I was given a poke in email to come see this thread. So I am here with my jaw dropped as much as anybody, truth be told.
I have no idea why the clearcoat looks that way. There is always some mild "grain ripple" in any virgin clearcoat (on new wood) after 1-2 years (SBM's made in 2012) but it is vertical and very very mild... to the point it can be completely removed to glass flat using the 3M finishing process as described at our site.
This is not that. This is horizontal (???) and deeeeeeeeep grooving. That is not traditional grain ripple. It appears to be 10X stronger.
The bug is a sign. That NEVER happened here. No playfield makes it out with a bug. It also wouldn't / couldn't be missed - as every playfield goes under the gun 4-5 times. So it's seen, in detail, under spotlights, 4-5 times. Not to mention final inspection for the grading into firsts / seconds. (Gold/Silver/Bronze didn't exist in 2012) I have absolutely no clue, but it looks re-cleared or something. (???)
No, we don't stand playfields up - at any stage of curing - so it's not sag. They are always on racks here, like food trays at a cafeteria. Right up until shipping.
The "what to expect from a CPR playfield" thread from 3 years ago is also bunk. Was bunk then, is bunk now. Sorry. NONE of those examples were anything close to even the "standard" quality we expect/release. The Space Shuttle run had it's dropouts in the wood, as that mill was shitty and we divorced them soon after. Lots of pinholes around openings that sucked down clear and would never close over. But they were only on around 20% of the Shuttles, and even if existing, were tiny to see unless glaring them against a sunbeam and wanting to accentuate them in a picture.
Never had pinholes again, after Space Shuttle. So it's definitely NOT "what to expect" ...
"Trash in the clear" , "Smudges" , "Crud" , and "Raised Inserts" are NOT to be expected in ANY CPR playfield. Grey paint weeping into insert holes on the backside ? Space Shuttle run yes, maybe on 1 in 30 playfields, on a couple holes if any. Shuttle was literally a transition playfield where we had new employees do the grunt work. They unlearned a whole lot of things on that playfield. They were rolling the grey enamel on the backs like they were painting walls. Just slurping it on... wayyy too much. They got spanked for that one, and quickly toned down how they apply the enamels.
I remember that Sexy Girl playfield. I cleared those... and THAT one too. That was literally ONE out of 50-60 made that had that. It was my fault, and it got off the rack and out the door because it wasn't glared under a sunbeam to reveal itself at any stage before packing. Of course, it makes it to front page news here as "What to Expect". No. Absolutely not what to expect. It was 1-in-the-whole-run. I believe we did an exchange, correct? Or had it returned for a complete re-shoot?
Expect what you see in our galleries. Those are randomly pulled examples (not cherries!) from each run. Put outdoors or under the spotlights and shot with a camera. No tricks. THAT is what you should expect. Clearcoating is not hard, and not rocket science. The near biblical treatment clearcoat gets in the hobby, however, is astounding. It's treated like it's supposed to be liquid diamonds.
By the way, CPR clearcoats ARE 2-part auto clear ("2PAC" as commonly referred on here). So planning to take CPR playfields out and have them shot (again) with 2PAC is pretty much a redundant / waste of money. As explained at the site, the big secret behind those "$600" clearcoats is the rubbing/buffing work. Take your CPR playfield, which has PLENTY of clear on it to work with, and after 6-8 months take it through the 3M finishing process. You'll end up with a "$600" perfect glass finish. For a few bucks worth out of the kit. Literally. Spend a good hour per step, and you'll be stunned at the final finish. It's what those in the perfectionist camp want in the end anyway, for that "extra special" glossy speck-free finish... so any CPR playfield can end up that way with the added homework. It's just simply not the way the playfields are going to be done in production, or we'd be able to do only two runs per year... with 60-70% of our manhours spent on perfecting/rubbing clearcoats for months. Which would be silly.
A steel ball wrecks it all anyway... over time - billions of microscratches, dimpling of the wood, etc. It's a losing battle. These aren't meant to be wall hangings under halogen spotlights. They're meant to make games gorgeous and fast.
So back to this SBM at hand... I don't know what is going on. I've never seen cave rippling (and horizontal?) like that in my life. Don't know what happened, or what the backstory is. Stuff like that would NEVER leave the shop... again, the bug is a sign. It's perplexing. I simply don't know what to say.
Yes, there were severely warped/crappy SBMs ("thirds") sold out into the market to clean them outta here. We considered them suitable for momentos or wall hangings. But if this was from PPS, it can't be one of those... we sold the scrappy ones on Ebay.
I'm stumped. Really stumped.
One thing is for sure, I'm sure glad that last year we started heat-branding the quality grade on the ends of the playfields - and hologram serial numbers are also logged... we can trace provenance and grade forever now... pretty much tamper-proof... and that will follow each playfield through the rest of its life so a few end users can't perform monkey business and trick future buyers. (buying bronzes, selling as alleged golds for +$$$ later)
I'll leave a few shots of what the typical SBM run-of-the-mill playfield looked like, taken outdoors in the sun, back in 2012. THIS is "what to expect from a CPR playfield" ...
Classic Playfield Reproductions