HORI RAP 2 / 3 / EX Underprint Artwork Panels [ASTRO CITY]
Hori's RAP 2 / 3 / EX arcade stick has been one of our favorite designs.
The body style is based off of Sega's Astro City Japanese cabinet control panel, which is considered the most popular and favorite cabinets among private collectors.
This arcade stick has a nice balance of size, weight and durability. The only thing we find that is a setback with this controller is customizing the control panel artwork. The stock artwork on this body design is attached with glue and therefore, the only way to replace this up to this point was to remove this and add a plexi and custom printed artwork underneath
As we've noted in many of our discussions on how to apply artwork properly on certain arcade sticks, going the artwork under plexi route is not the optimal method. Our rule of thumb is, if the stock panel didn't use a plexi to begin with, one shouldn't be added on, unless it completely replaces the panel you're removing without adding or taking away height. That is, you don't want it to stick out or leave a gap if it wasn't meant to be there.
Our goal with any custom artwork application is make it look like it came fresh out of the factory and not something you can tell looks like an add-on
UNDERPRINT with 3M Adhesive Tech
In order to make this look like Hori's stock art, we decided to double down what needed to be done. The first obvious process was to print the artwork using our UNDERPRINT method, which is to print the artwork and have it adhere direction to the thin plexi. These gives it vibrant colors and leaves no gaps for dust or unwanted moisture to sneak in between the panel and artwork
Secondly, since the stock artwork is glued on, we made it a bit simpler by adding an adhesive 3M tech to the bottom of the panel. No messy glue, with the ultimate security of the grip the 3M tech offers
Stunning colors and a perfect fit that leaves no doubt that you've taken your HRAP 2 / 3 / EX controller to another level. Sorry, but there is no equal to this print and application method for this type of arcade stick
The current artwork on the stock Hori RAP 2 / 3 / EX controller is held together by an adhesive. You would first need to remove the pushbuttons and joystick. To do this, you would need to remove the screws from the bottom plate (including the one that has a VOID sticker on it)
Before removing the parts, take a picture of the wiring for both the pushbuttons and joystick as you'll need this once you put everything back together. After the parts are removed, use a hex key for the bolts on the top and bottom rows (6 total), from the front face plate. You can now start removing the stock artwork
Keep in mind that this process is permanent, which means the stock artwork most likely will be damaged and cannot be reused
To remove the stock artwork, use a spatula to get in between the artwork and bottom metal plate. Generally, you'll be able to separate the two without using a heat gun or blow dryer as once you create enough spacing in between the two, you can use a bit more force to remove it as you're not trying to preserve the stock artwork
The Astro City Underprint is applied with an adhesive by 3M. The easiest method we found is to remove one-half of the adhesive protective film to align one side (left or right) and then remove the other half. You can choose whichever method works for you best, but this is how our modders do it
You're pretty much done. Reinstall your parts and appreciate the classic new look of your Hori RAP controller
Quick Link: https://tinyurl.com/HRAP23EXUNDPLEXI