I can’t remember the name of the company but it does vinyl artwork for arcade cabinets and hardware. I’m sure they could send you a template you could use to create art for the Blaze Twin Stick.
That failing – they don’t have the template --, take the control levers off the joystick case and scan the faceplate area (with buttons and control lever removed) on a flatbed scanner if you have one. IF the faceplate is removable, scan that alone.
I’d imagine the bare minimum you’d pay for vinyl artwork (you make the design, hand them a template, and they’ll see if they can “print it out” on the vinyl plastic) would be on the order of $25-$30… I haven’t done this myself but I would think it’s not going to be less than $15, period (and that would probably be an unrealistically low estimate). The most I could see charged would in the order of $50-$70 IF you send them your artwork and don’t require them to do all the work from scratch.
You’ll have to do two scans minimum to get the whole Twin Stick faceplate area into computer memory and then composite those images with image-editing software into a singular image. It’s really not hard to do.
Unless you can actually find an existing Twin Blaze template online or another SRK member has a Twin Stick template, I just don’t see how else you’ll get an accurate template unless you’re really at measuring the faceplate area, inscribing the angles of the corners of the faceplate, and using a graphics program to create a line template. It’s easier IMHO just to scan in the hardware as it and composite it. Minimum scan resolution I’d recommend would be 300dpi… Also use 300dpi to create the artwork, too.
Having created a composite image you can use for the basis of a template, you can erase the original artwork in the Twin Stick faceplate image and leave behind a template. IF you know how to use Photoshop, that’s one of the better image-editing programs for template creation from an existing image… GIMP, which is freeware but harder to use, is another image-editor you can use. Get rid of/erase the artwork but be sure to keep the boundary lines of the faceplate and all the holes. You can convert an RGB/Color Image to Grayscale the edited image and that might make the image boundary and cut holes appear more obvious. Along the way of the Template Creation, you should save images so that you can back and rework/repair if you need to… that would include saving the original two- (or three-)part scans of the faceplate.
IF the vinyl art maker can’t do the art for the Twin Blaze or you feel the vinyl art is too expensive for you, I don’t see any way to make the art other than to copy the method of doing separate prints for each half of the faceplate. In that case, the bare minimum to protect the art would be to get it laminated AFTER you cut it out. Problems with lamination: a) it thickens the paper you cut and makes it harder to trim the edges AND cut out the holes for the control lever shaft and pushbuttons; b) no matter what you do, you’ll get bubbles near the areas where you cut. That’s just the way it is with lamination. It is reliable to a point and neater than trying to use contact paper to protect artwork!
To affix the laminated faceplate art to the Twin Stick faceplate, you can use a spray glue like 3M’s. The advantage of using this kind of spray is that it’s less messy, the probability of of getting globs of glue that could “peak” the art isn’t there – spray cans in general distribute paint/glue more evenly than brushes or rollers --, and if in the future you want to remove the art, it’s very easy to peel the laminated art off the faceplate. It really doesn’t leave much glue residue either.
The vinyl art you can order online as I understand has sticky underside. Just peel off the plastic paper covering it and put the faceplate art carefully onto the metal(?) faceplate of the Twin Stick like you would any other sticker…