The "Falcon-ITX"
By Russ Caslis
Posted on May 28, 2003
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Now I grabbed my dremel and started cutting away all the pieces of plastic that were in the way of the components sitting inside the case. I also had to cut holes for all the ports such as power, video, keyboard, mouse, USB, audio, and LAN. It took some significant time to plan how everything would fit and where all the pieces should go.

The power supply was a huge pain. First, finding a power supply that would actually fit inside the case, especially considering how thin the case is, was difficult. I also needed a way to get the power cord there. Ultimately, I had to open the power supply and lengthen the wires so the connector for the power cord could be mounted
on the outside of the case.

Another problem I encountered was the hole in the top of the case through which the hard drive would be visible. After removing the plastic circuitry that was there, several holes were left in the side of the panels. I had to use modeling putty to fill those holes, then sand it to the right shape. After applying some epoxy to reinforce the structure, I had a hole of the proper shape.

The extension cables for all the ports were something I had to think about also. Some were easy. For the PS2 ports, I simply used extender cables that I hot-glued into place. But others were harder, like the video cable. I had to take an existing cable and cut it to the right length and solder a new connector on. Argh... 15 wires and ground...

Next I worked on the control panel. I needed 3 switches on this computer: power, reset, and power for the engines. Yes, I added working engine lights based on blue electro-luminescent wire. The control panel itself is made from wood, heavily sanded, primered, and painted black.

By far, the most time-comsuming aspect was the painting. Using spray paint, and lots of it, I laid down the basic colors on all the pieces, being careful not to cause any drips or runs. After enough coats, and drying time, I moved on to the detail painting. This meant coloring all those little panels the Falcon has, trying to somewhat match what the actual model looks like. After getting done with all that, then I used some charcoal to "sketch" some burn marks and dirt on the toy.