(Topic ID: 177409)

Gloss or Matte Finish on an EM Playfield?


By beelzeboob

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 48 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Shapeshifter
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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Topic poll

“Gloss or matte finish on EM playfields?”

  • Gloss 17 votes
    53%
  • Matte 15 votes
    47%

(32 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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#1 2 years ago

HSA is finishing up my Jacks Open playfield and needs to know if I want gloss or matte finish. The purist in me says go matte, but I know many like a gloss finish on restored EMs.

He needs an answer; vote quickly!

Thanks for any advice...

#2 2 years ago

Won't the ball eventually turn the matte shiny in places? I thought I've heard you can't buff a car with a matte finish.

Good to see you back on the forums, boob.

#3 2 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

Won't the ball eventually turn the matte shiny in places? I thought I've heard you can't buff a car with a matte finish.
Good to see you back on the forums, boob.

Thanks, buddy. I'm only back in limited capacity. I refuse to get into arguments with idiots who confuse opinion with fact. I'm just going to help people, ask for help, or buy and sell stuff...with the occasional wise assed remark (because after all, I just wouldn't be me without that!). Thanks for your input on my question!

#4 2 years ago

Fix your dilemma by going semi-gloss or low gloss.

Do you plan on selling the game? No, - then go with gloss. Yes, - then go with the matte.

A matte finish can be power polished to a shinier finish, not super glossy, but shiny.

#6 2 years ago

Damn! I searched for previous threads but didn't have the wording right. Thanks for the link.

Doesn't excuse people from voting though, although it seems pretty unanimous so far.

#7 2 years ago

Voted matte. Just looks right. Permanent shiny is weird IMO. You can get a nice shine/sheen from a good waxing. I have had games become light reflective with a good waxing. I think you will be happier with it matte especially when it is next to other games that don't shine the same way but I guess overall it is up to you.

#8 2 years ago

The original finish was a lacquer clear coat on the play field, which when dryed it was not super glossy, unless buffed. The newer automotive style clear coats (urethane with a hardner added) dry super glossy without even buffing (even more when buffed), so if you have the option to go with something in between matt and semi-gloss. Almost all paint companies have charts showing the amount of gloss vs the amount of flattining agent added to the clear. Matt is like no gloss; some of this finish has found its way on some high end cars and motorcycles such as BMW and Harley.

I'm thinking too much gloss could cause too much reflection when playing the game.

#9 2 years ago

If you can do a semi gloss that would be a happy medium. I have a restored QuickDraw playfield and it is matte finish and it is fine. Total gloss is overkill on an EM in my eyes.

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

HSA is finishing up my Jacks Open playfield and needs to know if I want gloss or matte finish....

Beelzeboob,

What exactly is a matte finish, is it no shine at all or a semi gloss or another variant?

I have seen dirty playfields that looked matte, but the rest were shiny after a good wax. I know from experience that if you sand to 2000 grit and stop polishing mechanically after using swirl remover then you are at semi gloss (I like this on EM's).

Wax does little to improve the shine of a clear coat surface be it polycrylic or auto clear so the shine from the clear coat is critical.

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from SteveinTexas:

Beelzeboob,
What exactly is a matte finish, is it no shine at all or a semi gloss or another variant?
I have seen dirty playfields that looked matte, but the rest were shiny after a good wax. I know from experience that if you sand to 2000 grit and stop polishing mechanically after using swirl remover then you are at semi gloss (I like this on EM's).
Wax does little to improve the shine of a clear coat surface be it polycrylic or auto clear so the shine from the clear coat is critical.

He said it's "more of a matte finish" so I'm guessing it's somewhere between matte and semi-gloss. HSA has done a ton of these and have many happy customers, so I trust that they know what they're talking about. I've asked him to shoot for semi-gloss, so we'll see what he comes up with. Thanks for your comments!

#12 2 years ago

I remember playing new games and from what I recall they had some pretty glossy surfaces; perhaps not like the super-buffed auto clear shiny that I see on restorations, but shiny nonetheless... I've been clearing my games with acrylic lacquer and that is some fairly glossy stuff; I believe that's what games were being cleared with back in the day, but who knows...

