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Old October 3, 2011, 12:31 PM
Luciel's Avatar
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Arrow Project: Mod in a Week // Giving new life to an old classic

Hi Everyone,

As the title says, I have decided to do a full project (mostly painting) in a week. I will be using my first ever non-beige computer case that recently came back to my possesion. (I had given the pc to my sister around 8 years ago and she finally got a new one). I originally bought the case around 10 years ago and was my first self built PC.

You might be asking, But Luciel, why use that old piece of crap when you could be using an awesome modern case? Well, I would say nostalgia and a way of getting back to my roots and "upgrading" them to my current skills.

I have no idea of what the caseīs brand or model is, I bought it in a computer fair in the UK back then when the whole pre-modded case market was starting.

The idea came to me last night (or, this night if youīre picky about it technically being the same day) when I was lying in bed from 3am till 7am with no success in sleeping (Spain) is bloody hot right now at nights. So I decided to get up, get down to my workbench and start it up.

I will continue the log as soon as I upload the pictures (on a rather embarrasingly slow connection here) and detail everything Iīve been doing. Enough to say I have dismantled the old crappy hardware inside it (although the ASUS A7N8X-E was pretty epic bac then) and the case itself, cleaned it as best I could (the age really shows) and will proceed to sand it as soon as the shops open ( itīīs 8.45am here) and I can get some sanding paper! and prepare it for paint which hopefully I will start today.

The hardware thatīs going to be used in this build is the following:
eVGA 790i Ultra SLI
4x2 DDR3 1600 Corsair ram (yes I know it will create a bottleneck, but this are second hand parts I have laying about).
2x GTX275
3x Seagate SATA2 750Gb
1x dvd rewriter
1x memory card reader
Thermaltake bigwater b770 CPU wc system
SB X-FI platinum pro

I will also be ordering an MCP water block as the mcp in this board gets notoriously hot in SLI configs (right under one of the cards)

I will also be painting the gpus, sound card, hdds, and dvd drive casing to go with the design.

This system will be replacing my current main PC (the fallout case project shown in this sites case gallery, which, if anyoneīs interested Iīll be selling, just the case) As my P67 asus board is being RMAīd so will be using the LGA 775 for now, and I will sorely miss my i5 2500k).

Again, I will be updating this thread with info and pictures of the whole process as the day goes by (I need to buy everything needed this morning as my car will be in the garage for a week getting fixed and re-sprayed).

As a last message for now, I encourage anyone to try the one week mod challenge, Itīs not my first time and it can be a lot of fun : ) (even if its just to ebay it afterwards).

Thanks in advanced for all comments and suggestions : =)


Itīs now 11am, I just got back from leaving the car at the garage, and apparently I may get it back before the end of the week (awesome)! But more importantly, I got back from buying the paint, and other supplies I needed for this project.

So, here it goes (excuse the crappy camera, I have already asked a friend for his much better camera that he will bring down tomorrow):

I went down to my work-area and, admitedly, I hadnīt been down there for a while, as most computer related work Iīve done in my room recently as Iīve had nothing major. Problem with this kind of thing is that, if you need to store something, you end up putting it there and thing, ah Iīll sort it out when I need space to work (lol, yeah right).

So, rather than actually try and sort things out (itīs 7.30am!!!!!!!!) I figured Iīd just "relocate" stuff off the workbench.


So here is the case, with the original pc still in it, now, as you can see, itīs not in the best of shapes and itīs had a hell of a lot of use and while it has been taken more or less care off, 10 years doesnīt do any favours to a pc tower.

So, first thing, dismantle the whole thing and... most likely throw away that old hardware, most of it is on itīs way out aniway.

Dirty, letīs clean the whole thing up.

Well, thatīs as clean as itīs going to get, at least the chasis, I will be sanding (is that the right word?) down all the panels and getting them ready for painting. I shall be doing this as soon as I press submit reply on this post.

On the side window I have opted to get rid of the acrylic, which is in really bad shape (brown with smoke and scratched to hell). I could replace it with some left over acrylic I had from another project, but Iīm really liking the idea of mesh (iīve used it before for a sidepanel and loved the look, the only downside is that the insides arenīt as visible as with acrylic, although I guess I could try and find some really fine mesh, any suggestions on this?

Until later!


