Capcom Mini Cute Restoration 2

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!

Urgh. What was I thinking…..

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.

Here’s how we left things last time: the cabinet fully shot blasted, ready for paint

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:

The powder coated front door and control panel box. All done in a white satin finish

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:

Here’s the cab getting its first undercoat
More prep before main paint
The main body of the cabinet with its first coat of blue

Not the greatest video, but here’s the cabinet drying off in the spray booth with its new paint drying out!

And this is the result – undercoated and with two layers of the paint, all protected with an automotive satin lacquer finish. It came out really well

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:

Here’s the art ready to apply. Here I’m measuring up so that it sits central. Once I’m happy, I use a single strip of masking tape to secure in place
Cut the backing off up to the halfway point where the tape is and apply. Then follow the same process for the other half
And there we go. Flip the cabinet over, and repeat for the other side.

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.

Here’s the switcher – I had to take it apart, flick the switch to 220V and we’re good to go.
Things are starting to come together! You can see how the original blue colour pops nicely in the natural light here

Speakers next. The originals were disintegrating (remember this cabinet is almost 30 years old!). Replacements were sourced from eBay at a reasonable cost.

The cones of the original speakers had literally fallen apart. No other option than trashing those I’m afraid.

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:

Gave the grills a light sanding
Our old friend black smooth Hammerite spray paint! Couple of coats here and leave to dry overnight
Came out nice!
And in. Prepped the wiring ready to plug into the main loom

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:

I figured the best way to tackle this was with some paint and varnish remover
Didn’t take long
Same with the service buttons.
Pretty satisfying and the paint wasn’t too stubborn

Next up, cleaning up some other parts. Time to head for the kitchen sink:

Castors and handles getting the treatment
This was pretty nasty. The rubber mat that sits at the base of the door was in good shape, but was very dirty and this old glue needed removing.
That took a good 30 minutes. Then a final going over with some ‘Pink Stuff’ which is an abrasive paste that digs out all the deep grime. It came out really well. I reapplied the rubber mat with some Araldite glue
So we’re now ready to rebuild everything. Here I’m screwing the castors back onto the front door
Getting the door back on took some work, but with some help from the lady of the house, we got there in the end. I was able to re-use the original nuts and screws without any issues
A quick job that needed doing was the wooden plinth. This is used to mount a PCB onto the inside door. For some reason it no longer fit the mounting slot. I got to work on it with the sander, which not only cleaned the panel up, but also sanded down the edges by a few mm. Came out pretty well
And here we go – this is how everything fits back together
Here you can see the art has been added to the speaker surround and coin slot. The old girl is starting to look like how she should!

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!

This cabinet was originally pink, then resprayed (Lord knows why) in white with blue and red dots!
Everything had been sprayed, the monitor had been replaced at some point in its life, along with the control panel. I’m still trying to figure out what happened to that! Answers on a postcard….

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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4 Comments Add yours

  1. KmanSweden says:

    Scrape glue with Global knife!
    *clutches chest*

    😉 awesome job. I have a pink one. It’s great. Now I have to go see if I have a 220v switching ps too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan says:

    Looking forward to see the result!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KB says:

    Superb restoration 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  4. neil1637 says:

    Not a lover of these cabinets (don’t hate me) before you got hold of one, but I can start to see the attraction.

    You certainly get a lot of cab for the floor space.

    And it’s Capcom, whom are fast becoming a firm favourite of mine with a lot of their games.

    Looking forward to reading the next part.

    Liked by 1 person

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