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Author Topic: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (UPDATED 09.17.12)  (Read 14827 times)

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Aurich

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Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (UPDATED 09.17.12)
« on: March 25, 2007, 02:00:06 am »
I'm not one for long ass progress threads that detail every step, but I really gained a lot from other people doing just that over the years, so this is my attempt to give back. I'm deep into my build, nothing here will drag on for months. I'll try and get my thoughts and philosophies out, feel free to skip if you just want pictures, I won't be offended. :)

This is my second cabinet build from scratch. My first was a horizontal cab built around a 25" TV. It had some touches I liked, but overall it was more of a learning experience and I finally decided to scrap it and do a new one that I was happier with. I always said if I built another cab it would be with a real arcade monitor, and a vertical one at that. In my mind the vertical games are the last refuge of the true arcade experience. No home console can rock it properly (the odd tated Dreamcast game etc aside). In this era of 16x9 TVs there's something satisfying about a true vertical monitor.

I love the Galaga cabinets, but I'm not really a stickler for tradition. In my mind the home arcade scene is a lot like the classic car scene, people working on and restoring things that bring back memories of their youth or just the urge to mash the gas/joystick properly with their own style. In that vein this cabinet is a kustom car, based on a classic design, but without fear of chopping the top and adding modern touches.

The cab is called Deep 6 and has a slight underwater theme with an octopus mascot. The goal was to create a look that evoked a real game, something you'd never seen but wondered how you missed. I personally hate MAME logos, frankenpanels, blatant admin buttons, classic character collages, and anything else that detracts from the "real" cabinet look. So that was the driving theme as I tweaked the Galaga look.

First up was upgrading to a 25" monitor. This is primarily a classics/shmups cab, and I wanted the full in your face look. Anyone who's played the 25" anniversary Galaga/Ms Pac-Man knows that it's a pain to see the monitor in those cabs though. A couple of tweaks fixed that. First I bumped the angle of the monitor up. It's still leaning way back, but the higher angle helps a lot. Secondly, and more important, was to chop the top and cut the marquee from 9" down to 6". This makes a drastic improvement in the viewing angle and allows you to see the top of the monitor with ease. It also gives the cab a leaner, more modern look. In addition I added a couple inches to the depth and one to the height of the actual cabinet to give me a little more working space.

The marquee and other artwork are all original and my designs. Scott at Mamemarquees did my printing, and I'm very pleased with the results. Paying for the premium marquee paid off in spades, it's beautiful backlit, unlike my first cab's which washed out and look crummy lit. Definitely recommend it. I'll post some backlit pictures, but it's hard to photograph how nice it looks in person.

This post is getting too long for anyone to want to read, so on to a couple mockup pictures to kick things off and I'll keep making updates with other details.

My original mockup sketch in Photoshop, established my overall look and color scheme:



A closer look at the marquee:



And an attempt to photograph the real thing backlit. I'm a graphic designer, not a photographer, best I was able to get with my little point and shoot. It doesn't wash out at all in person.


« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 02:05:48 pm by Aurich »

Aurich

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2007, 02:17:33 am »
I'll post more pics of the control panel later, it's complete, but first I wanted to get into a mod I did for it that might interest other folks. The sticks on the cab are Ultrastik 360's, which if you weren't aware are basically Andy modifying Sanwa JLWs. So the optional restrictor plates (gates) you can order from him are just the round and square Sanwa JLWs gates. Sanwa also makes another stick, the JLF, which uses a different gate system. One option for the JLF is an octagon gate, which offers a notch for all 8 directions and a nice tight, short throw. If you think about the versatile uses for the Ultrastiks an octagon gate makes a lot of sense. You can feel the cardinals when playing Pac-Man without getting an overly notchy feel that can mess up a shmup or a fighter. You can feel the diagonals for Q*Bert, etc etc. I love it in Robotron personally (ya, it's a vertical cab, we'll get into the handful of horizontal games I had to have still later).

