(Topic ID: 215891)

Prototyping a "Hardtop" (High Speed)

By Skypilot

1 year ago

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  • 412 posts
  • 76 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by KSUWildcatFan
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#1 1 year ago

Pirates Life Pinball has been working closely with Outsidedge the manufacturers of the fantastic new product, Hardtops. Right now there are eleven tops available. When we do not have the next game to send in they may reach out to Pinside and offer up a " You proto this and you get the top free". This is not and an invitation for the masses to contact them ahead of them asking!

Please do not offer up unless asked, respect.

I will be documenting High Speed which is next in line,(spoiler alert)

This is to be a reference for anyone who may in the future be asked to prototype a game. I will do my best to document and answer any questions on the process.

Also , please do not ask what the next titles will be. I will not say. Look for a new poll in coming weeks that will give your voice to their next choices.


#2 1 year ago

The current list of available Hardtops.

Space Shuttle Hardtop playfield overlay (traditional version)
Space Shuttle Hardtop playfield overlay - non hotdog "SPACE" and "SHUTTLE" version (less common)
Pharaoh Hardtop playfield overlay (upper and lower)
Taxi Hardtop playfield overlay - blonde hair version
Taxi Hardtop playfield overlay - red hair version
Wizard Hardtop playfield overlay
Future Spa Hardtop playfield overlay (widebody)
Comet Hardtop playfield overlay
Frontier Hardtop playfield overlay
Black Knight Hardtop playfield overlay (upper and lower)
Evel Knievel Hardtop playfield overlay

#3 1 year ago

Some basics. So you have the game. make sure everything works before tearing it down. There is nothing more difficult than putting a game back together that had issues before you started ripping it apart.
High speed was a great "pull the playfield out of the game" game. I just separated the connectors and yanked the playfield out.
If you are doing a prototype you will need to place the playfield in a rotisserie.

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#6 1 year ago

The reason that you will need a rotisserie is that anyone who offers the prototype will need to send an empty playfield to Outsidedge. Although I’m sure it can be done without it I would never suggest it. Everything on your need to go. So I’ll be taking a lot of photos.

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#10 1 year ago

Not much else to happen until I return from Pinfest. I will be with the gents at the Outsidedge booth Friday afternoon and Saturday. Feel free to stop by and say hello. I will be bringing a partially populated Taxi playfield so you can really see what a hardtop looks like.

#12 1 year ago

Heres just a few pictures of the games I prototyped. 2017 012 (resized).JPG 2017 022 (resized).JPGIMG_4483 (resized).JPG2017 001 (resized).JPGIMG_4591 (resized).JPG2017 002 (resized).JPGIMG_4937 (resized).JPG

1 week later
#16 1 year ago
Quoted from BirdForce1:

I just bought my first machine a few months back and it's a high speed. Playfield is a little rough but the game plays beautifully. I'm new to all this, so what are you doing exactly? I'd love to make my game shine someday.

Go to you tube. Search Pharoah Hardtops.

#17 1 year ago

My apologies for the delay in this thread. UnFortunately had to take care of a few issues first, but back at it today.

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#18 1 year ago

Although I will be stripping the entire playfield down due to the fact that it’s a prototype for Hardtop I will take some pictures of how the playfield need to look for anyone else. This way you’ll understand the prep a little better to apply Hardtops laterimage (resized).jpgHalfway there

#19 1 year ago

The more pictures the better for reference. This would be one of those more important photos before I stripped the section

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#20 1 year ago

Probably one of the most frustrating parts of doing any playfield renovation is the pop bumpers. Let’s face it they’re a pain in the ass to work with.

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#21 1 year ago

I’ve gone ahead and removed one of the coil assemblys so you can see what part we need to disconnect

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#22 1 year ago

The two wires for the lamp inside of the pop-bumper need to be un -soldered. Once that’s done you can take the two screws out of the top of the pop bumper and it is removed.
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#23 1 year ago

I’ve gone ahead and dropped all the targets and I’ll need to drop the two slings halfway up the playfield. Last set of photos and I’ll strip the posts and the metal rails.

