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Arcade King
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Some 12 years ago I posted my Retro-Futuristic MAME cabinet in this forum.

It was a curvy very different looking thing with a half spherical top to it and a rotating monitor.  The project went on and on slowly losing momentum, never quite finished. It had issues, some of which I shared here, some of which I didn’t.  The thread grew popular and LONG (to many pages) early on I posted almost daily progress with lots of detail of my ways of woodworking, painting and fabricating parts.  I gained a lot of experience and learning along the way, problematically this also meant I became increasingly critical of my own early work as my skills grew.  Circumstance happened to move against me and the project foundered lying under a tarp in a corner of my workshop.
One day I pondered, “what if I could just fix anything and everything that bothered me about this project?" Issues like warping of timbers over many years, cracking of joints, aesthetics and functionality I no longer cared for.
I’ve been a fan of retro futurism for years, I also grew up in arcades and around arcade machines in the late 70’s and 80’s.  I was never much of a gamer I just hung out with my friends in these places, I have that nostalgic view of the golden age of arcades because I was there. The future that people in the post war US imagined in the 50’s and 60’s interests me.   Movies like Forbidden Planet, posters, artwork and in particularly advertising from the period.  I wanted to apply that baby boomer vision onto an alternate universe of arcade game design.  A world where arcade games were conceived in the late 50’s right alongside the family television.  What would it look like?  What would promotional flyers and advertising look like?  For this to be fun again the project had to have a strong theme, a (fictional) background and point of conception.  When it was all complete I imagined the machine, the company that manufactures it, advertising brochures and ancillary props like a comic book and collectibles to go with it.  I called the re-born retro-futuristic alternative universe multi-game playing machine………


If you know nothing of the original design (and who could blame you, it was years ago) no problem.  Here is the design.



Much of this is already complete.  Over the coming weeks, I'll fill in the details of the build to date. I know it's a weird looking, non-conventional arcade machine.  Here's a taster of one part of it complete:




I have much more to show you, but gotta start somewhere 😄



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Last time this was going on, I was actually here!

Looking forward to seeing this one. I started a screen rotating cab that was cocktail-style but it was so long ago and I ditched it in a move. It was bulky as I used a pretty big crt in it 😄 - and like 94% of my projects never finished...

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4 hours ago, Arcade King said:


Can't wait for the rest!

I'll do my best to bring you the rest, there's just so much of it 🙂


3 hours ago, Davefjedi said:

Yep I rember the origional post (christ were getting old) and cant wait for your updates


1 hour ago, AskJacob said:

Last time this was going on, I was actually here!

Looking forward to seeing this one. I started a screen rotating cab that was cocktail-style but it was so long ago and I ditched it in a move. It was bulky as I used a pretty big crt in it 😄 - and like 94% of my projects never finished...

That's great fellas, nice that you remember this project!  I'm sure a few here were impacted by the great photo-bucket treachery.  It rendered the old project useless with links to images unusable. While I don't really want to rehash the old project, I do need to provide at least some background for RoToron. The next few images span months of work but they are a summary of the first build stages, a recap of how it came together.  I hope they tell the story 😛










That nice red ultra gloss finish was the original cabinet color.  In the revised design I changed the color scheme to yellow.  Both color schemes are nice but I prefer the updated Yellow/black with touches of red.  More soon.








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The top hemisphere of the cabinet is the part of the cab I'll work on when this project gets rolling again.  With expansion and contraction over the years the cab developed a few cracks here and there. These were mainly at joins in the build.  The aim is to get the surface back to a high gloss flawless finish again.  Covering the entire cab in a 'skin' of fiberglass was the best way I found for a long term solution.  The cab was stripped of paint back to wood and then fiber-glassing began.  Lets have a look at the cab in it's red phase before I stripped it.



You can see the finish on the CP was still raw paint and not yet polished.  Take a look again at the new CP pics to see what I mean.  It looked OK I guess with laminex inlay and RGB lights on each button.  I much prefer the new cleaner CP look and layout.  Fiber-glassing is an ugly business it's messy, hazardous and tiring.  The results though can be stunning if you do it right.  Here's some of the work:


The nice yellow control panel you saw earlier first had to go through the process... Fiber-glass makes for a very tough surface.


Now I'm going to show you some different parts of the cab for the new design being made.  First off is the kick plate:


This was made from sheet aluminum small pieces of timber and fiberglass:


Not yet polished but looking as per the design.


Next well take a look at the coin slot feature:


This is an elaborate piece to say the least. In attract mode it lights up, makes sounds etc. It was a lot of fun to design and build. I want to go into some detail on this part in the next post. Because it's done already I can show you a peek at the end-result:


In the next post I'll show you how I built that and how it works. and also a bit of the why 😜



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4 hours ago, namastepat said:

That little circle piece looks like a cross between a Fallout Vault-tec door and Iron Man's Arc reactor. Very cool. You obviously have a lot of skill in working with firbeglass, the cab looks awesome.

Ha hah, yeah that's pretty much it some techie looking whizzo to intrigue (hopefully)  😁

4 hours ago, Zzap said:

I remember following your projects on the Arcade Controls forums, didn’t realise you were in Australia 😃

Yep, I'm an Aussie who sold his soul to BYOAC.  This forum will get the best build updates from now on though.  I'll still post on Arcade Controls but less detail more summary than anything for that forum.

3 hours ago, CandyLand said:

I am actually going to be sad when it is done...That machine is absolutely gorgeous.

That's a builder's view of the hobby isn't it.  I'm not a gamer (though I love playing arcade games) I'm more of an artist-builder.  I love the art of arcade machines and just spending blissful hours building them.  I still do want to see my dream realized though, that's pretty important!

OK, lets spend some time looking at the coin plate build and function.  Like I said, really fun and challenging to build!

Cutting a pattern in an acrylic disc:


The result, a notch cut disc and in the background the 'eye' backlit with LEDs and a tiny LED array to light the acrylic disc.


Red and yellow acrylic disks sandwiched with a semi opaque pearl white disc to diffuse lighting


Making the "Core" - just PVC tubing and MDF


This is the back of the spinning disc that goes in the core.  Crude printed circuit board.  See my (fictitious) company logo on therer?  VMG which stands for Voorniscan Machina Group.


The board on the other side populated with LEDS


Making the cog out of MDF.  Glue and screw each tooth on.


Check it against the plan for eveness


Tracing a pattern on to the rocket plate to be rebated


Cog set into rebate.  Chromed coin slot in place.


First few coats of red go onto the rocket


The Core, painted with decals added.  This will be visible when the rear hatch of the cab is opened...


Cut and form the tri-leg metal plate and populate with LEDs.  The LEDs will be powered by a small chaser circuit I designed.  The result is FLUX Capacitor joy.  😁


Build a vacuum press and form the acrylic dome for the Core


Tri-plate in place covered by Acrylic dome


Core set into cog with chrome bezel.


To see the finished result working you can check out this video on my YouTube channel. 

Thanks for looking!



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