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Old 14-08-11, 02:24 PM
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G-Dubs G-Dubs is offline
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New guy on the legendary OC3D forums, and thought i'd best stop lurking and start posting.

i've already started this project and it is active on other forums so many apologies so those who have see what's gone so far.

For those that haven't go and grab a cup of tea/beer/sunnyD/Redbull/12 year old single malt (delete as appropriate) and get comfortable while I bring you up to speed.

The post is written in the present tense but obviously this has all already happened, so in the owrds of Douglas Adams it's now in the "Past-Future- indefinite-present- -participle sense"

I've also added date stamps so you can see how long it's taken me.

OK so on with the update.

Day 1 06.06.11

I have a reasonable clear Idea about what I want to do now, but as anyone who has modded will tell you things tend to evolve along the way. And by evolve I mean you have to adapt what you want to do to what can actually be done.

You can plan as much as you like but things will still bite you in the bum.

It's also nice to let the build go it's own way to a certain extent. I'm not saying modding is an organic process or anything quite so deep, but projects do take on a life of their own as they progress.

Ok enough of the ethereal stuff and a few pics to get things started.

I should add that i'll be using two cameras in this project depending on what i'm doing. the phone cam will be on hand at all times to get quick snaps as I go along, but the main updates will be with my new baby, my Canon 60D. No i'm not minted, i've saved for a heck of a long time and added to it a collection of various Birthday monies. I would have gotten it sooner but apparently you're not allowed to sell human organs on e-bay, even if they're your own.

First up a few of the workshop.

Anything missing????

Oh yeah, the case.

And lastly, the most important piece of kit I will ever own...


Day 2 09.06.11

Case is now pretty much stripped down, didn't take long, but a bit worried that i'll forget where some of the smaller parts go when I come to put everything back together. Still if you didn't have bits left over at the end it wouldn't be a proper project would it

A few pictures of the strip down.

Front off and hard drive cage out. Lots of 120 fan placements on the front, most of which have filters.

Front connections wiring loom stripped out of front panel. This is a really nice piece of milled aluminium. almost seems a shame to paint it, but painted it will be.

A few aspects of the case

Rear quarter

Left side (Optical bays in top and PSU in bottom

Right side. HDD bays in top (removed as per first pic) and Mobo etc in bottom section

Top rear section, where the 2 rads will go

Roof from the inside looking up. Perhaps some fans on extract in here?

Taking the Perspex and the locks out, had hundreds of these fake rivets to remove. Came out not too bad, but will not be going back in!!!

Perspex windows out, Rear panel, filters and locks etc removed


Day 3 10.06.11

Now chaps, some important decisions to be made.

I'm still undecided on what sort of reservoirs to go for.

Option 1

Bay type reservoirs in the front. perhaps 2 doubles, but this would only leave me 1 5.25 bay. So maybe 1 double that is actually 2 reservoirs in one (XSPC do one)


Traditional cylinder reservoirs. But where to put them so they can be seen best? i'm thinking leave out the HDD rack and place them side by side there, and but the HDDs into the 5.25 bays by means of an adapter.

Option 3

I'm open to suggestions. needs to be able to handle 2 loops and I want to be able to see it from either the front or the MOBO side.


Day 4 11.06.11

I've been doing a few paint tests this morning to compare finishes and give me an idea of which parts I want to paint what colours.

The idea is to have the interior predominantly copper, although I must stress this is not a Steam Punk Mod. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to do on, but I have nowhere near the skills required for that level of work.

So the interior copper, using a combination of copper sheet and copper paint (for those harder to get at places.

I'm also thinking of using Brass to add a colour highlight in places and perhaps some of the Silver I have left from other projects.

At present i'm not sure about the Brass. I think it looks too Gold to be honest and I don't want it to look in anyway "Bling" inside.

I've used Plasticote Paints many times before, but never used the Rustoleum paint. To be honest it flows and covers about the same, giving a nice finish, but like the Plasticote it does flow quite thickly.

I'd prefer to use auto paint for all surfaces, but you can't get these colours and finishes in auto paint unless you're willing to spend a fortune on that high chrome American stuff

So here's what I have

Nice day so spraying outside in back garden.