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#24 1 year ago

If I was installing a hardtop this would be the point at which I would be almost ready to start sanding. all that would be left is to drop the switches for the slings remove the star rollovers and lower all the switches on the playfield. image (resized).jpg
As you can see one of the benefits of hardtop is you can leave almost all the parts on the bottom of the playfield.image (resized).jpg

#26 1 year ago

One last thing that needs to happen before installation of a Hardtop is the removal of the threaded pop bumper bracket pins.

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#27 1 year ago

If your game has star roll-overs such as high speed does, they will need to be removed. I apply moderate heat to mine and apply hand pressure. I like to use a socket on the backside to pop them out.

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#30 1 year ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

Nice gloves dude. Wondered how you kept your hands so soft.

Don’t get any ideas Matt,I’m not spooning with you in the booze bus next year.

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

Are you taking suggestions for other Hardtop games? Seems like a lot of people need at least the upper and lower Elektra playfield hardtops.

We are working with Robin to get a dynamic poll on Pinside to facilitate requests.This will help us give a voice to everyone here...stay tuned

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinballer22:

In for one of these for sure!

High Speed is going to get a turbo!

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from alexmogil:

Really curious on those star rollovers. Looking forward to more.

I will be explaining them in detail and making new videos on their installation.

#37 1 year ago

The prototype playfield is stripped and ready to go. It will return with the first Hardtop in 4-6 weeks. When it returns we will document its installation.

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1 week later
#42 1 year ago
Quoted from desertT1:

Is the first one placed on the playfield without sticking it down to confirm hole placement and that they are all there? Curious about the prototyping portion of the process for sure. Exciting that this big step has been taken though.

First one will get stuck down once I’m comfortable it’s correct.

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from ltd73:

I've got two extra High Speed playfileds, if you need one for prototype contact me. One is partially populated and the other is bare.

I appreciate the offer but the one I stripped will be the prototype.

2 weeks later
#46 1 year ago
Quoted from desertT1:

Coming up on the "4" of the "4-6 week" side of things. I'm not anxious or anything.

Good things come to those who wait. The playfield was shipped 24 days ago. It is with the art department right now. I would safely guess I will not see the prototype for another 4 weeks. Sorry, but the manufacturer is a big company and this is just another product going through the line as filler work. Also, they are finishing up a few other Hardtops first.

1 month later
#52 1 year ago

Although I expect the prototype to be shipped to me in August I have no firm updates.

4 weeks later
#56 1 year ago
Quoted from Shannyman:

Hey sky pilot. Don't mean to jump thread but do you think a eight ball deluxe will ever be made

Most likely

1 month later
#63 12 months ago

So Mata Hari is now done and FG also. High Speed is well under way and I will post when I see the prototype land at my door. I was told to expect it soon.

2 months later
#69 9 months ago

I was informed yesterday that the High Speed Hardtop prototype is just about done. I should see it in the next couple of weeks. I will do my best to get it installed quickly so we can move to production(barring any issues).

1 month later
#73 8 months ago
Quoted from RCA1:

I have given up on the High Speed hardtop ever happening.

Well considering my high-speed is in parts and my playfield is sitting at their shop, I have not. It will go into production. I did speak with Bruce the other day and he remarked that to more slight changes needed to be made and then he will send me the prototype. We are both frustrated at the time frame but it is coming.

#74 8 months ago

Have faith

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2 weeks later
#79 8 months ago

I wish I had another update. Last week they were supposedly tweeking a few last details on my prototype

1 month later
#83 6 months ago

Look what landed at the Ohio show. I hope to get it installed in coming weeks. We are closer tot the end.

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#89 6 months ago
Quoted from eyeamred2u:

I hope I can see this in person tomorrow at the show

I’m sorry but I was only able to attend the show on Thursday and Friday. The prototype has left the building.

#92 6 months ago

OK so back to business. My apologies to everyone for such a long wait on this Hardtop.Now that I have the prototype in my possession going to give it a once over. I need to look at all the holes punched all the artwork and make sure all the inserts are clear on the hardtop and everything lines up. I found a couple discrepancies that I need to report back to outside edge. Luckily these will not hold up production they are simple fix. If you notice in the photos are two areas that are white that need to be clear. No big deal they can fix this on the file in minutes.

