I did this mod about a month ago, and it wasn't until a couple months ago that I discovered that the case is called the raidmax elite and can still be purchased. Huh. I originally was going to do it for my teacher, but weather delayed the project and he wanted his comp back more than me wanted a custom case. So I completed it anyway and gave it to my parents.
Here's the stock case:
The front bezel had a space for a casebadge, but I did not have one to put there, so I used spot filler to fill the hole:
After like 5 coats:
About bondo-type products: they shrink. Each time I would put a full coat of spot filler on, only to return to have like 4 giant cracks! In the end I still wasn't able to get it fully stealthed, so I guess that I'll be finding a case badge after all. Next time I think that I'll go with fiberglass.
Sanded and prepped for paint:
Note the parts where the paint gets rubbed off. That had ill effects later .
Here's my supplies:
I ended up not using the airbrushing stuff, but this was my first case painted using auto paint. I used the OMNI series of paints by PPG.
My makeshift paint booth:
I made it out of thick painter's plastic, 2x2's, and old playground equipment. If I don't use a booth, my workpiece gets covered in debris from the trees. Even with the booth there is still lint and stuff that blows in, but that's still an improvement over pine cones :P.
Painting the case:
I accidentally scratched the paint, but I did a second coat and it was covered.
Auto paint dries fast! You can sand it after a few hours, depending on the paint of course. I didn't sand between coats for this project, though I probably should have. Anyway. Next come graphics.
That front bezel was a pain!
I drew out concentric circles using a beam compass, then cut them out with an exacto knife.
I was pretty pissed after my plans changed and I had to rip off all of the masking from the front bezel. Ugh.
I painted it with silver, then clear coated the whole thing with a special epoxy clear. The approaching darkness put me in a bit of a rush, so I didn't take pics .
Overall I'm very happy with the end result. I think that I got some settings wrong (air pressure, paint mixture, ???), as the end finish was sort of a semi-textured matte. I didn't sand between coats, which definitely added to the issue, but isn't it supposed to come out smooth? I mean, a matte finish is a nice departure from most of what's out there, but next time I'd like to go for a higher gloss. The only other issue is that the paint chipped away from the spots where I sanded off the undercoat. If I had primed that wouldn't have been an issue, but as it it I'll just have to touch it up with a brush. Let me know what you think!