Cast and Crew
As with any great story, this one comes with some characters. Seven, in fact, plus Geoff and myself as Intel’s invited guests. Four of the seven modders were selected from our list of top modders and each one was expected to bring one of his favourite creations. Each modder brought one of his works that he felt brought the most original contribution to the modding industry. Along with these four, Mikael also created a special airbrushed laptop for the event.
Each non-Chinese speaking member (so basically, us) was given a translator to work with. By the end of the trip, our six translators had stepped down to two, who became very familiar with our individual styles of speaking and were indispensable when dealing with local customs and people.
Along with our team of bit-tech
modders, Intel invited three modders from Mainland China and Taiwan.Though the language barriers made it harder to communicate with them, their mods were also very good and it was nice to see the modding scene as it is in China right now.
Nicholas Falzone (aka greensabbath)
Nick is an American from San Francisco, California. He likes long walks on the beach, romantic dinners and…asian inspired woodcrafting techniques. You may recall seeing Yuugou
on the site recently. If you don’t, well… get out from under the rock you’re living beneath, will ya?
Nick decided to bring his first foray into the modding world, Sangaku
, to the show. The hand-carved wood, working shoji screens and well-designed acrylic and lighting were considered just about perfection to many of us. Of course, Nick didn’t feel that way – ever the perfectionist, he decided that he would like a shot to redo parts of Sangaku.
Nick Falzone and his mod, Sangaku
This show is the début of Sangaku revised, which features new hardware like a BFGTech GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB and 2GB of Corsair Dominator RAM
, Asus Commando motherboard
and an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor. It also features entirely new acrylic work, replacing much of the smoke with a solid black that adds a more solid look to the design.
Gert Swolfs (aka Jounge)
Gert hails from Belgium, and his mod Hypercube²
is regarded as one of the best mods of all time. Half architect, half human lie detector and a whole lot of fun, he’s been too busy to do a lot of modding lately. But as he would say, "I'll bet you a beer" that could very well change in the near future…
Gert Swolfs and Hypercube²
As little as Gert is willing to admit it, Hypercube² is one of the top mods of all time. Since its release in 2002, his incredible attention to detail has inspired countless mods and modders, as well as even a couple direct copycats. Gert doesn’t mind, though – he built it for himself and so sees the imitation as a form of flattery.
Hypercube² got a bit of a system update to get ready for its China début, including an MSI mATX motherboard and Intel T7400 Merom processor. The switch to Merom was vital for this setup, because heat could easily be a severe issue in the case.
Magnus Persson (aka [WP@]WOLVERINE)
As scary as he looks, Magnus is harmless (oh, I promised I wouldn’t say that). Magnus hails from Sweden along with Mikael (the two are long-time friends who met through modding). His love for metal music, Doc Martin boots and all black attire actually go quite well with his love for complicated, often gothic-inspired engravings.
Magnus Persson and his creation, Puzzlebox 2.0
Magnus brought us Puzzlebox 2.0: The Second Coming
, a mod that we featured just last month. Many people at the time didn’t think it was nearly as beautiful (or freaky) as the first one, but after seeing it in person I’d have to say some of the criticism isn’t deserved. The mod just does not photograph well, unfortunately – in person it is a truly unique creation with some great design and detail work.
Mikael Gustafsson (aka GoTaLL)
Mikael is one of the most prolific bit-tech
modders in recent years. His work has been featured on our front page many, many times; there are simply too many to list here. He also has a passing similarity to soccer superstar David Beckham, which led to some very interesting moments. You haven’t lived until you’ve listened to Gert introduce him – “Hello, hi…have you met my friend David Beckham?” to a group of local Chinese.
Mikael Gustafsson and his dragon head
Mikael brought one of his most unusual mods with him (as if a two-metre robot
isn’t unusual) in his popular Dragon Head
case. Many of you may have missed the making of this case, which features a fibreglass construction that was moulded around a polystyrene core.
Dragon Head is one of those things that needs to be seen to be believed – it’s well over a meter long, and the attention to detail in painting and sculpting is impossible to ignore. It looks like something that needs a wooden plaque behind it so that it can be mounted on the wall like a taxidermy creation.
Intel Centrino laptop mod
To give Intel something special for the event, Mikael created the Intel Centrino laptop mod. The paint job was airbrushed, as one would expect, and covers all visible parts of the case. What’s special, however, is the part you can’t see – Micke put fifty
coats of clear-coat onto it. If that doesn't sound mad enough on its own, consider that each coat required two hours
of drying time before the next could be applied.
Mikael's Intel Centrino laptop has over 50 layers of clear-coat on it!
As you can see, we arrived with a pretty large assortment of designs and materials, really showcasing some of what modding can be. Now, if only they arrived in as good of a condition as they left. But before we get to that, let's take a look at our Asian counterparts...