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Thread: Raptor

  1. #1
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
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    Raptor

    Hey all! Those that have followed me on FB know that I have just about completed my daughter's new computer. It is a case mod build for her, to her specifications. It's not some highly engineered piece of amazingness, but it is cool in it's own right.

    I'm processing pics right now, and hope to have the build log started here in the next few days, and have it up to date as soon as possible.

    Main thing was that this is for my daughter's birthday, so I had a very short time table to knock this out.

    What she wanted:
    1) The case had to do with Dinosaurs.

    Pretty simple you'd think... but then she followed up with:

    2) I want the dino pink and teal.... maybe purple too!
    (oh dear.... certainly not my first color choices...)

    So, I get to work on the case and start sketching ideas on different dinos, and settle on the raptors. I then some up with the idea of making the case look like a dig site, and try to simulate a set of dinosaur bones that has been discovered, and is partially dug out. My job has been a bear of a time leach lately, so I also needed to make sure I did not make this build too complicated/difficult. I needed to finish this build!!! This is my daughter after all! It also needed to be durable, since she is not easy on equipment, and since it was down near her feet.... no drastic sharp edges or points.

    This was a fun build. Started on it 1/15/2012 and pretty much finished it on 2/13/2012, so a little less than 30 days, so it is an elongated speed build....

    All that taken into account, I set to work. More pics to follow over the coming days, but this build is about 98% complete right now. Hopefully, this build log will serve to show you how I did something that you may not have seen done... and that will lead you to improve upon it.

    Take care,
    -=TD

  2. #2

    Raptor

    cool .. waiting to see it

  3. #3

    Raptor

    I saw a couple pics on FB already and it looked great. I would love to see a full build write up.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
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    Raptor

    Well.... it all starts with a case.... and in this mod, it's no different. This time, Thermaltake's V9 Black edition goes under the surgeon:


    It no sooner makes it's way out of the box, then it starts getting ripped apart.... much like a Raptor would do to its prey!






    Poor little TT logo has no clue how badly it little world is about to get rocked..


    I'm working on this mod, knowing that I am planning on embedding a skeleton in the ground. So I wanted something that would let me mimic the look and feel of dirt and stone, without the huge flecks that are seen in "Fleckstone" or similar paints, so I spent a little time up at the store, and found the following:


    It is almost a sandstone, and worked out nearly perfectly!


    Plastic primer on the plastice parts that are taking on paint:




    Something I forgot, and you may want to learn from this, the paint is *heavily* affected by the base color. In other words, if I had noticed that the paint is effectively transparent until you have built up enough levels. That transparency can lead to color differences if you are not careful....


    -=TD

  5. #5
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
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    Raptor

    So, in order to have a dig site, you need a skeleton! I mean, come on.... something has to be dug up, and the hard, bony, skeletal remains are usually all that is left! But how to put a skeleton on the outside of a computer?

    If this was going to be an adult owned case, where it would be up off the floor, I would have used a full on skeleton that was painted and then has the bones embedded into the "soil". But this is not an adult case, and it will be on the floor, and my daughter has a nasty habit of swinging her feet around and they clang into her computer. So, I couldn't have anything breakable on the outside of the case, and I could not have anything potentially sharp. The skeleton needed to be durable, but detailed enough to look like a dino skeleton. I found a few different skeleton types, some were wood, some plastic, all had me concerned about durability. Then I read a bit about a kit from www.skullduggery.com , where they had kits that were geared towards science classes. Reading more, I found these kits where the "fossils" were cast using a type of plaster, then removed from the fossil forms, and used for assembly.... my eyes teared a little.... *perfect*!

    Here is the box of the kit:


    Inside the box:


    You get a bag of the plaster (perfect cast), the molds, some paints, a paintbrush, instructions, and a magnetic strip so that you can put these on your fridge if you are so inclined!





    Details on the back of the box:





    Mixed up my first batch of PerfectCast, and poured it in. Over poured on several of the molds as I got used to how this stuff poured out.



    After 2 hours, you can remove from the molds... here you can clearly see the results of over filling:





    Not a problem.... especially if you have a rotary tool.... *easy to fix*










    Oh, and this is DUSTY stuff after it gets popped with a rotary mounted barrel sanding drum! *cough* *cough*

    So after I had my "skeleton" that was going to be uncovered in the dig site, I had to figure out how to lay the skeleton out... I tried a couple of different ways, but one of the quickly noticable problems was the overall length of the skeleton, made it almost impossible to fit on the panel! Had not thought of that, thought they were smaller/shorter. Oh well.... let's improvise! Main thing I wanted to achieve was the look of a fallen carcass. Like the dino had died right there...


    Early on, I was liking the thought of traipsing the tail across the side panel fan intake...
    />











    Then I started tinkering with the idea of a wrap around the fan, acting like a bone framework.... but it looked too much like a scorpion, so I stuck with the first layout.






    Now that I Have an idea of the layout, I needed to paint the skeleton... with my daughters color selections...

    Time to break out the airbrush, and see if I can come up with a way to use her colors...

  6. #6
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
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    Raptor

    So.... the colors that my daughter chose... were from some old paints called FasKolor. They are airbrush paints that are predominantly used for painting the RC autobody shells. Those were the colors she liked, that was what she wanted. Dutifully I went back to the Hobbytown where I had previously purchased them.
    ...
    No Mas. They stopped carrying them..... "Oh crap..."

