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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BIOSHOCK Case Mod, part 2

Glass windows and accents:

The arched side window is made of 1/8" clear window glass, cut into rectangles for a 3x4 grid at the bottom of the expanse. Each of the 4 columns has a small arched section at the top, with a series of segments radiating out, and capped with a single large arched section of radiating segments. Each piece is edged with copper foil and soldered into the final pattern.

















Art Deco stylized figures can be found in window columns, as lamps, speakers, and in other locations through Rapture. To make several of these, I took a couple of screenshots in the game and adjusted the image for distortion.












Working from a printed copy, I created an actual size bas-relief figure out of oil-base clay, working directly on a scrap piece of acrylic.






















Once the figure was complete, I clamped a wood frame around the model, and filled the frame with a two-part rubber mould compound. Once set, the mould turns pale pink. The wood frame is removed from around the rubber mould, and then the mould is peeled off of the plastic. The clay model is removed (usually in pieces) from the rubber.

To allow the resin cast figures to be removed easily, I use a soft toothbrush and a little bit of petroleum jelly to coat the surface. I cast the figures from two-part epoxy resin that has been mixed with bronzing powder to give it an antique gold appearance. To strengthen the thinner portions, such as the arms, I usually pull some strands of fiberglass from woven fiberglass cloth and poke these into the resin while it's still liquid.


The waterfall:

Behind the glass window, a layered panel of acrylic creates a catch basin across the entire top edge of the window. The feed tube for the tinted water is positioned behind the top arch.

Small channels are carved between the upper and the lower chambers, allowing the water to trickle down in random patterns behind the window when the computer is on. The large rectangular chamber follows the outside edges of the window's columns and has a drain in the bottom center to pass the fluid back to the pump.

The window itself acts as a reservoir for the waterfall, but a "T" adapter is installed between the return and the pump to fill the window as necessary. (This is not 100% air tight, and there is some evaporation over time.) Small arches of acrylic were added behind each of the figures, and a blue LED installed in the bottom of each. This illuminates the fluid as well as the transparent arches.

While the system is water cooled, the waterfall in the window is not tied into the system. Water would fill the entire assembly to the highest point, meaning the panel would be filled up to the top of the processor, the radiator, or in this case - the reservoir, whichever is higher. A small pump drives the waterfall, and a larger one is used for the CPU cooling.



















Cold Cathode UV lights cause the internal cables and hoses to glow pale blue. LEDs provide accent lighting for the acrylic arches at the base of each figure, and also the cooling system's reservoir in the top drive bay. As water flows down the inside of the panel, heat from the system causes a light condensation to form in the chamber, further obscuring the internal components.

Next time: The front drive bays and fan grill.

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