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InsolentGnome

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About InsolentGnome

  • Rank
    Just Plain Crazy
  • Birthday 08/05/1976

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    http://www.insolentmods.com

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    Male
  • Location
    Missouri-USA

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  1. After some experimentation with different grinders, I figured out what works best and started cleaning up my cuts. Sooo much metal dust! Most of it was pretty easy, but the tips were a bit of a pain. But totally worth it! I did manage to scratch up the case a bit while doing this so painting is in it's future, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. There's gonna be lots of painting. Next up was dealing with the GPU. I want to show it off, but the standard layout doesn't really do that. We're gonna need some metal. Luckily I had some .063" or ~1.5mm 5052 left over from a previous project. Handy tip: label your scraps so you know what your grabbing, makes life easier. The best thing, this piece wound up being just the right width for what I was doing so all I had to do was mark out a cut and a bend. Bending was done in a vise with some love from a hammer since that little tab wouldn't work too well in my brake. Then I marked out my tab spacing from the original brackets. Little work on the bandsaw. Followed by a little filing. And then marking out and drilling some holes... And I've got a nice PCI bracket cover that uses the original mounting. A little more work and it'll be ready to hold the GPU. Sponsored by:
  2. Right, showing them requires trying to explain the series, which is about impossible. LOL.
  3. And now we're at the end of our journey. I want to thank Swiftech and MNPCTECH for sponsoring this build and it's twin. They really made these possible. Also, I know a lot of people don't know the story these cases are based on, but hopefully they're cool enough to still be appreciated. Now on with the pics! Once again, a big thanks to my sponsors:
  4. And now we're at the end of our journey. I want to thank GeForce Garage, Swiftech, and MNPCTECH for sponsoring this build and it's twin. They really made these possible. Also, I know a lot of people don't know the story these cases are based on, but hopefully they're cool enough to still be appreciated. Now on with the pics! Once again, a big thanks to my sponsors:
  5. Thanks! Had to, lol. I'll be in Austin Thursday through Monday for Dreamhack. Nah, I usually just hope for the best and go with the flow. I trust my work but with two similar builds, I'm surprised I didn't get more stuff swapped. Thanks!
  6. Now it's time to finish the loop and get this thing done. Or so I think... I started the loop like it's twin, in the front on the res. That bottom line was the tricky one and once I got it done, it was smooth sailing. Amazingly enough, on both builds, that piece went off without much of a hitch. I think I had to redo it once between both builds. And the rest of the loop was A to B making sure to keep everything straight. I filled it with Mayhems Dark Red. It just looks so nice in a loop. While doing the loop, I was also cutting out some acrylic side panels. They came out mostly OK. I've still got some measurements to work out to get the magnets to press fit, so I wound up gluing these. And then things got interesting when I booted the system. Everything worked, which is always a bonus, but... It's hard to tell, but I forgot to swap the colored light bar in the GPU block. Red fluid+green GPU lights is not an attractive thing. And if that wasn't enough. I swapped one of the original blue fans I bought for the Gunslinger in without knowing it. Not a big deal except the res pins the fan to the radiator. And I soldered the fan wires together. And there's no slack. It all amounts to a clean build, but a PIA to fix. So I drained the loop, pulled the GPU block and swapped the strip and then spliced in the right fan. Then filled it all back up. Little bit of drama, but in the end...perfect. And next up are final shots! Sponsored by:
  7. Ah the fun part, the loop. Nothing too crazy here running clear 1/2" od Primochill PETG in between Bill's hardline fittings. I do have one of the measuring and bending sets from Monsoon, but find that I actually get better results just bending by hand. I tackled the res first. The bottom bend was tricky, 3 bends, 3 planes, and no way to hold the piece in position to eyeball it. Heck I could barely get the finished piece in since it had to go through a slot under the rad just over 1/2" tall. Once the hard bend was out of the way, the rest was just figuring out what looked best. Ok, I'll admit that it wasn't that easy. I spent a few days looking at it and deciding where i wanted the lines to run, but once the planning was out of the way, running the loop was a matter of a couple of hours. The big thing was making sure everything was straight. And then I filled the loop with Mayhem's UV white pastel. I really only wanted white but ordered the UV by mistake. Oh well, it'll look cool in black light, LOL. Yeah, that run from the CPU to GPU is off. Sometimes you've got to get the fluid in to really get an idea of what it looks like. I thought it would be passable before I filled it, but wound up draining the loop to re-bend that piece. While I was working on the loop, I was also cutting acrylic side panels. They still need a bit more work but are passable. I thought I had the holes for the magnets figured out, but wound up having to glue them in instead press fitting them. That was a bit of a pain. But now we're ready for final shots! Sponsored by:
