After completing "Canticle of the Apocalypse" I have to admit I was happy that I finished but also sad that I was finished. I really enjoyed building something with my own personal touch (can't be bought or duplicated . . . well perhaps duplicated but not bought ). Anyway I digress . . .
As I had my old computer kicking about, I thought why not put it to use (or at least parts of it) and build something else. I have been playing Metro Last Light ever since I finished Canticle and absolutely love the game with all its post-apocalyptic goodness. So I decided to create a tribute build. But rather than just mod an existing case, I decided this was going to be a scratch build.
My initial plan was to replace the mobo, CPU, cooler and RAM but alas the fickle gods of all things pets rained ruin on my plan. Our one dog tore her ACL and needed surgery which ate my rebuild budget up to the point where I could afford one (1) led green fan . . . Yup "one fan"
So though I was a bit bummed, I decided to just use all the parts from my big box store Gateway computer and have at it. Oh well, when you get lemons you make lemonade or in this case a secondary computer.
This is what I am working with
Sorry for those of you who are looking for water coolers, massive mobo, tons of RAM . . . You won't find it here as this build (interior parts that is) is definitely going to rock it old school.
Mobo: ACER MBGAJ09001
CPU: Intel i3
Cooler: stock Intel cooler
PSU: Corsair 750 HX
GPU: Zotac 550Ti
RAM: Stock (6GB)
So that is it . . . It might not be pretty inside but for me the art is in the build and not the parts that go in it. Besides it will serve me well as a secondary computer. Here are some start pics . . . needs some dusting though.
After stripping the case and putting the parts away for safe keeping, this is the salvage I expect to use:
Sorry, not a rendering guru so my explanations will have to suffice. For those of you who may have played the game, I wanted to incorporate elements of the game into the build. Ammunition cans figure prominently in the game so I thought they would make a great computer case. Originally I had hoped to get my hands on one of the Mk19 Ammo Cans but unfortunately not fast enough, so standard ammo cans will have to suffice.
Introducing the case
Two ammo cans will form the main PC case. These will be stacked. The metal at the bottom of the top ammo can will be cut away and the lid of the bottom ammo can will be cut away. This will allow me continuous access to the interior of both ammo cans. The third ammo can will hold the PSU and cabling and will be stacked to the front. My intention was to make the computer look like three stacked ammo cans. I plan on a custom paint job (inside and out) of all ammo cans.
In addition, I will be adding two fans. One fan will be used to draw air in and will be positioned at the base of the main case and another fan (green LED) will be used to vent air out of the top ammo can. All wires will be sleeved and all internal parts will be aged. I will use the same process I used for my Canticle of the Apocalypse build.
I still have a lot of figure out as this is my first scratch build and since I am not using a conventional case, I will need to wrap my head around placement of mobo and such. But I did start the initial prep of the main case and below is some preliminary pics.
The First Cuts
To be honest, I had no clue if a Dremel would push through the lid of an ammo can as there is a double layer of metal. In preparation, the rubber water tight seal had to be removed from the lid.
So after some measuring I grabbed the Dremel and had at it:
After 3 almost 4 cutting disks, I had the lid of one can finished and the bottom of the other finished.
Looking in and down
Prepping for the Mobo and GPU
As I need to be able to fit the existing mobo and GPU, I figured that I might as well salvage the mobo tray and expansion card openings from the original PC case and incorporate them. The mobo tray will be fitted to the interior of the ammo can case. The back of the ammo cans will be cut away to accommodate the expansion card openings. Once painted they should melt into the background of the case.
Disassembled case and the salvage I am working with:
Mobo tray and expansion card face measure out for the new case:
Well that is it for now . . . the concept is continually being rewritten in my mind as I think about things like how am I going to access the interior of the case (top/sides) or the access the PSU. So as I move forward I will update.
As a teaser . . . RichiRich1 on this forum suggested I incorporate a gas mask in the build. Originally, I was just going to incorporate a gas mask cylinder and incorporate the power button and USB hub in it . . . But RichiRich 1 is right, you can't pay tribute to Metro Last Light without a gas mask
So look what I found in some of my old military kit . . .
. . . I have some definite plans for this but you will have to wait and see
Hope you enjoyed,
definitely subbed, this is gonna be awesome.
UPDATED . . .
Not much of an update but I have been running things over in my mind trying to get a handle on how this is all going to go together. So I spent the last few days thinking about access, mobo placement and GPU placement. I decided a few days back to salvage the mobo tray and use that to mount the mobo. My biggest issue was fitting the GPU and back panel of the mobo. After some careful measuring and cutting, I have been able to fit a place for salvage from the original case. This will allow me to mount the GPU and access the mobo back panel.
Here are some initial pics. I will need to do some pop riveting to keep it in place. Until I get all pieces prepped, I will just be dry fitting.
I have been working away today on completing more of the ammo can dissection in order to prep it to receive the internal components. For the most part the back half of the build is complete and ready for priming, painting and assembly (minus a few details).
