You Magnificent Bastard

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Prospero Build Diary - Part One

This weekend I embarked on an ambitious project to casemod my computer Prospero. Since I originally named it after the sorcerer-philosopher in Shakespeare's The Tempest, I felt that it really needed a sorcerous makeover to really fit the moniker. Thus, the casemod began.

At top is my case with the innards out, ready to be stripped down for the paintjob. I've taken the whole thing out to the research farm shed where I work, in order to have a little more room. As you can see, the case is boring and grey, although the little front-panel USB port door at the bottom (I doubt it can be seen in the picture) is exciting.

Below, the panels are disassembled, sanded, and ready to be spraypainted. I'm using plastic enamel, a special spraypaint designed to bond to plastics without peeling. If you look closely you can see that I've also removed the bezel of my CD-RW drive which will be painted to match the case; no sense in a sweet-looking case being marred by a beige CD drive.

Next, the first coat of paint is on. I'm going with a two-tone look for the front bezel, black with red accents, so I've first laid a base coat of red onto those parts, which you can see in the background.

Next, through the magic of time-lapse photography, the paint is dry and ready to be masked. The masking tape goes over the parts I want to remain red; the rest gets the black treatment.

A really wicked case needs a wicked graphic along the side. Working with a black/red magic theme, I sketched a design inspired by occult spell circles and 19th-century orrery designs. You can see that sketch, done with Sharpie and compass on scratch paper, at the bottom.

Continued in the next post.


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