Also thought a few more shots of the case might help people better visualise my options for Reservoir installation.

Res could go in top right area where HDD rack was removed from

All thoughts welcome


Day 5 19.06.11

Having planned some Dremmel action for this weekend I've actually dedicated my time to some paint tests.

Interactive Mod time.

Interactive Mod??? What does that mean? Well it's your chance to have some input. I could do with your collective help in deciding on the colour scheme for the fans.

As you know from earlier posts (what do you mean you haven't read the earlier stuff, you just looked at the pictures). the inside of the case will be predominantly copper in colour. I've tested chrome and brass on discs and have pretty much given brass the boot as it looks too bling, or as someone put it "poor man's gold".

So a few colour combos. The question is which will look best inside the case. Bear in mind these will be mounted on Radiators in the top section. Black of course is the colour of rads, but thinking of changing them to copper also.

Which do you think works best?

1. Black cowling silver blades

2. Copper cowling copper blades

3. Copper cowling Silver blades

4. Black cowling copper blades


Final combo will be silver cowling and copper blades, but I'm still waiting for primer to dry.


Day 6 20.06.11

Fan colour tests continued

I've tried a few more colour combos this evening. happened past the local hardware and a tin of Pewter caught my eye so thought i'd give it a go. Not convinced to be honest but I'd appreciate your thoughts. Did half cowling in Pewter and half in Silver and then as I thought it was hideous sprayed over it in silver.

So the finals of the colour combo comp

No. 5

Pewter cowling copper blades 9next to copper cowling silver Blades, at present in first place.

No 6 Silver cowling copper blades (thought this might be the one but not so sure now. I've put it next to the other to help

And finally copper copper and Silver silver

So guys do we have a clear winner???


Day 7 21.06.11

Final paint test for your thoughts.

This time copper and Black both ways round.

I think for me it's between these 2 and the copper cowling silver blades option.


Day 8 27.06.11

In a "SARF" London Michael Caine accent.


Actually I took them of rather carefully. A total of 16 small screws and lots of pictures so I can work out how to put it back together again

Back to the plot and first an apology for leaving so long between updates. You'll be pleased to know I've stopped fannying around painting fans and finally got the Dremel out. Ooooooh i love a bit of Dremel action

So remembering the old adage of Measure once cut twice.....Hang on did I get that the right way round? Anyways we got to work on cutting out the existing window area to make way for the new window. ONE BIG WINDOW.

I've masked the Aluminium so as to minimise damage to the metal and also to give a cleaner cut. Having bought some nice fine Jigsaw blades in the end I decided to go for the old Dremel to make the cuts. I've heard the Jigsaw can make a bit of a mess of ally. So why take the risk.

That said it did take me no less than 20 discs to cut these out. Now this is 1.5mm Aluminium. or at least I thought it was as the case is so light. It didn't particularly wear the discs down so much, that wasn't the problem, They just kept snapping on me. I think the metal was heating as I was cutting and trapping the disc causing it to disintegrate. Out of the 20 I maybe only changed 3 because they'd worn down. Reminds me not to buy the cheap non HD discs next time.

I say I thought it was Aluminium, I'm starting to think it is some sort of Alloy as the dust from the cutting is ferrous. Interesting.

So the results of my 2 hours of Dremeling is 2 new door sections.

Just have to file off and tidy up the edges.


Day 9 30.06.11

OK guys get your thinking caps on about how i'm going to route this loop(s)

I'm hoping to go dual loop as I reckon there's the space to do it without it looking too crowded. CPU +/- mobo and GPU (yet to be decided which)

Initial thoughts are 2x120.2s in the back top section with Dangerden res's attached to them.

Not sure where to put the pumps though. Was thinking maybe right down at the bottom of the case near the window. or perhaps using a opti drive bay or HDD bay area.

I like to show the kit I have installed rather than hide it away, but at the same time like things to look clean and organised.

All suggestions welcome.

or to put it another way


.................................................. .....

Day 10 02.07.11

Cutting fan Grills

Cracking on with the Mod and some more Dremel action today.

Treated myself to a few presents to make the going easier and to keep me safe.

Hacked off from my door cutting debacle (17 broken discs), I decided to treat myself to the Dremel Speed click system.

