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Author Topic: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 15/9/13  (Read 55509 times)

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HoopstarsGarage

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Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 15/9/13
« on: June 16, 2007, 09:06:53 am »
Well this project has been a long time coming..   probably something like the 24 years to be precise - the first time I played this game at my local bowling alley.

It was an amazing period and one day that stands out clearly in my mind - I was Star Wars mad and the thought of being able to pilot an X-Wing fighter in 3D was nearly too much.. 

But for me it wasn't (and isn't) just the game-play that makes it so desirable but also the awesome cockpit cabinet design with it's complex angular shapes draped in the most gorgeous side art depicting the evil Darth Vader and the powerful Death Star not to mention the battle between the X-Wing and Tie Fighters.  Add to all of that the unique yoke controls that just ooze the battle of Endor and the futuristic molded plastic bezel and you start to understand the draw card that is the Star War Cockpit Cabinet...  And thats just before you start to mention the sampled voices from the movie and the gorgeous, crisp vector graphics..

And so this cabinet has remained a dream of mine..  the one above all others that I HAD to have in my collection..  my "Holy Grail" of cabinets if you like.. :notworthy:

The problem with that dream was that there were just under 2500 units produced world wide 24 years ago of which maybe 50 or 60 might of made it down under. Then factor in the conversion "era" and the water damage that these cabs are so renowned for and the reality of finding one was never looking good..

So my only option was to start searching for the parts that made up a Star Wars Cockpit (SWC) and build my own.. just as I had done with my Centipede and Galaga scratch built cabs..  Now this has not been an easy task either and taken the best part of two years continually searching on Ebay and RGVAC for the required parts.  As time progressed I managed to pick up a cockpit bezel in beautiful condition, the coin door complete with mechs, coin box and control panel, (mint) cockpit manuals and the seat joiner piece (rare!)
The biggest boost to the project came about when I found a guy on RGVAC in the US parting out a complete cabinet - I explained to him what I needed.. a price was set and about 1 week later the project was in full steam..  I now had every part of the cabinet including the yoke and rare cockpit control panel apart from the wooden cabinet and vector tube and game..


The next step (and probably the most difficult) was getting all the measurements of tha cabinet itself.  Now I consider myself reasonably good at working out most cabs, but the more information and pictures I collected on the SWC, the more daunting it became..  The measurements and angles were critical in pulling this off and without some VERY accurate details, it would be at best, very difficult..  I struggled with people who were willing to help me - basically it was just all too hard for most but one local guys from the Aussie Arcade Forums helped me out..  Well that is an understatement..  John went beyond the call of duty and created a template of his very nice SWC - the part that blew me away was he wanted nothing but my satisfaction as his reward - a true gentleman..!!!!


This along with my "stock photo files" collected from all over the net and even modessitt dimensions (although a little off) enable me to construct some very accurate plans for my very own SWC - later I will transfer these measurement into CAD files for other would be SWC builders..

So now I had the dimensions and angles the next step was to transfer all of this to a couple of sheets of MDF and carefully cut it out..


The next step is to carefully block out the panels with the necessary set back - here is one side about 90% done.  There remainder of the blocking will need to be done once the cabinet is essentially together.  Having all the original parts like the bezel and control panel really help here..


I'll update some more in the next couple of days..


Hoops
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 05:37:57 am by HoopstarsGarage »

shardian

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 09:13:55 am »
Once this is done, you will be a god among men. ;) ;D :notworthy:

rovingmind

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2007, 09:18:00 am »
 :applaud:

ok now i'm jealous

 :cheers:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!

SuperGunGuru

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2007, 11:23:45 am »
Very nice! That'd be cool if you can get CAD files for us to use. I personally haven't built a mame cabinet yet, but this sounds like it would be fun to build. Looking forward to more pics!  :)

arcadefever

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2007, 06:09:42 pm »
 :o  this is going to be a beauty !!!!

good luck  :cheers:

GAtekwriter

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2007, 07:07:46 pm »
You're going to have a LOT of us following this build with anticipation.

I'm like you - I remember the first time I went in to my local arcade and saw the stand-up/cab Star Wars.  It was in the corner, angled out to face the entire arcade and NO ONE was playing it.  I think I remember hearing Obi-Wan say "The Force will be with you... always" but I could be wrong - I was too entranced watching the demo.  I think I probably spent $3.00 in quarters playing it (a LOT at the time).  One of those memories that has stuck, I guess.

Good luck... post lots of pictures when you can... and thanks for sharing your work.

Jim

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2007, 07:18:37 pm »
Quote
You're going to have a LOT of us following this build with anticipation.

Talk about understatements .. :)

 :notworthy:

ChadTower

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2007, 09:41:27 pm »

My precious.

