10 Yard Fight, 100 Mile Journey

Received a request from Scott for some 10 Yard Fight artwork. Kind of a rare request, but thought it would be fun. Turns out his project was quite the task. Story below from the man himself:

“My story with this 10-Yard Fight cab dates back to somewhere around early 2015. I had arranged to buy two cabs from a friend and he surprised me with this in the back of the truck on delivery day. “If you don’t want it, it is going straight to the dump.” It looked like a cab that might be too far gone. For the record it had the remains of a harness, a monitor tube (no chassis), an ISO/switcher, and a special Taito embossed coin door.

It clearly had a lot of water damage, later I found out the switcher was filled with mud, so at the very least it was probably in a flood. As we got it out of the truck, while leaving a trail of sawdust, I thought to myself that it would certainly be a long term project.

Here it is a few months later, right after my friend had surprised me with a control panel for it. Nice! But you can see it about as it was delivered. (a1)

Fast forward to March 2018, right around Spring Break. For anyone interested in the time gap, I was ready to start working on this cab after it had sat through my own years long “break” from the arcade hobby. If it helps anyone, be careful to whom you send money and rare parts on public forums!

Anyhow, thinking on where to start, the easiest thing to do would be to remove the one bad side of art from the cab. It needed to go: Not only did this side of art have torn off sections, but it also had some water damage and bubbling underneath and around the sticker. The other side of art was (and is) very good. So I started, this is in progress from the picture above. (a2)

Next I tackled (ahem) the structural problems; stuff like sanding, clamping, gluing, and using every bit of amateur woodworking skills I can muster. The main problem that needed correction is that bottom of the cab had a half a foot to a foot line of water damage from the base. Here is a picture after sanding so it is clear how bad things were on the good side (a3). A few hours later I got the wood glue and clamps out to try and solidify the damage without resorting to cutting up the cabinet. The toolbox is for weight during drying and came from Dad! Vintage 1960’s he says, and it’s tools fixed many of our family cars over the years (and mine too). (a4)

There was more work here to mention, to the entirety of the cab surfaces inside and out but it was more of the same, just not as severe. We are up painting! I painted a few coats of primer after carefully masking everything off. Here is another picture. (a5)

I decided that I liked the calm dedication of a simple can of black paint and a paintbrush. An hour here and there, spread out over a couple of days while listening to the radio and drinking some iced tea. Not a bad way to spend a vacation. This will never be a pristine example, but it is mine and I am doing what I can during the two Texas seasons of “cold” and “hotter ‘n hell.” Speaking of Texas, being a collector for so long I made the decision that I like the old tax stickers to stay on my cabs. So, those were carefully masked off until I was done.

I guess this is the best place to bring up the elephant in the room. An honest question would be “Why not CNC a new cab?” Or another, “why take the effort to fix up an unpopular sports arcade game from 1984?” Or even, “why not convert this to a popular Taito game of the same time period like Elevator Action, Jungle Hunt, or even make it into a Choplifter?” Honestly, I don’t really have many answers. Perhaps the result of it being back to what it was originally that feels good. It makes a good story, I guess, like when someone pulls a car out of a junkyard and gets it on the road again. It is also very different from the normal list of titles everyone collects; the best source lists only five complete dedicated cabs worldwide (among active members). Maybe those are my reasons? Maybe this is the type of project that makes no rational sense? Here it is all painted up at the end of my time with it for that year. (a6)

Now we are up to March of 2019, Spring Break. I am excited to get this cab running again and I selected a monitor for the cab, a Wells-Gardner K4600 from the floor of my garage. This is the first time I have done any soldering work since I got the cab and I am very rusty. I catch a couple of mistakes with cap values (47uf instead of 4.7uf…my eyes!) as I am going through my cap kit. Much to my embarrassment, this cap kit takes an entire day for me to accomplish! Yikes! Good news though: it does not blow up on the bench hooked up for a smoke test. Whew!!! (a7)

Next up, I wire in a JAMMA harness (since the original harness was toast) to the controls and my newly purchased switcher. When building out a cab there are always lots of connectors to crimp, and soldering of connectors here and there. It is an economy harness, but I’ve seen worse and I’ve seen better.

