This is an instructable to paintmod a Nintendo 64 with an Iron Man theme. The reason I chose Iron Man is simply because I'm a fan. My gf and I needed a summerproject to try out something nerdy and something we both as noobs could handle. So this is my part of the project.
Alright, so I'm a very simple fan with just to much time on my hands. I've never done a full mod like this before so bear with me and all of my rookie mistakes (which I am fully aware of and I'm bringing them all up to make sure you guys don't do 'em).
I've made a small shopping list to get you through this instructable:
- Sandpaper v.240
- Sandpaper v.1200
- Isopropanol (Just about any alcohol to clean electronics will do)
- Compressed Air (To get all the dust out of the machine)
- 4,5 mm gamebit (This is to open up the n64)
- Sprayprimer (To get the best result, prime before you paint)
- Clearvarnish (Just to top it off with that fresh and shiny look!)
- Gamecube Joysticks (I bought mine of interwebs, not a necessity but I figured that since I'm gonna put down alot of time and effort, I might aswell just exchange the joysticks aswell)
- Cover cargo (Only for the spraypainting)
- A N64 with 1 remote (OFC)
This is pretty much all you need alongside som very basic items every household should contain:
So! Now that we have all the stuff to make our N64 even cooler, let's get started!
EDIT: After i finished my project I just had to try to exchange the red LED diod. Instead of a red LED, I wanted a blue to represent the blue arc reactor that powers Iron Man. So, I added an extra step in which I present before and after pictures of the soldering exchange.
Step 1: Inspecting the N64
Okay! I got a pretty good deal for my N64, the reset button was broken and the cables were in terrible shape so I got 2 consoles + 3 games for free. Not everyone are so lucky and you might just have one at home that you want to pimp. Inspect console and then bring the tools - time to disassemble!
Step 2: Breaking It Down to Pieces
Okay okay, you've probably googled your way around and found the "pen-trick" where you use several pens to get into a N64. And sure, that might do the trick, but I had a tool and almost broke the bit. So my recomendation is to use a screwdriver with the 4,5mm gamebit instead of alot of pens - but chose whichever works out best for yah!
When breaching in the console, you'll notice ALOT of dust and dirt. I used Isopropanol and compressed air to get it all cleaned up!
Step 3: Sand...Sand...Sand...And Oh Yeah! Sand!
Alright, you've done some fun disassembled the console and cleaning it up, yay! Now it's time for the funkiller... You got to sand away the outer layer of the console and handcontrol. It takes time, I used a value of 240 to make sure that I only got the outer layer and didn't start to sand away the natural curves and shapes of the N64. I wish to remind you that this is my first time making this, so if anyone else use a different value and got a good result - that's awesome! But this is my instructable and if you have your own tricks of the trade you are welcome to share it :3
So, I probably put down 8 h sanding this thing. Adding a few heres and theres for some areas I later noticed I've missed out on.
I evened the RESET button out with the sandpaper so I now works - yay!
TIP: You are almost never "done" sanding. Imho I could've put down atleast 2 more hours on sanding and still get a good result that doesn't differ alot from what I've got today. But just as a keen reminder - sanding takes alot of time and the more time you give it - the better the result.
Step 4: Bathing Your N64
So, the main object with sanding is to get the outer layer gone so you can replace it with the primer. But first we got to clean away the oil that is produced when sanding. I used just regular tapwater and detergent to get it off. Brushed it under the water and then left it on newspapers to dry. Same goes for all the small pieces that will play a big part in your paintmod.
Step 5: Leave 'em to Dry
Not alot to describe, just leave it to dry. In a hurry? Use a towel and/or compressed air. Easier to let it dry off for a while becasue of all the creases water seems to stay in.
Step 6: Preparing the Priming
This has nothing to do with Transformers and "Optimus Prime". This is a first paint layer to make sure the spraypaint stays on longer and is more longlasting. Before we can prime, we need to make sure we retain the Nintendo logos and notes beneath it. This is voluntary and every person does it differently, this is how I did!
Step 7: Priming!
TIP: USE RUBBER GLOVES. I didn't... Took a long while before the paint and primer let go of my hands haha.
Okay so basicly I used cover cargo and went outside. The reason to why I preferred to paint outside is due to the fact that I live in a 24 square meter apartment with my gf and she didn't really feel like go painthigh all day + get paint on the furnitures. So, outside it is!
My recomendation is to use rubber gloves to be able to hold the items to spin them while spraying. You want to use thin layers and let them dry between the layers. Have patience, it's booring to wait for the paint and primer to dry, but it'll pay off.
Make sure you get every corner and cover all the areas you want painted.
Step 8: This Is Where the Magic Happens
This is the moment you've all been waiting for! This is how the project goes from it's grey booring color to a magic Iron Man N64! So, same rules as with priming: thin layers (keep the spraypaint bottle 25-30cm from the n64 when spraying) and let it dry between layers if you need more than 1. I needed 2 layers mostly due to the fact that I missed a few areas, or got to thin of a layer and wanted to even it out.
This is also the stage in which you can be creative, I chose to use the memory expansion pack lid, the L and R buttons for the handcontrol and the lid beneath the console to make some rep "splashes" just to moderate the "poping" color of gold. Looks nice, I'm satsifyed with it!
Then it's just time to let it dry again.
Step 9: Iron Man!
Now you add on the clear vanish to give it a nice shine to it!
Then dry....(I know, I nag alot about it don't I?)
THEN youre awesome console with Iron Man inspiration is DONE! Be amazed and be inspired!
Step 10: Arc Reactor Gotta Be Represented!
So I went back in the N64 and basicly soldered the old LED off. Which I exchanged for a new blue LED. I wanted it to glow as bright as it could, so I used a 5mm 8000mcd one.
I felt a bit shaky since I'm fairly rookie at soldering aswell, but I got away fine with it. I tried it out seconds after getting it on the circuitboard and the N64 is okay! So now the project is complete! I thank you all for reading and bearing with me :)