Well, this has proven rather annoying. For the first time I find myself with the desire to write about a certain something but am not allowed to. Embargo style!!! Actually, it’s self imposed but I don’t want anyone to get into trouble for it so everyone will just have to wait for my impressions of the 5th tale of souls and swords (actually, technically, it’s the 6th but that’s just being petty!)
So for now, I get to talk about something which is kinda related and also something which has been a while coming. A long time (well, not that long, but still…) ago, I purchased a Super Streetfighter IV TE fightstick round 2 and with help from Gahling over at neo empire, I was able to get it dual modded to work on both PS3 and 360 and while I was at it, I also replaced 6 of the original buttons.
But… that wasn’t enough. You see, I’m a rather vain SOB and I like having things which are different from the rest. That’s one of the big reasons why I work on garage kits instead of just buying PVC figures afterall. So after I got my stick, I played with the idea of getting some custom artwork done for it. Then I started talking with good friend and illustrator Radiant Dreamer about it. Early on, I decided on a Blazblue art as it was, and still is, my fave fighting game so it just seemed to fit. I also knew that Radiant was familiar with the game as he worked on the graffiti cover for the UK release of Calamity Trigger (which was almost universally reviled, even by himself to some degree but lets not go there…) so I asked about it and things started from there. In the end, I opted for a completely original work instead of just photoshopping some artwork you can find on the net into something usable and asked Radiant to do the deed as I knew what he was able to do by looking at some of his other works (not to mention some pretty cool Blazblue art which didn’t get used for covers, but should have!)!
Now, I received the finished piece last week and got it on my stick! You’re curious now, aren’t you?
And here it is!
Adding the art wasn’t actually that difficult. Just a little time consuming. Just a little warning, the rest of this post might get a little technical with stuff about various parts and whatnot. Don’t worry if you don’t understand. Just enjoy the pic!
Opening up the stick was easy compared to the Hori sticks and everything was colour coded so I could remember which switches needed to go to which buttons! Eagle eyed stick users may also see that I have an octagonal gate on the stick. I swapped it from the original square gate a while back and I can’t see myself going back!
The original streetfighter artwork was printed on card and laminated. Not something I could do easily on my stuff so I just got a perspex cover for mine. Not quite as elegant but you’d be hard pressed to see the difference.
And the whole thing was held in place by this metal plate. On the plus side, if I want to, it’s easy to put the original artwork back on.
Now, everyone who has bought a high quality arcade stick will know the name Sanwa. They are pretty much the de facto go-to company for parts. All the high end sticks are made with Sanwa sticks and buttons. But I’m not a huge fan of them. I find that they’re too “soft” and easy to press in. The Xbox arcade sticks are also forced to have coloured buttons to match the button colourings on their pads, which SUCKS!!! So, I replaced 6 of them with seimetsu buttons. The Sanwa button is on the left of the above pic and the right is the seimetsu.
There are a few differences, notably that the seimetsu button is a screw-on button which makes it easier to remove. As for use, they’re “stiffer” when pressed and give some resistance so you know that you’ve pressed it as it gives a better click! There’s also another reason why I went for seimetsu buttons…
At first glance, you may have thought that the buttons were white, but that would be incorrect. They are actually clear! What that means is that I am able to put cuttings of the artwork into the buttons so there’s less of a disconnect when you view the art as a whole!
As for the artwork, I just got it printed full sized and cut out the various sections with my modelling knife. Cutting the parts for the buttons was a little tricky as it doesn’t fit completely so you need to cut off a little extra around the outside before you can put it on the button. Nendo Noel also watched along to see the progress.
Very nearly there now. The buttons have been put on and rotated to try and line up with the rest of the artwork as best it can.
In the above pic, you can see some black rings around the 6 buttons where I couldn’t put the artwork in. A minor niggle but not much I can do about it.
The only thing left was that, after putting the stick back together, I didn’t think that the black ball on top of the stick went well with the rest of it so I swapped it out with a light blue ball from the blazblue Hori Arcade stick I also have.
Which brings us back to the first image. And lets not forget…
my stick has been signed by Ono Yoshinori (the producer of Streetfighter IV)…
And Harada Katsuhiro (the producer of Tekken)!! The signature on the left was another one by Ono, but was damaged so when I saw him again, I asked him to re-sign the stick, which he gladly did!!
Pretty unique now, right?
It’s not perfect, but that’s nothing to do with the skills of radiant. I would have liked to have put in an updated version of the chibi Makoto in her fighting costume on the stick but they’re simply not available yet! Radiant was kind enough to give me the original .psd file so if she does turn up later, I can swap them out and print another version but we’ll just wait and see. but for now, It’s time for the stick to get some usage as I battle demon swords, and hooded assassins!