Borderlands 2 case mod


May 9, 2013
-edit- I should have read the rules first, this is no longer a work in progress and can be moved to the gallery

Hi all!
Long time HardOCP fan, but this is my first post here!
I've been modding cases for about ten years, and my Borderlands mod is really the first that I've documented while the work was in progress.

While roaming around Pandora, the weapon and ammo caches stuck out as perfect objects to base a mod on, and the Borderlands mod was conceived.

My big, black HAF 932 was just dying to be modded! First we started by stripping everything out of the case, all plastic bits, wiring, etc. to prep for paint. The inside is already black, and I wasn't going to change that, so I masked it up (do you know how many air vents are on a 932??!!! SO much painters tape!)

The first coat was white primer, then the edges were done in black primer, the idea being that we wanted to add distress to the paint once it was completed, and wanted to be able to 'dig through' multiple layers, and to be able to see the multiple layers of color. We wanted to make it look like it had been sitting in the wastelands taking abuse.


The next coat was grey/metallic


And then the yellow


Fast forward a few steps, taped it off for the white stripe, and added the Borderlands logo


And here she is in all her glory


To get the cell-shaded effect, my wife used black sharpie to accent all the edges and effects. We distressed the case with hammers and the dremel with a grinding wheel and grinding stone to dig through the layers of paint. I riveted metal braces to the sides just for aesthetics.
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Here some pics of the detail work





The 932 has space for 2 PSUs, and they include a blank if you're only using one. I gave it the stripe effect that you see on those damn explosive bots.



Here's a shot from the other side
Our family loves to go to LAN parties. For a good chunk of time my wife and I had what seemed to be a continuous LAN party, but now-a-days we go to bigger events.

To make my monitor a bit more portable, I made a stand with a handle, and a hard cover for the front that straps around the monitor to protect the screen during bumpy car rides. I could also strap the kayboard to it, hang headphones from it, and cart it easily using the handle. So I had to add some borderlands flair to it, and after picking up the CM Trigger mechanical keyboard, I knew exactly how I could add some Pandora flair.


Here is the stand, painted to look like one of the explosive barrels

I then built a wood box with a hinged lid, and re-used the foam packaging that came with the keyboard to make a nice carrying case for it. It went through a few coats of paint.


Here it is with intentional dripping to give it a really ugly look. When you see the finished product you'll understand.


Here is the start of the stencil work, can you guess what it is yet?


A Dahl dumpster! We really had fun with this! We used garbage to give ti a garbage look, ketchup, coffee grinds, tea, and then gave it a good beathing, and applied the same sharpie trick to make it really stand out!


Here it is mounted to the back of the stand, out in the wild at LANFest
AMD FX-8350 processor
Asus Crosshair V
16GB Mushkin Redline memory
2x Asus Matrix GTX 580 in SLI
Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme
3x 128 Samsung 830 SSD in RAID 0
2 TB Samgung HDD
Seasonic X-1250 PSU
6x Corsair AF120 Performance fans
2x Corsair SP120 Performance fans
6-channel fan controller

Because everything I touch has to be modded, and to get as much heat away from the power hungry 8350 I lapped the CPU heatspreader (no delidding these babies) and the waterblock.









The pics don't really do it justice, I don't have the equipment to correctly photograph mirrored surfaces as perfect as these ;)

I use mirror glued to 3/4 ply, then use wet sandpaper taped down over that to give it a nice smooth surface to grind against. Then using progressively higher grits of wet sandpaper and lots of elbow grease the surfaces were sanded to a mirror finish. Some MX-4 slapped between the two and we're good to go.


Because of space constraints, the only place to mount the 240 Rad was to mount it veritcally in the 5 1/4 bays, so I made a mount out of a metal hard drive mounting bracket, and cut a met bow-tie shaped piece of metal that would allow it to be mounted but leave cutouts where the fans would be moving the air through. A perfect solution? No. The next upgrade will be a custom loop setup. The wires dangling are from the fan controller, which controls the 5 zones of fans


I love the look of the Corsair fans, and will only use these in the future until something better comes out. These fans are amazing.
Since this box gets moved around quite a bit for regular cleaning and LAN events or pics, I wanted to support the two massive Matrix GTX 580s.