  8. The rest of the hardware came in this past week so let's see what we've got rounding out this build. For a GPU, there's the brand new MSI RADEON RX 580 ARMOR 4G OC. I've also got some nice peripherals that I'm gonna try and match to the build. The MSI INTERCEPTOR DS4200 GAMING KEYBOARD. The MSI CLUTCH GM40 GAMING MOUSE. And the MSI DS502 GAMING HEADSET. So with all the hardware in, it's time to get cracking on this project. The first thing I did was strip most of the case down and tape it all up. I'm wanting to keep the finish. It's the right color and looks pretty durable. I left some of the interior so I could measure a few things. Then I marked out a "safe" cutting area. This is where my design is going. Now to mark out the cases namesake. Wait. That doesn't look right... Ah, much better. Did I mention that I'm rolling the case onto its back? The front becomes the top and the top becomes the front and the layout is reversed. It'll take some work to make it functional, But I'm liking the flip. I took a Dremel and made some notches I could slip a jigsaw blade into. And then surgery. I didn't really go for precision with the jigsaw because I didn't want the blade to grab and bend anything. This InWin is thick aluminum, but I didn't really want to chance it. I'll go in with a grinder and take the rest of the material out. That is after I go get a better grinder for the job. Sponsored by:
  9. I want to take a sec to look at the paint, since it doesn't really show in the pics. First up is a a coat of rattle can black over primer. It's got a bit of orange peel but that won't really matter. Next is a medium scratch pad to rough up the surface so that the next layer has something to grab on to. The top coat is a textured paint from Rustoleum that's supposed to look like rock??? Kind of? It really isn't bad and basically turns the finish into coarse sandpaper. It's not the slate brick that's in the story, but it looks kind of rocky. One nice thing is that as long as the base was black, it all pretty well matched, so I just top coated the parts of the case that didn't need paint and it matched the parts I painted black just fine. Another is it'll cover blemishes in the base and doesn't scratch unless you really go at it. Since most all the painting is done, it's time to start the final assembly. Wired the fans and switches. And I weathered the wires on the back side to make them look past their prime. Next up was the putting the mb in. And cleaning up the wires. Then it was time to slip the GPU in. I went with red lighting because the Man in Black serves the Red. Though I'm gonna have to tone it down a bit, sort of drowns out every thing at 12v. And a few shots with it's protagonist twin. All that's left now is the loop! Sponsored by:
  10. With the back panel ready for paint, let's look at how I painted them, since it doesn't really show in the pics. First up is a a coat of rattle can black over primer. It's got a bit of orange peel but that won't really matter. Next is a medium scratch pad to rough up the surface so that the next layer has something to grab on to. The top coat is a textured paint from Rustoleum that's supposed to look like rock??? Kind of? It really isn't bad and basically turns the finish into coarse sandpaper. It's not the slate brick that's in the story, but it looks kind of rocky. One nice thing is that as long as the base was black, it all pretty well matched, so I just top coated the parts of the case that didn't need paint and it matched the parts I painted black just fine. Another is it'll cover blemishes in the base and doesn't scratch unless you really go at it. With the back panel done, it was time to start putting it all together. Wired up the switches and the fans. And did some weathering to make the back side wiring look older. Then the mb went in. I like having the wire running under the board, but it can be a pain to get it laying right. Still need to add some combs to clean it up. And the back panel was riveted on. I went with white LED's to light the interior and help show off the details. And the GPU finishes off the hardware. And a few shots with it's antagonist. Now the loop is the only thing left to finish! Sponsored by:
  11. Hey everyone, welcome to MSI's PRO MOD Season 5! My name is Dave Cathey, or InsolentGnome as a lot of folks know me. I hail from the US and I've been picked as a judge for this season. I know...crazy! Who in their right minds lets a gnome be a judge, let alone an insolent one, right? Part of the judging duties is to make a demonstration mod with the Arctic theme with the sponsor's hardware, which is some pretty nice kit, but let's start off with the theme... This mod is named Crevasse. A crevasse is basically a crevice, but in a glacier. Crack in rock...crevice. Crack in ice...crevasse. It just sounds fancier, like a swan ice sculpture. The idea for the case is to appear to be a crevasse in an ice shelf that has opened up to reveal an inner cave. While it won't be as dramatic as it sounds, I think it should turn out pretty cool. Get it? Yeah, the puns will be out in force with this worklog. For hardware, I'm starting off with the In Win 303 in white. The motherboard is the MSI B350 Tomahawk Arctic. And yes, you read that correctly, B350 so this baby is gonna have a new AMD Ryzen chip, the Ryzen 7 1700X to be specific. Cooling for our Ryzen chip will be handled by the new MSI Core Frozr L tower cooler. Populating the memory slots will be 16GB(4x4GB) of HyperX Predator DDR4 @3000MHz Storage will be a HyperX 240GB Predator PCIe SSD in the M.2 slot. Power is coming from a Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1000w PSU. And case airflow will be handled by Be Quiet! Silent Wings 3 fans. Three 120mm and two 140mm. I'm still waiting on some of the other hardware and will update as soon as it arrives. The first thing we need to to with all this nice hardware is to set it up and get the board updated since that's been an issue with Ryzen. Break out the Open Benchtable. This thing is pretty slick and lets you bench up a system pretty easily. I know that the GPU coming is supposed to be a RX580, but all I had with an air cooler laying around was a GTX 760, but it will let me get started. Now to find a monitor... Sponsored by:
