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View Full Version : My minicab project (that started life as a bartop...)



captainpotato
30th November 2008, 11:25 PM
As promised, here's my cabinet that is being built at the moment. It was started some 3 1/2 or so years ago as a bartop with a rotating monitor that may have even ended up with interchangeable control panels. During the painting process, it became time to shift house, after which time life got in the way, with a large number of other projects getting in the way.

A month or so ago the bug was revived and I decided to finish the cabinet. However, due to the change of circumstances, space is not at a premium, meaning that I don't need a bartop that can do everything. Whilst it may have been easier to have started from scratch, I decided to convert it into a vertical minicab. This meant stripping out the rotating monitor framework, adding a base to it and making sure that it doesn't look like it's a bodge job.

There was also the issue that I had made the bartop overly complex for what it was, which was bothering me - not only the screen, but the manner of holding the CP down, the side door that had to be opened so the screen could be rotated, and so forth. Wasted effort for sure, but I've learnt from the experience.

It's still underway, but it's at the paint stage. As the pictures below show, the bartop (painting of which isn't shown well in the picture) has now become a 1.20m-tall minicab. No rotating monitor, but it won't be bog standard either.

It's now getting to the stage of finalising the colour scheme - I still need to settle on the theme, but I have one main idea I want to use, but am not sure if I can get the artwork at a decent resolution yet. If I cannot, I'll have to either learn how to vectorise what I do have or change themes.

Anyway, enough of this - this is how it looked when I revived it (roughly - it had progressed a little further and was usable), and how it looks now:

longreach
30th November 2008, 11:49 PM
Nice work.....more than I have achieved in 3 1/2 years :D

Ford Fairlane
1st December 2008, 09:05 AM
I think thats gonna come up a treat!!!.

Well Done!!!! What are going to go with in terms of colours?

captainpotato
1st December 2008, 09:33 AM
Thanks both of you :) In terms of colours, it depends on whether I do get the artwork I need. Either way, it's going to be lighter in colour (no black - partially because it won't suit where it will be located), but very much early to mid-1980s in style.

The artwork isn't going to be replica because it isn't a replica cab (although I did start out with a Pac-Man-inspired machine in mind, albeit not with Pac-Man artwork), but I've gone off of that idea. The only influence left will be the orange t-molding that I got at the time, but it fits what I have in mind, so I'd have bought it anyway.

captainpotato
17th December 2008, 09:54 PM
Okay, a quick update. Thanks to work commitments, the time of year and the Adelaide weather of late, I haven't made the progress that I wanted to. However, I did finally get outside tonight to sand back the last undercoat before the first topcoat goes on.

Yesterday I received my Ozstick order, as can be seen below (as well as some leaf switches I bought a while ago and a piece that was cut off the bartop during the conversion that comes in handy for cleaning out the t-molding slot ;) ).

I also got permission - and high resolution copies - to use the artwork that I wanted to have, so the cabinet's got a definite theme now. All will be revealed soon(ish) :)

captainpotato
4th January 2009, 01:57 AM
Time for a quick update. Due to the time of year, not a lot has happened since sanding the undercoat back for the topcoats. Having said this, I've been agonising over the colour scheme for over a week, but I think I'm almost there now. Will sleep on it tonight and if I'm still happy tomorrow, I'll settle on it.

Still got some leave to go, so there heaps of time for painting :)

captainpotato
4th January 2009, 09:36 PM
Today's update: finally got around to getting the paint and sticking on a coat of each. Despite what the image shows, it's actually a deep olive green colour (the combination of wet paint and the energy saving globe without a shade doesn't help matters).

Mucked up a little on the control panel by leaving it resting on the floor and accidentally kicked my drop sheet into it. Ah well, nothing a bit of sandpaper won't remove ;)

Ford Fairlane
4th January 2009, 10:14 PM
keep those pics comin mate!!!!

captainpotato
6th January 2009, 12:21 AM
Nothing much done today - sat the cabinet out in the sun to help dry the paint a bit quicker, but I did paint the base late this afternoon.

Next step is a bit of sanding and the next coat (after a good clean of the room to get rid of the cat fur :P ).

At least this warm weather is good for something.

pooyan
6th January 2009, 12:09 PM
At least this warm weather is good for something.

Yeh, such as having a beer :)

captainpotato
7th January 2009, 11:15 PM
Yeh, such as having a beer :)

Yeah, that happens as well :)

Okay, today's update: bought a cheap car amp from JB Hifi for the cabinet. Sanded back the first layer of topcoat (went a bit crazy on the white, I think) and cleaned it up. Since then, the second layer has gone on. I am now sitting here, enjoying the fumes in an enclosed, heated (from the weather) room. Yay.

This is how it looks this very minute - in the foreground is my next project.

captainpotato
10th January 2009, 01:00 AM
Another day, another sanding back, another topcoat. Moved to finer grade paper, so it didn't take as much off. Discovered that in the slightly cooler weather of the last two days, the paint along inside edges hadn't hardened fully, so it took a bit of careful sanding to clean up nicely.

It's looking better with each coat, but as it looks essentially the same, no new images today ;) Still debating how many coats I'll put on it, but as I have a heap of paint still and nothing else that I[m likely to paint with it, I reckon at least a couple more. May as well make it hardy.

Tomorrow will see another coat on the base (as it's the base, I'm not as fussed about the finish, so I won't sand back, I think), so that the wheels can go on late next week.

I may still have quite a bit of time up my sleeve, but I doubt the Sprint 2 cabinet will see much action before I go back to work - the garden has become the main activity whilst the paint is drying ;)

captainpotato
3rd February 2009, 03:54 PM
Okay, time for a further update. It's been a while since I've posted because I've been busy working on the cabinet. This and the fact that the last week or so of 40-plus degrees has meant that my computer has been in a sauna (even today it's not good).

