(Topic ID: 218168)

Official "HARDTOPS" thread


By Skypilot

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 880 posts
  • 219 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 28 minutes ago by Robotworkshop
  • Topic is favorited by 152 Pinsiders

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Linked Games

Topic poll

“If we produce a Hardtop for this game would yo purchase it?”

  • High Speed 118 votes
    16%
  • Firepower 80 votes
    11%
  • Silverball Mania 36 votes
    5%
  • Time Warp 16 votes
    2%
  • Mata Hari 26 votes
    3%
  • Blackout 53 votes
    7%
  • Tri-Zone 12 votes
    2%
  • Swords of Fury 54 votes
    7%
  • Space Station 41 votes
    5%
  • Fathom 34 votes
    5%
  • Pinbot 81 votes
    11%
  • Eight Ball Deluxe 80 votes
    11%
  • Strikes and Spares 25 votes
    3%
  • Kiss (Bally) 24 votes
    3%
  • Supersonic 23 votes
    3%
  • Grand Lizard 48 votes
    6%

(Multiple choice - 751 votes by 435 Pinsiders)

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Topic index (key posts)

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There are 880 posts in this topic. You are on page 17 of 18.
#801 37 days ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

Pretty much followed Vid's guide exactly. My only deviation is that I used Krylon Crystal Clear like you instead of 2PAC.

Looks like it could be outgassing to me. How long did you let the clear cure? Looks like it needed more time and still had some air trapped in it.

#802 37 days ago
Quoted from frisbez:

Looks like it could be outgassing to me. How long did you let the clear cure? Looks like it needed more time and still had some air trapped in it.

Based on my photologs, looks like about 20 days

#803 37 days ago

Was it sanded nice and flat or is it possible you sanded a depression on and around that insert? I’m wondering if the ink/adhesive is sticking to a depressed area on the playfield and since the hardtop itself is stiff with no flex, the ink (or some layer) is separating from the hardtop? I really don’t know if that’s even possible but I’d love to know what could cause this.

#804 36 days ago

Time to go hunting

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#805 36 days ago
Quoted from frisbez:

Looks like it could be outgassing to me. How long did you let the clear cure? Looks like it needed more time and still had some air trapped in it.

I have that on my FP HardTop on a few of the inserts.
It is not that bad, but of course annoying.
I followed the written directions regarding clear cure time. (I think it was 100 hours on the instructions)
If doing another Hardtop, I think I would let the 2X cure for at least a week.

#806 35 days ago
Quoted from Budwin:

I have that on my FP HardTop on a few of the inserts.
It is not that bad, but of course annoying.
I followed the written directions regarding clear cure time. (I think it was 100 hours on the instructions)
If doing another Hardtop, I think I would let the 2X cure for at least a week.

Curious of people's thoughts on progressively higher grit sanding followed by Novus to make the inserts naturally shiny, rather than relying on clear.

#807 35 days ago

Getting there

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#808 35 days ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Getting there

The clear star posts look good!

#809 35 days ago
Quoted from cjchand:

Curious of people's thoughts on progressively higher grit sanding followed by Novus to make the inserts naturally shiny, rather than relying on clear.

That's how I did my Taxi and it came out great. I think the clear is huge overkill personally.

#810 35 days ago
Quoted from grantopia:

That's how I did my Taxi and it came out great. I think the clear is huge overkill personally.

Same here with Space Shuttle. Not perfect, but that's not what I was trying for. I probably could have done better with more effort, but I'm very happy with how it came out.

#811 35 days ago
Quoted from Budwin:

I think I would let the 2X cure for at least a week.

It’s cured when you can’t smell it!

#812 35 days ago
Quoted from cjchand:

Curious of people's thoughts on progressively higher grit sanding followed by Novus to make the inserts naturally shiny, rather than relying on clear.

I think the big issue is protecting your shooter lane, but I think that approach should be fine overall.

#813 35 days ago

This is hands down my favorite pinball mod!! I cant wait to install one. I played on a few at a pinball show and was blown away. Better then I imagined!!

#814 35 days ago

I agree with the above comments. Just polish the inserts and clear the shooter lane. That is what I did with my Taxi Hardtop.

#815 35 days ago
Quoted from sawbill:

I agree with the above comments. Just polish the inserts and clear the shooter lane. That is what I did with my Taxi Hardtop.

