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(Topic ID: 103224)

AFM Mirco Playfields - wear situation after 1-2 years?


By monkeyboypaul

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 32 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by monkeyboypaul
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

This is a request for information from anyone who installed a Mirco playfield, ideally on an AFM, a year or so ago.

How has the playfield held up from some serious play testing?

I saw one on eBay recently that had some pretty bad wear around the bottom and top of some inserts, where the clear coat finish wasn't great i assume. Can't find it now, but i know i saw it! This looked far worse than the 20yr old playfields that people remove.

I'm doing my AFM restore with a Mirco playfield swap now and I had considered installing a Makrolon playfield protector overlay, but it's probably overkill...

Opinions appreciated.

#2 6 years ago

The WOZ playfields are Mirco, so you can see ball trails and chipping around the throne room for many on route.

These would be better examples than a single AFM. I'm sure many WOZ operators will chime in .

#3 6 years ago

Would the problem be caused by not waxing the playfield regularly?

#4 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The WOZ playfields are Mirco, so you can see ball trails and chipping around the throne room for many on route.

My throne room hole clear has chipped away already.

My WOZ has less that 150 plays on it.

#5 6 years ago

Hi, I have a Mirco playfield in my AFM. It dried for almost 1 year before the swap. After a few plays, I got "golf ball" impacts in the clearcoat everywhere. I've put new mylar all over it, almost invisible, and it's much better now. And given the thickness of clearcoat, including on the inserts, I can remove the mylar whenever I want without any damage.

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The WOZ playfields are Mirco, so you can see ball trails and chipping around the throne room for many on route.
These would be better examples than a single AFM. I'm sure many WOZ operators will chime in .

I don't think so. Mirco didn't produce the WOZ playfields. Official version, explained by him in the German forum: he did not have the production capacity for such volumes. (....).

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from Crrispy:

Hi, I have a Mirco playfield in my AFM. It dried for almost 1 year before the swap. After a few plays, I got "golf ball" impacts in the clearcoat everywhere. I've put new mylar all over it, almost invisible, and it's much better now. And given the thickness of clearcoat, including on the inserts, I can remove the mylar whenever I want without any damage.

You cannot stop dimples, period. Metal vs wood = metal wins, every time

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from Crrispy:

Mirco didn't produce the WOZ playfields.

He said he did.

He even said that he had "almost constant WOZ production" right on these forums, but latter edited his post and removed that part of the comment.

Jack was trying to keep it a secret for a while, but now it's well known.

#9 6 years ago

The wear that I've seen on WOZ is really sad, given how new they are. I think every routed one I've seen personally, and a few that I've seen photos of, all show similar wear - throne room, pop bumpers, witch area. There must be some (routed) out there that don't have these issues..?

Is it a problem with the clear? Process? QC issues...?

#10 6 years ago

This doesn't sound promising - leaning towards fitting the Makrolon protector...

#11 6 years ago

My Mirco AFM has the ceramic clear coat option. After 2 years it's got a pretty even patina of ball dimples on it, and it looks like those are leveling out rather nicely. There is no wear visible anywhere. But... I did put mylar in the pops and under the inlane ball drop areas. However, every other place the clear coat is exposed to wear, like the kick out from the Stroke of Luck hole, in front of the flippers, etc., shows no wear. I also installed the Mantis protector in the Stroke of Luck hole (had to file down clear that ran inside the hole so it would fit), and I installed Cliffy protectors on the drop target bank and at the single drop below the mother ship.

I specifically went with the ceramic as from what I remember, Mirco told me it was supposed to be more durable than the regular clear option. I did not put any extra clear over the top of the ceramic clear either. It looked good enough to me as is, so I just installed it and have been using it ever since. If you go with the regular clear coat option (instead of the ceramic option, if it even still exists), it would probably be a good idea to have someone add some extra autoclear, install mylar in the pops and at ball drops, and go with the Mantis and Cliffy protectors as mentioned for extra protection. Then wax it every once in a while with carnuba wax.

Then there's the Markolon protector, which you could use, I'd save that as a last resort if you did everything noted above.

#12 6 years ago

I have a mirco WH2O. it was at expo last fall and have over 800 plays in 3 days before the lost mine kicker ate itself. Other than the expected dimples, it looks perfect.

#13 6 years ago

I have a Mirco pf on my AFM. Bought it already installed, but I presume it's a "ceramic" version (if anyone knows how to tell from one from another, LMK).

