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Retrocade 1979 - The Arcade Cabinet Inspired by Sci-fi of the 70's

Like so many of my generation, hours passed pumping quarters into arcade cabinets was a regular feature of my childhood. Years ago I built my first arcade cabinet in an attempt to conjure these memories. That cabinet, in honor of my limited budget those days, was cobbled together from plywood and tick tacks. That cabinet ran Mame, poorly, on an old PC I dug out of the dumpster at work. That cabinet lived a noble life in the corner of my storage room until I moved, at which time it met a noble end at the hand of my sawzall.

Fast forward more than a decade, now with a more appropriate budget, and an infusion of free time only a worldwide pandemic will buy you, its time for V2. This project actually started about a year or so ago when I built a cabinet frame and control panel. The cabinet was built to the dimensions of an old mortal combat unit. The original in

tent was to use another full size tower PC I had laying around to run Mame so the cabinet ended up being quite deep to accommodate the space. Here is is hanging out half finished in my basement (Sorry, couldn't find a better photo).

A few weeks back, I was stumbling around the internet and found some fan art from the movie Alien. The artist had re-created areas of the Nostromo including the bridge. Control panels have always fascinated me. All the lights and knobs and switches. Everything having a specific function and satisfying tactile interaction, for some reason my brain is just drawn to this type of stuff.

View of the Nostromo Bridge (Credit: Ian Stewart

In any case, I thought, Arcade cabinets have a ton of free space that would be perfect for these lights and knobs and switches. And yes a grungy, deep space themed cabinet will do quite nicely. A bit of Blender work later and the first draft comes into view:

Now to start the build....

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