Classic Arcades, Overlay Disaster- and Solutions?

(Topic ID: 226631)

Classic Arcades, Overlay Disaster- and Solutions?


By billsacto

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 84 posts
  • 42 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 54 days ago by billsacto
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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There are 84 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 4 months ago
Quoted from seeburg220:

I just finished reading this guy's directions (below link), on applying an overlay. He used the water/soap method, but did not clear coat the overlay afterwards. However, his directions on overlay prep seemed good: Sand playfield, apply polyurethane. Wait at least two weeks, then apply the overlay.
Honestly though, after reading every post on this thread, I'm not sold on the water/soap method of applying it. I'm going to be doing one of these next month, so I will keep on reading until then. Thanks for starting this thread.
http://homepinballrepair.com/index.php/pinball-playfield-restoration-eight-ball-deluxe/

I can't really get my PF done with autoclear so I am thinking of trying the polyurethane method after sanding and then using a https://www.playfield-protectors.com/ on top of the overlay... anyone tried that route?

#52 4 months ago

Speaking of Classic Arcades overlay. Anyone want to buy a Flash Gordon overlay? $75 shipped to USA.
PS. I had an Xenon that was done by Jeff and it looked great for 10 years and many games on it.

#53 4 months ago

This was my Xenon done by Jeff himself. This picture was from when I sold it a couple years ago. The overlay had been on for over 10 years with a couple hundred plays on it. Actually it was the nicest Xenon playfield I've eve seen in person. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the overlays (Colors are not the greatest) I'll have to admit that they do work and last and back when they first came out it was the only option if you had a trashed playfield.

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#54 4 months ago

Here is another picture of it. There is no glass on the playfield. The reflection is from the playfield itself. Beautiful!!

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#55 4 months ago

I has some shitty results from Classic Arcade overlays also. Leveled all inserts, sanded perfectly flat, waited weeks before applying the overlay. The registration was horrible to put it nicely. All black key lines bubbled up. Nowhere else, only the key lines. I did not clear over it because there was no way I was locking that crap in there. I am not sure how clearing over the overlay would solve any issues because your clear is only as good as what it is adhering to. Junk...

#56 4 months ago

Bought his stencils and other stuff. All junk!!

#57 4 months ago

Its a shame to because the colors are absolutely beautiful. Even with some missing shading. Very vibrant colors and sharp lines, at least on the over lay I got. Everything else about it is crap though. I think he almost has something its just not quite refined and it appears as though he has no intentions of refining it any further. There seems to be too much inconsistency. There is the Xenon here, the guy who started this post and literally everything in between.

#58 4 months ago

He's got the license from PPS. He make some ok stuff, but mostly crap.

#59 4 months ago

I agree. He gave me two slingshot plastics which look fine to me. I guess he was anticipating me being unhappy with the overlay

#60 4 months ago
Quoted from pinstyle:

I agree. He gave me two slingshot plastics which look fine to me. I guess he was anticipating me being unhappy with the overlay

Drop target decals are pretty good also. Same way with his pop bumper caps and drop targets.

#61 4 months ago
Quoted from pinstyle:

There seems to be too much inconsistency. There is the Xenon here, the guy who started this post and literally everything in between.

This I can agree with to a point. And not trying to blame anyone but I look at it this way. My Xenon was spot on except for a few color sades and some registration. Durability of overlay was tested for a decade with it still looking like new. I've know several people that have done many of these over the years with good results. But there are also many people with bad results.
So is it the product or the application processes or materials used during the application that is causing the problem?
As you stated on your application the "All black key lines bubbled up. Nowhere else, only the key lines." This would have been caused by a chemical reaction. Did you clear the bare playfield? If you did, what clear did you use?

#62 4 months ago

It was cleared with a water based varathane. A chemical reaction that only effected the key lines? unlikely. It seems more to me that the issue would be in the way it was printed maybe, I am not really sure. It just seems odd that it would only be the key lines and not just random bubbling across the playfield.

#63 4 months ago

When I sanded the light board of my Jackbot I used Triple Thick on the back to make it look nice and it took a month to get hard and it still isn't that hard 6 months later.

2 weeks later
#64 4 months ago

Having the same problem with my High Speed overlay from Classic Arcade. 2 months after install and the black lines are lifting creating ridges that deflect and skew the ball all over the place. Bubbles everywhere. I am at a loss for what to do. Install a mylar over it all?

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#65 4 months ago

I'd get one of those playfield protectors and drop it on top before it gets worse.

#66 4 months ago

Without a clearcoat layer, it's going to have the wear characteristics of a sticker... Because it's a sticker.

#67 4 months ago
Quoted from DuffysArcade:

I am at a loss for what to do. Install a mylar over it all?

