Fireball Ball Python
I’ll catch up one of these days and document the purchase and minor repairs on a 1980 Black Knight pinball by Williams. We bought it on a whim after attending the Southern Pinball Festival, and now we play it daily
Fireball was a classic EM (electromechanical) pinball, that was later released as a SS (solid state machine) called Fireball Classic. Fireball has this awesome spinning disc in the middle that changes the trajectory of the ball in play, and is a very cool pinball for its 70s vintage.
Fireball Home is a completely different creature. Bally’s home editions were simplified versions designed for home use only. There is no spinning disc, no coin mechanisms, less lights, less targets, you get the idea. They also made the cabinets out of cheaper wood, many of which have disintegrated by this time. The home editions often get disassembled, as the parts are worth more than a working game.
So given all that, WHY would I buy one?
In my quest to know how things work, I’ve always had a bad habit of taking apart something that works, and then leaving it non-functional for months or years. One trick I’ll use is to buy another one – something less valuable, that I can use for tinkering, and leave the real thing intact. So, when I saw a fully populated playfield for a Fireball Home edition on ebay locally for 5, I grabbed it.
The plan was to clean it, make the lights work, and hang it on the wall somewhere, as a good demonstrator for how pinballs work. “Hey, look, SOLENOIDS!” – so I purposely didn’t buy the MPU (computer), or the giant power transformer. Luckily the backglass had already sold, so I wasn’t tempted.
The fact that this wasn’t a great pinball game means that it saw far less play for its age than one of the more popular titles. This playfield has been sitting for a long time however, so it has lots of surface rust, and deposits on the wood and plastics.
I started the cleaning process using Novus 1 & 2 cleaners and then waxed the top of the play field with pure carnuba wax – you can see the results below…
So far, only two items have broken – they are screws for the top curved metal rail. Not sure if I can drill them out without making a real mess – they may have to be epoxied in.
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