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  #11  
Old 22-05-20, 12:54 PM
AcuteJungle66 AcuteJungle66 is offline
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After mulling it over, I’m just not happy with it. It has become way too ‘busy’ due to that thick rad.

I think I’m just going to bite the bullet and put it up top with the fans off-centre:



For the components that are in there, a single 64mm radiator should be more than enough. So if I just go with the single:



I’ll have much more ‘canvas’ and it should look a lot cleaner and less busy.

At least that’s what I’m thinking; and my girls like it better this way, so I’ve got to listen to them!

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  #12  
Old 02-06-20, 09:32 AM
AcuteJungle66 AcuteJungle66 is offline
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Ooft, what a week.

So picking up where I left off, plan for this past week was to get all of the acrylic pieces hashed out. I wanted to get that out of the way, since it was going to be one of the more tricky items on the agenda. Sure enough, it was fairly tricky.

Attempt #1



The holes for attempt #1 were slightly off, but nothing a little moulding/edging wouldn't be able to hide; same with the cutout for the pump and drain port. Unfortunately I had a bit of an accident when I was drilling the last hole, my step bit had got stuck and I accidentally applied to much pressure when trying to get it unstuck.

Which resulted in a crack:



Whilst only apparent when you get up close and personal, I knew I would have to try again.

Attempt #2



I decided to take a short break from redoing that particular panel and started working on the rear and bottom. Ended up reusing the broken panel for the rear bit and did a test fit with the edging, fairly happy with it. Bottom still needs a fair bit of tweaking, but I was ready to dive back in to getting the big piece sorted.

Got everything cut and drilled, was looking better than the first attempt. If you look closely however, you will likely notice a large crack above the fittings. That crack happened whilst I was dusting off the acrylic, couldn't believe it; another significant amount of time down the drain.

On the plus side, it gave me some food for thought and I decided that I would make some tweaks for...

Attempt #3



I now had a really good template for what I needed to do, and can report that everything went perfectly! Holes are spot on, edges straight and most importantly NO #### CRACKS. In retrospect, the cracks were of course my fault; but valuable lessons were learned.

Next up was the acrylic pieces for the top and front fan areas:



The top didn't cause me any real issues, just some minor tweaking was required to get it to fit snugly. Not convinced I'm 100% happy with it, so may have to revisit later.

The front part though, that was interesting.



I figured that a 200mm hole saw cutter would do the trick:



What an absolute beast of a unit, considerably heavy as well! It definitely does the job, you just have to take it nice and slowly; ensuring not to force it too much. The problem however was that whilst the scrap piece of acrylic (the circle or 'donut hole' if you will) was 200mm in diameter, the piece I was using ended up being larger. Which is of course due to the width of the saw bit itself.

This meant that once I trimmed the piece to fit in the front section, I was left with 3 separate pieces (very slight tolerances on the sides) that didn't actually line up well with the fans themselves.

So I ended up having to cut the pieces up even more (into 6 pieces) and try to fit them together like some kind of jigsaw puzzle:



In its current state, it clearly looks like crap. The curvature of the circles is off, edges don't line up, etc...

I've got a few plans up my sleeve to achieve the end result that I want, just a case of some more experimentation. It has made me reconsider trying to achieve the raw acrylic finish on the front and top though, as I think it will look much cleaner if the panels are paint-matched to the rest of the case; with the seams all removed so it looks like 1 piece of plastic.

So whilst it was a frustrating week for me (1 day of work, 2 days of sciatic pain afterwards, rinse/repeat), it has also been a great learning experience for me.

I'm going to take the weekend off so I can relax and recuperate, but full steam ahead next week; time for some dremel work and get started on paint!

Thanks for stopping by folks, take care and stay safe!
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  #13  
Old 02-06-20, 10:20 AM
Warchild Warchild is offline
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Curious why you didnt use a through port/ Fill port on the back plate to get a secure and flush look for the two fittings.
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  #14  
Old 02-06-20, 01:59 PM
AcuteJungle66 AcuteJungle66 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warchild View Post
Curious why you didnt use a through port/ Fill port on the back plate to get a secure and flush look for the two fittings.
I've got a whole bag of them, as that was my original plan before receiving the DP100-D5 Distro Plate; but there isn't much clearance. Or rather with a male-to-male G1/4 fitting between the through port and distro, it results in pushing out the acrylic a fair bit.

In the pics I think you can see just how much of the compression fittings end up poking through.
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  #15  
Old 06-06-20, 01:14 PM
AcuteJungle66 AcuteJungle66 is offline
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Been a bit of a slow week, the weather was hit and miss up in my neck of the woods so was limited as to what I could get done outside.

