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Mod By: Ryan Williams [06.16.03]
Edited By: Trevor Flynn

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Custom Front Bezel Part Two

After taking a week or so off for midterms, I came back to the shop with a clear head and renewed confidence in my ability to take another shot at that dastardly front bezel.  After a little bit of sanding and a lot of elbow grease I was able to knock the horribly messed up coat of powder down to a relatively smooth surface. This actually worked out rather well, as you can see that the initial coat of powder, once sanded, filled in the minor track marks that were left by the "English Wheel".  Here are the results of all my sanding:


Here she is done over again, this time with an Argent Silver Base Coat. I had to pull it out of the oven early as I thought I could see some spots starting to form. I frankly have no idea why this POS was being such a bugger. Anyway,in the end it turned out okay.

Next I taped a smaller version of the HardCoreWare logo off on the bezel, in preperation of applying the translucent red topcoat.

Here it is baking in the oven:

And here is the finished product sitting pretty in the sun.  My original intent had always been to remove the tape from the front and paint the logo a different color.  After applying this topcoat though I was forced to rethink that decision for two reasons.  First was that the tape gave the logo a nice dark embossed look which was pretty cool.  Secondly, the powder sealed the tape on there pretty tight and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get it off without messing up the rest of the paint job.

With the front bezel almost completed I moved on to the exterior case  panels.  I wanted to do something a little more interesting than just a shiny coat of red.  Being the car buff that I am, I decided that a nice set of flames to match the ones etched onto the side window would look cool.  Here you can see the top panel taped off and ready for some powder.  I first taped off the flames, and layed down a coat of Mirror Black, then reversed the tape job and layed down a coat of Translucent Red.

Here's the top out of the oven and attached to the case. 

At this point I still had to clear  coat and sand it, and as you can see from the pic she's a tad on the orange peely side, but the flames turned out pretty well.

 Here's a better picture of that dreaded orange peel you always hear about.

I actually didn't wet sand any of the case, as we now use a dry sanding setup.  The 3M stikit II system uses a DA (Dual Action) pneumatic sander with a foam interface pad, and special sand paper.  In the picture below you can see that I had sanded all the orange peel out, this was done with some 1500 grit paper.

A shot of it cleaned up post sanding.

 Finally, here is a pic of the finished top all buffed out and in the sun.

Case with the side and top panels completed.  Matched the flames from the side panel up with the ones in the window for a nice continuous feel.

You can see a tiny bit of the lighting mods in the pic as well.  Check out the next page for more details on what type of lighting I used.

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