Worklog Various Cosmetic Console Mods

Madmorda

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About a year ago, I bought a couple gamecubes for cheap and decided to paint one. It came out well the first time, so I painted the second one, and then a third, etc. I slowly started learning more and doing noncosmetic mods like leds and modchips etc (eventually leading to an interest in portablizing, bringing me here). I still paint consoles to fund my hobby, and since I don't have a place where I have all of my work collected together, I thought I'd start a worklog. This isn't any single console, but rather a collection of various ones which is why it's in the Other category. I'll start with uploading the ones I've already done, and add to it as I frequently do more. Any suggestions / advice / critiquing is welcome :)

First off, let me say that I do a lot of metroid things. Here is the first :P
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To make a 2-color design like Samus, I remove and then paint the black circle on top of the GameCube. I painted this one black, then printed out the Samus design on Label paper (basically a giant sticker). Then I put clear tape over it, cut her out, then stuck it on the circle. Once it was aligned right, I painted it gold. I remove the stickers before the paint is dry because I don't want the paint to glue the sticker on.

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Here's my Super Mario Sunshine themed set. This controller is to date one of my favorite things I've done. I love how the start button is the Blooper's nose/mouth that you have to pull on in the game. I've been considering making one for myself since I sold this one.

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Here is my metroid gamecube/ gba sp / controller set. For the aged look, I sprayed black spray paint on a plate, then used a 25 cent spongey brush to brush it on.

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This was my first foray into Posca pens, so please forgive the lopsided Squirtle face XD

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My Smash themed 'cube.

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These aren't the colors I would've chosen to put together, but it was a commission piece and the buyer designed it.

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I made this one for my niece and nephews. Nes themed, but white instead of grey. I found out how to put red on the inside of the controller ports but not on the whole faceplate by spraying it from the other side of it.

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Here's my Majora's Mask Wii. This time the posca pens worked out a lot better. I used glow in the dark paint on the buttons, but it wouldn't show up unless you played your wii outside that day lol.

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I misted this resident evil ps1 from far back. Then I sprayed my hand and made a handprint.

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I used Bondo to make a brick texture for this. I sprayed it grey, then added two other colors of grey to give it more depth. More detailed info on this below.

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I 3d printed the logos for Zelda and Metroid, then sanded and painted them before epoxying them on. The Metroid one has a red fade at the bottom. Note: I've had some problems with paint on battery cover ports and clamshell designs like the GBA SP sticking together. It's important to do very thin layers of paint especially in places like this and to let it dry fully before closing it. The thinner the paint coat, the less likely it is to stick in my experience.

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Here's my custom castlevania themed dmg gameboy with flickering torches. Much more info on this on page two.

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Here is my first custom ps2 controller. The placement of the joysticks has always bothered me, so I used some skills learned from Kasar's gcp guide to rearrange this one. Notice that the dpad and joystick are switched. This one had some major design flaws fixed in the second version.

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This is my second custom ps2 controller. It's not just cosmetic, I switched the positions of the dpad and left joystick again and then bondoed / sanded / painted. Not my best paint job, but I plan on doing another one that fixes the last couple minor issues I have with it. It's fully functional.

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Here's a Gameboy Macro I made to match the special edition Zelda 3ds. Sparkly black and metallic gold with Testors clear coat. I did a custom label that says Game Boy Macro in the gba font, using the label paper I use for stencils. It has clear tape over it to protect from water and to make it glossy, and is superglued on.

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This is a SNES I did to match the castlevania gameboy. It also has brick, but with gargoyles instead of torches. All of the black parts are metallic black with Testors clear coat for a nicer feel. The writing is posca pen and I reused the custom label idea from the gbmacro. I actually didn't paint the bottom of the snes in order to better preserve the original labels. The grey paint I used exactly matches the color of the snes so it's impossible to tell even when looking for it :)

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Here's my new wii remote. I put it inside of a duck hunt gun and made it metroid themed. It involved a lot of Bondo and frankencasing, a TI reg, an 18650, trimming the circuit board, and lots of relocations. Sound familiar? :P

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Here's my wii portable that I entered in the 2017 building contest. It's about the size of a dmg gameboy when closed. It has a 5" composite screen, with the ability to output component to a tv. You can also play four player on it with the wii u usb adapter, or 3 player in apps that don't support it.

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Aaaaaand the rebuilt version I made after it went belly up. The paint job is much nicer this time lol.

