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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

AT-AT computer walks on the wild side

(Credit: Sander van der Velden)

One could safely say that Dutch computer-modder Sander van der Velden adores the behemoth AT-AT vehicle from Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back. The self-confessed sci-fi addict recently stuffed a water-cooled computer inside a large Hasbro toy version of Star Wars' most infamous four-legged Rebel annihilator.

The AT-AT computer measures about 60 centimetres tall (plus several more for the dock), and contains some spicy hardware, including a Zotac Z68-ITX (Mini-ITX) motherboard running an Intel Core i7 2600K processor, an SSD and built-in Wi-Fi. The water-cooling system (radiator and Xspc pump) uses water blocks to cool the CPU, GPU and other components.

The designers at Hasbro probably didn't expect someone to take the largest action figure of the AT-AT vehicle ever made, and fit a bunch of computer parts into it.

But, "once I saw the Hasbro AT-AT toy through a link on Facebook, I immediately knew I had to build a PC in there," van der Velden told Crave. "The only problem was that the toy was not sold in Europe. So I had to import it, which was very, very costly."

There were other challenges, too.

"Once the toy was delivered, it took about a week of careful examination and design work to see how everything would fit, and even then it threw me a couple of curveballs," says the master modder, who has won several awards for his creations. His next projects include Deep Space Nine from Star Trek, a Tron model and the Star Wars Death Star.

Those interested in learning more about van der Velden's process should watch the AT-AT computer assembly videos, part one and part two.


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