Midwest Gaming Classic 2014 BHE Recap

Operating as Benheck Experience featuring the PortablesofDoom, we set up our space in one of the hollowed out hotel rooms in the same area as Turbofest, Nintendoage, SCATcast, Guys, Games, & Beer, & Hyperkin. Along with our portables, mods, tools and a couple of projects from The Benheck Show that Ben Heckendorn dropped off for the area, we also had our friends Marshall from Retroactive of 64Drive fame, Parker The LonghornEngineer, and Chris Kraft’s Kraft Research Labs featured in our area, among many other projects and friends from various modding sites and conventions past and present.

The NeoGeo Bartop Arcade as seen on the Ben Heck Show, which was acquired by us and now resides in the Portables of Doom “World Headquarters” (Jason’s House), to return for future MGC’s. A multicart was added to prevent certain death from having to repeat the inserting of carts (slight sarcasm), with it’s open monitor design.

Marshall’s 64 Drive and a preview of an upcoming N64 mod that features VGA output at the moment. The actual product has been updated and will have HDMI out, but was not ready for visual display at this year’s show. Expect the newer product demo for MGC 2015, possibly available for purchase. You can follow updates on this, the 64drive, and any other future products at Marshall’s website Retroactive.be.

Chris Kraft has been showing off different arrays of 3D Printers over the years in the Benheck Experience area and this year he brought the new Markerbot Replicator M2 3D Printer to setup and print all weekend. Running PLA material, a soy-based biodegradable project that smells like burning pancakes when used (ABS was avoided to offset the fumes in a small room), an array of different parts and designs were printed throughout the weekend.

A completed Atari Flashback 2 cartridge port mod was on display as well, with a small handful of different games to try out. This was a front loading model, and had a switch to cycle through the port and the built in games. We hope to have a top loading model to display along with the front loading model by next year’s show.

Keeping in line with the up-gradable console theme, a Nomad display was set up as well to show off the difference between the old stock LCD and the new TFT Screen. The modded display unit also had the internal battery pack to show off, and Live mods were available for each separately or together.

John had a running display up of the NES2 A/V mods seen here. A modded NES2 was available to play, along with a motherboard to show the mod in the completed state, live mods, and even kits to buy. Battletoads Combat Frogs was also a hit all weekend.

And of course, we had some portables on display too! Lorne finished up his NES Mark III, an NES clone portable shaped like an old school gameboy, just in time for the show. Sporting the a power (when compared to an actual NES) NOAC and a hefty 10,000 mAh battery, the Mark III was ready for the Konami Code all weekend.

We were also grateful to display The Longhorn Engineer’s wonderful N3DP NES portable! Build in 2013 (we had it on display last year as well) this portable features an actual NES (thus bigger than the Mark III above), running the NES2 motherboard in a completely 3D Printed Natural PLA case. More information on the N3Dp can be found on Parker’s Website. With 3D printing catching on (to say the least) it’s always a pleasure to see 3D printed projects and are always looking out for more.

All in all a great weekend; we fixed a few consoles, played (and bought) a lot of games, met and caught up with new and old friends alike. Good games, good times, and even more fun was had at the rest of the show, which will be chronicled in part II of our coverage.

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