"Ka like the wind" - Susan Delgado, Wizard and Glass
With the brackets for the res figured out for the most part, now it's time to cut on the front panel to show it off, and honestly, to make it fit, haha!
I marked it out giving a little clearance on the sides for the CTR res and then cut it out with a jigsaw. And let's see how it fits.
Now to use some spacers to get the angle of the res right.
After a little trial and error, I managed this.
Just what I was looking for, thought I'm probably going to make custom aluminum mounts and bands for the res to fit the theme and get rid of the chunky plastic ones.
With that done, I went in a cleaned up the edges of my cuts and pulled the insulation out of the front panel to make sure it didn't show and so that I could paint the panel later.
While everything was torn apart, I went ahead and cut out my holes for the pump in the mb tray.
For this to make a bit more sense, I guess I should let you in on my plans for the back panel. In the story of Roland, his era is a sort of feudal time that has come after a very advanced technological society has fallen. This technological society, created by those Roland calls the 'Old Ones', has been in decay for thousands of years and at it's peak was more advanced than our own. Even after thousands of years, some of this advance technology still exists and some still even works, though the people of Roland's time consider it evil or magic, and don't really understand it's workings. Roland and his companions stumble across some of these old machines and computers in their travels, some built by North Central Positronics, a company of the Old Ones that specialized in robotics. So my plan for the back panel is to give it a look of this decayed technology, electronics that have been wasting away for thousands of years, hence the pump and wires popping through the panel will fit right in with a bit of detailing and weathering.
Next up was mounting the SSD's. I'm using a couple of Samsung 840 Evo's that I've got laying around to mock it up, though I might just use them in the build rather than buying more for my growing collection of drives, LOL!
I want to make some brackets that allow me to mount the drives with the side mounts instead of the back ones so I don't have to pull everything apart just to pop a drive out.
I'm using some .05" aluminum for these brackets.
And then using a vice to bend them into shape.
Shot a little how to video for easily bending aluminum in a vice for my Down & Dirty Modding series.
The finished product.
Right now I'm mounting them on 6mm standoffs, though I may mount them directly to the tray. Haven't decided yet, and probably won't know for sure till I start finalizing what I'm doing on the detailing.
The thunder of his own guns filled him with stupid wonder. - The Drawing of the Three
Now for something a little different with the CPU cutout. My plan is to take the wires through there and run them under the board which is simple enough. The only problem I have is that each side of the tray is a different look so how do I change over the look on the wires? My solution, a junction box. Simple enough and it fits the look on the back side. The plan is to make a set of wires that run to the box, then extensions that come out of it, somehow locking the receiving connector to the box.
I'm going to start out with some .06" 5052 aluminum for the main body of the box.
And after cutting out the piece I need, over to the vice to bend it.
I didn't want to have a lot of brackets holding it together and I wanted all the corners to match up so I broke the piece in the middle of one side so I can braze it and get a nice clean look.
First off, beveling the edges so that my braze has as much surface to grab onto as I can give it.
Then set it up in the vice. The marks on there are from a sharpie. I figured out that sharpie evaporates a little before the aluminum reaches brazing temp, so I use it as a temperature guide.
Easy little joint.
And then a die grinder with a sanding disc to knock it smooth. A little paint and it'll be invisible.
I mounted it up with couple of mod blocks and cut a pass-though for the wire.
I'm using a couple of standoffs to extend the mod blocks up to hold the cover on. The cover is .08" 6062 cut to shape. I tried some thinner aluminum, but it wanted to bend the aluminum at the screws. And well, I've got tons of .08 scrap.
A few more brackets and some detail and CNC work on a few spots and I think we're ready for paint. Yay!
So, while I was hiding in my basement during a tornado warning, I figured I'd tackle the mounting brackets for the CTR res. I tried a few designs in aluminum but nothing looked quite right so rather than new brackets, I tried to see what I could do to make the ones provided fit the theme better.
Then I cut some thin strips, maybe 1/4' to 3/8" wide. I wasn't too worried about perfection since I'm really trying to recreate a rougher look, like something you'd make up while following the path of the beam.
Then I took those strips and wrapped the brackets, starting on either side and meeting up in the middle with a knot.
The res doesn't really fit in Mid-World, but the brackets do now!
"When the shooting starts, we kill what moves." - Roland, Wolves of the Calla
Update time, and I guess, dirty copy and pasting time too. I've hit a spot in the Gunslinger and the Crimson King where they are almost perfect mirrors of each other so it only makes sense to do the work on both at the same time.
And as usually happens along the way, I've changed things up a bit. I wanted a junction box on the back of the tray to fit the theme I'm going for and also for a place to hide some cable splices, so i bent one up. It was functional but just didn't seem right to me. And then wandering about the local hardware store, I thought I'd peruse the electrical aisle to see what I could put together for a junction box. Came up with this.
I think it fits better than what I made up, plus knockouts are way easier than what I had planned. A few romex connectors and it'll work perfect, so I fit them over the holes I had already cut for my previous attempt.
And opened up the pass through for a little more room.
With 2 different cover styles installed. I'm liking the option for a knockout in the cover. Later, I can figure out what knockouts to knock out and it'll be good to go.
With that sorted and somewhat finalized, I can start on the paint work. This ones gonna be a stretch for me paint wise, there's gonna be a lot of weathering and airbrush work, which I suck at. But first, something I'm totally familiar with, primer.
And since I'm going to match the SSD's to the theme and that requires a total repaint, I pulled them apart...
So I could prime them too.
Next up was a coat of flat gray for the trays and laying parts out.
Now that I can see what I'm working with I've got a better feel for the theme and can start to lay out my ideas.
'Renounce the Tower. This is your last warning.' - Note left to Roland's Ka-tet, Wolves of the Calla
Paint, paint, paint. This is always when a build starts coming together for me, but this one is a new challenge. It's not picking out a cool color and laying down a glassy coat, it's all in the details. And that means an airbrush, which I have, but have never been useful with. Let's see if I can change that.
Since the back of the tray is supposed to look like 1000 year old tech that is more advanced than ours but seems a bit more clunky (I always pictured computers and robots from the futurists of the 50's and 60's), I wanted to give it a industrial feel with a ton of aging, plus add details from the series. I'm starting with riveted panels that everything will attach to. I started with some lines for the edges of the panels.
Next came learning how to do rivets.
Then all the components have to be painted to fit in. First the SSD's are getting a chrome finish.
And then tackling the PSU.
Naturally, I tape off the sticker and this happens.
And then adding some details.
The hazard marking comes from a spot in the story where Roland's ka-tet finds some of the hardware that keeps the beam of the bear and the turtle functioning.
And the almost finished back panel with the SSD's, junction box, and PSU. Next up for the panel is some rusting and aging to make it look like it's been wasting away for a thousand years.
Had to add a quick update for the weathering. It's 90% done, still have to add some holes on the Crimson King for some flash on the other side of the tray and need to clear both of the trays, but I'm super happy with how it turned out.
It came out too regular but not bad for a first attempt at weathering and the first time really using an airbrush.