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Project: Lament II - Hell's Illusion... FINISHED

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ARTbyTROY, 7 Jul 2006.

  1. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    The back story for the first mod is here, and the nearly finished fiction for this mod (since you asked)...

    "The illusion scares me mommy..." he whimpered again through trembling lips, "Shut up Billy!", the crack of my backhand solidly connecting with tear soaked and tender flesh, "Just hurry up and finish solving the damned thing."...

    Act 1

    Main street was already blocked off, first day of fall and the trees were already starting to turn, the view from the porch of the ferris wheel framed by flame orange and coppery leaves looked almost surreal as the sun set. Fall carnival, a happy time consisting of three days of greasy food, bad sideshow attractions and some of the most rickety rides imaginable... fun. It also meant the carnies were back in force, not a big deal to anyone other than the local merchants getting shoplifted, but it also meant that Ben would be back in town too.

    The weather channel forecast a chance of evening rain, by nine o'clock the sky had torn wide open and a severe thunderstorm warning was in full effect with high wind warnings. The leaves were being forced off the trees ready or not by a sideways rain and a few times I thought the trailer would almost be blown over, but by ten o'clock the winds had finally died down and only the rain and occasional crack of thunder remained. "Time for bed Billy", he paused his game and looked up sheepishishly, "Awe mom, do I have to... it's the weekend, there's no school tomorrow and can I PLEASE go to the carnival this year?". His asking always got the same reaction and this time was no different, "We'll see"... "That means no", he said. "Well how about this, I let you stay up an extra half hour to finish your game, let me think on it tonight and I will let you know in the morning". I could tell by his look that he was happy for the bed time extension but knew he would not be going to the carnival this year.

    There was a knock at the front door, knowing that the weather had shut down the festivities early I had a good idea who it was calling at this late hour, I had an equally good idea why he was calling, same as it always was when fall rolled around. Against my better judgement I unlocked and opened the door, just a crack with the chain still on. Lightning flashed as he stood on the porch clutching a trash bag in one hand, "Hello Jen" he said while staring down at his feet, "Christ Ben, why are you here?". Standing in the rain he looked up at me, wet red hair plastered against his forehead, smiling with a slightly wild look in his eyes. I could tell he was digging deep to find just the right thing to say, but instead of the standard 'I missed you' line of wrong answer crap I was expecting he simply asked "Do you have a toolbox?".

    Likely it was my having been caught off guard by his unexpected reply coupled with the small voice from the living room asking "Who's there mom?" that made me unlatch the chain and let him in, "Just an old wet friend Billy, why don't you unhook your game and take it into your room to play so we can sit and talk". I waited for his bedroom door to shut before muttering, "It's late, this better be good Ben". I knew it wouldn't be, the last few times he showed up in town ended in argument, although secretly a part of me hoped this time would be different. He set the trash bag on the dining table and took off his jacket, "I'll go get you a towel" I said and turned to head down the hallway... "And your toolbox", he called back. Walking down the hall I heard the sounds of video game action coming from Billys room and the rustling of plastic from the dining room. I grabbed a towel and pulled the toolbox from the top shelf in the bathroom closet and made my way back to the dining room where Ben stood, carefully removing the contents of the trashbag. "Got a Philips screwdriver in there?", he asked as I handed him the towel. "Yes, but how about you tell me what's going on first".
     
  2. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    Act 2

    He dried his hair, threw the towel around his shoulders and sat down staring at the small black box on the table. There was red lettering on one side that read 'Hell's Illusion', it appeared to be a shadow box with a fancy brass cube inside it but the way Ben was looking at the thing you would have thought it held the cure for cancer. "Well," he began, "about two months back I got promoted from the 'Tilt-A-Whirl" midway ride to the 'Chamber of Oddities" side show attraction as a barker, it's nothing more than a tent with some displays set up in it, mainly jars of glowy colored water and rubber props. The only really good part about the new job is not having to mop barf as often, but this black box was sitting over in the far corner and I never really gave it a second look until this afternoon". He looked up and continued, "Come to think of it though, my first day running the 'Chamber' there was this guy that got to talking about how he was a computer 'modder' and made all these crazy custom machines, said he bought one of those fancy brass boxes like what's inside this thing for cheap off ebay and was going to put a computer inside of it, weird". His gaze returned to the box, "Anyway, there was this older woman today that saw the thing and told me that if I wanted to make a fast two grand I should call her and she gave me this". Ben reached into his shirt pocket and handed me a business card, on it was the name 'Dr. Bethany Chanard', below that was the title 'Professor of Parapsychology' for the state university and a couple of phone numbers.

