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Case Mod - In Progress Project: The Smiler - Complete (almost) + New Photos Added 08/09

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by DanielSandsFTW, 25 Mar 2015.

  1. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Inspired by “The Smiler” ride at Alton Towers theme park, UK and the awesome work of JayzTwoCents (SkunkWorks) this build will use the ever popular h440 with a few customizations (watch this space!) this is my first proper build with build log so please feel free to provide any tips & help :)

    Step one:
    Painting the stock NZXT H440 a lovely yellow colour to match the theme of The Smiler.

    Before I get on with the build images I must say how impressed I am with the h440 case – it's as though it's designed to be modded, every panel comes apart with ease, and removing all the plastic parts of the case was a breeze!

    [​IMG]
    Plastic parts of the case removed using a few screws and metal tabs.

    [​IMG]
    NZXT shroud panel removed & broken down – clear acrylic is glued in place, but can easily be pulled away without damage to any parts. LEDs are glued in place, so I'll be keeping these in place whilst I paint, as I won't be painting the back anyway.

    I'm going to be using Valspar Fast Dry Project Enamel (Buttercup Yellow) spray paint – It was suggested by the rep in the store that you could spray straight onto plastic with no prep involved, but to be on the safe side I sanded all panels with 120 sandpaper before starting.
    [​IMG]

    The Outcome!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I think this is looking pretty darn good! Took 3 coats in total to cover. Whilst painting the H440 panels I painted the rings on the 4 AF120 fans I'll be using, and to cover the rather ugly Corsair logos on the front I'm adding some Smiler inspired spirals, result:
    [​IMG]


    That's all for now folks, but I'm hoping to buy the full list of components this weekend, including a rigid tube water loop, so keep tuned. :)
     
    Last edited: 8 Sep 2015
  2. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    A little update - 25/03

    Managed to find a bit of time this evening to work on the case. Firstly I've now removed the hard-drive cage cover/shroud from the right of the case. This was a little trickier than other parts of the case to remove and involved drilling 6 rivets, but well worth it!

    I've now test fitted my motherboard and CPU waterblock, et voila:

    [​IMG]

    Parts Added
    Motherboard: MSI Z87 MPower Max AC
    CPU Block: EK Supreme HF - I had this lying around from an old build so thought I'd put it to use here!

    I've got a lot of parts on order to be delivered on Friday, including tubing, radiators and some funky RGB LEDs so expect a big update after this weekend!

    I like how well the different "yellows" are matching so far, think i've been quite lucky!
     
  3. SiberianGhost

    SiberianGhost Member

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    That yellow H440 looks amazing! I love it the color scheme

    Waiting for more progress

    Sent from a parallel universe
     
  4. HandMadeAndroid

    HandMadeAndroid That's handy.

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    I was hypnotized staring at the middle of the fan for 20 minutes.
     
  5. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    Thanks! I know yellow isn't exactly mainstream for PC's now-a-days, but really wanted to do a smiler inspired build :)

    There'll be a lot of progress next week as everything is now on order, will just need to find the time for pipe bending

    You should see it when it moves at low RPM! I was quite surprised actually at how much of the pattern you can still make out whilst the fans spin, even at 1100RPM you can make out the spirals! I'll try post a video once it's all assembled.
     
  6. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    I wish more cases came with the PSU stealth. Unless im wrong this is the only one... shame cos i need eatx.
     
  7. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    Yeah the PSU shroud is brilliant! I think the H440's bigger brother the H630 comes with a removable shroud, and is a full tower case so it will support eATX. Otherwise you'd have to look at the luxury end of the scale and spend quite a bit on an eATX compatible case :(

    I think NZXT are brilliant, and way ahead of the curve with their current series of cases - I was torn between the H440 and the Source S340 and in the end the 440 won due to the colour hinting :) but I think higher-end touches like the shroud, easy cable management, etc. will quickly become the mainstream for mid-range mid-tower cases :)
     
  8. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Hmmm ive had a quick look and havnt seen anywhere list a shroud as included?
     
  9. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    Parts, Parts & More Parts (an update!)

