This was the first pinball machine I bought. I did no research
on the seller and chose one who was close to keep shipping
costs low. As my Indiana Jones machine says, "You chose
poorly." I bought the machine from Kirk Weaver (eBay
kaweaver). The auction said the machine was in great shape
and had no playfield wear. I was extremely disappointed when
I received the machine with a huge divot, three inches, below
the slot machine entrance. Someone did an absolutely horrible
touchup job and after a few plays the new paint was coming
off on the ball. The machine had a slew of mechanical problems
too. Looking back I'm glad the machine was in this condition.
It forced me to jump in and learn how to repair pinball machines.
I repaired all of the mechanical issues and the machine played
The next thing I needed to do was to repair the horrible
painting job on the playfield. I did some paint work and it
looked pretty good. I decided to try something a little different,
I had someone take a hi-resolution picture of their good playfield
and I made a decal. The decal was so close to the original
that no one ever commented on it until I told them.
One day on the RGP newsgroup Chad Keller posted an ad for
a few NOS playfields. One of them was a Twilight Zone playfield
clear coated by Playfield Renovations. I spent too much money
and bought it. The playfield was not dimpled or drilled and
that was just a blast (sarcasm). I made a template using transparency
film and hand-punched the dimples. Drilling an almost irreplaceable
piece of wood does make me sweat a bit, but it came out great.
I cleaned every single part before I re-installed them on
the new playfield. I re-cut all the wires and solder them
myself. I do a much better job of soldering than the average
person routing pins. A couple of tweaks here and there and
the machine is awesome. The next thing I need to tackle of
this machine is to refurbish the cabinet with new decals.
I leave those jobs for spring and fall when I can actually
spray lacquer without killing my dog.
Before I started collecting pinball machine I had always loved
Twilight Zone. The sheer number of toys in the machine is amazing.
The modes are all interesting. The Powerball even keeps great
players on their toes. The machine has been voted number one
time and again by pinball collectors. I still love mine. Someone
would have to offer me a boatload of cash to sell this one.
If I did I would just look for another one to fix up ;-)
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