Saturday, May 28, 2011

Scramble Arcade Restoration

I recently picked up an arcade machine with the intentions of restoring it. I saw this baby on craigslist and felt bad for it. It's called SCRAMBLE made in 1981 by STERN. STERN makes pin ball machines and this is one of their forays into stand-up arcade machines. I am a sucker for yellow, so after seeing the side side art and bezel art, I had to have it.

Scramble is a side scrolling game. You are a space ship with forward shooting guns and bombs that you drop on enemy rockets, turrets, and fuel tanks. One unique feature of this game is that you have to replenish your fuel supply. You do this by bombing the fuel tanks on the ground with your. Scramble was re-vamped a couple years later and sold as Super Cobra. The only thing that changed was instead of a spaceship, you were a helicopter. But you were still in space?!?!?!

Here it is when I first saw it. Sitting in a guy's gigantic dirt lot full of old construction equipment and various crap as you can see. It's surrounded by junk. I love an underdog and this was definitely an underdog. It was located in Laveen, Arizona, somewhere I never knew existed and never cared to look into. But my friend and I drove out to check it out. The game was in neglected shape, but not too bad. It didn't work, lights came on, it had power, but monitor was dead, or something, that's not why I am buying it. My main focus was the side art and artwork on the bezel and marquee. They were in good enough shape to convince me to buy it.

The owner and I agreed on a price and I loaded it up.
Now the fun part begins, the clean up and inspection. This thing was dusty, full of spider webs and who knows what else. I took the back off and opened the coin door and let fly with my leaf blower! My driveway was a cloud as twenty years of dust. I spent a long time blowing crap out of this thing. Then I vacuumed all the rocks and stuff out of the inside.

Look at those sweet side graphics...I found some old toys and some wasp nests inside.

No Idea what this plug on the inside of the cabinet does...
The artwork on the marquee and bezel are what made me fall in love with this cabinet. Look at these crazy Heavy Metal esque graphics! I love it! Also, its yellow, you don't see too many of those.

The bezel is glass and the artwork is screen printed on the underside of it. Now this has been neglected for years so the paint is starting to chip off. But that's ok, I love the used, neglected look of these old games. Check out the paint that's fallen off...

Also, the joystick overlay is stainless steel! With a screen printed graphic right on top of it! So cool. Joystick overlays are usually just painted black. So this is a neat detail.
I will be working on this thing off and on. My plans are to repaint or replace all the rusted bolts and repaint the front. I like how the sides look but the front is nasty. Has a big splotch of red paint on it. I am going to give all the black metal bits a fresh coat of paint and clean up the outside of the coin door. After that, I will start to look at why it's not working.

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