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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. Jards8595

    Jards8595 Minimodder

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    unbelievable, work of art, take a bow son , take a bow!!!
     
  2. benjjamin

    benjjamin needs MORE POWER!

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    I jaw hurts after just hitting the floor:jawdrop:
     
  3. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    Minor update, I've been trying to get everything to fit together well, and still make most of the stuff removable as it was intended. The area in the front where the handle, the face and the large slide in side panel has been a logistical nightmare. There's 5 pieces that all converge on one space and it's been tough, to say the least.

    I did get to work on the handle. The snake I originally drew there is as close as I can make it to my original intent. But I think with the way it's going to convert into an element on the front of the case it will now become a stylized wing, like Quetzalcoatl. Maybe I'll draw feathers around the neck area like he's depicted as well. I'll sketch that up and see if I like it.

    [​IMG]

    And an upside down shot.

    Just to prove the strength of this Balsa Foam to everyone. Here it is, on it's head.

    [​IMG]

    And here is the calendar, face down on a table. (It's pretty resistant to compression, but of course run a finger nail over the surface and it's trashed.) I did have a piece of poster board under it to be able to slide it around on the table.

    [​IMG]

    The front is mostly built. The drive bays will all be removable still, but carved as well.
    I will probably have all the rest of the foam attached in place over the next two days. I need to get the HDD bays and around the window. I decided to keep the window. Not really sure why, I just like having the portal to the interior available.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the front button area, I'm still working on integrating all of that into my design.
    I did make a big stone button for the power though. It won't stick out so tragically far when I'm done with it. But it will be hard to miss.

    [​IMG]

    And you can't forget the necessity of child labor, but always remember, "Safety First!"

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2012
  4. jeckulz

    jeckulz What's a Dremel?

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    WOW!!!

    Dude, that is some incredible skill and patience you are bestowed with.

    Please get something on this to harden it... you DO after all have children running about the place ;) It'd be a tragedy if it got scratched up.
     
  5. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Did you considered (if it's not already the case) making scenery and/or figurines for wargames like Warhammer / Warmachine ?

    Great job :thumb:
     
  6. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    Haha, I'll do my best not to muss it up. I do intend, when I paint it, adding a little drybrush here and there. As well as adding some moss and vines on the final stages. But I have no intention of dropping more than a light coat or two to give it a uniform color and some added strength.


    GuilleAcoustic - thanks! I've never done it, but I've definitely been a fan of the genre and all their printed materials at least.

    Thanks everyone, updates soon!
     
  7. barry99705

    barry99705 sudo rm -Rf /

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    Have you tried "painting" a piece with casting acrylic? It's pretty thin before it sets up, could soak into the foam to stiffen it up. Or, it could melt it into a big baby crap yellow puddle.... :worried:
     
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  8. Simon Poole

    Simon Poole What's a Dremel?

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    Looks amazing, but I can't imagine the finished piece.
     
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  9. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    That might be something to look into if I have a problem with the foam, if the paint doesn't do what I expect. Thanks for the tip!


    Pics expected tomorrow.
     
  10. barry99705

    barry99705 sudo rm -Rf /

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    No problem. I've done that to nylon handle wrap on a couple knives. Works really well for that.
     
  11. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    Sorry for the slow going at the moment. Lots of other things to do as well, but I keep plugging away.

    I mentioned before that this stuff makes a LOT of dust. Never is this more apparent than when you are working in an apartment kitchen, with a Dremel. It's really why I've been working mostly with hand tools on my mods to date, anything else and I really should be in a garage/studio or something similar.

    [​IMG]

    But I did manage to go from this

    [​IMG]

    To this!

    [​IMG]

    Grooved and channeled into a good position.

    [​IMG]

    I'm working on the front as well.

    Also I couldn't help myself with the "snake" on the handle area as well, I wanted to change the idea more into a stylized Quetzalcoatl, so I put a ring of feathers around the neck area. They turned out decent.

    [​IMG]


    Just a couple more days of adding foam bits and then the rest of the carving begins.

    Boy it's gonna be a close one! My competition's mods are already looking great!

    See you guys in a couple days!
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2012
  12. matiss

    matiss Minimodder

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    WOW! Stunning work there. Very nice and keep on going.
     
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Awesome work, there.:thumb: I'm kinda surprised you didn't go with the famous image that everyone thinks depicts a space pilot. -You totally could have tech'd him out.
    ...Worst case of 'Cheeto finger' I've ever seen, though.

