InsolentGnome

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About InsolentGnome

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    MasterKeys Clacker

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    http://insolentmods.com/

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    Missouri

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  1. The Crimson King/renamed TheMan in Black

    And now we're at the end of our journey. I want to thank Swiftech and MNPCTECH for sponsoring this build and it's twin. They really made these possible. Also, I know a lot of people don't know the story these cases are based on, but hopefully they're cool enough to still be appreciated. Now on with the pics! Once again, a big thanks to my sponsors:
  2. The Gunslinger

    And now we're at the end of our journey. I want to thank GeForce Garage, Swiftech, and MNPCTECH for sponsoring this build and it's twin. They really made these possible. Also, I know a lot of people don't know the story these cases are based on, but hopefully they're cool enough to still be appreciated. Now on with the pics! Once again, a big thanks to my sponsors:
  3. The Crimson King/renamed TheMan in Black

    Now it's time to finish the loop and get this thing done. Or so I think... I started the loop like it's twin, in the front on the res. That bottom line was the tricky one and once I got it done, it was smooth sailing. Amazingly enough, on both builds, that piece went off without much of a hitch. I think I had to redo it once between both builds. And the rest of the loop was A to B making sure to keep everything straight. I filled it with Mayhems Dark Red. It just looks so nice in a loop. While doing the loop, I was also cutting out some acrylic side panels. They came out mostly OK. I've still got some measurements to work out to get the magnets to press fit, so I wound up gluing these. And then things got interesting when I booted the system. Everything worked, which is always a bonus, but... It's hard to tell, but I forgot to swap the colored light bar in the GPU block. Red fluid+green GPU lights is not an attractive thing. And if that wasn't enough. I swapped one of the original blue fans I bought for the Gunslinger in without knowing it. Not a big deal except the res pins the fan to the radiator. And I soldered the fan wires together. And there's no slack. It all amounts to a clean build, but a PIA to fix. So I drained the loop, pulled the GPU block and swapped the strip and then spliced in the right fan. Then filled it all back up. Little bit of drama, but in the end...perfect. And next up are final shots! Sponsored by:
  4. The Gunslinger

    Ah the fun part, the loop. Nothing too crazy here running clear 1/2" od Primochill PETG in between Bill's hardline fittings. I do have one of the measuring and bending sets from Monsoon, but find that I actually get better results just bending by hand. I tackled the res first. The bottom bend was tricky, 3 bends, 3 planes, and no way to hold the piece in position to eyeball it. Heck I could barely get the finished piece in since it had to go through a slot under the rad just over 1/2" tall. Once the hard bend was out of the way, the rest was just figuring out what looked best. Ok, I'll admit that it wasn't that easy. I spent a few days looking at it and deciding where i wanted the lines to run, but once the planning was out of the way, running the loop was a matter of a couple of hours. The big thing was making sure everything was straight. And then I filled the loop with Mayhem's UV white pastel. I really only wanted white but ordered the UV by mistake. Oh well, it'll look cool in black light, LOL. Yeah, that run from the CPU to GPU is off. Sometimes you've got to get the fluid in to really get an idea of what it looks like. I thought it would be passable before I filled it, but wound up draining the loop to re-bend that piece. While I was working on the loop, I was also cutting acrylic side panels. They still need a bit more work but are passable. I thought I had the holes for the magnets figured out, but wound up having to glue them in instead press fitting them. That was a bit of a pain. But now we're ready for final shots! Sponsored by:
  5. The Crimson King/renamed TheMan in Black

    I want to take a sec to look at the paint, since it doesn't really show in the pics. First up is a a coat of rattle can black over primer. It's got a bit of orange peel but that won't really matter. Next is a medium scratch pad to rough up the surface so that the next layer has something to grab on to. The top coat is a textured paint from Rustoleum that's supposed to look like rock??? Kind of? It really isn't bad and basically turns the finish into coarse sandpaper. It's not the slate brick that's in the story, but it looks kind of rocky. One nice thing is that as long as the base was black, it all pretty well matched, so I just top coated the parts of the case that didn't need paint and it matched the parts I painted black just fine. Another is it'll cover blemishes in the base and doesn't scratch unless you really go at it. Since most all the painting is done, it's time to start the final assembly. Wired the fans and switches. And I weathered the wires on the back side to make them look past their prime. Next up was the putting the mb in. And cleaning up the wires. Then it was time to slip the GPU in. I went with red lighting because the Man in Black serves the Red. Though I'm gonna have to tone it down a bit, sort of drowns out every thing at 12v. And a few shots with it's protagonist twin. All that's left now is the loop! Sponsored by:
  6. The Gunslinger

