View Full Version : Gauntlet Restoration.

24th November 2008, 12:06 PM
Most of you will know that I acquired a Gauntlet cab a while back.
I also have another here for restoration which is featured in this thread.

Here is a pic of them side by side:



As you can see they are very different.
Mine is on the left and it is a licensed Atari version made by Coin Cascade here in NZ in the 80's. The other, I suspect, is an operator made cabinet.

So this is what I started with:


It was originally black but along its journey the black was removed and it was repainted blue. The current owner painted the left hand side black and applied a few coats of gloss black acrylic house paint. The finish looks good in the pics but it is pretty poor. None of the holes and scratches had been filled before painting.

First mission was to get it back up and running. It was running sweet and the current owner had purchased an original Atari Bezel from the USA and wanted to install it. He used a bunch of washers to 'jack' out the screen to fit the bezel but didn't realize he had nicked the deguassing coil in the process. When he was happy he fired it up and it arced and blew the chassis. That was repaired and when he powered it up again his Game PCB was dead. He had a spare but didn't want to try anymore 'handywork' because of the last effort. He sent me an email and asked if I would give it a full restoration as well as get it back up and running.

The PCB swap was pretty straight forward except the someone had soldered all the wires to the little pins instead of using the correct plugs. I called him and told him it was working again and we talked for while about the cosmetic stuff on the cabinet. Basically he told me the budget and I put together a plan of attack.

So this is where the fun begins.

I was looking at a ton of reference photos the owner had collected and sent to me . So I emailed him and asked him if he wanted me to cut the sides the same shape as the USA ones since his didn't have it. He replied in seconds saying it would be TOTALLY AWESOME if I could do that. This his only arcade machine and it sits in his office. He said he has wished it had that kink in the back since he got it and constantly stared at visualizing the kink.

So first up was to remove the bottom panel:


I noticed all the slight indentations where the screws where located and dug out the filler and removed the screws.


Repeated both sides and in a short time:



24th November 2008, 12:07 PM
So the next thing was to cut a template of the kink. The measurement where sent to me by a kind owner from the USA.


I traced the template onto the cab on both sides and made the cuts:




Next step was to draw out the internal layout of the new bits which were also sent to me:


Using the leftovers I remade the bottom rear and top as per the original:





24th November 2008, 12:08 PM
Happy with the way it turned out I started on the paint preparation on the sides.
The blue was fairly straight forward. The paint was enamel and was nice and hard and feathered nicley. A quick scratch with the sander and it came up pretty good


Next step, the black side.

I had to remove the artwork that the owner had applied. It had all sorts of crap underneath it which was visible as lumps. I suspect the dry method :p



As I peeled back the old art I could see it was pulling off the old layer of blue paint and some of the MDF. Man I was gutted because I knew the amount of prep had just gone from 1 quick 10 minute sand, to a full day of building the paint up and blocking it smooth :cry

So I start sanding and thought **** this, it needs a rougher paper:


I remove the 120 grit and pulled out the 80. A few minutes later, goodbye paint, hello bare wood:


Now you can see what I have to work with:


:o :o :o

Once I had sanded both sides I knocked off the front panels and put in a single piece of MDF. This is getting brand new USA coin doors in the front like the originals.


24th November 2008, 12:09 PM
My little dog loves helping:



So the cabinet now has a nice curvy butt and a new face. She sure is going to be pretty!

While it was lying down I also painted the base:


So next step is to blow some filler on her to seal her up and to highlight the imperfections I need to fix.



The right hand side came up pretty good but the side where the art had ripped off the MDF was very bad. I used about half a liter of filler trying to build it up. Each time I blocked it back it was still pretty rough. Then a funny thing happened.

I picked up the can of filler and went to shake it and the lid flew off and primer went everywhere :cry :o


Then I remembered something (insert light bulb here). Back in the early car production days, the guys in the paint department would actually roll on the primer over the really rough bit and block it back nice and flat. So out came the little roller and I used it to pick up the spilt primer and applied it to the cab. It also picked up all the crap off the workshop floor aa well :lol



I applied about a half litre onto that one side and let it harden.
Then I sanded it with the dual action sander to get it smooth and finished it off with some wet and dry. The finish is now dead flat but it was about 10 hours work on both sides. That doesn't sound like much but if you hate sanding, then it is a LONG TIME!!!! I don't recommend rolling the primer on if you don't have the correct tools and/or the willingness to block it back. Seriously!

Right now the cab is outside. I have just applied some spray putty on a couple of tiny spots I missed.

That needs to dry for another hour and the I will re-prime and sand smooth with some 1200 grit ready for the final satin black.

Enjoy the pics and sorry for the long write up, but some of you will find it helpful.


24th November 2008, 12:13 PM
Great to see, looks like a fun and satisfying job.

If you need measurements or other info, I've got a pair of cabs that I can refer to. I've even got a Povray 3D model somewhere that I made many years ago...

24th November 2008, 12:15 PM
Lookin good spacies........ Keep us posted on the progress.

24th November 2008, 12:18 PM
Great read, nice work as usual..

24th November 2008, 12:22 PM
So what did you decide on the artwork

24th November 2008, 12:28 PM
Great to see, looks like a fun and satisfying job.

If you need measurements or other info, I've got a pair of cabs that I can refer to. I've even got a Povray 3D model somewhere that I made many years ago...

Thanks, can you send me that file please?

Lookin good spacies........ Keep us posted on the progress.

Will do mate. Got some more pics already :sleep will update later on tonight or tomorrow.

Great read, nice work as usual..

Cheers Woka.

So what did you decide on the artwork

Thanks for the file mate. We are sticking with the small art and using one of the files you sent :)

24th November 2008, 12:58 PM
Nice work mate

24th November 2008, 01:32 PM
Thanks, can you send me that file please?

