Introduction: Mannequin PC Case

Picture of 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:

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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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:

Picture of

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"....


fychan (author)2011-06-09

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 ;)

silveravnt (author)2011-06-09

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.

Kreat0r (author)2015-11-24

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

Shadow69 (author)2013-08-18

Dude, you're freaking awesome.

superMacaroni (author)2012-01-12

how big is the mobo?? mATX?

kristof94 (author)2011-12-28

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...

dbuck2 (author)2011-11-10

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

treehouseman (author)2011-09-17

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

ErHonni (author)2011-06-11

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

kkibler (author)ErHonni2011-07-22

Naw, they should totally be the speakers.

MDude (author)2011-06-11

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.

TampaGeek (author)2011-06-11

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...)

fychan (author)TampaGeek2011-06-11

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...

lyates (author)2011-06-09

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

fychan (author)lyates2011-06-10

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

Rayney (author)2011-06-09

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

fychan (author)Rayney2011-06-10

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...

NaturalCrafter (author)2011-06-09

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

fychan (author)NaturalCrafter2011-06-10

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

K4nyix (author)2011-06-09

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 !

fychan (author)K4nyix2011-06-09

Yes - I had originally thought about using a laptop to put inside the case - but as work was getting rid of the PC, it meant I got a full PC for £15. Keeping the costs down was a big factor in this build, you're right.

A smaller fan in the neck would be good. I kicked myself when I found another smaller fan kicking around the shed about 2 months after finishing the build - but I'll know for "next time" :D

As for stability - as a mannequin it was designed to be fairly stable in busy shops, with potentially heavy clothing high up on it anyway - so there was a good centre of balance already. Putting the PSU in the middle helped, and having the cabling exit down very low also has the effect of pulling it back slightly. I did salvage some lead flashing from a friends roof refit (you can see it in the background of step 3 photo) with the intention of placing it in the bottom of the legs for stability. It was entirely unnecessary however, which is why I didn't mention it in the instructable :P

Understand your points about the seaming and the scarring. That said - I am happy enough with the finished product, it's got a good blend of easy access and minimal visible issues... At least for my requirements - its location means that it's pretty much only ever seen front on. Would love to see whatever projects this provides inspiration for - do keep me updated...

K4nyix (author)fychan2011-06-09

I will keep you updated ! Thanks for the quick-quick-quick answer ! I won't start this until summer, at least, though. But I got some very old PCs that will love some lifting. Plus some MacMinis that would fit snug in one of those, although there would be no challenge, and therefore no fun ! "Who wins with no fight triumphes with no glory", they say.

K4nyix (author)K4nyix2011-06-09

Oh I forgot to say, this made me think of a cyborg kind of thing... A computer in a human "body", this is pretty futuristicly awesome !

ToolboxGuy (author)2011-06-09

I was quite concerned where you were putting the DVD slot!

xvicente (author)2011-06-09

all in all, a nice casemod. I just dont get why the nipples would be unwanted.

mnair (author)xvicente2011-06-09


explosivemaker (author)xvicente2011-06-09

Heee's lyingggggggg!

mnair (author)2011-06-09


Fred82664 (author)2011-06-09

She is the hottest looking computer I have ever saw ; )

CrouchingFather (author)2011-06-09

I just have two important questions, why are there not USB ports in the nipples, and why are you missing a vertical CD Rom In the..... well you get the idea! lol great mod I think a lot more could be done with this if you use a small PC design like the ones they use in cars.

When I got to the spot where the nipples were removed I assumed the were going to be replaced by LEDs or some such.

I was disappointed as well. I wonder why so embarrassed of nipples...

fychan (author)LittleMonkeyMojo2011-06-09

There's no embarrassment.... The end goal was to replace the squares and right angles of the standard square box with lots of soft flowing curves. The nipples simply protruded too much, and left the mannequin looking like a sexual object rather than a sensual one.

