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Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to my build log, simply entitled "Slow Chemicals."

First off, credit given where it's due:
  • DAE JA VOO for the excellent drive stealthing guide.
  • Syrillian for the major inspiration behind my mod - Liquid chameleon.
  • My dear old dad for letting me take over his shop for 2 months

Now, what will this project entail? Well, it will include:
  • A thermaltake Armor
  • Chameleon paint!
  • Dual internal Rads (front mount, and roof mount)
Of course, Initially i had planned to do the exterior in a metalcast blue paint, but it just didn't turn out good at all. So i switched to more chameleon paint.

The Parts

-I'll be watercooling this badboy with my stinger V8 waterblock.
2x Radeon HD 3870
- This was going to be a pair of CF 4870's, but no availability yet

2x 240 mm rads
- A Swiftech MCR220, and a BIP240.

All the other stuff is in my sig
  • 2x 320 GB seagate Barracuda
  • Asus Maximus formula
  • 4x2 GB mushkin HP2
  • Tagan ITZ series 900 Watt PSU
  • Auzentech X-plosion

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Time for 'nother update:

Still no case, but at least now i know where it is. I just got this PM from the guy i bought the TT armor from:


Originally Posted by Seller

Good news and bad news.

Armor is accounted for, Armor is back in The states.
Rejected by customs because of unclaimed items in the package

I packed the extra side panel between 2 furnace air filters, I did not claim the filters on the customs form.
Didn't even think about it.

It's been back in the states for 10 days, problem is that I moved 2 days after I shipped it and the notice went to my old address.

I will reship it on Friday, that's ok, yes?

Sorry about this.

When I saw this, i just laughed. Looks like some kind of higher power is against this mod... However, I shall press on!

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
one word: SANDING

Here we go...

Got paint?:

there's 11 cans there, (4 base coat, 4 color coat, 3 clear coat)... I'm a 5 coats kind of guy, what can i say?

Here is the chassis all stripped down, and partially sanded.

The bottom:

The top:

The first Panel:

Lets sand this fool!:

Getting there:

GAHH! It's bent!!:

It's Hammer Time!!:


Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm going balls to the walls with the sanding and painting today... Got a lot of lost ground to make up for.

I hate sanding these, it's such a pain:

the paint on the fins is ridiculously thick. I finally gave up and just sandblasted it.

It cleaned up pretty well actually

That's IT!! I'm done sanding for today at least... Time for some painting:

It's good to keep the paint in a nice hot water bath, it sprays a heckuva lot nicer... But i'm sure you knew that:

Base coat is applied:

Now for the color coat:

It just looks a little rough because the picture is out of focus, honest!
Here we go:

This first result has got me all excited. I love the look! more painting tommorrow.

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Time for 'nother update...

Just got some goodies today!

The panaflo's i got from crazycookye (thanks
). The rivets are for putting the case back together, as you will see it in pieces soon. And the plastic polish, well, gotta get that shine somehow, don't I?

But enough of the fun stuff, it's back to the grind for me... First up, drilling out rivets:

The bit quickly chalked up with the tops from the rivets...

So... many... rivets

Fun fact: Before releasing the Armor+ and Armor Jr., Thermaltake tried releasing the Armor "kit"... Unfortunately, the pile of panels got the thumbs down on many review sites.

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alrightey, tons of progress today... take a look:

Preliminary polishing on the panaflo's is going relatively slow, The polished one is on the left, and the unpolished is on the right...

Well, a little progress is still better than nothing right?

Otherwise, nothing fancy, just a heckuva lot of sandblasting...

This thing has saved me so much time already, it's a great tool to have.

All the pieces I've blasted today:

Now it's time for MOAR PAINT!
Base coat applied.


I wish chameleon paint would photograph better

Oh yeah, remember those fins? I've been working on them as well:

Not quite polished up, but I'm getting there.

The mesh bay covers are gonna get a little lovin' today:

The first one is blasted, and prepped for paint:

Can't say I'm too happy with the color, but it's nothing a little persuasion can't fix :

The big 250 mm fan grill is painted too:

And that's all for me today.

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, it looks like the rainy weather is finally clearing up. That means work, and no more daily updates
. But, it's a good one today
. Just kidding, it's pretty weak actually

Sanding the 6 front covers:

180 grit:

220 grit:

320 grit:

400 grit:

i also blasted the other 5 mesh pieces:

Oh, I also painted 3 more pieces, but i'm not going to bore you with more base coat etc. pictures, just final result!

Notice the reflection in the top left piece

That's all the pieces I have done to date. Me likey!

Just one more internal piece to paint, then it's on to rad mounting, drive stealthing/rewiring/LED'ing, exterior painting, and plenum making
. That's a pretty big list...

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
YAY! It's raining today! That means no work and all play for alex!

Well, I just changed up the mod plans entirely. Where there was a plain blue exterior, there shall be moar chameleon paint! This time it's a red-blue shifted color
. Of course, I couldn't make the decision until AFTER i'd painted all the panels, and wasted 4 cans of paint and 6 hours of my time, but oh well, the mod will be better for it... i hope.

Got my second 3870 today! thanks microman!

it's purty

Here's a blue panel:

Not a bad color in and of itself, but when compared to the chameleon, it just looks "meh"

They be blasted (again

Holes for the roof mounted rad:

When i make the top cover piece, it's going to look like there is a 360 rad in there though... you'll see

fans on top:

Trust me, all will become clear soon

The rads (thanks Darkninja420 and Cyberdruid

the swifty is going in the front, and the BIP in the roof.