Thanks all who chimed in! Now I just need to see High Speed Hardtops come up for sale and I’ll get to sanding

#816 35 days ago
Quoted from RCA1:

The clear star posts look good!

Thanks, I just think it brightens the game up s lot

#817 29 days ago

Just picked up a Funhouse that would be a great candidate for a Hardtop.

#818 29 days ago

Puhleeeeeese for Embryon!!!

#819 28 days ago

Semi-related question: My SearchFu is failing me. Any tips on how to refinish ball guides? Since I'll be tearing stuff apart, I'd like to make it as "new" as possible.

I'd be doing it by hand, since I don't have a bench buffer.

#820 28 days ago
Quoted from cjchand:

Semi-related question: My SearchFu is failing me. Any tips on how to refinish ball guides? Since I'll be tearing stuff apart, I'd like to make it as "new" as possible.
I'd be doing it by hand, since I don't have a bench buffer.

By hand will take forever and still not look right. I'd at least get a rotary paint removal pad attachment for a drill, but a bench buffer is the right tool for this job.

#821 28 days ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

By hand will take forever and still not look right. I'd at least get a rotary paint removal pad attachment for a drill, but a bench buffer is the right tool for this job.

Good to know, thanks! Suppose a trip to HF is in my near future.

Any advice on what type of wheel to use?

#822 28 days ago
Quoted from cjchand:

Good to know, thanks! Suppose a trip to HF is in my near future.
Any advice on what type of wheel to use?

Wire wheel or abrasive wheel if you are going for the original stainless grained look, buffing wheels and rouge if you are going for a highly polished mirrored look.

#823 28 days ago

High Speed was added to the order list on their website. Sweet! Just ordered mine.

#824 28 days ago
Quoted from Pin-up:

High Speed was added to the order list on their website. Sweet! Just ordered mine.

w00t! Just ordered mine, as well.

Will wait for the shipping confirmation before I start depopulating the playfield, though. She's my only pin.

#825 28 days ago
Quoted from Pin-up:

High Speed was added to the order list on their website. Sweet! Just ordered mine.

72B6FDBE-068F-450D-8A78-498E52D56E99.gif
#826 26 days ago

Time to take the High speed out of storage.....Wahoo. thanks for posting they are available last night.

#827 26 days ago
Quoted from desertT1:

Just picked up a Funhouse that would be a great candidate for a Hardtop.

Let's see? You know they make Playfields for this game right? I wouldn't recommend Hardtop for that game.
Hardtop is the best solution for games that have no other solution. If I took apart my Funhouse I'd want to put
the best solution in place. It's alot of work. Putting a Hardtop in is alot of work if done right.

#828 26 days ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

Let's see? You know they make Playfields for this game right? I wouldn't recommend Hardtop for that game.
Hardtop is the best solution for games that have no other solution. If I took apart my Funhouse I'd want to put
the best solution in place. It's alot of work. Putting a Hardtop in is alot of work if done right.

Doing a topside teardown for a hardtop is infinitely easier and quicker vs. moving everything from the old playfield to the new one.

#829 26 days ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

Let's see? You know they make Playfields for this game right? I wouldn't recommend Hardtop for that game.
Hardtop is the best solution for games that have no other solution. If I took apart my Funhouse I'd want to put
the best solution in place. It's alot of work. Putting a Hardtop in is alot of work if done right.

At some point you have to ask yourself; does it make sense to spend $1k on a new playfield for a $1400 game considering there is now a 90% option for 1/3 the price even if the amount of work is the same?

At least for me, that isn't a difficult question to answer.

#830 26 days ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

Let's see? You know they make Playfields for this game right? I wouldn't recommend Hardtop for that game.
Hardtop is the best solution for games that have no other solution. If I took apart my Funhouse I'd want to put
the best solution in place. It's alot of work. Putting a Hardtop in is alot of work if done right.

$1000 for a playfield with fragile clearcoat and misaligned holes and have to transfer over every part, or $300 for something I only have to tear down the top side, sand, maybe clear, and put back together. Pretty easy choice to me on a game that will be at my location for years to come.

#831 26 days ago
Quoted from desertT1:

$1000 for a playfield with fragile clearcoat and misaligned holes and have to transfer over every part, or $300 for something I only have to tear down the top side, sand, maybe clear, and put back together. Pretty easy choice to me on a game that will be at my location for years to come.