You can always change it up after the fact, so go with your gut!

Don O

1 week later
#13 2 years ago

This is what I sprayed today; its an automotive clear made to be a semi-gloss as I added a flattening agent to the clear coat to reduce the gloss but not totally eliminate it as in a matt finish.

20170115_160845 (resized).jpg

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#14 2 years ago

Playfield, I was talking about...not the cabinet. But that looks nice, although I actually spray a flat clear coat over my stenciling on the cabinet to make it completely a matte finish.

#15 2 years ago

I agonized over this in the beginning but committed all of my games to the glossy playfield treatment. It looks magnificent underneath a clean pane of glass. Specular highlights and glints from multiple angles... just dazzling. Big time wow factor.

It looks more luxurious than an original playfield, but since I also polish all metals the combined effect looks consistent.

#16 2 years ago

Got the shipping email from HSA. The finished playfield looks pretty damn glossy for a "matte" finish, so I think it's an in-between gloss, which is perfect. The link to the restoration page is below. I don't know how HSA does it, but they do absolutely spectacular work. Many thanks to Brian and the team over there...C37 is up next!

http://www.hsapinball.com/HSA_PINBALL/hsa112316jacksopenss2.html

#17 2 years ago

Very interesting to see that he silkscreens all of the fine detail back onto the playfield! I don't know what to think of the faux wood look, need to it in person.

#18 2 years ago

Amazing work.

#19 2 years ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

Very interesting to see that he silkscreens all of the fine detail back onto the playfield! I don't know what to think of the faux wood look, need to it in person.

Is it actually faux wood? The grains all line up from the original to restored, as far as I can tell. I'll let you know when I get it.

#20 2 years ago

Wow, looks very nice and their attention to detail is very good; the black outlines have to be perfect.

I would like to know/see in more detail how they create and use the silkscreen. In the one photo, the when lit is being done it looks like its a stensel that they airbrush the text in? I would like to see how that is created; I have never done a playfield yet but what I read some people use a waterslide decal that is created by a scan of the original artwork and cleared over.

As far as the gloss level, that was what I was trying to show on a previous photo of my cabinet; I'm not sure how long that photo was taken after the respray but it definitely goes on almost as a full gloss and dries to the lesser gloss as it dries/cures and also to the amount of flattener added to the clear.

Looksa great; I'm sure you will enjoy getting it back together and playing it.

1 week later
#21 2 years ago

Opened the playfield today and it's gorgeous. To answer a couple of the previous questions, the finish really is more of a semi gloss. Not matte or high gloss. You can see the reflectivity in the pictures. Also, it's really the wood grain. Not a painted faux wood. HSA is simply unbelievable and I'll be sending theme another playfield later this year.

20170128_113833 (resized).jpg20170128_113847 (resized).jpg

Added over 2 years ago: EDIT: It's not really the wood grain. See my updated post below. Whoopsies!

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Opened the playfield today and it's gorgeous. To answer a couple of the previous questions, the finish really is more of a semi gloss. Not matte or high gloss. You can see the reflectivity in the pictures. Also, it's really the wood grain. Not a painted faux wood. HSA is simply unbelievable and I'll be sending theme another playfield later this year.

The playfield is fabulous. The wood finish is amazing. But it is painted right?

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Opened the playfield today and it's gorgeous. To answer a couple of the previous questions, the finish really is more of a semi gloss. Not matte or high gloss. You can see the reflectivity in the pictures. Also, it's really the wood grain. Not a painted faux wood. HSA is simply unbelievable and I'll be sending theme another playfield later this year.

was that a STAGE 2
RESTORATION or a
STAGE 3 RESTORATION?
looks awesome, they did my
HtD and i plan on sending them my 2 asteroid annies in a month or two

#24 2 years ago
Quoted from SteveinTexas:

The playfield is fabulous. The wood finish is amazing. But it is painted right?

I stand corrected. Not until you pressed the issue did I look closely at the detail picture, and then again at the playfield REALLY close up. Yep...the wood grain is painted. But it's painted right over the original wood grain and looks so good that I didn't even notice until you brought it up. Thanks for ruining it for me.

Still incredible work, and they'll be doing my next playfield as well.