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#93 6 months ago

Everything seems to look in order so I’m gonna go ahead and start sanding down the playfield.I was fortunate enough to come across another game at Expo that is a basket case that I can use if I need to double check any of the reassembly.

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#94 6 months ago

Playfield sanded and ready for some clearcoat. So originally we were sanding these down to a fine grit to get the inserts shiny. The other method was to sand them down to around a 400 grit and then clear everything. It’s important that all the inserts have no writing on them and when you shoot clear over them they look bright and clean with no scratches. Anything you see on the playfield before you put on the hardtop will project through. So my play field is now sanded and ready to shoot some clear.

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2 weeks later
1 week later
#111 5 months ago
Quoted from jmountjoy111:

You’re welcome!! I mean come on dude you asked two days in a row. Outside edge just put out a post about rushing them on things and asking questions over and over. You may have missed it so I’m sorry. I for one am just thankful that they are making the product at all. Obviously we all want what we want and we want it now but after a long wait there is obviously a light at the end of the tunnel. Just be patient is all I’m saying.

Thank you for being patient and understanding.

#112 5 months ago

I received what appears to be the final revision today. I am leaving in the morning on the booze bus. We will be making our way to the Silver Ball Country Club and then to Allentown. When I return and get settled I will get to work on installing this.The playfield is cleared and ready to go so it should not be too long.

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#118 5 months ago

Hope to see some of you gents in Allentown

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4 weeks later
#157 4 months ago
Quoted from desertT1:

The time this one has taken to come to market after announcement is a pretty big bummer.

I feel your pain. As the guy with the prototype game I can honestly say its been very frustrating having this drag on.All I can say is there has been alot of changes in the production process that have unfortunatly stonewalled this.It along with the issues are being worked on and I to patiently wait as we slowly progress. All I can say is when its right they will release it and not a day sooner.

1 week later
#161 4 months ago

Well here you go. The final prototype is installed as of yesterday. I am days away from giving the final OK. There were a lot of variances between playfields that needed worked out and I believe we have done that. Outside edge does not and will not send out a Hardtop until they are as sure as they can be that its correct. We are at that point. I will post to you when I’m done with the final check. At that point production will be scheduled and you should see these for sale on their website in 2-4 weeks. Please DO NOT call or email Outside edge asking for updates. I will post to you the day they are listed. Thank you for your support and patience.
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#164 4 months ago

Looking good

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#168 4 months ago
Quoted from DuffysArcade:

I believe you have to remove the old rollover insert, then after hardtop install you router or dremel the round hole for the new insert installation.

Correct Sir

#169 4 months ago


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#176 4 months ago

High Speed just got a turbo. Ladies and gentlemen the wait is over. I’m confident enough to release the product with a couple small changes that will not affect anyone or anything. They will be putting this product into production . Hopefully it will be ready in two weeks but they are big business so let’s give it four . I will let you know when it hits the website.

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1 week later
#177 3 months ago

I was told production is almost complete. Days away peeps

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#187 3 months ago

Well I was going to let everyone know that Highspeed is now up for sale but.........

1 week later
#215 3 months ago
Quoted from cjchand:

Sorry it didn’t go to plan, darcangeloel
Based on your pics, it looks like yours has some uneven lines in areas. Just opened mine and see the same.
I am interested in comparing with others to see if theirs are the same. Attaching some example pics where black outlines are jagged or broken (next to cop car).
Am I being too picky here?[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

I am not sure what you are asking? Is the protective plastic still on those photos?

#216 3 months ago
Quoted from darcangeloel:

Got mine today and already fucked it up. FML...
Mostly good but one obvious one.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Let it go. The game will be great. You need to realize that that actually happened on the original games in various places. Your game will be awesome!

#218 3 months ago

Well they are the same on my prototype. So maybe I missed it so it’s my fault. Are you being picky ? Not for me to answer but please realize there were many imperfections in the original playfields and mine might have looked just like that. We do our best to make these as good as the originals but we never considered making them improved. Hope you’re able to live with the few imperfections. If not list it for sale. Apparently there still people waiting for them.

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1 week later
#248 3 months ago

Agreed, by the way be glad you do not have to populate the underside of your games. Slows things down tremendously.

