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 Post subject: High Roller: Cooler Master Mystique
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:16 pm 
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Getting Started
I started this project by stripping down the entire box. I took off everything I could and bagged it all up.

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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.

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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.

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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!


Last edited by KikBox on Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Case Cutting
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:17 pm 
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Before a powder coat finish goes on this case we have to finish all of our cuts. This case is pretty straight forward. I am cutting out the intake grill, exhaust grill and adding a blow hole. Because of the built in drive cage I had to start by removing rivets from the chassis to free the cage. This will have to be riveted back in place after I cut out the grill but it will help ensure the cage is not damaged during cutting.

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I mark the centers of all 3 holes and pop them out. Here is the finish hole cuts...

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With the holes cut I have to rivet the drive cage back into the case.

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Bill pitched in and helped with the window cut. While Bill cut the window I made adjustments in the chassis to enlarge the viewing area.

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A little cleanup and we are off to powder coat!

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 Post subject: Powder Coat
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:18 pm 
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The High Roller has completed powder coat. The case has a red metallic finish that pops like crazy. This is a 2 part finish consisting of red base coat and then high gloss clear coat. Each coat is applied and baked separately.

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As you may have noticed, I have changed my design from a 2tone finish to just red. I ruled out the interior color because of budget and time constraints on this project.


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 Post subject: Blowhole Bling
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:24 pm 
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I am doing a nice smooth polished look for the blow hole mod. This will compliment the polished doors that are going on the front of this case.

I picked up this derby cover which is the perfect size for mounting over a 120mm blow hole. The derby cover does not have a smooth edge all the way around. There is a small gap where space has been left for a cable to run through the cover. I am using this gap to mount the fan speed control knob for the blow hole fan.

For this mod I snagged a Tek Chain fan from [url="http://www.mnpctech.com"]MNPCtech.com[/url]because of its built in fan speed control. I will be relocating this knob to the small opening in the side of the derby cover. First I mounted the fan to the case with rubber gromets and standard fan screws.

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I started off with 1/2" standoffs and then cut them down to 1/4" on the band saw. I used 1" chrome plated machine screws and fastened the cover to the top of case so that I could measure the gap and then cut a 1/4" piece of modder's mesh.

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I used a roll of tape to get a nice even loop and then used a small machine screw and nut to hold the loop closed. At this point I also cleaned and clear coated the mesh to make sure that the metal does not deteriorate over time.

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Once all my pieced were completed I used a wire cutter and Dremel to carve a small slot in the mesh for my control knob. The knob fits perfectly in the gap and is secured by the mesh and mounting tape.

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I think the end result looks pretty sharp.

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Lights out!

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 Post subject: Preview Movie: mod in progress
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:19 am 
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At the end of the night I recorded a brief preview of the project...I was not feeling great by that time.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu_CmrTTjeA


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 Post subject: Let's see what this finish really looks like
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:20 am 
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As I mentioned earlier, this is a red metallic finish but the flake is very small. The camera flash tends to wash out the color making it look flat but thanks to my good buddy Bill, here are some pics that really show off the metallic quality of this awesome finish!

We shot this powder by hand and it's the same stuff we would put on your motorcycle. Not only is it beautiful to look at but it's tough as nails making it a great scratch resistant finish for a LAN system.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:33 am 
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Gorgeous paint job!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:09 pm 
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
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Location: In a cage, dumbass.
Nice!

And I noticed that you built it in the new shop!

You guys are already in production!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:09 am 
Klamath
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Location: Virginia beach Va
I am thinking what i like best about this paint / powder coating is the fact that it still looks wet. giving that nice pearl look to it !


Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:10 pm 
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Man, that is GORGEOUS paint job! :shock: 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:41 am 
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Thanks, it is a pretty tasty finish...I am very happy with it. I started polishing the brushed aluminum doors last night. I have about 4 hours in and much left to do before they are as shiny as the derby cover. Have to buy some more elbow grease!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:06 am 
Million Club 2+ [PC]*
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KikBox wrote:
Thanks, it is a pretty tasty finish...I am very happy with it. I started polishing the brushed aluminum doors last night. I have about 4 hours in and much left to do before they are as shiny as the derby cover. Have to buy some more elbow grease!


Too bad you don't have a source to electroplate chrome to the outter doors. Save you some time, but then again, the cost would go up.

Excellent job so far. Love the paint. I wish i were near you. I'd bring my bike in for an estimate on some detailed airbrushing I want done on the tank.

Where are you guys? I am under the impression you're far from Alabama.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:29 am 
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Quakindude wrote:
Where are you guys? I am under the impression you're far from Alabama.


The Ivy Arts Building
2637 27th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Just a bit off I believe. :wink:


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 Post subject: Polishing in progress
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:50 pm 
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I am not halfway through the polishing process yet but I am starting to see the results I want. I had to run to the hardware store to buy some more elbow grease...

I am planning to continue sanding this weekend with the goal being to get the top panel to the same stage as the bottom one. Then I will be hitting the polishing wheel again for the final buffing.

The top plate shows the untouched finish I started with.

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 Post subject: VGA Venting
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:03 am 
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VGA venting is something that I have wanted to add to this project. I have a nice chrome plate that will look great so I installed it right into the window. Any venting it good, especially given the heat that graphics cards can generate.

I have already mounted the window so I will need to install the vent carefully. I started by squaring up the vent to my window frame and taping it onto the front of the panel. Then I flipped the panel over and scribed a line in the plastic where I wanted my cut to be. I used a metal ruler to get my lines nice and straight. After scribing the lines I put tape down along the lines and then remove the vent from the front of the panel.

With my cut marked, I place the panel on top of a cardboard box and used my Dremel with a light weight cutting wheel to make the cut. The standard cutting wheels are more than enough to handle this 1/16" plastic. I took small straight bites with the Dremel running at about medium speed. Take your time with this! If you try to go too fast you are going to get a lot of melting and end up with a mess.

After cutting my opening I drilled out the mounting holes with a plastics drill bit and mounted the VGA vent with the provided screws and nuts. The VGA vent was provided by MNPCtech. The vent is a nice feature and a good match to the other chrome pieces that will be part of the finished build.

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The entire installation was really quick at about 15 minutes. Given the chance to do it again I might have mounted the vent slightly higher since most SLI motherboard's video card slots are a bit higher.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:31 pm 
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Really nice man it's HOT!


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 Post subject: The Mod Nation on MySpace
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:22 am 
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I finally got around to setting up a MySpace site. There will be more work samples there soon and we will be launching the official site of The Mod Nation in December.

http://www.myspace.com/themodnation


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 Post subject: Re: The Mod Nation on MySpace
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:10 am 
Klamath
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Location: Virginia beach Va
KikBox wrote:
I finally got around to setting up a MySpace site. There will be more work samples there soon and we will be launching the official site of The Mod Nation in December.

http://www.myspace.com/themodnation


LoL loving the fan video.
are you going to setup your own forums or are you still going to work off the wizd ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:33 am 
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We will be having some type of forum system but we have not decided what yet. It will need to be pretty robust but it also needs to be really low maintainance and easy setup. I just don't have the time to invest right now.

We are exploring our options at this point. It would be cool to find a hosted solutions so we can just worry about content and not system monitoring.


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 Post subject: Check
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:17 am 
Klamath
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Location: Virginia beach Va
Hey Kik's check your PM's!


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