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2007, 11:56:26 pm »
Wow, this is going to be hot! I eagerly await your progress sir...

JasonA

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2007, 01:50:49 am »
 :applaud: That's going to be  :censored: sweet!

javeryh

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2007, 07:14:03 am »
I am coming over to play as soon as you are finished... I'll be watching this one for sure.

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2007, 11:21:49 am »
If memory serves me, the original had a hard wood/plastic seat surface.  If you want to limit your / your kids time in the box, I'd make it as close to original as possible.  Otherwise, you might want to make a nice padded seat. 

What are you going to do for the side art?

Good luck on the build.

rovingmind

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2007, 09:26:57 am »
the side art files are available.  At the opportune time they will get printed.
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Jouster

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2007, 09:40:18 pm »
WOW... :dizzy:

I too remember my first experience with the stand up SW...I was at an indoor soccer field...about to play a game.  I was a little late for warmups...I mean I practically had to dragged out on to the field.  But who could blame me?  It was the first vector graphics game that I remember seeing...even though then I had no clue what that was...it was just different!  But hearing Obi Wan as I walked up to it sealed the deal.

I think that the hardest part for me, if I was doing this project, would be having the patience to acquire the real pieces that you have.  At some point I'd have been like "screw it, I have the yoke...it's build time!!"

Good luck...oh and no pressure that a lot of us on this board have a special place in our hearts for this game.   :'(
Jouster
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HoopstarsGarage

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2007, 04:15:45 am »
So a little bit of an update - In fact there is a lot more to this than maybe first meets the eye with about 30 hours spent getting it to this stage.

With most of the blocking out completed (although not glued in yet) I set about cutting all the center panels for the cab.  I've said it before - the SWC is a pretty complex little cabinet and so getting all the angles right was a bit of a challenge as I wanted this to be BETTER than any cabinet that rolled out of Atari in 1983..

The first shot shows the foot well area inside the cockpit just under the control panel - basically demonstrating the accuracy with the cuts that I am aiming for.  In fact, these angled cuts can be as acute as 55 degrees and it was on one of those that I sliced my hand open..  and on MDF..!!  :censored:  The screws that you see in place will be totally hidden and just part of the blocking process.



Again another area where looks can be deciving is the bezel area - with a lot of the support pieces being covered with the plastic molded bezel.  It needs to be pretty strong as these brackets also mount the control yoke and screen plexi..



The seat area is pretty much finished although the original speaker grilles are just screwed into place at this point - in an original SWC, these grilles are recessed 4mm and fitted with security screws.  With one of the parted out cabinets, the owner gave me some of the original screws - with a little bit of hunting I have managed to track down the exact same parts which I will end up using to make it as accurate as possible.  You can also see the seat angle piece which is in fact an extruded aluminum bracket - a very hard to get piece..



The top part of the cabinet was probably one of the most difficult to pull off as there are quite a few complex angles that need to be cut - since I don't have a table saw, I had to rely on using a Sawboard and a circular saw..  In the end I am very happy with how it turned out.  You can also see the original vents and the plexi-retainer plate sitting in place.



And now for the "money shot" - possibly the worlds first scratch built Star Wars Cockpit  ;D  As you can see there is still a bit to do - the most obvious is the canopy "hoops" and the top of the marquee.



From here, things will probably slow down a bit as I wait for parts from overseas to complete the cabinet (t-molding etc).  In the mean time I will start restoring all the metal parts, coin door, etc etc..


Hoops


« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 06:11:15 am by HoopstarsGarage »

javeryh

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2007, 06:09:46 am »
 :notworthy:  Holy. Crap.   :notworthy:

Havok

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2007, 07:33:50 am »
Nice!

 :applaud:

However, even though the cabinet is a two piece, it looks like you have built it so it cannot separate. Are you planning on being able to break it down into two pieces for easier moving?

HoopstarsGarage

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2007, 08:08:38 am »
However, even though the cabinet is a two piece, it looks like you have built it so it cannot separate. Are you planning on being able to break it down into two pieces for easier moving?
I have a dedicated games room so really I have no reason to make it separate..

That said, it would be VERY easy to have it  do so.


Hoops


ChadTower

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2007, 08:13:32 am »
:notworthy:  Holy. Crap.   :notworthy:

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

Now I have to wait a minute to stand up, dammit.

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2007, 09:53:28 am »
That's amazing. One of my favorite sitdown cabinets "evar" and it looks perfect. You are one dedicated builder/demi god  8)
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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2007, 09:54:41 am »
That is truly awesome.    With the quality your putting into that, are you going to use original logic boards? 
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ChadTower

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2007, 10:02:37 am »

Did this really come from the plans in the Main thread?  I didn't think there was enough there yet to build from... or am I just not good enough at reading plans?

rovingmind

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2007, 12:48:45 pm »
no, for the plans in the main thread I'm still waiting on some dimensions.

he got in touch with a fellow that took one completely apart down to the single panels for a resto and got tracings of the actual panels. 