Funhouse isn't available as a hardtop though. Just a big sticker overlay ( which I don't recommend if Hardtop is avail)
I'd rather have the high end Mirco PF in a Funhouse. Worth it

#832 26 days ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

Funhouse isn't available as a hardtop though. Just a big sticker overlay ( which I don't recommend if Hardtop is avail)
I'd rather have the high end Mirco PF in a Funhouse. Worth it

This is the Hardtop thread, thus the request. I've already said I'm not interested in a $1000 item for a questionable product for location play. If I wanted to do a nice playfield down the road (after clear stops sucking from Mirco and holes are straight and in the right place) I can still do that and remove the Hardtop'd playfield.

Here's a fun story. I bought a pretty well work Taxi from a friend who never got into the project. The playfield art was worn to the wood in some areas. Again, I wanted to put this game on location. I finished tearing down the playfield (top side only) and cleared it with 3 layers over a few days. I didn't even worry about filling in the "down to the wood" areas and sanding them smooth. Let it cure for a few weeks and put it back together and it's been on location for 2 years. It plays great and is really fast without having to be steeper than normal. It looks like a rat rod, but is a blast to play.

#833 26 days ago
Quoted from desertT1:

This is the Hardtop thread, thus the request. I've already said I'm not interested in a $1000 item for a questionable product for location play. If I wanted to do a nice playfield down the road (after clear stops sucking from Mirco and holes are straight and in the right place) I can still do that and remove the Hardtop'd playfield.
Here's a fun story. I bought a pretty well work Taxi from a friend who never got into the project. The playfield art was worn to the wood in some areas. Again, I wanted to put this game on location. I finished tearing down the playfield (top side only) and cleared it with 3 layers over a few days. I didn't even worry about filling in the "down to the wood" areas and sanding them smooth. Let it cure for a few weeks and put it back together and it's been on location for 2 years. It plays great and is really fast without having to be steeper than normal. It looks like a rat rod, but is a blast to play.

I was thinking of doing the same to my High Speed, Just doing a killer clear coat over the shot out PF. Total Rat Rod style it. It would be a sleeper, looks beat but plays 200mph.
TechnicalSteam is there a playfield available for HS? If so please let me know where? I have been waiting for this Hardtop option for months and can not wait to get 2 of them. Firepower and High Speed.

#834 26 days ago
Quoted from desertT1:

This is the Hardtop thread, thus the request. I've already said I'm not interested in a $1000 item for a questionable product for location play. If I wanted to do a nice playfield down the road (after clear stops sucking from Mirco and holes are straight and in the right place) I can still do that and remove the Hardtop'd playfield.
Here's a fun story. I bought a pretty well work Taxi from a friend who never got into the project. The playfield art was worn to the wood in some areas. Again, I wanted to put this game on location. I finished tearing down the playfield (top side only) and cleared it with 3 layers over a few days. I didn't even worry about filling in the "down to the wood" areas and sanding them smooth. Let it cure for a few weeks and put it back together and it's been on location for 2 years. It plays great and is really fast without having to be steeper than normal. It looks like a rat rod, but is a blast to play.

I have done a Space Shuttle Hardtop which made alot of sense to me as I didn't have all the parts at the time I made the decision to do it. The process was straightforward and though there are a couple things that irritate me about them. I love the product. So don't take what I say wrong. I have recommended some games for Hardtop conversion that are no available yet. Not sure they ever will be. There are some advantages for sure. With a game like funhouse with the heavily used scoops would fair. I suppose you could put a cliffy ontop of them and hold it down. That would be my only concern. With a fast game like Funhouse I wonder how the surface would play on that title.

#835 26 days ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

I have done a Space Shuttle Hardtop which made alot of sense to me as I didn't have all the parts at the time I made the decision to do it. The process was straightforward and though there are a couple things that irritate me about them. I love the product. So don't take what I say wrong. I have recommended some games for Hardtop conversion that are no available yet. Not sure they ever will be. There are some advantages for sure. With a game like funhouse with the heavily used scoops would fair. I suppose you could put a cliffy ontop of them and hold it down. That would be my only concern. With a fast game like Funhouse I wonder how the surface would play on that title.

I have a Whirlwind that the previous owner put a protector on. On a very rare occasion the ball will hang up in front of one of the scoops on the lip of the protector. It has to be a very slow ball, typically with a lot of sideways movement. So I do see that happening on a game with scoops that gets a Hardtop.