    For hardening: I'm guessing normal oil-based paint would melt this stuff. Model paint is designed not to melt plastics, but the tiny bottles will bankrupt you.
    I'm thinking you might be able to try Minwax urethane wood sealant.
    I'm taking a wild guess that foam is similar in composition to flower arrangement foam. I might be able to do a test for you if I can find some of that. I know it's around, just gotta find it.:lol:
     
  14. jrs77

    jrs77 Modder

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    Really impressed by all the details added there ;)

    For making this whole thing lasting: just model them like you do currently, then make a mold out of fine latex to catch all details and then cast them with a fine, matte stone-textured resin.

    Trying to harden this material with a coat of epoxy might work aswell, but you'll loose alot of detail I guess, due to the epoxy filling up all the small holes and lines.
     
  15. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    IF this foam is similar to the florist foam I just tortured, you may have more options than I initially thought.
    Spray Kilz (original noxious formula), Rustoleum spray paint, and Minwax all work without melting the surfaces. I have to say Minwax worked as well as I thought it would. It's very runny and soaked right in. Multiple coats have the potential to make this stuff really sturdy, with little loss to detail.:D
    Curing time might be ages, though...
     
  16. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    All good advice, but I'd recommend playing with some scraps of your foam before committing such hard work to a chemical that may destroy it.:thumb:
     
  17. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    This is probably in the same realm as florist foam, but it is 30/40 times tougher I'd say. Carving with sharp objects, sandpapers and all that work really well, but it can take some casual bumping around, It takes a fair amount more than you'd expect from it. But it will receive an impression from a decent whack, unlike packing foams.
    Since I'm on a deadline, I doubt that I would have time to make a casting of any of it. But I'm pretty confident that it will stand up well to movement/packing/shipping abuse.
    I will reinforce the shipping box, just to hedge my bets, though.
     
  18. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    Haha Cheeto finger, very nice!

    Here's an excerpt I found off working with the stuff.
    I'll test to be sure of whatever paint I choose, of course.


    PAINTING AND SMOOTH COATING:
    Balsa-Foam can be painted with any kind of water-based or solvent-based paint or coating. An initial coating of Krylon spray paint will help to seal the foam. Solvent-based paints tend to leave surface texture intact, while acrylic paints tend to fill the texture. To achieve a smooth, even glossy surface, start by coating your finished piece with spray paint or any other type of paint or varnish. Then use a soft bristle brush to apply acrylic modeling paste. First thin the paste with acrylic thinner or water to give it the consistency of thick paint. After coating, use a brush wet with water to smooth the paste. When dry, the coating can be smoothed with sandpaper or built up with a second application. Most often , the piece can be as smooth as plaster after one application and a light sanding. A coating of acrylic modeling paste makes a strong shell, which can be built up, sanded, or even tooled.

    MOLD MAKING:
    Balsa-Foam II has been used effectively to make the positive master for a negative fiberglass or silicone mold. Coat the final original piece with a resin coating for best results. Then wax and use a release agent. Balsa-Foam II can also be used effectively for vacuum form molds. Please contact our Technical Support Hotline at (212) 367-7561 with any mold making questions you may have.
     
  19. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Krylon: The most noxious paint on the market. I think you're good to use anything.

    I have to say that the foam here didn't get the penetration I expected. The spray paint went less than a millimeter into the material. The Minwax went in deeper, but would require several coats to get any strength.
     
  20. dmcgrath

    dmcgrath Master of Pancakes

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    Next Update,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I think this is supposed to be Quetzalcoatl's mom, ain't she a looker?

    Continued down the side, and I have yet to finish the tail area at the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    I'm also working on something creative around the HDD release buttons.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't like them in standalone form even after I carved them. So I built a channel hat they sit behind. Helps protect them, and I can fit my pinkie in there still. Even though you can use a pencil eraser if needed, They are pretty tough.

    [​IMG]

    Back to the side continuing with the Quetzalcoatl theme there, I brought the design down the side much like in my initial drawing, but I added a stylized wing.

    [​IMG]

    Overview of my faceplate.

    [​IMG]

    And the bromeliad I did on the front, similar in design on the calendar, since I already did about 20 of them, why not 3 more really huge ones?

    [​IMG]

    And a fun little guy meant to cover the key area. Not sure how I'm going to fasten them yet. I still favor a magnet idea. Maybe with a tether to keep you from losing them. Not sure yet.

    [​IMG]


    Okay, now back to carving!
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2012
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