Scohy enjoys doing playfield swaps. A playfield is a planar surface inclined upwards between three to seven inches -- it's typically an exquisite painting on a board.
When pinball machines get played a lot, the ball takes a toll on the playfield so they oftentimes need to be replaced, which is something Scohy has done several times. He has networked with other pinball gurus and knows of people who can replicate playfields.
"I believe the best thing about pinball machines is the art on the playfield and on the backdrop," Scohy said.
Once Scohy acquires a newly painted playfield, it takes him nearly 20 man-hours to install targets, flippers, spinners and bumpers to make it look brand new. He has a playfield "rotisserie" where he does all the work. If he doesn't have a certain part, he calls up a fellow pinball enthusiast in New York who specializes in manufacturing pinball parts.
"I just call him up and tell him what I need," Scohy said. "I tell him what game I need the parts for and he knows exactly what to give me."
One of Scohy's most-recent completions was the Big League game that once sat in the cafeteria at G.C. Murphy's at the Grand Central Mall in Vienna. Scohy used to play that exact game when he was a child. He located parts from another machine in South Carolina and refurbished the original one. It now sits in the corner of his living room.
Most machines have an attract mode, meaning the games get played whether there is a player or not. The attract mode shoots out a ball 4 times an hour and uses sounds to try to lure players to that game. If Scohy has most of the machines turned on, these sounds resonate through his basement.
Most of the machines he owns have a chime system rather than a speaker system, which is located in the body of the machine.
Scohy says most of his machines are not free play, meaning they require a quarter to play. He has several cups of quarters sitting around his basement.
"These machines make really cool sounds when you put a quarter in to play," he said. "It's all part of the nostalgia."
Talking about sounds, Scohy has vinyl of some of the American Top 40 shows with host Casey Kasem. He will occasionally play them while playing pinball. He points to one such show in 1983 when Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's "Say, Say, Say" topped the Billboard charts.
Scohy began collecting in 1999. His first machine, Rock, was purchased from a seller in Cynthiana, Ky. Rock was manufactured in 1985 and features synthetic rock 'n roll.
"I was hooked after my first machine and everything snowballed from there," Scohy said.
Scohy's most recent purchase includes a 1976 Elton John Captain Fantastic pinball machine he bought from a family in Pittsburgh. In addition, he also purchased the Frogger and Carnival upright video games and a Twin Win pinball machine.
Scohy's wife and stepson are embracing his hobby despite the fact that machines are literally taking over his house. His wife is a fan of Ms. Pac Man and Centipede. His stepson likes almost all the games and oftentimes helps Scohy repair the machines.
"No one really knows this but a woman designed Centipede," Scohy said. "When women come over, they tend to go straight toward it."
Scohy has a manual for each game he has and is still learning how to read schematics (circuit diagrams). He has been featured in a pinball book for his rare Spectrum machine. Spectrum was manufactured by Bally, another company that went under in the '80s, and features drop targets and kick-out holes. Less than 500 machines were sold.
"Pinball machines are disappearing in today's arcades," Scohy said. "Today, the arcades have big flat screen TV's and you can go skiing. I won't go to them."
Scohy is part of the West Virginia Pinball Players Club, an elite group of nearly 10 pinball enthusiasts who meet each month at one of the players' homes.
"Whoever is hosting serves as operator and goes around and fixes the machines," Scohy said. "When we play, it feels like we're 10 years old again. It's a lot of fun."
Scohy has no interest in selling his pinball machines. He hopes to open an arcade in the future.
Contact writer John Gibb at john.g...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.