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Case Mod & PC build for "Battlefield 3"

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October 5, 2011 2:01:18 PM

Here is the "BF3" theme case mod in anticipation of Battlefield 3: BF3 release on 10.25.2011 by Electronic Arts. Fractal Design's Arc Mid tower case was chosen for the project.

Fractal Design new "Arc" Midi Tower Case.



Fractal design Arc Mid tower fully dismantled for custom paint.



The name badge in the bezel was filled with Evercoat's Everglass" Fiberglass "short hair" filler.



After sanding the filler with Medium Grit sandpaper..



Scuffing surface of steel chassis parts, plastic bezel with Red Scothbrite Pad, to create paint adhesion for the Primer.




Dissected and Magnified each segment from camouflage pattern on 8.5" x 11" paper. Each segment was traced and cut in cardboard for individual stencils.



RUSTOLEUM Specialty series "camouflage" paints. I purchased these from Home Depot



Camouflage paint job is finished.



Camouflaged motherboard tray? Yes, the entire interior was painted.



For a rugged military look, we chose these recessed PC case handles, http://www.mnpctech.com/BlackRecessedHandle.html



The recessed PC handles are ready for installation and spring loaded, so they don't flop while transporting your PC.



Using stencil included with handles along with measuring square to determine exact location for the recessed PC handles



Using 1.5" Dremel reinforced cutting wheel to cut opening for recessed PC handles




Using 1/4" drill bit for mounting holes of the recessed handles.

October 5, 2011 2:01:58 PM



Cutting 3/16" thick aluminum Diamond Plate to use as accent plates for the handles.



Khaki base coat applied to the Diamond Plate accent plates.



Recessed PC handles and diamond plate installed and painted.




Airbrushed effect of side panel being peeled back by Mnpctech custom painter, Brad Galvin.



Brad's weapon of choice, Iwata's HP-CH airbrush gun.



Glowing effect airbrushed on the BF3 Marine.



Black outline airbrushed on BF3 Marine. A flat clear will be applied over the finished mural.



with Brad's guidance, I airbrushed the bullet holes and scratched paint effects on the access panel. I started with the easy task of filling the BF3 stencil on the left side panel.







To create bullet holes in the cast acrylic PC window sheet, using #9901 Dremel Attachment Tungsten Carbide Cutter for Engraving



Using Dremel to create bullet holes...



The illusion of bullet holes, created in the custom paint and made in the cast acrylic PC window sheet




Just a few more details to take care of, then we can install the system!
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October 5, 2011 3:05:27 PM

very very nice work. I wish i was able to do art :( . im fine with all the sheet metal but when it comes to a brush i might as well finger paint. excellent case tho, grats. now i can only pray that BF3 lives up to the case you have built for it...
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October 7, 2011 1:08:55 PM

i love modded cases, i use to build high end liquid cooled comps with cases that had been hand painted. just amazing detail in the case, i cant wrap my mind around how people can do this even after working with them. the cases are often worth 2 or 3 times that of the components inside them. one of the places ive worked with http://unrealdream.com/custom_painted_cases.htm
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October 12, 2011 12:29:31 PM

Very cool! and Yes, it's amazing how this market has grown. I would have never imagined there would be $300+ retail cases on the market...now we're seeing $600+ retail prices for Silverstone and TT....

Painting the machined aluminum bullet thumbscrews to look more authentic.



The surface is first prepped, using red scotch brite pad to scuff the bare aluminum


Is that a "cribbage board" for thumbscrews?, drilling holes in a piece of wood, works great for holding thumbscrews for paint. The threads were taped off.


For maximum paint adhesion, we use SEM brand self etching primer for the base coat


A couple coats of grey self etching primer


for holding the bullet thumbscrews, tape the bullet thumbscrews to paint stick





Paint entire bullet first copper color first, mask off the tip after cured, then paint the shell brass color.



