This thread details the removal of the original artwork off of an old machine and replacing it with my own custom theme. Results may vary.
I've been toying with the idea of creating my own custom designed pin for a while now, and scouring Craigslist for a cheap, easily modded machine in my area. My criteria for the search was loose, but I came to the assumption that an EM would be ideal for a few reasons:
1.) No boards to re-code, or sound effects and music to have to try and alter, or match up with.
2.) It would give me a chance to become acquainted with fixing up an EM, as my only other pin is a Dr. Dude which I've gotten the hang of maintaining.
3.) It would be a lot cheaper to buy an EM over a more modern machine.
There were several I could have chosen from, but they either didn't have the features or layout I wanted, or they were in TOO good shape. I ideally wanted something that I wouldn't feel bad about defacing, so if it had been restored or kept in excellent condition, I passed on it out of principle.
Luck struck a few days after Christmas, as I found a listing in the same town as me for a VERY inexpensive 1971 Bally Mariner. The guy selling it was looking to reclaim some garage space, and was upfront that it had no "scores", but it worked. In fact, it was missing the entire backbox, but I figured "what the hell" and took it, thinking I could build my own backbox, and buy the parts I might need. Or alternately, I was SURE I could easily find someone with a compatible backbox that I could use. I mean, as long as it was a 4-player Bally from the same time period, it should just plug and play, right?
Well, no. But I had hoped so.
PART 1: BUYER'S RECOURSE
First things first, the seller was nice enough to drive it to my house as I wouldn't have been able to fit the cab into my Hyundai Elantra. I tested it out while it was still in his garage, and sure enough, the flippers worked, as did the slingshots and bumpers. That was enough for me, so I put it into my garage and prepared to move it downstairs.
As you can see, the artwork is mostly intact, but there are some rough spots near the top, especially the left lane.
Testing it a bit more, I managed to blow a fuse almost immediately. Went and bought some new ones from Radioshack, and made a note to buy new legs and feet for the machine, as they had completely rusted and locked in place, and were not in any condition to be used on my flooring as is. I disassembled the cabinet, removing the playfield, and the board holding the relays in place, and brought those inside first, then vacuumed out the empty cabinet.
I got to work removing the rubbers, which may not have been replaced since 1971.
The original colors are peeking out behind a post, free from the ravages of time.
Here's a closeup of the damage in the left lane.
All posts and rubbers removed. Next comes the fun part. Look away if you must.