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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:37 pm 
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Good evening everyone, since I've left off last week, I've made a new set of slot covers using some of the leftover modder's mesh. This was a very scientific process :lol: . I laid one of the stock covers on top of the mesh, then traced it with a sharpie. Next I dremelled them out, and lined them up in their places and bent/trimmed as necessary. Here's what they look like:

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Now we'll begin painting. Since my "paint booth" is going to be two cardboard boxes, I'm limited in how many pieces I can paint at once. Starting with the slot covers, intake grill, and mobo tray bracket, I roughed them up with a steel wool mouse sander pad.

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Also shown above is the primer and paint (gloss black) that we're using. Next I cleaned them and wiped them down with a tack cloth.

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Here they are set up in my start of the art paint studio.

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The extra piece of cardboard between the two boxes was used to keep over-spray from neighboring pieces. Here's how they looked after 4 light coats of primer.

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At this point I was gambling with the weather. We had rain in the evening forecast today, so I quickly prepped the drive bay and power supply brackets and shot them with four coats as well.

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In the sun I'd noticed many little fibers that I'm pretty sure came from the steel wool mouse sander attachment. In the garage I don't think I had enough light to notice them before I took them out for priming. I let them dry for about 4 hours, then got to work sanding out the fuzzballs. After sanding, a thorough tack cloth wipe, and now they're ready for another (and hopefully final) few coats of primer.

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This takes us up until about an hour ago as of this post. What I learned here is that steel wool is not a good prep material for primer, and I'm going to go with fine grit sandpaper going forward. I'm aiming for weekly updates to keep the train rolling, thanks for looking and the feedback. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:52 am 
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Looks great to me! can't wait to see paint :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Looking good man!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:14 am 
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Thanks Mark and Yoda :D

Time for moar paint! Since last week I've started painting the black pieces, beginning with the fan grill mesh, mobo bracket, and the slot covers.

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While those dried, I drilled the 1/4" mounting holes for the feet into the floor, and also will need a 3/4" hole for the power switch. I don't currently own a 3/4" bit, and since they're kind of spendy, I decided I would improvise and use a dremel. I measured 3/4" hole, and using some of my old cutting wheels that have been worn down to a smaller size, cut out the hole.

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The hole measures out to a hair over 3/4", hopefully it will work. Shown is the plastic piece that works as the front feet, it ties in the curves of the bezel.

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I'm not sure if I will use the plastic front foot yet. I plan to paint it see how it looks, and eventually decide if I will use four standard case feet, or the plastic piece in front with two feet in the back.
Later in the week, I began painting the mobo tray, psu bracket, and drive cage. Shortly after I started, I was getting these big random blobs of overspray.

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I'm pretty sure this was due to not clearing the nozzle after the first paint session- I should have held the can upside down and sprayed it for a few seconds to clear the paint out. I soaked the nozzle in mineral spirits-

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Then sanded out the overspray once the paint was completely dry.

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Shown here after 3 coats of black, looks much better.

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As I was snapping pics, the motherboard tray somehow fell off its hanger. Shown here after picking up all sorts of debris from the bottom of the box.

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So that will need to be re-sanded. I'm going to break out the mouse sander once it dries, and re-prime and paint it from scratch. I didn't do a good enough job initially sanding out the over-spray, you can still see a few of the blobs through the fresh coats of paint. The psu bracket and drive cage look good enough for me, so those are ready for clear coat, along with the mesh pieces and mobo bracket. Thanks for tuning in, more updates soon!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:51 pm 
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Hola amigos, time for an update! Since last time, I decided that I'm going to try a better quality spray paint, I wasn't happy with the results of the Rustoleum. As much as I like to keep my shopping dollars local, I was unable to find what I was looking for at my area auto part stores, home centers, etc., so I ordered these from http://tcpglobal.com/ .

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I was happy with this stuff, the spray was consistent and the color is nice. Between the previous over spray blobs and having a piece fall off its hanger in the paintbox, I was pretty much back to square one painting the internals. It didn't take me long to go through it, here's how far I got with it.

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About half the internals are ready for clear coat. As I'm on a shoestring modding budget, its going to be a week or so until I pick up more paint. I had a couple other things I wanted to get done in the meantime. First, I wanted to clean up the back side of the fiberglass bezel. Here's the before shot-

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After a couple hours filling in low spots with bondo, sanding, spot filler putty, more sanding, and cleaning up excess epoxy here's how it looks now.

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The epoxy is no joke! It passes the "can it hold a power drill?" test.

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Next up I'm going to mount a top exhaust fan. I downloaded a fan template from mnpctech.com and got to work. The next two shots were taken on my phone, I ran out of storage on the regular cam and didn't want to stop working at the time.

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3/16" drill bit for mounting holes, and I used the dremel for the opening. Here's how it turned out.

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The unibody panel also has a roof, so an opening needed to be made there as well.

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Now the fun part, coming up with the grill design. I stumbled across wookiepedia, http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wookieepedia:WookieeProject_Images/Gallery_of_insignia,_logos,_and_symbols. It has just about any Star Wars logo imaginable. I decided on a simplified version of the Imperial Crest of the Galactic Empire.

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I cut out the outer section for the opening, and used the dremel at the lowest speed for the initial cut.

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This took a lot longer than I expected, the plastic melted very easily, so I had to stop cutting frequently. Here's how it looked after being cleaned up with some filing and sanding.

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Next cut out the inner section, and traced it onto the leftover piece from the fan opening.

