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[Project] Project NATO

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well after lurking around on the Case Mod forum section for a while now, I finally got the motivation to start making my own case. I was offered a great deal on the Cosmos S case that I couldn't pass down, and I knew that that was probably a prime opportunity to begin. The case is a military themed build, which is beginning to turn out very very well. I didn’t document the process in a very good way, my installation is lacking a lot of pictures because I simply forgot to take pictures, however I’ll post what I have now, and a lot more pictures to come. I need everyone’s suggestions on what would look good, what they think, etc! I have a lot of extra leftover parts and I’m really looking to get into the Overclock Marketplace, if you like what you see, please rep! So, without leaving you with another situation of “TL;DR”, I shall begin.

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For people that aren't familiar, above is the case that I started with. I got it BNIB, with brushed aluminum side panels (contrary to the more popular black side panels with the grill). Essentially, it's almost a revision of the old Cosmos 1000, while being the little brother of the newest Cosmos II. I love this case for many reasons, it can pull off almost any paint job or project--a tough look, a clean look; virtually anything you can imagine, the whole series of Cosmos cases can satisfy. What really hooked me was the overhead and under handles. They were perfect for the type of build I wanted to do. I really wanted to do a military themed build, digital camo for sure. Unlike most digital camo, I wanted an authentic, battle worn look, rather than the classic digital camo which is extremely exact with defined lines. Now there are TONS of types of digital camo, however I chose my own color scheme, pretty close to the US ACU comprising of: Krylon (Why wouldn't you use Krylon?) Camouflage OD, Coyote Brown, generic grey, and of course, Krylon primer. I knew that the generic gray wouldn't as high quality and could possibly drip, and or not dry instantly, giving me more of a "worn look". Normally I wouldn't use anything other than Krylon or Duracoat, but hey, it got the job done didn't it? Be prepared to dish out alot of money for paint, I ended up using 3 cans of OD, 2 of grey, and somehow only 1 of Brown. (Sorry for the fingerprint in the picture, took it really fast).

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After cleaning both panels and wiping down the case really well and letting it dry, it was time to start painting. A big question that comes up with digital camo is "How did you paint it?". Well, to be honest, I used some paint, and some air to dry it. No, more seriously, I used a stencil. The problem with Googling "digital camo stencils" is they come up with alot of "DIY" stencils and gun stencils that aren't made for a larger scale project like the side of a computer case. Seriously, don't make your own stencils, you can almost never get the lines straight, they take forever, and if you mess up on one, it looks out of place, not to mention you're going to need ALOT. On a gun, these minor discrepancies on the parallel and perpendicular axises aren't really visible. On a big flat surface, yes they are. I googled alot, did alot of searching, and eventually found a 9x9 (or close to it) laser cut digital stencil on eBay for about $10 shipped. I recommend getting two, because by the end of the painting, my stencil was just about ruined and caked full of paint. First, it was time for the primer. Painting over the beautiful brushed aluminum was painful, but this digital camo is going to look lot better:thumb:

[As a helpful note-painting digital camo is tedious, and long. Even if you're painting outside in perfect weather, purchase a fume respirator at your local Home Depot or Lowes. My first day of painting, I got very dazed after the first coat of OD, and by the time I was ready to stencil I was extremely high to the point I forgot I painted the night earlier when I woke up. I ended up developing a debilitating ocular migraine the next day and missed a day of school and work. It was brutal, but the respirator literally ended it all. Besides, you look freaking badass with a respirator on. Anyone want to play Fallout?]

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Next was to apply the basecoat. I chose the OD as my basecoat, but it can really be whatever you choose it to be. This wasn't too hard, just make sure you apply two coats, one with X-Axis can strokes (side to side), another with Y-Axis strokes (up and down). This avoids ugly streaking. Let this cure pretty well, since it needs to hold up to you applying and reapplying a stencil over and over.

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Next comes the hard part, the stencil. The main problem with the stencil I used it that it wasn't big enough to prevent overspray, which doesn't look good on digital camo in excess. Therefore, to combat this, I placed my stencil where I wanted it, then put small 2x4 pieces of wood around the area I wanted to paint onto the case to block off any paint from overspraying. While tiny flecks of overspray can look good depending on the color scheme, most of the time you really want to avoid it. I don't have a picture of my wood technique, but I'll get one up eventually.

Don't really have much else to talk about, so I'll post pictures of a progression. Obviously you're going to want to do the same thing to the case, tape that thing up nice and tight, and get ready for a long day of painting. I didn't take pictures of it, but I painted all of the grills and mesh, as well as the handles my OD base coat. Music always helps in this situation, most of my painting was done listening to Nicki Minaj telling me I'm a stupid hoe, and T-Pain elaborating on how much money he has "in da bank." Gotta love that shuffle sometimes...