I have visible (sometime severe) ghosting on 10-15 inserts, most of them on the upper part of the playfield (in front of the target wall, arrows and rounds inserts for each shots, and of course the EB, RTU, .... ones. Nothing on the lower part of the pf. I can provide pictures if needed. I bought it already "ghosted". The person who bought it sent pictures to Mirco to work something out: nothing happened. It seems it happened following ball impacts where the plastic of the insert and the wood meet, as on a few of them a dimple is clearly visible.

The pf didn't worsen since I have the machine, but it's only a few months.

By the way Crrispy, Mirco told me straight to my face in April that whatever pf would be coming after the MB ones would be delayed because he was making the WOZ ones, so I'm pretty sure he is actually making them like others have said

#14 6 years ago

Well now I'm wondering if I should have mine recoated before I start the restoration on my AFM

#15 6 years ago

I had m clear redone before install and have had zero issues.

#16 6 years ago

This is a good post as I was thinking of picking up a Mirco Scared Stiff playfield. Anyone else want to chime in on their results? Thanks-Joe

#17 6 years ago

Does Micro have a web site?

I can't seem to find them.

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from Crrispy:

After a few plays, I got "golf ball" impacts in the clearcoat everywhere.

Totally normal.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-dimple-reality-check

#19 6 years ago

I always bump up the clear a bit on ALL pfs I buy no matter who makes them.

Scott

#21 6 years ago

I just want the game to look awesome a couple of years down the line - this one I saw on eBay had terrible marks above and below the inserts, like ball had worn away at the edges. I know it was a new playfield.

I have another pretty good original playfield as a backup, but it'd need a little TLC and a decent protective finish to bring it up to scratch.

#22 6 years ago

I have a AFM playfield since 2 years. No wear but I think that "Ceramic" is too hard, not enough supple and I have some cracks in the clearcoat at junction between playfield and inserts

#23 6 years ago
Quoted from dsuperbee:

You cannot stop dimples, period. Metal vs wood = metal wins, every time

exactly. and you want dimples as that is a success story of the clear flexing with the wood. when clear is too hard and inflexible that's_ when adhesion problems happen. also you'll notice the harder the clearcoat the faster it dulls.

-c

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from CraigC:

exactly. and you want dimples as that is a success story of the clear flexing with the wood. when clear is too hard and inflexible that's_ when adhesion problems happen. also you'll notice the harder the clearcoat the faster it dulls.
-c

I thought I would find you here... Craig is correct. I have had major issues with clear separating because it is too hard. You need it to flex with the wood or it will just crack.

1 year later
#25 5 years ago

Bump-up after another year of not finishing my AFM restore...

Anyone seen much wear around the edges of inserts on a stock clear-coated Mirco AFM playfield?

#26 5 years ago

Mine has held up fine but a warning to Mirco AFM owners. Some Mirco AFM playfield have the underside holes for the RIGHT Slingshot improperly positioned. This causes the sling metal arm to strike the playfiled. I confirmed this defect with Bryan Kelley just this week and adjusted my slingshot position. This is a timely post.

If this is the case on your PF you will notice the left slingshot sits closer to the hole (more medial) than the right. Remove the right, fill the holes, reposition and place screws. The adjacent/attached coil will need minor adjustment as well.

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from Nevus:

Mine has held up fine but a warning to Mirco AFM owners. Some Mirco AFM playfield have the underside holes for the RIGHT Slingshot improperly positioned. This causes the sling metal arm to strike the playfiled. I confirmed this defect with Bryan Kelley just this week and adjusted my slingshot position. This is a timely post.
If this is the case on your PF you will notice the left slingshot sits closer to the hole (more medial) than the right. Remove the right, fill the holes, reposition and place screws. The adjacent/attached coil will need minor adjustment as well.

Agreed. Mine has been in almost 2 years and has held up nicely, although Ron Kruzman reclearcoated the entire playfield for me after removing Mirco's clear.

The right sling holes were wrong as well and had to be repositioned. This isn't all that uncommon. I installed a Wade Krause FD playfield and it was missing one hole and the holes for the right pop bumper were off quite a bit.

#28 5 years ago

Not really sure. Our AFM has some kind of playfield-wide protector/mylar over the new playfield, and no wear is observed at all. I'm not even sure if it is a mirco playfield, but it is new and here in the Netherlands it can't come from lots of other places.

Our MM playfield is new and looks great, aside from the huge amount of ball-dents everywhere. The wood used isn't too hard, but that seems to be normal. You only see them from a specific angle though.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from Nevus:

...a warning to Mirco AFM owners. Some Mirco AFM playfield have the underside holes for the RIGHT Slingshot improperly positioned.