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from boilerman:

was that a STAGE 2
RESTORATION or a
STAGE 3 RESTORATION?
looks awesome, they did my
HtD and i plan on sending them my 2 asteroid annies in a month or two

Stage 2...and see above post. I'm really stunned that I was so fooled by the faux wood. It's that good.

#26 2 years ago

Looks great!

Do you have a before Pic?

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from rufessor:

Looks great!
Do you have a before Pic?

It's in the link that I referenced above in post #16.

#28 2 years ago

They did my Top Card and it came out beautiful. The only issue I had with them was clear in the grooves of the star rollovers. I've been told they solved that issue. It caused me a ton of problems getting the stars to work properly.

#29 2 years ago

I'm going with High Gloss on the Out Of Sight I'm restoring,I like it.

#30 2 years ago

OOS has really surprised me. Didn't think it would be a keeper but the gameplay won me over. Easy to understand, lots of shots, cool 2-player.

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

They did my Top Card and it came out beautiful. The only issue I had with them was clear in the grooves of the star rollovers. I've been told they solved that issue. It caused me a ton of problems getting the stars to work properly.

i had the same issue with my HtD when i clear a pf i always put the star in upside down when i sprayed the clear and pulled them out while it was wet. i never had 1 issue with the stars. they sprayed over the star inserts and clogged it with clear. i had to file the clear out and had a hell of a time to get the stars to work perfect.
glad to hear they are doing it different now. otherwise they do good work. not a big fan of the faux wood but it is done well.

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from boilerman:

not a big fan of the faux wood but it is done well.

I'm in total agreement. I really was a little bit disappointed when SteveinTexas pushed the issue and I took another look. But then two things occurred to me. The first is that it really took me looking THAT closely to realize that it was painted. That's how good it was. The second thing was that most of those exposed wood surfaces are actually covered by the bottom and top aprons, rails, etc., so most won't even be visible. It'll be interesting to see if anybody playing the game notices it once it's reassembled.

#33 2 years ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

OOS has really surprised me. Didn't think it would be a keeper but the gameplay surprised me. Easy to understand, lots of shots, cool 2-player.

You and your buddies over at Vector are a huge reason I've gone down the EM rabbit hole. After seeing how beautiful a 40 year old machine could be at TPF last year, I was hooked.

Now I follow Boilerman (not stalk...just follow ) and PM NicoVolta with stupid questions from time to time...and I don't feel compelled to buy any more DMD machines any time soon.

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

I'm in total agreement. I really was a little bit disappointed when SteveinTexas pushed the issue and I took another look. But then two things occurred to me. The first is that it really took me looking THAT closely to realize that it was painted. That's how good it was. The second thing was that most of those exposed wood surfaces are actually covered by the bottom and top aprons, rails, etc., so most won't even be visible. It'll be interesting to see if anybody playing the game notices it once it's reassembled.

i have not had one person notice the wood until i pointed it out, then it does stand out. like you said most is covered with art and only a small portion of the wood grain exposed. i am very satisfied with their work and plan on using them again. but not with a game with star rollovers . not until i see how they address the over spray in the star inserts

do i need to get a restraining order!!

Quoted from beelzeboob:Now I follow Boilerman (not stalk...just follow )

#35 2 years ago

Awesome looking playfield! Looking at these pics is motivating me to send out my NOS Spectrum PF for some clear. Great job on the surfer cabinet.

#36 2 years ago
Quoted from boilerman:

i had the same issue with my HtD when i clear a pf i always put the star in upside down when i sprayed the clear and pulled them out while it was wet. i never had 1 issue with the stars. they sprayed over the star inserts and clogged it with clear. i had to file the clear out and had a hell of a time to get the stars to work perfect.
glad to hear they are doing it different now. otherwise they do good work. not a big fan of the faux wood but it is done well.

I had huge issues. A couple of them broke on the underside (the part that holds the star in) and I had to improvise a bunch. On another the clear cracked. It was a huge pain. I complained to them about it. They told me to file it out. Way easier said than done. I talked to Brian again after I finally got them working and he told me then they had changed their method.

He said they did the same thing you did, but I guess the clear was heavy enough and wet enough that it drooled down in the grooves and it was a mess.

