I've done something grungy with the War Machine
, now I would like to do a 180 and do something with a bit more bling.
I am starting with a Coolermaster Wave Master 2 case, more commonly referred to as the "Mystique". The case has a unique shape that works well for my theme and much better cooling potential than the original Wave Master. My plan is to make this a truly mixed media project that will include panel cutting, 2 tone powder coat finish and perhaps some airbrushed detailing.
The Case Critique
Since the Mystique is still a fairly new case to the market I would like to do a mini review of the product before we get rolling. As modders, we all tend to look at cases much differently than the average consumer or system builder so this will be a critique from the modder's perspective.
The first thing I noticed about the Mystique is how light it is. My Wave Master 1 was much heavier due in part to the giant bar of solid aluminum bolted to the front of the case. I always liked that design feature. It was design for the sake of form and nothing else. As a case designer I can appreciate that. The new case attempts to recreate the feel of the old wave master and the curving door does remind me of it, however the execution just isn't the same.
Another change that I noticed right away is the absence of 80mm fans. We now have a 120mm in and 120mm out. This is an excellent change as even with a blow hole installed my old wave master ran hot all the time. Of course, we also lose the spiffy motherboard tray we got in the old version.
There is no doubt that this case will be a better performer in the cooling arena.
The bezel is now plastic. This is a big departure from the original case. It's very easy to take apart and reduces the weight significantly. The modder in me hates plastic but it's not SO much plastic that you couldn't do something interesting with the case. The door is reversible which I like. Flipping the door is pretty easy to do by removing a spring-loaded bracket from one side and putting on the other.
Over all, I like the case. I can do without stuff like the screw less rails and door handles but Coolermaster has the sense to include all the holes you need to use screw mounted hardware and even thumbscrews on the panels. Hey, it even comes with a little bag of snacks in case I get hungry!
I started this project by stripping down the entire box. I took off everything I could and bagged it all up.
There are some things I will not be re-installing. The 5.25 bay clips are going because they will interfere with my powder coating plans. The clip on slot covers and locking mechanism will be replaced with standard slot covers and nice big thumb screws. The spring loaded panel handle will be removed along with the plastic CPU venting tube and the entire area will be cut out to make way for a window. I will secure the panel to the chassis with more of those nice big thumb screws.
When you are powder coating, keeping things clean is very important. Any grease or gum left on the case will cause the powder to turn out funny. The first thing I always do is start cleaning with denatured alcohol. Peeling off stickers always leaves crap like this so make sure you get it all.
I am doing powder inside and out but they will be different colors so I will be stripping this case down even further by drilling out the rivets. This makes the mod more complicated but the pay off will be flawless interior finish.
Take it easy everyone! I am going on vacation until the 28th and then the real work begins!