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Project- Redstone

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wall Of Text- Into

I've been looking at cases for a few years now and have struggled to find a case that suits my taste. I like a high quality metal construction with refined looks, but I also want it to look special and have a large side window. There are also many other little features I like such as a removable motherboard tray which is more of a bonus than a necessity. I worked out that such a case didn't exist, so I would have to get modding! My first modding experience was with a HAF 932 which I quickly went off of due to it's plastic bezel and reasonably thin construction. This is my first real project that I look forward to seeing through to the end! The only issue is that I'm extremely busy- I'm 15 so I'm studying for my GCSE exams in addition to working for a review website where I review PSUs.

I soon found the case I was looking for, it had everything I needed but would require a little modding to get the looks and cooling performance I wanted- the TJ07.

I know what you are thinking, another TJ07 mod! Well, yes, but I hope to make this one quite special. I have a few unique things I plan to do with it such as a gunmetal/graphite grey interior, a glossy red exterior and turning the case from a watercooler's dream into a great aircooling case.

I soon found out that these cases were like gold dust, and you'd have to pay through the nose if you wanted it new. However, I eventually managed to get one for £115 which I was over the moon with! I don't have to explain how amazing this case felt when it arrived, it pained me to strip this thing down!

I really like the side window on the TJ07, too many companies do a half-arsed effort by putting in a tiny window that doesn't let you see anything, or put a big one in and make it look aweful. Silverstone is the only manufacturer I know that has put a big window in and made it work so well.

The Cunning Plan

The plan is pretty simple- to take the TJ07 and turn it into a fantastic looking case with better aircooling capabilities while maintaining the refined appearance of the TJ07 and keeping it quiet. My secondary goal was to create something unique as every man and his dog has done a TJ07 mod, so this one is going to be a little different! Here are the main objectives I am aiming to achieve:
  • Paint the unibody panel and side grills glossy red
  • Add a 240mm rad grill to the midplate for added cooling to keep the GPU and motherboard chilly
  • Paint the internals a gunmetal/graphite colour colour, this will look unique and retain the lighter metallic look while giving it a more finished appearance than bare metal
  • A lot of cable braiding- for which there is only one choice of brand
  • Swap the internal fans for quieter units that shift more air
  • Paint the blades of the new fans red
  • Possibly paint the PCI slot covers red
  • Mod the PSU (thinking a CF exterior with a red fan)
  • Improve cable management- I have a set of Corsair grommets I may use
  • Make a new PSU mounting bracket so that the PSU can be mounted horizontally so that the fans will fit
  • Look into lighting, I will probably backlight the bottom compartment with red but I want to keep the main portion a lighter colour

The Components

At the moment I do not plan on making a special rig for the case. I'm quite happy with my components, but I did plan to upgrade to BD which would allow me to get rid of my horrible blue motherboard and replace it with a black or ROG board. However, due to BD's failure, I'm left with the option of either getting an ROG board for my current system (£130) or going for an i5 2500K setup with an Asrock Fatal1ty Edition motherboard which would cost around £300. I'm not convinced that it is a big enough of a step up to warrant spending all that cash on, so I may just get the motherboard. This is why I currently have:


CPU:
AMD Phenom II x6 1055T
Mobo:
Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H
RAM:
G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4Gb
Cooling: Xigmatek Thor's Hammer
GPU: XFX 6950
Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 500Gb + OCZ Vertex 3 120Gb
PSU: Antec Truepower New TP-750

By the end of the build, it should be looking more like this:

So, without further ado, let's get on with the modding!
    
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post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Update 1- Cutting!

So to get started, I needed to do a little cutting. To make the case suitable for air cooling, I plan to install 2x120mm fans in the midplate to draw cool air from the grills and push them over the GPU and the rest of the motherboard area. The 2x92mm fans should be able to cool the CPU area nicely and the two top 120mm fans will be removing all the hot air, this is not something I have seen done before but I am pretty confident that it will work as expected.

To install these fans I am going to put a 240mm rad grill on the midplate which I managed to get for £2.49 . At first I was going to make a midplate cover and cut that, however I soon realised that the holes for cable management/watercooling were almost perfect (I thought they were too big) so instead I marked out and cut the midplate:







The cutting was difficult as there was very little leeway, so I had to be very careful. Fortunately, the band saw made easy work of it. Once again, the quality construction of the case made my job easier as thin metal found on many other cases would have rattled about and would have been aweful to cut. I also had to make sure there was room for drilling the holes to mount the grill, which will have to be done with two bolts at each end as the existing holes was too wide for placing a bolt on each corner.