Unfortunately the JLF gates don't fit the the JLW. Nothing a little work with some clippers and a drill can't solve.  >:D

Here's the two gate styles side by side. You can see the holes I drilled and where I had to hack off some plastic tabs to make it fit:



You just need to do some eyeballing and lining up and make marks with a marker to get the holes right. It takes a little tweaking and fiddling, but it's not that hard. The new gate is a little thicker, but Andy says it shouldn't matter.

After modding it mounts on the PCB.:



Now this is going to screw up all your maps, you're going to need some much tighter grids until this is officially supported, the size is off. Andy has ordered his own gates after I sent him the info and is looking into what it would take to make an official solution. No saying it will happen of course. If you need help with maps PM me or I can start a thread with more info.

I'm currently evaluating the stock loose springs vs the new medium springs with these gates. Haven't decided which I like yet.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 01:43:04 am by Aurich »

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2007, 11:03:36 am »
Where are the rest of the images?

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2007, 11:37:19 am »
Did you finish the sides already?
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Aurich

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2007, 12:48:32 pm »
Haha, you guys are impatient, it's a good thing this wasn't just a Photoshop announcement.  :P Yes, the sides are finished, the cabinet is built.

I'll post more pics, the truth is I'm not the type to document as I go, I really don't have many photos of in progress stuff. The control panel is done for instance, but I've never photographed it. I'll try and find time to do that today.

I think by now everyone knows how to build a Galaga cab anyways. This was a typical block and glue build with a nailgun. I made my own adjustments to the angles, speaker placement etc, but nothing overly crazy beyond the changes I already mentioned. You can see how the speakers are in the angled back piece rather than pointing down from the marquee area in my mockup and the photo below (the pattern of holes in the MDF).

A recent in progress shot:



I promise I'll post more, I just got motivated last night based on my progress to start an announcement finally. All that's really left is paint at this point, but it might take a few weeks, I'm spraying automotive paint with an HVLP gun, and I'm still acquiring some of the specialized pigments and sorting out some issues with my air compressor. The base coat is probably close to 85% complete at this point.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 01:43:31 am by Aurich »

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2007, 01:22:44 pm »
Alright, you motivated me, here's a photo of the control panel. Mamemarquees as I mentioned before, with the polycarbonite laminate. Scott did a great job printing it, the colors came out as vibrant as I wanted them. The sticks are the octagon gate mod Ultrastiks with violet Sanwa ball tops, and the buttons are 30mm pink Sanwa snap-ins (24mm for the white start buttons). This is an entirely microswitch click-free panel.  8) The carriage bolts were base coated in flat black, then metallic blue, then clearcoated.



Edit - Oh, I wanted to give credit to Lord Hiryu and Game Creature for inspiring the idea for repeating the marquee text along the bottom of the CP, the Game Creature and Vertical Arcadium cabs gave me the idea. It's been done on commercial cabinets too (like Q*Bert), but I wanted to give them the credit, they both have the kind of complete idea cabinets that I had as my own personal goal. The whole point of my announcement was to give back since I was inspired by other people doing so.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 01:43:48 am by Aurich »

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2007, 09:05:52 am »
First up was upgrading to a 25" monitor. This is primarily a classics/shmups cab, and I wanted the full in your face look. Anyone who's played the 25" anniversary Galaga/Ms Pac-Man knows that it's a pain to see the monitor in those cabs though.

What monitor are you going with?  LCD/CRT/VGA?  Buidling something similar and am still halfway on the fence about going larger and scrapping a rotating solution.

This project looks pretty cool!  The white buttons, are they wired for both coin and start?  No pause or other admin buttons?  Curious also how all your admin features will be incorporated.

-csa
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 10:37:52 am by csa3d »

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2007, 09:08:04 am »
Wow!  That CPO is awesome!!  Did it just come on a roll with a sticky/adhesive backing after Scott printed it?  How did you apply it and make sure everything was lined up?  Now I wish I went for something like this instead of plain black...  Great job!!!  :cheers:

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2007, 10:24:33 am »
Very nice and I really like the cab name.
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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2007, 11:23:46 am »
What monitor are you going with?  LCD/CRT/VGA?  Buidling something similar and am still halfway on the fence about going larger and scrapping a rotating solution.

