Mighty Kat!

Mighty Kat - topside

My most current project is customizing one of my home grown PowerBooks. This machine is based on the PowerBook 2400/240, which was only sold in Japan. The Japanese are rather fanatical about customizing thier machines. They have available to them a plethora of vinyl sheeting that can be applied with a heat gun. Unfortunately, it's hard to make the vinyl conform to oddly shaped pieces, so they tend only to do the big parts. I have decided to paint mine. I have selected as my pigment Pactra "True Blue Pearl" metallic part #RC293. The pictures really don't do this color justice. My digital camera's compression just eats up the sparklies. Pactra is nice because it's thin enough to fill in the embossments around the ports and because it has an agressive polycarbonate solvent that makes it polymerize as part of the plastic, therefore making it very tough. It takes about 3 days to cure completely and I should warn you that it's profoundly stanky. I do mean stanky. Use it outside on a warm day. The downsides are that because it's thin I have to sand all the texture off the plastic, and pactra does not cure with a high gloss finish. After I'm satisfied with coverage and it's cured fully, I plan on shooting it with some acryllic clear coat that I can later wax to a new car shine.

Mighty Kat - bottom

Sanding every surface is a long, boring, tedious, and very thereputic process. I enjoy sitting out on my balcony on a mild bay area summer day sanding and painting. Given the amount of overtime I've been working, projects like these keep me from climbing the nearest clocktower and shooting my co-workers. Yes I know you guys are reading this and you all know what kind of a nut I am. My roomate thinks I'm completely off my rocker. Some day I shall endeavor to buy a rocking chair and fall off of it periodically. Sorry the picture of the bottom is a bit out of focus.

Mighty Kat - parts

I now have 2 coats of Pactra on every piece and I must admit it's turning out quite nice. The color is opacifying properly, and it's even picking up a shine. I'm all out of Pactra now so I won't be able to do any more until the hobby store re-opens after the holiday, which means next weekend at the earliest. I wish they sold the stuff in cans bigger than 3 ounces. I had to apply some liquid mask to the IR window to protect it from overspray as well. I still plan on doing at least 3 coats of Pactra and then 2 coats of clear acryllic. Hopefully this project be done in the next few weeks. I have a spare mouse button and I'm considering painting it and the PCMCIA eject buttons a crimson red. I'll probably paint the mouse button first, see how it looks, and then decide. I've also been debating whether or not I should buy a blue translucent keyboard from MacImports or not. It looks cool but it's kinda expensive for a computer I will hardly use.

Update 9/19/99

All of the parts are fully painted and several are now clearcoated. The clear coat takes several hours to dry so this is going to take some time. After that I need only to wax it up and I'm good to go. I also found a T1 sized blue LED that I'll replace my sleep light with. No new pictures yet. It doesn't look that different from above.

Update 9/26/99

Almost everything is clearcoated at least partially. This stuff takes so long to dry that progress is very slow. Look how shiny that is!

Mighty Kat - palm rest

Update 12/8/99

Not much progress has been made. The rainy season is upon us and it always either too cold or wet (or both) to paint. The laquer takes so long to dry that dust gets in it. Still, I'm watchful for a sunny weekend... Also I have gotten an EVIL idea. The 20th Anniversary iMac. Not till new year at least though.

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westieg3's picture

macimports? do they sell ibook g4 case parts?

Is it done yet?

Let's see!

where can i get cool stuff for my ibook like that keyboard you where talking about i am just starting out makeing custom apple lap tops and im wanting more new stuff and ideas all the time it's very addictive and fun. i would like any help you (or anyone who reads this) can give me. thank you!!!=)