Official "HARDTOPS" thread

(Topic ID: 218168)

Official "HARDTOPS" thread

By Skypilot

7 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 543 posts
  • 153 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 14 hours ago by pudealee
  • Topic is favorited by 114 Pinsiders


Linked Games

Topic poll

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

  • High Speed 84 votes
  • Firepower 67 votes
  • Silverball Mania 31 votes
  • Time Warp 13 votes
  • Mata Hari 26 votes
  • Blackout 41 votes
  • Tri-Zone 9 votes
  • Swords of Fury 45 votes
  • Space Station 30 votes
  • Fathom 27 votes
  • Pinbot 61 votes
  • Eight Ball Deluxe 63 votes
  • Strikes and Spares 20 votes
  • Kiss (Bally) 16 votes
  • Supersonic 21 votes
  • Grand Lizard 41 votes

(Multiple choice - 595 votes by 325 Pinsiders)

Topic Gallery

There have been 77 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

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#79 7 months ago
Quoted from timab2000:

So once you lay this hardtop down...can it be pulled back up to make adjustments??
Does anyone know??

No. Once stuck down, it stays.

2 weeks later
#109 6 months ago

I am the holdup. Sorry, it has been an unbelievable year. BUT, the good news! Firepower is very, very close. The prototype is applied and about half reassembled. Done by this weekend (I hardly dare say that - now something else will happen).

#118 6 months ago
Quoted from 64bsstp:

I am the holdup. Sorry, it has been an unbelievable year. BUT, the good news! Firepower is very, very close. The prototype is applied and about half reassembled. Done by this weekend (I hardly dare say that - now something else will happen).

It's done. Worked great. Star rollovers are no big deal.

20180707_133829 (resized).jpg
#122 6 months ago
Quoted from freddy:

Is this factory spelling or typo?

Here's a comparison shot. 2 old playfields, a CPR and the Hardtop.

20180510_203519 (resized).jpg
#128 6 months ago
Quoted from AMBoggs:

I’m curious as to what is going on with the yellow on the “blast/explosion”.
If it was in a game, I probably wouldn’t notice but compared to the other three it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Scroll up, that Hardtop in the comparison picture is the one on the playfield of that game. Back on the comparison shot look at the "blue/green" small planet. The CPR board doesn't have much green in it. It's been mentioned before that the colors used on Firepower components vary widely and I suppose that's what's going on here. Personally I like the brighter colors in the explosion on the Hardtop. Anytime you see a Firepower look at that explosion. There is lots of variance as it goes from the solid red to the edges of the blast. I've seen boards that are pink at the outer edges of the blast. You can also often see blotches and irregularities caused by poorly cleaned silk screens. I had a NOS Firepower playfield I bought brand new back in 1982 that had terrible blotching in that explosion area. At the time I worked for a distributor and had the parts department order it from the factory. I assume it was a pull or "last run for spares" part.

#130 6 months ago
Quoted from Pin-up:

What's the logistics of the star roll over? Just pop it out and re level it to the new surface and adjust the switch underneath accordingly?
Looks fantastic!

Yes. Although I recommend you buy new ones. The hole in the Hardtop is smaller than the star rollover insert hole so you have to enlarge it, carefully, to match. That way you can make it a snug fit and it will be perfectly aligned. Probably should do them a bit earlier in the rebuild process too. I had to take some stuff back off to get room.
IMG_8157 (resized).JPG

I used a sanding drum in a Dremel tool.
IMG_8156 (resized).JPG

I apply the glue to the wood in the hole and push the insert in using a small piece of glass so I get it level with the surface.
Star Rover glass piece (resized).jpg

#132 6 months ago

I bought this Firepower back in about 1982. It was already worn and, of course, they don't improve. At the time I worked for a distributor and bought a new playfield but never put it in. That playfield was the one that eventually got scanned and sent to CPR artist Jim Smith for artwork for CPR's remake. That would be the CPR board in the comparison photo previously. Then OuterEdge posted looking for a Firepower playfield to develop the Hardtop. I knew it was time, stripped the board out of another Firepower so I could do this one like anyone else would. When you send a playfield for hardtop development it has to be completely stripped, top and bottom. Bigger job. Hardtop is applied. Bottom mechanics from stripped board are going on the CPR playfield to go in Firepower #2. The plan is to have both at PATZ next year. Come play and compare!

20180522_211805 (resized).jpg

Remove inserts, sand smooth and remove any lettering (amazing how much whiter they get):
IMG_8053 (resized).JPG

Align Hardtop. I use two 4' flourescent lights in slot in two boxes below the playfield and a spotlight above it.
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When it's just right, clamp it. Here's my method:
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Now peel the backing from the top half. Be careful not to peel the adhesive layer.
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I cut it off about 3" from the clamped area and fold it under itself:
Peeling Back CUT Ready to stick (resized).jpg

Carefully bring the Hardtop down and apply to the playfield. Rub it down all over.
Remove the clamp.
Now you can pull on the cut pieces from the other half. Pay carefull attention to the shooter lane outside flap.
IMG_8138 (resized).JPG

Again, carefully lay the Hardtop down and stick it to the playfield. Rub it down all over.
FINAL FP_8168 (resized).JPG

#134 6 months ago

You don't have to remove everything. Just all the graphics on the inserts and would recommend sanding a bit of area around any rollover switches as the Hardtop has just a bit of clear area there (typically, wherever the original playfield has bare wood the Hardtop is clear so you want to refinish that area so it looks nice thru the Hardtop. Also, any loose ink must be sanded off and any rough areas which will include those little ridges around the screw holes when you remove the posts. Conversely any low areas (ie: sunken inserts) must be brought up to level.

#136 6 months ago

To clarify: you don't have to remove all the graphics. Basically, the playfield must be smooth and the inserts must be blank.

You do have to remove all the posts, hardware and rails on the top of the playfield so you can apply the Hardtop. In my case I remove the screws from some of the mechs (slings) and switch assemblies to drop them under the playfield to make it easier to sand.

#137 6 months ago
Quoted from dzorbas:

Seriously? You have that many Firepower playfields? Geez....

"No....there is another....."

#150 6 months ago

None of the holes for the wood rails are drilled either due to variances in their location from playfield to playfield.
Just put the Hardtop on and run a small drill bit up from the bottom to put a hole in the Hardtop.

4 months later
#384 51 days ago

I don’t think I’ll even need sandpaper. The existing paint flakes right off! Excellent HT candidate.
[quoted image]</blockquote

Yep! Definitely!

BAD MH PF (resized).jpgMH Hardtop 4 (resized).jpg
1 month later
#469 12 days ago
Quoted from dzorbas:

I didn't get any extra with my BK hardtop so I cut away a lot of the material that sits under the apron and used that for shims. I also had to shim the outside shooter lane rail as the hardtop didn't extend across the shooter lane. Hopefully this is being addressed now. If not, get out your utility knife and a ruler!

I made the suggestion to Outeredge when I did the BK prototype. Glad to hear it happened. In my case I was making new siderails so I just adjusted that right edge to be another .030" thicker but otherwise the upper playfield is just that tad too high. Also, the ramp edges. BK does have a nice "cross brace" at the top of the lower playfield Hardtop. You can cut that off and use the material, too.

#486 6 days ago
Quoted from tjc02002:

My biggest problem is that when you look at the games that have a hardtop installed, the clear insert areas get dusty(ghosted looking). This is because those areas are essentially a small pocket and I would like to be able to clean them out periodically(every year or two let’s say).

What is getting into the "pocket"? And where is it coming from?
I suppose if it was really a problem you could treat a clear insert like you do a star rollover.

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