Sorry for the long hiatus on this build. I am in the military and when they want to send you somewhere . . . well you kind of have to go. I plan to get started again on this and once I get some post deployment admin over, I will be back in the running or modding that is.
Okay some time ago I was working on this build . . . actually almost a year ago and then life got in the way . . . funny how that happens . You finish one thing only to be overtaken by events and before you know it a year has gone by and no modding has been done.
So, I have finally finished what needed to be done, went back down to my workshop yesterday and looked at the dusty mess which was this build. A lot of cleaning / determining what the heck I was doing and where I left off a year ago and I think I finally have it moving in a positive direction. However, I wanted to get one mod rolling so I decided to pick the PSU. So here is my first attempt after a year long hiatus.
PSU - Making it METRO Oriented
I started with an old Corsair HX750 PSU and stripped it apart.
I wanted to give it a complete paint job so I taped off everything and started with a "ruddy brown" primer which was going to provide the base rust appearance of something that has been used extensively and give it a post apocalyptic feel.
The final paint job consisted of a light spray of olive drab to mix in with the rusted look and some weathering using aluminum brushed feathering along the edges. I wanted it to look well used. I kind of wimped out on the attached CPU power cords and rather than doing individual para-cording (I never have luck with Corsair double cables), I gave the existing a cords a spraying of paint and weathering effects to give them a used and worn look. Hey what the heck . . . it is an apocalypse after all . . . make due with what you have
Finally, I added some decals in keeping with the METRO Last Light theme and just to make things a little less boring
I know not really that much but I just needed to get something completed to get back in the groove. Hope you enjoyed.
As some of you may recall this was a low budget build in keeping with the theme of the game . . . scrounge, scrounge, scrounge . . . well that and my dog tore her ACL when I started and ate up my real budget. But as I got going there seemed to be something apropos about cannibalizing old to make something that can still be of use. Well at least that is my story and I am sticking to it.
Anyway, as I continued with my build I was looking at my MOBO (stock in the big box Gateway build I was cannibalizing) and all that bright green PCB was mocking me and my attempt to get a gritty look. So after reading Spartan's post about plasti-dipping the mobo I thought why not give it a try? I found Snef's post about how-to and had at it (thanks Snef).
Now my intent was not to do a perfect job but apply enough black to darken the mobo so it is not 100% black . . . just rough looking . . . kind of like it has been scorched during the nuclear holocaust.
Started with the clean MOBO - yup she's an oldie but still has some good play in her (an Intel i3 dual core) . . . beggars can't be choosers in the post apocalyptic world n'est pas.
The taping - everything that needed connection or could not be coated - notice my shiny new can of Plasti-Dip (black flat)
The painting - first of two light coats. I only wanted to give is scorched looks so I was not overly concerned if some of the PCB green came through.
Tape off and final product. Okay a little more black than the scorched look I was going for but close up the green PCB is still poking through in places. So overall happy with the look. Will still do some fine tuning aging so still a work in progress. I am most likely going to tackle the RAM in the same manner then turn my attention to the stock Intel cooler (age it up)
In my last post I made some mods to my Corsair 750HX PSU which included a game oriented label (Communist Faction) to jazz up the side. Wasn't completely happy with the tiny label so I increased it's size and went with a bit of Russian for Corsair (Google Translate so it might not be exact). I like the new look better.
I finished the plasti-dip on my mobo to give it a more edgy look and then added a bit of weathering/rust touches to finish it off. I also added a few theme oriented stickers (communist faction / Russian radiation warning sign.
However, when looking it over while waiting for my plasti-dipped RAM to dry (really loving the Plasti Dip), I realized I can't just slap the old Intel stock heatsink back on this gritty board without modifications. So . . . time to age.
First thing I did was take the heatsink apart . . . HOLY DUST BUNNIES BATMAN!
I really wanted the heatsink to pop when sitting in the case so I decided against any matt dark colours. So I figured I would go with an industrial yellow which has aged and rusted over the course the nuclear holocaust. First coat of paint was a red oxide, followed but light dusting of bright yellow and then another light dusting of red oxide. This gave me the base look to weather.