If the lifted areas are not addressed first any type of overlay would be pointless.

#68 4 months ago
Quoted from RWH:

If the lifted areas are not addressed first any type of overlay would be pointless.

You are right. I have tried to smooth out the ridges and bubbles with a heat gun and household iron on low. Neither has worked. Before I overlay a mylar I might need to trim with a razor knife.

A Hardtop overlay from Pinballgifts.com is going to be my long-term solution. I hear that a High Speed Hardtop overlay is currently in the prototyping phase.

#69 4 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

Without a clearcoat layer, it's going to have the wear characteristics of a sticker... Because it's a sticker.

I guess I never did this because I was worried about delamination of the overlay (sticker) from the clearcoat...or air forming between the two. Is this not an issue with overlays like this?

#70 4 months ago
Quoted from DuffysArcade:

I guess I never did this because I was worried about delamination of the overlay (sticker) from the clearcoat...or air forming between the two. Is this not an issue with overlays like this?

I think if you clearcoat before the overlay is put on and then after the overlay is installed, it would act the same way as a decal. But I have not done it myself to prove it yet. Honestly, these stickers are not an option for me. I don't think they are solid enough to hold up long term. Especially with High Speed. A hardtop is a better alternative.

#71 4 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

I think if you clearcoat before the overlay is put on and then after the overlay is installed, it would act the same way as a decal.

I know I've heard that same reasoning before but, it just doesn't seem logical to me. I mean if you clear coat then overlay and CC again it changes the outcome????? I could see it perhaps slowing the process down but if an adhesion problem occurs it will transfer right through the CC that was applied on top. Seems it would be no different than painting over loose paint, looks good for a while but, eventually the loose paint releases damaging or taking the new with it. I guess I can't see the results being better than the base you start with.

2 weeks later
#72 3 months ago

Time to start to try to correlate methods to results and figure out what matters.

Two questions for the group:

1. Anyone put an overlay down DRY, and then had adhesion problems? (I'm beginning to think putting it down wet is a really bad idea.)

2. Anyone clear over the top of an overlay and THEN had adhesion problems?

#73 3 months ago

Let me say these are not the best overlays but sometimes are the only option. I have done several of these and here is what I've discovered. The vinyl is very easy to stretch. If you stretch it during install it will wrinkle over time. You have to try and get every drop of water out from under the overlay or it will cause problems. I always sand the original PF smooth and apply Rustoleum Acrylic lacquer and let cure several days before applying the overlay. Once the overlay is applied it needs to set several days to a week before repopulating. Don't overtighten the posts. The last couple I've used the clear playfield protector and had great results. I have never cleared over an overlay because I am suspect of the ink and figured it wouldn't hold up to the clear. I have seen ones that are cleared but never tried it myself.

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#74 3 months ago

Read all of this with interest. Did my own overlay on a beat Space Invaders years ago. After having it produced by a local sign house, I prepped the field by sanding flat and then doing several coats of a quality polyurethane laid on by foam brush. I let the final coat dry for a week before a light sanding to give the overlay adhesive something to grab onto. I applied wet with NO soap, just continuous misting from a spray bottle. (Full disclosure, I was a vinyl sign guy for a few years and prefer this to dry application every time.) The trick at this point is to fully squeegee out the water. Usually I use a 6" plastic squeegee with a soft microfiber cover to avoid scratches. Once it was completely flat I let it set out of the sun for a few days to make sure all the moisture evaporated out. (Heat will make the vinyl adhesive want to curl.)

When it was done I made my own 3mm acrylic overlay to protect it. (I'm not an autoclear guy.) It is beautiful and plays like a dream. The only trouble I have had is after so many plays the ball traveling off the flippers pushed down hard enough on the acrylic that it has moved the overlay towards the top of the play field just enough to bunch it up at the horse shoe. I had to strip down that part of the playfield, trim off the bunched up part and then reassemble.

I did not overlay the shooter lane. I left that natural with the poly clear on it and cut a dovetail where the ball runs into the overlay. The only way people can tell is if they notice all of the inserts are opaque white.

Shawn

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1 week later
#75 3 months ago

So here's my HS story. I worked on my pin in the garage and sanded my PF down. Most was down to bare wood in the main PF. After sanding I applied sticker DRY straight to sanded PF. No problems lining up sticker. I didn't apply anything on top of PF but I did put down a PF protector on top of sticker instead of clear coat. So bare wood, sticker, PF protector. Looked great for weeks. Never left the garage. Several months past still in the garage looking good. I moved the pin to a new location. Put in the back of a pickup truck and drove 2 hours mid day approx 80 degrees out. Took HS out and set up to notice that the PF exposed to the sun wrinkled so bad it is unplayable with PF protector on. So in 2 hours in the back of a truck it wrinkled so bad it was unplayable. Contacted Jeff and he said 'this has never happened before' and would send me a new one. Almost sounded upset that I mentioned what had happened. Once I received the new sticker, I tried to contact him with his suggestions to install and he never responded.

update: been a few months. Still no response from Jeff and now entire PF is wrinkled. Going to try clear coat PF first before applying sticker. Not sure if I would need to clear coat on top of sticker if using PF protector.