My Funhouse will be very pretty one day, but I expect I should wait for it to get a lot of plays on location before doing that.

#836 26 days ago
Quoted from desertT1:

something I only have to tear down the top side, sand, maybe clear, and put back together.

Have you installed a hard top before? It’s quite a bit more involved than you are making it out to be. I love my FG hardtop, but factoring in time and effort, I think I would rather do a playfield swap tbh.

#837 25 days ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

Have you installed a hard top before? It’s quite a bit more involved than you are making it out to be. I love my FG hardtop, but factoring in time and effort, I think I would rather do a playfield swap tbh.

You’re just slow and yeah he has put one on Taxi he mentioned it a few posts up

#838 25 days ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

Have you installed a hard top before? It’s quite a bit more involved than you are making it out to be. I love my FG hardtop, but factoring in time and effort, I think I would rather do a playfield swap tbh.

Spread out over about 8 weeks (I work 50+ hours a week, have family/kids, and I have other weekend hobbies), I probably put about 12-18 hours into my Mata Hari hardtop install:

- Topside tear down
- Repair top center kickout saucer with wood epoxy putty
- Sand inserts, shooter lane, apron, and top arch
- Rattle can poly spray shooter lane, apron, and top arch
- Rattle can clear spray inserts after sanding 600-800-1000
- Lay down hardtop (all of 10 minutes for this step)
- Fix/adjust mis-aligned hardtop holes with playfield holes
- Re-assemble topside with new posts, plastics, pop bumper hardware, targets, and rubbers from Marco's (+ flipper rebuild)
- Play. I must have 200 games on it so far and I'm totally pleased with the speed, action, and flow of this classic pin

Way easier and a quarter of the cost of doing a playfield swap if I could even find a worthy replacement playfield.

#839 25 days ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Have you installed a hard top before? It’s quite a bit more involved than you are making it out to be. I love my FG hardtop, but factoring in time and effort, I think I would rather do a playfield swap tbh.

I have done dozens of full playfield swaps and recently just completed a FG hardtop install. I agree with Spraynard, FG does take a lot of extra time and effort to do correctly compared to Mati Hari and other games which have little to no rollovers to redo and no multi-tier ramps to line up.

Consider the 7 rollover Inserts that should be removed and replaced with new ones. Then you have to sand the concave surfaces of each rollover before clamping/leveling with actual hardtop. And Before all of this you have to carefully route out each of the 7 holes before placing inserts on playfield.

As for the ramps, you need to cut holes in extra plastic to shim the metal surfaces so ball can freely travel. Precise cutting of little pieces and placing the material so that is lines up correctly along with drilling holes to match is tedious work indeed.

Take into consideration you have to line up 2 pieces not just one and this adds more time along with drilling more holes in plastic for the side rails. All of this is very time consuming to do correctly. If you were doing a simple game with no ramps or rollovers, then, yes, Hardtop would go done rather quickly, however, games like FG are much more difficult to do and requires more time than a Top side population of a new playfield since you do have to sand, prep, clear, etc. before application.

I am not knocking the hardtops at all; very glad to help save games out there which do not have new playfields available to them, but don't kid yourself, to do it right, they take a lot of time to do properly. Just glad we now have multiple options for those to select when restoring a game!

#840 25 days ago
Quoted from perryd:

I have done dozens of full playfield swaps and recently just completed a FG hardtop install. I agree with Spraynard, FG does take a lot of extra time and effort to do correctly compared to Mati Hari and other games which have little to no rollovers to redo and no multi-tier ramps to line up.
Consider the 7 rollover Inserts that should be removed and replaced with new ones. Then you have to sand the concave surfaces of each rollover before clamping/leveling with actual hardtop. And Before all of this you have to carefully route out each of the 7 holes before placing inserts on playfield.
As for the ramps, you need to cut holes in extra plastic to shim the metal surfaces so ball can freely travel. Precise cutting of little pieces and placing the material so that is lines up correctly along with drilling holes to match is tedious work indeed.
Take into consideration you have to line up 2 pieces not just one and this adds more time along with drilling more holes in plastic for the side rails. All of this is very time consuming to do correctly. If you were doing a simple game with no ramps or rollovers, then, yes, Hardtop would go done rather quickly, however, games like FG are much more difficult to do and requires more time than a Top side population of a new playfield since you do have to sand, prep, clear, etc. before application.
I am not knocking the hardtops at all; very glad to help save games out there which do not have new playfields available to them, but don't kid yourself, to do it right, they take a lot of time to do properly. Just glad we now have multiple options for those to select when restoring a game!

