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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
rathborne
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The necromancer returns to revive a long dead thread from its eternal slumber!

In short: this project is now done (started 2016-21-11, finished 2019-04-19). I've gone through all the photos in my phone to find relevant images but there are some steps in the project I forgot to capture.

I opted to go for the first option in the early concept images where the side panel and front door windows were solid cut-outs with the designs taped back on. While looking at how I was going to cut the reaper out of the metal neatly I realised there was no way I was going to be able to accomplish it with the tools or skills available so I looked at other options which I think came out better in the end.


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As I planned to for this route I bought a tub of plaster and created the mold for the door.


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I was able to find a small piece of acrylic that would fit neatly in this space with a little trimming and this would serve as the front door window. The hair dryer I borrowed was totally ineffective at melting the 3mm acrylic so I added the Ryobi heat gun to my tool cabinet to get the job done. While melting the perspex the corners kept folding back up so I needed to add some light weight to the ends to discourage this behaviour and after some work I was able to shape the acrylic to mostly match the plaster mold.

The cutting drill bit for the Dremel that I had used previously used to trim the perspex window for Silent Navi was used again the cut the circular hole from the plastic front door now that I had the window shaped and ready to go. Then I could cut the arms centre of the citadel design from the newly detached plastic so that I ensure the pieces would line up properly when I got around to taping everything back up at the end.


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Once more the araldite was used in large quantities to attach the new 120mm rear fan mount to the case and patch up the holes on the back panel and the side to remove the old 80mm fan mount.

I remove all the rivets from the case but left the front-tray-back together as the rivets were awkward to get to and I didn't think they'd really need to be removed for this project.

After the usual sanding and cleaning I was able to get onto the undercoat. Some self etching primer from Super Cheap Auto got the job done. However I think I either didn't add enough thinner or had the pressure set incorrectly because early on I ended up with a rough orange peel like texture on the panels. The thought to sand it all back and start again had crossed my mind but I decided against it as this powder coat texture could end up working out (I think it did).


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I still had a litre or two of a paint that came with my latest car that I would never normally use for anything due to its weird colour-shifting properties and after some consideration realised it fit perfectly for this project as it already has a black/blue/purple appearance and some metallic flakes which was what I was considering from the start.

The paint colour is called Midnight Blue. Yes, the same colour JayzTwoCents mentioned in an old TechTalk with Barnacules and just like Jay said: inside it is a dark blue but when you put the colour under sunlight that s*** turns purple .

Adding a few layers of acrylic clear gloss over the top of the Midnight Blue base coat gave the panels a nice finish. It also added a nice finish to my arm, shirt, jeans and boot on my right side as I spilled a good part of a spray-gun bottle's worth on myself while tilting the gun back to paint the underside of a panel. Remember kids: screw cap lids are a safer choice than pop-on lids .


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As you can see by this stage I'd prepared the side window and experimented with ways to frost the acrylic. In the end I'm pretty sure I sanded the panels with 300, 600 and wet 1200 both sides but that was a while ago and can't recall now.

I salvaged the LED lighting from my earlier Dominator project and tested the frosting and the light placement to see how it would look. I ended up only using one light at the bottom so I could use the second behind the front door.

The case was then reassembled and riveted together. This project while getting close to completion was still far from over as I still needed to finish painting the plastic parts such as the feet and handle, re-tape the windows as my first choice of double-sided tape was underwhelming and put a computer in there. I also discovered that the side door handle was too large and couldn't fit properly since adding the 120mm fan mount so I needed to sand back the inside section of the handle to make it fit. Someone forgot to double check this earlier to see if modifying the case would interfere with the door or not .


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I opted for a matt black enamel finish as that's all Super Cheap Auto had in stock that day so that's what I was going to use . This part was delayed as I goofed up and realised I didn't have enamel thinners on hand and the acrylic thinners just messes up enamel paints!


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As I got closer to finishing I knew I couldn't just leave the front switches and LEDs with bare cables so out came the cable sleeving bag with plenty of black paracord to tidy these up. As a bonus I sleeved the fan cables too.

I thought I was ready to finish the project but while fitting the PSU realised I was missing a piece... the mounting plate for the PSU, sort of an important part to this case .

Some quality time with the trusty Dremel was spent fashioning a replacement plate that I could either screw or rivet to the case so that I could actually mount a PSU in the machine. Unfortunately disaster struck at the end of the day. I wasn't paying attention while enlarging a hole on the thin side of the plate and used a woodworking drill bit instead of a general purpose bit... at the high torque setting. In a flash the metal was corkscrewed up the drill bit until it snapped off leaving me with a bent and broken bit of metal. It was time to put the tools down for the evening and consider a solution at another time. I was able to unwind the metal from the drill bit and flatten it all again in a large vice then use a small cut-off of 1mm wire and multiple layers of araldite over the course of a few days to mend the plate together again.

This plate was then given the same primer and matte black enamel treatment I gave the plastic parts as it isn't really noticeable on the back.

Today was spent adding the old pre-Haswell parts (i7-860 and GTX760) that I was using for my daily driver before I built Silent Navi into the finished case. Because I had frosted windows I decided not to be very picky with cable management as I normally am. At the end of the day I needed to get this thing completed .

And now we are done.


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This is probably the longest running project I've had going but it was on hold for long stretches of time and it just needed to get done . As always I hope someone else can learn from some of my mistakes so when they have a go at a case mod project they'll be able to consider some gotchas ahead of time .


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Thanks for watching .

[build log] Silent Navi - Antec P180 mod
[build log] The Dominator - Power Mac G5 mod
[build log] Sovereign - Antec SX1030 case mod
OCN Headphones and Earphones Club:
PC: SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > JDS Labs O2 Amp (x1/x3 gain) > Sennheiser HD650
Headphone Station: Apple Airport Express (via optical) > SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > Bottlehead Crack + Speedball (Tung Sol 5998) > Sennheiser HD800 (SDR modded)

Last edited by rathborne; 04-19-2019 at 04:45 AM.
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