Monday, August 18, 2008

Armor Attacked...

My Armor Attack was attacked. I have no idea how, when , why, or by who or what. All I do know is that one day I noticed a chunk broken out of the front left lower corner. The game was in my garage at my old house right before I moved. I took the broken piece and tucked it away for safe keeping thinking I would fix it after I got to my new house. So safe in fact , that now I can't find it. I don't think I would have been able to use the broken piece again anyway. I’m sure it will show up some day after I am reduced to bits of ash and bone and someone is going through my stuff. I can see them pulling this little corner of a game out of a bag or box and with a puzzled look on their face hucking it over one shoulder onto the pile. The game has now been in this fractured state for a few years. Some of you may have even played this game at the Cal Extreme a few years back , before this all happened. It has been too depressing to even deal with it, especially when I think about what I went through to get this game in the first place.

This is a game I rescued during a warehouse raid several years ago. Imagine arcade games laying on their sides and stacked on top of each other 7 to 10 games high. Now imagine stacks and stacks and stacks to the tune of about 250 to 300 games. Now imagine an Armor Attack about 3 rows back second from the bottom of one of those stacks. Such was the case with the first meeting of my beloved Armor Attack and me. After carefully breaking down and removing a few stacks of games my Armor Attack was finally free. Like the Island of Misfit Toys, the games had just sat there waiting for someone to come and play with them again ,losing hope until we showed up with 3 trucks and trailers in tow. Oh happy day. I loaded up this little gem along with several other games and headed for home.

The machine was in excellent shape considering it had been sitting there in the filtered sunlight covered with dust and dirt as the years ticked by. The games that had been stacked on top of it had protected it and preserved it well.I cleaned it up and we got it working. I repainted the cabinet and brought it back to its former glory. But why Armor Attack? Why was this game so special out of that huge pile of games? Glad you asked .

Back in the early 80's , Chuck E Cheese opened near us and had an arcade that was stocked full of all the instant 80's classics. For some reason, my now-brother-in-law Tim and I were just really hooked on Armor Attack. Most likely because I really sucked at playing arcade games and we could rack up a load of extra jeeps pretty easily and then take turns to get a drink or hit the restroom. We could play for a long time on a couple quarters and that we did.

There was no way I could leave an Armor Attack to rot in that tomb of games. I was going to get that game out of there no matter how many stacks of games had to be moved. Using a forklift we carefully unstacked the games and dug it out.The game came home with me, got restored and almost lived happily ever after until this happened.I knew it would have to wait until after I moved to deal with it. I have been here in my new house for far too long with my Armor Attack sitting wounded in the garage. It was time to go a little "Mad Scientist" on it and make it whole again.
I decided to document this in case one of you out there has a game that is attacked by the same unknown entity that attacked mine and you aren't sure what to do.

The victim and a close up of the wound.

I cleaned the wound, cut out a new piece, shaped it and drilled pilot holes for screws.

The inside rail going up about 12" above where the chunk was missing was broken loose and barely hanging on . It needed to be glued. I clamped it in place.

The new patch screwed and glued.

I filled in the t-mold slot with bondo and put a little over the screw heads. Usually I would use a router to re-cut the slot out but I was lazy and just free handed it with my Dremel style Black and Decker tool and a cutting wheel. It actually worked pretty well.

Ok, so the game is patched up but I still need some black vinyl to match. The new stuff isn't exactly the same. Hmmm....what would Dr. Frankenstein do ?
A skin graft , Duh !

I sliced a little piece from behind where the motherboard is mounted. It will be our little secret.

Stretched and glued it in place.

I think Dr. Frankenstein would be proud.

Just happened to have a NOS control panel for the final touch.

A new coat of paint on the front and the game is ready for action.

The End.

1 comment:

n2jeepn said...

Armor Attack looks good Dave! Glad to see it back in action. It didn't look happy tucked away in the garage away from all the rest of the games.