Official "HARDTOPS" thread

(Topic ID: 218168)

Official "HARDTOPS" thread


By Skypilot

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 188 posts
  • 79 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 hours ago by freddy
  • Topic is favorited by 75 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

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

  • High Speed 55 votes
    15%
  • Firepower 47 votes
    12%
  • Silverball Mania 18 votes
    5%
  • Time Warp 9 votes
    2%
  • Mata Hari 16 votes
    4%
  • Blackout 26 votes
    7%
  • Tri-Zone 7 votes
    2%
  • Swords of Fury 32 votes
    8%
  • Space Station 22 votes
    6%
  • Fathom 18 votes
    5%
  • Pinbot 41 votes
    11%
  • Eight Ball Deluxe 29 votes
    8%
  • Strikes and Spares 10 votes
    3%
  • Kiss (Bally) 8 votes
    2%
  • Supersonic 9 votes
    2%
  • Grand Lizard 30 votes
    8%

(Multiple choice - 377 votes by 204 Pinsiders)

Topic Gallery

There have been 32 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

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#79 3 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 77 days 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 71 days 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 71 days 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 71 days 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 71 days 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 71 days 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!

Before:
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.
IMG_8127 (resized).JPG

When it's just right, clamp it. Here's my method:
IMG_8129 (resized).JPG

Now peel the backing from the top half. Be careful not to peel the adhesive layer.
IMG_8134 (resized).JPG

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.
Rebuild:
FINAL FP_8168 (resized).JPG

#134 71 days 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 71 days 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 71 days ago
Quoted from dzorbas:

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

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

#150 68 days 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.

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