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I made this for Noah for the Bitbuilt 2017 secret santa. It was painted on to a red controller so it will last longer, and I used my Posca pens for the design.

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These are my custom Metroid headphones. They have lasted surprisingly well as I use them often. I took a bluetooth headset with LEDS, a built in mp3 player, radio, and auxiliary capabilities and custom painted it. The LED logo I made using some thick plastic from an old LCD, reflectivealuminum tape, and LEDs. The tape insulates the light and makes the "glass" light up.

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Here is my tiny Gamecube controller. It was made inside of a keychain from Gamestop, and it is now fully functional as a working controller. The cable was made so short so you could use it with a controller extender cable, or plug it into a female port on your backpack as a keychain. And yes, you can waveshine with it.

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This is a Raspberry Pi 3 case that I downloaded from Thingiverse, 3d printed, and painted. I made the labels by printing out the stickers on label paper, putting clear packing tape over the design, and cutting it out. That way it is glossy on one side and sticky on the other.

Update 8/27/18
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More about these projects on page 5!

I'll keep updating this as I do more :) sorry for the long post.
 
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Matthew

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I am blown away by these. They are amazing! You are seriously talented.
 

Madmorda

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@Madmorda I think you should call a doctor. Those mods are sick. :mrgreen:

How in the world did you do the brick pattern on the Bowser cube?

Yeah, but... but.... like, you slathered the case in Bondo then shaped it by hand? O.o
I used Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty. I know it's pretty soft, but with lots of paint and clear coat, I actually never had a problem with it chipping or scratching at all during normal use. (By normal use, I mean it sits on my shelf and is only touched to insert a game or plug in controllers. It seems fine for a console, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it for a controller or handheld.)
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First I dremelled off those little wings gcs have on the sides so they wouldn't look awkward in the brick texture. I applied Bondo in small areas at a time. I believe for each application it was about 1/4 of a side of the gc. Then I used a toothpick to make the brick pattern before it could dry. Once it had, I did another small area, and kept going. After the whole thing was done, I sanded it with 300 grit sandpaper just enough to round off the higher spots, but kept the uneven worn look that the Bondo naturally has. I spray painted it grey, then used a paper towel to wipe two more colors of grey on.

Here's a test I did on a broken gc bottom shell so you can see up close. I just sanded it really lightly to get the little points and spikes off.
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Thanks to everyone :) I didn't expect so many people would even see the post lol. I'm glad you guys like my work.
 
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fibbef

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Awesome! Thanks a ton for posting those progress pics! Looks like a lot of work, but the result is amazing!
 

Madmorda

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The LEDs in the controller ports look sick! How did you wire that up?
I draw 12v power from the grey wire going to the fan. There are usually three pairs of LEDs wires in parallel with a 330ohm resistor before each pair.

Ignore the periods.

...............330ohm resistor-led-led
............../......................................................\
Fan 12v-330ohm resistor-led-led -- ground
..............\......................................................./
...............330ohm resistor-led-led

3mm leds are easier to fit in behind the faceplate, but I prefer 5mm ones because they fit easier side by side.

I drill out the holes in the faceplate, then paint it. I wire up the 5mm leds, one each behind the first two controller ports. For ports 3 and 4, I put two leds each. They look uneven if you do it differently.

0...00....000.....0000
L.....L.......L.L.......L..L

I hotglue in the leds once they're tested to all work. It takes a few hours but can add a cool accent color to a console :)

Sorry if my diagrams don't make sense, it keeps changing the spacing. Next time I do one, I'll add actual pictures
 
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Madmorda

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What causes that? Also I have these LEDs, would they work? The power supply is 12v which leads me to no..
That's a dead link. I use those regular clear glass round leds. Just like the power led on the gc, except 5mm, not 3mm. Different color leds use slightly different voltages (around 3v), but they should almost all work with the diagram I showed. I've used white, green, red, and blue with that exact setup and never had a problem.

As to why it looks uneven otherwise, take port 3 for example. It has three holes for the leds to shine through. 5mm leds look nice if you put one led behind one dot, or center it between two dots. But one led can't light up more than two.

You also can't fit three leds close enough together to give each hole its own led. And one led will only light up the middle dot properly, but leave the other two dimly lit. So figure that for every two dots, you'll use one led centered between them.

Port 1 and 2 each get one led. Ports 3 and 4 get two leds each. Otherwise it'll end up looking funny.

