asked RockStar if they had any balls and they said yeah plenty… they
sent over a big bag of ping pong balls with the table tennis logo on
them. We sorted through them and found several that didn’t have the
seam going through the logo and also received the logo print well.
Originally we thought we would be making the ping pong ball as the
power button but ultimately the power button is so small it just
becomes a small button that no longer even looks like a ping pong
ball sitting on top of the face plate so we ditched that idea and
went with a floating flux LED lighted ball in the window. The flux
led has a wide angle >100 degrees of dispersion and high light
output so it was ideal for evenly lighting the ball with little room
developed and mocked up options we started with some old Thomson DVD
lids just to get an idea of proportions to paint the DVD lid to look
like a table tennis table.
a quick mockup with a window cut lid and went from there to figure
out exactly how it should all lay out
lid was first cut with our #4 cut done the same as in our
Perfect Cuts Service
but we installed a cut down paddle into our router template. The
benefit of templating and jigging the lid allows us to do perfect
copies of a cut pattern every time. The downside of router cutting
is that you can only make a point as small as the router bit
itself. We normally use a ˝ inch bit but for this we finished up
with a Ľ inch bit to get a little closer to the ends. We sill had
plenty of manual plastic whittling and sanding to achieve sharp
flowing points around the paddle.
handle was a bit of a sticking point do we stain and mount the
handle, or try to paint wood with car paint? We thought there might
be some issues with painting the handle and the wood expanding and
what not. Also the red stripe in the handle is a foam substance
that likely nothing would adhere to properly. Now what? Mould one
out of epoxy resin of course. A company nearby that sells many
varieties of resins, silicones, aluminum polymers and all this crazy
stuff you can work with. Basically you take a two part silicone
that is the approximate consistency of marshmallow ice cream topping
- mix it with hardener then pour it over the part you want to
reproduce. We used a paper towel tube with our part inserted to
retain the silicone. We added toothpicks and clay to makeup the
drain tubes. The mould needs a day to harden and then can be cut
open down one side with a sharp blade, a zig zagy approach works
best to help keep the shape when it is time to close the mould. We
like to let the mould setup an extra day before pouring with epoxy.
The epoxy needs to setup for about 48 hours before you can work with
it and heat aids the curing process . A running Xbox make a great
little warm air blower and we have plenty around.
Originally we wanted to go with this crazy emerald green metal flake
but decided that the color and our pattern would just be too much so
we went with white as the primary color. We opted to paint the
entire box white first and then paint each color on top of that.
Prior to painting white we needed to prep the side the logo would be
painted on to remove the words “Xbox 360” We found a good body
filler with high adhesion properties that works well with plastic at
a local supplier
Graphics are not our strong suit but we were able to sample a rope
pattern from some nautical clip art and combine with the two paddles
from the table tennis logo hoping that we would capture a table
tennis net / Louis Vutton hand bag pattern kind of thing. This was
amongst the most challenging part of the process 20+ renditions
later the single cell that makes up the pattern looks like this.
(save it and set as tiled desktop wall paper to get the full
effect) It was important to make this as detailed as possible the
so a vinyl cutter could cut the pattern into paint mask
effectively. The high resolution version of this image is about
800X800. This allowed the intricate lines that make up the paddles
and handles to retain their detail so it can be cut to the mask.
If you would like to hear more about what a vinyl cutter is and how
it can be used in paint masking feel free to read our review here.
have a sheet of pattern. Our method was to remove every piece of
vinyl we wanted black and then apply the mask to the box. When
removing the mask most of the intricate pieces are left on the
backing. Being that we were dealing with 1000’s of little black
pieces still meant a great deal of plucking with a tweezers to fully
prep the mask.
to wrap the 360
with the contour fitting special paint mask vinyl, we found it
impossible to actually wrap a continuous pattern around the
faceplate. With the concave shape of the faceplate there was no way
we would have a continuous matching pattern wrapping the box. In
the end this worked well, we just did the two patterned sides and
ended up with having to do something different with the face. We
liked the idea of bringing the black from the top down into the
Applying the logo we made some reference lines to find the perfect
center of the case horizontally and vertically. We then made
similar reference marks on the logo itself.
made lining up the pattern easier in the end we moved it a bit from
perfect center to a spot we like better for the overall look, a
little forward and a little up as I recall. This spot seemed to be
the best balance point.
then had to manually cut away the lower mask so the logo could be
applied directly to the white painted surface.
to making some graphics… sigh… Lets try to pick up the large black
oval from the logo and make it straight rather than curve. After
hours of developing the graphic within the sticker cutter LXI
Express software we found the machine was unable to cut the graphic
with the vector images as well as the letters that were imported via
a JPG. It seems we needed to export to a raster image and then
resample the image via the vector tracing tool. Trouble is if you
do that it works at some of the lower settings that produce a jagged
edge but fails to load the image if you do it at a setting above
where it is looking almost acceptable.
||With the graphics complete and masks applied.
We went on to work with our base coats. Items that needed to
be all white or included white were painted first. Its a good
idea to have everything out in front of you and a notebook to fully
plan what needs paint and the best order to hope to avoid
Painting the DVD and the Paddle Handle required a different approach
to the rest of the components. The anodized coating of the DVD drive and the epoxy of
the handle just does not play well with basecoats. Weand really
required a different primer to adhere properly. We found an epoxy
primer that we like well for the task.
||Once primed we masked out the lines on the
DVD lid and painted green over the white. We also painted most
of what will not be visible black. In this step we went with
the closest green we could find in a spray can with a matte finish
||Black painted over white. Notice the
red paddle is black, this is mask left on the lid to help allow us
to align the next full mask that only leaves the red paddle area
||Once red is painted and the mask removed the
result is something like this. Note the matte finish as
opposed to our clear coated finished pieces.
||All the base coats are now complete.
The red rubber is just laying in place for the photo
Preparing the window we started with our typical window pattern and
then added drill holes to accommodate the extra screws for the
paddle handle, all the pegs and the middle bump behind the O in
where the O in Xbox fits on the surface of the lid seems to explain
the extra bump in the back of the lid.
||To complete the pattern theme we added the
black and white to the fan shroud so it can be seen through the
||Installing the new black painted epoxy handle
we used a couple Xbox motherboard screws and washers to offer the
clearance needed... just to be sure we also epoxy it in place.
||We used 3M Super 77 spray contact adhesive to
apply the red rubber paddle surface. We had some old school
brush on stuff that seemed to grip even better but it was so noxious
it actually broke down the rubber making it soft which seemed okay
until we realized it also made the rubber grow, so much so that it
no longer fit on the pre cut surface. Super 77 on the other
hand did not affect the rubber in any way but when it was setup you
can in fact remove the rubber if you really try to peel it off.
feet were installed to replace the stock gray ones to maintain our
black and white theme.
also swapped the thumbsticks and D-pad on the controllers to replace
the gray stock ones with black sanded down original S-Type
thumbsticks. We changed the controllers LED from green to
white surface mount leds and signature white rumble activated back
and start buttons.