I scored a FREE pinball machine, and its my first freebie. Thanks to pinball_customs, I'm the proud owner (adopter?) of a Gottlieb SURE SHOT. Brock found the game in the barn, and it shows because, unfortunately, the condition is of this Sure Shot is SURE SH*T. But what do you want for free, right?? I was going to put together a poll to see if the game should be saved, parted or re-themed, but as a bit of a purist, I'm heavily leaning towards trying to save the game...but I do have a few laments/reservations/concerns I've outlined below.
The Good: The playfield is decent. No significant wear areas. As you can see from the pictures, it was missing a ton of inserts. I removed the playfield, turned it right side up and the inserts came sliding out from under the apron. Jackpot! All the inserts but one: the outlane “2” insert...which should be easy enough to find/recreate. All the plastics are whole, except for the one up the middle in front of the centre pop bumper...which I suspect is broken on a good number of these machines. Pinball Rescue down under has a set available for purchase if I so choose. Cabinet will need a repaint but I'm pretty proficient with cutting stencils and laying paint on this era of game...I've done about eleven cabinets to date, so resurrecting the art on this one won't be a problem.
The Bad: The structure of the cabinet is a mess. Lots of delamination. The back panel of the cab will need to be replaced altogether. I'll need to find a creative way to replace the broken corners of the side planels where they meet the back panel...an important point where the legs meet the cabinet...so Bondo won't do. The head will also need a lot of attention, but nothing some glue, clamps and woodfiller won't fix. The game is missing a bunch of small things like flipper switches, coils, playfield glass, legs and a lockdown bar. All readily available, but all costing money. Probably more missing surprises, too. Lots of cracked posts. The coin door is going to be hell to clean up (I'm thinking of keeping the “Totally Awesome” sticker). The backglass is pretty rough and the paint is not just flaking, its peeling off in large chunks. I may triple thick it, but its probably too far gone. If I chose to restore, BGResto can probably help out with a replacement...but that's even more money. Oh, and mouse sh*t. Plenty of mouse sh*t, that's bad right?
I guess you could file this last lament under “Bad”, too, but I'm trying not to look a gift horse in the mouth: it's a bloody Sure Shot. Not a desirable title by any stretch of the imagination, nor one I see myself keeping for an extended period of time once complete. Should I invest my time and energy (and money) into saving a game that I'm not really keen on? And further, one that I'll probably have a hard time moving once it is complete? Game room space for me is at a premium as it is. Should I be saving this game just so I can say I saved the game? If it were an Atlantas or Centigrade 37 or Rock Star or Neptune or even Sure Shot's add-a-ball cousin, Bank Shot, I think the decision would be a whole lot easier. I've got a few projects (of more desirable titles) that need restoration sitting in the queue that I'm in no real big hurry to get to. I kind of want to embark on this project to see how well it will turn out. Restoration for the sake of restoration, I guess.
Would love to hear everyone's thoughts. Thanks in advance.