Big Guns (1987)


There really isn’t much more to say about Williams Big Guns except GIANT BACKBOX!

I’ve been trying to locate one of the Williams Magna-save machines (Black Knight, Solar Fire, Grand Lizard, Pharaoh). In my quest to collect unique pinball features, Magna-save has eluded me. A Grand Lizard showed up for sale and I contacted the guy. Someone managed to buy it before me, but he also had an Interflip Dragon and a Williams Big Guns for sale.

I ended up buying the Big Guns since it also has an unusual pinball feature – a GIANT BACKBOX!

Overall this machine is in ok shape. It needs going through and a tune up. It should clean up well.

Once I got into the machine I found a handful of things not working. Disconnected switches, broken switches, and half the display was out. I replaced the display with a brand new Xpin display. Then I cleaned the entire machine.

I decided to run all the metal guides through the buffer wheel and bring them to an almost mirror finish. I think it adds a little depth to the visuals of the machine. Here is a before/after of the left metal guide.

There were a few places with minor paint wear, so I thought this was an ideal time to try out my new paint. This paint is similar to the paint used on the playfield from the factory so I shouldn’t have to clear over it. I can touch it up and be done with it. I’m interested to see how this holds up.

Big Guns is a really dark machine. The entire back section is covered with several layers of plastic ramps and decals with only about 7 lights under all of it. It isn’t nearly bright enough to make the plastics glow or even light the upper playfield.

Here is the LED strip layout I ended up using to light the plastics on Big Guns. Each side has two red 7 SMD strips and one 8 inch 20 SMD strip from Comet Pinball. These are 6 volt strips so it’s easy to just tap them into the GI on the playfield.

On the left side there are two 7 SMDs on the playfield level and one 20 SMD under the top plastic piece.

On the right side I have one 7 SMD and 20 SMD on the playfield level and one 7 SMD stuck to the outside of the plastic ramp on the left side.

The strips just above the upper flippers on both sides do a pretty good job of lighting not only the plastic parts but also the upper playfield area.

The amount of red needed some contrast so I added Purple Passion LEDs under the drop target lights in the playfield. These aren’t in the picture though.

All of my plastic ramps are in great shape, but they have yellowed over the years. I found drowning them in red light really hides the yellowing. Overall, I’m pretty pleased.

Now that the game is finished and playing well, I have really warmed up to it. The rules aren’t deep, getting multi-ball isn’t too difficult, but it’s a really satisfying machine to bash the ball around. The music is cheesy and gets stuck in your head. The cannon firing the balls across the playfield is just cool. What’s not to love?