Community Event / Creation Custom Warthog HOTAS face-plate panels; laser-cut label your own controls

If you're interested in a customized panel / face-plate for the Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS Throttle, labelled with your own controls and using the Warthog back-lighting (as seen below) then keep reading; I stopped procrastinating about requests to make my Warthog laser-cutting/etching template available :D

To make one of these requires laying out your desired controls labels on the cutting template using Inkscape (free drawing software) or Adobe Illustrator or similar, and roughly about $50-$100 to place the order at Ponoko (a laser-cutting service). The price depends on how many panels you want to cut and how much engraving (labeling) each has. Ponoko will also charge you $6 beforehand to get the template - that portion goes to me! (The template was a fair bit of work and I have no income right now, but if you like I can put whatever proceeds there might be towards supporting ongoing Elite development via Frontier store purchases :D )

If you're in the UK then shipping can get really expensive from Ponoko (which is based in the USA and New Zealand). The flip side is that apparently Ponoko is less expensive for cutting than many similar places. If you want to shop around, here are two in Europe to look into:

  • A London-based laser-cutting service - - accepts the same format of cutting file, so you could use them, but last I checked they don't offer the two-color black-on-white plastic that I used for the panels. (This material allows the etch to cut white lettering into black, and the black masks the backlights to create nice illuminated lettering) Perhaps requesting the material would help persuade them to start stocking it?
  • There is another cutting service in Berlin that used to partner with Ponoko called Formulor, and they DO have the two-color plastic ("black one-sided with white core") in sheet sizes that match Ponoko. They also direct users to Ponoko for tutorials on how to create the cutting art, so I assume their specs are the same so the template should likewise be completely compatible with their system.
My Warthog template and more info is available here:

The template has the panel cut-out lines, my own controls labels as examples (black lines and fill get etched instead of cut), and an orange guide layer (that you will eventually want to delete) which visibly shows the panel outline (the cutting lines are too thin to see very easily) as well as solid-orange markings showing you where the backlit areas are on the throttle so you can position your labels to take advantage of that:

I don't think the template file includes the font, so if you want the example layout to look its best or if you want to use the same font, you'll need EuroStile (you'll recognise it from the Elite Dangerous UI)
EuroStile and other fonts used by Elite Dangerous are available here

When the etched and cut panels arrive, the white core will be exposed in the etched text, and also on the sides where the panel is cut out of the sheet, so I used a sharpie marker pen to make the cut sides black like the front face, but that's personal preference.

I won't be able to help beyond this with people's projects, sorry. (I've got way too many things needing my time!) but if you have the time and money and inclination to give it a go, I recommend it. :)
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Surprised you haven't gotten any replies yet, I suppose if you're not crying about a nerf or posting pictures of an Asp in front of something no one reads it, huh?

As a huge fan of the Warthog, and sim cockpits in general, this looks fantastic. I'd definitely like to get a copy of the template and will reach out directly for that. Any chance you would reply here with the details of the other mods, like the safety switches, rubber "knobs" on the 2 middle switches, etc?

Here's a quick shot of my setup BTW - would love to see the rest of yours, I love seeing what folks have done so I can stand on the shoulders of giants to build something for myself.


My setup, an older picture but 90% the same

That’s very nice Cmdr. Looks totally professional. If I had a warthog I’d order one ! Good luck with this endeavour

Impressive and such a great idea. I have the X55 Rhino so I'd have to do a new template but man that would be cool. :)
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