    So, I finally got around to placing my order with OverClockers for everything I need for this build :)

    Here it is:
    [​IMG]

    Components
    GPU: iChill inno3D Geforce GTX 970
    CPU: Intel i5 4670K
    RAM: Avexir MPower Yellow Series 8GB
    SSD: 128GB SanDisk X110


    Watercooling:
    Radiator: Magicool 360 Slim G2
    Reservoir: EK X3 250
    Pump: EK-D5 Vario X-TOP
    CPU Block: XSPC RayStorm
    GPU Block: XSPC Razor 980
    Fittings: AlphaCool compression (black)
    Tube: AlphaCool hardtube 13mm OD
    Coolant: Mayhem Pastel concentrate - sunset yellow
    Extras: Shoggy Sandwich ;)

    You'll also notice some LEDs & other stuff in the picture above but I'll keep these a secret for now ;)

    So, on with some actual work! Firstly I got my three AF120 fans connected to the 360 rad and fixed it all in place:
    [​IMG]
    Yes, the radiator is there! I can't believe how thin this thing is, it's great!

    Next up... Mounting the res... My original plan was to simply "push back" the drive cage shroud thingy and mount the res directly onto this, facing the windowed side, but - when I removed it I realised I quite simply wouldn't have enough room to do what I wanted, so I decided to ditch the shroud completely... This left me with a bit of a conundrum as to how to mount the res to the case, as all I had left were the 3 intake fans to connect it to! Then, I had a bit of a brainwave:
    [​IMG]
    I bought a 360 fan grill, and using some washers behind the slots I managed to mount the EK holders directly to it, meaning I could then mount this directly to the 3 intake fans! Woo!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    All ready to put in to the case

    [​IMG]
    Ignore the hideous stock heatsink & fan, I was testing all the components before mounting up the res, and hadn't swapped out the stock for my Raystorm yet

    Seems to work pretty well! I have some big plans with tubing which involve a pass-through on the PSU shroud, but - as a dad - Easter means one thing: Family time... So, that's I have time to do for now. But, keep watching as the next step is getting the XSPC Razor mounted to my 970 and beginning to hook up the hard tube, then will come the funky LEDS (did someone say FarbWerk? ;))
     
    Last edited: 2 Apr 2015
  10. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    Update & a glimpse into the future!

    Following the very busy weekend I've found a few evenings to work on the case... Starting with the pass-through 1/4" connectors - I wanted as much tubing on display from the side window as possible, so I decided the best thing to do was to pass through the shroud and then hide the pump underneath...

    Sooo, commence drilling....
    [​IMG]
    Where the holes will go

    [​IMG]
    Pilot holes drilled

    [​IMG]
    The beastly HSS drill bit I'll be using to get through the shroud - 14mm wide!

    [​IMG]
    All done!

    I'll be honest - the holes are a bit rougher around the edges than I would have liked, but the pass-through connectors connect to each other anyway, so the roughness of the edges doesn't really matter too much...

    Next up... Time to mount the GPU Waterblock. I'll be using the XSPC Razor 980. It's designed (as the name suggests) for GTX 980's, but the Inno3D iChill 970 I've got uses a 980 reference layout (no idea why?!) so the Razor works fine with this.

    [​IMG]
    The Inno3D 970 stripped of the MASSIVE heatsink & cooler..

    [​IMG]
    Done!

    So, it came to tube-bending-and-cutting time... Before I go any further, I now have a massive amount of respect for anybody that has bent acrylic in more than 2 directions and still has hair left! I found the whole process tricky to say the least... Getting the tubing the right size with the bends in exactly the right place is almost impossible! My original plan here was to go upwards straight into the rad (the pic below should explain this), but - having firstly done the "straight forward" bend from GPU to CPU and spent around an hour getting it right, I decided it was wayyy too much work, so I've opted to buy a right-angle connector for the tubes, instead. These connectors are currently on order, so everything's on hold for now.. Here's the current progress anyway!...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I can't do much else until my right-angle connectors & extra tubing arrive but I can't wait to finish this loop and get some liquid in it! Think it's gonna look sweet...

    Keep tuned. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: 24 Apr 2015
  11. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    Update!! :)

    So, an update is finally here! Sorry for the delay...

    Slight complications putting this stuff together - turns out the 90degree connectors & extenders I ordered to enable me to connect straight up to the rad weren't actually long enough to clear the fans, so I firstly tried to make the "impossible" bend straight into the rad, after rendering 3x40cm tubes useless with breaks & failed cuts I finally decided I needed a new approach... So, I decided in the end to simply mount the fans above the radiator and pull air through instead of push - not a problem, but this does mean the time spent on the "smiler" logos for the fan centres was a slight waste of time :(

    Anyway, started getting everything connected and realised the 120mm I had acting as an extractor had to go as it was getting in the way of the connectors into the rad.. So, I now have a case where no smiler fan logos are on display... Bit of a shame, but this WILL be addressed in the future.