    With the back panel ready for paint, let's look at how I painted them, since it doesn't really show in the pics. First up is a a coat of rattle can black over primer. It's got a bit of orange peel but that won't really matter. Next is a medium scratch pad to rough up the surface so that the next layer has something to grab on to. The top coat is a textured paint from Rustoleum that's supposed to look like rock??? Kind of? It really isn't bad and basically turns the finish into coarse sandpaper. It's not the slate brick that's in the story, but it looks kind of rocky. One nice thing is that as long as the base was black, it all pretty well matched, so I just top coated the parts of the case that didn't need paint and it matched the parts I painted black just fine. Another is it'll cover blemishes in the base and doesn't scratch unless you really go at it. With the back panel done, it was time to start putting it all together. Wired up the switches and the fans. And did some weathering to make the back side wiring look older. Then the mb went in. I like having the wire running under the board, but it can be a pain to get it laying right. Still need to add some combs to clean it up. And the back panel was riveted on. I went with white LED's to light the interior and help show off the details. And the GPU finishes off the hardware. And a few shots with it's antagonist. Now the loop is the only thing left to finish! Sponsored by:
  7. The Gunslinger

    Back panel, milled, sanded, and ready for paint. So there's one thing that any self respecting Dark Tower build needs, and that's a rose. The Dark Tower is surrounded by a field of roses and in one of the multiple worlds, there exists a rose that is the tower's counterpart. So rose=important. I had thought about putting a rose in the back panels, but liked the idea of Ka and the siguls of the King and the Deschains better. So another place that was begging for a little love was the grill cover on the top panel. It's kind of bland and boring up there and I'm hoping that the LED fans shining up through a silhouette will look pretty cool. ABS on an X-Carve is like going through butter with a hot knife. A nice change from dealing with aluminum, and probably a whole lot better than what is coming up, a steel side panel. Not really sure how that one is going to work out. But I got a nice vector drawing of a rose, set it all up, and let it eat. I taped the out of the first one to keep stuff from flying around and was a bit scared of breaking something taking it up, so the next one I went easy on the tape. That was a mistake as one of the thinner sections let go and garbled the design. Not bad and I could live with it, but I'm still going to look into a replacement. Sponsored by:
  8. The Crimson King/renamed TheMan in Black

    OMG! Does wiring ever end???? Apparently not, but I have made some progress. Extensions, sleeved. But before we get into running the fans, I need to do something about the power and reset buttons. Although I like having I/Os on the front of the case, I hate the mess you have to deal with on the inside, especially in a mod, so they've got to go to be replaced by a simple power and reset button pair. First off I need to make a plate to cover the original I/O plate. Using a pencil lead, I rubbed the outline onto some paper. I could then cut that out and transfer the shape over to some 1mm Al to cut out. Then some mounting holes to hold the Al to the original plate and while I was at it I notched the plate out with a dremel to allow my switches to run through. Voila! Switches! Totally looks like an upside down smiley face! I'm painting the plate to match the rest of the case and the switches are red LEDs to match the color scheme. So there's one thing that any self respecting Dark Tower build needs, and that's a rose. The Dark Tower is surrounded by a field of roses and in one of the multiple worlds, there exists a rose that is the tower's counterpart. So rose=important. I had thought about putting a rose in the back panels, but liked the idea of Ka and the siguls of the King and the Deschain's better. So another place that was begging for a little love was the grill cover on the top panel. It's kind of bland and boring up there and I'm hoping that the LED fans shining up through a silhouette will look pretty cool. ABS on an X-Carve is like going through butter with a hot knife. A nice change from dealing with aluminum, and probably a whole lot better than what is coming up, a steel side panel. Not really sure how that one is going to work out. But I got a nice vector drawing of a rose, set it all up, and let it eat. I taped the :) out of the first one to keep stuff from flying around and was a bit scared of breaking something taking it up, so the next one I went easy on the tape. That was a mistake as one of the thinner sections let go and garbled the design. Not bad and I could live with it, but I'm still going to look into a replacement. And speaking of milled parts, I just got some awesome milled parts in for the cooling loop. MNPCTech 1/2" hardline fittings. A bunch of them! Can't wait to get these babies in and start planning the loop. And a big thanks to my sponsors: and now,
  9. The Gunslinger

