After seeing all these cool, customized PCs on the internet, I decided to take the plunge.  My goal was to build a PC that reflected my interests, wasn't to expensive to build, and utilized typical materials you can find at hardware and auto stores.  Obviously I'm interested in handguns and since a Glock 23C was the first handgun I ever owned, why not reflect that in my PC?

Originally I was looking for a case that had five 5 1/4" bays and four 3 1/2" bays.  I searched high and low but couldn't find anything that fit my needs. So I decided to "remodel" an old case I had.  Some of you oldtimers out there might recognize this case.   It's an Inwin Q500 and was the first really good case I ever purchased.  It even had a 300W powersupply!  Hey, 4 to 5 years ago, 300 Watts was a lot.

Well the first thing you need to do is start chopping up the case.  This shot shows what I did to the back to increase airflow with upper fans.  Not shown is work I did on the front.  I lowered the 3 1/2 interior bays and made them accessible from the exterior.  That gave me all the 3 1/2 bays I needed but I settled for four 5 1/4 bays.


The beige has gotta go!  So I painted all the drives and accessories and even painted the drawers to match.  You can see that I use Rustoleum black Vinyl Dye.  It works great for drives and all plastic pieces.  It's also a lot tougher than I ever expected.  I was worried that the dye would chip or peel but after almost a year of use, the drives show no damage.  The other nice thing is you can get this dye at Menards for about $5 a can.


Here are a couple shots showing the painted case and the cd drive drawers.  You can also see the new 3 1/2" bays I added below the CD drives.   The internal 3 1/2 bay was lowered and then the plastic front panel was carefully cut to line up with the internal bay.  You can see the installed the memory card reader that came with the motherboard and a front access USB/Firewire/Audio ports.  Both of these were originally beige so they were disassembled and painted, just like the floppy drive.  The front panel is black but the top and sides of the case were painted a dark Gun Metal Grey with a mottled finish.  It turned out pretty good but is hard to show in pictures.

You can't have a custom case without adding a window or two, but I wanted these windows to be different.  This is a piece of plexiglass with a life size etching of a Glock 23C.  I did this by taking a picture of the pistol off of the Glock website, resizing it to lifesize, then reversed it in Photoshop.  I placed the final picture under a piece of plexiglass and then started scratching the glass with a scribe.  In dark areas you scratch deeper and more often, in light areas you either don't scratch or scratch the glass very gently.  It turned out surprisingly good for being done by hand.

Click here for page 2