Ok, HUGE update! Got the case pretty much finished over the weekend, barring a few bolt-on items and logos.
Lets start with one of the armor plates. I cut out a shape from 1/4" acrylic to match the pattern on the side panel.
Using my square drill bit, I drilled five square holes for the carriage bolts.
And used the same hammered paint on it.
Another item on my list was backlighting for the vinyl cutout. I got some yellow ledstrips from Moddersmart and glued them onto the back of it, spacing them out.
I then powered them up to see how they looked.
With the smoke test passed, I finished up the wiring with some sleeving, got the back panel on and did a final test. Here's the panel off...
...and with the leds on. Nice even glow around the whole thing.
I also finished up the top turbine. Got the leds switched out for yellow ones.
Then I proceeded to add styrene pieces around the sides, including these covers for the leds and wires.
Leaving the bottoms open allows the wires to run down through the top panel out of sight.
After the armor paneling was done, I got some hammered paint on it as well.
For a finishing touch, I added an RC propeller nose cone.
Overall shot of the top panel.
Now that everything is painted and on the case and looking perfect, it's time for some fun! Weathering and rust!
To create the rust effect, I used a two-part product called "Sophisticated Finishes" that consists of a metallic base and an antiquing solution. First step was to apply the base surfacer where I wanted the rust to be. So I went all around the case, thinking of how water might stand in some areas, and where the paint would be worn or chipped off from use.
You can also see where I did some tests prior to doing the whole case, just to see how this stuff works.
Here's the top panel with one coat of antiquing solution. The directions said to wait 24 hours after applying the surfacer, but if I wanted a more orange rust look, I could apply the antiquing solution sooner. So I waited about an hour and did the first coat, and about 30 minutes between each subsequent coat.
After 3 coats...
And after about 6 coats. By this time it wasn't getting any more orange so I stopped.
Here's the front acid panel after applying the base:
1 coat of antiquing solution:
And 6 coats:
Came out pretty good I think.
That pretty much wraps it up for this case, with the exception of a few more bolt-on pieces (the CL4P-TP robot I'm having painted locally, logo behind the acid panel, and a last-minute rusted mesh panel for the 5 1/4 drive bay opening).
I'm also wondering what to do with the case feet. Trying to think of something industrial, like from a scrap heap that would work. Any ideas?