A MAME cabinet fit for a Doctor (Who)


While many people would be satisfied leaving a MAME console on their desk, others take the time to put their MAME creations in a nice, authentic arcade cabinet. Some people like [Simon Jansen] take the craft to a whole new level, crafting a TARDIS from the ground up in order to house a MAME console.

It all started with a computer that had no real purpose. [Simon] decided it would be great to use as a MAME console, so he started brainstorming ideas for an enclosure. As he tells it, he was staring out a window looking for inspiration when his eye caught a giant billboard for [Dr. Who], complete with a TARDIS. The rest was history.

The MAME cabinet is about 3/4 the size of an on-set TARDIS, and crafted mostly from MDF. Plenty of time was spent analyzing the different TARDIS designs featured on the show over the years, paying special attention to even the smallest of details. Once the construction of the TARDIS was complete, [Simon] started work on the MAME portion of the project.

His MAME console was built to completely fit inside the TARDIS when closed, but it also had to take into account the box’s inward folding doors, which take up a good bit of space. The base was also made from MDF, and includes a durable white plastic panel in which the controls are mounted.

The final result is amazing – it does the TARDIS justice, and it looks like plenty of fun to play as well.


  1. Scott says:

    EPIC, nothing else to say but EPIC Great job

  2. Hackerspacer says:

    I seem to recall the actual TARDIS being quite a bit bigger inside than this build.

    Made out of MDF… this thing must weigh a ton! Awesome build though.

  3. BobSmith says:

    The LCD panel just sitting on top is a bit lame, in comparison the rest of an amazing build. It should be housed somehow, to fit with the rest.

  4. ehrichweiss says:

    You haven’t read the instructions, have you? They’re on the door, what does it say at the bottom?

    Pull to open.


  5. Vitti says:

    @Hackerspace this is a 3/4 scale build.

  6. Decius says:


    That’s so the insides can fold in.

  7. Havel says:

    Smashing! I can now go off to defeat the Daleks… Again!

  8. Max says:

    *GASP* It’s bigger on the inside!

  9. Simon says:

    Heh, funny seeing this here. I was sure it had been posted before? It’s 3/4 scale because my ceilings aren’t big enough for a full scale model. It wouldn’t fit in the house! The monitor does need finishing really. I never did get around to that.

    And the pull to open thing in the recent Dr Who annoyed me. It is true that real police box doors opened outwards the “Pull to Open” on the sign actually refers to the small door behind which there was a telephone.

    It’s so sad I know that.

  10. ferdie says:

    whats out that the doctor not call te tardis back
    for the next part of the serie.
    now i now ware the doctor is go to
    when he run of in the serie XD

  11. ferdie says:

    But it look gread nice job
    only that lcd must be in style of the lcd screen in the tardis i think that make it compleet i think.
    im a big Doctor who fan from the nieuw serie
    and for the fan,s david tannant wil be back play the doctor how i no it take a look at imdb and the cast list for this serie

  12. neorazz says:

    it needs a sonic screwdriver and a few more random things attached to the console to look more like the newest tardis console

  13. josh says:

    @vitti I think you missed the joke that hackerspace was making.

    I’ve thought of doing something like this, only a Dalek or Cyberman build. Was the blue a difficult color to match, or was it an off-the-shelf color?

  14. Simon says:

    @Josh The blue was tricky. If you watch the series you’ll see how the colour changes along with the Tardis props over the years. I don’t know if there is any official Tardis blue. I just picked something out of the colour charts that seemed right! You can’t see it in the pictures but the paint is heavily applied with a coarse brush to simulate wood grain. MDF is completely smooth of course.

  15. critic says:

    I thought it was posted here already, too, but apparently it was on Makezine 4 years ago: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2007/03/tardis-mame-console.html

  16. robomonkey says:

    Saw this years back when researching my mame cabinet….awesome all the same.

    With infinite time I’d do a B9 robot mame cabinet build…um, can I borrow the TARDIS for a bit?

  17. IJ Dee-Vo says:


  18. medwardl says:

    If you do a printout of one of the tardis console rooms large enough to fit the whole door stick it behind the console and it could look bigger on the inside.

  19. PoodleNoodle says:

    Is this the same guy behind the beer brewing Bender?

  20. Josh says:

    Hehe, wanted to add this before the article is repaired:

    Looks like the Doctor himself took this project for a joy ride, because the article jumped to the impossible publication date of Nov 29th 1999 ;-)

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