    "I called her cell right before the storm hit, she said she wanted the brass box that is inside this thing and if I got it for her she would pay me. I told her for that kind of cash I would just bring her the whole damned display, but she said that was not an option, that she only wanted the box inside the box or the deal was off. So you let me use your tools to get the thing out and I will cut you in for ten percent, two hundred bills in your pretty little hands just for letting me use your dining room table and a screwdriver." he said looking directly into my eyes. Two hundred was more than I made a week in tips at the local cafe, it was tempting especially for as little work as was involved but my better judgement kicked in, "You stole this thing and want to make me an accessory for a lousy two hundred dollars? I am no thief, criminal or accomplice... I have a child and responsibilities, plus I don't think 'my cut' would even make bail." I replied. Still looking directly at me he said, "She only wants the box inside, that means I can take it out and return the rest of it to the tent... the computer modder guy said he got one of the boxes cheap off ebay so they can evidently order a new one". I thought about it all for a second, "Then why doesn't she just get herself one off of ebay?" I asked.

    "Hell Jen, I don't know. Maybe she just really liked the way this particular box looked, I don't personally care. You know what, I will up your cut to five hundred and swear on my soul never to mention your name in this deal, C'mon baby", he pleaded. I hated it when he called me baby, but then five hundred dollars with fall taxes due and the pickup needing a transmission made me start to rethink the whole 'hand over the screwdriver' thing, finally I said "Alright Ben, but you weren't ever here tonight if you get busted for this". I opened the toolbox and handed him the screwdriver, he started right at it furiously working one screw and then the next, "Something else is they both called it a puzzle box." he said as he looked up at me. "They?" I asked, "Yes, the computer guy said it was a puzzle and that he had to open it and today I'm almost sure I remember the old lady called it a puzzle box too.". He had the sides and top off in a matter of minutes with the panels lying scattered across the dining room table, but inside there was no box. It was completely empty except for a couple small lights wired inside the front corners, "Oh, what the hell?!?" Ben exclaimed, "Where did it go?". I picked up one of the panels and turned it toward him, "It does say 'Hell's Illusion' like it's a magic trick or something Ben, maybe it has to be taken apart a certain way." I said putting the panel back down. Ben sat there scratching his head and staring intently as it lie in pieces, noticing the lights wiring he grabbed the base and turned it over, "Or maybe it just needs to be plugged in." he said pointing to the hidden power connector. "But there was no cord attached to it when I grabbed it... they must have unplugged it before the storm hit, I've got to go back."

    "Maybe you should put it all back together and see if the box inside even comes back first." I suggested, "There's no sense in going after the power cord if it's broken." He shot me a look "I didn't break it, I just disassembled it." he grumbled as he grabbed the screwdriver and began the task of reassembly. The pieces did not go together quite as easily as they came apart but as soon as the final panel was reattached the box did indeed return. "See, it ain't broken", he set down the screwdriver, shrugged off the towel and head for the front door, "I'll be right back." he said and hastily let himself out leaving his wet jacket and the black box sitting at the dining room table. Hearing the front door close Billy cracked open his bedroom door, "Can I come out now?" he asked, "Sure, bring your game back out to the living room and time for bed after." I replied. He came out and set the game on the stand next to the TV, "Come here and give your mom a hug and kiss goodnight." I said, he started walking toward me and his eyes widened as he caught a glimpse of the item on the table behind me, "Wow, what's that mom?" he asked.
     
