(Topic ID: 181987)

Hardtop Playfield New Product Announcement .. Poll Included

By Outsidedge

2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 1,027 posts
  • 288 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by pintuck
  • Topic is favorited by 181 Pinsiders


Linked Games

Topic poll

“If you plan to buy a Hardtop, please select from the 3 titles below.”

  • Space Shuttle 127 votes
  • Pharaoh 32 votes
  • Comet 50 votes
  • Future Spa 36 votes
  • Wizard 17 votes

(262 votes)

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#49 2 years ago

Space Station should be on the list, none out there and no one wants to take it on for a refurb.

#74 2 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

Holy Shit YES... rework Space Station into the UV club as well: Pop some UV leds in the multiball GI string, and watch it pop once the game goes dark for "Condition Green". MINDMELT. And the game's nice 2001: A Space Odyssey easter egg would be even more appropriate!

Great idea.

#104 2 years ago
Quoted from Outsidedge:

Thank you for posting your concerns and experience! I have a couple of differences to note, and some details about the adhesive.
First, the testing on this product started over of a year ago. As noted in previous posts (I know there have been a lot of them)... The first "acceptable" Hardtop was installed on my personal Space Shuttle approximately 8 months ago now. There have since been 2 more installed on other games. First was another Space Shuttle in my friend's game and then another in the "official" beta test that I was willing to proceed with after the positive results experienced with the first two in my "inner circle". It was only then that I started making our product idea public by posting about our project.
As a note... There were 4 versions prior that had issues as we tested these. Most dealing with missing holes and adhesive that needed to be changed in the die file.
FYI... to date... "ZERO" issues.. "ZERO" buckling on what we are deeming "ready"
While familiar with expansion and contraction rate differences between wood and Polycarbonate (only one of 2 materials used on the Hardtop) ... it is true I have not conducted actual tests comparing the specific wood product used for playfields to the Hardtop.
A behind the curtain disclosure:... Our ORIGINAL idea for the product (Like I said, over a year ago) would have been ridiculously cool... but it just was not feasible. I know because I tried it, and had the help of some really knowledgable folks in the polymer business helping me. The idea was to create the very product you see that FLOATS over the existing playfield.... no adhesive. I made several, tried them... and while they "could" work, it would have been a disaster trying to make sure each collector installs with NO PINCH POINTS for buckling. It was unwieldy even for us... so we scrapped the idea. With that element gone (of no adhesive)... gone was the marketing claim that these can be purchased to preserve existing,savable, original fields. BUMMER!
However, I have spent 23 years in the commercial/industrial printing/fabricating world and have learned (sometimes the hard way) what works and what does not work. So, we moved on by developing an idea to use an adhesive product that must be VERY robust. We know where to look, and what to use for different applications. The adhesive is a 3M product that is the same used to hold together things outdoors (think temp. changes) on all sorts of materials. This left a market for us to explore that would include "roached" playfields that really had little value and poor play. With this product ... it would (as you have seen in the videos) resurrect a junk field back into an attractive, usable playing surface. As a result of my testing, it appears as though the product delivers just that.
One of my concerns are the durability of the surface itself. Scratching resistance. Polycarbonate on it's own is a poor choice for a playing surface. It's to soft, and easily scratched. So, I set out with my trusty vendor list of plastics professionals and quickly weeded out the folks who did not show the interest, or simply lacked the knowledge to help. I would up with a hard coating applied to our .030" material that is NOT commercially available. This hard coating is usually on airplane canopies, tall building windows, and other exterior... industrial applications where scratching is to be avoided at high cost. The manufacturer is making this material for me in small runs... as long as I wait for the lengthy lead time.... for a price! I still was not satisfied in spite of my "non scientific" testing with a silver ball at my shop, and with actual testing in my game. I wanted DIRECT comparisons to our product as compared to how games are made right now... and restored ... clear coat! I can honestly say now, that my product withstands swirl and scratching better than clear coat. I have the data in hand from Israel, where the ATSM testing was conducted. I sent actual wood with the same coatings over there. No, the data did not already exist, as the plastics world and the clear coat world do not normally test the same way. Therefore no apples to apples existed.
It is true that I cannot report or guarantee anyone that the adhesive will not "eventually" fail years down the road. As did the fields themselves in the first place! Nothing is forever. What I can say in regard to temperature change is that one of the test Shuttle games is in an unheated garage in Ohio... where we turn on the heat and consume Beer and play games after the temp reaches 60F +... no issues. I can also report that the other game is in my basement that normally is 55-60 degrees until I turn on the gas fireplace... and consume beer. No issues. Fairly decent temperature changes, not that is not to say (to your point) that some games might have hot surfaces that occur that could create problems! We will have to address. We are going to prototype EACH TITLE with collectors (some of which I am sure are reading this) and play them for a while and leave them on for hours and do the things we do with temperature before we just go shipping out tons of these. Actually, while testing.. said collectors may also consume beer. Well, except one who may have a glass of homemade wine.... ANYWAY... I get your concerns, have felt with them on the one titles we have developed and will be shooting the issues out of the air as they arise when we develop COMET, PHARAOH, WIZARD and FUTURE SPA for starters. In all, we have 32 (I think) now on the list to do.
The adhesive life/quality is greatly effected by PREPARATION. Our Shuttle beta tester wrote the book via Youtube how to do it right!
Adhesive effective bonding temperature range: -40F to 400F
Exterior grade and highly effective even in high humidity
Resistant to gasoline, oil, MEK and much more
Untechnical term for adhesive: Badass
We ask for patience as we complete our due diligence for each title. Space Shuttle... I am really comfortable with. Time to move on and doll up more games!
In the end, is this a new playfield? No, nor is it being sold as that. It is a "next best thing" to NOTHING being made, and we have certainly worked hard to develop an exciting option for lots of folks and THOUSANDS of ugly playfields. We are excited, but do not in anyway intend to over sell what this product is. I really do think you will all like it
Happy Friday all!

Thanks for posting this great info. Question.....do the pf's these go over have to have all the old pf's printing and decals sanded off? I would think so so that all insert decals would be free of the old roached decals. Space Station would be another good one to repo. I have a nasty one here that no one will touch and it sure could use your product.

1 month later
#140 2 years ago
Quoted from polyacanthus:

Man I just don't know. I just acquired a shuttle with a crummy but ok playfield. Worst part is really the yellowing. I don't know if I could bring myself to sanding it off... My stomach turns thinking about it. At what point of wear should an original be scrapped?

Yeah, it all depends on how bad your OCD is.

4 months later
#330 2 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Taxi is getting close to release. A few pictures for youWhich would you rather have?

2 months later
2 months later
#653 1 year ago
Quoted from darcangeloel:

I'm confused by the picture above... with hard tops do you have to sand the entire playfield? Also to remove the paint on the inserts is there a chemical that can be used instead of sanding?

You don't want to use a chemical, it will seep in between the wood and the insert and cause problems I would think.

7 months later
#994 1 year ago
Quoted from Drano:

Finally got my Firepower hardtop installation completed... and I did the proto drop target mod in the process.
Here's a quick pic and some video.
[quoted image]

Fantastic mod, how much does each drop add.

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