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Repro halftones are a piece of ‘candy’

One of the coolest things about arcade game collecting is that there are a multitude of niche realms where you can dwell. Japanese Candy Cabs have a smaller, prodigiously loyal following. For that reason, when Scott from Mamemarquees asked me to work on reproduction cpo artwork for the Neo Geo 29 cabinet I jumped at the chance – halftones be darned.

Neo Geo CPO Artwork, Straightforward right? Negativo.

When Scott sent me the scan back in early 2009 I knew right away that all of the artwork was fairly straightforward – the anomalous purple blobs, the imitative wing shapes and the block-y elegance of the lettering were all things I’d done before. But inside each of the letters, numbers and even the ‘wing’ shapes behind the user controls were halftones – which always present a fun challenge when working in Illustrator.

Neo Geo 29 CPO ScanDetail of the Neo Geo 29 Scan

I looked at the scan closely to see if I could make some raster adjustments and just reuse part of the original scan. But…the scan showed the button grooves filled with grime and wear, and when I weighed that against the fine detail of the checkbox style halftone, I made the decision that it would be more efficient to just recreate that halftone pattern then try to perform touchup. Plus, for the blue to green and red to yellow gradient, that would allow for easier color adjustment to match the original sample.

Simple enough, I played with the halftone density in Photoshop until I got a match for each piece and laid that into the artwork. Its kind of hard to see here, even if you click the image for the larger size. But I kept a swatch of the original halftone on another layer and kept tweaking them until they matched.

Neo Geo Gradient Detail

I finished the project nearly a year ago, in April of 2009 – just one of those weird projects that took awhile to write about. Later in the year Scott listed the Neo Geo overlay on the Mamemarquees website, color matched, refined, and ready for purchase. (The halftones never render well at a smaller size like I’m using here)

Neo Geo 29 Repro Detail ViewNeo Geo 29 Overlay Final

Reproduce your candy cabinet artwork today

There were many Neo Geo variations, and not all the artwork is available for reprint. If you have a piece of artwork you want to restore for your game, shoot me a message today.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a candy cab with a nice overlay on it, they always have some defect. Great job on the reproduction, I’m sure it will do well for mame marquees.

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