A while ago I got something rather special, the original ‘Black Stripe’ edition of the Sega SG1000. It’s also known as the ‘Germany’ model since it features a front panel with three colours that match the German flag.
This machine is somewhat analogous to the first edition square buttons Famicom model, in that it was the first ever model of the first Sega console, produced as a short initial run, but was quickly replaced by a revised model which became more ubiquitous. As such the majority of original SG1000 consoles feature the revised red/blue colour motif matching the blue Sega logo.
This one was in pretty rough shape physically, and was sold as ‘untested’. But it powered up fine.
And it booted and played a game perfectly the first time!
It obviously needed a good cleaning. For comparison here it was lined up with my restored square buttons Famicom.
On a side note, now that I have both true first edition models I should probably revise my 1983 Nintendo/Sega Face off article.
So I set out to restore it visually in the usual way.
In the meantime, I inspected the board and found something interesting.
It’s such an early model, Sega was revising the PCBs by hand! Later revisions had these trace fixes integrated into the PCB.
And here’s the restored console.
The label on the controller has seen better days.
But the main unit is now in pretty nice condition.
Finally, some glamour shots with its younger brother.
While the issue of yellowing consoles is now completely reversible it’s still interesting to see the process happen.
Behold the ravages of time.
I can’t help but think of all the hours of fun these brought to Japanese kids 25-30 years ago.
In my opinion, the best looking version of the Sega Master System was the original, so I decided to get a Sega Mark III. On a recent trip to Japan I looked everywhere I could for one, but I only came back with a controller.
I saw a beat up Japanese Master System in an outer-Tokyo Hard-off, and an FM unit in Osaka Super Potato, but decided not to risk the latter since I wouldn’t be able to test it.
Mark III consoles cost a fortune on eBay, so I got one on Yahoo Auctions. As google translates the katakana: here is the Segamaku3 (!).
It oozes 80s Japanese industrial design kitsch.
I got two, one in box and one without. The in-box one was listed as ‘untested’ so I grabbed another that was console only but listed as working. Turns out both worked fine. But both were very yellowed. It seems it is a common practice for Japanese sellers to modify their photos to make things look less yellowed.
Here’s one next to my non-yellowed Famicom:
Time for some hydrogen peroxide treatment, as outlined in this Neogaf thread.
I did them one at a time to demonstrate the result:
I love this little message on top, so polite!
And the result:
Beautiful, looks like a prop from an 80s Scifi.
So small compared to the Master System.
This was the first of many Segamaku projects I’ve completed recently. Coming soon: FM unit info, external RGB amplifier, and the world’s first Mark III flash cart!