It starts pretty simple, you get your first new in box machine from Stern Pinall. You play it. You put your initials in. You get the #1 score. Then you get to claim the GC (Grand Champion) score. Then, you look more closely at the machine. It needs one or two small things. Sooner or later, you might accumulate a few mods.
So, you put a color DMD in there to make the game feel more modern, add some Brite Buttons to look cool when it's turned on. Then, you want to avoid breaking things and protect the machine. So, you add some PinGuard leg protectors. You don't want to break the plastics on the kickers or inlanes, so you protect those with plastic protectors. Then, you have to put down some leg leveler casters. Well, you have the machine for three years, and it needs new rubber rings. Might as well replace them with silicon ones. Here's what you get.
You know, they really ought to have something more than a flourescent light bulb in that backbox, so you pick up an interactive backbox kit.
Then, you notice that Sparky probably flashes a bit to much, so you tone it down with some UV bulbs. Then, how did the cost optimization team at Stern actually sign off on not giving Sparky a helmet. Maybe not the EL wire, but the helmet should have been on there. Well, Mezel Mods will fix that too.
Then, you just get irritated that there is a disembodied snake head on the playfield, so you buy the mouth decal and the plastic/ramp sticker mod. A good friend gets you the FUEL Gauge color mod.
You also want to get some extra light reflection bouncing around, but you don't want to risk scratching your $100 mirror blades, so you cut and stick "black chrome" auto vinyl on the inside of the cabinet. You head to Chicago Pinball Expo and see that there is an airball protector for Sparky. Then, the machine sits too still. Since its neighbor (Avengers LE) has a shaker motor, you put an official shaker motor into the cabinet.
So, what is missing?
First, I am slightly irritated that I didn't buy the orange plastic protectors, and they aren't readily available any more. So, the green ones do not match the Brite Buttons (Orange.) When you play, you can see the orange glow from the flipper buttons. So, I might swap those for green buttons.
As I look at this, I can't believe I didn't put black bolts on the legs. We can fix that tonight with some spray paint.
I keep toying with getting Sparky custom painted with some UV reactive paint on his shirt to interact with the UV flasher. So, the modding is never done!