I wanted to get started on painting the frame, but needed to do a little bit more cutting before I could get started:



This large rectangle was of course for an LCD screen:



A little rough around the edges at first glance (I was just making sure it actually fit), but the acrylic within the interior should hopefully give it a clean finish.

I cleaned up the edges a bit more, then sanding everything down in preparation to start laying down some primer:



Even just a coat of primer looked better than the stock finish, hopefully the final product will be worth it.

This week I'm hoping to finish off these bits so I can start putting components back in, then next on the agenda will be front and top panels.

Thanks for stopping folks, take care and stay safe!
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  #16  
Old 06-06-20, 03:17 PM
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WYP WYP is offline
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Loving this system so far. Good work. Can't wait to see this when it is finished.
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  #17  
Old 06-06-20, 03:24 PM
Bartacus Bartacus is offline
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Indeed, awesome stuff going on here. I love this case so much I own two, LOL! You just cannot touch this case for a custom loop.
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Water Cooling: HeatKiller TR4-Pro CPU block / HeatKiller IV GPU blocks / 360mm Darskide LP360 rads x 3 / Heatkiller reservoir

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  #18  
Old 07-06-20, 01:04 PM
AcuteJungle66 AcuteJungle66 is offline
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Cheers guys, much appreciated.

It is certainly a 'learn as I go' experience that is for sure, also realised how rusty I am at spray-painting; but it has been fun to put some of the old hand tools to use again.
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  #19  
Old 19-06-20, 05:49 PM
AcuteJungle66 AcuteJungle66 is offline
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Hey there folks, been a little while since my last update.

I had originally planned to get a fair bit done last weekend and have an update for Monday, but things didn't work out that way. But anyway, what progress has been made since the last time?

The front and top panels were not going to plan, which is definitely my own fault. I think I misjudged just how tricky doing the things I wanted to with the acrylic would end up being! After seeing how the first run ended up looking, it also made me realise that I would end up painting those bits anyway; as the raw acrylic would look slightly out of place.

So I decided to try a different material:



Yep, that is going to work a lot better. Need to do some finishing work to it of course, fill in the gaps and sand smooth. But at least this mock-up gives you an idea of what my plan was for these areas. Hopefully the final product will look alright!

I had ran out of supplies, so just put those pieces to the side for now. With the holes all lined up I could now turn my attention to the fan/radiator brackets:



I trimmed off some of the front fan mount so it's less busy, then gave both mounts the usual primer then paint. Unfortunately I was out of clear and couldn't purchase any locally, so had to wait until this Friday until I could give them a few coats of that.

Since that was on hold, I turned my attention to the interior of the case. I figured that whilst I have a lot of exterior work to complete yet, I could potentially get the inside sorted in the meantime. So that is exactly what I started on:



The rubber moulding/trim isn't quite perfect at the moment, but is lined up fairly well for now. Whilst all of my measurements for the acrylic panels were fine, once I popped all the bits in I soon found that I needed to sand some of the edges down a little more. It was definitely a tight fit.

Speaking of tight fits, it took me ages to get the GPU in; I'm still amazed I didn't crack the acrylic in the process. I really should have put that in before the rear acrylic piece, but oh well:



Before I get bombarded with comments about having the exhaust at the bottom and the 'but heat rises' argument, yes I know. I am no stranger to the concepts of cooling a PC, and the decision to have all the fans orientated the way they are is purely aesthetic. Whlst the 200mm Riing Trios have lighting on the front and rear, the 120mm Riing Quads do not. So they needed to be orientated this way to provide the lighting necessary for the other acrylic pieces yet to be installed. But with that being said, the airflow that will be present within the case is more than enough to overcome the mechanics of convection.

I installed a single fan guard on the fan underneath the GPU, so as not to catch the riser cable. Those fans won't be visible anyway, so no biggie.

Just today I managed to apply clear coat to the fan mounts as well as the small front panel, so the plan is to get those installed tomorrow so I can carry on with the interior. Once the rest of the fans are installed, then I can start on some cable management around the back:



Whilst I will naturally try to make things as neat as possible back here, most of it will end up being covered anyway in order to faciliate the plan for the rear side panel.

I also wanted to add a little easter egg for my stepdaughter. Even so so already has a PC (which I made from old bits several years ago), this will be a proper PCMR build; so plopped a cheeky sticker on the unused drain cap for her:



So whilst I wait on things to dry before moving on, I thought I would start working on something else:



That's all for now, thanks once again to everyone that has been stopping by or keeping tabs on my progress; the support is greatly appreciated. Hopefully the next update will be the interior all sorted out.

