Shoot The Bartender

There were many conversion kits available for the Ray-O-Lite Chicken Sam game by Seeburg. Many of these are lost to time and even advanced collectors have not seen some of the conversions that were not advertised in major magazines. Many operators also made their own conversions. All it took was a new figure, either 3d or 2d, and a painted background.

The Shoot The Bartender was one of the commercially produced conversions available. I am not sure why it was enjoyable to shoot at a bartender. Perhaps there was a widespread anti-bartender sentiment.

I have not completed this project but I wanted to start the page so here are some photos of my progress.


This is the cabinet as I received it

It did include an amp and motor which were removed.

Mr Bartender has taken some knocks over the years.

If you look closely at the original flyer, you will see this is the original bartender figure and background.

I have never seen one of these games with a good score glass. I used my vinyl cutter to make a black letter outline and green vinyl to make a new score plate. This one is beyond repair.


This is the amp. Originally this was a Chicken Sam game.

Never test one of these old amps by plugging it in! They have to be re-capped(replace all capacitors) and cleaned before applying power otherwise you may have more problems.

I cleaned everything and removed the rust. Then adjusted all of the connections to make sure they were making and breaking at the correct times and that they were clean.



Here is the cleaned amp. I taped and repainted the transformers on the base so I did not have to remove them. I used a wire brush to clean the base but not make it so clean that it looked new. I then sealed it with clear spray sealer to it would not rust but would also look original and period.

The back of the amp. I don't have the cover for these but they were commonly removed so I will not build one.


I did not have a gunstand but a fellow collector let me borrow one of his stands which I was able to copy.


I also did not have a gun. The internals for the stand were almost trivial. A coin slide, which is available on eBay regularly. A Coin holder, which I could not find so I used two coin slides. And, for the rifle, I purchased a Winchester BB gun and modified it to fire a laser. I used a power converter in the gunstand to convert the 12vac to 4.5vdc. Now when I fire my gun, it fires a laser. The red laser works with the 923 tube because the 923/928 and similar tubes are sensitive to the red spectrum.


Some bondo and last minute wood putty fixes before belt sanding.

Some gray primer on the inside was a perfect match for the original color. I had to do a lot of cleaning with Easy Off No Fume to remove the grease before painting.

I fixed Mr Bartender with some wood putty. He was paper machete. Then painted to match.

Here is Mr. Bartenders insides with the 923 photo tube.

Above Mr. Bartender is the disassembled motor. I tried cleaning it but some of the wire lacquer was crusted and the motor tended to spark. I had it rebuilt by a motor repair service. It still seems weak but it may be binding. I need to work more on the pulleys.


I also had no base so I built one. I found photos on the web and measured relative to the top cabinet size to determine the actual dimensions.

I used an air brush to simulate the original cammo pattern. I should have gone with a more green/golden paint and I should have also done it in two layers to give it more depth. One more brown and one not completely covering the cabinet in a glaze of golden/green, then airbrushing the effects. I did not have an original cabinet at the time to compare to so this was a best guess. The paint method used on the original cabinets was actually used on jukeboxes of the time and is called Marbl-Glo. It is a very interesting look and not a simple paint job.


Here is my rebuilt gunstand and my new gun. I used a Winchester copy BB gun. This model is no longer made but it has wood grips and a metal barrel and it is adult sized. I put a laser in the feed tube and connected a switch to the trigger mechanism.

I was not satisified with the color after I obtained an original cabinet with the original Marbl-Glo paint. I decided this cabinet was good for a base but needed to be painted with a glaze of green/yellow and then re-striped with finer and darker brown lines.

The paint originally used appears to have been a multiple layer paintjob using a Glaze. If it is not a glaze, then it looks like one to me. On my Shoot The Bear, I matched the original paint by mixing my own base coat(the local HomeDepot could not match it accurately because of the metallic sheen so I took their best try and mixed other colors until I had a match) and then mixing Ralph Lauren gold with clear polyeurathane. over the dried paint. That simulated the original very closely for Shoot The Bear. What I should have done, is used the Behr paint kit for gold metallic sheen and their glaze(availabe at the end of the aisle in most Home Depot stores).

The paint job on an original Chicken Sam is complicated. It appears to have a white base coat(which is seen if the paint is stripped or scratched) then a green/yellow glaze is applied over that with the camoflage consisting of lightly applied brown spray between those coats and another application of brown with the airbrush held closer to the cabinet to make sharper lines over that. You will need to practice on a scrap piece of wood before painting your cabinet for real. You can always re-paint your test board white and start over. I would use a perlescent white as the base coat.

If you screw up the first brown airbrush coat, you can easily touch it up with white spray paint. The spray will cover any drips or funny looking branches and not create sharp lines. I inadvertently created a geometric shape on my gunstand and erased it with white paint without disturbing the work I had already done. You also want to make your first brown coat rather dark so it will show through easily.

I mixed my paint using some left over Shoot The Bear green, some brown, some black and gray(careful or you will make it too dark) and the clear glaze. The actual color of the original is mostly brown with a little green. When you paint over your glaze coat, use a fine roller or better, use a sprayer. This avoids the rough look or brush strokes which really stand out when painting a glaze.

You can find information on how to apply a glaze coat here I also picked up several do-it-yourself pamphlets at HomeDepot.


That is all for now. I hope to finish this project and post more later.