What's not to like
Step 1: Salvage
Modifying a mint Star Wars toy from the 1970s and 80s is a hangable offense in my book. So I only do stuff like this to old toys which have seen better days and are beyond being repaired to their former condition. Here, I found a snowspeeder which was intact but broken, faded, and disassembled. I decided I needed a cool case for my portable hard drive, so it became the primary candidate.
Step 2: Initial Stripdown
I first took the ship apart to make sure there was sufficient room to house my portable harddrive (one I got off ebay). I had to cut off a few plastic pieces which attached to the seats. I removed the motor and all the existing wiring (which wasn't working anyway).
Step 3: Fitting
I place a piece of squishy shelf rubber to help cushion the drive. I then wired two LEDs with 33 Ohm resistors and place them in the gun locations. I originally wanted to place a small USB hub in the location as well. I had hoped to plug the harddrive into the hub, then wire a USB connector directly to the LEDs and run them off 5V. However, none of my hubs would fit and still let the thing close. So, I resolved myself I would just use a battery and toggle switch.
Step 4: Paint
The last MOD on a Star Wars salvage toy I painted black, so this one I went in a slightly different direction. I pained the ship mainly gold with the gun, landing strut, and cannon's chrome/silver (cannon's not featured in photos).
Step 5: Power
Since I couldn't fit a hub in to power the LEDs I just used a 9V batter on one side. The other side of the ship has a removable panel where I used a rocker switch. That way I can turn the LEDs on or off regardless of whether the drive is plugged in.
Step 6: Putting It All Together
I ran the USB cable through a panel hole already in the ship. Put the top back on (once the paint and sealant dried), screwed it all together and lit it up. I plugged the drive into my USB hub connected to one of my computers and it all worked just perfectly. Now my snowspeeder sits right in front of one of my computers as I utilize the harddrive from within. I still need to attach the cannons, which are chrome colored aluminum tubes to direct the LED light, but am not sure I will like that look. I'm fiddling with some soundcards to see if I want to add sound, but right now I like it just the way it is.
Step 7: Possible Additions
From the Dollar Store I got two lasers which got a lot of use in the past few months. I'm using the laser diodes in another project so I decided to recycle the holders. They will make acceptable cannons once the paint dries and I put them on the front to direct the LED light. However, I've gotten used to the drive without them and may just let well enough alone. On to the next project.