And a respirator to keep all the aluminium dust and paint dust out of my lungs.

Going to be removing most of the Hex mesh grills to open up the airflow a bit more.

Front grills prior to removal

Rear Rad area grills prior to removal.

Safety gear on, Goggles + Respirator + Ear defenders and I'm ready to play. Man was I hot in that lot, had to keep stopping to de mist the goggles. Tempting though it is to do it without it's really not worth the risk.

Front grills removed (probably going to leave the one on the right as I won't be placing a fan there).

Rear grills removed, ready to accept the rads and give much better airflow.

Dremelling is not an exact science, but i'm rather pleased with the results.

Next job is to cut out most of the roof to make room for 4 extract fans. I'll be fabricating a new sheet to form the new roof and mounting the fans into that as unfortunately the rebate in the roof section where it steps down isn't big enough to accommodate the fans.


Day 11 07.07.11

Thanks for all the great feedback and support Guys, and sorry it's taken a while to get an update posted.

I've not been slacking though, I've made myself a convertible!!!

Plan is to replace the roof with a sheet of tinted Acrylic and to have 4 fans mounted on extract, pulling all the hot air from out of the case. The tinted acrylic will also afford a view down inside the case from the top (if anyone can get up that high


Day 12 13.07.11

Well I didn't get as many of the jobs done that I'd planned but some is better than none.

Acrylic finally arrived.

Couldn't decide between mid grey tint and light grey tint so have got both and will see which looks best. There's going to be 5mm thick in the doors and 3mm thick in the roof. Roof will need to be cut for 4 fans so am also looking for a 114mm hole saw that is good for acrylic.

Not even unwrapping it yet as need to keep it protected.

Roof derivited and removed, 12 rivits in all. Also took the oportunity to straighten up a couple of the original cuts bearing in mind I still had to allow a rebate for the acrylic.

Not sure how to actually attach the acrylic yet, thinking either strong double side tape or perhaps bathroom sealant.

Any ideas???


Day 13 21.07.11

Apologies for the lack of updates recently. I've been busy with a few reviews and a few other things (like my new lawn mower arrived....WoooHooo)

Anyway back to the plot and as this isn't a "mod my Mower" thread I'd best tell you about the work so far.

I've had the old rattle cans out and have started the process of painting the case. this is probably the bit I enjoy most about modding as it's here that you really start to see things transform. I've used aluminium etch primer paint for the first time, man is that noxious stuff. Even with my stormtrooper mask on I had to leave the garage after only 20 seconds of spraying as the slightest little bit had me chocking for air.

So Doors are now undercoated with etch prime and have a good few coats of normal prime over the top.

Smooth primer coat finish is essential to a smooth top coat finish so all this will be flattened back before the top coats go on.

Despite having thought i'd made my mind up i'm still having a mare over whether to go copper outside and black inside or other way round.

.................................................. ..............

day 14 24.07.11

Lots of progress today (all thanks to a hangover free Sunday).

First job was to make good a few of the edges where the Dremel got the better of me.

And a bit of a dint that was there when I got the case.

Turned the case upside down for the first time. Man those feet have to go.

one of the last outings for the Dremel on this project was to remove to annoying little lugs on the mobo tray (Haven't a clue what they do so lets hope it's nothing important.

Cut off

And all tidied up.

Although I'm using etch prime I took the added measure of keying all the Aluminium surfaces in preparation for their painting. Gorgeous day outside today, so took advantage and after washing all parts following sanding I left them out to dry nice and quick.

And the door panels get a little rest on Mrs Dubs Swing seat

Then inside for the night

major event of the day was getting the first coat onto the main section of the case.

Hopefully the last we'll see of this chap, but knowing me I'll find something else to chop up.

.................................................. .

Day 15 31.07.11

Having spent much of my energy focused on the main body of the case I've now turned my attentions to the front fascia. It's machined out of a very nice thick billet of aluminium, presented in a very nice machined finish.

In the picture below you can clearly see the milling marks left over from manufacture.

Job for today was very simple, remove the front mesh section. Lots and lots of really fiddly little screws.

