Hey there fellow modders!
I'll be posting this in 3 (or 4) seperate posts because I've written such a flood of text that it just wont fit into one!
Before I start talking about my project, a few general things: As you can see I'm completely new to the forum. You see, I'm actually german, and I have already posted my worklog in 2 german forums. Since the german modding community has been shrinking fast in the past 2-3 years, I just thought it would be interesting to get some more feedback on my work and also check out the international modding scene at the same time. The german one was quite large and active for some time, but it seems this is coming to an end now, or at least the way people mod has drastically changed (by that I mean, do-it-yourself is dying and getting stuff done by specialists is the new thing). Maybe that's why noone seems too interested in my project - I'm all about modding my own case rather than having someone else do it for me.
But enough introduction, I'll get to the modding part now. The case I'm using is a Cosmos 1000 which I love for a number of reasons, the design being the most important one obviously. The only real downside is that it is extremely heavy, but then again, all cool things are. Like tanks or spaceshuttles.
I've already done quite a lot of work on this mod so I can't help but write a lot to explain it all. This was originally 3 forum pages worth of updates so it's going to be a LONG post. Sorry! I'm going to try putting some kind of structure in it though so it's a bit easier to follow.
GENERAL STUFF AND CONCEPT
Here's what I'm going to do or have already done:
New paintjob for all outside parts.
As you might have guessed by the name, the design of the mod is partly based on the Aperture Science Designs from Valves Portal and the portal gun itself. So the colours I'll be using are matte black and glossy white. I'm also going to paint a portalgun on the right side. How am I going to pull this off? A magician never reveals his tricks. You'll see!
It should look something like this (this is just a quick and dirty photoshop)
This should also give you an overall idea of the style I'm aiming at here. Another good example for the style I'm trying to replicate is the video to BjÃ¶rks (yeah, I can actually make those funny dots with this keyboard ) "All is full of love" from Chris Cunningham that most of you have probably seen.
Just like on the picture, the Cosmos will also get a new front. I'm going to cut the Aperture Logo out of a piece of sheet metal, put a piece of milky acrylic glas behind it and illuminate that with white LED's. The result should be a white, glowing Aperture logo in the front.
Of course the case will also get a window, or to be more precise, 7 of them. I didn't just want a dull square like on many mods these days but something with an interesting shape. It's not so much a window in the sense of "you can look through it and see everything thats inside" but more like an element of the overall design. After many, many sketches and different designs, I finally decided to use this one (another quick shop, I made the shape with another program):
I think it fits the overall smooth, curvy design of the Cosmos while not looking too crazy or over the top.
Other stuff I'm going to do:
Because I can never decide on just one, the case will get a whole number of lightning systems. The heart of it will be a programmable USB-controller which is going to be connected to about 40 LED's throughout the case. Red, Blue, Green and White, 10 each. With the RGB LED's and the controller, I'll be able to create virtually any color you can imagine and also make them fade in and out and a bunch of other cool stuff. If I don't feel like doing that, I got the bright white LED's For the sterile Aperture look. On Top of that, two UV-Cathodes are going in the case too. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to use all of this stuff at once to make the thing look like a christmas tree, I just want to have a lot of options.
The rig will be water cooled too, it's going to be my first water-cooled PC so I'm not going to go high-end here. I'm only going to cool the CPU and GPU because I think it's very pointless to spend 200$ on mainboard-coolers if the thing already has passive heatsinks anyway.
I'll put one 3x120 Radiator in the top and another single 120 Radiator in the bottom of the case.
I think that's all. It doesn't sound like much but trust me, it's proven to be a LOT of work. I'm now going to end this wall of text and instead build a wall of pictures, of which I have a shitload. There's many hours of work documented here, so I can't help but write a freaking novel to explain it all. I hope you like reading.
Oh, one last thing: You might be wondering what kind of weird background you see on all the pictures. Mostly, it's going to be my old ugly carpet and my couch-table. Yeah, I don't have the luxury of a big, fully equipped workshop like many other modders. I'm building all of the crap you're going to see in my one-room apartement, with sometimes questionable tools and under crappy conditions. Basically, all I'm using is an electric screwdriver for 20$ and my (not so) trusty Dremel 300. So if this becomes a good mod, it's double awesome!
After a week of waiting, my case finally arrived.
Almost too pretty to be modded, I know. Almost. First step was taking it apart, and holy shit, this thing has a lot of parts for a computer case:
The side panels have this weird foam padding glued on. I'm going to leave it on the right side, but on the left one, it's obviously got to go. Sounds a lot easier than it was.
At first I tried to just pull it off but the glue is so sticky, I had to try EVERYTHING and nothing worked. Then I went to the hardware store and got some nasty nitro-cellulose thinner which kind of did the trick. It still took me hours to get the stuff off and I was getting very dizzy from the fumes but I finally managed to get it off. Thanks Coolermaster, I guess double sided tape just wasn't annoying enough, eh?
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The next step was to remove the original black frontplate so I can later replace it with my own creation. Luckily, this was a lot easier than the foam padding - they actually DID use double sided tape here!