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stoxman22
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Top Gun Marshall

Postby stoxman22 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:28 pm

I have just read the article in MMM from Robert about the Marshall. I remember this machine so well. I spent a lot of time in Mablethorpe, we had a caravan there in my youth as my mum is from Skeggy and she wanted to have a base near her Sisters. It is such a pity that machine didn't end up with a collector it was very addictive and I bet not many were made.
Another machine in the same arcade was a Second World War aircraft shooter. You looked through a sight and used a joystick type of handle to shoot at planes on a film of a dog fight. I ask the owner recently about that machine and he had skipped that as well. He did tell me the film was an original WW2 training film. I wonder if Robert can throw any light on this classic?

rippyspennyarcade
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Re: Top Gun Marshall

Postby rippyspennyarcade » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:39 pm

Hi Stoxman, Glad you enjoyed my article in MMM. Also pleased that you DO remember seeing the Top Gun Marshall in working order!!! That arcade was the best in town in the 1960s and had nearly EVERYTHING that was available. To be honest, I had forgotten about the Second World War dogfight machine however your comment has triggered something, and YES, I DO remember the machine that you mention. Think I even had a play on it at sometime. Sadly, NOTHING is left of either machine - only the MEMORIES!! ROB.

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gameswat
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Re: Top Gun Marshall

Postby gameswat » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:49 pm

Did the WW2 shooting machine you're thinking of use stereoscope film? I have a large machine that houses a US Navy Flight/fight simulator which was converted after the war for arcade use. The film is 35mm stereo and projected onto the back of twin eyepieces. A counter on the top keeps crack of all hits. Luckily it came with a spare roll of film and the US Navy manaul, which is like a small phonebook!!! Still have yet to restore this one, should be quite an accomplishment to get it working properly again.

stoxman22
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Location: Cheshire

Re: Top Gun Marshall

Postby stoxman22 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:23 pm

You might well have a similar machine. I remember that there were two lenses inside a sort of canopy that you rested your forehead against. I dont remember it being 3D though. Thinking back the joystick seemed to be two vertical handles on a central piece, a bit like a stearing wheel without the top and bottom bits and to fire you had a lever in the middle you operated with your thumb. I now recall there was a counter above your head. How did this thing work. The planes on the film went all over the place.

rippyspennyarcade
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Re: Top Gun Marshall

Postby rippyspennyarcade » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:12 pm

Had a word with a chap who worked in the arcade for 25 years, and he suggests that the machine you talk about Stoxman, could have been called AIR GUNNER. ROB.

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gameswat
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Re: Top Gun Marshall

Postby gameswat » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:44 pm

Found a couple of old pics of my Gunnery Trainer or "Panoramic Gunnery Trainer" as the US Navy called it. Currently wedged in my workshop and hard to photograph without moving a lot of stuff. The manual is 116 pages long! and has to be the best instructions I've ever seen for a coin-op machine. Label on the front says it was made by Philip Shefras Ltd, and runs on a large 3D.

The forward in the US Navy manual says: "This device has been developed for use in training aerial gunners in turret manipulation and sighting under conditions which are as realistic as possible.
The carefully prepared films show realistic attack runs by various types of enemy aircraft.
The horizontal and vertical positions of the point of aim have been calculated for each individual picture or frame using the latest available data on exterior ballistics.
The Panoramic Gunnery trainer, Mark 1, will prove to be an invaluable aid in training gunners and keeping a day by day record of the gunners' progress provided that the device is always properly maintained and adjusted.
The device is a somewhat (HA) complex and delicate instrument and should always be maintained by an operator who is thoroughly familiar (me) with the device itself and the contents of the manual."

The film is 35mm B&W shot in stereo, with a sound track, and with unseen black stripe markers beside every image, one horizontal on the left frame, one vertical on the right. The film is on an endless loop with a small notch to tell the projector to stop after each loop. Maybe 75 ft of film?? It's projected onto the back of the two eyepieces. The control handles on the cabinet front move a cross hair that is projected onto the back of the eyepieces so you know where you're aiming. There are also two photoelectric cells that move in unison with the cross-hair, one for vertical and one for horizontal. When the cross-hair is not aimed correctly light enters the two photo cells and no hits are made. But once you do aim at just the right spot both black stripes on the film stop any light hitting the two photo cells, and a hit is made.
Very cool machine that has to be a rarity since they could only make as many as the recycled trainers would allow. Graphics on the cabinet are all hand painted by a sign writer. My mech has been factory made for 220volt, while the manual only talks about 115volt operation and parts.
aerial gunnery mech_4_3_1.jpg
gunnery cabinet_3_1_1.JPG

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gameswat
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Re: Top Gun Marshall

Postby gameswat » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:05 pm

Oops, forgot to mention, the name on the top of the machine is "Aerial Gunnery" so the arcade chap was pretty damn close!

stoxman22
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Re: Top Gun Marshall

Postby stoxman22 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:01 pm

That is the very machine. There were three (I think) in a line in Mablethorpe. I spent a fortune on these machines, I couldn't get enough. I am sure it was this machine that put me on the engineering career path. I must have been about 10 years old but tried so hard to work out how you could register a hit shooting at a piece of film. You MUST get this going, I bet it is one of a kind now.

rippyspennyarcade
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Re: Top Gun Marshall

Postby rippyspennyarcade » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:44 am

Hi Stoxman, If you look on this picture (which also appeared in April MMM), you can CLEARLY see the AERIAL GUNNER in the arcade that you knew (Marine Pastimes). If you CLICK on the picture itself and scroll right and left.... this brings Aerial Gunner up a lot closer. Hope that you enjoy actually seeing a photo of this machine again, and the happy memories that you must have had!! ROB.
Aerial Gunner.jpg

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JC
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Re: Top Gun Marshall

Postby JC » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:03 am

Here are the pictures of Top Gun Marshall and its successor Gunslinger, as published in the magazine.
Top Gun Marshall.jpg
Top Gun Marshall
Gunslinger.jpg
Gunslinger


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