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Build an HO Scale Arcade Cab for Model Train or Slot Racings Sets

Posted by frankodragon, 16 July 2012 · 1,961 views

I've seen O scale (Lionel) arcade cabinets and while they look neat, they're just too large for HO (1:87) scale on a model railroad. I wanted to make an HO scale version but it was too involved making one from scratch. One day after trying to make some model portable toilets for a train station out of super glue caps, the caps resembled arcade cabinets with some modification. And it was the right size too. Here's a way to make your own arcade cabinets using super glue caps.

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Wal-Mart Super Glue (Package of 4 tubes)
Hobby Saw or Rotary Tool with cutting disc (recommended)
Printout of Scale Model paper decals (download)
Exacto Knife, Flathead Small Screwdriver or Jeweler's File
Needle Nose Pliers
White Glue
LEDs and IC boards (optional)

I use a rotary tool to cut the top off the cap and to make a cavity in the middle where the screen and control deck is. Use the needle nose pliers to hold the cap to prevent any fingers from being cut off. Make sure you wear eye protection too. Melted plastic flying into the eyes doesn't feel too good.

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Use a small screwdriver, Exacto knife or jeweler's file to clean flash around the cuts. After that, paint the cabinet any color you'd prefer and then let dry.

I made a printout of scale arcade marquees, side art, screen borders, ect. If you like, you may download images of your favorite arcade cabinet art. They should be scaled down to the same size of the others on the printout sheet. Glue the side art and marquees. The screen border art can be the most difficult to place. I use an Exacto knife or tiny flat head screwdriver to tuck in the screen border and glue in place.

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That's it! If you want to go even further, there are special LED flashers and IC boards you can purchase and install to make your arcade cabinets look like they're really working.

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Pictures are of my model version of an arcade and video game expo at a hotel.

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Updated: A video on miniature arcade expo and some model train running too.

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