CPR strives to make the best
playfields we can. We have the best team of pinball fanatic
graphic artists in
the hobby, lovingly recreating the artwork that is near & dear
to all our hearts. The CPR Art Team guys & gals
donít just blindly produce artwork as fast as they can.
That is what would happen if we used a graphics staff in India
or China. Rather, the Art Team carefully and faithfully rebuilds
the artwork to a standard well above what the original
manufacturer produced, and much closer to what we believe the actual
artist intended for your game. By the way,
CPR will NEVER outsource any artwork to a non-pinhead, as we
truly believe that while having a graphics team
in China or India might be OK if we were making Dunkin Donuts cups, it
just wonít do for anything pinball !
Pinheads-making-parts-for-pinheads is one of our tenets, and has
been since 2005.
Playfields - CPR's Quality
Our Gold Class candidates are the best playfields we
have to offer. These playfields are exactly what you have
come to expect from us for the last 7 years. Is every
playfield absolutely 100.000% perfect?? No. No playfield
ever is. However, any CPR playfields that get the Gold Class
status will be as close to "perfect" as anybody has ever
been capable. These are our best. They are also
the first to be sold, with Silver and Bronze made available
Yield: 85% of a run typically achieves Gold
Score: "On a scale of 100" 97/100 to
Pricing: Sold at full price.
Playfields - NOS Quality
Our Silver Standard candidates meet or exceed NOS
"industry quality" from the original playfield factories of
yesteryear. NOS playfields were never perfect, and in
some cases not even close to perfect. Our Silver Standard
candidates will still retain the beauty that is customary in
our CPR Gold playfield, but some NOS qualities will also
present. These may include very small misalignments, very
small marks in the artwork, or the occasional insert being
imperfect. Allowances that would be typically encountered on
any factory NOS playfield, even ones made by professional
factories today for Stern. These are the best
available once the Golds sell out.
Yield: 10% of a run typically achieves Silver
Score: "On a scale of 100" 90/100 to 96/100
Pricing: Sold at full price. (What
people buy when Golds are gone)
Playfields - As-Photographed
Our Bronze Grade candidates are set aside for not
achieving the level of our Silver Standard. These playfields
will have issues that are more obvious, unique, and thus
will vary individually from playfield to playfield.
Therefore, we will photograph and sell each playfield
individually so you can be the judge. In the photo(s), we
will show you why we feel the playfield is of Bronze Grade
quality. For some customers, they wonít care, because these
candidates will almost always be vastly better than ANY
playfield your are likely to encounter in a 20-30 year old
game. These playfields will also be frequently available at
the Starship Fantasy show tables, and are always a great option for
the more budget-conscious.
Yield: 5% of a run typically achieves Bronze
Score: "On a scale of 100" 80/100 to 89/100
Pricing: Sold with an applicable discount.
QUESTIONED ATTRIBUTES BY FIRST-TIME BUYERS
The following playfield attributes are normal, and occur
naturally (both historically and on our reproductions) and fall
regular expectations of reproduction playfield quality.
These attributes do not factor into classifications of Gold,
Silver, or Bronze
because they can be found across the entire run, at random, just
like Bally / Williams / Stern / Gottlieb experienced on their
CLEARCOAT (USUALLY OVER INSERTS)
This may become visible if a playfield is glared against strong
light at a certain angle. Usually appears 4-6 months or
the playfield has been clearcoated, as clearcoat continues to
shrink / tighten / and hunker down.
Basically, a clearcoat can shape/shrink differently around
inserts due to two distinct materials being underneath.
Solid plastic, and wood.
Playfields shipped at launch time have clearcoats that are
relatively young, so they are bulbous and flat. Playfields
or years after their initial release have aged, allowing the
clearcoat to harden to its maximum. This brings the
clearcoat to its hardest
and tightest. Two results can happen: there can be a
slightly lower relief of the clear over the inserts, or there
can be a slightly
higher relief of the clear over the inserts. In either
case, you're OK. It's either the clear staying thicker
over the wood, or the opposite,
the clear is staying thicker over the insert. It is NOT
"moving inserts" "sinking inserts" or "inserts pushing up
through the clear". It requires
a hammer and a pipe (from the backside) to bang our inserts out
- and the epoxy so strong, a ring of wood out of the playfield
with it !
See illustrations below (click to enlarge)
Raw inserts are injection-molded as hot liquid plastic, quickly
cooled, and ejected from their mold. Whether we get our
inserts from the
original molds/factories in Chicago, or from other vendors with
new tooling to replace extinct designs - the process is
the same, the
plastic is the same, and the results are the same. Some
inserts may show "crackles" in their face. Most don't.
But why do they happen? The traditional insert embedding
process is illustrated below. Basically, an insert starts
as a closed smooth
shiny plastic part. It's essentially
waterproof/liquid-proof. Their topsides are typically not
flat, have part numbers or codes, and are
slightly rounded at their edges. When embedded in the
playfield, they stand slightly tall of the wood, to start.
Levelling of the playfield
with large drum sanding machinery (because even the raw
gameboard panel is not perfectly surface-flat) flattens the
taking off about half of the mapletop veneer, as well as all the
insert tops. This leaves behind wood/inserts/glue that are
exactly at the
same level. The inserts are now open-faced, exposing their
inner plastic. Their smooth closed face has been sanded
cooling and flow fissures on the INSIDE of the body of the
insert are now at the surface of the insert. Injected
polycarbonate, like crystals,
have these attributes internally, by default. They become
visible once clearcoat hits the surface, and capillary action
liquid clear into the fissures, making them visible. (see
illustrations below) They appear within 2 seconds of
being hit by the
first coat of clear, no matter how light. Like a sponge or
pipette, the clear is drawn into the body of the insert.
Crackled inserts have been on playfields for decades. The
professional factories could never eliminate their occurrence,
and after everything we have tried over the years, we now see
why. There isn't a way to totally eliminate them, beyond
the playfields without clearcoat... which only means the
end-user will reveal crackles when they clearcoat anyway!
Crackled inserts have not been forcibly impacted (smashed).
They do not indicate a playfield mishandled in shipping.
The inserts are not being crushed or squeezed by the surrounding
wood. The crackles will not increase or get worse.
Rest easy - It is a cosmetic matter only, not structural.
STEP 1 - blank
STEP 2 - CNC
STEP 3 - seating
STEP 4 -
levelling the topside
STEP 5 - levelled
topside, ready for printing
STEP 6 -
silkscreening (white base, fill color, blackline overprint)
STEP 7 -
- higher over insert
- lower over insert