Ben Heck inches closer to finishing 'Bill Paxton Pinball' machine


When I interviewed modder extraordinaire Ben Heckendorn a couple of months ago, he mentioned that he’d been working on building a pinball machine from the ground up and that it’d be called “Bill Paxton Pinball” when all is said and done. While it’s not quite together yet, Heckendorn has made some serious progress on the actual cabinet itself, which now includes photos of Paxton in various movie and TV roles such as Twister, Big Love, and True Lies.

The TV and movie themes won’t just be found on the outside of the pinball machine, though, they’ll also be incorporated into the scoring and obstacles:

The idea with the pinball is to have the modes based off popular Bill Paxton movies, for instance, in “True Lies” mode, you’ll need to shoot combos and multipliers to I guess get into Jamie Lee Curtis’ pants.

Some current other mode ideas:

  • Titanic: Probably a ramp shot, then the ball rolls down a miniature “sunken Titanic hallway” with a chance at 3 exits for x1, x2 or x1 multiplier. This fills a “Heart of the Ocean” light matrix near the flippers (hung around the neck of Britney Daniels from Club Dred) that gives a big bonus when full.
  • Aliens: Hitting the 4 position drop target cues “Hudson, run a bypass”. There will be (2) 2 digit LED counters near the drop targets, representing the ammo in the Alien guns (starting at 99 each) At random intervals gunfire is heard (aliens being shot) and the counters drop. The goal is to clear all drop targets before they reach zero, if successful, you get points equal to the counters X 1000.
  • Twister: Probably not much for this one as there already exists a Twister pinball. Mostly quotes, and one of the metal rails will probably be vaguely tornado-shaped.

If the ball goes down the drain the game will play a mode-specific negative comment, for instance, in “True Lies” mode, Paxton would probably say “I got a little dick, it’s pathetic!”

Big Love

Look it’s Bill Paxton’s family from the weird HBO show “Big Love”! Instead of multiball this game has BIG LOVE MODE, in which you must juggle 3 balls at once – fitting, eh? Also notice above the moon (”Apollo 13″) there is a greasy pork sandwich being served in a dirty ashtray.

Outstanding stuff. This machine will rest forever in Heckendorn’s house because “since it clearly contains artwork and sound from movies, it could never legally be resold.” So if you want one, you’ll have to build your own.

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