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I used my older, worn down cutting disks and the tungsten cutter bit for this part. Here's how it looked after filing and sanding.

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Now our final mock up before paint.

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Thanks for looking, cheers!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:19 pm 
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Wow, that looks great! I love the Imperial marking in the 80mm fan grill.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:24 am 
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Quote:
The epoxy is no joke! It passes the "can it hold a power drill?" test.
LMFAO


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:41 pm 
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Spartacus wrote:
Wow, that looks great! I love the Imperial marking in the 80mm fan grill.


Thanks man, when I was cutting it and saw how easily the plastice melted, I was worried that it was a bad idea. I was relieved how well it cleaned up with a file and some sandpaper.

Spider Monkey wrote:
The epoxy is no joke! It passes the "can it hold a power drill?" test.
LMFAO"


In Wisconsin this is considered scientific testing :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:58 am 
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You have done an amazing job!! :shock: I really like the side panel cut out, I think it looks almost 3-D! I have been racking my brain about your power button placement issue and was wondering if you had come up with anything?
I know in some BIOS' that you can assign a key on the keyboard to turn on the computer. Another thought is maybe the nose on the front bezel maybe use some smoke or dark tinted plexi for the actual button. I was also thinking maybe dark plexi for the eyes on the front bezel. I know that would cut air flow but just a thought. Keep it up, i'm glued to this post!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:07 am 
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Wiked_smart wrote:
I have been racking my brain about your power button placement issue and was wondering if you had come up with anything?


Yeah I'm going to have the power button mounted under the floor of the case- I thought stealthing it would be best. Somewhere in the log it shows were I'll be mounting it. There should be 1/2 in clearance underneath, enough to fit a finger to turn it on. Thanks for the advice and kind words! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:28 am 
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Do you have a idea on color for the final paint job? white/black?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:00 pm 
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Wiked_smart wrote:
Do you have a idea on color for the final paint job? white/black?


Mostly white and black, there will be a little bit of color pop also, that part will be a surprise :evil:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:41 am 
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Thank you, very much for posting, and for the inspiration. This is great, can't wait to see the finished project as Rig of the Month!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:54 am 
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hurv wrote:
This took a lot longer than I expected, the plastic melted very easily, so I had to stop cutting frequently.


were you using the cutoff wheels and/or sanding drums on it? Try using a "cutter" bit, rather than a grinding one. Something with teeth - the fewer, the better.

I've been doing a lot of research into plastic cutting, and even on slow routers they use bits with a single blade for exactly that reason. Also, in my very limited past experiences with plastics - applying water (I use a spray bottle) to the piece and your bit/blade not only helps keep things cool, but also keeps the dust under control. Industrial shops that cut plastic have band saws, etc. with water applicators built in to them.


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 Post subject: Re: Project: STORMTRUPER
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:43 am 
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Fantastic mod.

Like everything you've done so far. The only thing that made me
pause was the fan grill cover. Looks like it would restrict airflow
quit a bit. Was thinking that if you shaped it to be a little convex and
mounted it on stand-offs, would lift it off the grill and provide better
airflow (plus I think it would look pretty cool).

Hell, if you could have it half-spherical would look bad-ass.


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 Post subject: Re: Project: STORMTRUPER
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:45 pm 
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DreadedOne509 wrote:
Fantastic mod.

Like everything you've done so far. The only thing that made me
pause was the fan grill cover. Looks like it would restrict airflow
quit a bit. Was thinking that if you shaped it to be a little convex and
mounted it on stand-offs, would lift it off the grill and provide better
airflow (plus I think it would look pretty cool).

Hell, if you could have it half-spherical would look bad-ass.


You're right, the top grill won't be very efficient for airflow. This is more form than function; the theory is the 140mm intake should push plenty of air, with the mesh pci slot covers in back offering passive exhaust. I may experiment with your dome idea though, that could be pretty cool.

@ bbies- good ideas on the plastic cutting, I will definitely try those techniques.

Thanks for the feedback guys, hopefully I'll be back on track with this project soon. Before I proceed with the paint, I want to buy the PSU, CPU and motherboard the make sure everything fits. I have a feeling that there may be some proprietary form factor issues there :(


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 Post subject: Re: Project: STORMTRUPER
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:34 am 
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That looks pretty sweet man. Keep up the good work. What kind of hardware you sticking in it?


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 Post subject: Re: Project: STORMTRUPER
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:40 am 
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Did this project die?


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 Post subject: Re: Project: STORMTRUPER
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:20 am 
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Spider Monkey wrote:
Did this project die?


No it is not dead, it has been forced downward on my priority list over the last few months due to having to replace 2 major appliances and a car during that time :cry: I'm hoping to get back on track in the next couple months.

magnumsrule wrote:
That looks pretty sweet man. Keep up the good work. What kind of hardware you sticking in it?


The hardware will be a budget AM3 system, just enough to do some light gaming, surf the webs, listen to music and watch movies.


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 Post subject: Re: Project: STORMTRUPER
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:27 pm 
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I was extremely surprised to see that I was nominated for Mod of the Month at bit tech! It is unfortunate though, as the project has been shelved due to some more unfortunate luck, and won't be finished any time soon. I've had to replace a bunch of windows, siding, and a couple garage doors due to a hailstorm. Thank goodness for insurance though. Anyway, this project is still not dead, I've just been busy with the home repairs, trying to get them done before the snow flies. Hopefully I'll be back at this in about a month. :mrgreen:


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