WaterCooling UK Case Modding Services Page: 1
Over the past couple of years the traditional PC case has seen somewhat of a transformation. From its original roots of being nothing more than a beige box designed to hold and cool hardware, the case has slowly evolved into an object of style, beauty and for some even status. Solely responsible for this transition are the early modders
that in many ways like early man
, had no idea that the small modifications, adjustments and inventions to improve the look and performance of their cases, would have such a profound impact of the future of computing.
Of course, it wasn't long before many of these idea's and modifications would be picked up by manufacturers and put into mass production. Companies such as Cooler Master, Lian Li and Antec were among the first to release chassis aimed at the enthusiast, with features such as 120mm blowholes, windowed side panels and curvaceous styling all as standard. This later evolved into what most enthusiasts class as "gaming" cases which attempted to take styling to the extreme by adding all manner of vents, louvers, handles, window designs and lighting.
But what if you're looking for a case that's customised to your own personal taste, rather than a prop from starwars? Back in 2006 we did exactly that by sending a high-end Silverstone TJ07 chassis over to a company called Extreme Prometeia
to be powder coated postbox red. The results were amazing and truly separated our test machine from any off-the-shelf chassis that could be purchased on the market at the time. Unfortunately just over 1 year later EP-UK went into liquidation, leaving a lot of enthusiasts with nowhere to get their custom case fix.
Enter WaterCooling UK. Specialists in everything watercooled for the enthusiasts PC system, WaterCooling UK have recently expanded their list of services to include Laser Cutting, Etching, Airbrushing, Powder coating and Spray Painting. These services have already become a hit with WaterCooling UK customers and a large number of the cases they've modded already can be seen over in the Custom Builds
section of their forum.
Today we're going to be putting the most luxurious of these services to the test as we submit one of our own cases for a re-spray.
Read on to find out more...
WaterCooling UK Case Modding Services Page: 2
Browsing the pages of eBay for a suitable candidate for a premium paint job, we came across a rather mistreated Cooler Master Praetorian PAC-T01. For those who don't know, this case is a good 5 years old and is in fact one of the first luxury cases I ever purchased. In its heyday the case would have set you back around £160+ thanks to its sexy Mercedes paint job on the top and side panels, but unfortunately the cases previous owner didn't seem to show it much respect.
A winning bid of just £15 sealed the deal (despite our attempts to end the auction early by waving £35 in the sellers face) and we wasted no time in getting the case shipped directly to WCUK from the eBay seller
On arrival at WCUK they got straight to work cleaning the case up and stripping it down to to individual panels. At this point we really needed to decide what colour paint we wanted on the exterior of the case. Unlike the fairly limited RAL based colour charts used for powdercoating colours, the choice of spray paint colours is only limited by your own imagination and finishes such as Pearl, Chameleon, Flake, Metallic and Thermochromic just make the decision process even more difficult.
Shown below are just but a few of the paint additives and finishes that WCUK were able to perform without having to place any special orders:
In the end we decided on a BMW Schwartz Black paint with medium density Purple Holographic flake along with a powdercoated black interior to finish the look. However, before Watercooling UK would go ahead and spray the entire case, they performed a test spray on one of the drive bezels and sent us a photograph for final approval.
Yep, that gets a big thumbs up. So let's see what it looks like applied to our Praetorian over on the next page...
WaterCooling UK Case Modding Services Page: 3
Throughout the entire process WCUK kept us up to date on exactly what was going on. Additionally a project log for the case was posted over at the WCUK forums so that we could check the status at any time, look at the post recent pictures they'd taken and also get feedback from other members on what they thought of our colour and modification decisions. Of course, no pictures can show what the case looks like in real life, and for this reason we reserved judgement until the case arrived safely back at HQ:
On unpacking the case from the almost never ending layers of bubble wrap we was totally taken back by the cases uniquely gorgeous paint job. With the holographic flake glistening in a rainbow of colours when exposed to bright light, we quickly moved the photography set-up outside to make the most of the afternoon's sun.
Unfortunately there was one massive drawback to moving the case outside - reflections. With a three part paint process including the BMW black gloss undercoat followed by two layers of clear coat (one of which contains the flakes), the case reflected absolutely everything from the brickwork of nearby buildings to the clouds in the sky.
Overall the finish on the case was what you'd expect from that of a continental car fresh from the factory. No orange peel effect, no pitting, no swirling and a surface smoother than a baby's backside. If we were forced to nit-pick, it would have been nice for the backs of the doors to at least be lightly sprayed rather than left as bare aluminium - but unless you're as picky as us, it's really not necessary.
Although not quite as impressive as the exterior of the case, the matt black powdercoated interior of the case was once again flawless with even the most tiny crevices being fully coated by the paint process. Running a screwdriver along an inconspicuous part of the case also revealed just how tough the surface was, with no damage being observed until you really apply pressure.
WaterCooling UK Case Modding Services Page: 4
If we was to sum up WaterCooling UK's transformation of our bruised and battered £15 from eBay
Cooler Master Praetorian case in a single word, it would most definitely be: Stunning.
WaterCooling UK have made available to everyone a level of case customisation that was once only available to those willing to perform the task themselves or jump through hoops trying to find a respectable spray painter. Furthermore, the selection of colours is almost endless and as we've shown over the previous page, the final results can be simply spectacular.
Better yet, absolutely no preparation on your part is required. Simply send in your PC case, choose the colour and then leave it to WaterCooling UK to do the rest. Within around two weeks you (and most likely everyone around you) will be in awe of your totally unique case.
Priced at around £120 for the external spray paint and a further £50-70 for an internal powder coat (as performed on our Praetorian) the service may not be cheap. But if you're itching to change the look of your PC or are one of those people who really can't find anything else to spend your hard earned cash on, then this is without doubt the service for you.
For further information on the services WaterCooling UK offers please visit their website or contact sales(at)watercoolinguk(dot).co.uk.