This is my second military themed case mod (first one can be found here)
and it's based on a Coolermaster 830 Stacker (one of the most mod-friendly cases ever built in my humble opinion)
Please feel free to comment on anything you like or ask for any kind of clarification
as you may find my English a little hard to understand sometimes....
The original idea was to create an add-on case for this CM830.
Something large enough to accommodate two triple radiators, 9 fans and two pumps
but at the same time something that would look as if it was a part of the case from the beggining.
The first step was to design something using shapes and forms inspired from the original Stacker.
The second and very important step in order to visually blend the case and the add-on compartment, was the paintjob.
It had to be something that would conceal the mass of the whole thing that’s how I ended up using a camo pattern
(if it can camouflage a tank it can surely make this monster-stacker look good..)
After extensive 3D modeling work with Sketchup, I came up with a basic plan of the project.
A two-piece metal frame would support the actual case. At the same time it would serve as a box for all the watercooling parts.
Acrylic covers would serve as sidepanels and the front faclet of the structure
would look like a rocket launcher with a control panel to make things a little bit more interesting.
The construction began with all the hardware work
aka cutting the openings, screwing some hundreds of hex screws,handles, latches etc
Next step was to apply a base color to prevent some parts from rusting
and to obtain a uniform surface to work on with the airbrush later on.
Internal parts received black matte electrostatic coating for increased strength and durability
so that adding/removing parts in the future would not damage the color.
The basic structure of the watercooling compartment consisted of a 3mm thick metal frame, based on the original Stacker skirts.
I also added a set of heavy duty wheels as the expected weight would surely exceed my weight- lifting capabilities...
The front faclet was build using acrylic pieces of various thickness, attached to Stacker’s original front skirt.
The ventilation holes on side panels were laser cut.
Finally all the pieces were put together using lots of epoxy glue,even more polyester putty and extensive sanding
in order to achieve a smooth final result.
In the meantime on the clear side of the work table, the watercooling setup started to shape up.
With the bulls eye tank serving as my main reservoir tank in the front,
the radiators already mounted in the bottom and the hardware installed inside the case, it was time for some temperature testing.
After I made sure that everything was working fine
it was time to finish the paintjob and add the final details on the project
The original power and reset switch as well as the indicator leds and two USB ports
were replaced by some custom ones on the front control panel
A key lock connected to the pwr button was added to prevent unauthorized use of the equipment.
After a basic cable management and tube routing the interior began to look acceptable
so I found time to add a little more of my favourite details such as the custom stencil-painted MPC logos and yellow striped caution panels
But because details can make the difference sometimes, i decided to add some more of them
A Logitech Bluetooth desktop set received the same paintjob to match the case.
And a Modsquad logo found its place in the front faceplate
(3mm thick acrylic base with self adhesive inkjet print on top and a final coat of clear polyester to seal this homemade badge)
After highlighting the edges and adding some exhaust effect on the sidepanels,
everything received the final treatment of dry brushing and buffer spraying (a quick way to achieve a weathered dusty look)
Everything was fixed on surface with satin automotive clear lacquer mainly to protect the colors
but also to make the parts nice to touch and easy to clean.
the main idea for the lighting of the case was to achieve a "IR night vision" look
with the black interior already in place all i had to do was to add onε set of green cold cathodes
with the necessary aluminium frame so that the spectator could not directly see the cold cathode but only the diffuse light.
In the bottom part of the rocket launcher i added one set of UV cold cathodes in each side
to make the uv green fans react and light those side panels from the inside....
And that’s how the finished case looked like before leaving the workshop to his new owner’s house.
It was a time consuming project with lots of quirks and fallbacks along the process of its construction
but i think the final result was worth it and hase payed off....