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post #16 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
Bad Fenny
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UPDATED: Front Ammo Can Access Panel

Hi all,

Been away from things for awhile . . . funny how life and work gets in the way of having fun smile.gif.

In between that pesky think call my "day job", I worked a bit on the front ammo can. If you recall, there are three ammo cans to this build, two are stack one on top of the other to form the main portion of the case and third is stacked to the front. This ammo can will hold the PSU and one HDD.

Since this was a tribute build, I wanted to place some artwork on the very front of the PSU ammo can and I figured that it should be the signature "M" from the game. I had two art concepts but one looked much better than the other (below is my attempt at a render).

My intent was to produce a decal of the artwork on my computer and affix it to the front of the ammo can. Unfortunately this did not work out for a couple of reasons. The first was that I only have an "inkjet" printer and it could not do the work justice. The second was that I planned to adhere this to an access panel which would be located on the front of the ammo can. Once the build is complete, I will not be able to access the PSU ammo can by opening the lid (build design reasons). So I had to incorporate an access panel. When thinking about the panel, I realized that with a 750 PSU and one HDD enclosed in the tight constraints of an ammo can, it is going to get very hot in there even with an PSU fan exhaust cut in the back of the can. So I decided to make the panel out of meshed metal to allow for maximum air flow. Since it would be meshed, then I would have to punch holes through the decal as well so as to allow that airflow . . . short story, I scrapped the decal idea. This left no other option but hand painting for which I don't have a lot of talent.

Making the Panel

As I said above, I decided on a mesh panel. So in keeping with the "Metro" theme, I salvaged part of the old case in order to make the panel. Once cut, it was primed and a flat black base coat was applied.


As you can see my poor attempt at a decal did not do the artwork justice (the one on the panel lying flat . . . the other one is printing on white paper). The whole image was flat with no vibrancy as the colour and texture did not come through . . . Particularly the signature "M".

So, my only option was to hand paint the artwork. Now bear in mind I do not have an airbrush (wouldn't know what to do with it even if I had one confusedsmiley.png). So it was brushes, cotton and sponges for me in order to paint and create texture on a flat surface. Also, what you see below is a culmination of various attempts with plenty of mistakes, repaints and a lot of madsmiley.png

The first thing I needed to do was create a backdrop of a grey industrial wall which has been weathered. I used grey spray primer then sponge dabbed flat black latex paint in various watered consistencies to get the aging effect on the wall.

The last step was to apply the rusted effect. This was done by using various tones of brown and orange latex paint in various watered consistencies to create texture and depth. Paint was dabbed on using sponging and blended together. A light dabbing of watered black latex was used to raise shadowing.

I turned my attention to the signature "M". I decided not to paint this on as I really wanted it to stand out and I thought the mesh look would make it disappear into the background (yellow filled with holes). So I decided to make the "M" out of sheet aluminum and affix it to the front. This would make it stand out from the rest of the art work.

Once the "M" was cut I primed it and applied a first thick coat of flat latex yellow. Now you are probably wondering why I didn't use spray paint. Firstly, finding this shade of yellow in a flat spray was impossible (lots of gloss out there). Second, I need thick paint to create the textured look. Once applied, I dabbed the thick coat with cotton pads to give it texture. Once the yellow dried, I used various shades of yellow to create highlights and lowlights and browns to darken and age.

The final product

After completing the artwork, the panel was fitted to the ammo can (bent at the rear) and final lettering was applied to the "M". It turned out okay (better than I though it would) but not as good as if I had real talent at painting. Nonetheless I am happy with it smile.gif


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