Fixing dented ABS plastic?


#1

I bought an empty Virtua Stick Pro from Yahoo’s Japanese auctions with the intention of fitting a 2L12B Astro City panel onto it. According to the seller (and verified by pictures) it was in good condition aside from a smaller chip on the front, upon arrival a couple days ago it was looking absolutely fabulous indeed aside from already mentioned chip.

So, I popped of the bottom panel for a closer inspection in order to determine what if anything could be done about it. Once I did this however it turned out the the small chip was actually a larger dent, previously kept in place by the presence of the bottom metal panel.

Maybe there are others here who are really anal about the condition of their gear and have restored pieces much worse than this. Any ideas or advice you can give me? Is it possible at all to soften up ABS plastic in order to reshape it? Or should I just fill up the dent with putty and paint it over?

Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give!


#2

Bondo and paint is your best bet to get it new looking.

Great score btw.


#3

Can’t help you, but I was wondering if anyone wanted that empty shell I saw on Yahoo Jpn Auctions. Looks like I got the answer.


#4

:sweat: I’m still waiting on my parts for my dual stick :sad:.

Can’t wait to see how this one turns out… You try using quick plastic?


#5

firefox decided to mysteriously change pages on me and my articlately written reply got deleted! :<

Filling the dent in with quick setting plastic seems like a good idea, I mean, I guess it’ll work. But I think, easier than the hassle of quick plastic, as since the dent appears to be right in the middle, is using a nice piece of sheetmetal to cover the dent entirely. The sheet metal can be home to debug switches and cable outputs so it won’t be purely cosmetic. This is how it looks on my custom http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g140/chippermonky/Joysticks/JS4/IMG_8767.jpg

If you are feeling extra rique, you could try using a hair dryer (or heat gun if you have one) to heat the plastic up and clamping it between two pieces of wood. You might have trouble getting enough heat with the hair dryer just as a warning.


#6

It turns out a friend of mine does have a heat gun so I think we’ll try out this method first. I mean, it should hardly make things worse, either it works or nothing happens at all… right? Quick plastic is likely to be the backup plan, though I’m not sure what it’s called in Swedish. Is this the name of the material, one particular brand or both? What kind of store would I find this in?

Substituting a metal plate would look kinda strange as the dent is facing the players (guess I messed up which part is referred to as the front/back yet again), had it been on the other side though it certainly would’ve been a good way to deal with the situation. Appreciate all suggestions though!

Guessing it’ll be another two weeks at least until the panel I’m about to order (Akihabara Shop naturally!) shows up so plenty of time to sort this out.


#7

goodluck with your heatgun endeavor, post pics please, I want to see it! :3. And uhhh, as a warning, it could make it worse because hot plastic tends to warp, but it won’t make it that much worse. Instead of a metal plate, you could try acrylic/polycarb over artwork and it won’t look quite as weird and you can tell people that you did it to “customize” your stick :).


#8

who do you talk to about getting stuff like that from yahoo japan auctions? And what system are you planning on using that for Mayhem?


#9

oh erm, I guess I should mention, excellentcom sells the sega * city style panels complete w/ sanwas for about 120.


#10

I used Shopping Mall Japan, worked out fine but shipping this thing was hideously expensive. Shipping stuff to the Americas ought to be more affordable though since they have a US warehouse to which they ship things in bulk before sending out to individual customers.

All of 'em! The idea is to wire everything up to a JAMMA connector, which shouldn’t be too difficult as they’re meant to be soldered to and has enough pins for separate grounds on everything (as required by the 360 PCBs so far), then hook the PCBs up to exchangeable fingerboards.

Yeah, they seem to have 2L12B Sanwa Blast panels in stock at $138 USD. I’ll be buying a slightly cheaper Seimitsu Astro panel from TheRealNeoGeo though.


#11

is there any way i can get one of those virtua stick pro? Im really intrested in getting one. Empty case is fine too.


#12

easy meaning going on yahoo auctions/ebay then yeah. They actually won’t be too expensive because demand is low but goodluck trying to find an broken/empty one. Really a matter of timing and chance. You could try other places such as ebay, craigslists and garage sales. I managed to come across a nice 2 player joystick on ebay for dirt cheap once myself.


#13

With help from a friend the method with a heat gun was attempted today… and it worked! While one can feel the area isn’t perfectly smooth, the former dent is no longer a visual distraction and the bottom panel is easy to detach and put back on. I’ll snap a photo tomorrow if you want to see the result, otherwise I’ll just wait until the panel has arrived as well. Still that small chip to be dealt with eventually, gonna try to find some of that quick plastic in a store around here… :wgrin:


#14

hahaha, nice it worked :). Glad to hear, I was kinda thinking it wouldn’t because it’s not something I do on a daily basis. Can’t wait to seet he pictures :).


#15

Finally got around to taking those pictures. Seems the metal bottom could use some more bashing to flatten it out, not so sure I dare heat up the plastic side again but it looks pretty good as is already. Just that chip to fix and you’ll hardly be able to tell this piece is ten years old (manufacturing date is June-July '96).


#16

Thanks for the SMJ link. I’ve never tried one before but these guys look good. I hope shipping doesn’t kill me since I’m buying some joysticks (Agetec, Namco, and the like). I think total costs will come out to around $45 to $50 each. Which isn’t bad at all. I think heavier/bulkier objects get a little raped by shipping though.

~Paik