24.8" Nieman multisync arcade monitor.

Quote
This project looks pretty cool!  The white buttons, are they wired for both coin and start?  No pause or other admin buttons?  Curious also how all your admin features will be incorporated.

The white buttons are start, there's a functioning coin door, no coin buttons. P1 Start is currently a shift button with my IPac, but I'm actually building in a somewhat hidden shift button up under the marquee on the left, occasionally I've found reason to not want start as a shift. Pretty obscure reasons though, it works just fine normally. The hidden one is a compromise, I really didn't want anything that looked non-authentic.

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2007, 11:35:06 am »
Wow!  That CPO is awesome!!  Did it just come on a roll with a sticky/adhesive backing after Scott printed it?  How did you apply it and make sure everything was lined up?  Now I wish I went for something like this instead of plain black...  Great job!!!  :cheers:

Thanks. :)

So yes, printed on an adhesive backed roll (I'll show you how it looks flat below) by Scott. I lined it up with the backing still on and wrapped and taped it in place on the blank metal panel with blue masking tape. Then I tapped the center marks with a hammer/nail and removed. Drilled out my holes at the nail marks, then lined it up again and stuck it on for real and cut out the holes from the back with an Xacto.

Here's what the flat image I sent to Scott looks like before wrapping around the panel:



The metal panel is a blank Midway panel from Mike's Arcade. Just drilled through it with a bi-metal hole saw.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 01:44:12 am by Aurich »

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2007, 01:28:30 pm »
I see you started with jakobud's Galaga plans, since the front edges are sloped downward slightly (instead of perfectly vertical like they were originally)...

I usually favor games made true to original, but I like your modified version.  The big monitor, smaller marquee, etc. look asthetically pleasing to me.  Instead of looking like a bad version of an original... it looks like it was meant to be this way.  I also like your custom artwork, doesn't look quite like anything else I've seen.  Nice job!!

Wade

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2007, 02:00:08 pm »
I see you started with jakobud's Galaga plans, since the front edges are sloped downward slightly (instead of perfectly vertical like they were originally)...

Heh, ya, I didn't even notice that whole debate until after I had cut the MDF. :) Obviously this is hardly the cab to worry about it considering how many other details I changed. I totally respect the scratch built replicas people have done, they were a big inspiration, but that's not really my thing. If I can't tweak and add my own personality I'm not really interested.

That said, I do like the history that comes with the Galaga shape, I just wanted to bring it into the kustom tradition. American cabinet, Japanese and British controls, Canadian monitor, it's a bit of a mix ...

I've got the dark sealer base coat sprayed now, the cab is pretty much just black. I'm still working out some issue with my compressor, it's not quite up to the HVLP task, but I'll hopefully be able to shoot some pearlescent or sparkle flake blue soon. I'm also trying to figure out a good way to paint the inside of the speaker holes (see the pink dots in the mockup) I had mixed results with my airbrush yesterday. I'm thinking maybe some One Shot and  a Mack brush might be better.

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2007, 02:05:16 pm »
I like the angled look better anyway!  I had the same issue with my cabinet and I decided that the angled front looked a little more pleasing, IMO.... so I scaled Jaokbud's plans to 80% and it worked like a charm!

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2007, 02:14:57 pm »
I like the angled look better anyway!  I had the same issue with my cabinet and I decided that the angled front looked a little more pleasing, IMO.... so I scaled Jaokbud's plans to 80% and it worked like a charm!

Well you made a CP with pink buttons, so obviously you're a man of excellent taste. ;)

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2007, 04:59:12 pm »
I see you started with jakobud's Galaga plans, since the front edges are sloped downward slightly (instead of perfectly vertical like they were originally)...

Sorry for this side-question, but does that mean Jakobud's Galaga specs are actually a Mrs. Pac-Man cab? Seems to me that could be the only explanation for the subtle mistake.

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2007, 07:30:51 pm »
Looks awesome. I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes doing complete artwork for a fictional game. I still think that's definitely the best route. Especially on a classic-style cab. I think artwork planned out for the entire cab is what makes the classic games so appealing versus a generic conversion. I really like the theme/artwork. It all ties together very well.