EDIT: Okay apparently I took less pictures than I thought. Must have been blazed -.-

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Definitely more for tomorrow, I'm exhausted since AP exams are approaching very fast and I'm studying almost in all my free time. Getting in some new parts from FrozenCPU tomorrow, and I'll show off more hardware and such. Rep, subs, comments, suggestions, critiques (be nice now kids!), are ALL welcome.

By the way, it's an AMD rig, I know that question will probably come up.
Edited by WebsterXC - 6/12/12 at 7:07pm
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, much much much late update. The rig is finished. I have a tendency to forget about pictures, so I am definately lacking pictures of me building the rig, but I just wanted to show everyone the finished product. I think it turned out really nice, and I'll definately get the professional pics up later this week because school ended for me today and I have tons more time. So without further adue, I'll let most of the pics do their own explaining. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions!



Needed a new place for the switches, so I installed them in the watercooling export/import holes in the back. The one on the left is a white power switch, the right is a red reset.
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Here's pictures of me attempting to install the radiator in the top. It's really fairly difficult I found out, but I finally got it. The RS360 is cooled by 3 Yate Loon High's.
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In this picture, I made a divider for the 5.25" and 3.5" bays, and the power supply area to hide the pump, res, and other excess wiring. I'm planning on making a guide on how I created this separator, I'll post a link when I finish that. I made the divider out of acrylic and covered it with sound dampening foam to rest the rest of the case. I had some issues with where I drilled the tubing holes because I changed up my watercooling loop after I made the divider, but I made it work.
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This next picture is a massive jump from the last picture. I got crazy and just kept building and building and completely forgot to take pictures. This picture is without any of the wiring. Starting with the motherboard, it's what most people can recognize as the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX. It's running and AMD Phenom II x6 1090T. As for watercooling, I went away from the norm and used and OCZ block. I had a little bit left on an Amazon gift card so I thought I'd spend the $20 on a cheap block to just try it out. Without spilling too much info about the performance section that I'll cover later, it was definately well worth the money. It cools fantastically. The tubing connects to an RS360 Radiator cooled by 3 Yate Loon High Speed fans. Next it travels down behind the 5.25" bays and the case divider and into an EK MultiOption Reservior attached to a Danger Den CPX-Pro Pump. All of it is connected using Primochill Black 1/2x3/4 tubing. The Anti-Kink coils were custom painted flat tan by me to match the motherboard and rest of the build. As you can see, I've installed a Delta fan as the exhaust fan, but that got changed out a long time ago to a regular 120mm fan.
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Now as for the power supply, obviously I had to do something about the mad ugly wires that were coming out of it. The power supply I used was an OCZ 600W Semi-Modular PSU. I purchased some ACU Paracord from Vermont's Barre Army/Navy and sleeved it with the paracord. I used grey shrink instead of going shrinkless. I think it turned out pretty nice!
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Couple more pictures of the PSU and wiring install:
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Well, finally it's done. I have a blurry final pic for you guys. I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow or Thursday to get more professional pictures of the case since I have regents exams to take care of as well as work. Consider this a little teaser! If you'd like any other quick pics, let me know =)

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Edited by WebsterXC - 6/12/12 at 7:05pm
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
[Second Reserve in case I get picture happy]
post #4 of 13
excellent painting! i bet a tutorial on doing digi camo might get you some decent rep.

names are hard, i called mine "silver" because of my extreme lack of imagination.
guess you could name yours after a tank maybe? lol
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah that's a really good idea! I'll probably post one about mid-may, after my AP exams. It was a learning experience for me, I developed a lot of techniques that were beneficial to me when painting.

Yeah never good with names either. Naming it after a tank is a good idea, but then again, WHICH tank, and WHICH country?mad.gif
post #6 of 13
not sure, a few tank names that came to mind are challenger, patton, abrams, matilda and panza. i dont know much about tanks.

if i really liked tanks id probably just go with "THE TANK" but that reminds me of people who build their pc in a fish tank :S
post #7 of 13
That digital camo looks alot better than I thought it would thumb.gif I wouldnt name it after a tank, as this is more sleek. It seems more like a "scout" or an "assault." If you're set with a tank and going with a more tan camo, I would suggest "Abrams" (or the like) as I usualy think of M1 Abrams in a desert camo scheme.
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by piemasterp View Post

That digital camo looks a lot better than I thought it would thumb.gif

To be honest...me too haha!

Yeah as for names, I'll have to brainstorm. Some kind of scout comes to mind, like you said, I'm a runner so maybe I could incorporate the two. Anyways, thanks for the feedback:D
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Just as an update, sorry for the delay on pics and info, I got tons of new stuff and started installing it tonight, pics will be up this weekend after my SAT's!
post #10 of 13
Subbed! nice paint job! Can't wait to see the rest!
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