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Japan-themed, custom airbrushed PC Tower

In the summer of 2010, I decided to take a short break from building plastic cars and experiment to learn more techniques about airbrushing, masking and spraying. To do this, I needed something to spray onto and so I chose an old computer tower case. Being such a fan of the JDM scene, I decided to use a Japan theme throughout the whole build so I chose the 3 main aspects I like most about this nation: the country itself, the manga / cartoons produced there and the cars / drifting scene. With this in mind, I did several online searches to get an idea of what I wanted to spray exactly and set off to start this project!

Here's the old tower case as it was originally, in a beige color with blue details on the front

First thing to do was to take the case apart and sand down the rough surface of the original beige paint

Then I sprayed a thin layer of white primer to prepare the surface for the colour

Finally I first sprayed of thin layer of Nissan solid black, then a final coat of Toyota metallic black

I then decided to begin with the side that represents the Japanese nation. First I sprayed the middle section in a PPG beige colour and then masked it off to airbrush the Japanese Rising Sun in red

With the red airbrushed, I then masked the buildings and hill on one corner of this side to spray in black

Last details and shadows were finally added so here's the finished Japanese nation side

Next job was the other side where I wanted this to represent the manga / cartoons that Japan produces. So I decided to paint a Japanese female with long black hair and wearing a red dress. First thing I did was to paint the middle section in red and then mask off and airbrush the lady's face in beige with the necessary shadowing

With the face and hands ready, I then masked the woman's clothes and airbrushed a darker red

I then took off the masking tape and using self-made stencils I added all the necessary shadowing for the clothes

Happy with the shadowing of the clothes, I then masked and sprayed the hair across the whole side

As final details, I added two white and pink flowers together with darker skin shadowing

All the panels were then cleaned and smoothed using 320-grit sand paper and everything prepared for the first primer layer

With both sides finished, it was then time to work on the top part of the case. On this, I decided to represent the cars / drifting scene in Japan using a ripped metal effect background. So first thing to do was to mask a particular pointed scene that would make the ripped metal effect more realistic

On the upper part above the drift scene, I decided to airbrush the famous JDM pig. So I masked the lower part off and started working on the pig where I first airbrushed a silver background around its face​

Then I sprayed the face in a solid black color and again masked it off so that I could apply the pink color

Finally I applied the pink to the pig's face and once I took off the masking tape I airbrushed the eyes center in white. So here's the finished JDM pig on top part of the pc case

With the pig masked up, I then started working on the drift scene where I plan to create a track background with a drifting car in the middle. In the above picture, I had already airbrushed the sky, tarmac and stands

And here's the finished background where I also added a spectators stand and arrowed billboards

Happy with the shadowing on the red body, I then started to apply more details and shadows in black

And here's the almost finished Mazda RX-7 with all the masking tape removed and only needing some final details

With the drift scene all ready, it was then time to create the ripped metal effect. So I began by covering the whole drift car section with masking tape, then drew the ripped metal and finally cut out the marked pieces, seen above

The ripped metal effect was done using a combination of silver, black and white colours airbrushed accordingly. Finally here's the finished top part of the case with the JDM Pig overlooking the ripped metal drift scene

I airbrushed the computer reset button in white and the power button in red so that when assembled they would make the white lower section resemble the Japanese flag; white with a red circle in the middle!

These two pictures above show the shine I managed to achieve, which I'm very happy with!

With the exterior finished, it was then time to start working on the case chassis. First thing to do was to cut open the two front vents for the fans so that more fresh air would be forced into the case efficiently

Same thing was done to the rear vents, where I cut these open using my rotary tool equipped with a metal cutting disc

At this stage I decided to replace the original black fan with a clear green one that will match the final color of the chassis! I also modified some wiring of the power supply to be able to switch all the fans LEDs on or off when I want

It was then time to spray the chassis, so I first applied several layers of automotive light grey primer

And since I was going for an all Japanese theme, what better way was there than to finish the chassis off in Kawasaki Lime Green! After spraying the color, I also sprayed several layers of 2K clear to seal it off

Regarding fans, I decided to use four transparent ones with four LEDs inside each one. But I modified the wiring of these fans to be able to switch the LEDs separately using the new switch I fitted inside the power supply casing

Finally everything was ready for assembly! First to assemble was the chassis where I fitted every component in place, then made all the wiring as neat as possible to allow a better airflow inside the case

As a finishing touch, I added two Kawasaki stickers onto the rear fans, visible through the perspex grills

All that remained at this stage was the final assembly, so here's the finished Japan-themed PC case

And also here's the case connected in place to the mains supply with the LED fans switched on

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