At the conclusion of Spring Break 2019, my parts box is exhausted and it has taken me to this point. The build has happily reunited me with the hobby and I am delighted to find after a complete re-arranging of the games that I now have space for one more standard sized upright arcade game. That’s great news!

Soon after another friend came through with a used marquee that I buy from him. I also went by a home improvement store to have some glass cut for the bezel. Here is a picture from the best side with the monitor mounted in the cab and the marquee installed (a8). I did some deep diving into the internet and I came up with suitable images of the original control panel overlay and one of an approximation of the original bezel graphics. Arcademarquee.com kindly was able to get them printed for me using my dimensions for the CPO and my best guess for the glass bezel. I believe this is the first time ever these are offered for anyone else that has this cab. I also ordered some white t-molding since that was what it had originally; new t-molding always makes a cab look sharp and this cab could use all the help it can get!

After printing and everything arrives, and more time passes, it is now Spring Break 2020. I spent a few days preparing the panel with a wire brush this time (instead of chemical strippers, which I don’t like). Fun and relaxing if that can be believed. This is a shot of the panel before paint and the application of the CPO. (a9)

After a day with an razor blade and some careful cutting, and re-assembly with some new buttons and a stick we are complete! (b1) I would wager that this is the best the cab has looked in years. Like usual in the arcade hobby there is more to do. I could use a coin bucket, coin door trip wires, and the two boardsets I have need to be gone through to make one good one, if possible. But the cosmetics are done and that is the hard part. Almost there!”

2020-03-23T22:54:28+00:00March 23rd, 2020|Restorations|

Cody’s Custom Battle Toads Arcade

We always like seeing custom builds at Arcade Marquee Dot Com. This one really resonated with us because we used to play Battle Toads a ton as kids as well. Check out Cody’s build with the short blurb below:

“Its my first build so its nowhere near perfect, it doesn’t have T-molding because I used half inch plywood and I don’t have that tool to cut the groove along the edges yet, but I’m still proud of myself lol, I remember playing battletoads at a roller rink as a kid, and its only 3 player on arcade, didnt have $4k so i decided to make a cabinet myself (one that would fit through my door), its just an old PC and some Christmas lights for the marquee at the moment.”

-Cody

2019-10-28T20:07:17+00:00October 28th, 2019|Arcade Marquee, Product Photos, Restorations|

Hunter’s Puckman Arcade Cabinet

We are always super interested in seeing some rare cabinets. One of our customers was nice enough to send some pics of a Puckman arcade marquee that we recently sent out. We asked Hunter to send us a quick blurb about the cab and some pics, so enjoy!

“I am making a scratch built replica of the original puckman machine. They were never released in America as puckman but only released as the well known “pac man”. So it’ll be an extremely rare game for me to have in my possession.” -Hunter

Thanks again Hunter!

2018-06-13T06:30:41+00:00June 13th, 2018|Product Photos, Restorations|

Alien vs Predator Big Blue CPS2 Arcade Marquee

AvP was one of our favorite games growing up. Slightly more advanced with move combinations than the rest of the side scroller beat em ups such as Simpsons and X-Men. Not to mention the Big Blue arcades at 7-Eleven were beautiful in an intimidating sort of way. This particular game in the Northwest is still affordable. Last couple ones have sold for around $600 on Craigslist. Wouldn’t be surprised if they jumped up in price though. Check out the marquee in our store HERE, and take a trip down memory lane with the play through below:

2018-04-04T18:52:09+00:00April 4th, 2018|Arcade Marquee, Product Photos, Restorations|

Kevin’s Gamelane Project

emulator nintendo

Kevin’s Gamelane Arcade Project

One of the awesome things about working at ArcadeMarquee.com is we get to see a lot of cool projects that cross our path. Kevin’s particular Nintendo style arcade build was something we thought should be shared, so without further ado, Kevin’s Gamelane Project:

“The GameLane Multicade System is an ongoing project for myself to appease the inner kid in me and let’s be honest….it’s just a fun project to take on for yourself to see what kind of flavor you end up with in comparison to others.

