The QuakeCon Bring Your Own Computer hall is a weird place. It’s crowded, loud, and dark. There are no overhead lights, so everyone navigates by the combined glow of three thousand monitors, backlit keyboards, and decorative case LEDs.
At the far end of the hall this year, though, a knot of people constantly formed around a large object lit by a spotlight. In the light: a life-size statue of Fallout 4 Synth detective Nick Valentine with a PC running in his chest. Nick’s builder, Ethan Prus (here's his personal site), sat nearby, resigned to the fact that we was definitely not going to get any gaming done because his PC was too awesome.
“I went into Fallout 4 looking for a thing to turn a computer into,” Prus tells PC Gamer. “As soon as he showed up, it was like, ‘Yeah, that’s going to be my computer.’ It’s just a nice bonus that he would have electronics in him.” The entire build took two months to finish.
Prus started with a regular, full-body shop window mannequin. He sculpted Nick’s face with epoxy dough and built a robotic hand out of popsicle sticks, a clothes hanger, and PVC pipe.
To dress Nick, Prus just went shopping for old used clothes. “I got them from eBay hoping that they’d be weathered and worn, but they all showed up in perfect condition. Usually I’d be happy with that as an eBayer, but not for this. I had to use a craft knife, sandpaper—I burned him in some places.”
Looking through bullet holes in Nick’s back, the internals of the PC can be seen—complete with an Institute logo on the GPU.
Nick’s chest compartment was a tight squeeze, so Prus had to downgrade several pieces. When I ask him for thee rest of the specs, he waffles. “They’re insanely unimpressive,” he warns. Still, Prus walked away with first prize in his division of the modding competition.