Nintendo DS (Zeon standard issue version)

The Project

I had been intending to do a project like this for a while: before I got my DS the plan was to do a similar repainting of my Gameboy Advance SP. I never got around to doing that, and at this stage there'd be no point: mostly I play DS games, and for GBA games I mostly use the Gameboy Micro. It took me about six months to get around to starting the project and another four to actually finish it.

This was my first case mod, and it went pretty well, for the most part. There were three major mishaps along the way: the first was that early on in the project I had decided to remove the DS's original silver coating and paint on a new one, so that I could remove some of the raised lettering and the "Nintendo" logo from the shell and still have consistent results in the end. This wouldn't have been a problem but I tried to do it chemically, with a product called "Easy Lift-Off". ELO is a bit destructive if you're careless with it - plastic that's under stress (for instance, if it has a screw in it) will crack apart if you get too much ELO on it. As a result I caused major damage to certain parts of the original shell. Second, I hadn't worked out quite carefully enough exactly what modifications I wanted to do before I started cutting. I had the idea to add "thrusters" near where the speakers are located, so I could paint them yellow like the ones on the Geara Doga. But after cutting the holes I decided I didn't like the plan - and so I abandoned my attempts to repair the shell and ordered a knock-off replacement shell. Finally, as I learned upon reassembling the machine, I had damaged the Wi-Fi antenna cable while disassembling the DS in the first place. (The cable and its connector aren't especially fragile, but I'd misunderstood how the cable connector works, and so instead of pulling the connector off the PCB I pulled part of the wire out of the connector.) I fixed the connector myself, but in the process I damaged it further and reduced the length of the antenna wire - I am concerned that it may break again in the future, but for now I'm using it as-is.

The replacement shell was first drilled to accomodate some minus-molds. I put minus-molds near the controls in the arrangement of the ones on the Geara Doga shield, and I put others on the outer shell in the arrangement of the "Patlabor" logo. The "Nintendo" logo area was filled in with Aves, black CA, and primer, and the "Microphone" lettering was scraped off the front of the lower shell. The hinge area was redressed to look like a Zaku cable. The remainder of the case was painted silver, then masked with masking fluid and painted green. I added the Zeon logo and the "1-4-4" stencil first, and then removed the masking fluid - and then decided to add the big white stripes on the upper screen area - which led to a little bit of inconsistency as the "paint wear" effect of the white stripes doesn't match that of the green underneath.

During the newly reassembled DS's inaugural train ride, some young boys tried to make me jealous over the fact that their DS was a lite... I still like the Lite, it's a much improved version of the DS - but with my brand new Zeon version in my hands, their materialistic bragging had no impact, and I think I impressed them a little. So there!


(Picture of NDS before


(Picture of NDS after


(Altered NDS, open)


Mail GEC