Since the beginning of case mods, windows have been the "thing to do". After a while, rectangles, circles and "L" shaped windows became old news and users began looking for NEW ways to spice up their cases. I have seen a lot of modders, from novice to paid professionals using appliqu?s on windows, and it truly does add a great effect. Through time, the standard "etch" gray color became over used and this led to the true art in appliqu?s when every color from clear to black appliqu?s came about. OracleGraphics.com, one of the worlds best appliqu? manufacturers, gave us the chance to take a look at some of their more "skilled" artwork today, with all designs being custom done rather than those old, overused atomic and nuclear waste appliqu?s that most manufacturers carry. We received seven appliqu?s ranging in artwork from superheroes to the ever so popular anime series and in different colors from blue, black and the original etch color.
After opening the shipping envelope, I was surprised to see all seven appliqu?s. Most appliqu? manufacturers have given us one, but Oracle must have really been proud of their work this time! The first thing I noticed, shortly after opening the envelope, was the thickness of the appliqu?. Through various studies and searches (along with common knowledge), I have found that the thicker the vinyl is (the actual appliqu? itself is vinyl) the less number of bubbles will be visible. We will have to test this theory after we install it to make sure. As far as the smoothness of the cuts on these appliqu?s, I was very satisfied. On the close-up of Yoda?s left side, you can see how intricate a cut that Oracle Graphic?s plotter can make. Whether it?s making a plain smooth cut or doing thin lines, it really did show in the quality of these appliqu?s. The next thing I noticed were the colors. The blue colored appliqu? of Yoda was a very "bold" purplish-blue. As far as the actual red color, it was fairly bright and would definitely look good in a case with either white or red lighting. I don?t think we really need to get into much detail on the standard "etch" color, it?s the most commonly used and there?s not much of a variation on it here.
Installation was a breeze for these Appliqu?s. I simply removed my side panel and proceeded to clean the acrylic window with Windex to insure no "dirt" bubbles would be trapped beneath (like you often see with tinted windows on automobiles). Next, I took a spray bottle and sprayed a light film of water over the acrylic window, this will allow positioning of the appliqu? during the smoothing process. The next part is crucial ? make sure you take your time and line up the appliqu? exactly how you want it ? once it?s stuck, it won?t be removed. I positioned the Diablo II logo in the top right of my case and used my drivers license (since no smoothing card was provided) to start pushing out any air bubbles that remained. After a good couple of minutes of smoothing, I peeled off the backing that was left and I was home free. I patted the window dry with a paper towel and reinstalled my side panel. Sure enough, there was nothing but one minor bubble in the top left, but as their online instructions suggested, I waited two days and the bubble had shrunk up small enough to be a lot less noticeable.
Overall, This product was pretty standard. Other than the thickness of the appliqu?s, I really did not notice much of a difference against other manufacturers except that they do really excellent custom work. As you will see in their online store, Oracle Graphics offers probably the widest range of appliqu?s to date in sizes both 3.5" and 7.5". Also- price on any standard appliqu?s from Oracle Graphics is $7.50, which is comparable to any appliqu? manufacturer not selling in bulk. The addition of a smoothing card with their appliques? would have gotten them slightly higher marks, but overall a really nice product at a very fair price.
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