    OMG! Does wiring ever end???? Apparently not, but I have made some progress. Extensions, sleeved. But before we get into running the fans, I need to do something about the power and reset buttons. Although I like having I/Os on the front of the case, I hate the mess you have to deal with on the inside, especially in a mod, so they've got to go to be replaced by a simple power and reset button pair. First off I need to make a plate to cover the original I/O plate. Using a pencil lead, I rubbed the outline onto some paper. I could then cut that out and transfer the shape over to some 1mm Al to cut out. Then some mounting holes to hold the Al to the original plate and while I was at it I notched the plate out with a dremel to allow my switches to run through. Voila! Switches! Even the case is excited about it! I'm painting the plate to match the rest of the case and the switches are white LEDs to match the color scheme. While I was playing around with the wire, I managed to have my X-Carve die on me. At first I thought it was a stepper, but it turned out to be a shorted wire so after working that out, I could start milling out a few symbols in the back plate that relate to the stories. Everything started out fine. But two broken bits later I decided that this piece of Al wasn't having any of it. It wasn't chipping very well and I'm not really sure why. I've never had this problem with these settings on 6061 or 5052 Al before, so I decided to ditch that back panel and make a new one out of some 5052 I had laying around. Three benefits to this, I just milled the same design in a piece of 5052 with no trouble, the 5052 will bend nicely for the GPU bracket on this new panel vs. the cracking that happened on the first panel, and I know what the :) I'm dealing with. I'm pretty sure the original panel was 6061, I can't imagine what else it would be, but I also had to do some brazing on it when the GPU mount cracked, so maybe the heat was enough to screw with some of the properties of the panel? No clue, but I busted out the new panel using the original as a template and the milling went smooth as butter. One more design to cut above the I/O shield and this baby is ready for a test fit and paint. And speaking of milled parts, I just got some awesome milled parts in for the cooling loop. MNPCTech 1/2" hardline fittings. A bunch of them! Can't wait to get these babies in and start planning the loop. And a big thanks to my sponsors: and now,
  10. The Crimson King/renamed TheMan in Black

    Thank god my X-Carve is up and running again. First it decided to change COM ports on me and threw me for a loop. Then after that, I broke the only 1/16" bit I had. But, with 4 new bits in hand, I can start finishing my back panels. Both the Man in Black and the Gunslinger will have similar exhaust ports on the back side of the MB tray. I'm going to use the symbol for Ka, or destiny there. Unfortunately it's not a big as I'd like so there isn't crazy detail. Took a couple of tries to figure out the best way to cut it, you can see under the test where I started to profile the cut but that was taking forever. With everything figured out, it was time for the real deal on the back panel. For the Man in Black, the MB side of the tray gets the eye of the Crimson King since the Man in Black is acting as his agent. A little prep and a little paint and this will be ready to install! Sponsored by:
  11. The Gunslinger

    While I'm getting all my CNC work done, I figured I would start on the wiring. It's that or sit around twiddling my thumbs listening to the Dewalt scream at me. So let's be productive, eh? Since I like making things complicated, I decided to stay with that trend on the wiring. Both the Gunslinger and the Man in Black will have to sets of custom cables, one that matches the aged and decaying back side, and a pretty set of extensions for the other side with the connection between the two in the junction box. To start off from the PSU, I wanted the cables to look like they had a purpose a thousand years ago, so I decided to step back into ancient times and go for color coded wires from an old PSU. Luckily I had a couple of old Rosewills laying around that I had partially sleeved. Since my run from the PSU is short, they should work just fine. So I did some harvesting. What sucks is that i used to have a box full of scrap wires that, somewhere along the way, I threw out. But anyways, I got the wires pinned and connector-ized, taking the runs through the romex connectors so they look like they had a purpose. I put them all together randomly since I'm not concerned about correct color coding, though I did manage to get the blue and green wires in the right spots. I figured the PS on would make it easier to jumper the PSU later. Still have my SATA's and pump to hook up and some aging to do. A friend suggested fabric wire wrap which I think could look awesome rotted out. That, some paint effects and maybe a few burn spots should give them the look I want. Sponsored by:
  12. The Crimson King/renamed TheMan in Black

