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Author Topic: "Avengerless Avenger" - [11/17/15] Finished!  (Read 28882 times)

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RxBrad

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"Avengerless Avenger" - [11/17/15] Finished!
« on: December 30, 2014, 09:36:22 am »
I think I'm finally to a point where I can start posting this bad boy.  My plan is to start cutting over the New Year's holiday.  (2/5/15: Nope.  Maybe someday when it finally thaws outside.)  Might as well post now so somebody can kick me before I do something stupid, since I'm new at this and all.

My cab is going to be a 6ft tall stand up with a 23" LCD monitor.  I've thrown together a Sketchup drawing, and I think I'm happy with the design now.  The large front panel under the CP box will have inset hinges and will open to give me access to the PC and a shelf to hold things like keyboard, mouse, controllers, etc. (2/5/15: Nixed the shelf.  I'll actually store stuff in the box under the CP.  Directly below the CP box there will be a fixed panel with a USB hub integrated into it for USB console controllers.  Below that the door to access the PC from the front.)



The CP will be detachable, and can be interchanged with a flat panel attached to the top of the cabinet (inspired by markc74's Blip cab).  My intention is to swap in the flat panel when I want to play non-arcadey KB/Mouse games on the PC.  The CP is 5/8" pine overlaid with 1/8" plexiglass; and the flat panel will be painted 3/4" MDF. (2/5/15: CP will be 3/4" MDF overlaid with printed polycarbonate from GameOnGraphix)



Underneath the main monitor, I'm including an admin panel with a secondary 7" LCD that'll display the instruction card for the game being played.  The admin panel will be overlaid in plexiglass.



My first step will be to build a frame.  It's made up of 1x4 boards with a 1/2" MDF base.  The base is 24" wide and 20" deep.  I honestly don't think the frame will provide a ton of structural support; the 3/4" MDF making up the sides and much of the front/back will probably do most of the work.  That being said, I think I may still make a couple tweaks to make it a little more structurally sound, like making those side boards on the underside extend all the way to the front of the base, and adding some cross-braces to the vertical boards.  It'll all sit on 3" casters (fixed wheels in the back, swivel casters with brakes on the front). The door in the front will also make it easier to reach the brakes on the swivel casters.



Still haven't designed the CP, but I think I still have a couple months before I really need to get to that part.  Kind of waiting to see what Andy has in store for the I-Pac boards in late January.  I'm thinking I'll take advantage of the X-Input adapters, which I assume might make the cabinet a little more Steam Game Library-friendly. 

Anyhow, I've been playing a lot of Borderlands lately, and I've taken a liking to the comic book / cel-shaded look.  I think my design will be similar to that, but not based on any specific game.  Honestly, I don't think I want to give it a name.  Just some kind of cool, very minimalist graphics on the marquee, sides, etc..
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 07:47:29 am by RxBrad »

RxBrad

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Re: RxBrad's Nameless Cab - SketchUp drawings, about to start cutting
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 03:05:17 pm »
Redesigned the frame.  I think that's a lot more structurally sound than what I had.



Also bought myself a speed square so I could get some nice square cuts; and also bought a spare 2x4ft sheet of 1/2" MDF so I could make a sawboard, since I don't have a table saw at my disposal.

Let's do this!

yotsuya

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Re: RxBrad's Nameless Cab - SketchUp drawings, about to start cutting
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2014, 03:10:31 pm »
You really don't need a frame to make it sound. If you look at original cabs, NONE of them have any internal framework.

And I've never been a fan of 7" insert screens, but I do have to say, I like how you've integrated yours. It helps get rid of all that wasted space under the monitor. The way you intergrate it with your artwork will really make or break it. Keeping an eye on this one.  :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

RxBrad

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Re: RxBrad's Nameless Cab - SketchUp drawings, about to start cutting
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2014, 03:21:22 pm »
You really don't need a frame to make it sound. If you look at original cabs, NONE of them have any internal framework.

Yeah..  I know. Might as well build it like a tank, I figured, so I know it'll live through whatever abuse comes at it.  :bat

That, and I'm paranoid that it'll be topheavy & tipsy, so the frame adds a little junk in the trunk. 

