Removing Sideart? Save & Color Match.

If you are a serious arcade game collector, chances are during the time you’ve been collecting you picked up a repulsive conversion cabinet that at one time was probably a much better game. You may have intentions of reverting that arcade back to it’s previous glory, or maybe you are just restoring a game that had a bad paint job. Part of that restoration is removing the artwork, you’re thinking you’ll just peel off the sideart and trash it.

If you’re thinking of ripping that artwork up, here are a couple of considerations for savings yourself time and money while helping the rest of the arcade game community.

Carefully remove vinyl artwork from any arcade game

Please, do think about it. This mostly applies to arcade games that haven’t had reproduction artwork made before, but it can apply to popular games as well. If you just plan on trashing it or selling the sideart whole on eBay, ripping it off into tiny pieces, you’ll be losing a source of information regardless of the fact that this piece of artwork will never be used again.

Case in point. Today there was a thread on the klov forums about a guy and his Frenzy project. Here is a quick before and after shot.

Frenzy Before & After Restore Comparison

What happened to the sideart? It looks like on the left side at least that it was almost complete. Well, the owner torn it off and assumed he could just find a new piece of Frenzy artwork or find a reproduction. Consulting my list of reproduction artwork would have shown that sideart has never been made, and finding an NOS piece is highly unlikely.

But there were other possibilities. Maybe someone out there has a scan (a good place to check for scans is the Classic Arcade Graphix library on Joymonkey’s website) that can be made into a solvent inkjet print. But if you want the most accurate print you will need the colors to be color matched and just because a scan exists does not mean that this has been done.

Rich had a workable copy of the Frenzy sideart. But it wasn’t color matched. Now, some concessions can be made with different manufacturers, you start to get familiar with the colors most frequently used and can start to accurately guess across pieces what the Pantone color is. But with Stern, not too many pieces of artwork from their games have been done, and I can almost guarantee that any of the oranges used don’t match the Frenzy sideart face.

Frenzy Sideart Detail
What’s the solution? Here’s my suggestion. Let’s start another list.

If you are thinking of removing, peeling off and or destroying sideart that you have no plans of using, try to pull it off as nicely as you can, stick it flat to a piece of cardboard and hold onto it. Even if you totally destroy the vinyl ripping it off, small, large or any piece could be helpful in color matching. So keep everything you’ve got.

One more thing to worry about right? Well, you’re already pulling it off, all this adds is one more step in sticking it to some flat material to preserve. You want something from the community – A source of artwork to restore your machine? Well, you have to give back to the arcade community too.

If you have the inclination, color match this artwork yourself. But more than likely you just want to be rid of it. As of this writing, I am sure that Rich at This Old Game or Brian at Game Stencils would gladly hang onto this piece of artwork for reference. They will be able to take that piece, match each color with a pantone chip, and then provide that information to the rest of the community for their own reproduction projects. This information would be vital even for high quality digital prints for one offs from Mame Marquees.

The Arcade Game Color Matched Reference Guide

I have a feeling this list won’t grow all that fast, but at least we can try right?

Submit the name of the piece of artwork and the colors you’ve color matched with a Pantone book and we’ll start a list here. I will have an opportunity eventually because I have a Mappy cabinet converted into a Kicker that has sideart that I’ll be removing.

NameMatched Colors (PMS)Date
Kicker Sideart Purple – Coming Soon
Red – Coming Soon
Yellow – Coming Soon
Blue – Coming Soon
Flesh – Coming Soon
Coming Soon
Tank Battalion Bezel Coming SoonComing Soon
Samurai Sideart, CPO Coming SoonComing Soon

If anyone has any artwork color matches they want added to the list as public domain, leave a comment below and I will get them added to this list.

Final Note – Masking off that arcade artwork for painting

Chris Moore encountered a similar decision on his Space War. Knowing that reproduction artwork didn’t exist and more than likely never would he took his Space War – masked off the sideart and painted around it.

Here are some similar arcade posts

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on another note it dosnt even have to be a full piece so if the sideart or cpo comes off in little pieces only a few inches will work to get that color information.

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You’re right…just about any piece is worthwhile in keeping.

I will update the post about removing arcade artwork to reflect this.

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