Sure, just give me a couple of days, I've got it on a very old backup CD here somewhere! Feel free to nag me if I forget.

24th November 2008, 01:34 PM
Cheers Hamish.

Couple more pics. The green stuff is spray putty. This is for super fussy bastards like myself:



More wet and dry sanding with the 1200 grit:


Dirty ****ing bird shit on the god dam cab:


Thats it! I am calling the prep done. See me in the reflection of the primer. Nice:


Black paint, here we come!

24th November 2008, 02:47 PM
wow thats really nice work there!!!

Ford Fairlane
24th November 2008, 02:55 PM
Damn thats good prep work!!! question though, doesnt the paint have trouble sticking onto such a finely sanded prime. I would have thought a wet 320 grit would have done the trick?

(i'm not a paint expert, just wanna get this right for my cab)

24th November 2008, 03:03 PM
Its a LOT of prep!

320 is too coarse and you will see swirl marks from the sandpaper.
Lacquer chemically bonds itself through the layers so no worries about the 1200.

The wind has really picked so no black on today :(

24th November 2008, 03:10 PM
As usual your freakish perfectionism is doing wonders. I can't believe we can see your reflection in the primer :o


24th November 2008, 06:32 PM

That is simply frickn awesome man.

I can't wait to see the final result. That cabinet is going to look shmick. What a worthy game as well.

I might add this to my To-Do list when I become independently wealthy.

24th November 2008, 07:21 PM

That is simply frickn awesome man.

I can't wait to see the final result. That cabinet is going to look shmick. What a worthy game as well.

I might add this to my To-Do list when I become independently wealthy.


Don't call me when you find wealth :lol

24th November 2008, 07:51 PM
great progress
When are you going to put a cab restoration dvd together ??

26th November 2008, 08:09 PM
A DVD you say?
Who would be in it? LOL.

Well the wind died down enough to paint today.
5 coats later and:




Crap pictures. The cab looks like it has been dipped on plastic. Done some assembly after the pics and played a few games. Stink by yourself though.

More pics tomorrow.

Ford Fairlane
26th November 2008, 08:12 PM
what sort of paint is it mate?

26th November 2008, 08:17 PM
Its a Satin Black Lacquer.
Good shit.

Didn't want to go full gloss.

26th November 2008, 08:34 PM
Mate the ground work you put in certainly pays off.. Looks very nice..

26th November 2008, 09:42 PM
nice work mate...I've got a USA one myself that I need to put new side art on.....I got qouted $45 a side and $40 for the control panel(polycarb)...have you got the marquee on file? As this is all I need....also have you noticed that the the blue on the cpo on localarcade is a diffrent shade to the original?...or is my original cpo faded?

27th November 2008, 05:19 PM
Hey cool Dan. Got any pics?
The side art, is that $45 USD or AUD?
No marquee sorry file sorry. You CPO is most likely faded but post up a pic. Changing the colours in PS is pretty straight forward.

Minor assembly today:








Still waiting for the new doors.
Then it is just the front and side art and she is good to go back home


27th November 2008, 05:32 PM
Yeah thats $45 au through Felix at gamemasters. also do they come out stanard with the perspex over the cpo? mine was cracked so I removed it. the marquee on your machine is that the original or is it repro? and if so where did you get it?
will try to get some pics up soon.

27th November 2008, 06:32 PM
Thats a pretty good price. I am interested in that. Only need the 2 sides 'cos I have the front coin art on file.

Perspex is not standard.
The marquee is a repro from www.arcadeoverlays.com
The side art I peeled off was also from there. They do a complete set.

27th November 2008, 06:50 PM
speak to Felix...$116 us is a bit harsh. I need to get mine done aswell so we might be able to get a group discount?...maybe:unsure

27th November 2008, 06:55 PM
Yep sounds good.

27th November 2008, 07:04 PM
whats the big blank part under the word GAUNTLET used for?

27th November 2008, 07:06 PM
This machine talks you know.

27th November 2008, 07:24 PM
OOOO of course, didnt think of that *feels stupid*

27th November 2008, 07:43 PM
That is looking bloody great!

I want it!

And I'm not even a huge Gauntlet fan :D - well, I'm a fan of the sound!


27th November 2008, 11:27 PM
Mate need another way to get the files to you,zipped its 256 meg any ideas :unsure

28th November 2008, 07:10 AM
OOOO of course, didnt think of that *feels stupid*

At least you are honest :lol

That is looking bloody great!

I want it!

And I'm not even a huge Gauntlet fan :D - well, I'm a fan of the sound!


Cheers mate.
Man I forgot all the sounds in this game until I played it. The digitized voices are so dam cool.

Mate need another way to get the files to you,zipped its 256 meg any ideas :unsure

Oh, ok. If you don't mind, try www.megaupload.com
Once uploaded just send me the link.
Thanks a bunch!

28th November 2008, 07:30 AM
Man that is just brilliant! Well Done! These dedicated cabs look incredible when restored like this.

28th November 2008, 10:22 AM
Simply outstanding.. Love your work !

28th November 2008, 11:32 AM
At least you are honest :lol
Man I forgot all the sounds in this game until I played it. The digitized voices are so dam cool.

Hell yeh, the Gauntlet board I imported had no speech, it was sold as untested and came with the chopped off ends of all the wiring looms. Couldn't find anything wrong on the board so I suspected the synth chip, a kind soul on here sold me a spare one. Had no idea if I was correct that the synth chip was dead so it was kinda scary for the 1st test.

When I got the new chip, plugged it in, powered it up, coined it up, and with baited breath hit the start button.....

...Welcome Red Warrior.....

Was grinning ear to ear! Its only half the game without the speech!