LittleMonkeyMojo (author)fychan2011-06-09

Hmmmm, breasts==sensual && nipples==sexual, but then you cover them up with a BuckyBalls bikini...

Sorry, just seems strange to me. Must be a conservative America view of the human body.

K4nyix (author)LittleMonkeyMojo2011-06-09

I guess he was trying to match the results of the mod that gave him the idea...

yneyugn (author)2011-06-06

YOu dont have DVD/CD ??????

fychan (author)yneyugn2011-06-06

No - it's a Linux server. Installed off USB stick & software added from the internet - CD/DVD drives entirely unnecessary :)

That said, I did consider adding one in the space below the PSU, but realised that it would involve cutting a complex slot cover for the disk, or having to open the case every time I wanted to change it. But I've since found it an entirely unnecessary piece of hardware :D

pdub77 (author)fychan2011-06-09

It would be cool if an otherwise unnoticeable tray popped out of her stomach. Think Aliens. . . Just an idea. ; )

fychan (author)pdub772011-06-09

That was an original thought - although sliding out sideways rather than out the front (the body wasn't deep enough to take a CD tray). But frankly, I realised it would be an awful lot of effort for absolutely zero return, and would detrimentally impact the lines anyway :D

robphelan (author)yneyugn2011-06-09

PCs in the future, and many laptops now, don't come with optical media drives.

Matthi4s (author)2011-06-09

Is that a Grandstream IP phone? Also why sand off the nipples?

fychan (author)Matthi4s2011-06-09

Yes it's a grandstream IP phone, good spot. As for the nipples - it's a common question. I'll make a specific post about it I think :)

Matthi4s (author)fychan2011-06-09

We have them at work, though we have a different model. Good phones, lots of features.

Pignanelli (author)2011-06-09

Had you known you were going to use the chain-mail suit, might you have just left the nipples?

fychan (author)Pignanelli2011-06-09

I knew I was going to be using the chainmail. It was a tongue in cheek gift to the wife on our steel wedding anniversary. It backfired... Didn't go down well :D

So no, it had no effect on my choice to remove the nipples - except adding incentive (the paint would've chipped horribly very quickly on them!)

c2builder (author)2011-06-09

you're to be commended for your creativity!

This is a non-PC (non Politically Correct) PC. How perfect. Actually Windows folks who don't like Linux might also claim it's a non-PC non-PC. Their loss.

Thanks for the search tips (full torso etc). I'll have to try this out - though probably not for just a pc. I expect to be "in trouble" with girlfriend soon. sigh.

fychan (author)c2builder2011-06-09

Heh - good luck. My wife was always fully on board with the plan. At least, she was once I managed to convince her of the fact it wasn't going to be reclining on the desk or used for... alternate purposes :P

dengelmann-1 (author)2011-06-09

Nice casemod!
I would be a little concerned about air circulation though...

Have you had any trouble with overheating?

Perhaps if you cut another hole in the back of the other leg as an air intake and reversed the fan in the neck to pull air out of the case...

fychan (author)dengelmann-12011-06-09

No issues with overheating - what's not apparent in the instructable (I lost a load of photos of the build somewhere along the line!) is that in the bottom of her right arm (on the left in the pictures) is another (intake) fan. This draws cool air in at that point, and the air circulation path then means that it flows over the CPU fins with their fan on the way to the extracting fan in the neck - so it's only the PSU that may cause issues.

I've had one HDD fail - one directly under the vent from the PSU - but it was a very old disk that I had originally put aside after one or two bad sectors developed. It may be unconnected - or it may have hastened its demise... No real way to tell I guess :D

robphelan (author)2011-06-09

i'm curious on how you ended up deciding on a mannequin? what not something else?

fychan (author)robphelan2011-06-09

I wanted to have something at the other end of the spectrum to the right angles, corners and squares of a standard PC... First thing that came to mind was the curves of the human body. Didn't need to be female - it was simply the first one that came up for sale in eBay. Had I not won this auction, the next in the queue was a male one...

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