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#76 3 months ago
Quoted from CaptChaos_02:

So here's my HS story. I worked on my pin in the garage and sanded my PF down. Most was down to bare wood in the main PF. After sanding I applied sticker DRY straight to sanded PF. No problems lining up sticker. I didn't apply anything on top of PF but I did put down a PF protector on top of sticker instead of clear coat. So bare wood, sticker, PF protector. Looked great for weeks. Never left the garage. Several months past still in the garage looking good. I moved the pin to a new location. Put in the back of a pickup truck and drove 2 hours mid day approx 80 degrees out. Took HS out and set up to notice that the PF exposed to the sun wrinkled so bad it is unplayable with PF protector on. So in 2 hours in the back of a truck it wrinkled so bad it was unplayable. Contacted Jeff and he said 'this has never happened before' and would send me a new one. Almost sounded upset that I mentioned what had happened. Once I received the new sticker, I tried to contact him with his suggestions to install and he never responded.
update: been a few months. Still no response from Jeff and now entire PF is wrinkled. Going to try clear coat PF first before applying sticker. Not sure if I would need to clear coat on top of sticker if using PF protector.
[quoted image]

This is pretty much what i would expect would happen if the overlay sticker isnt locked down by clearcoat on both sides, underneath and over the top. they are just too stretchy and fragile.

#77 3 months ago
Quoted from DuffysArcade:

A Hardtop overlay from Pinballgifts.com is going to be my long-term solution. I hear that a High Speed Hardtop overlay is currently in the prototyping phase.

I did a Hardtop on my Evel Knievel and it is awesome. Would highly recommend them
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#78 3 months ago
Quoted from CaptChaos_02:

So here's my HS story. I worked on my pin in the garage and sanded my PF down. Most was down to bare wood in the main PF. After sanding I applied sticker DRY straight to sanded PF. No problems lining up sticker. I didn't apply anything on top of PF but I did put down a PF protector on top of sticker instead of clear coat. So bare wood, sticker, PF protector. Looked great for weeks. Never left the garage. Several months past still in the garage looking good. I moved the pin to a new location. Put in the back of a pickup truck and drove 2 hours mid day approx 80 degrees out. Took HS out and set up to notice that the PF exposed to the sun wrinkled so bad it is unplayable with PF protector on. So in 2 hours in the back of a truck it wrinkled so bad it was unplayable. Contacted Jeff and he said 'this has never happened before' and would send me a new one. Almost sounded upset that I mentioned what had happened. Once I received the new sticker, I tried to contact him with his suggestions to install and he never responded.
update: been a few months. Still no response from Jeff and now entire PF is wrinkled. Going to try clear coat PF first before applying sticker. Not sure if I would need to clear coat on top of sticker if using PF protector.
[quoted image]

If I were you, I'd sell the replacement sticker, then use the funds to buy the upcoming HS Hardtop.

#79 3 months ago

The overlays that I have used in the past are printed on clear film & then cold laminated for wear protection (my printer). A lot of work also involved applying masking to spray white gloss base. Overlays applied wet for best fit. I believe some overlays in the past from others had the lenses printed white or color. The light would still go through a little reduced.

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#80 3 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If I were you, I'd sell the replacement sticker, then use the funds to buy the upcoming HS Hardtop.

I agree, loving my hardtop. Pretty sure I'll never have any bubbling problems. Would be crazy to do an overlay on a machine that has a hardtop coming out any time soon.

#81 3 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If I were you, I'd sell the replacement sticker, then use the funds to buy the upcoming HS Hardtop.

I just did this exact thing. Sold my Classic Arcades overlay for a whopping $50 just to get some cash out of it and bought a hard top.

#82 3 months ago
Quoted from jaytrem:

Would be crazy to do an overlay on a machine that has a hardtop coming out any time soon.

It seems crazy, but people spend $400 on an aftermarket topper, so......

1 month later
#83 54 days ago

Thanks everyone for your contribution to this post. I've taken everything I've learned and created a detailed procedure for installing playfield overlays. I created a new post and put the procedure there.

Take a look: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-overlay-installation-procedure#post-4820185

Bill

#84 54 days ago

Final comment on overlays- Avoid them!

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