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Thread: [Completed] Cosmos SE - "Cosmos Tribute"

  1. #1

    [Completed] Cosmos SE - "Cosmos Tribute"

    This is my first work log and first post here on Modders-Inc! My Cosmos SE build placed 3rd at the Quakecon U.S. Case Modding Championship this year, so I wanted to share the build progress as I documented it.

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    Design and Inspiration:

    • I call the case "Cosmos Tribute" because I wanted to incorporate part of my last case, the Cosmos S Black edition into this build. I decided the front face panel is what needed "modification" the most on the Cosmos SE as the stock front end is seriously ugly.
    • The Cosmos SE is a mid tower, even if it is on the larger side of mid towers, but I wanted to fit as much hardware as possible into a mid tower chassis.
    • I planned on gutting the chassis to allow for an "open canvas" for me to design my custom paneling around the components selected for the build.
    • I decided on blue and white, mainly because I had recently seen a restored muscle car with a similar paint theme, and I loved it.

    Hardware Components
    • Case - Cooler Master Cosmos SE
    • Motherboard - ASRock X99 WS/E (Extended ATX)
    • CPU - Intel Core i7-5930k
    • GPU - 3 x NVIDIA GTX 980 (Reference Design)
    • Memory - 32 GB of GSkill Ripjaws 4 Series DDR4 3000
    • PSU - Seasonic Snow Silent 1050w
    • SATA SSD - 4 x Intel 730 Series 480 GB (4 drives in RAID 0 array)
    • M.2. SSD - Samsung SM951 256 GB

    Cooling
    • Radiators - Aphacool NexXxoS ST30 Full Copper 360 and 240
    • Fans - 11 x EK Vardar F1-120 (1150RPM)
    • GPU Water Blocks - 3 x EK-FC980 GTX w/ Blue EK backing plates
    • CPU Water Block - EK-Supremacy Nickel
    • Rigid Tubing - PrimoChill 1/2" PETG
    • Rigid Fittings - PrimoChill Rigid Revolver White
    • Flexible Tubing - EK ZMT Tubing
    • Compression Fittings - Bitspower Silver
    • Pump/Res - EK-DDC 3.2 PWM XRES 100

    Other Components
    • Aqua Computer Aquaero 5LT
    • Aqua Computer Farbwerk
    • Aqua Computer (2 x) Power Adjust 3
    • Supernight RGB LED (water proof)
    • MDPC Sleeving w/ 16 AGW wire

    Modding the Chassis

    I started out the mod by inverting the chassis so that the motherboard tray was flipped upside down without changing the orientation of the top/bottom of the case. I don't have a lot of pics of the required cuts for this process, here are some pics of the post re-assembly. I also used this as an opportunity to temporarily mount the motherboard and post test my CPU, motherboard, and memory.

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    I then moved on with doing the rest of the required cuts for the chassis, including cutting the bottom out to allow for a 240mm undermount radiator and cutting the top of the chassis open so I can drop in a PSU from the top without h aving to remove any of my GPU or water cooling components. This really came in handy during final assembly and installation.

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    Once all of the last cuts were made, I disassembled the chassis again and gathered all parts that required media blasting to remove the factory coating in order to prepare for powder coating.

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    Once the parts were blasted, they were then powder coated with two coats. First coat was a super mirror white and then second coat was a clear coat with blue metallic sparkle/flake. It is very difficult to see in pictures, but has a beautiful shimmer under LED lighting. This same coating was applied to all of the MNPC Tech fan rings as well. The two coats was an experiment and it turned out very nice, though some parts had some drip during the clear coat and had to be blasted and coated again.

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    Here is the final product of the chassis. I essentially removed ALL of the drive bays and most of the support structure. Once the front radiator was mounted, along with the bars on the top and bottom of the Cosmos case were added, the case re-gained structural integrity.

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  2. #2
    Body Panels

    I really wanted to pay tribute to the Cosmos S Black case that served me well over the past 7 years (or so). I realized that the top panel of the Cosmos S shared the same curve as the front panel of the Cosmos SE. I used short strand fiberglass body filler w/ kevlar to mold the panels together. It had been 10 years since I used Bondo or any other type of body filler, and I had never used it on this type of plastic, so be warned that a few of the pics are ugly as I used WAY too much filler. It just meant that I had to spend extra time sanding it all down.

