Mannequin PC Case

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Posted in TechnologyComputers

Introduction: Mannequin PC Case

I got bored of having a standard rectangular square sat in the corner of my office running my server at home - so I started looking around, and found something called the Blair Witch Mod.  Unfortunately the original site has now disappeared - but there is a copy of the page on a Russian site for those who are interested here: http://mobbit.info/item/2006/04/03/modding-ved-ma-iz-bler

My wife, however, was unwilling to play along with the project, so I used a mannequin bought from eBay as the base ;)

Step 1: Dismantling Original PC

So, first things first - need to take apart a working PC, ready for fitting into the new, far more interesting, case... It's a recycled one from work that's been replaced with a new version, so it's just a P4 2.8, with 512Mb RAM - a long way from being anything special.

Step 2: Preparing the Mannequin

There was a fair amount of work that needed to be done to the mannequin before it could be used - the most obvious being a way to actually mount the PC inside.  There was a longitudinal seam that was obviously from the original moulding process, this gave a very obvious place to start. 

Using a small hacksaw I cut around this seam, with the only issues being the steel mounting points that are meant to be used to secure the mannequin in shop displays.  The mounting points in the left leg and neck aren't required, so are removed, and the hole left by the removal of the neck plate is filled to create a power button location.

The nipples that were on the original moulding were also unwanted, so were filed off, filled and sanded smooth.

Step 3: Fitting the Components

So now it's time to start turning the mannequin into an actual PC case.  I left the mounting brackets in the middle of the spine to affix a plate to hold the PSU, by far the heaviest item in the server, and one that wouldn't be able to be supported by any other method.

The motherboard mounting points (as made in step 1) were affixed to the inside of the case using a mix of epoxy resin and polyfilla, to a consistency of something like blutak.

Step 4:

Final stage was to remove all the components again, then spray with undercoat, followed by top coat and then a high-gloss lacquer coat to achieve the desired effect.  I just used standard car spray paints to achieve this.

After painting, the PC parts were refitted, and then a cheap chainmail bikini from eBay was added, partly to hold the two parts of the case together, but also just to finish off "the look"....

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    66 Comments

    Many, many people are wondering why I removed the nipples from the mannequin and/or didn't make them HDD light indicators, volume controls, power switches and so on.

    The reasoning for this was that I wanted a PC case that was as different from the normal right angles, sharp corners and square expanses of sheet steel as it was possible to get. This meant (to me) lots of flowing curves and lines - and the first thing I thought of was the female form.

    When the mannequin arrived, the nipples were *very* prominent - and completely distracted from the idea of long flowing curves and lines. It also turned the mannequin into far more of a sexual object - which would have been accentuated by adding buttons, dials, sockets and other such things to the erogenous zones.

    I also wanted to make use of the chainmail bikini which I bought the missus as a joke present for our steel wedding anniversary - which would also help to hold the two sides of the mannequin together. The chainmail would have chipped and damaged the paintwork and ruined the look further.

    So - the reason for removing the nipples was almost exclusively aesthetic - and not for any deep psychological reason... I happen to quite like nipples of the pink variety ;)

    I find it slightly twisted and uncomfortable that you removed the nipples. Do you have a nipple collection in a jar or somthing?

    That said you did a great job. I really like it. I always wanted to make a cool custom case out of an old military radio.

    Note to self: Do NOT fall asleep around fychan. He steals nipples.

    great idea. but the hdd should be one of those that can be mounted vertically,otherwise the magnet will fail after a while.

    Dude, you're freaking awesome.

    I just have to say, it would be awesome to have a girl help you with the mold. I mean if they would only agree with the mold...

    Why in the world would you want to sand off the nipples??

    What would have been cool is if you didn't want to have nipples and you wanted a switch there you could put a touch switch, it wouldn't stick out and it would still work, but that also allows you to put the switches anywhere, possibly the stomach could also be a good area since it might be easier to reach

    the nipples... could be... POWER and HDD-LED - just a hint ;P

    1 reply

    Naw, they should totally be the speakers.

    This would be a fun, though likely very impractical, way to make the torso of an humanoid robot. An animatronic chatbot would be reasonable, I think, but making it walk would be difficult. There's already a few instructables on heads and arms, and one on using chatbots with any kind of talking toy. The hard part would be if you wanted to make it mobile. There's an instructable on how to make a talking robot butler, and this would be a nice way to make the body if the guts would fit, though I don't think there's an easy or cheap way to make a walking robot at that scale. A wheeled base might be good enough if you can hide it under a dress or apron. Actually, yeah, this might not be that bad a way to make the shell for a robot buddy. And that's enough sleep-deprived rambling for now.

    Very nice, interesting modification... but I can't help but be a bit more fascinated by the chain mail bikini and the comment of it being a joke gift for your wife. Where on earth did you find it? (The bikini, that is, not your wife...)

    1 reply

    Heh... It was yet another genius eBay purchase. I tell you, that place is full of weird and wonderful stuff ;)

    Before you make a similar investment however, I must warn you that "hitting the roof" would not be an adequate description of the response from my wife upon presentation. In fact, NATO thought we were under nuclear attack for 20 minutes or so...

    Thanks for an interesting mod/project!
    Any advice on buying a mannequin?

    1 reply

    Make sure it's a full-torso one. A lot of the ones on eBay are only half-casts... So they have no back to them. That would be fine if you were looking to hang it on a wall for instance, and mounted all of your components to the front wall instead...

    Other than that, I guess just go for the biggest one you can get to make life simple. Obviously you can do things like use an old Eee-PC for the parts, that would require much less room than a desktop motherboard, so allow you to buy a smaller mannequin... Or if you want to think about putting liquid cooling systems and DVD drives and things in it might be worth looking at the "plus sized" mannequins, or perhaps even full body ones with more room in the arms and legs to be fitting components...

    Generally speaking, it'll probably be easier to find a mannequin you like & want to use, and then start hunting for components that will fit nicely inside it, rather than the other way around :D

    I am so going to use this when I make my gaming computer. Any ideas on how to make it water cooled?

    1 reply

    Nope - sorry. My PC was a very low spec one, that just sits as a file/lightweight web server, so is under no strain.

    That said, the original Blair Witch Mod that inspired me was water(or liquid at any rate) cooled - you may be able to get some ideas from that one...

    I would be nervous about the fridge magnets in my computer "case". but at least the "mother board" has a feminine body to go with it...lol

    1 reply

    They're fridge door magnets, so extremely weak - only any use if two are touching each other :)

    Very interesting mod, I might have to try that _ since i'm re-decorating my room, this will probably be a major piece of art in it.

    By the way, I guess using smaller computer designs _assuming you're ready to put some money in this_ would help lots, allowing to add some cool features. Maybe a water cooling system would also improve the design, making it more silent and less prone to overheating, and also removing the pretty disgracious fan in the neck.

    Also, how did you insure the stability of the mod ? I'd be afraid of it falling.

    Other idea I made up right now, instead of completely splitting the mannequin... Why not cutting out a "door" in the back, maybe having to remove some other parts of the back for the original mount, and then sealing them back with epoxy, leaving a single smaller door for small changes and maintenance _ hdds, access to usb, change of components other than the motherboard, basically. This would reduce the "scars" on the body and give a rather "professional"/"industrial"/"commercial" finish.
    All ideas I will try later on.

    Thanks for the original idea, if my own try works out, I will post a responsive instructable !