Itīs 11.45am,

I have finished sanding all the parts, I hate sanding, plus I could never get it quite right when there where imperfections in the original paint to begin with ŽŽ (removing them), I had to use some dissolvant to remove the sticky pads left behind the original neons (back when they where actually neons, as opposed to cold cathodes or leds). The fumes... weeeeeeeeeeeee :p

Ok, itīs 13.30pm, nearly time for lunch here, and I have now given the 3 coats of the base color (in this case, black) to all the parts of the case (a big thanks go to whoever invented fast drying acrylic car paint, a bit more expensive than normal acrylic, but totally worthied if you donīt like waiting for paint to dry, and letīs face it, who does).

Right well, I think I deserved lunch, plus, I really needed fresh air after that, awfull fumessssssssssss, plus, stake for lunch, :cool:

After lunch I will proceed with the next stage of painting.


Itīs 15.00pm,

Iīve now prepped and base-coated 2 of the devices in the case, the dvd rewriter and the memory card reader (with bluetooth, because, everything is better with bluetooth).

I am currently preparing the case, as a whole for exterior painting (using masking tape from the inside on any holes so paint does not get inside the case).

Short update due to me having to come up for the backplate of the mobo, might as well paint it with the case since Iīm at it (rather than having to paint it seperately later).


Itīs 16.30pm,

I have assembled the case, taped the stripes I want to remain black (more on that at a later point),

and given 2 coats of the radioactive green (surprise! or not if you guessed due to the mobo design, if so, kudos!), hereīs the first coat, to which I, before anything, added a few loose drops (squirter cap) of alloy silver, and while the pictures, due to ****ty camera just show blobs of paint, I assure you, the end result is random drops of extra shiny radioactiveness.


And the second coat:

As you can see, this is why I used a black undercoat, because if I had used white, it would look pale and matt as seen on the masking tape. However the problem with this is that, also as you can see, it still has a few coats to go, acrylic paint needs loads of coats to become one solid (or like Iīm aiming for here, almost solid color, and since itīs a dual layer color (this color includes an extra base coat and the color itself) it takes twice as long to dry, so 25 min between coats.


Itīs 17.45pm

I have now given everything 7 coats (yup, 7) I canīt believe it took that much to actually get to the final color in an even way (I decided to go fully even, as the shades I tried didnīt quite live to my expectations with this color).

I really hate how this camera doesnīt do it justice, it kind of makes it look matt, when itīs completely metallic but ok.

I will now give it one hour to settle, I will then proceed to give it 3 coats of clear lacquer, normally I will only give it two, but considering the ammount of coats it needed, I feel it really needs a third, this whole process should take about an hour, once dried (another 30 minutes on top) I will remove all the masking tape and take pictures with a much better camera so you guys can see the real final result on the paint outside. While thereīs a few details I want to add on the black parts (the stripes, again, more on that when itīs done) at least youīll get an idea of the final look of the paintjob side.

If, and I stress the if part, I feel like it, I will begin the cable management and add the mobo.

Things to come:

Cable management
I really should buy green sleeving.
Painting the GPU casing in that same green (remember, the interior remains black, so it will give a nice contrast).
Re-assemble the front panel, I have decided to keep the original black X on the front as a nostalgia part of the original case, however, since the logo is gone, I will find out where I can order a new one (different one from the original).
Buy 2 led flat green bulbs to replace the blue ones in the frontal detail.
Painting the Water Cooling pump and radiator.
Buy an acrylic cpu waterblock
Buy an acrylic mcp waterblock
I had though on painting the ram coolers but because I canīt detach them of the ram itself, Iīm not going to risk it, they will have to remain silver.
Paint the top half (the safe part) of the 3 hdds.
More cable management (yay).
Paint the casing of the SB X-Fi

Iīm proably forgetting something (oh right, more cable management) but this is all I can think of right now, do make suggestions.

Thanks again for watching/reading about this fun, but hectic, project.


Itīs 14.00pm

Itīs taken me a while to update as I had a crysis, it seems that a part of the masking tape on the front side hadnīt stack down well so paint got under, so i had to re-do the coats on the surroundings + lacquer in order to fix it, but all well now!

And the rest of the parts:

Time for lunch and I have to go out afterwards, but for this evening I will get rid of all the masking tape on the case, assemble it, and do cable management + mobo.


Itīs 22.00,

The exterior of the case, aside from a couple of details, is done and all pictures from now on are taken with the better camera, notice the difference? Also, the inside of the case is NOT stained, thatīs just a reflection, donīt worry : )

Iīve managed to save the plexy for now, until I can order a new one (using heat to clean really hard stains and fix most scratches).