    For now, I've decided to hook everything up and fill it with liquid :)

    Being from the UK it's not easy to pick up distilled water, so - a trip down to the local motor store to buy battery top-up water will suffice! This stuff is de-ionised so it works fine for liquid cooled PCs. Combined with the Mayhems concentrate everything should be good to go!

    [​IMG]
    TA DAH!!
    [​IMG]

    Thoughts?

    There's still a lot to do to make this case more on-theme, so I'll be adding logos, fancy LEDs, etc. in the not-so distant future... :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  12. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    GPU Backplate designs

    Firstly - this project isn't dead! :)

    Cashflow ran a bit dry after the manic purchases this month, so I'm currently at a planning phase with the next level of mods.

    Next up I'll be working on a custom design for the GPU Backplate, PSU Shroud Fascia & perhaps SSD Covers - let's get this build back on theme!!

    Here's some of my initial designs for the GPU Back plate, which ones your favorite? Any suggestions?

    [​IMG]

    or

    [​IMG]

    Keep posted! :):idea:
     
    Last edited: 11 May 2015
  13. Impatience

    Impatience Well-Known Member

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    Woo hoo! :rock: Loving this project so far, and my pref for the GPU would be that one.
     
  14. HandMadeAndroid

    HandMadeAndroid That's handy.

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    Both designes need a little less inner shadow to read well
     
  15. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    Thanks, I do like the spirals but the guy cutting the acrylic for me thinks it might be a bit too intricate to reproduce accurately :(

    The end result is going to be made by layering a black acrylic sheet on top of a yellow one, the shadows are there to show the "depth" from the cut acrylic, i.e. the black top sheet will be cut in the yellow parts, so there'll be shadow there (hope that makes sense!) but yeah, the actual designs won't have shadow :)
     
  16. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    Here's the final design I went with...

    [​IMG]

    Watch this space :)
     
    Last edited: 11 May 2015
  17. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    Delays....

    So, slight delay with the acrylic in finalizing designs and getting things pinned down, but finally got the order in for the GPU... And also a slight surprise to come ;) .....
    [​IMG]
    Can you tell what it is? :)

    Also planning a new mod involving Carbon Fibre Vinyl and acrylic, time to start getting this project fully customized and hopefully wrapped up (perhaps a clue as to what's to come :p)

    Not looking forward to draining the loop though! :sigh:
     
  18. DanielSandsFTW

    DanielSandsFTW New Member

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    An update / work in progress

    I kept looking at the illuminated NZXT logo on the PSU shroud and all I could think is why on earth does the brand have to punch me in the face all the time when I've already bought in to it? So - it was time to do something about it! In creating the GPU designs in acrylic I had a brainwave - why not create a custom fascia from acrylic with a custom design to match the GPU? :)

    So, after some to-ing and fro-ing from the acrylic cutter's a design was agreed and... I got my first delivery from Custom-Acrylics.co.uk today! (so exciting!!) :clap:

    Unfortunately I hadn't thought too much about how I was going to attach this thing, so it wasn't until I came to fix it to the case that I realised I'd have to move the tubing going into the fascia to access the screw point behind it, which meant draining the whole loop, d'oh! But as I'll be draining this thing in a few weeks anyway, I thought for now I'd just throw some LEDs behind it, attach it with tape and see how it looks...

    [​IMG]
    Yes, I know the centre of the R is missing - this will be added once I come to install the thing for real, I was impatient to get everything in first :)

    [​IMG]
    Sorry about the tape :(

    The logo is lit from behind using some 5050 RGB LED strips, at the moment there's a strip below the logo and between the "THE" and "SMI", which is what's causing the uneven lighting, but I will be adding extra strip above the "LER" and "THE" to even things out once the order for more strip arrives...

    Thoughts? Feedback?

    Still got more planned on this case, and will need to do something about the airflow in the front of the case by cutting some kind of ventilation holes into the front panel but next up will be custom GPU & SSD plates, and then extending the shroud & adding a new backplate to the mobo tray (to the right) which the res will then attach to, hard to explain - so keep tuned!
     
  19. Vinch

    Vinch New Member

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    Nice work!

    That logo on the PSU cover really looks cool!
     
  20. Hukkel

    Hukkel James' minion

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    I like your system a lot.

    I would personally redo one of the pipes so they go up parallel. It would bug the *peep* out of me. But overal very nice colourscheme. Also nice backplate!
     

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