I think the changes to the cabinet design are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. You've obviously spent some time thinking this out. I'm kind of annoyed at how the 25" monitor was implemented in the reunion cabs too. It's still not as bad as the 25" in the DK/Jr/Mario Bros cabs.
 
Obviously a lot of thought was also put into the control panel. The Sanwa mod is well-done. The japanese buttons are cool and shouldn't be anywhere near as annoying as the microswitched buttons in my metal CP. I'm also impressed you actually used a metal CP. Walking up to a cool-to-the-touch metal CP is always more satisfying to me. All-in-all it seems that the CP will play as well as it looks.

My project thread was never updated, but it includes the mandatory Photoshop mockup. The Illustrator file for the CP was corrupted before I could print it. I never have re-done it, I put a generic overlay on it and got sucked into PLAYING the games. That was the biggest mistake I made.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=36075.0
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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2007, 07:34:45 pm »
That's a reasonable question.  It's not an explanation for the mistake, because Galaga and MsPacman actually have the same cabinet, dimensionally.

I think it was probably introduced by someone trying to estimate dims from a photograph (where perspective skewed the dims) or possibly by a slight error in measurement between the CP front "point" and the depth of the cabinet at the bottom (which would show itself as an angled front).

Wade

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2007, 07:41:43 pm »
I see you started with jakobud's Galaga plans, since the front edges are sloped downward slightly (instead of perfectly vertical like they were originally)...

Sorry for this side-question, but does that mean Jakobud's Galaga specs are actually a Mrs. Pac-Man cab? Seems to me that could be the only explanation for the subtle mistake.

Ms Pac and Galaga cabs are identical and Bosconian's is nearly identical.

The "angled front" has been heavily debated. One of those threads is here: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=59410.0
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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2007, 08:09:09 pm »
Looks awesome. I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes doing complete artwork for a fictional game. I still think that's definitely the best route. Especially on a classic-style cab. I think artwork planned out for the entire cab is what makes the classic games so appealing versus a generic conversion. I really like the theme/artwork. It all ties together very well.

Thanks. :)

I don't mean to disparage people who like MAME logos or classic artwork collages, and I realize that as someone who makes a living as a graphic designer (in the game industry no less) I have a leg up on people who might not even own Photoshop, but to me that's what really makes a homebrew cab come together.

I've got one more trick up my sleeve for the glass over the monitor, but I'm not going to reveal it until I go see someone about getting it done. Maybe tomorrow if my work schedule allows.

I also haven't sent the side art to Scott yet, I haven't had time to do the mirrored version for the other side of the cabinet. The circle is about 20" across, it should be roughly to scale in my mockup, but you can't really see it obviously. I might make a few tweaks when I open it up to mirror it if I find something that bugs me, but here's the pretty much final look. It's actually based off a painting in the parking garage for the Redondo Beach pier, which is where the local arcade is here (sorry, bad cellphone camera shot). Each level has a different sea animal, and I love octopuses, so I sort of tied it all together so there's a little meaning to it all.


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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2007, 05:26:08 pm »
Still waiting on final paint to complete things, but some updates in the meantime. Just got back from Bruce the Brush, where he hooked up my pin striping on the smoked glass and coin door. I told you it was in the mold of a kustom car. ;)

I've never seen a hand striped cab before, no idea if I'm the first or not. One of the advantages of living in Southern California, you have people like Bruce who've been striping for more than 30 years living 5 minutes away.

The smoked glass, one shot striping on top, and a black cardstock bezel underneath:



Little detail on the coin door to help tie it all together:



Detail of coin button graphic:



The coin buttons are lit (not shown) using amber superbrite LED clusters that fit in the stock lamp sockets.