As much as anything, it makes it a less likely for me to build the cabinet and have it end up not being square.

Nephasth

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Re: RxBrad's Nameless Cab - SketchUp drawings, about to start cutting
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2014, 03:24:11 pm »
It's not very fun moving a tank. Original cabs were held together with brackets like these.

RxBrad

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Re: RxBrad's Nameless Cab - SketchUp drawings, about to start cutting
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 03:28:42 pm »
It's not very fun moving a tank. Original cabs were held together with brackets like these.

OK.  Maybe a wimpy little sissytank then.  :)  I'm only using 1x4's, so the frame is actually fairly light.

I actually spent 5 minutes at the Home Depot this afternoon hovering over a bin of similar brackets trying to decide if I wanted to use those instead of furring strips.  My cheaper side got the best of me, and I decided to stick with the furring strips.

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Re: RxBrad's Nameless Cab - SketchUp drawings, about to start cutting
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 04:44:36 pm »


Old maximus pulled it off.....

However, furring strips, screws and woodglue will do just fine sir....

The internal structure you got goin on is overkill, it will be a tank though and beotch to move.......Looks good though.

RxBrad

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Re: RxBrad's Nameless Cab - SketchUp drawings, about to start cutting
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2015, 07:09:40 pm »
Apparently, it's winter. So, the weather hasn't been cooperating with my plans to go outside and cut MDF.  Instead of building, I started on my CP design.

Still need to include Start and Coin/Select buttons for P1/P2. I also think the player labels need some work to improve the contrast. And I'm still not sure if I want the background shown here, an alternate cel-shaded-looking version of this, or a simpler gradient type background.


RxBrad

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - CP, Admin Panel, Marquee Graphics
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2015, 07:23:02 pm »
Spent most of my day fiddling with Photoshop.  Managed to get a control panel, admin panel, and marquee out of it, though.  Obviously, I've scrapped the cel-shaded theme, and ended up on more of an Avengers-style cab.  Without any actual Avengers.  The "Avengerless Avenger Cab"?

Whatever..  Here's what I have.  I can't help but think that the admin panel is missing something, but I can't quite figure out what.  It might get a redesign.






yotsuya

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Dude, I ---smurfing--- COMMEND you to the nth on your art style choices. Less CAN be more sometimes. Yes!

***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Fursphere

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I have to admit I was pretty damn impressed by the artwork too.   :cheers:

What do you use to drive the little information screen?  I'm guessing its like game instructions and what not?


RxBrad

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Dude, I ---smurfing--- COMMEND you to the nth on your art style choices. Less CAN be more sometimes. Yes!

Thanks..  I can't help but think that I'm breaking some unspoken rule by putting a big generic "The Arcade" on the marquee, but I like it.

Now I need to figure out what to do for side art.

I have to admit I was pretty damn impressed by the artwork too.   :cheers:

What do you use to drive the little information screen?  I'm guessing its like game instructions and what not?

It's a 7" screen that most people apparently use for Raspberry Pi setups, but it also has an HDMI port for use on a PC.  Here's a link.  And, yeah.. my plan is to have it show the instructions at the very least.  Maybe have it rotate with game info/history/other stuff.

EDIT:  Just noticed that there's now a higher resolution version for the same price.  And with a black bezel.  Nice.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 07:53:35 am by RxBrad »

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yotsuya

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Dude, I ---smurfing--- COMMEND you to the nth on your art style choices. Less CAN be more sometimes. Yes!

Thanks..  I can't help but think that I'm breaking some unspoken rule by putting a big generic "The Arcade" on the marquee, but I like it.

Now I need to figure out what to do for side art.

Keep it minimalist. I love the use of an environment instead of a generic collage of 'roided out characters trying to look as tough as Hans and Franz.  That's so played out... this is fresh and innovative.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

n3wt0n

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I really like the artwork. Like others have already stated, sometimes less is more. I can't wait to see it on the machine.

RxBrad

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Are they all at the Falafel House?

I guess I know what my sideart is now.   :P


RxBrad

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I just realized that I have access to an inkjet plotter.  Woo.



