Official "HARDTOPS" thread

(Topic ID: 218168)

Official "HARDTOPS" thread


By Skypilot

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 362 posts
  • 120 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 12 hours ago by TheCapn
  • Topic is favorited by 103 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

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

  • High Speed 72 votes
    14%
  • Firepower 62 votes
    12%
  • Silverball Mania 25 votes
    5%
  • Time Warp 12 votes
    2%
  • Mata Hari 21 votes
    4%
  • Blackout 39 votes
    7%
  • Tri-Zone 8 votes
    2%
  • Swords of Fury 43 votes
    8%
  • Space Station 28 votes
    5%
  • Fathom 26 votes
    5%
  • Pinbot 52 votes
    10%
  • Eight Ball Deluxe 51 votes
    10%
  • Strikes and Spares 17 votes
    3%
  • Kiss (Bally) 15 votes
    3%
  • Supersonic 19 votes
    4%
  • Grand Lizard 39 votes
    7%

(Multiple choice - 529 votes by 278 Pinsiders)

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There are 362 posts in this topic. You are on page 7 of 8.
#301 16 days ago

Question. Installing hardtop for BK. Noticing there may be a decent sized gap between the hardtop surface and the ramps. I have only lined things up, and havent applied the hardtop yet. Does anyone have pics of their BK with hardtop so i can see if this is common? I worry that the ball will not flow down the ramp and onto the PF smoothly.

#302 16 days ago
Quoted from TheCapn:

Question. Installing hardtop for BK. Noticing there may be a decent sized gap between the hardtop surface and the ramps. I have only lined things up, and havent applied the hardtop yet. Does anyone have pics of their BK with hardtop so i can see if this is common? I worry that the ball will not flow down the ramp and onto the PF smoothly.

I can’t speak to BK, but I had this issue with my space shuttle ramp. What I ended up doing was putting some washers down in the gap to raise the ramp entrance.

#303 16 days ago
Quoted from AMBoggs:

I can’t speak to BK, but I had this issue with my space shuttle ramp. What I ended up doing was putting some washers down in the gap to raise the ramp entrance.

Yea, that isn't the entire issue though. There is a gap from the bottom of the ramp entrance to the hard top the 'Y' axis of the playfield. I'll get some pictures up to give those a better reference tomorrow.

#304 15 days ago
Quoted from TheCapn:

Yea, that isn't the entire issue though. There is a gap from the bottom of the ramp entrance to the hard top the 'Y' axis of the playfield. I'll get some pictures up to give those a better reference tomorrow.

Pictures will help us. We have been contacted by a small handful of folks with this issue specific to Black Knight. It turns out there are a least 2 version of this ramp area that shipped originally. The one we built and designed from did not share this issue. Once I see these, we may be able to send out something to assist you. We should be able to come up with a solution.

#305 15 days ago
Quoted from Outsidedge:

Pictures will help us. We have been contacted by a small handful of folks with this issue specific to Black Knight. It turns out there are a least 2 version of this ramp area that shipped originally. The one we built and designed from did not share this issue. Once I see these, we may be able to send out something to assist you. We should be able to come up with a solution.

#306 15 days ago

These are pics of the ramps with a custom riser pad under them - it helps, but I feel like the art should meet up with the ramp.

20181101_095527 (resized).jpg20181101_095532 (resized).jpg20181101_095536 (resized).jpg
#307 14 days ago

I would just paint your riser pads and the area around them black. It would make it less noticeable.

#308 14 days ago
Quoted from TheCapn:

These are pics of the ramps with a custom riser pad under them - it helps, but I feel like the art should meet up with the ramp.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

So from the looks of it from what I see I believe you might have placed your hardtop slightly low. I’m saying this looking at the triangular red insert below. I did not initially Proto type black knight but that is my best guess.

#309 14 days ago

@ TheCapn, I’m betting you will need to redesign your risers so that there is no gap between the Hardtop and the end of your ramps. Otherwise, slow moving balls will almost certainly get stuck there.

Also, I’m of the opinion you did not misalign your Hardtop, because the holes in the Hardtop and playfield around your ramps register perfectly.

#310 14 days ago

Hmmm, I see the issue. Let me get with my design team and decide on a solution. I just looovvvve when we find games that they decided to change mid stream during a game run. I am sure it will happen again.... but we can persevere!