Other than that one issue, the work is just fantastic.

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

You and your buddies over at Vector are a huge reason I've gone down the EM rabbit hole. After seeing how beautiful a 40 year old machine could be at TPF last year, I was hooked.
Now I follow Boilerman (not stalk...just follow ) and PM NicoVolta with stupid questions from time to time...and I don't feel compelled to buy any more DMD machines any time soon.

EM's must be the Spanish Inquisition of pinball because I didn't expect them to take over my collection so completely. Thus far I've given up an Embryon, Flash Gordon, Fire Champagne, two Vectors, Seawitch, Tag-Team, and an Elvira and the Party Monsters for all the EM's in my stable. Not that I disliked any of them (except Vecturd), but simply that EM's give me so much more. There's just something delightfully essential and minimalist and yet magical about them all the same. Heroes of the Analog World! Same reason I adore vacuum tube amps and the ghostly sounds of the Moog synth... they're just "alive" somehow. Especially after giving them the full treatment inside and out... they still have the capacity to awe and delight.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever!

#38 2 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

I had huge issues. A couple of them broke on the underside (the part that holds the star in) and I had to improvise a bunch. On another the clear cracked. It was a huge pain. I complained to them about it. They told me to file it out. Way easier said than done. I talked to Brian again after I finally got them working and he told me then they had changed their method.
He said they did the same thing you did, but I guess the clear was heavy enough and wet enough that it drooled down in the grooves and it was a mess.
Other than that one issue, the work is just fantastic.

Oooooo it cracked?!? *gasp* how awful. How long ago did this happen? I'd never heard of an HSA playfield doing this before... glad the recipe was tweaked!

#39 2 years ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

Oooooo it cracked?!? *gasp* how awful. How long ago did this happen? I'd never heard of an HSA playfield doing this before... glad the recipe was tweaked!

A year or two ago. Filing the grooves in the star rollover insert, which they told me to do, caused the clear on the insert to crack and lift in one place. I touched it up and it's not really noticeable. It was just on the insert, not the entire playfield or anything like that, and it did not spread.

#40 2 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

A year or two ago. Filing the grooves in the star rollover insert, which they told me to do, caused the clear on the insert to crack and lift in one place. I touched it up and it's not really noticeable. It was just on the insert, not the entire playfield or anything like that, and it did not spread.

the insert has a flex to it, so that is why it cracked. i did chip a tiny piece on a star arm but was able to file down.
i know i spent a few days working on those inserts. it took long than repopulating the pf to and bottom side.
kind of wish they could of cleared the pf with the star inserts out and when done tap in the inserts flush. but i guess you would deal with the insert not being level due to the thickness of the clear.

#41 2 years ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

EM's must be the Spanish Inquisition of pinball because I didn't expect them to take over my collection so completely. Thus far I've given up an Embryon, Flash Gordon, Fire Champagne, two Vectors, Seawitch, Tag-Team, and an Elvira and the Party Monsters for all the EM's in my stable. Not that I disliked any of them (except Vecturd), but simply that EM's give me so much more. There's just something delightfully essential and minimalist and yet magical about them all the same. Heroes of the Analog World! Same reason I adore vacuum tube amps and the ghostly sounds of the Moog synth... they're just "alive" somehow. Especially after giving them the full treatment inside and out... they still have the capacity to awe and delight.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever!

I, too, am fond of vintage audio. My audio setup is all minimalist analog, SET mono block amplifiers, tube preamp and horn speakers. The purified digital sound is too “clinical” and not as natural as was originally heard. Gotta love the hiss, crack and natural flaws of the original recordings. A good television series is presently playing on the Smithsonian channel called “Rock ’N Roll Inventions.” Heard a great analogy last night when they were comparing digital vs. analog sound. Paraphrasing: “Imagine two loaves of bread and one is called digital and the other is called analog. Now carefully slice the digital loaf into many slices. Reassemble the slices and put the loaf back together. Compare to the unsliced analog loaf. The digital loaf is smaller, albeit a little bit, but the crumbs that have fallen out result in a different loaf than the analog.” And it’s those crumbs that are the “soul” of the originality forever lost when modernizing.