The reason I don't use 3mm ones is that they're smaller and can only light up one hole at a time, but are too big to be able to fit three or four close enough together for ports 3 and 4. Even port 2 is difficult and they end up casting light at odd angles.
 

Madmorda

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Those are the exact leds I use. You are correct that you can't hook up an led straight to a 12v source. Resistors lower voltage though, so if you put in the right resistor, you can lower it from 12v to, say, 5v or 3v or whatever you want. In this case, the best way to wire this up is like this.

12v => 330ohm resistor => led => led => ground

The leds should be in pairs like that. So in total you'll need 3 resistors, six leds, and some wire. If you're new to electrical stuff, I'd be happy to make a YouTube video explaining it and showing you physically if you want.
 

Madmorda

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I appreciate that but I'm sure I can wire it. I'm just trying to understand the resistor choice.
I use 330 ohm ones because when I was just barely getting into modding, that's what someone said to use XD. It's worked just fine with all sorts of colors and I've never had them burn out or flicker while playing. So I just keep using it.

If you know what color you want to use, you can always use a resistance calculator. Just enter the values you want and it'll give you the resistance you want. Just don't forget to account for that you're not just writing up one led, but two in series. Or however you want to do it.
 

Madmorda

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I made a slightly more clear diagram of how I do the LED mod. I'm sure there are other ways that are just as good or better, but this is the circuit I use and it has always worked. Make sure you use electrical tape to insulate it from the circuit board and coin battery behind the faceplate. The only other thing I'd say is that when you put the gamecube back together, try putting some pressure on the faceplate. If this causes LEDs to go out, you may have a broken leg on one or may not have insulated it properly and it will need to be opened back up and repaired or it will probably go out later on.
Diagram 2.jpeg
 
This one isn't exactly a cosmetic mod, but it's a bit late to start a worklog so I'm putting it here. This is my gamecube portable, and while it isn't great, it isn't bad either.
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Specs:
-4.3" tft composite screen
-Official controller with official L and R buttons for full control
-6000mAh 12v battery
-lasts about 2 hours 30 minutes
-wii fans for cooling
-stereo audio with volume control and a headphone jack
-able to run off wall power or do charge and play (need two cables for that)
-uses disc drive with a xenogc modchip installed to let it play burned games
-built in 250 block memory card in slot A

Flaws:
-volume must be turned way down before inserting headphones
-paint job is very fragile
-It was francased out of two boxes instead of one so overall it is more fragile than otherwise
-is glued shut / no screw holes. Lesson learned :P
-is a bit bulky to bring anywhere
-I think the battery life is a bit shorter than it should be, and a 14.8v pack probably would've fixed that (I used 11.1v)

For a first portable I'd say it's not bad. It obviously has some major flaws, but I learned lessons from all of them so hopefully my next portable will fix all of that. There are no controller ports, no mem card slot b, no av out, and no disc lid switch. I don't consider these flaws however, because I built it for me and I never use those things so I'm fairly happy with it :)
 

fibbef

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no disc lid switch
Generally shouldn't be a problem but 2-disk games probably won't work. One thing I liked about the PS1 Final Fantasy games is that it saved at the disk swap points, so if you needed to you could shut down the system and reload from the next disk later. This didn't work when I was playing the Gamecube Resident Evil REmake. I was playing it on my Wii from an SD card (cheats!) and only had room on the card for one iso at a time.

Fortunately I have physical disks of the game, so loaded disk 1, advanced to disk 2, saved, then switched back to SD card with the disk 2 iso. Lesson being: don't play Resident Evil on that portable of yours. ;)
 

cheese

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Does it let you press A to load the next disc? if so, you can probably just swap the discs without "opening" the disc tray. Either way, great job!
 

Madmorda

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I've never tried it. The gamecube is my favorite console and yet I have never completed a two disc game. Resident evil 4 is the closest I've gotten but I don't think I even got to disc 2 (I'm a total chicken). So I figured if I never use them then there's no need to wire up one more thing. If I do decide to play a multidisc game I'll just pop it in my regular gc instead.
 

fibbef

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Does it let you press A to load the next disc?
Not in REmake. The software waits for a "lid open" event (or eject in the case of the Wii) and as soon as it detects that the lid has been closed then it checks to make sure disk 2 has been inserted. The drive doesn't do anything until it detects the open/closed events.

With other games...maybe. It's been years since I've played RE 0, but I'm guessing it's the same. Honestly not even sure what other 2-disk games the Cube has.
 
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