I will say thank you, sincerely to all... who bring these issues to our attention in an intelligent way, without exclaiming from the hilltops about how "wrong" the part is. As we will all continue to see, changes occurred as necessary to keep the games shipping and the line moving.

As Greg Freres responded to the following question during our Expo seminar last year:

Seminar name was "Making Perfect Parts for Imperfect Pinball Machines"

Outside Edge: Greg, would variances between parts from vendors, or design changes occur after games were already built?

Greg: Yes, from time to time.

Outside Edge: Would a received part be accepted that was not exactly as the first parts used?

Greg: Would NOT accepting it stop the production line? ... if Yes, the part was often still used.

Basically.... Design and art changes occurred as needed, with no real concern over machine #696 NOT matching machine #2 off the line.

#311 14 days ago

These images are before laying it down permanently. We ended up filling the ramp entrances with epoxy and sanded level to playfield. By doing that the hard top is almost the perfect height of the metal ramps. The hardtop is aligned perfectly to every insert. The gap is still there, but it isn't a make or break for me. I completely understand that these things can't match EVERY playfield.

#312 14 days ago
Quoted from TheCapn:

These images are before laying it down permanently. We ended up filling the ramp entrances with epoxy and sanded level to playfield. By doing that the hard top is almost the perfect height of the metal ramps. The hardtop is aligned perfectly to every insert. The gap is still there, but it isn't a make or break for me. I completely understand that these things can't match EVERY playfield.

You run into these kind of issues with repro playfield as well only more problems by far.

#313 14 days ago
Quoted from sawbill:

Also, I’m of the opinion you did not misalign your Hardtop, because the holes in the Hardtop and playfield around your ramps register perfectly.

I would use the inserts as my alignment guide, not the holes.

The logic being:

You can't move the inserts, but you can always enlarge a hole.

#314 14 days ago

"That's what she said"

#315 14 days ago

But, enlarging the hole requires the proper tool!

#316 14 days ago
Quoted from StylesBitchly:

But, enlarging the hole requires the proper tool!

Are we not men???

#317 14 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Are we not men???

Yes. But perhaps not gentlemen.

#318 14 days ago
Quoted from Pin-up:

I have a black out and would be willing. What do I need, equipment wise, to do this?

Thank you!!

Get with Jeff @ Pinball Pimp, he can get you the specifics of what he needs.

#319 14 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Are we not men???

Devo! (resized).png
#320 14 days ago
Quoted from Dewey68:

[quoted image]

How did Devo know that Tom Brady was going to be a star and also know exactly how he would look?

#321 14 days ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

How did Devo know that Tom Brady was going to be a star and also know exactly how he would look?

Is Tom Brady the som of Chi Chi Rodriguez?

#322 14 days ago

So was there a high speed hard top coming?
I thought I read something about that

#323 14 days ago
Quoted from RustyLizard:

Is Tom Brady the som of Chi Chi Rodriguez?

Looks nothing like Chi Chi though:

http://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2017/08/25/golf-music-casale-mothersbaugh

#324 14 days ago
Quoted from johnnycruzr:

Thank you!!
Get with Jeff @ Pinball Pimp, he can get you the specifics of what he needs.

just messaged him this after noon.

#325 14 days ago

Warlock / Defender - please think that would help save a huge number of these from sad days

#326 13 days ago

Got a series started on this process. When I see a products potential - I stand up for it. So, I decided to put up a series to help those future buyers on the installation process. Looking forward to Swords of Fury cause that game is hard to find and when you do get them the PF's are more than likely trashed. Just so I cover all my bases - if there is any info that NEEDS to be noted in the narration of the follow up videos let me know. Thanks.

#327 13 days ago

I love the use of the extra Coors!

#328 13 days ago

I can't wait for part 2!

#329 13 days ago

Both Pinbot and Eight ball deluxe, thats awesome! Can't wait to order

#330 11 days ago
Quoted from TheCapn:

These are pics of the ramps with a custom riser pad under them - it helps, but I feel like the art should meet up with the ramp.

I've had slow moving balls get caught in that lip. I tried to use some extra material from the hardtop that I removed from under the apron as a spacer under the ramps but I still have the gap there. I didn't really worry about it too much. A bit of a wiggle and the ball starts moving again. Visually, it doesn't bother me that much either because I have seen some horrible original and replacement playfields with the graphics not registered properly.