Edit: Typo in Bruce's name :p
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 01:45:04 am by Aurich »

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2007, 05:46:02 pm »
Hey that's too cool! I was thinking about finding an automotive painter to do a CPO for me. Your bezel looks really great.
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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2007, 06:53:51 pm »
Wow.  Simply STUNNING.  I really like the little details you incorporated all over your cab to tie everything together.  Nice job!!   :cheers:

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2007, 07:50:22 pm »
Thanks, Bruce really hooked it up, it pays to go with experience. It's the only art on the cab that isn't mine, so I'm pretty picky about it, but he gave me exactly what I was looking for. I chose the colors and the rough idea and just trusted him to do it right.

javeryh, just posted in your pink coindoor thread, look at the detail on my coin button above. That whole front piece comes off so you can swap inserts. I don't think Happ's will, but if you got a door like mine (common on eBay, how I did it) you could likely just make just the front piece out of plexi and color it without a crazy amount of effort. The coin slot isn't part of the plastic, so it's a simple rectangle shape. Just a thought. Hell, I should see if I can't do it myself, I could use pink buttons too. ;)

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2007, 10:38:21 pm »
Looking good!

Wade
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007, 10:42:24 pm by Wade »

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2007, 12:37:46 am »
Very nice touch with the pinstripping.  Ties it all together.

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2007, 07:03:04 pm »
 :notworthy:

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2007, 06:22:50 am »
Very, very nice done! :applaud:

BTW, what T-molding are you gonna use on this beauty?

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2007, 10:00:05 am »
Holy crap this is awesome..

I'm totally envious of you and that beauty...


Great work!!

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2007, 04:25:14 pm »
BTW, what T-molding are you gonna use on this beauty?


Dark blue is what I have now, roughly like the mockup. We'll see how it looks once I get the final paint on though. Just got the top coat color via UPS today, but it might be a couple of weeks before I have the time to spray. Mockup obviously can't really show the effect of an interference paint.

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2007, 04:45:59 pm »
The mock-up T-Molding looks black to me. It also looks freakin' kewl, I'd say go with black T-Molding, so your eyes can be drawn straight to the CPO, Marquee, and cab-art.

javeryh

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2007, 05:47:28 pm »
I'd actually make the t-molding the same color as the pinstriping (either the hot pink or light blue).  Make that sucker stand out!

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2007, 06:37:47 pm »
Blue or Dark Purple, just as in the mock-up.

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2007, 06:54:45 pm »
I already have the dark blue, it's probably what I'll use. Anything too bright will be too much contrast, the pinstriping is supposed to draw the eye inside, I don't want to compete with that.

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2007, 11:11:34 pm »
Very nice cab. This is exactly what I had in mind for my next project. Dedicated vertical galaga style. I can't wait to see the updated pics.
My old user name was marlborroman13, but I kicked the habit many years ago!

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2007, 01:02:29 pm »
Thanks. I actually painted this weekend, but I'm not happy with the interference paint, so I think I need to order a more straight up metallic or pearlized finish instead. Haven't had time to go through my swatch book to rethink yet. It's real nice in direct sunlight, but not so much indoors and a real pain to keep even over the black basecoat.  :-\

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2007, 12:21:16 pm »
Just ordered 32 oz of iridescent electric blue, might take a week or two to show up but hopefully after than I'll be ready for final spray and can assemble and photograph.

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2007, 03:00:33 pm »
Man talk about a cab where everything just comes together and works.  Looks great. 

Don
  Scratch built upright MAME Cab

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2007, 09:08:09 pm »
Thanks. :)

Slight change in paint plans. I'm going to keep the inside black, and the front metallic midnight blue, which I had handy already. So I sprayed the blue front today, and once it's cured I'll mask it off to complete the black insides. Then I just need to wait for the electric blue paint for the exterior. I updated my mockup so I could see how this all works, though of course the metallic and iridescent paints are only approximated here. While I was at it I threw in the proper coin door and the striped bezel and faked up my office wall and floor.

« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 01:45:55 am by Aurich »

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Re: Deep 6: A scratch built Galaga variation (New photos added 3.30.07)
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2007, 09:18:26 pm »
Now I wish my cabinet didnt say "MAME" all over it.

oh well, guess I have to build another  >:D

Freagin tight color combos


Miles2912 and I are gonna have to go over there and break that puppy in.