Using 1/8 black acrylic I built a support system that would a) Hold up the cards, and allow access to the voltage and fan buttons, and b) provide space for an extra fan that would blow in the space in-between the cards for extra cooling.

The 932 had a support bracket but no way did both of these fit, and it covered the glowing Matrix logo that reacts to GPU usage, we couldn't have that.

I bought a circle cutter for my drill press, and I'm glad I did, the circles that this makes are perfect. A knife slowly scrapes away the plastic, leaving a very smooth edge.




The last shot is tricky to make out, its a close zoom. It shows the card edges resting on the bracket but still allowing air to pass through thanks to another Corsair AF120
I wanted to be able to crank the fans up at will, there is no hiding the fact that this thing can get loud! But it is in a generally very noisy environment as it is in the family entertainment room, TV, and the rest of the family computers, the noise is barely discernible.


I removed the stock fan from the door of the 932, I think it was a 200, a nice fan, but stock just won't do. I mounted 4 Corsaif AF120 fans, and wired them to a power distribution block, so i could easily remove the door by just removing a single 3-pin header. I made sure that the Sunbeam fan controller would support the current that these would draw together.


Wiring for the front fan in red and the side fans in black.



Rear case fan also using a Corsair AF120 on its own channel.

The two on the radiator are on another separate channel.

The fan between the video cards is also on a separate channel, as well as the front fan.


That wraps it up. This case gets lots of attention! The case really looks like it was ripped out of the game and transplanted to our world. The effect is amazing! And all done using sharpie, who would have thought!
At the last Intel LANFest we had a video taken from, the video includes two other mods that I'll get posted up here as well, there just aren't many work in progress pics.
Thanks for taking the time to look!
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It's really awesome, especially the vents look like they came right out of the game ;) perfect cell-shade look!
The cell-shaded effect on the case is so good that it fucks with my mind. Mind is blown.

Do you have more pictures of the whole set up with all the borderlands 2 swag?
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Very nice. I wish I had the time & patience to mod a case like that.
What an excellent mod! I was smiling the entire time I was reading the details. You have captured the feel of the game in a way that I can't describe. Bravo!!
The cell-shaded effect on the case is so good that it fucks with my mind. Mind is blown.

Do you have more pictures of the whole set up with all the borderlands 2 swag?

It really does look like it is ripped right out of the game. My mind was blown the first time I laid eyes on the finished product. I'll post some pics of them together, I'll take a few this weekend. Thanks for the compliment :)
The Dahl box paint job is amazing... it literally has that BL cartoon look, amazing!
Nice job. I really thought it was a cell shaded pic of a case from the front page link. Had to click the story to see it more clearly.
Clever sharpie use! Despite the yellow color and the yellow logo, I kept thinking of Mad World.
That is one of the best case mods I've ever seen! The third picture of your second post absolutely looks like it was ripped right off a comic book page! The details and artwork is out of this world!

Great work, keep it up, look forward to seeing more of your stuff!

That is one of the best case mods I've ever seen! The third picture of your second post absolutely looks like it was ripped right off a comic book page! The details and artwork is out of this world!

Great work, keep it up, look forward to seeing more of your stuff!


Thanks so much!
My wife was the reason the art looks so good though, still amazed that the sharpie added that cell-shaded look so perfectly, and so cheaply!!
I love the game and this is by far the perfect companion piece to it! Ever thought about doing it professionally? Im sure the folks at Gearbox would love to see this thing
I would love to do this professionally, or even just to make some extra coin.
Someone point Gearbox to this thread! ;)
What would you sell the case for or the service to do it on a pre-purchased case? I know someone that wants to buy this.
This was my favorite casemod to "decorate" (paint/draw on). It didn't matter if I messed up! I took a dremel to it, and we even tried to dent the side a bit with a sledgehammer (it didn't really do anything). I love that the sharpie idea worked out so well with the cell shading!