** WARNING: This build log, like all the others will take some time because I'm poor but with the help of sponsors we will quicken this up. More sponsors = quicker build
Good Afternoon my fellow modding enthusiasts,
So I have tossed around the idea of doing a US Military themed mod and build, then doing a raffle drawing locally charging a small fee for the tickets. The winner would win the build and the proceeds raised from the raffle would be split between the local Veterans of Foreign Wars posts. I know I won't have any problem getting the local VFW post to get behind the project as I am a member. Other sponsors like Lowes/Home Depot is going to be slightly harder, maybe impossible. My thought would be to allow them to display the build once complete with details on how to join the raffle.
Was dropping off my trash at the local "convenience center" when i notice off in the distance tucked in between some broken CRT TVs, lays a piece of future treasure. A quick "May I..." to the guy running the center and I was off and running with my newest beige modding case.
Bask in the sexy beige awesomeness...
Look at that nicely rounded beveled front.
And that interior... *wolf whistles... laughs... then preps the saw*
Gotta love that old hardware
And of course a quick shot of some paint I picked up for the project
This case seemed like it would be a good platform for my military mod, so I brought up Sketchup and drafted some rough designs. Design Concept #1(Click to show)
WARNING: These concepts are guaranteed to change in one shape or another as the road progresses.
Here's my first quick concepts so let me know what you think. For the side window, I'm debating what symbol I will do the window..... I'm torn between either a grenade or a fighter jet. *UPDATE* Someone also mentioned doing a Jet/Ship/Humvee style design so I will have to play with that a bit.
The SSD will get vinyl covered to be the stars in the flag and will sit behind a plexiglass window. Cooling for this project is undecided. If I get to do watercooling or at least an Aio, I'm thinking a 240 rad in the front will work just fine.
GPU Backplate redesigned to fit the build's theme better.
My sleeving design, but not locked into stone would like to hear comments or suggestions. My colors being olive drab, black and white. Sleeving design updated to the new pattern in second picture. White color also replaced with Khaki.
Used an old ATX motherboard to test fit, I even squeeze an optical drive to test the clearance
Figured I'd mock up some quick cardboard shrouds to see how clean it would make it look. I'm definitely in favor of the top shroud but I'm still a little uncertain about the front shroud. I wanted to test fit my Corsair TX650 but the placement of the prefab shroud was too narrow to allow me to squeeze the PSU up into the space. The PSU that was in the case was almost half the size of that Corsair.
Then the teardown begins with drilling out all those rivets to remove the top panel.
I had planned on using the optical bays and turning the hdd bay 90 degrees.... but as you can see gotta love old non-modular assembly.
As you might've guessed previously, the front, back and motherboard tray are all ONE piece So taking off the bottom panel is definitely being a chore. Where the holes are used to be a tiny dot that welded the two pieces together. Since I don't plan on welding it back together, drilling out the welds allows me to rivet the case back together instead.
But as you can see, popping all those welds have bent up the edge a bit. Going to need to give it a good speaking to with my mallet
Well it’s time to do some more tearing down and overall destruction of the case. First, let’s remove those nasty yellowed case feet.
Next, we can finish taking off the bottom panel. Breaking the remaining welds along the side were only a slight annoyance. All that’s left is the front/tray/back one-piece.
Everything is apart, now we can start marking cuts.
Before cutting the panels apart, lets test fit our drive bays for clearances. Looks like everything will fit nicely.
In testing out the new motherboard IO panel placement, I went from 5mm clearance to 12mm. I would’ve liked to get more out of it, but that’s all I can do and still have room for a 120mm exhaust. But I think it will give me just enough to hide the cables like I need and fit the SSD in it’s place.
Now everything has been spaced out and adjusted…. Lets break out the jigsaw! Welp, need to fix it first. The blade arm retention spring had broke in half, so I had to use my ingenuity and use a spacer and new spring to fix. Then I adjusted the bottom runner so the blade is back in place and secure.
And… now we start cutting. First we cut up the one piece monstrosity. Now the motherboard tray and front panel is separate.
Yes I hear you saying, “But wait James, where’d the back panel go?” I give you my new PSU bracket, all that I’m keeping from the back panel(unless I steal the mesh from it later). My plan is to have the bracket that gets screwed onto the PSU, then you can slide it into the case and secure the bracket with 2 thumbscrews. I also found out I need to cut the bracket opening just a bit more to allow for the extruded power supply plug on the newer PSU models.
Then we can cut down the new drive bays to fit two optical drives and 2 HDDs. And lets test the look.
Well I didn’t care for it too much, so I broke the bottom bracket off. It was just too big and clunky. Instead I will hold it with an old optical bay cover similar to what I did in my Double Dragon build.
