As desktop towers have given way to today’s sleek laptops and even sleeker mobile devices, all glued shut to preclude even the possibility of tinkering, we’ve lost something valuable: the art of the case mod. Thankfully, over in Japan, Hiroto Ikeuchi is keeping the craft alive in spectacular fashion.
Ikeuchi spent the better part of the last year building this incredible machine, a creation that isn’t so much a case mod as full-blown diorama. It’s a deliriously detailed little world that just happens to take place in and around a functioning computer. It also redefines the idea of what it means to have a cluttered desk.
Ikeuchi, a designer by trade, likes to call it his “secret base.” Inspired by mecha anime like Gundam and Macross, every surface is packed with something to discover. Soldiers tend to intricate, forbidding machinery. Mechs await repair. The work seamlessly blends plastic toys, gizmo components, and scraps of other materials with the computer itself. Atop the tower, the shell of a DSLR is repurposed as a laser cannon.