Jump to content
Unfortunately we had to take download section back offline temporarily. We should have it working normally soon.

My skinflint cabinet

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

I've been working on my arcade cabinet for about 3 years. Why so long? Because it was supposed to be as cheap as possible!

It all began when coming back from work I saw that my neighbour was trashing several huge chipboard panels. I figured it could be a good starter for a kid's dream: my own arcade cabinet.

So I gathered all the wood I could - I'm living in Germany, and trashing habits here are quite insane for the French guy I am, I can't believe what I sometimes see in the streets - and also a nice 55 cm TV.

I used as a basis the blueprints of Centipede cabinet found on arcadecontrols.com. It was the shape that remind me most of the cabinets I could play on during my childhood.

This is when the first thing went bad. I removed the TV from its plastic housing, put it in my home made frame in my fresh cabinet, plug everything, turn it on for a test, and... the picture was now green! I try to play with every settings I could find, but I had to face the truth, I damaged the TV when I removed the housing.

About one year and a half later, I found another working TV. This time, I didn't want to mess anything so I decided to put the whole TV with the housing in the cabinet. Of course it meant could only keep the sides of my precious pieces of wood as the whole TV made the cabinet wider. And it is the first time I took a picture, too.


I hooked it with a Saturn, Virtua Stick and Street Fighter Alpha 3 to get as close of the arcade feeling I could.

Then I built a VGA to SCART cable to try with a PC.


Things were going well, but the computer (that I found in the street too) died. A few months later I found another one and could go on.

At first I made wooden control panel and let the WIP cabinet in free play during a party at my place. It made me realize wood wouldn't be able to resist a bunch of drunken guys trying to button mash as hard as they could playing Marvel VS Capcom.

The solution came from a friend of my father who still had an old industrial steel folding machine in his workshop. So thanks to him I now have a 2 mm thick steel control panel. :) And thanks to my father who cut the holes with his plasma cutter, I have a nice layout for the buttons and joysticks.



At first I wanted to do a keyboard hack, it had to be cheap, remember? ;) But after destroying five keyboard, all of them donated of came from trash, and still having ghosting issues, I decide to buy a dedicated encoder.

I choose an InterfASD as it was cheap and had enough inputs (27) for my two players cabinet.



You can see too that I bought 14 Sanwa buttons and two Seimitsu joysticks, as it is very unlikely I found these kind of thing being trashed.

I'm now getting close to the end of this project and post my actual progression soon.

Thanks for reading. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. And I never made an exact calculation about the cost, so let's go. :)

Buttons & joysticks 80 €

Used coin door & coin mech 20 €

InterfASD 30 €

Some wires 5 €

Paint ~25 €

So, at this point, I've spent about 160 €. Which converts to about $225 at the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I edited my message as I realized it wouldn't be obvious to have only the price in Euro. ;)

To resume my progress, I continued woodwork as I found pieces large enough. Later I found some glass, which allowed me to make a marquee and a bezel. The following picture is around this time.


After finishing the woodwork, it took me a long time to decide what to do for the paint job. Eventually I've choose to paint the front, up and back in black and make custom drawings on the sides.

I picked all the images on the Arcade Flyer Archive that could match my needs. Then I made two collages, one for each side. One figuring funny characters, platform games, warm colors feeling. The other figuring tough characters, action games, cold colors feeling.

This pictures show the outlines before painting.



And finally this is where I am at the moment, painfully painting the whole thing!


In the end, I'd like it to look like this:


While this an old mockup, it still gives the idea.:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I've never read or heard the word "skinflute" before, a quick Google search confirmed it is what I imagined!

I guess you can imagine other kind of games...

Sounds like another japanese playstation 2 accessory. Remember this one ;)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

I've just been reminded that I've opened this thread a while ago, then totally forgot about it. :embarassed:

And after reading it again, I see that I never posted pictures of the finished product! So, a lot of work and a moving later, here is the beast!

The "warm" side:


The "cool" side:


I'm not sure it still interests someone, but it shows that at least it's a completed project.:angel:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*chuckles* yeah I checked most of the artists posts and saw if they had a cab post. I knew that any cab done by someone with artist flair and good technical skills could pull off a great looking cab any day of the week. :)

You do know how much it would cost to have someone paint the side of their cabs like you have done here? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You do know how much it would cost to have someone paint the side of their cabs like you have done here? :)

I have absolutely no clue what someone would ask for a painting like that. But considering the serious amount of hours I've spent on it, I guess ordering a giant sticker would be cheaper.:dontknow:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a couple of mates at Uni in the mid 90's who charged a damn lot for their airbrush artwork designs and then charged per hour to apply then to whatever surface the person required. A hand painted cab looks amazing next to the vinyl ones. Only ever seen one in person and this dude was an awesome graffiti artist so his design was damn sweet. He even did his own marquee with an airbrush.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...