An Intro to Case Modding with BS Mods - Painting & Machining PCs

By Published September 05, 2013 at 3:11 am

If you've ever been to a major LAN event or gaming convention (or, y'know, the internet), you've probably seen case mods. They're some of the most inspirational creations when it comes to upcoming system build projects for GN's staff, and if you've seen our recent "best system builds of PAX" gallery, it's easy to see why we get so excited about sleeving and painting.

It's intimidating to jump into case modding, though, and while our team has done half a dozen mods, we're certainly no experts. That's why we recruited Bob Stewart and Rod Rosenberg of BSMods -- makers of the Rosewill Throne Industrial mod we showcased -- to give us a top-level "how-to" guide to case modding and PC painting.

If you're looking for the getting started guide for performance tuning, check out our Overclocking Primer.


Getting Started with Case Modding & Painting 

In the above video, Bob Stewart & Rod Rosenberg cover a few key topics for newcomers to case modding; they talk about their first mods, optimal case selection, breaking into case painting, and resources for additional support.

The next video is a full, 40-minute-long discussion panel featuring Bob Stewart, Richard Surroz, Charles Falcone, Brian Carter, and Mike Landenberger. Each panelist is an expert in a specialized field -- Mike focuses on cable sleeving, Bob discusses paint techniques, Brian talks about custom molds, Richard talks performance vs. aesthetics, and Charles gives a hobbyist's take.

In our final video, Bob & Rod give us a run-through of their Throne Industrial mod, talk about why accusations of "shitty welds" were seen as a compliment, and go over some of the more advanced machining and painting techniques involved. Rod covers machine and software segments, where Bob takes painting and overall design.


A Beginner's Approach 

All the intricately-crafted B-roll laced over the advice from the experts can make things intimidating, so I figured I'd give a bit of a beginner's perspective on things (for other beginners).

I've done a few case mods -- an Iron Man PC, Dodge Hemi engine PC (complete with functional PVC exhaust pipes, connected to 80mm fans), and a GN-branded rig that is yet unfinished. Aside from the Iron Man paint job and custom cutting, all the other systems I've worked on have been old, ugly, beige cases from the late 90s.

ruby-casemodATI Ruby - encased in carbonite.I visited a local High School and took three cases off their hands, which they happily passed off, and began cutting and painting. I had no investment in the cases, sentimental or monetary, and wouldn't be remiss if I'd caused irreparable damage.

My initial investment was about $50 in spray cans from Autozone; from there, I picked up a hole saw from the hardware store and began cutting out custom 120mm fan slots in the side panel and top panel. Then it got more advanced - I bought a fiber glass kit from the hardware store and made a custom-molded roof scoop for my Hemi case's top panel fan (with red LEDs, of course). A trip back to the auto shop yielded some rubberized window sealing, which I used to buffer a hole I'd cut in the case with a friend's jigsaw, then installed a plexi sidepanel.

Nothing mindblowing, but with a bit of confidence and access to a few tools, it's not hard to fall in love with a giant piece of obsolete steel from the 90s.

None of these were particularly expensive in terms of time and money, but rekindled that DIY spirit we all get when we're really invested in a custom project. Need some inspirational material? Check out our gallery of PAX's best system builds and case mods.

If you have any questions about case modding at all, we strongly recommend you leave a comment for the BSMods team to check. You can learn more about Bob Stewart's mods over at the BS Mods website; Rod's website can be found here.

And remember to post a worklog to our forums (or theirs) if you get started on case modding!

Writing & Video Editing by Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.
Supporting film by Nick "stuBEEF" Pinkerton.
Supporting photography by Christopher Greene. 

Last modified on September 28, 2013 at 3:11 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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