Twilight Zone pinball machine
I recently purchased a 1993 Bally Twilight Zone pinball machine, and have been enjoying playing/rebuilding/modifying all aspects of it. My current high-score is approx 2.1B with 5 balls (and what seemed like LOADs of extra balls!), and 432M on LITZ.
Twilight Zone has got to be one of the most modified machines around, so there isn't much that somebody hasn't done to their machine already. Check out a comprehensive list of the modifications available/possible at the TZ mod FAQ. Below is the list of modifications I have done to my machine, along with where I obtained the parts.
- Marbles in the gumball machine - Pinball Life
- 545/455 backbox flasher replacement - Pinball Mania
- Pincab protectors (to hide cabinet damage) - Pinball Fanatic
- 9.4H roms - Ebay/rompingirl
- Post behind UR flipper (in place of lower screw, prevents rocket bounce-outs) - Pinball Mania
- Plastic protectors - Pinbits
- Rottendog clock board - Rottendog Amusements
- Cliffy's Gumball Exit protector - Passion for Pinball
Sharpie side art restoration
The side art on one side of my machine faces into the room and was pretty badly faded so I wanted to rejuvenate it somehow. After some browsing I found some suggestions that use of permenant markers over the existing artwork to restore the colour worked well, and then saw proof on Ed Cheung's website. I gave it a go and as you can see from the images it came out very well! The fading from the white in the middle upto the purple was the hardest part, but I think I just about managed to make it look OK.
After about 800 games the rubbers were really dirty and had gotten that way far quicker than I had expected so I decided to strip the machine down to clear out any sources of the dirt. There was quite a lot on top of the playfield under all the ramps and plastics at the back, the flippers were caked in 'black' and no doubt kicking it all over the place whenever used. I went as far as I could without stripping the wiring loom from the bottom of the playfield (although I would have liked to take it off and get it washed), so hopefully the rubbers wont blacken so quickly this time. See below for the pictures I took while dismantling.
A lot of parts were cleaned/polished using a vibrating parts polisher (Berry's 400), that I got from Pin Restore. I highly recommend it as you can just chuck a load of parts in overnight and then the next morning, depending on how dirty they were, will be nice and clean! Larger parts such as flipper base plates fit but will probably require some manual work afterwards. As for media for it I used "Chipsi Corn Cob Granule Litter" from ZooPlus, it's about a tenner for 2 bags. I used 2 loads of media and that wasn't even half a bag.
I've been using 'Gerlitz No.1' carnauba guitar wax on the playfield and it seems to work well, the machine plays really fast and keeps a good shine.
Full image gallery here: Twilight Zone pinball machine teardown gallery
A quick video of someone attempting to play my machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtjRTDv9USQ