Repping the Philippines in season 2 of Thermaltake’s invite only competition is Jesse Palacio. Known for his exquisite hand made PSU covers, and other acrylic work. I got a chance to take a few min of his time to figure out what’s going on inside that head of modder Jesse Palacio.
What got you started in modding? Was it a gradual evolution from one creative outlet to another or was it a revelation of some kind after seeing a very good modding project?
Jesse: What got me started in modding was the game Crysis. I was single back then, so I had nothing else to worry about exept ME. The game was so demanding, I kept upgrading my parts, just so I can run it like I wished it would. Then I realized, I was spending money that was supposed to be for gas, food and bills.. to play a game. So I diverted myself to modding. I started off with my side panel windows, extra fan holes and some UV cable ties. Iv’e been modding ever since.
Do you have previous building experience in terms of carpentry, engineering or DIY that you apply to case modding?
Jesse: I am an all around guy.. since im the only MAN in my household. Although I have no professional background in anything related to fixing or building things at home, ive always had a knack for learning and practical application. In modding, I am the same way. Once an idea pops out, I always try to find a way to execute it.
How Do you find inspiration for your creations?
Jesse: I’m more of a freestyle modder. I mostly build according to what pops out of my head. I do however, name my builds sometimes after comic book characters. But I only use the name. I don’t necessarily use the actual character as inspiration, but the definition.
Your from the Philippines. A place that constantly getting nailed by typhoons. Do you have an indoor workshop in the basement or do you wait for good weather and work outdoors?
Jesse: I used to work in the same area I slept in. it was easier to handle back then because I only modded one case, with the same parts. Now that I have sponsors and clients, I had to move out of my room, and chip away a small portion of space inside the house. When I paint, I paint in the garage. But everything else, is done indoors. Apart from the occasional natural disasters, The weather here is mostly hot.. so it is not a problem in terms of painting.
What is your fave tool when it comes to modding?
Jesse: My weapon of choice in modding is always my WILL to do a project. That part helps me overcome my lack of tools. But if I were to choose a specific weapon in my limited arsenal, I’d say the rotary.
What challenges do modders regularly encounter that most non-modders are not aware of?
Jesse: The most difficult part in modding is when you mod for someone else. Be it a client, or a sponsor. Your tastes do not always ‘match’. And since I mod mainly with my WILL.. I don’t get much WILL to do anything, if I don’t like what im doing. I hope that makes sense.
Are there any popular misconceptions about modding that you want to dispel?
Jesse: The most common misconception I’d like to dispell is about sponsorship being ‘heaven’. People only see the “free parts’ or ‘free upgrade’ but do not see the more important things like deadlines, execution, quality standard and coverage when you work with a sponsor. Just because you have a few friends in facebook, and are member of a million PC related facebook groups, does not mean you can guarantee your sponsors the coverage they are looking for.
What is the most annoying thing and what do you dislike the most about the modding hobby. Feel free to call out haters by name. LOL
Jesse: To me, the most annoying thing about the modding industry are modders who are too full of themselves. The mentality that “the industry is what it is now because of them” is just disgusting to me. Just because you were first at the table, doesn’t mean you had the most to eat. I also most especially hate modders who think that their OWN standards should be THE standard.. and anytime they see something that is not according to their liking, they shoot it down. Modding is an ART. ART is based on the individual. It is not set on a STANDARD. Imagine a world where all music is RAP music, and all paintings are face portraits. That would be boring. I don’t want to name names, but if you someone is losing sleep about what I said, that means they know who I’m referring to.. Haha.
What is the primary design idea behind the Thermaltake Competition project?
Jesse: My entry JUGGERNAUT is based on the idea much like the x-men villain. Although my build has nothing to do with him specifically. I named my build JUGGERNAUT because no one and nothing will stop me from going to where I want to go in this industry. What better physical form would I be able to express that, other than a TANK.
You used sheet metal and acrylic. Why did you pick these materials?
Jesse: I initially, in the build logs used acrylic, but then later on used 2mm sheet metal for the covers. I wasn’t able to show that on the build logs that I had replaced the acrylic with metal because I was in the ‘zone’ and had no interest in anything else but to execute. JUGGERNAUT was built on things I found in a junk shop, and in my own home. The sheet metal was from a refrigerator and a washing machine. The guns, made from old crutches, shoe racks extra PVC pipes from a house fix we did last year, and aluminum rods that hung old drapes. Many modders are lucky to have access to machinery and funds.. me, NO. Being a sole bread winner for a household of 8, does not give me that privilege to spend for ‘personal’ gain. I’d rather use that money to put food on the table or give my kids allowance.
How satisfied are you with the finished project? Are there any things you would have changed/added if there are more time to do so?
Jesse: The end result surprised me. I had built something that went head to head with the other builds out of virtually NOTHING. So I just imagine what I could do, if I had what other’s had access to. I have never used a lazer or Cnc.
Are you modding strictly as a hobby or planning to make a career out of it/or currently offering modding services in your area?
Jesse: I am currently a full time modder. I used to work in the customer service industry. Since the PC industry is pretty big, I am paying off the upkeep of my household with just modding. I dream someday to have better equipment to work with, so it makes things easier for me and also gives me the ability to accept more customers. Right now, im on a “if I can” work schedule. I only work according to whatever time, I have.. which is very little.