Industrial custom joystick aesthetics?


So after browsing through some of these vintage control panels I wondered if any joystick builders have gone for an industrial approach?

I know that people do make sticks from metal cases but it might be nice to have something vintage looking.
I guess you could use an uncommon paint color (shades of puke were popular), black plastic parts, and some plastic dome tipped incandescent lights for status stuff. (LED would look too modern, well guess you could dim them and cover them with vintage dome covers) Maybe use a plastic label maker to label the buttons or paint the labels on with a san serif condensed font…

Just a thought. Maybe when I purchase a welder and get a shop in the future.
It would be really cool to use something that looks right out of the Cold War.


Not sure if this is what you want but the cloest I could find might be ome old Sigma and other sticks.
Would be cool to make a stick out of an actual vintage piece of equipment too.

An incredible stick by B15Designs


The last one by B15Designs is probably the closest. Really nice stuff.
That gauge at the top has some Art Deco feel to it.


Hammerite paint ftw.


I really like this kind of industrial look. I believe you can get some rectangular buttons on eBay for MAME.
Who knows if they’re any good. I’d turn them so they are tall and narrow and only use about 4 or so for the main face buttons.

I think you might be able to label them inside too, to somewhat match the asthetic below.
I’d match them with a simple black joystick and black accessory buttons. Keep it utilitarian feeling.

Here is a nice controll panel shot. (Sorry about picture size, forum doesn’t seem to recognize BBCode resize parameters)

My biggest concern is sourcing metal enclosures. You can find electrical boxes at your local hardware store but they have hideous knockout plugs.
They tend to be square and pretty deep…

Really if anyone has an idea for a cheap metal box it would help. Plastic and wood kind of kill the asthetic.
I’m sure there have to be metal enclosures floating around out there for other things too.
All you need is a stepped drill bit to make your holes then file the edges to smooth.


One thing to keep in mind when you’re using those rectangular buttons (commonly used in IIDX controllers) is that they feel a little weird if you hit them certain ways. There’s a bigger feel difference between pressing and tapping them than there is with OSBFs. They’re made with a spring supporting the button plunger in addition to the spring inside the switch, so stock they tend to be heavier than any of the 30mm buttons commonly used in fightsticks. You can remove the spring, but again that affects how it feels.

I’m sure you can get smaller ones, but the majority of them you’ll find on ebay / amazon will be IIDX sized, which is a little large to fit comfortably on a fightstick (just by my preference though).


HalfCent, that’s some really sound advice thanks.
I’ve not actually layed finger on one of those square buttons since arcades are compleatly gone in my town.

I see there are some square buttons too (which also appear to be super wide 1.3 inches!).
I wonder if they are a bit less finicky since your finger is a bit more centered?
I picked up a set of 5 for cheap I don’t plan to use more than 3 or so side by side. (This will be more of a shmup stick, they usually use 2-3 main buttons)

Also, it seems that steel cash boxes might be a good option for that metal case.

This one is available at Sam’s Club for $19. A bit thick at 4 inches but should work.