You are the winning bidder!
When you go looking for old school server cases, where else to start but on eBay? Having narrowed missed out on a suitably "big ass case" our intrepid young modder refused to get discouraged. Instead, he was spurred on to find others just like it and eventually came across a job lot of not one, but three such chassis.
"I paid £70 for the three then another £70 for delivery. It wasn't bad value for a case as big as that," he told us. So what delicious server hardware lay inside these beasts? Click on the photo and take a stab. The best we can surmise is that they were quad Pentium Pro 200MHz systems, though only one socket was occupied. Look closely and you will see a whopping eight PCI slots (in white) and another seven ISA slots.
Move around to the back and it's hard to decide which feature gives these cases away as meaning serious business. Is it the twelve expansion slots, or the quartet of hot-swappable power supplies? In the end Keirin settled for the one that was the most 'desktop-like' in that it didn't have barn-sized holes for redundant PSUs when he would only need to use one.
Having stripped out the ancient hardware within - quite a task in itself - the first job was to treat the chassis to a fresh paint job, and the first step in that process is to strip off the factory paint. "I had a real job getting the paint off. I tried sanding it, I tried going at it with a chisel - and none of these worked," he told us. Like we said, cases like these were built to take punishment.
"I got some stuff from 3M that said it was 'the ultimate paint stripper'. You leave it on overnight and then you're supposed to be able to just brush the paint off in the morning. I did that, and it didn't work. I thought... bugger it, I’m just going to burn it off. So I heated up the case with a heatgun, until the steel was red hot, and I poured paint stripper all over it. Then took a blowtorch to it and set the stripper on fire
to burn it off."
Like you, we wish we had some photos of this insane process, but sadly, none exist. We'll leave you to use your best imagination. After all that hard work, the end result was at least worth it.
Having stripped it bare, the next step was to apply primer and an outer coat of gloss black in preparation for the Guild Wars Factions airbrush themes.