  12. Back panel, milled, sanded, and ready for paint. So there's one thing that any self respecting Dark Tower build needs, and that's a rose. The Dark Tower is surrounded by a field of roses and in one of the multiple worlds, there exists a rose that is the tower's counterpart. So rose=important. I had thought about putting a rose in the back panels, but liked the idea of Ka and the siguls of the King and the Deschains better. So another place that was begging for a little love was the grill cover on the top panel. It's kind of bland and boring up there and I'm hoping that the LED fans shining up through a silhouette will look pretty cool. ABS on an X-Carve is like going through butter with a hot knife. A nice change from dealing with aluminum, and probably a whole lot better than what is coming up, a steel side panel. Not really sure how that one is going to work out. But I got a nice vector drawing of a rose, set it all up, and let it eat. I taped the hell out of the first one to keep stuff from flying around and was a bit scared of breaking something taking it up, so the next one I went easy on the tape. That was a mistake as one of the thinner sections let go and garbled the design. Not bad and I could live with it, but I'm still going to look into a replacement. Sponsored by:
  13. OMG! Does wiring ever end???? Apparently not, but I have made some progress. Extensions, sleeved. But before we get into running the fans, I need to do something about the power and reset buttons. Although I like having I/Os on the front of the case, I hate the mess you have to deal with on the inside, especially in a mod, so they've got to go to be replaced by a simple power and reset button pair. First off I need to make a plate to cover the original I/O plate. Using a pencil lead, I rubbed the outline onto some paper. I could then cut that out and transfer the shape over to some 1mm Al to cut out. Then some mounting holes to hold the Al to the original plate and while I was at it I notched the plate out with a dremel to allow my switches to run through. Voila! Switches! Totally looks like an upside down smiley face! :P I'm painting the plate to match the rest of the case and the switches are red LEDs to match the color scheme. So there's one thing that any self respecting Dark Tower build needs, and that's a rose. The Dark Tower is surrounded by a field of roses and in one of the multiple worlds, there exists a rose that is the tower's counterpart. So rose=important. I had thought about putting a rose in the back panels, but liked the idea of Ka and the siguls of the King and the Deschain's better. So another place that was begging for a little love was the grill cover on the top panel. It's kind of bland and boring up there and I'm hoping that the LED fans shining up through a silhouette will look pretty cool. ABS on an X-Carve is like going through butter with a hot knife. A nice change from dealing with aluminum, and probably a whole lot better than what is coming up, a steel side panel. Not really sure how that one is going to work out. But I got a nice vector drawing of a rose, set it all up, and let it eat. I taped the hell out of the first one to keep stuff from flying around and was a bit scared of breaking something taking it up, so the next one I went easy on the tape. That was a mistake as one of the thinner sections let go and garbled the design. Not bad and I could live with it, but I'm still going to look into a replacement. And speaking of milled parts, I just got some awesome milled parts in for the cooling loop. MNPCTech 1/2" hardline fittings. A bunch of them! Can't wait to get these babies in and start planning the loop. And a big thanks to my sponsors: and now,
  14. OMG! Does wiring ever end???? Apparently not, but I have made some progress. Extensions, sleeved. But before we get into running the fans, I need to do something about the power and reset buttons. Although I like having I/Os on the front of the case, I hate the mess you have to deal with on the inside, especially in a mod, so they've got to go to be replaced by a simple power and reset button pair. First off I need to make a plate to cover the original I/O plate. Using a pencil lead, I rubbed the outline onto some paper. I could then cut that out and transfer the shape over to some 1mm Al to cut out. Then some mounting holes to hold the Al to the original plate and while I was at it I notched the plate out with a dremel to allow my switches to run through. Voila! Switches! Even the case is excited about it! :P I'm painting the plate to match the rest of the case and the switches are white LEDs to match the color scheme. While I was playing around with the wire, I managed to have my X-Carve die on me. At first I thought it was a stepper, but it turned out to be a shorted wire so after working that out, I could start milling out a few symbols in the back plate that relate to the stories. Everything started out fine. But two broken bits later I decided that this piece of Al wasn't having any of it. It wasn't chipping very well and I'm not really sure why. I've never had this problem with these settings on 6061 or 5052 Al before, so I decided to ditch that back panel and make a new one out of some 5052 I had laying around. Three benefits to this, I just milled the same design in a piece of 5052 with no trouble, the 5052 will bend nicely for the GPU bracket on this new panel vs. the cracking that happened on the first panel, and I know what the hell I'm dealing with. I'm pretty sure the original panel was 6061, I can't imagine what else it would be, but I also had to do some brazing on it when the GPU mount cracked, so maybe the heat was enough to screw with some of the properties of the panel? No clue, but I busted out the new panel using the original as a template and the milling went smooth as butter. One more design to cut above the I/O shield and this baby is ready for a test fit and paint. And speaking of milled parts, I just got some awesome milled parts in for the cooling loop. MNPCTech 1/2" hardline fittings. A bunch of them! Can't wait to get these babies in and start planning the loop. And a big thanks to my sponsors: and now,
  15. Thanks Bill! Got your fittings yesterday, just need to take some sexy photos of them.