DreamHack Winter 2005 was a crazy week for me. I hardly got any sleep at all, and engraved all manner of cases, Steelpad and Icemat mouse pads, and even adorned one guy's USB external drive box with the classic "Evil Inside" logo. There was a steady queue of people all weekend, lined up wanting me to engrave their hardware. Of course, I have also engraved several of my own machines: Project AvP and Fatal1ty
After I returned from the event, my 9-year old son asked me why he didn't have an engraved case of his own, or in his words, one with "nice pics" on it. Having engraved for companies like NVIDIA and Intel, as well as dozens of people at events like DreamHack, I felt bad for having neglected my own flesh and blood. Daddy puts food on the table, but clearly an engraved case would make him the envy of all his mates at school.
I had a couple of spare cases so I told him to pick the one he wanted. He picked the Aspire X-Navigator. I asked him why he picked that one and he said "you can fit a lot of fun stuff in that". You have learned well, my young Padawan.
Before I continue, I need to just quickly thank everyone at Aspire. Without their continuing kind support, I would not be able to bring you projects like this. If you're in the market for a new case, keep them in mind.
My son loves Spiderman so naturally when I asked him how he wanted his new case themed, he didn't even blink. Spiderman it is then. Thankfully, Spiderman has been around in various forms for over 40 years, including comic books, TV shows and several highly successful Hollywood blockbuster films. This meant there would be a large body of artwork on the Internet I could use for inspiration.
Here are a couple of examples I found. Unfortunately, both are landscape and I was looking for something with a portrait aspect ratio to use for the side panel. Since engraving is essentially monochrome line-art, you have to choose your source material carefully - you can't just engrave any image you want. You need to look for bold outlines and strong contrasts to achieve a good result. Luckily, Spiderman's signature red & blue suit shows a lot of muscle definition and naturally the web patterns lend themselves well to engraving.
Eventually, I came across this fantastic original art from Uncanny X-Men
Copyright Uncanny X-Men
This was perfect. It had the vertical aspect I needed as well as lots of really strong lines. A quick thumbs-up from my son and it was time to get started. Getting the right artwork is certainly an important step, but the real work was about to begin.