As you’ll have heard via twitter on and off for the past 6 months, I’ve been restoring a classic Sega Daytona USA arcade machine in my (limited) spare time. I’ve become obsessed with arcade machines this past 4 years and my collection has grown from none to 5 in pretty short space of time…its damn addictive! My two main machines were covered in previous blog posts, but more recently I’ve picked up 3 ‘dedicated’ cabs, Mortal Kombat 2, Killer Instinct 2 and Daytona. The difference with my Daytona, as you’ll see, is that it was rather beaten up, and in dire need of some love and restoration. With Daytona being one of the biggest selling arcade games in history, it stands to reason that this little workhorse has been beaten to within an inch of its life.
I’d never taken a project like this on before and it was all rather daunting to be honest, but I was determined!
My first job was to remove all the painted metal parts that were rusted, dented and corroding. These battered parts were going off to a local steel workers to get shot blasted and powder coated back to their original shiny black…very exciting! Lots of folks bling they’re Daytona cabs turning everything to polished steel or chrome, but I wanted to go back to basics and return this beast to its original self.
The bits came back looking beeeeeeautiful and this was a very inspiring moment as I could see just how perfect I could actually make this machine!
Next was the time consuming, but very easy part. Scrubbing down, paint stripping, filling and re-painting! This took aaaaaaaaaaaages! Look at the state of that paintwork!
After many, many hours of sanding and repainting (about 10 coats all in all) she came up looking factory fresh!
Now with this part done, it was time to get onto the damn scary part! sawing off the broken foot-well pieces and replacing them with new ones! This was a MASSIVE undertaking, as if I got this wrong, I would have basically sawn off a large chunk of the machine that could not be replaced…it had to be done with clinical precision. Now, as I’m not a carpenter, I realised that cutting the replacement pieces was, well, beyond me. So I decided to turn to what I know…a computer! With a little (well, a lot) of measuring and template creating, I drafted up a mm perfect CAD drawing of the pieces I needed. With these done, I contacted a local woodcraft company and had them CNC cut. Oooooooooh this was getting technical. Bizarrely, they came back PERFECT! And fitted like a glove. So with a bit more work (chiselling, sanding, screwing, hammering) I got them fitted.
I genuinely couldn’t believe that I managed to pull all this off, especially as 99% of this was being done for the first time with no prior experience! She just needed painting, polishing and then to have her lovely new rubber matting attached. Oh, and to screw back on all the stunning powder coated metal parts! Wahooooooooooo!
With all that done, I then stuck on the brand new t-moulding (imported from the USA) around the edges, did some paintwork re-touching on the side art (that bit actually took an age!) and she was finished!!!!
And here she sits alongside my other two dedicated cabs!
This project was epically enjoyable and I already want to do another :) I just want to say a massive thanks to all the kind chaps over at www.jammaplus.co.uk for all their tips and advice, as I’d never have managed this restoration without them. Cheers guys!
In early 2012 Fully Illustrated is moving into a new little studio where these three cabs will be joined by my other two and the whole family will be complete! Joyous times :)
I know this post isn’t really related to design, or illustration, but it’s totally related to what inspires me and makes me tick, so I figured some of you may enjoy it :)
P.S. The side art in these pictures looks really faded, but its due to it being fluorescent orange and I couldn’t for the life of me photograph it without it looking odd.