    So, I am trying to find a replacement set of paints, and as I go up to talk to the cashier (who also happens to be the store manager (owner too I think...) and he asks the normal question, "Did you find everything you were looking for?"

    Hehehe, "Nope!"
    He looked at me a bit quizically... and I explained my dilemma. He smiled and asked me to wait a few minutes. So I waited. Then he appeared from the back of the store with a beat up box full of this brand of paint! He proceeded to let me know that they had tried to sell it previously, but it didn't move. He then tells me, pick out what I want, and "I'll sell it to ya for 50% off!"

    *blink*

    I went to town, baby!
    Got my daughter's colors, plus some for future mods that I have in my head right now.


    Set the pieces out on some paper towels, and started after them. The Pearl red first, then I fogged the edges with a pearly turquoise.
























    Came back through with the pearl red and touched up the pieces that had too much blue on them, and ended up here...





  7. #7

    Raptor

    Looking really cool there TD. Love the colors too. I was playing around with that style of spray paints as well. Very true about base color and transparency.

    Keep it up.

    D.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
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    Raptor

    Thank you Dooglo!

    Now... I have a skeleton/fossil... but I need to embed it into the ground, Only way I'm going to get a "dig site" out of this is to build terrain into the side of the case panel. Build it up and then rough up everything else to make it look like dirt/rock unevenness.

    First i had to figure out my layout for the skele, then I needed a way to remember what that layout was, and build over it. So, I broke out a piece of 1/2 inch styrofoam sheet, laid out the skeleton how I want it, cut the sheet down to the right size, and the started fiberglassing over it. That was the plan at least....

    Wifey caught a couple of pics of me during the "plan out" of the skeleton location. I used a pencil to both draw out the shapes, as well as to shear out the styro to the proper level.


    What I did, beside cover every frikken thing near me in styro balls, was get my layout where I wanted, outline where the bones are, then dig out an area of the styrofoam in the same shape (but a bit larger) so that the rise in the surface, would be greater than or nearly equal to the height of the cast pieces.


    Finished channeling out the styro for the skeleton layout:








    The work with the short strand body filler was fast and furious, and I was racing a weather front, so I did not get the application pictures, nor did I get any shots of the Laurel and Hardey comedy aound all that stickyness.... let's just say I provided about an hours worth of entertainment for my neighbors, if they were watching!

    These pics are the end results after I had done some preliminary shaping and sanding of the fiberglass to deepen certain locations, and knock out the spikey, hard "hairs" that were in places. I loaded the fiberglass body filler onto the panel around the styrofoam, and used my nitrile gloved hands to shape it into the areas that needed coverage. Those that have used this stuff before, can imagine how, when the resin starts to setup, how quickly *sticky* this becomes, and how the "perfect" bit of work suddenly gets unintentionally reworked because you are suddenly stuck to it! Yeah.... it was fun like that.

    *THANKFULLY* my wife was not out with the camera during that escapade.

    So, keep in mind, I did not want an even surface. I wanted an undulating and irregular surface. Totally flat would have looked unnatural. I needed just roughness that I could shape down as needed. You will see later where I put bondo putty body filler into some areas to tone down the fiberglass rippling. I also wanted some space around the skeleton, kin of my attempt to simulate what a palentologist might have dug out around the skeleton to better define how far the skeleton went, and where they did not need to dig further out. *shrug* Don't know if they do that or not... but seemed natural to me.









    As you can see in some of the detail shots, the fiberglass left some holes where it folded over itself, or shifted while my hands were starting to stick to it...






    Soooo, while I let that cure out, I started working on the mesh. Black mesh work on a sandstone brown case was simply not going to work. So I hit them with some red/brown primer thinking that the color would be similar to the red clay that is sooo predominant around Texas.

    This was the color of the mesh before primer:


    Annnnnd after.....


    I also went after the top and front bezel with their first coats of the sandstone:








    Yeah.... that looks good!

    Next up, is my realization that the primer color is too red... and I have to change that to something more complementary, as well as more work on on the panels.

    -=TD

  9. #9

    Raptor

    Looking pretty good TD. That side panel is dam good. Liking the effect very much so far.

    D.

  10. #10
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    Raptor

    Thanks Dooglo!

    After painting the primer red/brown, and putting it on the sandstone.... it really did not pull itself together... point blank, it looked like ass! So I went back to the store and found a deeper "chocolate" brown that was the same grit as my sandstone... YAY!!!!





    This gives a good representation of the color:


    Was very paranoid of the paint building up in the fine holes of the mesh work, but thankfully, that did not happen:







    The back panel needed to have some roughening up, so I took bondo, mixed it up and spread it over the back panel, then let it start to set up a bit, and took my nitrile gloved hand and started patting the surface and lifting the bondo, then smoothing it down by hand if the peaks were too tall.... then patting the surface to rough it up... and then smooth it out by hand. I did this for about 10 minutes, while the bondo was curing, and really tried to hit all of the areas of the bondo on the back panel, so that when the paint went on, it would look like a dirt/rocky area.

    Here was the results of me patting the bondo:




    After the first coats of paint:








    After it dried:



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