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Thread: Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

  1. #1

    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    The case and accessory maker Raidmax started a case mod competition on their new forums around a month ago, and I discounted the opportunity because I do not own a Raidmax case. But then my friend came to me needing advice, and it turned out that he had a raidmax case. I proposed a mutually beneficial arrangement where I mod his case and we split the winnings. Unfortunately, due to the immediate nature of the contest (I first spoke with him about it last wednesday 5/7) I had to shelve all of my other projects and go full-bore on this one.

    Here is the case when I received it:





    According to my friend, the pci bracket did not line up with his pci cards, so he removed it. This left an interesting and frankly undesirable task, as I enjoyed Raidmax's hinged removable mobo tray and was not able to recreate it with the same function in the time alloted.

    Here are the bent/mangled edges left from when he forcefully removed it.



    Because of a variety of circumstances I was forced to start work on Friday at his house using his father's tools instead of working in my own workshop with my own modding implements. I wasn't able to accomplish much for lack of tools and for need of mobility. I wanted to paint it, but then I wouldn't have been able to move it to my house to mod it more.

    When I got it home I figured I may as well start by removing the grills.



    I cut it out with tin snips initially then filed it down. A rough file is actually faster than a dremel.
    These are the shavings:


    At first I was going to use an aluminum bracket:


    But it didn't really work because the new pci bracket needs space.

    The weather was good, so I partially painted the front bezel.

    Drawn and cut out:

    I must have redrawn each lick at least twice - it takes practice to make flames.
    Painted:

    Masking removed:

    Normally I would have waited to remove masking, but I had to use a pic of this in a presentation on why my needed art credit should be waived - a little late with only 6 days of high school left. I told my mom that modding would help me somehow :P. Anyway.

    The back panel cut out:


    In place with the fan hole traced:


    I then started sanding the panels for painting:


    The top panel isn't sanded in these pictures.

    Then I drew flames on the sidebar thing and cut them out:


    So that's where I am now. Well, there's a couple things I didn't post, but I'll catch you up as computer availability allows. My main comp died, so I have to use my dad's for pictures.

  2. #2
    The Main Man Dewayne's Avatar
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    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    Great start!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
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    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    nice nice NICE!
    Diggin the flames...

    *blink*

    Like ANYONE would be surprised by that from me!

  4. #4
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    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    sweet! looking real nice kepp it up!

  5. #5

    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    I know that 5/15 came and went without update, so let me offer the standard excuse: I was busy. I submitted everything at 12:37 AM on 5/16, and after school I took off on a weekend road trip. So now I'm back and you get your update. Keep in mind that I did all of this in a rather random order (paint fumes?), and in making this worklog I am putting a higher priority on continuity than chronology. Anyway.
    I'll start with the case feet.
    Here's a solid hunk of aluminum that my father found.

    I only used half of it. I could have used the whole thing, but I wanted to keep the feet the same diameter. Here they are cut up and sanded to similar heights.

    Three of them are the same height, but one of them is short. I this is so I cam use the piece of plexiglas that is taken out by a paddle bit as a lighted spacer. I got the idea from em3bilko, except that he recommended using a small hole saw. I might try a hole saw in the future, but I already had scrap chips from a paddle bit. I'll light it with my hdd led later.

    Then I drilled the holes:

    I countersunk the bottoms for the head of a screw:


    Screws in place:


    I put that brushed finish on the outside of them by running them on my bench sander with 100 grit sandpaper.

    Time to paint:



    I used purple annodized metalcast again.

    Frame disassembled:


    In place on the painting stand:


    I used textured silver metalcast paint.


    Flipped and ready for the painting of the other side:


    I carefully masked off the front panel:


    All of the pieces laid out:


    Now here is where things start to go south. I used an older can of white gloss paint that I found in my garage, and the nozzle was very stiff. So I tried to alleviate the pain in my fingertip by using the flat side of my finger. The paint sprayed onto the tip of my finger and was flung in great globs on the workpiece .


    m/albums/bb221/Brightshininglights/Smilodon/DSCF2464.jpg" alt="" />

    Normally I would have stopped painting, sanded down, and repainted, but I was on my last day of the contest and had to get it done no matter what. So I charged on ahead.

    White finished:


    Another problem that I encountered was crap flying onto the drying paint. The only open area in my yard is underneath a giant alder tree, and there was a steady wind the whole day that blew all kinds of tree-related junk everywhere. It's very apparent in some places and not so much in others, but it's all in all a bad thing.

    The silver dried almost immediately, so I got to work painting more designs on it.

    Masked:

    Cut:

    Painted:


    I then reassembled the cages to how they were before, except that I used socket-head screws and cap nuts instead of rivets.

