Started thinking about this one almost 6 years ago. I decided to go ahead with making an all clear acrylic case instead; that had mixed, but ultimately disappointing, results. Someday it may be something for me to revisit.
Unfortunately the project had no pictures to start out with. I had a digital camera at the time, just neglected to document it. I started with a case that I've had since I bought my first PC (Same case since 1999! HA!). I hate to throw stuff away that is going to end up in some landfill somewhere, so I just kept reusing my original PC case.
I used a pair of tin snips and a hand metal nibbler (not recommended, very tiring and somewhat painful) to cut the windows in the case sides. I live in the second floor of an apartment building and only worked on it at night so I needed low noise choices. Dremel was tried but not strong enough (nor quiet enough) of an option to cut through those steel case walls.
I then attached cardboard with liquid nails glue for a insanely strong working platform and then began gluing balsa wood to the cardboard directly.
Here's a pic with a completed window.
I tried various methods for stained glass creations on such a small level. Two of the more successful incarnations were the plastic beads that you can melt in an over into a multi-colored sheet of glop and this one; essentially I used a thin clear sheet with these bits of chopped colored Mylar sheet tossed on to it and a clear resin poured into the area.
All the windows on the "West" side. Just real sunlight streaming through from my apt. window.
There are also notches made for detachable Flying Buttresses. You absolutely can't have a Gothic Style church without the Flying Buttress.
Close up, you can see the detail I did for the windows as well.
All made from Super Sculpey and baked or heat-gunned, then poured into the resin as well.
My case had a fan hole on the side that I cut back when my First Ti4400 video card was in there and nearly melting the board with it's heat signature. This turned out to be a perfect place to make a Rose Window.
Construction was mainly balsa wood and Super Sculpey attached to the perimeter. And the internal is actually a piece of a cereal box that I ran through my printer with the pattern on it, then cut out with X-acto blade.
I reinforced it with a layer of Super Sculpey for thickness as well.
This is an in-construction phase of the Flying Buttresses. I don't have any pics of them attached to the computer, but suffice to say, when I came up with the idea of how to make them attach and remove easily I knew I could make this case.
Here is a shot of the FOURTH attempt at making a brick texture come across on my mod. I tried just straight up carving on the wood a long time ago, with disastrous results. Then I mended that mistake, and attempted to just paint the texture with a sponge and dry brushing techniques. Also a flawed design. I even tried a spray on wall texturing material and that was close but it was very messy and it smelled fairly bad.
I used that super lightweight hole filler for walls, it is a little wet to begin with but dries fairly quick. I worked in about 1 to 3 layers of the stuff. Applied base all around to give the next layers something to grab on to. I then dabbed the final layer all around with a stiff bristled paintbrush to give a texture to the blocks similar to rough concrete or granite.
I then just went around and scratched away at the dried material making the seams for the blocks.
Even added some cracks on one side for some up close interest viewing. (I know I took pics of those as well, just can't find them yet. I'll add them at a later post.
Another challenge that I wanted to tackle was how to make the front of the church with doors that will open and close with the DVD/Drive/Burner. I still haven't come up with a happy solution to that idea, for now they may just be hand operated, but I'd really like them to open and close with the retraction of the burner tray and flapper door.
The high-arch above the door area is designed along the lines of real churches of the time. It would essentially tell the story of creation, fire and damnation and all that good stuff. Once you walked through the doors you were essentially absolved of all your sins.
I did end up making a pair of doors and then redesigned them. recently painted them as well and they look better than I could have hoped.
All that and that's just the lower half! It really is an entire full sized case inside there, and then I went ahead and added an upper story. Gotta have some place to put the bell tower! ( But I will not be putting bells in here! Just lights. )
The above picture is actually how the case sat for a LONG time (my wife and I had a kid and now she's almost four! yeah, that long).
I'm waiting on some copper sheeting to make the roof more authentic looking. I tried painting it with a metal paint and then adding patina agent, it didn't turn out so well. You can see the wood grain and it kinda blows the illusion so I'm going full out with real copper sheeting about 5 mils thick (36 gauge).