After a lot of great feedback I received and appreciated after building my last stick (which was a year ago already), and with the release of SF IV, I guess now was a better time than ever to get cracking and do something new. In the process I wanted to change a few things that I didn’t particularly want or need, and make this a pure fighting stick that just had the bare essentials.
Note. Please forgive me for not taking more photos as I went along. I got caught up in the excitement and purely forgot. I did take photos of the more major stages so I’m sure many of you can figure out what I did. If not, feel free to ask questions…
First off, I decided to do away with the trigger buttons as well as the back button. I never used them and they’ll just make the stick look crowded. I also wanted the Start and Guide buttons on the face of the stick as sliding my hand over the side to press the Start button all the time (especially to fast forward intro movies, etc) got a bit annoying after a while. The layout was also changed slightly and I made the stick closer and higher in respect to the buttons. I did however stick with full Sanwa gear, a JLF stick and OBSF-30 and 24 buttons in a VSHG colouring style. They matched well with the artwork I wanted so all was good.
The stick is made out of Tasmanian Oak and I went with a box inside a box type construction. The sizing of the area where the artwork will go is 29.5 x 20cm.
While I had the inside box glued and drying, I got to work on the aluminium plate which I used for the control panel. I picked this up from my Jaycar, an electronics shop here in Australia. I’m not sure of the exact thickness because it was listed as being 18ag, but I think it’s more like 16ag as there were a few other pieces there that were thinner. I took the thicker piece and it’s around 1.5mm thick from my rough measurements.
Once the box was done, I cut out slightly larger pieces and mitred the edges to give it a nicer finish.
I also had to dremel out part of the casing in the top right hand corner to make the Start and Guide buttons fit.
So far so good, with plate screwed in.
Once the box was sanded and smoothed off, a couple of coats of Rosewood stain was applied with a rag and then a 3-4 coats of a polyurethane varnish.
I have to say, I’m surprised the finish turned out as well as it did considering the time and experimenting I went through to get this thing looking the best I could. After a heap of sanding, rubbing and applying more polyurethane and letting it sit and cure. Then sanding and rubbing in cutting compound, polish and finally wax, it was to a finish that I was happy with. I never realised how time consuming and stressful the finishing process is.
and the finishing compounds I used to get the desired shine.
I cut the plexi to shape, I had to go with 2mm as 3mm was too thick for the snap-in buttons which I wanted to use.
Now, for the Madcatz PCB, I wanted to make a neat looking box to enclose it as the bottom of the stick was going to be clear. It’s roughly 13 x 7 x 2cm in size and after removing the triggers and cutting off the metal analogue sticks, it fitted perfectly.
and it painted black.
Here’s the PCB with the wires soldered on.
Finally after nearly 6 weeks, the stick is finished - a few photos…
I tried to do the cabling as neat as I could, a lot better than with the VF5 stick that is for sure. I also used stainless steel screws wherever possible and made a SFIV sticker for the PCB box and for the wiring block.
I think I’ve covered most things, feel free to post comments and questions here.