Now painting the 3 HDDs (again, just the safe side), the casing for the front end of the x-fi, the casing for the WC pump and the mobo heatsink.

Also, the current look of the gpus without cooler (being painted), one of the GPU coolers and the mobo without mobo heatsink (being painted).

Feeling tired but I think Iīll prob do a bit more before dinner, it seems Iīll be using the laptop tonight.


Itīs 00.25am

A quick update before I get some dinner and go to bed.

HDDs are finished.

So is the sound card frontal unit.

And here a preview of how the case looks with the psu, dvd rewriter, memory card reader and sound card frontal unit in it.

See you tomorrow!


Itīs Wednesday the 1st of June (White Rabbits!) 13.00

Today, after a day withouth sleep and another falling KO way to early and therefore waking up at 6.00am, I finally had a good night sleep. So I woke up at 11 and went straight to business. In the last 2 hours, I have finished all the painting in this project, now all thatīs left is putting it all togueter in the case!

First, the ASUS EN GTX 275:

The Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Fatality

The eVGA 790i Ultra SLI nForce motherboard

The water pump in itīs frontal casing

And finally for now, whatīs behind the front door of the case.

Thatīs it for now, see you in a couple of hours with more updates, if nothing bad happens, I think I could finish the project today, so really it should be "Mod in 3 days" : )


Itīs 18.00

Things are starting to take final shape... (in order of progress)

Cable management in a case thatīs 10 year old, not designed for this or this hardware or liquid cooling is a complete and utter bitch, also, wish I had cable sleeves.

Next update, should be the final picks (if all goes well that is).


Project is finished, and while it was a week project, somehow managed to do it in 3 days.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Mod in a Week // Giving new life to and old mod, newly renamed to "Acid Burn", enjoy.

PS: Youīll notice that depending on the pick, itīs one shade or another, this is because in some I didnīt use the flash so the leds would show up, so the real color are the ones with flash (i.e. the greener green).

Thank you all for reading and watching as the mod went from start to finish, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did doing it and Iīll be happy to answer any questions about it and the process.

I will at some point post new picks are the are some minor alterations I will eventually do when I can get to it, for now, my feet hurt to much :P
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Old October 3, 2011, 12:35 PM
Perineum's Avatar
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MUCH better than what you started with!
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Old October 3, 2011, 12:45 PM
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Not a fan of green but nice Job!

Originally Posted by 3.0charlie View Post
My knuckles are bleeding from fishing through walls a new CAT6 network cable... I found fresh, untapped electrical outlets...
"It's all in the Reflexes"-Jack Burton
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Old October 3, 2011, 12:53 PM
Luciel's Avatar
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Thanks Guys : )
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Old October 3, 2011, 01:32 PM
Keywork's Avatar
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Location: Niagara
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That case was the first case my best friend in elementary school ever bought. I nostalgia'd a little bit going through the pics. Also, is that a massive kink on the tubing leading to the CPU block?
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Old October 3, 2011, 02:01 PM
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You certainly have a keen eye for detail. I can't believe how quickly you finished the project! May I ask why you decided not to paint the CPU waterblock or the outer PSU casing?

And hey Supergrover - they say geniuses pick green.
Think you can overclock? Then show us what you got!
Join the Hardware Canucks Overclocking team today!

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Old October 3, 2011, 02:09 PM
Luciel's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Keywork View Post
That case was the first case my best friend in elementary school ever bought. I nostalgia'd a little bit going through the pics. Also, is that a massive kink on the tubing leading to the CPU block?
First person to notice in the many forums Iīve posted this! :)

Yes, I noticed it while editing the pictures and fixed it afterwards but didnīt seem worth it taking new pictures for that ; )

Originally Posted by Dead Things View Post
You certainly have a keen eye for detail. I can't believe how quickly you finished the project! May I ask why you decided not to paint the CPU waterblock or the outer PSU casing?

And hey Supergrover - they say geniuses pick green.
To be completely honest with you, I had a budget stablished for this proyect, and I had already gone over it, and I was out of paint, it didnīt seem worth it just for the cpu waterblock (the psu was borrowed so I couldnīt modify it).

I guess it was also the nature of the proyect, quick one using parts I had laying about, etc. For example on my current proyect I sure am taking my sweet time and will not spare expense or time to be as detailed as possible :D

But yeah thanks : )
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