    The man in black smiled. "Shall we tell the truth then, you and I? No more lies?" - Stephen King, The Gunslinger Firstly, some changes are in order for this build. I'm renaming it to The Man in Black. In trying to come up with ideas to symbolize the Crimson King, I've had to do a little reaching and in the end, the symbols I've decided to use also work well for the Man in Black character from the series. And since the Man in Black is also the Gunslinger's antagonist, albeit as a pawn of the king, it still keeps with my protagonist/antagonist idea for these cases. Two other benefits of this change are that it ties in with this summer's movie better, and now I can include some of the cool trivia from the series about the Man in Black, aka Walter Padick, but probably better known as Randall Flagg from The Stand. So back to business, with Maerlyn's Rainbow dry, it was time to mate it with the mb tray. I used my favorite 3M double-sided, clear, stick anything to anything tape, that way I would have at least a chance of changing things around if I wanted versus using a glue, epoxy or screws. I've still got some extra details to figure out for this side, but with this mostly assembled and most of the case out of paint, I can finally put the tray in and see how it all works together. To keep the back side of the tray looking right, I mounted my spacers for the motherboard backwards. It'll require using nuts to mount the mb, but let me use screws with rusted heads on the back side, matching all my rust effects. I still need to get the back panel CNC'd and painted, but seeing this much of it together eased my worry of having three different looks going on at once. The rusted out back of the tray and the themed front of the tray don't really overlap and both go along with the textured coat on the case itself. But more about the case next time. And a new sponsor too! Sponsored by:
  13. The Gunslinger

    We spread the time as we can, but in the end the world takes it all back. - Roland, Song of Susannah Now with the tray all decked out in it's leather, I can start adding the theme details to it. First up, the Horn of Eld. The horn originally belonged to Arthur Eld, Mid-World's equivalent of King Arthur, and has been passed down generations of descendants, finally reaching Roland Deschain. So it's old. And beat up. Exactly not what it looks like now. In the promotional photo of the horn, it looks like it's got some decorative metal banding, but that might be a little beyond me. I'm no prop maker, but I want it to look like it could fit in the world. So first off, lets add some leather straps to it. Good start, now we need some metal work. At first I tried to make some aluminum bands, but I couldn't really get them to fit well and holding it all together was giving me fits. I needed something that was soft enough to match the shape. Tried polystyrene, but that didn't look much better than the aluminum. I started looking around the shop for ideas and stumbled on some 50/50 solder I had laying around, basically old school lead solder. Easy to work with and made some nice bands. Being a plumber paid off. Then I had to make it look old. This consisted of hitting it with a file and hammer to scratch and dent it. After it was nice and beat up, I gave it an aged look by using acrylic paints, black and raw siena brushed on and then wiped off. A little trial and error gave me this. Looks like it's been around the block a few times. Not only was the lead solder perfect for fitting the horn and soft enough to make aging it easy, it was pretty simple to clean up where I joined it on the back side. Just a bit of work with a soldering iron. With the horn done, I could start putting things together. I mounted the horn with some wall anchors and just screwed the holster to the tray. And with most of the case painted and ready to assemble, I could finally put the tray in and see how it all worked together. To keep the back side of the tray looking right, I mounted my spacers for the motherboard backwards. It'll require using nuts to mount the mb, but let me use screws with rusted heads on the back side, matching all my rust effects. I still need to get the back panel CNC'd and painted, but seeing this much of it together eased my worry of having three different looks going on at once. The rusted out back of the tray and the themed front of the tray don't really overlap and both go along with the textured coat on the case itself. But more about the case next time. And a new sponsor too! Sponsored by:
  14. The Gunslinger