Yes, that's the case on my Mirco - the slingshot has pounded a small slot into the playfield from hitting the wood over and over again. Other known issues that my Mirco pf shares: Cliffys and Mantis protectors don't fit because the SOL and other holes are too small, and the launch lane is too short and too shallow so about 1 time in 20 launched balls go "off the rails", hit the side walls and don't make it to the top (sometimes they don't make it past the gate).

All this was documented by Christopher Hutchens in a video on YouTube but I think he removed/hid it some time ago.

3 months later
#30 4 years ago

I clear my own PF's, I too was concerned about the ceramic clear-coat not being flexible as the wood expands and contracts. I asked an automotive painter friend of mine without prepping him why I was asking the question... "How do you think a ceramic clear would work on wood?" His words exactly... "I don't know, I'd be concerned about it breaking the bond due to the expansion and contraction of the wood"

So I did some research on it and as it turns out there are two types of ceramic clear..
-----------------------
From Dr. Ghodoussi...

After the "cerami"clear top coat is sprayed, the nano particles of Fumed Silica (SiO2), which are synthetically engineered, migrate to the top 0.2 mils of the clear coat as it is curing.

If you remove this potion of the clear layer of paint, the paint under it will be much softer and will not polish out or react the same way the nano particle portion did or would.
You will at some level have compromised the the finish on the car.
----------------------

If you re-clear over the above type of ceramic clear coat you would negate the benefits of the ceramic, on a plus note since the ceramic is only on the top .2 mil you may not have the bonding issue, so essentially it becomes a normal playfield and you wasted your money.

The other article I read (but can't find it right now) mention a second type of ceramic that does additional cross-linking throughout, now this probably wouldn't suffer from the thin skin issue above, but may have the issues of flexibility with wood breaking the bond... So what does this mean? For me at this juncture the downside outweighs the possible upside, my opinion may change, time will tell.

That said, I happen to have acquired a ceramic clear AFM that while not installed has been curing for at least 2 years. I noticed raised inserts and substantial clear-coat shrinkage around the inserts and the wood in general as well. An untrained eye would notice, a new, shiny PF and say... "It's good to go" but I know that the ball rolling over those raised (albeit smooth) inserts will eventually chip. so I (wet) "color sanded" and buffed with an 8" 3M black rubber hard block" and 2000 grit sand paper until the PF was smooth as it started to level cracks around the inserts became apparent, this is what I would expect with this level of clear shrinkage, I continued to sand until they were all gone. I hypothesize that as the ball rolls over the inserts and hits the non-flat inserts it wears the clear down to these cracks, this is the point where the insert chipping begins much like a run in a stocking it just keeps chipping... by leveling (sanding) the PF past this point up front I'm hoping the "run in the stocking" never begins...

After sanding flat, buff with a rotary buffer (not orbital) @ 2000rpm, a yellow Wool pad and 3m Perfect-it III (06085) to raise the shine....

Questions to ask...
What brand of clear is Mirco using?

Other notes...
Since I leveled the PF, if Mirco is using the clear that has the scratch resistant coating only on the top .2 mill, then I sanded off all the protection essentially leaving a regular PF and while it wouldn't have the scratch resistance it also wouldn't have the potential bonding issue... If it was the second type of clear with extra cross-linking throughout I still have scratch resistance but potential bonding issues... either way in my opinion it needed to be level, sobeit...

ArizonaBruce
AZB

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6 months later
#31 4 years ago

Bumping...

Anyone got an AFM with an off-the-shelf Mirco showing any signs of wear around the imperfections in the clearcoat job, or showing other signs of wear and tear?

I'm close to finishing my restore, and my Mirco repro has currently got a Makrolon protector over it, but tempted to take it off and play it 'naturally'.

I've seen 1 example (that i can't find now) that showed significant wear around the inserts.

4 weeks later
#32 4 years ago

I contacted Mirco directly.

He offered to fix some of the edges where light was bleeding through around 3 of my inserts due to the ink sort of separating between the wood and plastic insert, but the playfield would need stripping down for transport, and as i've spent over 3yrs on this restore it simply isn't practical to strip everything back off again, then send it off, then rebuild it again... not from my perspective anyway.

No direct response on the clear potentially chipping around bumps and lumps in clear near inserts, except, apparently "Please be aware that you need to install a protector on the holes." So i think I'll be installing a Cliffy as well as a Mantis protector on the SOL hole then! And keeping the Makrolon cover on it for now. Glad i asked, but doubt i'd buy another repro due to these experiences.

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