.

This thread has taken a dark turn. I'll get back to work for the next post, I promise!

1 week later
#1069 78 days ago

Attempted my first (Frontier) cabinet repair yesterday.

Tried filling in the large chunk missing out of the back particle board section with fiberglass resin.

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I used gravity to hold the barriers in place as the particle wood did not need any new holes put in it.

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Only problem is I cannot see how well the repair looks on the backside as it needs a larger area needed filled in than one can see here. That will give me something to look forward to this evening when I pull the resin barriers.

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#1070 72 days ago

Continued with cabinet preparations today.

I found the can of wood hardener I used on Fathom's particle back panel. Used the rest of it on Frontier. Not the best picture, but you can sort of see how the resin filled in the left corner -- even though it still needs more filler its better than I thought it would turn out. Just a FYI, a foam applicator is not the best choice for this product!

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When I removed the bottom panel there was still a wood lip along the bottom perimeter that needed cleaned up. After finding a good wood chisel (sometimes they get used for other things around here and get ruined) the excess material was shaved off. I had used a router to accomplish this on Fathom when I removed the bottom panel. The router is probably a cleaner method. . . but it takes longer to setup.

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Started smoothing over major defects with some body filler.

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Poor choice of lighting for the picture but you can see what looks like a cabinet corner where the missing chunk used to be.

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I pulled the mount for the upper cabinet where it was loose and will reattach it later. Major sanding is done. Next step is to sand down the filled areas then shoot a coat of primer.

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#1071 72 days ago

Focused some attention on the upper cabinet as well.

All the original information cards are still in place without rips, tears, etc. They do look a little weathered, but how else would they look out on the Frontier? Because the metal grounding panel is actually metal and in overall good condition as well I decided to leave everything in place.

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All masked up, ready to go out in public.

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Sanded off the old artwork. Luckily there are not a lot of significant repairs to be made. I glued an area of loose laminate last night and both cabinets should be ready for primer soon.

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1 week later
#1072 65 days ago

First coat of primer on the cabinets yesterday.

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It dried quickly, that allowed me to see uneven areas out in the daylight and I applied filler accordingly.

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Today I hope to spray a coat of filler primer and have everything ready for base color. Frontier's cabinet will be nice, probably not Fathom nice, but still very respectable when finished.

#1073 64 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Frontier's cabinet will be nice, probably not Fathom nice, but still very respectable when finished.

Speaking of Fathom, it took a ride today from the workshop to my house. Filled the game room up before I could bring Fathom home but recently sold a machine. . . I moved it today before I found something else in the marketplace.

Its easier for me to put it in the back of the Kubota and drive the mile or so across the farm vs. loading it up in the Jeep.

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#1074 64 days ago

Three coats of High Build Primer on the Cabinets today. Weekend goal accomplished!

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#1075 64 days ago

As a bonus I also fabbed up a new bottom for the Frontier cabinet this weekend.

I found the piece of birch veneer plywood that was used for Fathom's bottom. Glad I did not have to buy a new piece at today's prices!

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The table saw cut the wood down to size.

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A router and hole saws were used to duplicate the openings found on the original bottom piece. Clamping the original over the new piece of wood made for an easy pattern to follow.

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Almost ready for installation. I'll give it a couple coats of polyurethane and the spray the base blue inside the cabinet first.

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#1076 64 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

As a bonus I also fabbed up a new bottom for the Frontier cabinet this weekend.
I found the piece of birch veneer plywood that was used for Fathom's bottom. Glad I did not have to buy a new piece at today's prices!
[quoted image]
The table saw cut the wood down to size.
[quoted image]
A router and hole saws were used to duplicate the openings found on the original bottom piece. Clamping the original over the new piece of wood made for an easy pattern to follow.
[quoted image]
Almost ready for installation. I'll give it a couple coats of polyurethane and the spray the base blue inside the cabinet first.
[quoted image]

Why didn't you just sand and coat the original?

#1077 64 days ago
Quoted from Methos:

Why didn't you just sand and coat the original?

I don't think any amount of sanding/coating would have eliminated the scratches and stains from the original bottom.

Besides, you cannot tell me that new bottom isn't pretty.

1 week later
#1078 51 days ago

Last weekend I forgot my camera while at the shop, but I worked on sanding the high build primer, filled in a few last uneven areas, then put on a final coat of sealer primer as I had exposed some wood in a few areas. Pictures would have more or less looked like my previous posts anyway.

Today I took the first color step by spraying the interior of the playfield cabinet.

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If you think that blue looks familiar your eyes don't deceive you -- its the same metallic blue that was used as the base on Fathom's cabinet. Frontier's base blue color was very close (if not the same) to what I had matched up for Fathom.

Sunlight brings out the sparkles.

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With the interior color on I can work on putting the new bottom in (easier to paint all those inside bits without it). Tomorrow I'd like to put a coat of polyurethane on the bottom panel before securing it in place. I'll post back if I'm successful.

#1079 51 days ago

A test fit of the new bottom in the cabinet -- looks good!

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Once I was satisfied with the fit I put the first coat of polyurethane on. It certainly does hi-light the wood grain nicely.

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When I made the bottom for Fathom I also made a new tilt mounting board. There was enough wood to make a second one so I dusted it off and gave it a coat of polyurethane too. Its the smaller square you see sitting on the sawhorse.

#1080 47 days ago

Yesterday afternoon included a sanding and second coat of poly to the bottom and tilt panels.

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My order of Pinball Pimp Stencils arrived and are working thru the de-tubing process.

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#1081 45 days ago

I've been a bit disappointed with my cell phone camera as of late -- it does not seem to save a portion of the pictures that I take.

I wanted to post several with the new bottom panel in place but they have disappeared from the gallery.