Final weathering was brushed aluminum feathering at the edges followed by dry rubbing charcoal dust over the finish. Finally I added a radioactive sticker to the fan . . . it is Metro Last Light after all . . . with all it nuclear goodness.
I couldn't just leave those black/red/yellow and blue fan wires haunting the look so I dug out my trusty old para cord and had at it.
Last thing I wanted to do was age the mounting bracket to match the top finish. So I used the same painting method.
Okay so I have completely dismantled my PSU and heatsink to paint them and, plasti-dipped my motherboard and RAM all for the sake of a getting a post apocalyptic Metro Last Light look and feel within the build . . . funny how brave you can get when the parts are scrounged and not new and shiny.
So . . . the moment of truth. After all this dismantling, painting, plasti-dipping . . . does the darn thing turn on? To test I set up the motherboard, heatsink, RAM and attached the PSU. I also attached the two fans going into the build. The Bitfenix green LED (the only thing purchased for this build) will sit at the top of the main case to give off a green glow. With the exception of sleeving the cables, I won't be painting this fan as it will be hidden in one of the ammon can lids (won't be seen)
The other fan will be at the bottom of the main case and will be seen so it gets the aging process . . . but I digress. Again everything is all plugged in and the grittiness of the build looks reasonably good IMHO
Crossed my fingers and hit the switch . . .
IT STILL WORKS!!
When I cannibalized the old Gateway build I stripped out the power switch and led. I have decided to run the power switch under mobo out the back into the gas mask and place it in the gas mask canister (see white arrow on photo). The switch will be a standard press button switch.
As for the LED light, I have other plans for it. I am also going to run it under the mobo out the back case and into the gas mask. My intent is to emulate one the graphics of the game.
The light will be placed under the eye pieces to give off a glow of light.
To create the monster reflection I will be placing an opaque green label over one lens and an opaque green label with the monster reflection (black)over the other lens. The light will light will sit just below the lenses to reflect enough light up to make the lens labels glow green.
As I move this build along, I am quickly discovering that room in an ammunition case is limited. I was hoping to place my HD along one side but discovered that the mobo / ram prevented that plan . So I decided to move it to the bottom of the case (which presented other design changes . . . TBD later).
How to mount the HD so it would not be mucking up the theme with all its shiny was an issue. I thought about painting but decided against it in the end. Instead I thought I would hide it below what would look like a venting grate. For those familiar with the game, there are plenty of air/heading ducts in the Metro and outlets have a venting grate over them.
So to create this, I took the old HD cage and split it apart so I would have a base to mount the HD in. This will be attached to the bottom of the case with a thumb screw so it can be removed if required . . . concept below.
I needed something to create a venting grate (slatted type) and luckily had an extra eaves venting plate lying about which I cut apart and using my high tech bending tool (2x4 and a mallet) created the top piece.
As I wanted it to have a gritty industrial look, I did a bit of painting using oxide red and grey as well as some weathering detail and of course I have to have some warning signs on the venting cap (Russian in keeping with the theme)
So you might be asking what is up with the broken slats? Well for those of you who have played the game, there are all sorts of nasty mutants in the Metro and they tend to burst out of ducts at you. One nasty mutant . . . the giant spider tends to nest in/over warm air intakes . . . so I thought why not incorporate a bit more of the game?
Creating the Spider Lair
I wanted to place a spider nest over the broken out slats and turned to interior silicone caulking to create the effect. For the eggs I needed a shell to place the silicone over so I used a merrete and paper to create the basic shape. This was then covered in mixture of while silicone and make-up foundation.
I was going to have three pieces which would be placed on the HD Cover, the vent covering the front air intake fan and the floor all designed to simulate a spider lair from the game. Of course I needed spiders and for that I searched the Halloween trunk and guess what I found?
The silicone itself was too shiny so I started with a flat grey primer over the three pieces I was going to use. This was followed by three sponge coatings of "chic peach" interior latex (try explaining the paint person at Home Depot you are looking to paint a spider lair ). Finally, some highlighting with dark brown and an assortment of oranges, yellows and reds to add detail.
The finished spider lair pieces were glued to the vent covers and everything was dry fitted into the case. I decided to add a few more spiders. Cobwebs will be added once everything is completed.
I hope you enjoyed . . . let me know what you think so far.