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    Top Panel

    The top panel was tricky because I cut out the top of the chassis, not leaving me any mounts for fans, and I also wanted to remove the factory mesh panel from the top. I spaced out some 120mm fan holes on a sheet of acrylic and used body filler to mold the panel together.

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    Window

    I wanted to widen the window to allow greater visibility to the internal components. I used a plasma cutting table to cut the simple shape of the window, which was just a rectangle with a 1/2" radius. The plasma cutter made the base cuts, but I had to finish off the edges using hand files and the Dremel. I used 1/8" cast acrylic for the window and it used the clear silicone liquid nail to adhere the window to the side panel.

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    Fans

    I dyed the fans using two packets of Royal Blue RIT fabric dye. The dye took to the Vardar fans surprisingly well. The blue color I achieved on these fans took approximately 45 minutes of dye time. The fans were disassembled and the frames were painted gloss white. I then dye-proofed my kitchen with plastic drop sheets (I didn't want that blue dye hitting my counter tops or tile/grout), and boiled up my dye mix. I used a folded up turkey tray to create a second layer so the fans wouldn't touch the hot bottom of the pan. I then reassembled and re-used the original stickers from EK.

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    Last edited by HeavyG; 08-24-2015 at 08:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Internal Body Panels

    I used 1/8" cast acrylic for my internal body panels. Since I cut out almost all of the internal chassis to allow room for the EATX motherboard, all of my internal panels and drive mounts would be custom. I decided that I wanted to highlight the Intel SSDs and mount them sideways on one of the internal panels. I first used poster board to create some rough draft concept design before starting to cut/bend any material.

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    I made my own acrylic bending jig out of some scrap wood and just used clamps to hold down the pieces until the acrylic cooled. It was a 2 person job as we were just using a Wagner heat gun with a reducer tip. One person applied the heat while the other person applied the pressure. Most panels were created successfully on the first attempt, but some required a second pass after some "incidents" when cutting holes for cable/tubing routing. Pro tip - if possible, bend with more material than needed and cut to size. This way if your measurements are off by a few mm, you can cut down to size.


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    Post Paint - Pre Assembly

    I used two colors of paint. One is a light blue that was supposedly "baby blue", but it darkened up a bit with the metallic flake. I don't really know what specific color it is, but I liked the way it turned out. I just wanted something light blue to contrast with the darker color I was choosing for the inside. The interior panels were painted midnight blue. It just happened to be the blue that was available as it was what my guy with the paint booth happened to have available as he had just painted a car that color. Since color was not crucial, I took the huge discount on the paint materials and used what he had already in stock, and I really like the way it turned out. I only wish I had some more time to do some more wet sanding and maybe an additional clear coat or two on the outside. I was rushed for time for Quakecon and just didn't get to work out as many imperfections as I would have liked. I even painted the SLI bridge the same blue along with the white rattle can spray that I used on the fans. The bridge turned out epic.

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    Last edited by HeavyG; 08-24-2015 at 08:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Assembly

    Had to get three GPUs blocked and finished. I also ended up polishing the acrylic to clear to allow light to pass through much easier. See the before and after of the EK Link.

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    Next came testing and assembling the LED/Fan controllers. Once I confirmed that all of the Aquacomputer parts were working correctly, I made a custom mounting plate out of some acylic. This plate is mounted on the opposite side of where the SSDs are being mounted. The LEDs are all 5050 RGB water proof strips, with the exception of the two RGB LEDs that are in the GPU block. For those two LEDs, I had to tap out a 5mm hole to allow the room for a 5mm LED to fit in. The LEDs were originally too long, so I had to grind down the LED about half way as to not damage any of the internal components of the LED. Once grinded down, I polished the top of the LEDs to a shine and wired them up! The waterproof RGB strips are held on to the GPU acrylic blocks using clear silicone as that is the only thing that will really adhere to the silicone waterproofing on the strips. I have to admit, I was not really into the LED lighting of the GPUs at first, but I do love the way the lighting turned out.

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    Last edited by HeavyG; 08-24-2015 at 09:02 PM.

  5. #5
    Final Assembled Photo Shoot

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    Under Power

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    Last edited by HeavyG; 08-24-2015 at 09:24 PM.

  6. #6
    I reloaded some images as they were not showing correctly. Should be fixed now .

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