Those are excellent points, perryd, and I had not considered those with my comments on my own experience with Mata Hari. Rollovers and ramps indeed ratchet up the complexity level several degrees and MH by comparison is a rather simple layout. The only modifications I had to make as a result of the hardtop height was to raise the two banks of 4 drop targets by .8mm. That way the ball would not get stuck sitting on top of downed targets if it happened to roll slowly by at an angle.

#841 25 days ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

Have you installed a hard top before? It’s quite a bit more involved than you are making it out to be. I love my FG hardtop, but factoring in time and effort, I think I would rather do a playfield swap tbh.

I'm a glutton for punishment, but also enjoy learning new things.

Please see exhibit A: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-joust-1969-oh-boy

You can filter by my posts and just really read when I post pictures. Looking back, I didn't post enough "final result" pictures, but the game plays amazing now.

#842 25 days ago

So I as the guy who brought Flash Gordon hard tops to the world. I’m going to be very honest and tell you that yes they are difficult in comparison to the other Single layer play field hard tops. . But for most people they don’t mind doing the extra labor because they’ve saved cash. I recently had to drop a tree in my front yard. It cost $800 to drop the tree without damaging anything around it. For additional $1200 they would’ve chipped away all the branches. Guess what I decided to pocket the $1200 and do the labor. So to each his own. Hardtops tops are normally much easier than play field swaps, trust me I know, I’ve done enough of each, but it is what it is and $350 later I have a beautiful flash Gordon.

#843 25 days ago

Do you think that you will ever make a Gottlieb Joker Poker hardtop?

Robert

#844 24 days ago

Need a Bally Time Zone.

#845 20 days ago

Uh-oh!

Screenshot 2019-07-03 20.45.42 (resized).png
#846 20 days ago

Hi All
I am very interested in how everyone is the finding the durability of this product? Especially with Swords of Fury coming and it is the only machine in my collection left that needs a nice play field restore!
My questions are:
How is the durability and scratching up over time with a lot of plays? I have tried the clear playfield protectors in the past and the first batch ( I think petg) were good, then they changed to Makrolon or similar and it was terrible - scratched up in no time. Keeping in mind good clean polished balls and and keeping play field clean of course.
How is the Resistance to temp changes. We can experience 0 to 40 deg c over a year is there any issue with shrinking, bubbling and or laminating etc?

Appreciate any feedback via forum or pm if you feel more comfortable commenting - thank you!

#847 19 days ago
Quoted from colinize:

Uh-oh![quoted image]

I just saw this too. I knew I should have ordered my Firepower and High Speed last week.
The wait game again.

#848 19 days ago
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#849 19 days ago
Quoted from Jakusu:

Hi All
I am very interested in how everyone is the finding the durability of this product? Especially with Swords of Fury coming and it is the only machine in my collection left that needs a nice play field restore!
My questions are:
How is the durability and scratching up over time with a lot of plays?

Mine still looks perfect, but it doesnt have many plays compared to some. The higher played ones also seem to have good reports.

#850 19 days ago
Quoted from Jakusu:

Hi All
I am very interested in how everyone is the finding the durability of this product? Especially with Swords of Fury coming and it is the only machine in my collection left that needs a nice play field restore!
My questions are:
How is the durability and scratching up over time with a lot of plays? I have tried the clear playfield protectors in the past and the first batch ( I think petg) were good, then they changed to Makrolon or similar and it was terrible - scratched up in no time. Keeping in mind good clean polished balls and and keeping play field clean of course.
How is the Resistance to temp changes. We can experience 0 to 40 deg c over a year is there any issue with shrinking, bubbling and or laminating etc?
Appreciate any feedback via forum or pm if you feel more comfortable commenting - thank you!

Quoted from jaytrem:

Mine still looks perfect, but it doesnt have many plays compared to some. The higher played ones also seem to have good reports.

After ~400 games so far, my MH hardtop still looks and plays like brand new. I do not wax it. I give it a cursory wipe down with a clean, dry cloth about every 50 games. I'll probably do a full topside tear-down clean at the one-year mark and every year there-after.

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