So you have your modded PC, you've got the windows, all the cool looking parts and of course CCFLs to light it all up, but if you want to be a little bit different you could go the UV route. The beauty of using UV reactive components is that while the rest of the system that's displayed through your case window will remain relatively dark, the UV Reactive components will glow brightly, but without giving off much light.
However if you truly want to be unique, then you'll need to make other components in your system UV reactive too. Step in , with their UV Reactive Neon Paints.
Available in 3 fluorescent colours: Blue, Green and Yellow
Supplied in handy 15ml bottles each with applicator brush
Transparent and coats on clear with a slight shiny finish
Made from a water based solution and is nontoxic
Nightclubs or parties
Flexiglow's Reactive Neon UV Paint comes in 3 different colours, each supplied in a 15 ml bottle. At first, you won't see the bottles or anything as the packaging for them protects the paint from light by enclosing them in a black plastic surround. I like the packaging, very professional.
Opening up the 3 packs gave me my first look at the 3 bottles. Yes, they are the same as found for Nail Varnish, complete with applicator brush. This makes the paints an all in one package as everything you need to get started is there for you. Obviously a nail varnish brush isn't exactly the greatest way to apply paint to certain areas but I found the brush to be of a good size for the majority of subjects.
The first thing I did was give the bottles a good shake. This is to make sure the paint hasn't settled and to make sure it's thoroughly mixed. Opening the bottle showed (under normal light) a white varnish like liquid, very thick. The thickness of the liquid aided in the application, although upon drying it does reduce its coverage area. Basically you need to put plenty on or it will draw away from the edges of what ever you have painted. Once dry, the paint becomes totally clear and on the majority of surfaces you won't even know it's there under normal light.
The instructions say to try different materials, allow one hour between coats and to apply 2-3 coats. Well in my experience this is almost right. You certainly want to try different materials before getting started on your main project, especially different shades as this can impact on the overall colour of your finished area. The next thing is in regards to the 2-3 coats. The green and yellow I used on my test subject (HIS 9550) need the one coat, and on everything I've tried the green and yellow have been a one coat affair. Both the green and yellow glow very strongly. The blue needs a little bit more effort. Painted directly on to silver metals the blue has no presence at all. Give it a dark background and you get a nice glow. Give it a white background and you get a fantastic light blue glow, however you do need to give it 2-3 coats for the best effect.
After having had a go on a few test objects (a white cardboard box, an old metal spanner, a plastic black box) I decided to start decorating the HIS 9550 card. I had a specific effect in mind, using the Tron 2.0 game for inspiration; however things didn't turn out quite as I had hoped. I wanted to edge the card, to make the red PCB glow blue at the edges. The blue for the capacitors also needed a bit of work, but for the other ICs and do-dads on the board, giving them a quick coat in yellow or green turned our very well indeed. It’s a shame my camera is so poor in the dark, but under a UV CCFL and in the dark, the Greens, Yellows and Blues show up really well on the card, with each of the ICs and capacitors following a theme of colour. The silver capacitors on the end of the card however don't glow with the blue as strongly as I had hoped. Bottom line, you need to practice on some materials that are the same colour as those you wish to decorate first if you want to get a strong and bright effect from them.
Since my camera is so bad at dark photos I've borrowed a picture from the Flexiglow site. The green and yellows in this picture I would whole heartily agree with. No way around it, they glow that strongly. The blue I would lean more towards it being a lighter shade, but it too glows very strongly with a few coats.
Editor's Note: The red paint seen in a few pictures here has been discontinued.
Every time Flexiglow contact me I know I will have a fun review coming up, and this time was no different. come in 15ml bottles, complete with applicator brush, apply in a thick clear liquid, dry to a transparent and barely visible coating, and only require a blacklight or UV light to excite the colours. The green and yellow paints are definitely the most dominant of the 3 colours available, providing a very intense and strong glow. The blue follows close behind but with a paler shade than I expected. Unlike the green and yellow, blue works best with more than one coat, which is the recommended application from Flexiglow on all 3 colours anyway.
The downside to them is a minor one; you will need to practice on a few surfaces and different coloured materials to work out which colours take the best on which coloured materials, but you will only need to do this the once.
If you are looking to add a unique touch to your system, or perhaps extend a UV theme (perhaps from a DFI motherboard?) to the rest of your PC, then you should have some fun with the paints.
Pros: Easy application. Easy to store, relatively quick drying. Strong glow without giving off light. Nontoxic and water soluble. Dries clear.
Cons: Blue paint can be a little pale on silver metallic surfaces.
Bottom Line: If you are looking to add a unique touch to your system, or perhaps extend a UV theme to the rest of your PC, then you should have some fun with the paints.
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