Stay safe!
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  #20  
Old 01-07-20, 01:29 PM
AcuteJungle66 AcuteJungle66 is offline
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Thanks for the kind words folks, it is much appreciated. 🥰

I went into this whole contest with solely a 'theoretical' understanding of how I could use the acrylic. In my head the plan was to create a cleaner version of the View 51 Snow. Now this isn't to say that the case doesn't already look great stock, as it certainly does; but we all know how factory paint jobs can be, especially when dealing with multiple materials.

I'm now getting to the stage where I will start to see whether these ideas actually work or not!

So catching up from the last time I checked in, once all those things above had been painted and lacquered, it was time to start putting some pieces back together.

First up was the small front panel where the power switch and USB ports etc. reside, as well as getting the 200mm Riing Trios in:



I had removed as much of the fan bracket as I was comfortable with, as I still wanted it to successfully hold these monsters in place. Whilst not perfect, it definitely makes things less busy behind the fans. Some other minor things were making the Power Button and Reset Switch black, just to give it a little bit of pop.

Another reason for starting to get things like the fans and front panel in was to get started on cable management, as that would eventually be a slight pain. At least at this stage there were barely any cables:



It's a shame that the above shot doesn't show how glossy that front panel is, but I suppose that's what happens when you just take candid photos rather than lighting them properly and whatnot. Admittedly when I'm working on a PC I just want to get stuck into it, so pausing to take a pic is something I constantly have to remind myself to do!

I then put the thicc boi back in as well as the 3 Riing Quads up top, and it was time to make some new bends:



I think this shot gives a better idea of just how white the case is now after the paint job, you can also see a decent bit of reflection on that bottom right corner.

After several iterations of different bends, keeping in mind I wanted the area of acrylic on the right to not be covered up by tubing, these are how the final bends turned out:



I had considered having the CPU>Distro run travel at a 90 to the right and then straight up, but running it straight this way kept the panel nice and clear for...

...well, stuff 😉

I flushed the system several times with Distilled Water and then ran just the pump for a couple of days to make sure there were no leaks. Everything checked out, so it was then time to drain the system and put in the proper fluid. Whilst the system did look pretty cool with clear coolant, there was really only one choice:



I've honestly never used the P1000 coolant before, but I have a decent amount of experience with opaque coolant from other brands. So I'm unfortunately well aware of some the issues that can be encountered. My first build with some really cheap stuff turned quite yucky after a few months, but usually the reputable brands work quite well provided you do the prep work correctly.

Next step was to get the system filled and get out all the air bubbles, so ran the pump once again for a good couple of days:



I always love how much quieter a pump runs when you use a pre-mixed coolant compared to distilled water, just that slight change in viscosity makes a world of difference.

I briefly turned on the system fully, just to make sure everything worked. System was absolutely fine, it just took me a little while to get used to the TT RGB Plus software. But I got there in the end.

Before proceeding any further I wanted to get to work on the cables around back. I had all the intentions of making it super-clean back there, but if you recall, the rear panel was going to be modified with a lit Unicorn's Head (still the plan). In order to help facilitate this, as the actual cutout would be clear, I needed a blank canvas back there. So instead I did an alright job of running the cables fairly tidy and then slapped this in there:



Now nobody will ever know what sins lurk beneath 😉

I haven't started working on the actual panel that will go there yet, waiting on some dry weather up here as I need to cut some acrylic outside. But once I get that done I can then get it bonded to the panel frame and start working on that. So shouldn't take too long.

With the back kinda sorted out for now, it was time to return my attention to the interior of the case:



I was pleasantly surprised with how it looks in person so far, the glossy acrylic really shines; which ends up giving a nice combination of reflecting light as well as letting some through.

Next on the agenda was to start working on the basement. This is another part of the build that I wasn't sure whether it would give me the effect I wanted or not, so I just very quickly took some off-cuts and slapped them in there to give myself an idea of whether it was going to work or not:



The image probably doesn't do the visual effect much justice, but sure enough it is functioning as a lightbox fairly well. So I was very relieved it would work as intended.

As of today I've got 3 weeks and 1 day to get the build finished and a video made. So in reality that translates to between 1-2 weeks left, depending how much time I want to leave for filming and the subsequent editing.

The outstanding items still to be completed are:

Finish off basement and the trim/frame for the side panel
Clean up interior and put in 'stuff'
Finish fabrication then Prime/Paint/Gloss Front and Top Panels
Fabricate and then Prime/Paint/Gloss Rear Panel
Glass Etching
So I think I should have enough time to get those items done. With that being said though, I will likely only have another 1 or 2 updates this month. Well, before the video goes live at least; as I want some of it to be surprise after all.

Anyway, thanks for popping by and make sure to stay safe folks!

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