This is the part of the project where I spent the most amount of time, not only with the design aspects of the cabinet, but also with things like control panel layout, measurements, etc.
In the year or so since I built the first Arcade Paradise cabinet, there have been people that have done some really cool things with their cabs...things that I hadn't seen or thought of a year ago. You know, those things that made me think, "Ooh, I've got to do that on my next cabinet." Well, this is that cabinet.
There were a few things that I knew that I would want going into this project:
I wanted to alter the overall design of the cabinet. I certainly wasn't unhappy with the first Arcade Paradise cabinet, but I wanted to change it up a bit. AP2 is pretty much based off of the following cabinets: Defender, Asteroids, the first Arcade Paradise cabinet, and LuSiD's Arcade Flashback.
I liked the protruding marquee top of Defender, the "stance" of Asteroids, and the overhanging control panel of LuSiD's cabinet. One thing that I really wanted was for AP2 to have a sharper, more "angular" look to it. You remember how sports cars in the 80s had more sharp angles to them, as opposed to how cars took more of a smooth, curvey shape in the early- to mid-90s? I wanted this cabinet to harken back to the design school of straight lines and sharp angles.
I still needed to make the cabinet tall enough to accommodate my Sasquatchian frame, but I didn't it want it to be quite so wide. Having an overhanging control panel solved that problem. I also wanted to make sure that the marquee was more of a "standard" size: 26" x 8".
T-molding. I knew that this cabinet would have to have it. Not only does it protect the corners from chipping, but it looks damn cool too.
I also knew that I would want to countersink all of the screws and putty / sand / paint over them on this cab. Leaving the screws exposed on the first cab seemed like such a good idea on paper, but the end results didn't please me. No one else really noticed it, but I noticed it.
When I did the first cabinet, I thought that having a coin door would be a pain in the ass, but I really do like the way it looks. Plus, having to drop a coin in to play a game would really add to the experience.
I planned out the whole cabinet using Visio 5.0 Plus, which is certainly a step up from the old graph paper that I used last time. I was able to not only map out the dimensions and angles of the cabinet, but also how the inside components (monitor shelf, computer shelf, marquee bottom) would be mounted. I also plotted it out on a 4' x 8' grid so that I could juggle around how I was going to cut the 4' x 8' sheets of MDF once I bought them.
Head over to the Downloads section to grab the dimensions for this cabinet in either .VSD (Visio 5.0 Plus) format or .GIF format.