Anyway, at least I can post a picture of the refurbished security plate going back in place with the original style oval head nails.

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Then I've begun the process of replacing the wood lip I removed with the wood chisel.

I will glue square wood strips along the periphery of the cabinet inner edge then sand them all flat once they are set. From there they will get some filler, primer, and paint and the bottom will be "done."

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#1082 45 days ago

What was the purpose of that security cover?
Avoid people cutting through the wood and steal the coins?

#1083 45 days ago
Quoted from harig:

What was the purpose of that security cover?
Avoid people cutting through the wood and steal the coins?

Yep

#1084 44 days ago
Quoted from harig:

What was the purpose of that security cover?
Avoid people cutting through the wood and steal the coins?

As stated, yes. The original bottom panel is a thinner and likely more easily punctured material so I imagine the metal was somewhat of a deterrent. Although I would think it would be just as easy to make a hole in other areas. . . or attack the coin door with a screwdriver as seems to be the case with games I've owned in the past.

3 weeks later
#1085 22 days ago

Loooong overdue for an update.

I spent the week before last backpacking thru Yellowstone NP with a couple buddies -- I know everyone likes to see other people's vacation pics so here are a couple I've sorted thru so far.

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#1086 22 days ago

Back home I finished installing, filling, then sanding the wood filler strips around the inside cabinet edge.

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#1087 22 days ago

Saturday the cabinets made it outside to spray blue on the inside of the upper cabinet and around the bottom perimeter of the lower cabinet.

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#1088 22 days ago

Yesterday I rolled the cabinets out again and finished spraying the base blue. I followed up with a coat of intercoat clear to protect the blue base layer when I apply the first stencils (hopefully later this week/weekend).

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The blue looks dark in some lighting. . . but sparkles nice in the sun!

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#1089 16 days ago

Took advantage of the nice weather today to apply some stencils. The first set on Frontier are rather simple and were easy enough to apply, although I did have to go back and look at before pictures to know which way the eagle/hawk was facing on the upper cabinet.

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In some ways it would have been nice if the wolf was painted in it entirety so as not to worry about getting the lines to match up as well on the cougar with the second stencil, but I suppose that would have wasted a lot more paint. For the record the yellow and orange that I'm using were quite pricey -- more on that later.

#1090 16 days ago

Once the stencils were on it was time to take advantage of my very organized work bench and mix up some yellow.

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It takes ten times as long to prepare vs. what it does to paint, but if you do it right the results are worth it. I sprayed the yellow, pulled the stencils, then sprayed a coat of inter-coat clear around the newly painted yellow areas. The powdery looking stuff on the blue is just clear overspray and will be cleaned up before the next stencil goes on.

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At first I thought I pulled the alignment squares off with my upper cabinet stencil, but I guess there are none between stencils there on Frontier.

#1091 16 days ago

I don't know how well it shows up on the internet, but the yellow (and the orange) will have a metallic effect in addition to the blue. It becomes much more noticeable once the clear is applied, but you can get a hint of it now when the sun is at the right angle.

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Metallic in the yellows and oranges was significantly more costly than the blues and greens. Those little cans cost what two of the big blue ones would have!

Hopefully I can get the orange stencils to line up nicely and also get a couple more nice painting days before the cold creeps in. Fingers crossed!

#1092 16 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Metallic in the yellows and oranges was significantly more costly than the blues and greens. Those little cans cost what two of the big blue ones would have!

I'm betting that it's because of the formulation required to actually achieve proper coverage... yellow and orange are notorious in a lot of paints of requiring either many more coats, or a backing of white paint, to achieve good coverage.

1 week later
#1093 9 days ago

Weekend Update Time.

Second set of stencils applied to both cabinets.

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All in all I was pleased with how I was able to align the second stencil over the first. No major creases or bubbles in the important spots.

I was also able to get the serial number to line up with the arch of the bobcat.

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#1094 9 days ago

Mixing up the orange on the workbench.

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The orange was somewhat thinner than the yellow. I was surprised to find that the yellow actually had better coverage over the blue. It took a couple more coats than I wanted to bring out the orange. This resulted in a thicker layer of paint but I'm content with the end result. I will have a couple minor touch ups to tend to; I'll also clean up the areas where the alignment squares were positioned.

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#1095 9 days ago

Probably difficult to see on the web once again, but the orange also had a nice metallic to it. It shows up better in the orange than it does on the yellow. Once the clear is applied it should really pop.

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Rather than apply the clear today I'll let the orange dry overnight. I'll go over everything with the scruff pad tomorrow to try and soften up the heavier edges on the orange. Hopefully I can post back with the result.

#1096 8 days ago

After making a few touch ups and some time spent on preparation I took advantage of a lovely fall day to spray three coats of clear.

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A honey bee must have found the clear aroma appealing. Luckily the coat had dried enough for it not to leave any tracks. All part of the fun of painting outside.

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Not long after the third coat the wind picked up a bit so I hauled everything back inside. Took a quick self portrait first though. Priorities.

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#1097 8 days ago

Upper Cabinet. Poor lighting indoors does not do the paint justice.

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#1098 8 days ago

After the wind had died down I rolled the lower cabinet back outside for a couple glamor shots.

To my eye the cabinet turned out very nice. Maybe not as nice as Fathom -- a bit more prep went into that cabinet and I like the combination of greens and blues better -- but this result is something I will be proud to display in my game room.

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Looking at the finished product it would be a disservice to use the old side rails. I suppose I'll have to place and order with Mantis soon. I'll also have to decide which pieces to work on next. . . transformer. . . coin door. . . playfield. . . there is a lot to choose from!

There are 1098 posts in this topic. You are on page 22 of 22.

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