You can't get any more accurate than he is here.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!

bleargh

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2007, 01:08:24 pm »
WOW

 :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

ChadTower

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2007, 01:57:19 pm »
no, for the plans in the main thread I'm still waiting on some dimensions.

he got in touch with a fellow that took one completely apart down to the single panels for a resto and got tracings of the actual panels. 

You can't get any more accurate than he is here.

So perhaps we should also get in touch with that fellow and purchase a set of those tracings, rather than duplicate the guy's work?

rovingmind

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2007, 02:07:39 pm »

So perhaps we should also get in touch with that fellow and purchase a set of those tracings, rather than duplicate the guy's work?

 :angel:

I will say nothing i can be held liable for.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!

arcadefever

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2007, 05:24:00 pm »
can you build me one  ;D


respect  :notworthy:

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2007, 05:53:34 pm »
Been a while since i've posted, but *that* is awesome.  Can't wait to see how it turns out.

BrentRadio

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2007, 08:31:13 pm »
That is just too F'ing SWEET!

Inspiration for us all!

Great work!

Brent

HoopstarsGarage

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2007, 08:56:48 pm »
So perhaps we should also get in touch with that fellow and purchase a set of those tracings, rather than duplicate the guy's work?
Once I have finished building this cab I intend to transfer all the dimensions into a CAD file which will be VERY accurate - it will include all measurements, angles, radii, set back of middle panels and all the dimensions for the metal parts like the control panel, marquee retainers and canopy joiners.

Please people DO NOT hassle me about these plans.. I will notify when they will be released.

I am also working on reproducing the marquee as we speak - at this stage I will just be using a very high quality digital print of it, but there *may* be plans to silk screen this onto plexi at a later point..


And a BIG thanks guys for all the kind words and support - it really helps keep the motivation going for such a large, complex project..!!

Cheers


Hoops
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 08:30:53 am by HoopstarsGarage »

ChadTower

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2007, 09:27:27 pm »

For Christ's sake, who was harrassing anyone? 

HoopstarsGarage

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2007, 09:31:58 pm »

For Christ's sake, who was harrassing anyone? 
Chad - was nothing personal nor directed at you..  sorry if you took it that way..!! :(

Was more a general "preemptive" post as I knew that as soon as I said I'd make them available, I'd be inundated with requests and "where are these" posts..


Hoops

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2007, 10:42:15 pm »
Well if this is any evidence as to the interest in this project.  One of the mods stickied this thread.  This is looking just like the real thing as you planned.  Keep it up and take your time with the measurements.

TTFN :cheers:
Kaytrim

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2007, 11:50:30 pm »
eased.

I am also working on reproducing the marquee as we speak - at this stage I will just be using a very high quality digital print of it, but there *may* be plans to silk screen this onto plexi at a later point..




Should be screened on glass.  That's what mines on anyways.


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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2007, 07:52:57 am »
Chad - was nothing personal nor directed at you..  sorry if you took it that way..!! :(

Was more a general "preemptive" post as I knew that as soon as I said I'd make them available, I'd be inundated with requests and "where are these" posts..

Fair enough.  Don't distribute them yourself.  Send them to saint for hosting.  I guarantee he'll do it gladly.

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2007, 08:33:55 am »
Fair enough.  Don't distribute them yourself.  Send them to saint for hosting.  I guarantee he'll do it gladly.
I'll be hosting everything myself - I have thrown together a quick web-page to document all the work - this will include all plans etc and a VERY detailed build up of the cabinet.. I have glossed over a lot of the more intricate parts in this thread..

Star Wars Cockpit


Hoops

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2007, 09:05:54 am »

Rocking.   ;D

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2007, 03:12:37 pm »
Hoops,

Are you going to run mame in this or use original hardware?

Brent

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2007, 03:13:35 pm »

He'd better at least be using VectorMAME and a ZVG.  It would be criminal to put a raster monitor in one of those.

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Re: Scratch-built Star Wars Cockpit Cab - UPDATE 20/6
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2007, 03:19:52 pm »
The biggest boost to the project came about when I found a guy on RGVAC in the US parting out a complete cabinet - I explained to him what I needed.. a price was set and about 1 week later the project was in full steam..  I now had every part of the cabinet including the yoke and rare cockpit control panel apart from the wooden cabinet and vector tube and game..

Quote from first post says he has the tube and game board.  Hoopster is going 100% authentic. ;D :applaud: :cheers:

Darn just re-read the post and that is what he is missing. :banghead:

  
 

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