Sega Astro City Restoration

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    • Sega Astro City Restoration

      Hey everyone! Welp, I should have started this thread like 6 months ago and taken a bunch more pictures along the way - but im finally nearing end game on this project and thought I would share some results.

      So roughly in early January of this year I picked up locally a working Astro City from a board member. I had never had a candy before and decided to jump into the deep end of the pool with it. Wooooo.. quite the adventure so far.

      So you guys have seen a typical astro city, missing some parts here and there, coated with tobacco/nicotine, rusted up control panel, used buttons/sticks etc, scrapes & scratches galore. I think for many of us, this is just fine - but I am a bit OCD about condition of my things and I enjoy restorations - thus starts the journey to Mordor...

      I plan on updating this thread with pictures as it stands now cause its great eye candy - but i need to organize some parts/workspace so it looks a bit better.

      I'll start off with whats been done.

      1. 100% strip down to every nut and bolt
      2. All doors and exterior pieces have been striped, sanded both inside and outside (this almost killed me), scrapes/gouges filled, primed, professional automotive paint sprayed then gel coated inside and out. (all parts color matched to original)
      3. All bolts/nuts rust removed and polished (careful to keep the zinc coating) if need be - they have been replaced with NOS screws/bolts.
      4. New Alberto Panel, 8 buttons on each side, new sanwa sticks and buttons with clear rims for back lighting and bubble tops - all matching original colors.
      5. New Speakers added - THX certified that bolt right in, with added 8 inch subwoofer - rewired.
      6. All new original sega locks - all locks completely disassembled, cleaned, lubed and installed. (I am now an arcade locksmith 8) - dont do this!)
      7. Stainless kick plate polished and restored.
      8. Rear castors polished and wheels/bearings replaced with new wheels.
      9. Recapped Ms-9 board
      10. Recapped original power supply
      11. All cabling dissembled, contacts cleaned, wires cleaned and reconnected (60% complete)
      12. New Side art from Zona Arcade (original production method)
      13. All exterior and interior foil stickers replaced with correct serial numbers
      14. New interior LED lighting installed (temp and lumins matched) - including control panel LEDs with remote.
      15. Swappable PCB or J-pac with hyperspin in a dedicated I5, arcade vga card / networked computer.
      16. Marquee's restored
      17. New instruction sheet
      18. Repainted silver boarders on the instruction sheet glass (custom metallic mixture/masked and airbrushed)
      19. All galvanized parts polished/cleaned (coin spouts etc)
      20. New NOS coin mechanism.
      21 Replaced all foam "padding" strips around the CRT bezel and where the control deck rests on the upper front panel.

      Still to go:
      Final assembly of all major "sections"
      Cable sleeves
      Run and mount jamma cables neatly
      Maybe cut new glass for the instruction sheet (some scratches)
      Joystick hooksup / wiring /jamma connections etc


      So to start the off what reminded to to post this was I completed the top marquee color restorations last night which im pretty proud of and was nerve-racking to complete as you get 1 shot doing this perfectly or it fucks up the original vinyl shapes and there is no fixing it: (excuse the overhead reflections).

      I used a custom arcylic mixture of silver and black paint to match the metallic original vinyl in spots that had been scratched and used professional exterior sign transparent vinyl, hand cut for each section - the tolerances in some spots were a few millimeters!


      Old/original on the top - restored on the bottom.

      The post was edited 12 times, last by FluxChiller ().

    • FluxChiller wrote:



      2. All doors and exterior pieces have been striped, sanded both inside and outside (this almost killed me), scrapes/gouges filled, primed, professional automotive paint sprayed then gel coated inside and out. (all parts color matched to original)
      When sanding the main body back did you expose any of the glass fibre?

      I didn't think you could apply gel coat onto a painted surface, was it sprayed on once the paint had fully cured?

      Nice work though!
    • TritonDrew wrote:

      Looking really good! Where did you get those wheels? :thumbsup:

      Mrhide wrote:

      TritonDrew wrote:

      Looking really good! Where did you get those wheels? :thumbsup:
      THAT ^
      So yeah about the wheels, pretty cool right? Got tired of looking at those ratted out black stock wheels - so those green wheels are blank skateboard wheels. The size you need to do this is 50mm. But be aware, like almost everything with these cabinets - it's not a standard 1:1 match - stock 50mm skateboard wheels are just a hair to "fat" for the opening of the castors so I ended up sanding down one side of the wheels slightly so they would freely spin, you will also need bearings - which thankfully stock skateboard bearings fit the axles. You may get lucky and find a different wheel thats more skinny - but it seems no one advertises this measurement.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by FluxChiller ().

    • mdk wrote:

      FluxChiller wrote:

      2. All doors and exterior pieces have been striped, sanded both inside and outside (this almost killed me), scrapes/gouges filled, primed, professional automotive paint sprayed then gel coated inside and out. (all parts color matched to original)
      When sanding the main body back did you expose any of the glass fibre?
      I didn't think you could apply gel coat onto a painted surface, was it sprayed on once the paint had fully cured?

      Nice work though!
      The entire thing was stripped down to the bare fiber. It's the "right" way to do this if you are gonna go all the way with it. I ended up removing at least 2-3mm of surface WET sanding from the inside trying to remove all the nicotine. This will not happen. Since the inside of these stock is raw fiberglass - it just sucks up everything and embeds into the fibers - you wont be able to get down to "clear" water status from sanding unless your cab was never in a smoke filled environment. I do recommend sanding the inside - just don't go rain man like I did over it. If you sand, be sure to WET sand so you dont inhale fibers.

      TBH I don't have much knowledge about the gel coat other than its marine grade white gel coat - I had it done by a professional shop but there is plenty of info online of how to do it - I just don't have the equipment or space to justify doing it, over 1 item. They also filled a few deeper scratches and dings in the fiberglass. I went with a straight bright white color as I was tired of trying to match that slightly grey/white original shade.

      One thing to note is I had all parts done like this including the door - I believe originally these were powder-coated which is a better solution for metal - but since I got my work done free via a services trade, I went with it - but I had them go "extra thick" for toughness on the gel coat and it made my lock holes etc to narrow for the locks, which then required me to sand them slightly so they would fit. Those lock holes have a very tight tolerance for fitting the locks. In the end im not too worried about the powder coat vs paint since I doubt this cab will ever get much abuse again. However I am experimenting with clear vinyl wrap on the door edges which has worked well and is invisible on the big left side door and may extend it to cover the entire lower front half (I bought industrial size for this).

      The post was edited 3 times, last by FluxChiller ().

    • Aurich wrote:

      I'm curious why you decided to go aftermarket with the control panel with 8 buttons. What games are you planning on running that need that setup?

      Everything else is looking really clean, nice work.
      So the original was done, lots of rust, play wear - it was original and it seems Alberto makes the best replacements. I went with 8 buttons on each side so I can do different 4 button layouts for neo geo games depending how I'm feeling then have the right buttons for street fighter as well. I figured throw it all in there and at least i have it if needed. I plan to have a hyperspin setup but also accept PCB's if need be.