MAME cabinet...working top down.
Here's a top down progress update.
No good arcade machine is complete without the marquee to draw you in. I wanted mine to reflect that it is running MAME and all my favorite games from yesterday. I took measurements and calculated sizes, then printed a montage of old game marquees. The pictures came from the internet and I used Powerpoint to do the work.
I cut out the 3 parts and taped together. Then I cut two pieces of plexiglass and put the paper between them, making a sandwich. Then set in place and held with the retainer strips. I like it, and it wasn't difficult. If and when I want a new marquee, or if this one fades, I can just reprint.
Next, working down, is making the monitor area look nicer.
Not easy to tell what is going on in the picture. I'm using black foam board to surround the monitor and need to cut out a rectangle that exactly matches the frame of the monitor. The first time I did this just measuring and it did not come out good at all. So this was my second attempt. Using scraps of the foam board I made an exact replica of the monitor frame. I traced this on light colored paper and cut that out, so I have an exact template of the glass area of the monitor (inside the frame). Using the light paper I taped it to the foam board and cut out the rectangle. Then I took measurements from the edges of the rectangle outward to trim off the ends so it would fit inside the cabinet. That worked perfectly.
It turned this:
The foam board is held in place with rubber cement, applied to the monitor frame and the back of the foam board. When it dried, I pressed the 2 pieces together. The foam board can come off easily if needed, and rubbing the cement with a finger makes it come off...I like that.
To complete the monitor area I cut a sheet of Lexan to fit, trimmed off 3 inches on all 4 edges of the paper cover, and painted with 4 coats of black spray paint (formulated for plastic).
When the paint was dry I peeled off all the paper...
and and set in place.
Here it is displaying Ms. Pac Man...
...and Burger Time.
As you can see, the foam board and black paint don't make for a seamless transition into the monitor, but it looks good enough for me.
The next step will be to build the new control panel, and box it in. In some of the above pictures you can see the old blue and red metal control panel, sitting on the floor. That panel/box fit between the sides of the machine correctly and matched the side angles just right, so I am going to use it as a pattern, but replicate it in wood.