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Case Mod - In Progress AzTtec - Added Keyboard and Mouse - Completed!

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by dmcgrath, 1 Sep 2011.

  1. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    [​IMG]
    rocks for sponsoring this case contest I had the honor of participating in.

    It's going on over at http://www.modders-inc.com if you want to check out the other competitors.


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    My idea was to make a Mayan themed case.

    I'm sorry if my Mayan/Aztec/Olmec references may get mashed together at points. I'm busy studying the various points of all of them and I'll try not to mess that up. :) But for all intents and purposes it should be classified as Mayan based since the HUGE calendar is going to be on the one side.

    Some of the ideas are really straightforward, stone textured/colored. Moss in the cracks and vines and what not.
    Some of this stuff I can get at a local train/plane/miniatures type hobby shop. I will have to go with a Balsa foam sculpting medium that I really like the idea of. It will easily translate into looking like a stone material, and be light as heck. The glue and the paint on it will probably end up weighing more than the material itself.


    I will probably omit the window in the side since glass wasn't around...
    Unless I can make it some kind of a cave/mouth/opening. That will have to come when I get the case in my face.

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    Like I mentioned on my original submission, the release for the door may be somewhat modified from my drawing. I may just make it part of the ruins and make it accessible to a finger to press on it.

    I think the key areas may be easily hidden behind some special "stone" that is removable, maybe with an embedded magnet to keep them in place.

    [​IMG]

    I do still want to wholly contain this rig's functionality/versatility by keeping the front slots, perhaps modifying the location of some of the buttons or omitting them as needed is all. And I think having the headphone hanger still available but a large sculpted item would also be a nice touch.

    Pros,Cons,input all accepted!


    Quick links to progress below.

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    1 - Working with Balsa Foam for the first time. And my tools used.

    2 - Getting better at carving this Aztec Calendar thing.

    3 - Aztec calendar finished.

    4 - Adding bits of foam to other places and making it all fit together.

    5 - Oh boy, is this stuff MESSY!

    6 - Carving the front of the case.

    7 - More front detail carving.

    8 - Making the removable HDD area better.

    9 - AzTtec is named.

    10 - Detail finishes on the door side.

    11 - Toenails and details.

    12 - Painting begins in earnest.

    13 - Dry brushing and creating the vines.

    14 - More detail shots, and packaging.

    15 - Final Pics, and Hi-Res downloads. Page 7

    16 - Started the Keyboard and Mouse, PLUS, secure packaging a 40 pound object for shipping.

    17 - The Foam Hardener I always wanted as a child, and some carving.

    18 - Final carving, and paint, off to CES Vegas! Page 9




    Thanks for looking.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jan 2012
    damien c likes this.
  2. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    I'll post an abridged version, no need to repost everything I've done, maybe you guys get the highlight reel.

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    I did a little Mayan man/chief and added some fun to him, a pair of headphones and a game controller.

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    I had to redo a transfer, kinda easy to redo, just lightly sand off the old one.

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    Lots of detail. LOTS.

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    And several days later, more details, just taking every carving line and having to bevel the edges takes a decent amount of time. Then there are several altitudes I'm working within the object as well, trying not to mess it up as I go along.


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    There's more to it than just cutting away what I don't want. Sometimes I have to work at different depths, and with different textural styles. But mostly I just scratch away, a millimeter at a time.

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    The dust gets everywhere, I do wear a particle mask most of the time though.

    Since I can't blow the dust off the object, and I can't use a paintbrush most of the time to dust either (it will wipe away the transfer marks I haven't etched yet), I use our kid's booger sucker bulb from when she was an infant. It's got a new life, and I'm so very glad I never threw it away!

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    Here's a side by side comparison of the level of detail I have achieved with the one on the left, vs. the etched one on the right.

    [​IMG]

    And a close up, I love cheap macro extensions for SLR's

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking!
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2012
  3. Fuganater

    Fuganater New Member

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    OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!

    That's all done by hand??
     
  4. O_Pucaro

    O_Pucaro New Member

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    :jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop:

    amazing , the best thing i have ever see
     
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  5. Razer2007

    Razer2007 Building Proxima

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    WOW! How are you going to make it hard?
     
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  6. barry99705

    barry99705 sudo rm -Rf /

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    Sooooo many ways this could go..... :naughty:
     
  7. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

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    Now you make me wanna do a Mayan themed rig. Sweet...
     
  8. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    Thanks for the kinds words everyone, here's a little bit more detail.

    @ barry HAHAHA!!!!

    It's actually a pretty tough material as it sits. I have been thinking about it's portability and longevity, though.
    I plan on painting it, and hopefullly that will add a pretty good level of toughness to it. As t sits now, you can bump it with your knee and not really do much, but if you hit it with something sharp it will mark up pretty well.

    ----------------------------------------------

    The next two "rings" finished. The little flower design things were pretty fast due to the repetitiveness of them. And the little animal sections, also kinda fun. I've got better at using a Dremel with just a sewing needle in there for a faster foam removal technique. It has sped me up a tiny bit, but also removes so little material at a time that it's hard to make noticeable mistakes.

    [​IMG]

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    On to the final part of the calendar. The Thermaltake logo (not only being a requirement) looks pretty good in there, don't you think?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2012
  9. mav2000

    mav2000 In Training

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    Very nice work and looks like something you have spent a lot of time and energy on....
     
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  10. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    Okay! FINALLY done with that portion. Arguably the hardest part is over. I hope. The rest should be as good looking I hope, but not nearly so labor intensive on a single piece. At least... as far as I know. :)

    The green stuff is putty, some of the joints were a bit farther away than I wanted and I kinda want to fill them up a tiny bit on the weaker areas. I'm sure after I get a base coat of paint on the job it may need some more touch-ups.

    [​IMG]

    And a good close-up shot of the Tt logo. Which I'm very happy to say came out great, even the little ® turned out!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2012
  11. St3ph

    St3ph New Member

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    This is freaking awesome! I've seen so much great stuff here and this ranks high =O
     
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  12. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I don't often visit the modding section, and I rarely comment on people's work logs. However, this is some of the best custom case work I've seen on Bit-tech in a long time. Your patience and skill in carving the panel is admirable. Well done!
     
  13. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    OH MY GOD !! Great skills mate :thumb: What is this material you are carving ?

    I'm a big fan of mythology and especially mayan one, I'll keep an eye or two on this thread (+rep)
     
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  14. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    Holy crap dude! :eeek: I just want to hang that on my wall. Terrific. :thumb:
     
  15. Tynecider

    Tynecider Since ZX81

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    whoa, bloody impressive indeed.
     
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  16. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    Wow, thanks for the comments, guys.

    I'm using a material called Balsa Foam (type 2, it's tougher). The only drawback to this stuff really has been the dust. It's everywhere, haha. Before final paint I'll have to take it out and hose it down with a compressor for about an hour. :D
     
  17. Tokari

    Tokari New Member

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    The attention to detail is unbelievable!
     
  18. Zanib

    Zanib New Member

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    That is proper artwork right there! looking forward to seeing the end result :)
     
  19. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    Another OMFG.

    Please please please don't overdo the painting. It'd be a real shame to lose some of that detail beneath half a dozen coats of dulux.
     
  20. Sunny Sahota

    Sunny Sahota Saving up for my new rig

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    OMG!! That is extraordinary!!!! :clap:
     
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