Okay.. so I may have gotten a little overexcited and printed the version with the buttons which won't really work for my CP.  But I can use it to get a good idea of the scale.

This does lead me to a question, though...  What's the best way to go about drilling the CP.  My ultimate plan is to get my CP printed by GameOnGraphix.  Would it be best to clamp the wood, plexi, and art from GoG all together and drill through all three layers at once?  Or should I separately cut the holes in the art using an X-Acto knife?

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I just realized that I have access to an inkjet plotter.  Woo.

Okay.. so I may have gotten a little overexcited and printed the version with the buttons which won't really work for my CP.  But I can use it to get a good idea of the scale.

This does lead me to a question, though...  What's the best way to go about drilling the CP.  My ultimate plan is to get my CP printed by GameOnGraphix.  Would it be best to clamp the wood, plexi, and art from GoG all together and drill through all three layers at once?  Or should I separately cut the holes in the art using an X-Acto knife?
If you let GoG print on polycarbonate you don't need plexi on top. Order a drill template when you order the CP at Gog. Use the drill template to mark the holes to drill. Drill with Forester bit or Spade drill. Afterwards apply the CP. You can use bottom lighting to align the printout. Use a sharp knife (e.g. x-acto) or use your router to flush trim the holes.

 

 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 01:18:09 pm by EMDB »

RxBrad

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If you let GoG print on polycarbonate you don't need plexi on top. Order a drill template when you order the CP at Gog. Use the drill template to mark the holes to drill. Drill with Forester bit or Spade drill. Afterwards apply the CP. You can use bottom lighting to align the printout. Use a sharp knife (e.g. x-acto) or use your router to flush trim the holes.

Is it bad to cover the printed polycarbonate with plexi? 

I know for a fact that I want plexi over the admin panel under the monitor, because I don't want that 7" screen uncovered.  Should I consider getting my CP art printed on some other material?.  (I'm pretty sure that anything off the inkjet printer at work is going to fade over time, so I probably don't want to use that for the final product.)

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GoG has two options for printing, based on whether or not you are using plexi.  I went with the non-adhesive backed option that sits under the plexiglass.

Their printing quality is top notch.  I am very happy with the work they did for me.  I did add the print template and I would HIGHLY recommend it. 

For drilling I used the print template to drill the wood CP.  I then clamped the plexi to the CP and used that as a guide to cut the plexi.  I would NOT recommend doing it in one shot, you will destroy the plexiglass.  In fact if you haven't cut plexi before I recommend you get some scrap (the corners?) and practice.

The last thing I will add is that the plexi does hide some of the art.  I'm overdue to add some photos to my build thread but the lower lighting in my basement, coupled with the plexiglass glare has rendered some of the detail on my CP art a lot less noticeable than I would have liked.  Since you do have a printed copy you might want to look at it in the lighting under your plexi before ordering the final art.



RxBrad

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The weather continues to be a steaming pile of winter poo, so no actual construction has happened yet.  I have been playing around with the software I'm using, and I've managed to get the secondary display working how I want using GameExtender/GameEx.  I used CPWizard to create a PNG of the controls for each game.  Then I tell GameExtender to look in the folder where I store all of those PNGs, and display the one that corresponds to the game I'm playing.  That 7" monitor is surprisingly good quality for $50, and seems really well-suited to a project like this.  I'll try to post a picture sometime in the next few days.

Anyhow..  I think you've convinced me to use 3/4" MDF for my CP and NOT use a plexi overlay.  Those GoG CPs just look too nice to cover up.  The admin panel will still have a plexi overlay, but honestly there's not really much to the art there, so if something is concealed a little, I won't worry too much.

Next question: any issues using CAT6 as quick disconnects for a CP?  I have a boatload of CAT6 patch cables and a buttload of CAT6 female-to-female connectors lying around.  I was thinking I'd cut the patch cables in half and wire the strands directly to the controls / IPac.  Then I could use the female connectors to hook the IPac to the controls.  Is it OK to wire the strands from the CAT6 directly into the controls, or do they need to be connected to something beefier first? (Looks like CAT6 uses 23G wire...  I'd think that'd be enough?)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 04:10:21 pm by RxBrad »

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [1/5/15] CP, Admin Panel, Marquee Graphics
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2015, 05:22:48 pm »
Worked on side art today.  Pretty sure my PC started to cry like a little girl at some point while I edited the 1GB+ Photoshop file...  You can't tell in this photo, but there's a lot of brushed metal textures going on in here.