  3. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    Act 3

    The four block walk back made me start to think that I might have offered up too much, what was I thinking? My fifteen hundred dollar payday for a couple of hours work wasn't bad, but then Jen would have probably settled for less than five hundred... flipping stupid. Whatever, she was always good for a romp and this payday should at the least make that part of it all the more special. I walked onto the carnival grounds from the side street closest to the "Chamber of Oddities" and made my way inside the tent, it was pitch dark inside and a flashlight would have helped but slowly I worked my way to the back corner. I dropped to my hands and knees and crawled beneath the display table feeling for the cord, a few seconds later I had found it and and followed its length upward but could not quite feel my way to the plug end, impatiently I gave it a good yank to try and free it from the outlet. There was a loud crash and then broken glass and sparks as the six outlet power bar ripped from the tent wall and fell squarely onto the jars of water and rubber props sitting on the table above me, I should have probably let go of the end of the cord when the water began pouring off the table onto me, such is hindsight. Every muscle in my body tensed and tightened as the the electricity coursed through me, I caught a quick waft of burnt flesh and then everything went dark.

    I tried to move my arms but couldn't and my hands felt numb, opening my eyes the intensity of the light was overwhelming, I tried to scream but a low raspy noise emanated from my lungs instead. A rush of fear and pain... where am I? There are tubes coming out of my nose and neck, I could feel tubes in other spots too... bad ****. "He's coming to", a womans voice from behind me said and I heard a door open. A man in a suit stood over me, "Nod your head if you can understand me." he said, I did and nodded. "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say...", the woman cut him short, "Why don't you give us a few minutes before you grill him, we do have set procedures." she said. No, no, no, not the cops... Jen must have freaked out after I left and called them, how else would they have known I had stolen the illusion box or done anything wrong, she sold me out that bitch. "We have set procedures too." replied the man in the suit as he turned to walk away, "You make sure to let me know the minute you finish with him". I heard the door close again and she stood over me "You are lucky to be alive, you must have laid there for hours before they found you. You actually died twice on the table and the doctors brought you back, the last time you swallowed your tongue in a fit of convulsions, you truly are lucky". I did not feel lucky, I couldn't move with my arms and legs shackled to the bed, I could not talk or think straight, the words kept repeating in my head... right to remain silent, like I had a choice.

    The doctors came in and ran their tests, as they poked and prodded me they spoke of how remarkable it was that I was so responsive after spending three days in a coma. It did not feel like I had been out for three days, more like a long nights sleep with a lot of restless dreaming. There were a couple abrupt points in the dream that felt entirely out of place and both times I found myself lost and wandering through the same series of labyrinthine stone corridors, the moist smell of rot and decay was over powered by the howls and tormented screams of the unseen echoing across the dank decrepit halls... I peered around a corner to see a man dressed entirely in black, there were nails in his head and face and he held a puzzle box in one hand, he was laughing. The rest of the dream as much as I could remember was mostly of the carnival and the events leading up to my current situation. The doctors had finally finished with me, the door closed as they left and opened again as the man in the suit returned. He held a plastic bag in front of me, inside it was the Hell's Illusion display. "Are you familiar with this item?" he asked, of course I was... my fingerprints were all over it, but as I looked closer I noticed that the puzzle box was missing from inside the display box and also that there was blood pooled in the bottom corner of the evidence bag.
     
  4. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    Act 4

    The Hell's Illusion display was sitting squarely in the center of the dining room table, if I'd been thinking I would have thrown the towel over it, "Did that guy bring it from the carnival?", Billy asked. Though I wanted to I could not lie to him, "Yes Billy, he went to get the power cord for it and then it is going right back.". He stood staring straight at the box, "Well, what is it mom?", looking down at him I couldn't help but remember that Ben had that same strange look in his eyes, "I don't rightly know what it is, but I do know that it's late little man. Give your mom a hug, it's way past time for bed.", I walked him to his room, tucked him in and closed his door. I switched off the hall and dining room lights and went into the living room to watch TV while waiting for Ben to return. The local news was on, the anchors were talking about all the destruction caused by the nights storms with sports highlights to follow and though I don't really remember it happening my long day must have caught up with me, I wound up falling asleep on the couch. I restlessly dreamt of Ben and the carnival box, of going to jail for helping him steal it and losing both the trial and my son because of it.