And such analogy is apropos for early EMs, or cars, or audio or watches, etc. Indeed, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

#42 2 years ago
Quoted from boilerman:

the insert has a flex to it, so that is why it cracked. i did chip a tiny piece on a star arm but was able to file down.
i know i spent a few days working on those inserts. it took long than repopulating the pf to and bottom side.
kind of wish they could of cleared the pf with the star inserts out and when done tap in the inserts flush. but i guess you would deal with the insert not being level due to the thickness of the clear.

That's pretty much what they told me, that and the issue of clear getting down into the opening.

Once I got the star rollovers working, the playfield swap was pretty straightforward. I've got another playfield that someday I might have them do, but like you stated, it doesn't have star rollovers on it. He said they fixed the issue but until someone else has a game with one and verifies it, it's hard to pay that much money to have this issue again.

Top Card has five of them so it was a lot of work. It took a lot to get them where they would move freely in the grooves. The clear was down inside the insert, even on the little tabs that hold the star in place. Those tabs broke off a couple of times and I had to improvise a way to keep the stars in place.

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

That's pretty much what they told me, that and the issue of clear getting down into the opening.
Once I got the star rollovers working, the playfield swap was pretty straightforward. I've got another playfield that someday I might have them do, but like you stated, it doesn't have star rollovers on it. He said they fixed the issue but until someone else has a game with one and verifies it, it's hard to pay that much money to have this issue again.
Top Card has five of them so it was a lot of work. It took a lot to get them where they would move freely in the grooves. The clear was down inside the insert, even on the little tabs that hold the star in place. Those tabs broke off a couple of times and I had to improvise a way to keep the stars in place.

The same issue exists with the plating work that we have done for late model games. I had two wire ramps done for AFM a while back. One has a bracket for connecting another ramp and for a switch, both with tapped holes. Had to retap all holes for screws to go back in. Same thing with the wire ends - ended up growing in diameter. Had to ream the opening the wire ends seated into to get them to go back.

Granted, these issues were a breeze to address compared to cleaning up even a single star rollover insert, much less five of them.

Like anything, fixing one thing can create an issue elsewhere.

#44 2 years ago

Part of my fix on this was to change out the switches under the star rollover.

The ball rolls over the star, depressing it and causing the switch below to make, thus scoring the point or whatever else the feature does. I found that the switches for the star tend to have a long, floppy upper blade. Not a lot of tension to help rebound the actual star back to home location. I dug through my parts bin and used some shorter, higher tension blades and that helped the issue too. As long as you adjust the gap so it doesn't take a ton of pressure to get the switch to make, it works fine. I was getting to the point with the filing that I just had real difficulties getting the star to move as freely as I wanted. It was a nightmare. I thought, I've spent all this money and I'll never get the game to operate properly.

#45 2 years ago

Almost finished restoring mine as well and was discussing sheens in an earlier thread. I went with a satin clearcoat and really like it. Has a little more shine than shows in the oucs. especially at lower angles. Doesn't show up to well in pics

IMG_0879 (resized).JPG

#46 2 years ago

About to start the cab restore and wondering about the original sheen/gloss for the gottlieb cabs.

#47 2 years ago

Satin... some shine, but not too much.

#48 2 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

Part of my fix on this was to change out the switches under the star rollover.
The ball rolls over the star, depressing it and causing the switch below to make, thus scoring the point or whatever else the feature does. I found that the switches for the star tend to have a long, floppy upper blade. Not a lot of tension to help rebound the actual star back to home location. I dug through my parts bin and used some shorter, higher tension blades and that helped the issue too. As long as you adjust the gap so it doesn't take a ton of pressure to get the switch to make, it works fine. I was getting to the point with the filing that I just had real difficulties getting the star to move as freely as I wanted. It was a nightmare. I thought, I've spent all this money and I'll never get the game to operate properly.

My recent HTD p/f swap gave me same headache.

It was a NOS p/f cleared ( Matt finish ) by Ron Kruzman to give it longevity.

Man, the star rollovers were beyond awful to do. Probably took 7 - 10 hours using an exacto lnife over about 4 days to get each star rollover to move as it should.

NEVER. EVER. AGAIN!

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