Mythical Game Boy Advance Colors Hacked Into Reality

When it was announced in 2000 at a Nintendo trade show, the Game Boy Advance was clad in beautiful silver plastic, accented with brilliant orange buttons. As is usually the case with product introductions, the first color and style displayed to be public became the most popular. There was one problem with this silver and orange GBA; Nintendo never put it into production. Fast forward fifteen years, and [Michael Choi] decided it was time to make his own silver and orange Game Boy. It’s a great introduction to mold making and very detailed painting, and a useful guide for turning engineering prototypes into beautiful objects.

[Michael]’s build began with an aftermarket shell, painted with Tamiya spray paints. The color is remarkably accurate, considering the only pictures for the silver and orange Game Boy are fifteen years old, and with the right painting technique, these colors are indistinguishable from a properly colored, injection molded piece of plastic.

GBAsquareThe buttons were not as easy as the shell. [Michael] originally decided casting would be the best solution, but after multiple attempts, he couldn’t get the color right. Even with opaque dyes in the resin, the buttons would still come out slightly translucent. In the end, [Michael] decided to paint the original buttons.

This casemod isn’t just about changing the color of the enclosure. [Michael] also wanted is Game Boy to have the backlight found in the second revision clamshell GBA. This was easily acquired on eBay, and with a few slight hardware modifications and a beautiful glass lens to replace the plastic occupying the bezel, [Michael] has a gorgeous Game Boy Advance, taken straight from a press event fifteen years ago.

6 thoughts on “Mythical Game Boy Advance Colors Hacked Into Reality

  1. Don’t bother with the Sil-Poxy, it’s the same stuff as GE Silicone II, but in a tiny tube at a high price.

    A problem with the GE and other silicones in squeeze tubes is the center breaks out of the cap and the silicone dries out. Don’t use the cap to puncture the tube seal! Use something else, and fill the top of the cap with JB Weld, Locktite Weld, or in the EU there’s Araldite. Your silicone will stay nicely sealed and protected.

    Smooth-On now has opaque colorants for their urethane resins. They should be compatible with other brands of urethane resins and rubbers. If you are wanting to color a transparent or translucent resin opaque, use some white pigment colorant along with the colors. A touch of black will darken it. In Smooth-On’s colors, opaque and transparent, the blue is EXTREMELY strong while their reds are quite weak. I was attempting to color some white resin to a maroon and kept coming up with a Pepto Bismol pink. So I put in just a little blue and instantly went past maroon to a Santa Rosa plum color.

  2. Using the right resins and more importantly, industrial quality dyes will produce the desired result. These buttons look very obviously painted (painted well, but painted). Injection molded buttons would have more translucency. We offered this and the teal version years ago, and we probably cast a thousand GBA buttons in this particular color.

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