I just love that the game looks fantastic and plays amazing. We now have a Firepower with a hardtop and drop targets in our league. Most people don't have a clue what they are playing on until I explain it to them. They say the game plays great.

#331 11 days ago

Would you guys ever consider offering to do custom game hardtops if someone gave you the cnc and art files?

#332 11 days ago
Quoted from swinks:

Would you guys ever consider offering to do custom game hardtops if someone gave you the cnc and art files?

+1 This! Would be an awesome offering for homebrew machines everywhere

#333 11 days ago

I am in for Eight Ball Deluxe if it happens.

#334 10 days ago

Hardtop is probably the best product to come out of this hobby is years.

I will be finishing my first game Space Shuttle soon. I will never do an sticker overlay
again. Unless forced to do so by some unforseen change of fates.

#335 10 days ago

I am still hoping that the issues with High Speed get worked out soon. I would really love to give the playfield an upgrade.

#336 10 days ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

So from the looks of it from what I see I believe you might have placed your hardtop slightly low. I’m saying this looking at the triangular red insert below. I did not initially Proto type black knight but that is my best guess.

Could there be an option to not cut out the space for the ramps and let the installer trim that out? This might be a dumb idea but just curious.

#337 9 days ago
Quoted from dnaman:

Could there be an option to not cut out the space for the ramps and let the installer trim that out? This might be a dumb idea but just curious.

I think this is a great idea. it could be trimmed out the same way the rollovers are trimmed out. You would just have to be careful as you don't have the same depth to guide you. If your tool slipped you could accidentally scrape the crap out of the hardtop...

#338 9 days ago

Got the upper PF hardtop for BK installed today. Found 2 holes that were not cut and NEED to be done. I will have more info about this in the next BK video. Other than that we have made the appropriate modifications with the ramps and this thing is gonna be better than factory. It looks great!

#339 8 days ago
Quoted from TheCapn:

Got a series started on this process. When I see a products potential - I stand up for it. So, I decided to put up a series to help those future buyers on the installation process. Looking forward to Swords of Fury cause that game is hard to find and when you do get them the PF's are more than likely trashed. Just so I cover all my bases - if there is any info that NEEDS to be noted in the narration of the follow up videos let me know. Thanks.

Well done Capn! I really like your idea about blacking out the edges of the inserts for extra insurance. We will monitor the thread and await your follow up video.

- Outside Edge

#340 7 days ago

Any product updates of any sort?

#341 7 days ago
Quoted from johnnycruzr:

Blackout.........YES!!
Already have the repo backglass....
Now I just need Pinball Pimp to make stencils (hint, hint, to anyone out there with a Blackout nice enough to send scans to Jeff)

Just saw Blackout on the list that's awesome. I got to really look mine over and decide if i go hardtop or traditional restoration mine isn't terrible but not sure if its good enough to be touched up and cleared and come out nice enough cause the Hardtops looks amazing.

I'm actually not to far from Pinball Pimp, about 5 hours. I actually reached out to him also about taking him my Trident so he could scan it and make the stencil. I think my Blackout is pretty decent also i might be able to just take both to him if someone can't get him good scans.

#342 7 days ago
Quoted from BertoDRINK1:

Just saw Blackout on the list that's awesome. I got to really look mine over and decide if i go hardtop or traditional restoration mine isn't terrible but not sure if its good enough to be touched up and cleared and come out nice enough cause the Hardtops looks amazing.
I'm actually not to far from Pinball Pimp, about 5 hours. I actually reached out to him also about taking him my Trident so he could scan it and make the stencil. I think my Blackout is pretty decent also i might be able to just take both to him if someone can't get him good scans.

Do you have an old flatbed scanner? You can remove the lid and hold the scanner against the cabinet and take multiple pictures. Jeff can photoshop the pictures to make the stencils.

#343 7 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I did take them out, only because old ones often break (just barely snug them up, and even then, any internal fractures may still snap them)
How many times have you gone out to service a pop that is hanging up, only to find that some idiot before you must have overtightened them at some point, and that 2 of the 3 screws are snapped?
My advice:
If you want to bury them, at least put brand new ones in.
Don't over-tighten them!

vid1900 I went ahead and removed the old screws and will put new ones in after hardtop install. After you installed the hardtop, did you drill through the hardtop from the bottom of the playfield to create new holes for the screws? Thanks

#344 7 days ago
Quoted from Outsidedge:

I really like your idea about blacking out the edges of the inserts for extra insurance.

