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Phantasmic Case Part II

Author:  Jason Dumbaugh
Date:  2007.10.29
Topic:  Case Mod
Provider:  Ultra Products
Manufacturer:  TechwareLabs

Phantasmic Case Part II


Part 1 of this Case Mod can be found here. Now we're moving on to Phantom's face for the fan grill. Print the picture below and trace it on the sheet metal again. Use a dremel tool to cut it out and of course watch for sharp edges as with all cutting.

Mask Trace

We decided to deviate from our original layout and plan and have changed from having a broken window. Instead we will be etching in a score of music, with the Latin word "Augmentationem" for a classic feel. Print out the music below, and using the same technique as with Phantom and the Rose, etch the music in with the etching tool below.

Music Taped

Music Etched

Now we're moving on to the motherboard side panel. It's a nice black panel, but when have we ever let a side go unmodded? Taking your masking tape, tape off the motherboard side panel. You don't really need to tape off the whole thing like I did, but it looks nicer and prevents any slips with the dremel. Print the pictures below and piece them together, then tape them on the motherboard panel to trace with the Xacto again. After this, I used a pair of shears to cut out the keys, though you can use a dremel. I noticed the dremel discs got eaten up really quick due to the thickness of the panel. In cases where the material is aluminum your dremel discs will last much longer and may be a good option as you have much finer control with the dremel tool which leaves you with a much cleaner end product.

Taped Panel
Taped Keys

Ready for Cut
Cut Out

We realized that we wanted to have a different paint job on the side of the case, rather than black. In this case we opted for a white base coat with a black crackle top coat. We started with these two cans we obtained from Michael's Crafts but this type of paint and effect is available from many hardware stores that carry paints.

Plasti-kote Cracklin' Finish

First we need to remove the side panel window by pushing in the locking pins on the inside of the panel, shown here:

Locking Tabs

Follow the Easy Painting Guide for paint instructions. The crackle is a two step process. First the base coat is applied (white in our case), then once it dries after an hour, we apply the top coat (black) and it crackles almost instantly.

Untouched Panel
Sanded Panel

White Panel

Panel Crackled

Finished Panel

At this point we took the mask and sanded it and painted it with white KILZ. We then had a professional paint the masks shading in so it looks 3D. (Thanks mom!) Epoxy the mask on the back of the front panel.

White Mask
Shadowed Mask

Mask Epoxied

Now that the keyboard panel has been cut out, we're going to spray it with the crackle paint.

Crackled Keyboard Panel


While that's drying, we'll make our plexiglas keys. Take your keyboard cutout and place it on a sheet of plexi. We needed 15" x 13" for clearance and epoxy room. Make sure the plastic film has been removed from the side you'll be cutting against, and leave it on the other side to avoid scratches. Again, take your masking tape, cover the plexi sheet, and start using your Xacto on the keys. We'll be removing the black parts, and since we're uncertain of the fit with the window, extended each of the keys an additional 1/8".

Keys and Plexi
Cutting Keys Out

Partially Removed
Completely Removed

Take the plexi outside and give it a light, but thorough coat of black paint. Remember, the masking tape is still covering the future whites of our keys. After the black has dried thoroughly (20-30 mins), slowly remove the masking tape. We say slowly because if you tear it off, you may take some black paint with it. Now we're going to take it outside again and spray the whole back with white paint.

Sprayed Black

Black Keys
Sprayed White

Now center the keys in the hole of the panel and cut off the corners where it hits. Epoxy the panel in place and our panel is done for now.

Cut Corners
Final Keyboard

Again, we got in a frenzy and decided to sand and crackle the back of the case too. Make sure you put paper behind it so you don't spray the inside of the case through holes.

Black Back

Now we will drill the hole in the front of the case so the wires from the front lighting will feed through. Put the front panel now onto the black front piece and bend the flanges back. Insert the locking bars again and basically re-assemble the front the way it came apart. Match the front up to the case and drill a 1/4" hole where the wires are, then snap on the front:

Hole Drilled
Front Attached

Here are some halfway pictures:

Window Side
Mobo Side

Now we'll be re-thinking the front. We liked the metal front originally, but with the black crackle, it doesn't match. We took EVERYTHING on the front apart to paint it. We opted for a black hammered paint we found at Home Depot for ~$5.

Front painted
Angled front

We also decided to do the hammered black on the top of the case, since it was partially scratched up.

Top view

And that's it for now! Tune in next time when we add the candles to the top and lighting! As always a huge thanks goes out to Ultra Products for supplying us with the case for this modification. If you guys like this mod or are looking for good cases, power supplies and many other products you should head over to Ultra Products and have a look at their designs.


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