This project originally started from a gutted and partially rotted out 1982 Birdie King cabinet from the attic of an old arcade rental shop in my downtown area. The system board, power supply, display, original plexiglass, bezel, and back access panel board were all missing. I started by removing the original control panel and modifying the cabinet sides to accommodate for a custom built control panel box that I would later build and install. I continued by removing any and all internal braces and wood in place for supporting the old hardware and repainted the entire cabinet black. I setup the machine to run on a stripped down Windows 7 based PC with the original shell replaced with HyperSpin as the front end and RocketLauncher as the backend emulator handler. A Sony Trinitron flat screen CRT removed from the original housing is mounted for the display and works beautifully.

The new 2-player control panel is made with a piano hinged top for easy wire/switch access and also contains a front mounted USB hub for various console system controllers. The controllers connect via the USB hub with a mixture of original controllers paired with adapters as well as controller recreates. The controls for the arcade joysticks/buttons along with controllers for NES, SNES, N64, DreamCast, Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, and PlayStation are all setup with profiles using Xpadder which launches automatically as a hidden service upon machine startup. Each profile is setup within RocketLauncher to automatically load with the appropriate emulator.

Once I had everything tweaked and setup just the way I wanted on the PC (a lot of game artwork, demo videos, logos, splash art, etc.), I went further to customize HyperSpin with some GameLane symbol pointers and brief custom logo videos peppered throughout the UI. I lastly designed and created my custom artwork for the marquee, side panels, and control panel. Tim at ArcadeMarquee.com did a phenomenal job with both the marquee as well as the vinyl decal art prints for me and the application went smoothly.
This machine is for personal use at my home and of course for any and all who will partake in some game nights with a few drinks to make for some fun record breaker competitions.

It’s extremely difficult for me to narrow down this system to one particular game that I love to play more than the other, but the games I tend to see revisited the most, especially when friends are over, are some of the bigger titles like: NBA Jam Tournament Edition, Tekken 3, Final Fight, Altered Beast, and Metal Slug.”

-Kevin

2016-10-26T21:07:08+00:00October 26th, 2016|Restorations|

Ross’s Bank Panic Arcade Restoration

We recently printed some side art and a marquee for a game we’ve never heard of. Check out Ross’s Bank Panic arcade restoration below:

“As for this restoration, it was actually the very first restore I’ve done on a machine, and it was a full out complete restore, as I originally had zero parts on hand. I had to source out every single part individually, over a good chunk of time. I had a feeling I was going to need to get measurements and scratch build my own cabinet, since they’re so rare. Luckily, around that same time, a fellow Klov member happened to be selling the cabinet (it was converted to Arkanoid), but he was located all the way in Wisconsin (I’m in Massachusetts). But I knew I had to get it because who knows how many years I’d have to wait for a closer one. So I jumped on it and had it shipped out here. Since the game was converted to an Arkanoid, I had to completely deconvert it.

Now that I finally had the cabinet, I needed the following – Bezel, marquee, control panel, control panel overlay, correct joystick, another monitor, PCB, and side art. Unfortunately none of the artwork has ever been reproduced for this game, so it took a while to either get scans or scan things myself. Probably the biggest obstacle was getting a correct metal control panel, as I knew it would be virtually impossible to find an original Bank Panic CP. Luckily, Root Beer Tapper uses the same exact size and shape control panel (A Bank Panic cabinet is very similar to that of Tapper, but has a few differences). Since the button layout is different, I had to fill in certain holes and drill six new holes to line up perfectly to the Bank Panic overlay. This was very nerve wracking, but I’m very satisfied with the way it came out 🙂

If you’re interested in reading about more of the smaller details on this, I created a thread on klov with lots of pictures and the step by step progress that I made on the restore. http://forums.arcade-museum.com/showthread.php?t=353232

