View Full Version : Carbon Fire

12-30-2006, 03:24 AM
This is my next project.

The concept is take my wife's old Compaq Presario and turn it into a hotrod looking rig. My plans for the computer itself is still up in the air. I think I'll probably put the guts back in it and use it as my desktop linux rig.

I'm thinking for the paint job:

Carbon Fiber
Either a Racing Stripe or Flames

For the Case. Basic grills on the sides where the Compaq logo was.

Well here we go:

The case before w/ the guts out.


The case primed with sandable primer.


White paint


Then I cut out the imprinted logos on the sides


Then I Bondo'd the floppy drive. Sanded it and then primed the face.


Then painted the silver base coat. The stuff I'm gonna use for the mask in a roll next to the case. It's the stuff you can get at Wal Mart to line shelves and stuff. It makes a great checkerboard pattern for the Carbon Fiber look.


Then I lay the mask down and spray with black.


This is what it looks like after all the sides were done.


Here is the front.


Then I went back and used my airbrush to apply black to darken the whole case.


Heres the front again, after I went back over it with black.


One more of the case itself.


Next I'm going to start the flames on the sides. Color? I dunno yet I'll see how I feel once I get back to it. I'm thinking bright green or blue. I just got some killer sparkle green. I think it will look cool with either one though.

More pics soon, once I get some more time to get back to it.

12-30-2006, 04:06 PM
Yeah, I can't wait to start doing the flames. The carbon fiber effect is really cool but I kinda cut a corner on one step which I won't do next time. I didn't have any Transparent Black paint. All I had was Opaqe Black. So I watered it down and used it. It kinda covered up the silver more than I wanted it to. I think transparent black would look a lot better. Don't get me wrong, I think it will still look killer under a good clearcoat though.

I will post pics of my flame technique. I don't dare take any credit for the technique though. I learned it by reading on the internet. It is nicknamed True Fire, or tru fire. Like everything else, it has been commercialized, under the name Tru Fire, by someone. If you google it you should find tons of how to's and pics.

I'm hoping to get to the flames later today, we'll see though.

The airbrush I'm now using is an Iwata Eclipse CS, it's around 100$. I think it is totally worth it. You can get a Pasche or some other for about half that, but I would reccomend going ahead and getting a good one. Probably the biggest scam out there is airbrush compressors. I made that mistake once. Go ahead and just get a regular compressor, with a tank. Mine is a craftsman 3 gal. Having a real compressor w/ a tank that can push 40+ psi is an absolutely huge difference.

I did a ton of research before I bought my new airbrush and compressor setup. I would highly recommend it for entry to intermediate level. It is a good setup for the money.

12-31-2006, 12:33 AM
Ok I got the flames done. Pretty wicked.

I know some are wondering how they are done so I'll try to talk through it.

The basic concepts are these. Start with an mist of dark color in the background. Then start free handing the shape of the flames with same color. Then use a mask and start forming the flames. Then use the mask to highlight the flames with a lighter color. Then highlight with white.

It will make more sense with the pictures.

Start with a mist of the background with the base dark color and then start laying out the shape of the flames. Keep you hands moving. Smooth strokes.


Then use the mask to start forming the flames and giving them some sharpness in the saddles of the flame bases. Then some random saddles and make them cross on top of each other.


Now you can start to really get a feel for where the flames are. Start to highlight the saddles and other parts with the mask. A reference picture helps here. I didn't have one handy.


Now I went back with dark blue again to darken it up a little and add some more shape to the flames.


Finally just go back with white and highlight a couple more times where you think it would look good or the big picture is missing some detail.


12-31-2006, 12:42 AM
Finally just go back with white and highlight a couple more times where you think it would look good or the big picture is missing some detail.


For the mask you can just make one by cutting some curves out of cardboard or do what I did this time. I just bought a small kit of French Curves (just a cheapo drawing tool you can find at any office store or Walmart).

Oh yeah, you might want to tape over the circles in the middle of the french curve though. I forgot, and it took me a second to figure out where all the little circles were coming from in the design.

Lastly and most important. Just go with it. It's kinda hard to mess up. If you do lay down too much highlight color, just go back with the mask and darker color and continue on. Take you time and just feel out what looks good.

01-03-2007, 03:09 AM
I was going to wait to post completed pics but I couldn't help myself. I added some finishing graphics and laid down 4 coats of clear. Now I'll wait a week till I sand, re-coat, and polish. Then I'll put in the side grills.


01-07-2007, 06:57 PM
Hey everyone. Thanks again for the props.

It's finished. I'm actually typing this on this rig right now. My other system started getting real flakey on me, so I moved to this system until my new system is built.

It came out pretty good. I like it. I can't wait till I build my next system. I'll post a new thread. It's gonna be wicked. I'm planning on kinda the same scheme with bright green and reservoirs on top for the LC system.


Link to original thread (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5714)