I'm getting to the point with this case where I really hope I can remember how it all goes back together. Seriously, I'm more than a bit worried about all the bits and bobs attached to the front panel. I can't even remember where I put the power reset switch assembly.

Regrettable though it was I also had to sand back the front fascia to a smooth yet keyed finish to accept paint.

So off with the Thermaltake and Mozart Decals (very stubborn indeed)

Less objectionable were the Intel stickers indicating what used to live in this case

Got the day off work tomorrow so will be cracking on with things so if you're about stay tuned and I'll try to get a few updates up.

Mod On Guys.

.................................................. .................

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Old 14-08-11, 02:25 PM
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G-Dubs G-Dubs is offline
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Day 16 01.08.11

As promised I've been cracking on with things today.

Front fascia is now sanded, washed and etch primed.

The rear IO panel has been sanded and washed ready for etch priming (I've run out of Primer, and also grey normal primer so a quick trip to the auto accessory shop is in order.

front Fascia relaxing on the bench follow a vigorous exfoliation and shower

What's left of the Thermaltake logo on the base of the case

Rear IO panel putting chilling on the BBQ

Main section inside having a coat of normal grey primer/undercoat over the etch

Front fascia having had a coat of etch applied

Roof section with white undercoat

day 16 continued...............

Thought I was nearing the end of the sanding and etch priming, but then I found a few more bits.

The Mesh won't need to be etch primed but has been lightly keyed to take some standard primer/undercoat. Not sure how well it will take the paint without the holes clogging, certainly going to have to be really light with the coverage.

HDD bay. Not 100% that this will be going back into the case yet, but will give it the treatment just in case.

.................................................. ............

Day 17. 04.08.11

Getting closer to the sexy stuff, but still more undercoating to be done.

If I rush this the whole paint job will look pants, and pants is not my aim.

The mesh will only get the lightest dusting of paint as i'm wary of the holes clogging.

Thanks for stopping by

.................................................. .....

Day 18 06.08.11

As promised some pictures of the first copper coat.

As this is a "project Paint" rather than an auto paint it is much harder to achieve a good finish. It just doesn't flow out of the can as well and has a tendency to spitter.

.................................................. .....

day 19 07.08.11

Well I've just put the first top coat on the main case itself.

I'm quite pleased with how it has gone so far, the colour is very close to actual copper sheet.

And not forgetting the Matte Black exterior!!!

Many more coats to go on each yet (another 3-4 at least)
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Old 14-08-11, 03:06 PM
Endzy Endzy is offline
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This project really excites me. I wanna see the finished product now please!
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Old 14-08-11, 03:26 PM
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sheroo sheroo is offline
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I've always liked that Mozart case - wish I'd bought one when they were available... Keep the updates coming.
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Old 14-08-11, 03:33 PM
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AdrianD2 AdrianD2 is offline
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Beautiful Log, great pictures with amazing lighting! Looking forward to the finish!
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Old 14-08-11, 04:36 PM
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G-Dubs G-Dubs is offline
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Thanks for the positive feedback everyone.

I've actually done some work today so thought it must be your turn to get the updates first.

And so the painting continues. Really starting to make some progress with it now though.

It's so tempting to rush the prep stage to get to the good part where you lay down the top coats. But rush it and regret it.

A few pics of the Black going onto the doors. Had to spend 2 hours masking the copper of the doors, but i've spared you all the pictures of that. Fingers crossed the tape comes of clean and doesn't take the copper paint with it. If it does then I guess the etch prime didn't do it's job and the whole lot will go in the Bin.

Copper parts have now had their last coats. 4 coats in total. I won't be using a clear top coat as I detest the stuff.

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Old 14-08-11, 04:40 PM
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Azurite Azurite is offline
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Great project. Think this can turn out really good when its finnished.
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Old 14-08-11, 04:41 PM
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sheroo sheroo is offline
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Very nice. Wasn't sure about the copper at first, but that looks sweet.
"All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was."

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Old 14-08-11, 08:58 PM
rishisen rishisen is offline
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outstanding choice on the color scheme , looking forward to updates
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Old 14-08-11, 09:24 PM
Jamzieth Jamzieth is offline
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Loving the whole copper theme you've got going, can't wait to see more XD
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