    Here's the right side panel design cut out:


    Painted:


    The side bar thing painted:


    Feet installed:


    I used rubber washers and cap nuts to attach them to the case, and I put felt bumbers on the bottoms for easier moving. I really don't like rubber feet because sometimes I really need to slide my case across my desk to get at something, and giving the case permanent brakes does not help me.

    Anyway. Semi-final pics:






    Even though these are the pics that I submitted to the contest for lack of time, they are not the final shots. There are numerous errors that I must fix before I can call this project finished. Also, it lacks a clear coat.

    Problem 1: I reused the tape-stencil from the bottom panel on the top panel, but I didn't seal it down well enough and it bled/feathered:

    Solution: I'll go over it with a *really* fine brush and some white paint.

    Problem 2: I need to get rid of all the junk that landed on this thing

    Solution: I'll sand down the afflicted areas with new 600 grit (maybe 1200?) sandpaper before the clear coat. This isn't really a failure on my part that I can correct through behavior; it's a physical condition that I have to deal with. I dealt with it. I made myself up a paint booth out of some abandoned playground equipment, 2x2's, and painters plastic:


    Hooray for ghetto/redneck! But hopefully it will work to keep items out my workpieces, and it's not like it has to be pretty. Maybe I'll hang a picture. I need to level the floor more, and I could make a more permanent place to store my painting/airbrushing equip...... Maybe when I get my own house. My parents joke (I hope) that if I make it any more permanent they'll make me move into it. :P

    Problem 3: I taped the right side panel when it was still tacky (didn't really have a choice), and it left marks:

    This is the most obvious problem as well as the most difficult to fix. I think that I'll just have to sand it down and repaint. I'm out of the purple metalcast, so that means I'll have to go and get more of that as well.

    Problem 4: The masking on the front panel took off some of the front flames:

    Solution: I really don't know what to do about this one other than retrace the flames and repaint. That's a lot of work for not that much payoff, though. I'll figure out something.

    Despite the flaws, I'm pretty happy with what I got done in the time that I had to work with. After I get everything worked out and a clearcoat on it, my friend should be pretty happy. I also still need to come up with a name for it, as well as light it. I'll order some resistors for the led's that I have.

    Now about the contest itself. I posted it up there two days ago and nobody has responded, not even an admin. The rules said that voting would begin on May 16th, and as near as I can tell no voting structure has been set up. Nobody else has entered even though a few said that they would. Raidmax aren't bad people; I've won a cpu cooler from them as well as a mystery gift that is in the mail right now (more details in a separate thread when it arrives). Supposedly this case was also supposed to go to Computex, a big industry trade show in Taiwan. I haven't been contacted about shipping it, and frankly I don't want it going anywhere until I've fixed it satisfactorily. I'll ask the admins what's up with the contest and if it's still going on or whatever. Even if nothing comes of the contest I have gained skills, knowledge, and endurance that I will use in future mods. So let me know what you think, and I'll keep on trucking.

  6. #6
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    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    Looking good so far. I like the color that you are using. Keep up with the hard work and you'll enjoy it that much more. At least that's how it works for me. Happy Modding to ya.

  7. #7
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    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    neato! i like that great colour choice to

  8. #8

    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    Thanks guys, I really like the color too. I figured that since the general move in modding has been from white to black I may as well play the reverse card to be different. I'm sure that once I clean it up I'll be a lot happier, but right now I have to take english 10 online in the course of 2 weeks and aren't allowed to mod :x. I'll let you know how things come along. Oh, and my structure is holding up nicely.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
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    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    pin stripe accent the edges of the flames. Go practice with some stiping paints and pin stripe brushes, practice on a different piece, then attack your flame edges. get a complimentary color, like black or a darker shade of purple. WHen you pin stripe ove the edges of the flames, you can hide a lot of that edging that you dont like. If you are going to clearcoat over the striping paint, be sure you get the right types of paint. I believe Hose of Kolor striping paints are made to be cleared over, while the 1-Shot striping paints are meant to go on top of the clear coat.

    Good job! We all make mistakes, it is how we recover from them and learn from them that makes us better.

  10. #10

    Raidmax Smilodon speedmod - due 5/15

    That's actually a really good idea. I have ridiculously shaky hands, so I'll definitely want to practice a LOT. I'm learning from my mistakes, and that's what counts. Most all of the errors that I made are new errors to me, so I'm glad that I made them on a small mod like this. I don't know why, but it seems like I lack the ability to learn from the mistakes of others but instead have to make them myself just to know where the boundary is. Well, at least with small things. I can learn from others pretty well in my major life decisions. Anyway, I'll get working on it as soon as finish up this idiot course.

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