    A loud crack of thunder, the sound of static... cold sweat and the out of place feeling that occurs when waking from a dream that feels so real. The low growling hiss and blindingly bright screen of the TV filled the room, I switched it off and sat up, how long had I slept? The VCR clock read 3:13, I could faintly hear the soft song of a music box playing. I looked over my shoulder toward the music's direction and through sleep fogged eyes noticed the moving red glow coming from the dining room, oh God... the house is on fire. I jumped up and sprint to Billy's room, in a single motion I threw open the door, switched on the light, stopped cold in my tracks and went limp as I looked down upon his empty bed. I was faint and now fighting the urge to let it all go dark, I stood up too fast and had to grab the dresser to steady myself, my heart was pounding a mile a minute and I was hyper ventilating. A cold voice was uttering 'You've lost it all, give up and die', panic attacks the doctor called them, the unfathomable severity of this one made me wish that I had health insurance and had actually filled the prescription. Breathe... slow down and breathe, over and over I told myself, but I couldn't, my hands were going numb and I couldn't think straight, my vision was reduced to peripheral flashes of light and my ears were ringing off the hook. The rational voice inside me kept repeating slow down and breathe, but there was that other voice inside louder than my own repeating 'You've lost it all, give up and die!', somehow above the ringing and everything else I could faintly hear Billy's voice calling, "Mom, come here! You've got to see this!".

    I heard him, it was definitely Billy, my heart was in my throat and I still felt half paralyzed as I worked my way into the hallway toward the sound of his voice. My head all hazy and spinning I bounced a bit off the hallway walls before finally catching breath proper and getting my legs back under me. "Mom, come here!", he called out again as I stumbled toward the dining room, my breathing was finally starting to level out when I rounded the corner flipping on the dining room light. Billy stood staring at me with his mouth open, he appeared shaken by the sight of me and finally asked in a near whisper, "Are you okay mom?". I tore my gaze from him long enough to see my reflection in the mirror, I looked shades of pale with dark circles under my eyes and beads of sweat on my forehead, "I'm okay", then another deep breath, "I'm okay, now.". He ran over to me and I grabbed him, after holding him tightly and rocking back and forth I finally calmed myself enough to ask him what he was doing. Looking squarely into my eyes he exclaimed, "I used the power cord from my video game and it fit right in, I have been playing for a couple hours now and it says I only have two moves left.". I looked up from him to the illusion box on the table, it was glowing and the seemingly simple display box was now entirely ablaze with light and motion. "It's a game mom, and I'm winning."
     
  5. tm36usa

    tm36usa What's a Dremel?

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    I want more!!! I need more to that story lol. It is a very good story and i want to know what happens! Very well written and a great way to have spent the time reading it. One thing I have a an idea for the mod. I saw you removed the plastic ends from the rounded cables and you would have mome flexibility/space to fit stuff if you cut the plastic sleeve of the wires and just added a couple of zip-ties. I did that on my server and it works great. Keep it up and update the mod and the story soon.
     
  6. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    Well tm36usa, I de-sleeved the rounded IDE cable at the section between the HDD connectors, it needed to be done to make it fit anyway... but in doing so wound up snipping through two tiny wires. :duh: I feel like a total newb (any tips on removing the sleeving?). I just ordered a couple more cables and hopefully they will get here by Wednesday so I can try it again, until then I will work on the external graphics and think a bit about how best to assemble the outer casing.
     
  7. tm36usa

    tm36usa What's a Dremel?

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    I used an xacto-knife to cut the boot on either end and then i shoved the end of a pair of scissors in the end and made a slit. Then I just pulled both sides until the wires were free. I also was afraid of cutting the wires, thats why I used my hands to rip the plastic.
     
