2017 US Case Modding Championship at Quakecon 2017

The good, the great, and the spectacular of the case modding world

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SCRATCH…. that modding itch!

So, when we talk about a “Scratch” build, we are talking about a non traditional computer case. Something not manufactured, but is instead built. Now, these days “built” can mean that they used hand tools, or a 3D printer, or a CNC… but the fact remains, they designed it, and they built it from the ground up. Materials can vary, but as you will see from these top three entries, they are as different as night and day in approach, materials and concept. This was a bitchen event to judge, they were all so good!

3rd place – Bastion, built by Pearce Dunlap

Overwatch players unite! Your favorite peaceful, bird loving, canon of destruction made an amazing appearance at Quakecon! Built in his rolling canon configuration, this Bastion came complete with the cute little bird, lit stripe face, imposing cannon, and all of the attributes that make Bastion… well.. Bastion! 3D printing, and major building chops were on full display with this build. Good use of weathering, blast, heat/scorch, and wear and tear made this build look simply stunning! It made Bastion’s beeps and whirs, and was actually a floor moving, remote controlled device. The movement was achieved by wheels on the bottom, the tread and all bodywork were static. 


2nd place was Hailfire by Cameron Watkins

To quickly and easily summarize the functionality of this build, only two words are needed: “portable LANParty”
This rig was designed to allow 2 people sitting on opposite sides to have their own machine, own OS, own games, and play! The monitors are attached to two separate watercooled video cards, that are each being controlled by their own virtual machines. Black gloss acrylic, beautifully abounds on the outside of this case, while the innards are all water cooled and very, *very* neatly tucked into the structural center piece between the two monitors. When not in use, the two monitors tuck in to the case. About the only thing it was missing is a handle!

1st place – Project Breadbox, by Brandon McCarthy
“An exercise in excellence…”
“Three glass windows, 2 types of wood, one beautiful machine”


The build symmetry and absolute professionalism of this build was recognized by all off us, and  may technical professionals in attendance. the joins and craftsmanship showed tons off thought and pre-planning that are required to make a build like this go together. The outside was incredibly impressive, and when the external case was slid off, the internal chassis that was custom built was equally as impressive and clean as the outside. It was smooth, the action off removal and insertion of the chassis into the case was a quality mechanism, no rubbing, no adjusting, no forcing… paint surfaces were even and abrasion free. Smooth lighting, complimentary color selection that allowed for ease of view everywhere within the case. Cable management was stellar, tubing bends even and parallel. 3 panes off glass, that allow multiple views of the quality of this build. 

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Craig Tate

Craig began modding many years ago. He has been featured in domestic and international print and web, has become a contributor to CPU Magazine, as well as participated/instructed at live modding workshops and enthusiast conventions.

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