Top Panel: Dome Layout
Lining up the frame of the dome to make sure it fits properly over the top fan grille.
Top Panel: Dome Rails And Braces
The rails are added to the dome and the entire top frame begins to take shape. Support braces were also added, connecting the two sides of the frame for more structural integrity.
Top Panel: Side Skirts
More acrylic is cut for the lower side skirts of the dome. The skirt pieces first receive a coat of primer, then a coat of red paint. The skirt is then assembled and glued to the bottom of the dome.
Top Panel: Window Modules
The next step is to create lighted "window" modules for the dome. You can see the individual pieces next to a complete, but unpainted dome. Below that are the painted pieces of a single window module next to a competed module. Eight of these are needed to finish the dome.
Top Panel: Chasing Lights And Wiring
Above, small holes are drilled on both sides of the top panel and then fitted with opaque plastic bits to become chasing lights. Below that, we see the process of wiring the chase lighting and installing the controller board.
Top Panel: Progress And Another Mock-Up
This is what the top panel looks like so far, fitted with chasing lights, the dome, window modules, rails, and some wiring. Below that, a mock-up of the finished top panel is made by adding paper to the existing structure.
Top Panel: Extending The Structure
Using the paper mock-ups as a template, more plastic is cut and added to the frame rails, fleshing out the entire structure.
Top Panel: Lighting Switches
Switches are mounted to either side of the top assembly. One is the master on/off switch for all the case lighting, while the other controls the flicker of the LEDs.
Top Panel: Assembly
The top panel is fully assembled and ready for final wiring and paint.
Top Panel: Paint
With all fabrication, assembly, and wiring complete, the entire top panel is masked off for painting. After applying coats of primer, black, and red, only white highlights and detail work remains.