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Thread: Mary's Rural Pleasure

  1. #1

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    This build started off as a replacement for a very old HP mid-tower that had seen better days. The friend who this is for worked with me as a fellow line cook at a truckstop in Elkton, MD when I was 19-20yrs old. She was someone who I admired and liked very much but of course as my luck would have it, she was married at the time. We lost touch after I moved on to a better job, I got married and had kids and she did also. After things went south for me I moved down state (DE) and moved in with friends 25+ years later. I applied for a part time job which so happened to also be one of the places this friend (Mary) managed, unbeknown to me.
    After we got re-aquainted (as friends only) Mary found out I worked on computers and I think she also wanted to help me out a little so she informed me about a computer she had that was having issues.
    The first time I saw the HP it had been very unused for quite a while and had collected a lot of dust inside as well as a lot of viruses and such. Cleaned it up physically and software-wise and took it back to her in much better shape and condition. A year or so later it had developed another problem.
    After re-diagnosing Mary's HP, the power supply had burned up and many of the components were on their last leg anyhow so I figured why not do my first mod for someone who has always meant so much to me? She's now in a situation semi-similar to me although she's a little better off so a newer system with a little more personal theme just seemed appropriate.
    Granted, it's my first mod so it won't be as eclectic or fancy as many of the ones on here and I'm up against some hurdles in life but it has to be built. So for you Mary and my fellow modders I present to you the worklog of Mary's Rural Pleasure.
    Pictures to follow starting this evening after I get home lol.
    C'mon, I gotta tease a little for the affect.

  2. #2
    Master Modder
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    pictures???? come on !!! lol

  3. #3

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    This is what I started with. The backside...

    The front, uglyyyyyy.

    The right side.

    The top....

    The guts which was a horrible mess. I've worked on accident scenes that were better constructed than this...

    And of course the left side panel:

  4. #4

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    Ugh, I just posted them but they're all broken links? Help me Tazz lol

  5. #5
    Wet Sanded XcaliburFX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Ga ... U.S.A.

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    Got them fixed for you buddy.

    Hey I have one of those in the basement lol.

  6. #6

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    What exactly are you planning for this one? A couple exhaust/intake fans? More up-to-date hardware or gonna dog these parts a bit more?

    Hahaha, that Compaq Presario case in the background of the front that case.

  7. #7

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    looks like an avenue for some reasonable hardware, and a great paint job I think

    Heh .. the affects of the first one never goes away, does it

  8. #8

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    He he he you're right DB. Thank you Xcal for your help too.
    At the shop we get plenty of older machines all the time and this one I'm doing here was donated to me by a customer of mine. I volunteer at the shop part-time and then do my own side thing as well.

    Mary said her favorite color was red so I did a semi-Vampire motif only with colors though, it is for a woman so i didn't want to go too far over the top with it. The internals I cleaned up a bit and the outside case painting was the main mod as well as a few small internal alterations. Not much beyond that though, sorry. I wanted my first to turn out as nice as possible so I kept the changes to a reasonable minimum. There are a few flaws with the paint job but I also learned a lot as well.

    I'll begin posting some of the components in the next posting.

  9. #9

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    As promised the newer and better looking components ->

    Here we have the left side panel. I hope the color effects show up in the picture well? This color mix was done on a complete whim without any prior testing to see how it would turn out and I have to admit even I impressed myself.

    Next we have the top panel. Remember the whole outside of the case is PVC which is difficult to deal with as a surface, at least from my point of view as a beginning modder. To get the silver/chrome to lay on properly as an undercoat took quite a while and a heat gun to get it to cure evenly.

    Next we have the right side panel. A little easier to work on since it was an even flat surface but still as mediums go, I wouldn't recommend PVC as the ideal material to work with lol. It chips/flakes fairly easily so I had to carefully go over all the surfaces with a medium luster clear coat that was also UV repellent.

    Now that brings us to the foot or base of the computer. This part won't be seen as readily or easily seen so with that in mind I also wanted to make sure that it got the most detailed treatment. Sorry, attention to detail is a USMC thing . I wanted to make sure that anyone who decided to go over the build with a fine tooth comb noticed all the time that went into the build and that while not perfect it is a lot better than what it used to look like. This was only the first base coat and it's pretty plain Jane looking. I'll post the finished pic in the next day or two so you can better appreciate the finish and the holographic metal flake that really looks great on a black base medium.

    Here we have the internals or the guts. I got a super sweet deal on an MSI-K mobo with the AMD processor and a 80Gb WD HDD included. It won't be the fastest computer around but it will hands down smoke the old HP she used to have. The RAM will get maxed out at 2Gb so she'll still have some life in her for the next couple of years. The rear exhaust fan was removed (80mm) and replaced with a much better quailty and faster Antec 80mm fan. The front side fresh air intake is provided by a tiny thermaltake 1 1/2" -2" fan to force at least some fresh air in as well as the ambient air that will be drawn in through normal airflow. The PSU was provided also by EBay since I can get the Dynex 400w for $20 less than retail even with shipping included. The PSU is still a work in progress and is causing me more headaches than anything else but it has to be done right so I'm taking whatever time I need to make sure it's done correct the first time. I probably should have gone with a slightly higher wattage PSU but as this is being done on a skinny jeans budget, I have to try to minimize (within reason) where I can. I also added an Ultra fan controller which you'll see later in the front.

    And last but not least for today are my propellant weapons of choice. The Clear Effects is what really made the difference in the paint jobs. It's not very cheap at almost $13.00 per can but it really makes the colors stand out and very unique. I've also not shown the front yet because I still have some fiberglass and painting to do on it yet. I know so far it pales in comparison to a lot of the builds you guys do on here but I put all I had into this (financially and in time) to make it look as good as I could. The cost was a lot more than I had planned to spend or even budgeted for but you can't take it with you so it might as well go to a good cause.

    [edit by DB to show pics]

  10. #10

    Mary's Rural Pleasure

    Grrr what am I doing wrong in posting pics?

    Anyway here are a few tips I learned about the painting process.

    A) If the paint isn't quite curing evenly (on plastic) you can use a hot air gun but be careful to make sure your at least about a foot away from the surface and go slow! For foggy (uncured) finishes, you'll actually see the area cure as it slowly heats up and dries out.

    B) If it's a semi sold color you can always use a colored Sharpie permanent magic marker to do touch ups.

    C) Be sure to give each and every coat and type of paint (primer included) at least 48-72 hours of curing time. This was all spray can work and the climate in my area has been very moist the last several weeks so the heat gun was a necessity.

    D) Tape, tape and more tape. Don't be afraid to buy some stock in the 3M blue painters tape lol. I love this stuff.

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