EDIT:  Hmm..  I really need to add something to the top half, where there's just a bunch of empty black space.  Or maybe just leave it blank.  *shrug*  We'll see.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 10:39:45 am by RxBrad »

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2015, 04:38:10 pm »
Small bit of feedback.. Do you really need 3 Select buttons? Also, what's the Menu button for? It seems odd to me to have a Select/Coin as the same button on the CP. Seems like you can drop the Menu & Select buttons from the "Info" panel. And for the CP, you can remove the text of "Select" and just press a player button (like button 1 (blue)) to select a game.

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2015, 05:08:57 pm »
Small bit of feedback.. Do you really need 3 Select buttons? Also, what's the Menu button for? It seems odd to me to have a Select/Coin as the same button on the CP. Seems like you can drop the Menu & Select buttons from the "Info" panel. And for the CP, you can remove the text of "Select" and just press a player button (like button 1 (blue)) to select a game.

The select buttons on the CP are actually in reference to the select button for console gamepads. I agree, the "select" text needs to go on those, since I have the secondary screen defining the buttons for cases like that.

Aesthetically, I want all black buttons, so I like the label for the start buttons rather than the P1/P2 graphic buttons.

I like having the number of buttons on the CP I do for ease in matching them to XInput equivalents.

EDIT:  Also, the Menu button is for the Tab Menu in MAME.  I honestly don't see many people other than myself playing this, so I'm okay having it out there.  For the most part, I have a button for every input on the IPAC2 (plus an out-of-the-way power button).
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 08:13:09 am by RxBrad »

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2015, 07:25:25 pm »
Tweaked the sideart a bit. Had some extra room on the image I'll be sending to Souldraw, so I added a pattern that I'll use on the mouse/keyboard surface.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 05:02:19 pm by RxBrad »

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2015, 07:29:45 pm »
I LOVE your sparse artwork. By doing so, you allow the PLAYER to become the Avenger, rather than having static characters forever bursting forth in a 'roid-fuelled rage.

One of my favorites of this young year!  :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2015, 07:42:28 pm »
I LOVE your sparse artwork. By doing so, you allow the PLAYER to become the Avenger, rather than having static characters forever bursting forth in a 'roid-fuelled rage.

One of my favorites of this young year!  :cheers:

Thanks!  :cheers:

Honestly, I think being held up by the weather has been a good thing. Keeps giving me time to tweak things more to my liking. Already, I look at what I have and think, "I should move the 'A' up a little on the sideart...(done - updated in post above) Maybe if I can tone down the background on the CP a little..."
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 05:03:02 pm by RxBrad »

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2015, 07:47:44 pm »
LOVE THIS. Watching.

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2015, 03:29:57 pm »
Really wishing that I'd bought a monitor with VESA mounts right about now.  :angry:

Anyone have any suggestions for mounting this monitor in an arcade cab?

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2015, 04:32:29 pm »

Are you going to decase it?  Any mounting points in there?

If not I would say build a shelf and stand the base on the shelf.  Then put a small wood frame around the sides, top and bottom to hold the monitor at the angle you want.  Then let your bezel hide all of that.

I'm guessing someone else here will have a better idea though.

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2015, 04:55:03 pm »

Are you going to decase it?  Any mounting points in there?

If not I would say build a shelf and stand the base on the shelf.  Then put a small wood frame around the sides, top and bottom to hold the monitor at the angle you want.  Then let your bezel hide all of that.

I'm guessing someone else here will have a better idea though.

I don't think I want decase it. I don't see any external screws to do so, and im afraid I might make the situation worse if I tried. Maybe I can just use the bolthole in the base assembly somehow.

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2015, 05:50:40 pm »
Build like a box/frame for it to rest in.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2015, 07:40:11 pm »
Build like a box/frame for it to rest in.

I think that's the direction I'm going. Which means that I'll probably just build the box right onto the back of an MDF bezel.

