A lot of progress to share this week on the Capcom Mini Cute candy cabinet that I picked up last year. If you missed the first part of this restoration, check it out here.
As a reminder, I was starting with a horror show. The cabinet was a mess, both in terms of the state it was in (non standard monitor and control panel), but mainly the terrible paint job someone had done to it!
Anyway, let’s not dwell on things, but get to work! As I reported last time, the cabinet had come back from the shot blasters, all stripped back to the original steel, and ready for paint. Worth pointing out that the cabinet comes in two parts – the front door section (that will need to be painted white) and the rest of the cabinet, which will be a different colour.
The main door was easy enough to sort out, and I decided to get this powder coated in white of course, with a local company. Got a great price here, as they were able to add it to a bigger job they had taken on. A few days after dropping the parts off, I returned to pick everything up:
Powder coating is a dry coating process used as a metal finish mostly on industrial equipment. The paint is applied as dry powder through an electrostatic process, then cured with heat. It is well known for providing high-quality finishes in terms of both functionality and overall look.
It can be used on different surfaces, including metal, concrete, steel, and plastic. The advantage over regular paint, is that it is far more durable, and resistant to damage, scuffs and scrapes. I figured this would be a good idea and perfectly suited to a metal arcade cabinet. My initial thought was to get the whole cabinet done the same way – however, this was something of a challenge, because of the specific colour requirements for the remaining parts.
The Mini Cute originally came in three colours – pink (which was how this cabinet started), yellow and a blue/green shade. Matching these colours with the powder coating process it turns out, is very difficult and almost impossible. So for the main cabinet, I had to go with traditional paint spraying methods. Luckily for me, the exact paint codes, perfectly matched to the three original colours, can be found online. So armed with these codes, I was able to match the colour perfectly.
Given I was starting with a blank canvas, I chose to go with the blue colour. The finish is all-important of course. I chose to go with automotive finish paints:
Not the greatest video, but here’s the cabinet drying off in the spray booth with its new paint drying out!
So now in theory, it was a case of putting everything back together. As always it was never going to be that simple, and there were a few jobs to do along the way.
As always, my advice with any restoration is to break down each one into individual tasks, otherwise you’ll get into a mess and progress is hard to track. I decided to start with the artwork – with the cabinet unpopulated, it would be easier to manhandle to get the stuff on. The artwork was sourced from Arcade Art Shop here in the UK who provide great service and their product is second to none. Let’s tackle the sideart:
I then started to populate the main cabinet – luckily the switcher could be set to UK voltage, and the loom was complete – the only modification I need to do was simply a case of removing the Japanese plug socket and replacing with a three-pin UK spec one.
Speakers next. The originals were disintegrating (remember this cabinet is almost 30 years old!). Replacements were sourced from eBay at a reasonable cost.
I wasn’t happy with the condition of the speaker grills, as they were showing signs of rusting, so got to work on those too:
You’ll recall that this Mini Cute had been resprayed (badly) by the previous operator owner in Japan. What I discovered was that there was a tremendous amount of overspray. The white paint had got everywhere, so this needed cleaning up:
Next up, cleaning up some other parts. Time to head for the kitchen sink:
I’ve had contact from a couple of Japanese collectors on Facebook and Twitter, who shared pictures of the cabinet when it was in Japan. Turns out they recognised it from my previous post. One guy tells me he owned this cabinet for 15 years, after sourcing it from an operator. He used it to test Jamma boards for all that time. Cool to have these, and it also serves as a reminder of the state it was in when it was imported to the UK!
But the good news is we’re getting there. Looking again at those pictures makes me realise just what a transformation this cabinet has had so far. Things left to do include:
New control panel, drop the new monitor in, mount the wiring properly to make it neat. Rebuild the metal monitor shroud surround. Clean and polish the smoked plexi and place that onto the front of the cabinet. Check the wiring – a few pins have come out, and some wires appear to have been cut for some reason. Nothing that can’t be sorted out!
So things are almost complete – I’ll share the final part soon and we can get playing some games!
Thanks for visiting this week
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