After the paint has cured, I dry brushed the shells with "Antiquing Gel" by Home Decor. "Dry brushing" means you are painting with a brush that is almost 100% dry. It's an easy way to create a weathered effect or highlights. These are machined aluminum bullet thumbscrews



After 2 hours, the "Antiquing Gel" had cured. The final coat is a "Flat" Clear coat aerosol paint by KRYLON



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October 12, 2011 2:39:31 PM

if you dont do this already you need to start offering to mod peoples cases. the cases i worked with were just air brushed and we charged 1K per case. the level of modding you are doing is well above that. you could make bank...
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October 12, 2011 8:29:56 PM

Yes, I would expect $1K and higher for Patrick's work....this build is for Fractal's booth at CES.
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October 20, 2011 11:03:53 AM

More detailing ahead..



I'm adding lil weathering beneath rack handles



rack handles for bezel, give it more "field equipment" look



I torn-up scotch-brite pads are great for adding blotchy or speckled paint effect..



After I airbrushed over the Orange paint areas.... I also shaded over the "BF3" text...



Ok, now it's Break time, Who is open at 11pm? hmm White Castle SLIDERS! :D 

We need more Billet Bullet Thumbscrews! these will be lodged in the window holes...

Painting the machined aluminum bullet thumbscrews to look more authentic.



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October 23, 2011 3:22:51 AM

dude... amazing! do you have a website where you can be contacted by others who want this level of work done? if you dont then as soon as you finish this you need to make one. I know many people who would be willing to pay good money for such extreme and perfect case mods... what you have is a bloody talent that needs to be shared with all for profit.
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October 23, 2011 11:44:58 AM

Thank you, will you be at CES? private message me :)  Today, I painted the Asus Sabertooth P67 "tuf shield" camo, to match interior & exterior of the Fractal-Design Arc Midi











exterior...

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October 28, 2011 3:58:22 AM

Stealthed Blu-Ray drive face, painted and installed fan speed controller...



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October 28, 2011 4:09:18 AM

That looks amazing so far, wish I had the skills/tools to get into modding. Keep us updated!
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October 28, 2011 8:35:57 PM

Oh snap! Very nice case. I love how your so deticated. I would pay 2k-3k for your custom made cases if I had the money.
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October 28, 2011 10:59:13 PM

Very nice... On a side note, curse Dice for making BF3 so addicting.
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October 30, 2011 12:31:15 PM

Thank you for commenting! I will keep you updated :) 
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a b ) Power supply
October 31, 2011 11:11:38 AM

Wow that's amazing!
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October 31, 2011 7:51:09 PM

your ability to blend paint from menards never ceases to amaze
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October 31, 2011 7:56:19 PM

Incredible work. How many hours would you say you put into this?

Every done a Star Wars theme?
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November 5, 2011 10:46:11 AM

@FinneousPJ, Thank you for tuning in and commenting

@ncc74656, saves time & money over House of Kolor...haha

@pdxoutdoors, not yet and haven't counted. thanks for post!
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November 11, 2011 11:12:53 AM

While I'm still waiting for the system hardware to arrive,
I'm adding final details to the interior, like these 140mm Honeycomb Fan Grills for the exhaust and floor intake, I've painting them camouflage, to match the painted interior.

http://www.mnpctech.com/120mm_Custom_FanGrill.html



Supplies in order of Use.
1. Red Scotch brite Pad to scuff the surface of the grills
2. Tack Cloth to clean
3. Red Primer (any color is fine)
4. Apply Rustoleum "Specialty Series" Camouflage Paints
5. Apply Matte Clear























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November 11, 2011 1:53:58 PM

Dude! This is insane! I've never seen anything like this, its truly amazing. Keep up the awesome work, I wish I could do stuff like this. I was impressed by my little cable management mod but this has just blown that out of the window :p 
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November 26, 2011 8:13:37 PM