    “There's nothing like stories on a windy night when folks have found a warm place in a cold world.” - The Wind Through the Keyhole So with most of the airbrushing done, it was time to clear my panels to see how they turned out. I have to say, the clearcoat really brought the detail out. Before: After: I also had to do something for the corrosion on the SSD's to make them look like they've been sitting around for a thousand years too. Since they were a chrome/alloy color, I decided to give it that whitish corrosion that you tend to see on alloy wheels. First up, some white and black, dabbed with a cloth to give it some texture. Then a bit of green over the top, dabbed with a cloth as well. I hit them with some clear as well. Actually two coats, one after the white, but before the black so they wouldn't mix or rub the white off, then another after the green. I would say, unfortunately I wound up with some lifting and wrinking cause I hit the second coat of clear a little heavy and the bottom layers weren't at full cure, but I actually like the look, so I'm gonna roll with it. Gives it some texture and an interesting look. Now we get to the part where the two cases start to take on their own identity. Each of the motherboard sides will have it's own theme. For The Gunslinger I went with leather for the tray since leather was a pretty useful material in the story and fits the wild west gunfighter feel. First was to lay out the leather in a way that let the most character of the piece show. Then some spray adhesive. And some trimming to finish it up. And with it's evil antagonist. Sponsored by:
  15. The Crimson King/renamed TheMan in Black

    “There's nothing like stories on a windy night when folks have found a warm place in a cold world.” - The Wind Through the Keyhole So with most of the airbrushing done, it was time to clear my panels to see how they turned out. I have to say, the clearcoat really brought the detail out. Before: After: I also had to do something for the corrosion on the SSD's to make them look like they've been sitting around for a thousand years too. Since they were a chrome/alloy color, I decided to give it that whitish corrosion that you tend to see on alloy wheels. First up, some white and black, dabbed with a cloth to give it some texture. Then a bit of green over the top, dabbed with a cloth as well. I hit them with some clear as well. Actually two coats, one after the white, but before the black so they wouldn't mix or rub the white off, then another after the green. I would say, unfortunately I wound up with some lifting and wrinking cause I hit the second coat of clear a little heavy and the bottom layers weren't at full cure, but I actually like the look, so I'm gonna roll with it. Gives it some texture and an interesting look. Now we get to the part where the two cases start to take on their own identity. Each of the motherboard sides will have it's own theme. For the Crimson King, I went with a hammered black paint to get some texture and give an old and dark feel to the tray. The Gunslinger gets leather, but that's a different build log. For details on this side, I had to turn to the king's minions and tools. There just isn't a whole lot of specifics about the king. One of the tools of the king is Maerlyn's Rainbow. Maerlyn was a great sorcerer of Roland's world. Think Merlin of the Arthurian tales, but with Maerlyn being an anarchist, preferring chaos over stability. Maerlyn created 13 orbs of different colors and powers. From The Dark Tower Wiki: Maerlyn's Rainbow, also known as the Bends o' the Bow or Wizard’s Rainbow, consists of thirteen colored spheres. The first twelve represent the Twelve Guardians of the Beams, each having the secret of a different form of magic; the last, Black Thirteen, represents the Dark Tower itself, which was filled with the evil of the monster-infested void that existed between worlds. Some have different powers to others with some showing Mid-World, some which show All-World, and some which have the power to transport. Others look into the future and the demon infested worlds as well as revealing the locations of secret doors which give access to other worlds. Additionally, others can see far into the world and witness vile acts most people would wish kept secret. One is said to give the power of levitation, and another the secrets of telepathy. All were cursed to bring despair and sorrow to those who wielded them, representing a corruption of the White and have a tendency to sap the life of the user, looking into them to a person to see their sins and shameful acts. Sounds perfect for the Crimson King build! I started with round dowel rod ends. A base coat of white so all the colors would come out. Then I painted them the colors of the Rainbow: Crimson, Orange, Yellow, Pink, Dark Blue, Dark Green, Indigo, Lime, Azure, Violet, Brown, Pearl Grey, and Black. It looks like I'm making freaking lollipops. Sponsored by: