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!