  8. scifi3018

    scifi3018 Minimodder

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    You could always use a regular IDE cable and split it yourself. Cut down every 5 wires or so... and zip tie. Ive done it before, and as long as you do it carefully and slowly, you shouldnt cut any wires.

    Also, a plain IDE cable cane be used very nicley if you fold it along the case's corners and such.

    As for the edges... Im not sur ewhat you have in mind, but if you want it similar to the cube try using either fancy gold angle striping, or maybe paint aluminum gold...
    Im imagining you might want to recreate some cubeish-ness with your large cube...

    im proablly not making any sense...
     
  9. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    I will wait for the new rounded cables to arrive and try it again, I like the way they look... better than the flat IDE I had in there and it looks better than if I were to carefully cut one, hopefully the second time is the charm but even if it isn't I will still have another shot at it because I ordered two. :cooldude:
     
  10. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    I spent some time working on the graphic for the carbon fiber side panel, I plan to make about three different designs and have the best one cut out of cherry chrome vinyl for application to the panel, here is design #1. The inner lettering that is white will be masked off from the inside of the panel and will not be vinyl dyed, when combined with the LED back lighting and carbon fiber it should look pretty cool.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. scifi3018

    scifi3018 Minimodder

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    Wow, i finally got around to reading the sotry, that is great writing. I cant wait to see the finale of this project's fiction...

    Now time to read the older one :)
     
  12. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    After thinking over the past couple months about this mod I decided there was a need to simple things up and there are a few reasons why. I planned the internal part of this mod really well, but had no plan for attaching the outer acrylic panels... the method I have come up with does not allow for the side mounted hard drive since it attaches directly to the corner angle. The hard drive that was removed would have had questionable ventilation to it's underside anyway, with a single drive mounted to the openly vented case bottom the top fans become unnecessary... color them gone. I wanted to lighten the load to the power supply so that the 6" LCD could lose the external 12V power adapter and run PSU direct, so the HDD, both fans, the pinhole camera (a novelty that would have been lost in a sea of novelty) and the TV tuner card + IR receiver (piece of crunk) have all been removed.

    [​IMG]

    With all the above parts removed I once again fired up the little computer, plugged in the 6" LCD monitor and set it up in the BIOS. Next, I installed Windows and all the drivers and the small LCD worked perfectly through it all powered by the tiny PSU... right as I was about to give myself a pat on the back I remembered that I had not tested the remote control lighting. I grabbed the remote and pressed the on switch... the PC powered off... not good. I tried it a couple more times before deciding that 40 LED's might have been a bit overkill to begin with, two Lazer LED's are not as bright or impressive as the LED array I built, but is more realistic.

    [​IMG]

    In the top right of the above picture is the homebrewed LED lighting that was removed from the remote sensor and the bottom left shows the Lazer LED's that will replace it. I screwed together and notched the edges of the Lazer LED's so that the zip ties don't move around and two rubber grommets were used to spread them apart to space out the lighting. Below shows everything ready for soldering with the heat shrink ready after.

    [​IMG]

    I plugged everything back in to test fire the lighting, the following picture shows the zip tie mounting method for the LED's and remote sensor...

    [​IMG]

    And below is the case interior lit up by the Lazer LED's, not nearly as bright as the 40 high intensity LED's I had intended to use, but still bright enough to light things up.

    [​IMG]

    It's alive, working properly and looking very sweet... next up, the money shot. I still have a few things left to do before I begin working on the outer panels, I may in fact wind up entirely re-doing the outer panels. ACRyan AcrylPanel scratches like mad, it's a fairly 'soft' acrylic and not really optimal as an external case surface... so it is at this point up in the air as to whether it will be used for anything other than a template.

    [​IMG]

    The 6" LCD monitor is a bit clearer in real life than it looks in the following picture, but it does show the tiny monitor with open windows on it doing stuff and/or things. Pretty sweet so far, but I still have not come up with a finalized attachment method for the outer panels... that will be next.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    I spent a few hours with the polishing cloth and Novus to get the worst of the scratches out of the Acryl Panel. Clear contact paper applied to both sides should keep the panels from getting any more damage while I use them in mocking up assembly of the external casing for the mod.

