+ Photos Courtesy Keith Nickalo +
Keith is talking right-to-left, with the small right-most
shield being the oldest and then Bally using the tall left-most shield on their
last games _ It would be my guess as well, that the taller design with a
greater number of flutes (ribs – the slits the guys refer to) were designed in to dissipate heat
and keep the light shield running as cool as possible, extending it’s life
– Farther away from the bulb
(taller) and more ribs to shed absorbed heat.
Now I have had Big Time, HiFi, Gay Time, and Surf Club and
they all have had the “shorter” – “split-front” shields, but with a painted
red top – Which means a 4th shield in mix – Laugh!
It is likely they started painting the tops red for several
reasons: To reduce glare on the playfield glass, to reflect more light to
the playfield surface, as a warning color that the surface runs hot – etc –
An affective color that could be purchased at the time having the necessary
high-temperature characteristics needed to perform and last on that very
hot surface over extended time.
~ My Surf Club ~
One final note is that Roger may well be right, where he
questions “if supply had anything to do with the change-up” he noticed on
the last games being produced and I would not at all be surprised. Bally
knew the “end-of-days” was coming, well before they shut the doors on
Belmont street. If they were making these in-house they could have shut
those lines off as part of the ramp down. It would not at all surprise me
either, that they were working with Belgium to ramp up new supply lines in
Europe and that as this part moved to a new factory, that it was redesigned
when they created new molds. If Bally was locally purchasing this part in
Chicago and news was out that they were ramping down and orders were
dropping off, it is likely their local supply was starting to move on too,
dedicating the crews and manufacturing space to other needs or dropping that
business all together – All likely scenarios!