Quoted from Damien:
Has anyone installed a Mirco pf? It's something I'm very seriously considering in the near future, but would like to hear some feedback.
I was one of those people pushing and pushing for a TOM reproduction playfield. I had been in talks with Mirco for many many months before they ever became available. I was even on a pre-order list, had money prepped, and.... didn't buy one.
There were 2 different TOM playfields made by 2 different supply houses. One is what most of us have and is considered the more desirable one (also know as TAG or Thomas A Grant version). The other, was from a company called Sun Process. It was, by many people's opinion, flawed. The Sun Process ones were found mainly outside of the U.S.A.
The bottom of the playfield is way too purple compared to what some estimated (not my estimate) 97+% of the playfields had. That in itself isn't terrible, I know. The "game design credit" lettering is blurry on it and hard to read, but again, not many people read that or notice it. The biggest issue that would stare at me every time that I played the game is the horrible moire effect with the gradient dot fade around the middle of the playfield. If you look at his playfield reproduction around the magician in the middle, you will see I asked Mirco about it, and he 1) didn't even know that there were multiple playfield manufacturers originally, 2) didn't realize that his film that he was using was the Sun Process, 3) didn't even notice the moire as he thought that it was supposed to be that way.
The Thomas A Grant version is what we all would have really wanted. I have a badly chipped "A" in MAGIC right in the middle of my playfield. I spent a ton of time and money pretty much restoring my TOM and the playfield is the only thing not re-done, but I wasn't about to trade one playfield problem for another one with a flawed looking playfield for $1000.
Not knocking Mirco at all on this. I really am not. He isn't in the U.S., and did what he thought was the perfect playfield. Just happened to be the less desirable (and somewhat flawed) film. Not his fault. He seems to do really great playfields and I am sure that the workmanship is just as great on this one.
For more information about the differences between the TAG and Sun Process playfields, check this out:
I've also attached an image from Mirco's Facebook post and circled the many areas in the middle of the playfield with the bad moire effect. I did confirm with him that this is truly in the playfield, and not an issue with the camera that he used to take the photos.
Might not be an issue for you though, it just was for me. Again, he does great work. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like the TAG film exists anywhere any more, so if you want a new playfield, this is your only choice. Otherwise you have to strip your playfield, send it off for like 3-4 months for repair, and then hope that you took good enough notes, video, and photos to put it all back together. The benefit of a more "casual" restore is that you can set up 2 rotisseries side by side, and start swapping from one to the other. Sure, you will still need a lot of notes, videos, and photos, but you won't have to wait months for your brain to forget how to put it all back together again.