As for why the game is special to me – It’s funny, because I had never played Bank Panic when I was younger. I’m pretty local to FunSpot in NH, and as a kid we would always spend summers up in Laconia, so we visited FunSpot a lot. I still try to make it up there maybe 6 times a year or so. There’s always your “go-to” games up there, and things don’t change much as far as the game lineups. When I’m there I always try to get in a game of Amidar. I know it’s not a popular game, but I like it. Bank Panic is directly behind Amidar, and every time I would play Amidar I would always hear this catchy – almost annoying music repeatedly on the attract mode sound, coming from a different game. And I would always think to myself “what the hell is that game?!”. And I guess it never intrigued me enough to actually find out, and once my game of Amidar was over I’d move on to something else. But one of the days, a few years ago, it was time to finally find out! And there sat Bank Panic. A game I must have walked past a hundred times and never thought twice about. I always liked things with “wild-western” type themes, which this game had. I put in a quarter, tried it out, and it was one of those games where instantly I thought to myself “I need to have this!”. That doesn’t happen to me much. I know some collectors will buy literally any game that’s for sale for the right price. For me, however, I only collect the ones that I absolutely love. The game is a really addictive and fast-paced reaction type game. And the button layout is different than most games as well, which I like. I also now don’t think the music is annoying, haha (during game play at least – with the attract mode sound on it becomes a little much). And now it’s probably in my top three favorite games ever. I personally think the game is criminally underrated, however, I know it came out in a terrible time for arcade machines (late 84- beginning of 85). So I’m just happy to own one 🙂 And or course a special thanks to you for helping me with the marquee and side art!”

-Ross

2016-04-13T18:01:26+00:00April 13th, 2016|Arcade Marquee, Product Photos, Restorations|

John’s Star Wars Journey

I always like hearing about arcade restoration projects. With all the dedicated cabinets that got turned into Golden Tees, and basement floods taking the lives of countless other games it’s awesome to hear about others coming back from the grave. Below is John’s story about putting back together a Star Wars Vector (with a marquee from yours truly):

“I started off buying the empty SW arcade cabinet shell from a guy on craigslist (luckily, the side art was still intact and in good shape), I figured it would be a nice restoration project. I started on the actual cabinet esthetics. I bought new T-molding and then started buying the more expensive original parts (yoke, bezel and the control panel) from eBay. I would’ve bought reproductions to keep costs down, but unfortunately nobody seems to make exact replicas of those parts. I did, however, purchase reproduction overlays for the control panel, yoke and marquee. I knew even with the larger purchases, I could still keep the total cost around $500 (maybe a little bit more, but still way under the ~$3,000 for a working arcade cabinet).

I didn’t use any original parts for the electronics, I used a 19” LCD monitor, leftover computer speakers, laptop with the game emulator on it and built an adapter to connect the yoke to the laptop via USB (that was the hardest part). My friend gave me one of his old coin doors from a different cabinet, but I had to purchase replacement locks and coin reject slot/buttons. I installed the computer speakers using pipe straps to hold them into place (pointed down to through the holes), and used a black grate screen to cover the speaker holes. I sandwiched the marquee between two pieces of plexiglass to make it sturdy and to protect it, and installed it using brackets I made out of “L” channels used for drop ceilings. I used a couple of old fish tank fluorescent reflectors behind the marquee and coin slots and put a surge strip in the cabinet to power everything (the marquee is beautiful, much better than I thought it would turn out, especially for the low price). Finally, some flat and satin black touch up paint on the scratches and any other areas where the raw wood was showing and it was complete!

I use the bottom coin door to access the laptop and “deposit coins” through the laptop and once the credits are inserted, the coin door is closed and anyone can press the yoke trigger to start playing. I usually put a bunch of credits in, so I don’t have to keep opening the coin door and reaching inside to deposit coins.”

Star Wars Arcade Marquee

Star Wars Arcade Cabinet

Star Wars Arcade Shell

2015-12-08T03:40:01+00:00December 7th, 2015|Restorations|