So here we are August 20th 2022, and my story starts in an old abandoned arcade warehouse where I discovered some machines that sat for 25+ years with the roof caving in, and the dreams of the past sitting in limbo dying a horrible death. In this section of the building were sights that hurt me to see, and things a pin lover should never have to witness. I saw a coney island with wood, and shingles through the glass top, a Bally space invaders with so much fungus, and mold that the body was literally collapsing under its own weight, an eros one with garbage piled on it, and the list goes on. Keep in mind, this is the neglect of an 85 year old ex arcade owner, who became a hoarder. Great guy, long time friend, but will not part with his projects that he says " I will fix back up one day". So let's back up a few months, to when I contacted my friend to see if he still had a machines around that I could possibly buy to restore for my guitar building shop....every cool shop needs a pinball machine or two. I stop by, and he says yes, I have a few machines in the back warehouse, but I'm not sure I want to part with any, because I want to repair them, and sell them eventually. He can't walk good, he's very brittle, and has no time to mess with them among his 43,000 other "projects" he has going. The door raises up, and my heart sunk, roof collapsing, wood, and shingles everywhere, dozens of juke boxes covered in crap, and in the back I spot what I'm looking for... pinball machines. I climb through the debris, and make my way to what appears to be a game plan coney island. A bucket list game for me! Next to it, a wild fyre, a space invaders, and several cocktail machines stacked on each other. So I make my way back out, and begin the negotiations , or rather begging in this case, to get them out. Fast forward a couple weeks, my phone rings, and he's says come get a couple machines, and we'll work out a deal for a couple others later. I show up, and we begin the process of getting these monsters out from the rubble, over the juke boxes, and out onto the trailer. The coney island is shielded by most damage by all the debris piled on it, but it's very rough, the wild fire, is actually in decent shape still for the same reasons, and the eros one is surprisingly good as well. Then we get to the space invaders... as we try to shift it over to move, the body begins to crumble literally in our hands, the back box is trying to fall off, and the back left leg snaps off under its wide body weight. It's bad... really bad. We finally load up, trailer full, and we head to my shop to unload, and access the damage, and where to start first. So, I took the coney island on first. Spent months finding parts, boards, etc, and struggled with that as Game Plan has been gone a long time. My first pin will be a tough one, but after months, and months, it's a restored finished project thanks to Robert at robotworks, and his beautiful remake of the boards in gameplan games. (Pics below)
But!!! Let's move on to why you and I are here... the space invaders, or what was left of it, and my obsession to build a custom pin for my guitar shop. I'm 53, live in Alabama, and I own Bigg Deal Custom Guitars , I make hand built guitars, and have an electronics/electrical contractor background, so how hard could this be? Well reality, and and dreams often do not get along, so my journey begins 2 weeks ago, as I bring you up to speed on this journey. I'm in full swing, doing homework, watching video, asking questions, and I'm in terribly deep at this point, but I think I'm hooked! Went to SFGE in Atlanta, and now it has gotten worse. I'm building the box, the Blackbox, new door frame, new playfield, etc, with surround sound with digital backbox screen, new digital score keepers from rottendog, a new cpu ordered, rgb led runway lights, and yes I'm in deep as I said. The theme will be a repurpose from my logo, with a totally new playfield, ramps, and more than my brain can take all at once. So let's start here with photos before you lose interest in this long explanation, and then I'll move on from this point.