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#257 88 days ago
Quoted from detroitzoran:

Quick Question: I am to the point that I'm ready to start sanding the playfield. I've read through the other posts and am confused as to what grit to start sanding with working up to finer grits. I don't know where I should start.
I have a 5 inch random orbit sander. Is this what you used? Any advice or insight from those brave enough to attempt this would be appreciated.

You can start with 80 grit and then work up. Are you planning to clear over the inserts?
The sander is fine just sand evenly don't make your playfield wavy.

#259 88 days ago
Quoted from detroitzoran:

Thanks. I wasn't sure I should start with the 80 grit or if that was too aggressive.
Yes, I am planning on clearing everything. I got two cans of USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat in the spray can.

Go ahead and sand down to 220. That should be sufficient before you clear. I wipe the inserts with denatured alcohol and that shows me how they will look when clear is applied.

1 week later
#271 79 days ago
Quoted from Lovef2k:

Thanks! I really hope they can make more...

They will

2 weeks later
#308 59 days ago
Quoted from 64bsstp:

Would you believe Skypilot's "final prototype" in post #112 had this? Amazing.

Not my best day. My apologies to the masses

We corrected so many details. I can't believe I also missed this one. Oh well, mine is completely installed and I have no plans on redoing it. I've reached my inner peace with my pinball addiction . The cabinet is almost done and I'm ready to just enjoy this.

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#310 59 days ago
Quoted from zaphX:

It’s a major improvement and a very minor flaw.
Damn your cabinet looks amazing, did you repaint/restencil?

New paint and pinballpimp stencils.

#315 58 days ago
Quoted from cjchand:

mind sharing paint codes? Will give me a starting point for color matching.

Shared .The colors were great and vibrant but I did not look to match existing color. Also being this is a Hardtop and not a full restoration I am experimenting with product.Ive had several issues with the application (lift,crackeling ect.) so Im not endorsing these products.

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#318 58 days ago
Quoted from ita47:

How would you go about removing the 3 when it is printed on the back of the plastic and has the adhesive over it? Looks to me like it would scratch or cut the plastic.

Solution coming.

#321 58 days ago
Quoted from zh2oson:

[quoted image]
PM me, and I'll custom-make these for any hardtop owners.

That's the wrong font.

3 weeks later
#339 35 days ago
Quoted from dyopp21:

I haven't checked mine yet, but if it has the goof I'm keeping it. It'll be worth way more down the road, like a mis-stamped penny!

Prototype is staying. great conversation piece

#346 30 days ago

Redoing the cabinet is a PITA. Yours looks great ,KSUWildcatFan leave it. I only did mine because I like to add stress and frustration to my pinball world.

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2 weeks later
#374 12 days ago
Quoted from Pin-Pilot:

Got something in the mail today... Super smooth and shinny... Smells good too![quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

This is a Hardtop thread not a High speed playfield swap thread.

1 week later
#384 3 days ago

So the prototype High Speed is all bundled up and ready for the trip to Chicago Expo next week. Hope you get to enjoy it.
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#386 3 days ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

She's beautiful. You did a great job!

Thanks, Its just a route game but I appreciate the compliment. Are you coming to Expo?

#392 2 days ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

I'm feeling sicker about this as I go along. I really hope I can sort it all out from my pictures when I go to reassemble. [quoted image]

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#411 1 day ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

Wouldn't it make sense to, at a minimum, enlarge (VERY SLIGHTLY) the holes on the hardtop for those just in case they should ever need replaced? Seems you'd run the risk of destroying the hardtop to get them out later on down the road if you didn't and they were under the hardtop..? Granted this is purely hypothetical and not something I ever anticipate having to address... But I'm a computer programmer by trade, it's been drilled in my head to future-proof anywhere possible, any time I can!

Recomended procedure is to remove the pop bumper bracket screws, install the Hardtop,counterbore the Hardtop and replace the screws. It is recomended only due to any chance one of the screws break in the future. It does not happen very often but if it does replacement of th screw is easier. If you choose to leave the screws in its not a big deal either.You may have to use an Exacto knife to enlarge the hole for possible future removal of a broken screw.

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