Thank you! and Sorry for lack of updates. ..I'm working on 3 other custom builds for CES, and it's getting down to crunch time.. The system hardware for BF3 has finally started arriving, so I could update you! First was Intel's i-7 2600 and Prolimtech Genesis cpu cooler. I was initially concerned about space for install / uninstall of the Patriot memory modules (w/ heat spreaders), but there is plenty of space! I bumped the asus sabertooth optional 50mm fan hole for cooling the P67 chipset to 60mm...and camouflaged the fan too! Final detail was cover the Apevia "Green blade" cooling fans with 120mm billet "Sniper" fan grills







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November 26, 2011 8:26:51 PM

Astonishing. I didn't know that people were out there that modded Cases to look so unreal. I think I've found something new to watch closely. Thanks for sharing your work MonsterMawd!

Cannot wait to see the final product!
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November 30, 2011 6:53:10 PM

Thanks for the comment and feedback! :) 

Camouflaged the EVGA 560ti fan shroud, to match the painted interior of the PC.





I chose PATRIOT MEMORY for our system memory and solid state storage!

Patriot Memory WILDFIRE



Patriot Memory Division 2, VIPER EXTREME, DDR3







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December 7, 2011 10:25:30 AM

Here are the final photos from the photo session this week. The PC will be at Fractal-Design's booth at 2012 CES.





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December 9, 2011 4:17:41 AM

the mother of mad fps tower builds.
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December 9, 2011 11:09:50 AM

Thank you for the comment! :) 
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December 16, 2011 11:50:33 AM

Hey guys, just a friendly fyi, if any of you planned to attend 2012 CES, in Las Vegas, January 10th - 14th, 2012... I will be there! I'll be handing out mini posters, So please drop by and Introduce yourself, I'd love to meet members from Tom's Hardware! I'll be sharing a booth with Fractal-Design, Located on Main Floor, South 2 - 25508. Hope to see you!


The BF3 PC and Black & White Arc PC I've built, will both be on display at Fractal-Design's booth
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January 16, 2012 2:28:30 PM

Thank you everyone! The "BF3" PC was a hit at CES! ThinkComputers.org dropped by my booth at CES for video of Battlefield 3 PC

http://youtu.be/-ZO9H1Qs8Zs
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January 16, 2012 4:04:19 PM

I just came across this thread as I'm researching cases for my new build and I play BF3. This work of art blew me away. Totally badass. Amazing work, man!
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January 16, 2012 4:55:26 PM

Amazing case:) 
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a b ) Power supply
January 16, 2012 5:39:51 PM

very impressive... some very nice touches although i do have reservations about covering over the motherboard like you have... still it looks the part and i wouldn't say no if you offered to do my antec 902. in a similar fashion...
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January 31, 2012 1:40:18 PM

Thank you to everyone for watching and commenting during this entire project!

Here is video highlights of BF3 and booth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1LWJJKTXew

Fractal-Design was kind enough to invite me to share booth at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. It was a very successful event for Mnpctech. Besides the two cases in this video, I had 2 custom builds for NZXT and Corsair's Hotel Suites. You can see them in my previous video upload. Since CES, a lot of people are under impression that I now work for Fractal-Design, which is false. I'm just a big fan of their products. I was first to review a Fractal design case in the United States in 2010. The closest reseller was in Canada at time. The case I reviewed was a Define R2. You can watch the video on my channel. After getting several hundred positive responses over the review, I urged Fractal to find retail distribution in the United States. Newegg.com started offering Fractal's cases the following Spring of 2011. Other than quality and price, what really impressed me, was that Fractal's CEO, Hannes Wallin in Sweden, answered all of my questions. Hannes also came to CES to answer questions from the public the entire duration of the show. None of the other PC hardware manufacturers had CEOs present. Fractal won NewEgg's "Best New Vendor" while at CES. This type of customer relations and passion, is what really impresses me. A lot of the other manufacturers could learn from Fractal-Design.
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!