Upshot is that it is now assembled, playable and approaching completion. At the moment, I'm sorting getting the artwork printed and have already ordered the toughened glass for the bezel. The hardware is all installed and the software is running smoothly.

Anyway, here's a shot to give you an idea of the current status.

dmworking247
3rd February 2009, 04:52 PM
Hmm, I'm sorry to hear that its in a playable state. It would have been nice to see this reach completion.

:D


Seriously nice work, I love how seamless the transformation has been from bartop to 'mini upright'. It looks very to-scale.

I'm afraid that paintwork looks a little too nice though, can you share your secrets of how you prepped/painted the inside panels?

captainpotato
3rd February 2009, 11:32 PM
Hmm, I'm sorry to hear that its in a playable state. It would have been nice to see this reach completion.


Well, I *did* start getting the artwork quote organised and stuck the covering over the rear vents today, so it hasn't stopped completely ;0



Seriously nice work, I love how seamless the transformation has been from bartop to 'mini upright'. It looks very to-scale.

I'm afraid that paintwork looks a little too nice though, can you share your secrets of how you prepped/painted the inside panels?

Not really too much to it, to be honest. The plywood finish was pretty crappy, so Polyfilla took care of that. Sanded back, several undercoats, sanding back after every second one, and then at least five topcoats, sanding back after each one (apart from the last one). Sure, it's not perfect by any means, but it does look pretty decent. Either way, I'm happy :)

captainpotato
10th February 2009, 11:43 PM
Another update - since last posting I have been fighting to get a quote for the artwork and the glass is running a week late (so far). And we are told that consumers need to spend money, but nobody seems to want to take mine.

As can be seen in the photos, I have now installed the first prototype of my DIY spinner. It works fine (Well even), but I don't know how much abuse it will take, so I will work on another prototype when I get a chance.

Also in the pics is a shot of the back and one of my coin door. Have to say that I'm really impressed with the way that the coin door has turned out - IMO, it really helps make the cabinet.

Oh, and the cardboard marquee and bezel are only there to give an idea of how the final pieces will look. Honestly ;)

dmworking247
10th February 2009, 11:46 PM
Please share details about the dIY spinner? I assume its a mouse hack? I have a box full of mice/mouses I was going to use for dIY spinners but couldn't find reliable sources for bearings/collars/shafts/counterweights to mount them nicely, even though I DID find very good quality encoder wheels.

captainpotato
15th February 2009, 11:46 PM
Please share details about the dIY spinner? I assume its a mouse hack? I have a box full of mice/mouses I was going to use for dIY spinners but couldn't find reliable sources for bearings/collars/shafts/counterweights to mount them nicely, even though I DID find very good quality encoder wheels.

Yep, a mouse hack. When I get a better prototype happening, I'll share - at the moment it's a bit too amateurish (well, short-termed, I fear) to show off yet :P

I'm using the mouse encoder wheel at the moment, so I'd love to know where to get better ones (although at the moment it isn't really so bad). Mind you, I don't know if I've ever used a real arcade spinner, so my expectations may be too low...

dmworking247
15th February 2009, 11:48 PM
http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=272&zenid=b92db463302dac9d8a9b4c4dd9a2de69

http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/images/medium/Enc_Wheel_MED.jpg

AdamC
16th February 2009, 07:57 AM
Looking really nice :)
How tall does it stand ? Seeing its a mini cab , do you have to sit on a chair to play it ?

What have you got in it ? - mame , or a multi board ?

Whats the size of the screen in it ?

Just had a close look at the coin door pic ... very sneaky.
Looks great! How did you make the coin buttons sit on an angle there ? Did you grind the button surround on an angle somehow ?

captainpotato
16th February 2009, 09:52 AM
Looking really nice :)
How tall does it stand ? Seeing its a mini cab , do you have to sit on a chair to play it ?


Thanks - it's about 1.20m tall, and I use a NOS Caroma stool that I picked up a couple of years ago. Mind you, it's a bit uncomfortable, so I'm considering replacing it. Clearly my games didn't last as long back then as they do now.



What have you got in it ? - mame , or a multi board ?


MAME with 125 games on it at the moment, although I am thinking of culling some of the crap (that I didn't know beforehand) from it.



Whats the size of the screen in it ?


It's a 14" NEC Multisync 3D, which is great because it does 15 KHz screenmodes, so the games are about as original as they can get. As it's also coming up to 20 years old, it's not super crisp either :)



Just had a close look at the coin door pic ... very sneaky.
Looks great! How did you make the coin buttons sit on an angle there ? Did you grind the button surround on an angle somehow ?

Thanks - the buttons are inset with one end padded out a bit. I'll upload a pic tonight to show you (I'm at work at the moment). As happy as I am with the rest of it, the coin door is still - by far - my favourite part of it.

Not much has happened in the last week - still cannot find a printer that will respond by giving me a quote, but the glass manufacturer did manage to lose my order, and then miraculously found the template again, so I'm hoping to get the glass this week at least.

dumpst0r
14th May 2009, 11:01 AM
any update to this thread as im thinking of building my own mini lowboy

cheers

AdamC
14th May 2009, 11:19 AM
Yeah , i remember seeing this one.

I would like to see the end result , too !

captainpotato
14th May 2009, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the interest - unfortunately, no there has been no more progress (other than high scores). I tried to find somebody who would print the artwork for me, but the first couple of places never bothered sending me a quote, and since then I just haven't got around to trying again.

I would have thought that at this time, businesses would be really keen to get every job that came their way, but clearly not in the case of those that I contacted...

The next few weeks won't see much activity either, but come mid-June I do intend to try to find a printer again.

Anybody got any ideas for a reliable, decent quality and reasonably priced printer in Adelaide?