I learned the hard way about this. I was a hair off when I laid down my BK hardtop and there are a couple of spots where you can see a tiny bit of bare wood. Not the end of the world but I realized after it was down if I had put down some black around the inserts you wouldn't be able to see anything.

The other thing I've noticed is that there is a bit of light bleed through the hardtop around the inserts in the sword (4 through 40) that have a white background. I have some pretty bright LEDs under the playfield and that probably doesn't help. I don't know how hard it would be to add a layer of black to the hardtop where there is white or light colours round the inserts. Maybe I'm seeing this because mine is slightly misaligned.

Of course the other option is to use different bulbs and see if it makes a difference but right now the game looks pretty awesome as is...

#345 7 days ago
Quoted from dzorbas:

I learned the hard way about this. I was a hair off when I laid down my BK hardtop and there are a couple of spots where you can see a tiny bit of bare wood. Not the end of the world but I realized after it was down if I had put down some black around the inserts you wouldn't be able to see anything.
The other thing I've noticed is that there is a bit of light bleed through the hardtop around the inserts in the sword (4 through 40) that have a white background. I have some pretty bright LEDs under the playfield and that probably doesn't help. I don't know how hard it would be to add a layer of black to the hardtop where there is white or light colours round the inserts. Maybe I'm seeing this because mine is slightly misaligned.
Of course the other option is to use different bulbs and see if it makes a difference but right now the game looks pretty awesome as is...

Yes, this is something we are always trying to tweak. We are working on improvements as we can, but the issue becomes ink film thickness. To build density (due to having limited ability to actually effect opaqueness within the ink itself) we have to double/triple strike-print. That is only a fix to the point where a "bump" starts to result. We ARE working on it though. A ,limitation for sure... toning down your brightness a touch will help.

#346 7 days ago
Quoted from Outsidedge:

That is only a fix to the point where a "bump" starts to result.

What would happen if a blocking layer was applied to the entire hardtop as the last thing before the adhesive went on? That would prevent bumps around specific areas wouldn't it? Not that I have any in depth knowledge of the printing process...

#347 7 days ago
Quoted from ChrisPINk25:

vid1900 I went ahead and removed the old screws and will put new ones in after hardtop install. After you installed the hardtop, did you drill through the hardtop from the bottom of the playfield to create new holes for the screws? Thanks

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-hardtop-restoration-comet#post-4470156

#348 7 days ago
Quoted from dzorbas:

The other thing I've noticed is that there is a bit of light bleed through the hardtop around the inserts in the sword (4 through 40) that have a white background. I have some pretty bright LEDs under the playfield and that probably doesn't help.

No need for those crazy bright LEDs under the inserts, blasting the player in the face.

There was a Pinbot at the OH show that had all 2 chip LEDs in the playfield inserts, and everybody was like "WTF, who's machine is this machine????" , you could not even play the game.

Give some regular cheapo LEDs a try.

They create less glare, are less expensive, make the power supply last longer and lower the total electrical draw.

#349 7 days ago

Thanks vid1900 . The space shuttle hardtop doesn't have holes for the pop bumper screws. See pic. Also notice the worst aligned hole on my playfield in the right of the pic. I imagine these scoring holes could vary a lot in the manufacturing process of the playfield.

D62CE207-3EB2-4056-AAE1-2FA2C3EBA04B (resized).jpeg
#350 7 days ago
Quoted from ChrisPINk25:

The space shuttle hardtop doesn't have holes for the pop bumper screws. See pic.

You could put the nails in first, before the hardtop - with the knowledge that if you break a nail in the future, you will have to drill a hole to retrieve the head.

That's how I would do it.

Then be EXTRA careful to just sung up the pop mechs.

Quoted from ChrisPINk25:

Also notice the worst aligned hole on my playfield in the right of the pic. I imagine these scoring holes could vary a lot in the manufacturing process of the playfield.

It could be worse.

Some latter Xenons had 4 more lamp holes than the early ones.

So you either get 4 holes in the hardtop that are not in the wood, or 4 holes in the wood with no matching holes in the hardtop - someone somewhere will feel cheated.

In your case, concentrate on getting all the inserts aligned and ignore the other holes.

If you have to "split the difference" on insert alignment, then the ones closer to the player are obviously given preference.

Then after installation, enlarge any holes to match your playfield.

Once the plastics are installed, no one is ever going to know about the offset holes except you.

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