The arch (aka apron)

Remember my arch (aka apron)? The part that’s been cleaned so much that the graphic on it has been badly worn away? As a reminder, here are the photos:

Badly worn decal on left side of arch

Badly worn decal on left side of arch

Badly worn decal on right side of arch

Badly worn decal on right side of arch

Well, my original intention was to cover these up with new decals.

However, having ordered and received the new decals, I decided I didn’t want to use them because they would obviously look like decals if I applied them to the apron (as they are relatively thick compared to the current decals, which are silk screened onto the apron). So I’ve now decided to look for an alternative solution.

Having looked for an alternative way of transfering the image onto the arch, it became obvious to me, that potentially it was going to be difficult to reproduce the decals to a quality which I would find acceptable. I therefore decided that I would be better off to leave my current arch well alone and buy a second one to work on (preferably old).

So, off to eBay and then to the internet to find a second-hand TAF arch. But could I find one? No. Although I didn’t want to buy a new one, I even checked the on-line pinball shops, but even they didn’t have any.

But then I discovered something interesting. The part number for the TAF arch is A-13204-20017; the part number for a Jackbot arch is A-13204-50051; the part number for a Johny Menomic arch is A-13204-50042. I could see a pattern here. The A-13204 part of the part number was the same every time. Could it be that A-13204 denotes the metal part and the second part of the part number (ie 20017) denotes the machine (ie colour and decals)? After all, the aprons all seemed to look pretty similar, and it definitely would make business sense (for Bally/Williams) if they had always used the same base part for the arch. Even whilst looking through the shops, I found a “generic” Williams/Bally arch. Maybe my theory was correct?

A little research on eBay yielded the following:

A-13204-20017 = TAF Arch
A-13204-50051 = Jackbot Arch
A-13204-50042 = Johny Menomic Arch
A-13204-50005 = Fish Tales Arch
A-13204-50012 = Hurricane Arch
A-13204-50018 = Whitewater Arch
A-13204-50047 = Tales of the Arabian Nights Arch
A-13204-50004 = Getaway High Speed II Arch
A-13204-20001 = Harley Davidson Arch
A-13204-20018 = Creature from the Black Lagoon Arch
A-13204-50048 = Scared Stiff Arch
A-13204-50020 = Twilight Zone Arch
A-13204-50017 = Indiana Jones Arch
A-13204-20004 = Party Zone Arch
A-13204-50036 = Corvette Arch
A-13204-50039 = Theatre of Magic Arch

Could these all really be the same part? Or could there be a difference, for example, between the A-13204-5XXXX parts and the A-13204-2XXXX parts?

So it was off to my favourite forum ( to see if anyone there could help me. Well, after three days I’d had no reply to my question, so decided to take the plunge and try to buy one of the other arches second-hand.

A quick posting on the newsgroup got an almost instantaneous answer and I was offered a Hurricane arch for 15 dollars. So I bought it.

Now this arch is going to take at least a few weeks to get to me – enough time to research and work on my decal/transfer idea/technique……

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