Author Topic: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1  (Read 940 times)

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Offline Strangeways

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Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« on: September 28, 2016, 10:12:24 PM »
This is a "Holy Grail" pinball that was on my radar for at least 10 years. I have one now, which will be documented in time, but this game is for an astute collector that wants a "Nearly In Box" Embryon to sit aside the Fathom I restored a few years ago. The history of this game is interesting. It was claimed to be a prototype at one stage, as the spinner was disabled and a rollover was DRILLED into the playfield. It took some research to find out that it was not a prototype, but it was so well done, that it took some time to work it out ! Once that was confirmed, we decided to restore the playfield to original design.

The game was presented in a cosmetically interesting condition. From a distance, the playfield looked reasonable. It appeared to have factory mylar, but I questioned this straight away, as Bally were not mylaring playfields in 1981. It was a "patchwork quilt" of mylar ! There were literally layers. Mylar was applied on previously touched up areas. This may be a "Holy Grail" pinball, but it has some concealed repairs that would look great in photos !

The cabinet had some wear and tear. It appears a transformer was bolted to the side of the cabinet at one stage with some breathing holes. Interesting. The paint was fading. The backglass had to be stored at home as I was moving from the Garage to the new building and I didn't want to risk any damage.

The boards looked tired, so I didn't bother firing it up.

So now we go back to my personal Embryon. A literal "basket case". So we have scope for at least two High End Restorations. I spoke to Tim at HRP and discussed options for the playfield restorations. He was VERY enthused for the challenge. so we put the call out ;

http://aussiepinball.com/index.php?topic=13160.0

Two more AP members stepped forward. One member stripped his own playfield and another brought the playfield to APR to strip. We now had FOUR playfields.

Here is the link to the INCREDIBLE work Tim and Stu do at HRP - http://aussiepinball.com/index.php?topic=13623.0

Here are some pictures of the game as presented ;








Playfield looks good in photos.. But "peel" away the layers of mylar and contact !





Enamel paint / touch up work ;





Strange crop circles in the playfield. Previous operator cut contact around this area ? Ancient Aliens say "Yes"..





More close up inspection ;





No words for this..





Here's my submission for "hack of the year". A Gottlieb SYS1 Flipper assembly ! I know the bally Linear flipper system is crap, but to replace it with a Gottlieb assembly is interesting !





Underside is slowly disassembled ;





Lower cabinet ;





Paint faded ;





An aftermarket transformer and some holes drilled for airflow.. More interesting mods !





Progress


The day FOUR restored Embryon playfields were returned to APR (see thread above). HRP are in a league of their own  @@*





Here is an interesting observation. The two playfields below are obviously Embryons, but with several color differences. When we decided on the project, we assumed all playfield were EXACTLY the same. but they are clearly not (check out the greys).








Next update -Cabinet repaint !




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Offline ddstoys

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 03:06:02 AM »
Nice venting wonder what was going on there lol. Looking forward to seeing these beauties finished

Offline coon82

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2016, 06:41:22 AM »
The before and afters are amazing. Embryon as NIB will be special, makes me want one  #.#
Wanted:   Black Hole (1981Gottlieb)                
                  Whitewater (1993 Williams)                
                  The Shadow (1994 Williams)

Offline Strangeways

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2016, 08:33:33 AM »
Nice venting wonder what was going on there lol. Looking forward to seeing these beauties finished

It appears to have been a transformer. The mounting holes and the shadow of filth and overheating on the side of the cabinet were a dead giveaway. That's why I didn't bother powering it up. Maybe it was used to power the GTB flipper mech  :D
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Offline oldskool1969

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2016, 07:03:00 PM »
Might one of these be for me ol mate over here in WA? I really want to play one of these beasts one day  ^^^
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Offline ddstoys

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2016, 07:24:19 PM »
Nice venting wonder what was going on there lol. Looking forward to seeing these beauties finished

It appears to have been a transformer. The mounting holes and the shadow of filth and overheating on the side of the cabinet were a dead giveaway. That's why I didn't bother powering it up. Maybe it was used to power the GTB flipper mech  :D

I've had a few like that with the Gottlieb flipper mechs and a seperate massive transformer to run the hahaha

Offline Boots

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2016, 07:31:50 PM »
Nice venting wonder what was going on there lol. Looking forward to seeing these beauties finished

It appears to have been a transformer. The mounting holes and the shadow of filth and overheating on the side of the cabinet were a dead giveaway. That's why I didn't bother powering it up. Maybe it was used to power the GTB flipper mech  :D

I've had a few like that with the Gottlieb flipper mechs and a seperate massive transformer to run the hahaha

My latest pickup has just that gottlieb flipper mechs in a Williams machine

Offline Crashramp

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2016, 08:56:17 PM »
Great stuff Nino, I've been looking forward to your resto thread on one of these since I heard about the playfield restorations. Such a beautiful looking game.

Offline ralph67

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2016, 02:23:56 AM »
Those playfields look amazing, nice work on restoring them 
With the 2 colour variations,
 I prefer the one on the right with the light brown tones on the sides of playfield , and the Insert lettering looks a lot clearer .
 How many are you rebuilding?
Oh and i agree some of the Bally mechs are a little bit crappy , el cheapo , The Gottlieb stuff almost never breaks, i suppose thats why they got reused all the time..
keep up the great work ..
 
 

One-Ball!

Offline Strangeways

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2016, 09:04:06 AM »
Might one of these be for me ol mate over here in WA? I really want to play one of these beasts one day  ^^^

This particular game is for a collector in NSW. The other one is my personal Embryon. I was going to do them concurrently, but I won't have the time to do mine.

The other two playfields were provided by customers who wanted their playfields restored.
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Offline Strangeways

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2017, 08:53:27 PM »
A number of challenges has been an ongoing issue with this restoration, and most of them surround the cabinet. A lot of work has been completed on the cabinet, but that will be in a separate update.

We move on to the lower side of the playfield. This era of Ballys has the white plastic #555 lamp sockets. Troublesome, and there are no replacements. This is where we need to look at the alternatives such as the standard #47 lamp sockets in various configurations. Obviously, if we replace the sockets, we have to replace the GI and feature lamp braid. Time consuming !

Here is the GI lamp circuit braid installed ;




Each individual part is cleaned and polished. Ready for installation on the upper or lower playfield




Rebuilt Drop Target Assemblies





Every single switch has it's capacitor cut. Rather then replace the capacitor, the operator snipped the cap !





More work under the playfield !








Flipper kits installed for all 4 flippers ;





Underside completed !











Next update will be the topside, and after that, the endless drama of the cabinet !
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Offline Pinballer

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2017, 07:02:53 AM »
Very nice, great work so far!

Offline Crashramp

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 06:33:17 PM »
Awesome work Nino, it’s going to be some machine when finished.

Offline Strangeways

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2017, 04:24:36 PM »
Awesome work Nino, it’s going to be some machine when finished.

Like your Genie - a long wait, but worth it in the end. Major update on this project next week.
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Offline Crashramp

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Re: Bally Embryon High End Restoration #1
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 07:32:42 PM »
Awesome work Nino, it’s going to be some machine when finished.

Like your Genie - a long wait, but worth it in the end. Major update on this project next week.

Genie had another huge workout over the weekend and she hasn’t missed a beat. I’m loving this game!