Ironman Case Mod – Awesome! [PICS]

How’s this for creative computing? To see all the steps in detail, visit Random Access. Now, go build your own and send me your images to post here. Have fun!
clipped from www.microcenter.com
Body armor for the case?
I wanted this case to incorporate aspects of several types of Iron Man armor, starting with his original dull gray steel. Although rivets were not always in evidence, these would add to the effect of heavy plate on the panels. Starting with the case itself, I anchored short lengths of aluminum angle (L brackets) to the top and front edges of the chassis. These were used as anchor points to attach two curved steel panels at the bottom front and top rear of the case. To strengthen the sheet metal, I riveted ribs of aluminum bar stock to the outer edges using two rows of heavy nickel wire for the pins.

Armor Elements
To create a layered articulated armor on the top, sections of PVC plastic were cut and then anchored to the aluminum angle with sheet metal screws. A final PVC panel was attached to the front and a piece of foam rubber trimmed to fill the gap between the sections. The foam was trimmed to a smooth shape with a razor blade, and then covered with a layer of epoxy

Armor Elements

Armor Elements
Several layers of shredded fiberglass-reinforced epoxy were built up over the surface of the PVC with only a light sanding in between. I wanted a slight ripple effect to simulate hammered metal. I prefer to add pigment to the epoxy so that if the surface gets scratched, there is a solid color exposed. The color layers also make it easier to visualize the final effect and in some cases, can be used as the final finish instead of paint.

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements
Ribs made from strips of half-round wood trim were cut to fit the drive bay opening. Two at the top were glued in place; one was attached to the front of the DVD drawer; the fourth rib was attached to the front of the DVD drive using foam mounting tape (this allowed the rib to flex; pressing on the right edge opens the drive tray).

Armor Elements

Wood Ribs

Armor Elements

Baseplate

Baseplate

Baseplate

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements
For the mask, I went to a recent version of Iron Man – the 2005 and 2006 release of “Extremis” (also available as a graphic novel of the same name). I used the circuit-style lettering in the title for the IMD plaque. To make the case more than just an armored shell, I wanted to give it a purpose – even a fictional one. Readers rarely see Tony Stark testing his armor. He always seems to rush off, slap something together that works perfectly and is well finished, miniaturized, and usually violating several laws of physics – but hey, it’s fiction, right?

Armor Elements

But what if he had to troubleshoot something? That’s what we do in real life… so I came up with the concept of an Iron Man Diagnostic Unit. Since Tony no longer keeps his identity secret, it means we needed to identify that the unit came from Stark Laboratories. Letters were cut from sheet brass, then dots drilled, edges filed, and lines chiseled. The background was printed on a laser printer, then glued between two sheets of 1/8″ high impact plastic. The brass letters received a soft satin finish, then were glued to the plastic. Four small magnets (Tony has always been big on magnets, although his are usually transistor-powered) were glued to the back to allow placement of the plaque on any flat ferrous surface. I was going to stick this on the top of the CPU heat sink, but there wasn’t enough clearance between it and the side panel. So that became the title – Stark Industries IMD.

But what to run diagnostics on? The Iron Man mask is probably one of the most characteristic parts that while frequently changed still has similar features, such as no nose, slitted glowing white eyes, and a slash of a mouth.

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements
The mask was attached to the mesh panel, then the clamps positioned and anchored from the rear with short screws. Two holes were drilled in the mesh behind the eyes. A pair of white LEDs were hot glued onto the mesh to cause the eyes to flicker when the hard drive is accessed. A heavy duty stainless steel switch was located in the side panel, presumably to open and close the clamps (or turn on the power in reality). The bottom of the case was anchored to the base plate treads. The rest of the system components were installed, and cables organized a bit, but spiffed up with some chrome convoluted (AKA split loom) tubing. Then it was time to tear it all down and switch out the stock Intel heatsink with a big blocky Peltier cooled one. Then I stuffed it all back together, and took these final pics.

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements

Armor Elements
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3 thoughts on “Ironman Case Mod – Awesome! [PICS]

  1. Pingback: inspired

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