I like the new placement and design, so let’s line up the optical bays with the front panel hole…. It fits perfectly with the new motherboard tray placement. Time to drill some holes for our mounting solution.
So in closing, my father in law walked up to me yesterday evening after getting back from Harbor Freight and tossed these to me and said “Happy Birthday.” I’m not sure if I should tell him my birthday was back in May…… oh well, I can’t complain. I can now stop losing screws and make more accurate measurements.
Assembled the drive bays together to test fit and make sure I drilled the holes in the right spots. This is temporary as I will take it apart for painting. I did notice I'm going to have to figure out a solution to mount it also to the top panel as well for extra support.
Marked up the motherboard tray for location of grommets and other cuts that will be needed
Marked the cut of the front panel that will be replaced with mesh and painted.
Our next steps in fabrication work..... begins with our sexy new workspace thanks to our Alphacool mat.
Then we can get the placement of our Flag on the side panel
Cut out the star block where the SSD will line up and we can mark it up for cuts
Then drill the start holes for our favorite jigsaw.
Switching gears to the SSD cover itself, we first make our cardboard mockup
Then we can mark out the bends and cuts on the small sheet of plexi I have. It's super thin and should bend pretty easy. I need to make my bending station and procure some heat source to bend it. Also you can see the cuts marked out to make the drive bay cover door.
I worked on marking and cutting both a new motherboard tray and back panel. So far I have cut the panels out, marked the location for the standoffs, marked and cut the opening for the PSU and mounting holes. Additionally, I riveted a L support under the PSU to give it more strength. I will do an additional mount on the motherboard tray as well.
I was able to get the new panel almost all complete. Just have to tie in the corners together with some rivets and it’ll be ready to hit with primer. Seems like a lot of work to gain a few mm of cable management space.
I cut the space out of the front panel for the fans to be mounted. Then used that awesome copolyester to craft a proper 240m mount.
I also test fit the vandal switch in the front and after much deliberation, finalized that I'm sticking to my front cover intake design. Just need to cut and get some mesh in place.
Got the front panel fabrication complete. Also prepped and ready for paint.... would have painted pictures if my spray can didn't clog 3 seconds into spraying. Took it back to Walmart and now waiting for them to get more in stock.
I got to cutting out the side windows, for which I made a template to mark them. The cutting actually went better than planned. I was worried about the thin strips of metal between the vehicles. Then it was prep and primer.
We turned our attention to the drive bay door. Used a DIY material warmer (or my electric heater) to give the copolyester a slight curve to mesh with the front panel cover. The small bent strip was a test of the company's claim that you can cold bend the material without it breaking or splintering. And to my surprise.... it bent easily and with no flaws. Now I just need to create a new brake.
So we started prepping to begin sleeving station to hack through them all.
Only a few wires in the ATX pin extractor broke, thankfully our sponsor ModMyMods.com is getting a new one in the mail today. Big thanks to them for helping progress keep moving forward. Until it arrives, I will do a little more using the trusty staple method. Also took the time to cut all the paracord for the 24 pin to the correct lengths.
So a bit of sleeving progress, I was able to finish the 24 pin and will be working to finish the other cables shortly. Thankfully work going forward will be easier with the Billy Brown’s World Renowned Universal Dual end ATX pin removal tool!
Good luck on sponsorship, and don't let up on the long shots. I got sponsorship by Crytek directly for a build i was planning before they ran into their issues around the time of Crysis 3 release. The plan was for me to make 10 of my rigs and use them as release day prizes... but things got hairy and they backed out of it all to clean house. Point is, I got it So you have just as much a shot if you talk to the right people.
Look forward to seeing how this shapes up
I like that new window concept. A compilation of the others to encompass all branches.
Originally Posted by Simmons572
Well, an understated encompassing all the branches... if you combine the Humvee with the Carrier you get the Marines, if you combine the Carrier with the Jet(flight) you get the Coast Guard.
EDIT: Not Humvee.... but tank I originally had it as a Humvee but didn't like the design next to the ship.
Originally Posted by Bearded Gamer
Subby sub sub!
Welcome aboard, grab a soda fountain and a popcorn maker because this show is going to take a while
Originally Posted by Radnad
Haha, haven't even read the whole thing yet, just subbed cause of the poor statement, lol. I can relate!
Edit: okay now that I've read it I love it! Is that deep army green color your going with? Be cool if you could do some kind of fade into camo wrapping into the front bezel
Welcome aboard my fellow penny pincher I really like the idea of a fade/transition to camo as you approach the front bezel and then have it wrap around the corners just slightly. Now I have another thing to decide..... what kind of camo.
Natural Leaf Method -
Camo Vinyl (this would be more of a tear the green back to reveal camo underneath)