    [​IMG]

    It took me forever and a day to come up with a plan for building the outside casing for this mod. I had at first wanted the side panels to be hinged at the bottom so that they could fold down when the top was removed, which would've ultimately proven problematic so I nixed the idea. Next I thought about making two sides on hinges and two sides where the panels would slide up and out when the top was removed, I killed that idea too. My grandmother used to say "keep it simple stupid", it has proven to be true for this mod so far and with that in mind I came up with how I'm going to do it.

    [​IMG]

    Hollow square brass rods and 1/2 inch corner alum angle, I've probably already said this somewhere earlier in the log but I love alum angle, it makes making stuff easier. I plan to connect everything together so that the entire outer casing can be removed in one solid piece, this will require moving the power button to the case bottom, but that isn't a big deal. You can also see the final design sketch in the picture below that showing how I intend to pull it all together, it is kind of vague but should make sense soon enough.

    [​IMG]

    I cut the 1/4" corner alum angle into 7" lengths and the brass rods into 3" lengths, I also cut four pieces of 1/2"x3/4" corner alum angle to 7" that will be attached to the bottom of the mod.

    [​IMG]

    I scuffed up all the inside edges and JB-welded the square brass rod sections into the ends of the alum, eight were made to cover the edges, I also polished up the outside of the alum angle... I probably won't leave it as is but will wait and see.

    [​IMG]

    Below is a mock up to determine mask positioning for the panel back painting...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    Next is a close up of the bare corner, I am still not ready to spill the beans on what I intend to do yet so you will have to wait... it will all make sense soon enough.

    [​IMG]

    Since I don't want to screw anything up I decided to do a test run with the vinyl dye, below shows the scrap test piece.

    [​IMG]

    Next shows the backside still wet after four coats of vinyl dye...

    [​IMG]

    And here is what it looks like post test, it looks entirely good to go... so the next step is to prep all the panels for paint.

    [​IMG]

    The weather here in Michigan has been unseasonable for this time of year, the temperature is almost 50 degrees in mid December... unbelievable. Since the good weather will not last I decided to take full advantage of it and work to finish this bitch and quick, doing so required finding a local vinyl cutting company to create a cleaner back panel decal than the one I made, the hand cut decal was too big anyway so I'm not crying about it. Jason at FX Graphics did me a solid and cut a couple new back panel decals on the spot, the best part of the deal is I now know a kick ass vinyl guy that lives only ten minutes away. In the picture below you can see my incorrect hand cut job on the left and the two perfect machine cut decals on the right, this being done I am almost ready to begin vinyl dying the external panels.

    [​IMG]

    I began prepping the panels for back painting beginning with the 'Hell's Illusion' decal side, wasting no time I installed it and then cut the back side out for the lettering. I also cut out the illusion section and the LCD and Matrix Orbital spots out on their respective panels so they are now ready for paint.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    I had to re-cut the side that everything ports out of, the nice laser cut panel I had intended to use would not work with the new design for the outside casing, below shows the simplified design... not quite laser cut, but close.

    [​IMG]

    The following picture shows all the panels lined up awaiting a couple coats of vinyl dye, it's starting to get dark so I have to work quick.

    [​IMG]

    Using a hair dryer in between spraying I managed to get four coats down before it went pitch black outside, below you can see the panels after I removed their contact paper masks.

    [​IMG]

    The final bit for today involved mocking the entire thing up again to make sure everything lines up... which it so far appears to, below shows where I'm at.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, I wasted a bunch of time trying first to chemically blacken the aluminum edges...

    [​IMG]

    And then trying to prepaint them...

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    The side panels were all taped in place then the bottom edge pieces were lined up and traced with a silver Sharpie to make their placement easier.

    [​IMG]

    Below shows the four bottom edge pieces installed.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    I covered the edges of the internal section with aluminum foil, this was done so that the external casing won't get stuck down when I epoxy the outside panels together.