I was originally thinking I'd want to do the thing where you spraypaint a black border on the back of the glass covering the monitor, but maybe this will be a better option, after all. Makes it possible to go back and do bezel art in the future if I want.

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2015, 07:47:07 pm »
Very nice work going on here   :)  ...watching.

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger" - [2/1/15] Side Art Designed
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2015, 05:31:48 pm »
Obligatory SketchUp render with art applied.   8)

It's a fairly complete version, just missing the speaker grills and the USB hub below the CP.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 05:33:46 pm by RxBrad »

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Re: RxBrad's "Avengerless Avenger"
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2015, 09:18:29 am »
Finally got a chance to start building my cabinet this weekend!

First off, I made myself a double-barreled sawboard for my circular saw (works using both edges of the saw).  I'll spare the details, since there's already a sticky for sawboards; but I go into more detail in my blog.



The base was cut from 1/2" MDF, 19.25" x 24" (this 24 inch width is the factory cut width of the 2x4ft MDF sheets I'm using throughout this project).  Reinforcing 1x4 boards are glued with Gorilla Glue and screwed to the bottom.  Before attaching the 1x4's, however, I had to cut notches with my jigsaw for the vertical attachment points on the frame (visible in the second picture below).



Two fixed-wheel casters are bolted to the back, and two swivel casters are bolted to the front (where the brake can be easily accessed when the cabinet door is opened.  When attaching the swivel casters, I had to make sure that there was clearance for them to spin with the brake both engaged and disengaged.  The holes were drilled using a slightly larger diameter than the guide holes in the actual casters, to allow a little bit of error in the hole placement.  The casters are only loosely attached for now, because they'll need to come back off when I'm ready to paint.  Also, the swivel and fixed casters were slightly different heights, so I had to use washers to even them out.



I also cut all of the boards necessary for the frame using my trusty speed square.  And that's all the time I had to work on my project this first weekend.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 09:20:19 am by RxBrad »

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"Avengerless Avenger" - [4/20/15] Frame Complete; Side Template
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2015, 09:28:33 am »
Continuing to make slow progress.  Finished the frame.  Realized that the braces connecting the front and back posts would have absolutely no purpose once the sides were attached, so I got rid of them.



Then I made a wooden cutting template for the sides using 1/4" MDF.  I only templated the top 2/3rd, since everything below that involves just a single vertical cut.  This allowed me to use a single 2x4ft sheet of MDF.  Next weekend I'll cut the sides with my router's duplicating bit.

I started by printing a full-scale outline of the side and taped it to the MDF.  I cut out template with jigsaw, and used a straight file to straighten the lines and make the cuts better mimic the paper template.



For the sharp corners on the front/top, I traced around a metal washer, and used the outline to file the corners rounded.


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Re: "Avengerless Avenger" - [4/20/15] Frame Complete; Side Template
« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2015, 11:07:26 am »
OK, confession time.  I've never actually used a router before.  Looking at another thread, I just noticed that, apparently, there are top-bearing and bottom-bearing flush trim bits.

I bought a bottom-bearing bit.  Will this be a problem?  The bit has a 1-inch cutting depth, and I'm using it on 3/4" MDF with a 1/4" template.

EDIT:  Okay.. it looks like it'll work.  Although I think I might've preferred the top-bearing.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 11:40:08 am by RxBrad »

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Re: "Avengerless Avenger" - [4/20/15] Frame Complete; Side Template
« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2015, 12:54:52 pm »
Bottom bearing will work just fine -- you just need to put your template _under_ the piece of wood you're going to be routing.

A little awkward, but it works fine.

I'm keeping my eye on this one - like the concepts and design.

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Re: "Avengerless Avenger" - [4/20/15] Frame Complete; Side Template
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2015, 11:40:09 am »
Finally placed my controls order from GGG.  RandyT was nice enough to knock $10 off the Player 2 OMNI2 stick by letting me get it with a fixed 8way restrictor.  Also bought a couple M/F Parallel cables from Monoprice that I'll cut in half and use to make the CP detachable (seemed like a sturdier solution than CAT5).  Still need to order an IPAC2 from Ultimarc.

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