The midplate along with the rest of the internals is now ready to be sprayed gunmetal grey which I will be doing myself. The reason I am going for gunmetal is that I like the silvery internal look of the TJ07 and that most black cases are too dark inside. This colour should still allow it to look nice inside while also looking finished and covering up any marks in the metal. While this was being done, I had sent away the unibody panel and side grills to the powdercoaters...
    
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Update 2- Exterior paint

I had been away for a week on an Army cadet camp before which I had taken the unibody frame and side grills away to the powdercoaters and was greeted with this package when I got back:



I was really excited to take a look so enthusiastically but extremely carefully unwrapped it with my knife. I was really pleased with what I found inside:





I can't wait to see it compared to the black of the rest of the case. I may put a few bits on tomorrow to give you a bit of a preview, but all the internals still need painting so you won't be able to see it all assembled for a while. Basically, the side panels, top grill and drive bay covers will all remain black and should go with the red front and grills.

The gloss was done exactly how I wanted it, although the paint was a little closer to orange than I'd have liked. Still dead impressed with the job the sprayer did, you just can't get that kind of quality yourself! I was a bit worried about the effect the texture of the metal would have on the paint, but it was really negligible and he also managed to preserve all the holes which I was also over the moon about. Could do with a little polish though! I was more suprised with how well he did the grills, it must have taken a lot of skill to do it without filling in any of the holes and to give it a nice gloss.

    
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I roughly put the side panels on the unibody frame to give you a rough preview of what the exterior should look like:

    
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have ordered 10m of red braid and 10m of black as well as some heatshrink to braid the cables from the one and only MDPC-X. I think I'll end up doing a checkered effect with the different colours which should give a nice contrast.

I finished priming the panels yesterday, half of them are done with red oxide primer and the other half is done with bog standard grey primer. I've also just placed an order on the top coat so things should be moving very quickly.



I forgot to take a picture but I have also cut a large opening in the back of the midplate to allow cables to be routed around the back of the motherboard tray. Why Silverstone did not include this in the first place is beyond me, but you can't complain considering the case is over 5 years old and things such as cable management holes were unheard of back then!
    
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post #6 of 11
Nice, looks sexy so far <subbed>

I take it you're a minecraft fan?
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post #7 of 11
looking very nice
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post #8 of 11

Looks real good, I think red rivets would look better than black but that's up to you


Not sure what size you'll need but they do exist out there
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by G33K View Post
Nice, looks sexy so far <subbed>

I take it you're a minecraft fan?
Thanks! Yeah, used to play minecraft a lot but lost interest after 1.8- it's mainly named this way because it is a red Silverstone, but I chose to stick with that mainly due to the MC reference!

Quote:
Originally Posted by remotehuman
Looks real good, I think red rivets would look better than black but that's up to you

Amazon.com: Allstar Performance ALL18162 Red 3/16" Large Head Rivet, (Pack of 250): Automotive
Not sure what size you'll need but they do exist out there
Thanks! It is mainly rivetless which is partly why it is so popular with modders, so there won't be much riveting to be done! However, I am considering painting the insides matte black as trying to get the right colour has proven a pain, in which case I'd like to bring a metallic element back into the case. I have the rad grill which will be nicely polished, the side of these sexy new Enermax fans I'm getting and probably the screws as well. I'll probably polish them up to make them look nice, or perhaps a chrome spray paint- I've seen those about I think...
    
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Finally, an update. The day started with a nice package from Enermax:



These fans arrived today, they are all TB Silence fans, I got 2x 92mm standards, 2x120mm standards and 3x120mm manual speed versions!



These also came in the shipment, although they are nothing to do with the project, if you appreciate quality PSUs, you'll enjoy this!



I chose the fans because they are really quiet, which is exactly what I wanted, and because of their metal sides. I have decided to go with a matte black interior as getting the right colour was proving difficult, so I'm hoping these fans, along with the rad grill, will provide a nice metallic element which I was looking for.



My favorite feature of these fans- the easily removable blades! Means you can remove them without losing or breaking washers or clips to paint the blades up!



This also arrived a few days before all the way from Germany:



Really nice personal touch- do you know what it is yet?



Yep- the best braid in the world!



At least it is a lot better than my braiding skills!



Braiding is a lot harder than it looks! I'm having trouble getting some of the pins back in and getting the heatshrink to line up, but I'm improving. I've got a lot more braiding to do yet so I certainly hope I get better!
    
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