    [​IMG]

    Here it is, the final test fitting before everything gets permanently placed. I had to re-do all of the corner angle pieces using smaller square brass tubing and so far it all seems to line up, the next step will be sticking it all together.

    [​IMG]

    I had the whole thing JB-Kwik assembled and it basically fell apart when I lifted the external section off, I know exactly what went wrong and have a plan to fix it permanent. I bought everything I need to start the outside edges over... below shows them reassembled, painted, clear coat and ready for round two.

    [​IMG]

    Round two entirely sucked. I let the painted pieces cure overnight and covered the corner angle pieces with some low tack quick release blue painters tape but when I went to reposition one of the pieces of tape it tore most of the paint off the Alum-angle... so enough trying to put the cart before the horse. I cleaned all the paint off the aluminum edges and will instead be painting them when they are completely finished, which makes better sense anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Above shows the stripped aluminum edges covered with blue tape to keep them clean during installation and the filthy smudged acrylic panels taped to some shop towel sheets. The edges of the acrylic panels were marked at approximated half inch intervals in preparation for drilling. The following picture shows the holes I drilled into the sides of each panel and then enlarged from the backside to allow the JB-Kwik somewhere to go, all in an effort to make the case sturdier than my first attempt.

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    The panels were cleaned using Goo-Gone and Plexus acrylic cleaner and the corner angles were carefully attached one by one using the JB-Kwik. After it dried I took off the blue tape and then had to wrestle the casing for over an hour slowly moving it up on all sides bit by bit to remove it... thankfully it held together and the side by side picture below shows the result of my efforts. I worked on it all day and hope to do more to it tomorrow, so close now...

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  17. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    All day at work I puzzled over how to loosen the tolerances between the PC housing and the acrylic casing, having such a tight fit was unacceptable, once I got home and had a closer look it didn't take me long to come up with a plan. The following picture shows the solution - notice the missing brass corners. It took the better part of this afternoon to carefully pry the corners off and longer still to remove and file smooth the dried JB-Kwik, but it was all worth it and the acrylic casing now slides on and off effortlessly. It's been a long day, more tomorrow.

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    I put some aluminum foil on the corners and then placed the acrylic exterior onto the PC, the acrylic panels were masked off in preparation for this next bit.

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    My friend Magic-Sculpt, two part simplicity that smoothes with water and dries hard as a stone... I really can't believe more modders haven't been turned on to it, truly wonderful stuff. Anyway, I bought some 99 cent corner brackets from Michaels Arts and Crafts (they kind of suck) and used the Magic-Sculpt to fill the in betweens of all the corners as an added measure in holding the outer panels together.

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    Since the internals could clearly be seen through the top vent slats, and also because I don't need anything falling into the computer, I cut some mesh to fit onto the top and it is held firmly in place by pressure, it had to be removable to allow access to the back of the slim line DVD burner.

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    I also painted the outside edges of the acrylic casing and removed the mask, there is still gunk on the panels that needs cleaned off and I have to touch up a couple of edges by brush but my paint job came out pretty decent. Below shows the top panel vents with the freshly installed mesh underneath.

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  18. ARTbyTROY

    ARTbyTROY Mod it Til it Bleeds!

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    I still have not cleaned the panels but nevertheless it's time to go for a spin, the following pictures show all sides of the mod so far beginning with the port-out/Illusion-DVD 3/4 shot...

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    Spinning...

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    Still spinning...

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    Spin...

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    Wheee...

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    Woo Hoo...

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    Spinning ends...

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    I still have to make a base and do some clean up/touch up work... but not far now.

    STAY TUNED, I HAVE SUCH SIGHTS TO SHOW YOU.
     
  19. Darkened

    Darkened What's a Dremel?

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    Looking good, lovely little hellcube :hehe:

    Keep at it, I'm sure the end result will be nice as, well, hell...

    Janne
     
  20. Naberius

    Naberius What's a Dremel?

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    That looks very nice for a true custom case, cant wait for the follow up photos.
     

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