I thought about this one for awhile. Originally I figured I could easily access the interior of the case through the ammo can lids. However, during a trial I found that while I could access the top portion of the case quite easily through the top, the bottom half proved difficult. So I thought about a standard access door. The only problem was that I had two ammo cans stacked together with a lid separating the top half from the bottom. So I decided on two separate access panels (top and bottom). For the access panel doors, I decided to salvage the remainder of the old case not already in service.
First I had to measure out the dimensions of the opening.
The next step was to cut out the opening and file/sand it smooth
Salvage was used to make the panel - I needed something rigid in order to mount a door fan
My fancy high tech bending gadget was used to shape the door.
My intent is to put an intake fan in the bottom of the case with a top venting fan - this is the only thing I purchased for this build ( I BitFenix Green LED fan). The rest is salvaged from the old computer or things I had lying around the basement. I wasn't sure how the Dremel would hold up against the top the ammo can as it had a double layer of metal . . . in the end it took one cutting wheel.
I was looking for mesh and in the end I found a metal drywall patch which worked great
This is how the fan will mount to the bottom of the lid.
I am now ready to assemble the main portion of the case but before I do that, I wanted to dry fit everything to make sure it all fit. The next step will be to sand, prime, paint and assemble
What you are looking at is actually the back of the case. In order to maintain the integrity of the three stacked ammo cans, the ammo can holding the PSU will be located at the front. You can see the two access doors (one is secured and can be removed using the screws. The black lines on the bottom access door indicates where the intake fan will be. I am thinking about putting a small plexi-glass widow in the top access pane so you can see in . . . What do you think?
These shots show the GPU expansion bays dry fitted. Once everything is painted, this and the mobo tray will be pop riveted to the case.
Looking down at the top venting mesh.
In case you were wondering how I plan to connect the two ammo cans . . . I kept a lip on the bottom the top can and the lid of the bottom can. I will rivet the two together at this point.
The concept complete . . . the front ammo can will also have an access panel so the PSU can be accessed.
There is that pesky gas mask again . . . still keeping that secret until later
Hope you enjoyed.
Rub a dub subd'
turning out very good! loving it...moarrrrrrrrr i must have mOARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
UPDATED - Main Case Assembled
Well it has been a busy day, both personally and with the mod. Could not spend too much time on the case today so I decided to suffice with a couple of extra mods, prime and assemble the two ammo cans which comprise the main case
Firstly, I wanted to incorporate one of two salvaged USB hubs in the build. I decided that it would be mounted in the lid of the top ammo can. It took a bit of doing and three cutting disks . . . The Dremel just did not like the double layer of metal. Once the USB hub metal cage was in place and secured, I used caulking to seal the area and smooth it out prior to priming.
The other mod I did was to cut the fan hole for the bottom access panel. This will be for the intake fan with the exhaust fan being in the lid of the top ammo can.
Once these mods were finished, I primed all the parts for the main case. I decided on this colour to primer as a base weathering coat but will be returning the cans to their original olive drab. However, the olive drab will be lightly applied so the primer still pokes through. My intent is to use the primer to create a weathered effect . . . rusty. Funny thing about nuclear apocalypses . . . ammo cans tend to rust and weather.
Putting it all Together
So now it was the moment of truth, did I lay this out properly and would it all fit together.
Remember, this was all in my head and was re-written as I worked so I had no drawings or master plan. I had an idea what it should look like, measured accordingly and now I was going to find out if the build continued or if I would have to go and liberate three more ammo cans.
Prior to connecting the two ammo cases, I installed the IO shield using pop rivets . . . so far so good
With the IO shield in place, I then attached the two ammo cans together to form the main case. To facilitate attachment, when I cut the access holes between the two cans, I left a lip around both access holes (except for the mobo side which had to be flat). I used this lip to rivet the two cans together.
With the two cans connected, I now had the main case. This is where the mobo, GPU and one HDD will be installed. All in all I was please with the result. There are a few gaps which need to be dealt with but I now have a smooth surface to mount the mobo tray and I can access both the top and bottom of the case.
The view below is actually the back of the case. Remember, the concept is three stacked ammo cans with the front ammo can holding the PSU . . .
. . . The smooth surface opposite the two access ports is where the mobo tray will be mounted. I can't do this until I complete the last ammo can which will hold the PSU and another HDD.
Rear of the case. I still have to finish attaching the IO shield but this can't be done until I get the mobo tray mounted.
Front of the main case. The top lid is still functional but I won't really need to use it as I can access everything through the back side panels.
This view is actually the front of the case. The small access port in the bottom right corner of the can is for wiring from the PSU can which will be attached to the main case.
These last two shots show the two mods I talked about above in their finished state. The USB hub turned out better than I expected. The access panel will be fitted with an intake fan later on in the build. As far as the top access port goes, the panel I am making will have a plexi-glass window. Thought that might be a nice touch so at least you can look in from time to time.
That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed.
looking better and better.
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