And, the first dose of red-blue shift chameleon!

From Blue:

To Red:

You have no idea what kind of acrobatics it took to get those shots

Of course the shift isn't that dramatic unless you lift the thing to the light, rotate it 90 degrees, and tilt your head just so.

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did the Top panel today, and boy is it looking fine...

It's stepping up to the fans i've mounted on the roof, kind of an incan pyramid vibe to it. Nothing fancy, just a couple of steps up to the fans, but a little lower than the fans to give a nice profile. But you'll see that soon enough

Just finished up the MDF frame that's going to support the polished angle aluminum
. See, I told you it would start to make a little sense!

Second "step" complete

Now for the aluminum:

Sanding the aluminum to a 45 degree angle

The top "step" is now covered with the aluminum:

The bottom "step" is still in construction
. Ran out of aluminum

Oh yeah, I painted my mouse too:

Not the best picture, but it does the job.

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, so lets do a quick recap of all this nonsense:

the internals are painted green-purple shift chameleon paint, the external pieces were painted blue, but i changed my mind and ruined a crapload of paint
. As of now, all of the external pieces have been successfully repainted. Yay!

Mask off the already painted pieces:

And go to town.

Sorry about so few pics of this step, the batteries on my camera died

Ok, now that i have all the pieces painted, it's time for the reassembly!

Many many pieces to rivet:

Getting there:

Even closer:

It's got fangs!


I had to get a little crafty when i mounted the top fans. You see, I forgot to cut a channel in the wood where i could run the wires. The wood was of course glued down by then, so...

Just run the wires through one of the mount holes. Of course, there is the unfortunate side effect of only being able to mount 3 screws, but c'est la vie.

Front rad is mounted:

I just used tin tabs to retain the rad to the case's frame

A rough idea of what it's gonna look like:

Of course, i'm going to polish the fins a little more, but i just wanted to see how it could look.

Now for the transplant surgery:
These guts:

Are going into this purty case (notice the picture reuse

All the organs are out of the old case:

Pulled of the stock NB and SB heatsinks. Apparently asus uses some kind of thermal glue to retain the heatsinks. I had to use a blowdrier to even get them to wiggle

The replacements: Arctic Silver Ceramique, some BGA ramsinks, and a swiftech MCW30

My custom retention mechanism for the SB heat sink:

There she is, ready to go into the armor:

And there she is, in the armor:

A little cable management later...

I've got all of the PCI-e connectors right at the front simply because i'm gonna be the first in line for a 4870x2, and i want to just be able to socket it
. Still don't know about that mobo cable though

And i just put it to bed for the night

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So... Close...

Almost there, just need to plumb in the lines, stealth the drives and take the final shoot.

Drive 1 stealthed:

Draining the old coolant:

Cleaning the waterblock with ketchup: yummy!

Lovely pump mount:

More lines:

The T:

1 more line:

Even more lines:

That's it:

My coolant fixings:

All mixed up:

In the box:

And the final shoot of mah case "in the wild" is coming up... Stay tuned.

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What a remarkable beast this one is... Look at how brazenly it stands in the middle of my yard:

I approached it softly, trying not to wake it:

Slowly, I creeped further.

It must have seen me!

Moving quickly, I managed to sedate the creature before it could sink it's teeth into me... Now it sits in my boot room.

Notice the mirror like shine of it's skin.

And those wings...

It glows red once again. It must be waking!

And a quick little video of the color shifts in action: (ignore the stupid chirping birds)

And a quick note: There will be another fan on the top mount, I'm just waiting on a certain someone to ship it to me... you know who you are

Is he still around?!
11,240 Posts
Wow Alex, those polished front fins are to die for!

And to think I wanted to enter this comp!

2,379 Posts
OMG those paints are SOO sexy can you show me what they are and explain how u painted it in a little more detail? gl on the comp entry it came out great.

Premium Member
5,423 Posts
Looks awesome, I like the polished "doors". Sandblasting is the ticket too... I didn't do much paint in my entry but if I had I would have been going nuts on it just like you. Unfortunately we have ours loaded with glass bead instead... nicer finish but takes forever.

Those little March mag-drive pumps are neat, we use them all the time for little projects at work.

Premium Member
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Originally Posted by wildfire99
View Post

OMG those paints are SOO sexy can you show me what they are and explain how u painted it in a little more detail? gl on the comp entry it came out great.

It's quite a process to paint chameleon... I definitely learned how to do it the wrong way...

First, you need to rough up the metal surface. I sandblasted them, but 100 grit sandpaper would do just fine...

Then, you put on the black laquer base coat.

Wet Sand the base coat after it's dried for 6 hours.

Color coat (3-6 coats). Wait at at least 45 min, at most an hour and a half.

Clear coat (3 coats).

Then, after it's cured for three days, take some mothers plastic polish to it, and you're done.

Most important things though:

You need a rough but even surface to get the color change right.
This paint sprays best when it's warm.
And, do not sand the color coat. It kills the whole effect.

Premium Member
4,715 Posts
Meh... looks OKAY.

Im joking. I like this mod the best of all the ones that I have seen so far.
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