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Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Stefan and I’m a 27-year-old student at Heidelberg University in Germany.  My subject is “Transcultural Studies†which focuses on the interactions between Asia and Europe in a global context.  In my leisure time, I’m interested in 3D modeling and like to realize my ideas as props. That is why I’ve tried already different materials for modeling. In case modding, I’m less experienced and the mod, I will create for this contest, is just the second case mod, I ever made. 

I would like to take the Cooler Master case mod contest as an opportunity to build up a scratch mod, made completely by myself using techniques and materials that are available and easy to handle for everyone.  

 

The concept

The focus of my scratch mod will be on the MSI X99S SLI krait edition motherboard. Inspired from the design of the krait on the package, I am planning to build a head of a krait. In order to fit all the hardware in and for aesthetic purposes, my design will be a mixture between a stylized and a natural krait. Excepting the hardware, I will not use any pre-assembled, fabricated or machined parts. The aim is to build up everything from scratch and 100% handmade. Currently, I am working on the 3D-model of my final design. The model allows me to fit the hardware and to simulate possible functions. I still have to make some decisions regarding materials and components that I will use, because I want to keep the mod as cost-efficient as possible without depreciating the design. Space is another limitation, since I’m working in a 5 m²-cellar during winter. May I show in this way, that spatial restrictions can be overcome by creativity?         

 

The Hardware

At first, I want to give my special thanks to MSI for providing and organizing the hardware for this project. Thanks also to Kingston and Cooler Master. Without the help of these three companies it would have been not possible for me to participate in this contest.   

  • Motherboard: MSI X99S SLI krait edition     
  • CPU: Intel i7 5820k
  • Cooling System: Cooler Master Nepton 240M
  • RAM: 4x4GB Kingston HyperX Predator 2133
  • Graphics: MSI Radeon HD7790 2GB
  • PSU: Cooler Master V850
  • SSD: Kingston HyperX Fury 120GB

 

The Material

  • 250g/m² paper
  • all-purpose glue
  • polyester resin
  • glass fiber
  • body filler
  • Worbla´s Finest Art
  • rubber foam
  • HDF wood
  • synthetic leather
  • paracord
  • styrofoam
  • expanding foam
  • acrylic glass
  • aluminum rods
  • LEDs + resistors
  • masking tape
  • acrylic spray paint + regular acrylic paint
  • clear coat

The Tools

  • Dremel
  • heat gun
  • drill
  • circular hand saw
  • jigsaw
  • exacto knife
  • soldering iron

 

I will update this list, so that you can keep track of the materials I used

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And of course some pictures of the hardware.

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MSI X99S SLI krait edition

 

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i7 5820k

 

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Cooler Master Nepton 240M

 

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Kingston HyperX Predator 2133

 

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MSI HD7790 2GB

 

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Cooler Master V850

 

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Kingston HyperX Fury 120GB

 

 

Sponsor:

 

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Finally, I managed to post my first worklog.
In order to give the idea which I had on my mind a concrete shape, I initially created a 3D model of the krait head in Cinema4D. This helped me to adjust the size of the mod and find the best position for the hardware.

 

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Next, I had to choose the material and I decided to use paper as a base.  Yes, a computer made out of paper :D
I converted the 3D design into a paper model using Pepakura. The program subdivided the 3D-krait head into 168 paper pieces which I printed onto 49 sheets of paper. Besides, it gave the folding lines needed to construct the paper model.
 

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Now, the fun began: I cut out all the paper pieces and glued them together. To achieve a kind of basic stability, I used 250 g/m² paper sheets.

 

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Then, I strengthened it by applying a layer of polyester resin.

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After everything had dried, I applied multiple layers of glass fiber ensuring rigidness and stability of the mod. To smoothen out the surface, I covered everything with body filler and sanded edges as well as rough spots. I repeated this step until the krait head had a nice and smooth shape.

 

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To create a krait-like look, I drew a snake skin pattern onto the surface and glued rubber foam, cut in shape before, to the krait head. Because paint doesn’t stick very well to rubber foam, I used a technique, which is famous in the field of cosplay. I covered the whole mod with Worbla´s Finest Art. Worbla is a thermoplastic material and can be shaped into each form after heating. Due to a slightly rough structure of the material, I applied multiple layers of PVA glue to smoothen the surface. 
 

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While finishing the basics of the outside, it was time to focus more on the inside.
First, I built a base out of HDF, on which the motherboard and the water cooling should be placed.  All cables run below this plate. To allow the connection of the cables to the motherboard, I cut openings into the HDF plate and rounded up the edges.

 

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Then, I spray painted the openings with black color to cover the wooden structure of the HDF plate. The HDF plate was afterwards covered with synthetic snake-patterned leather. Further, I placed the mounting pins for the motherboard.

 

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To hide the grommet, I cut rubber foam into suited pieces and glued them to the back of the HDF plate.
 

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To ensure installation and stability of the GPU, I built a back plate out of HDF which was rectangularly adjusted to the base. I cut openings for the USB connectors etc., and covered this plate with synthetic snake-patterned leather, too. The PSU was simply fixed by aluminum tracks which I cut into suited sizes. Now, it was time for a test fit.

 

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Since everything fitted quite well, I could measure the right lengths for the cables and start sleeving them. To fit my overall design, I used white paracord without any heat shrinking tubes.

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The next step was to add more details to the upper jaw. Because I was building a krait head, I surly needed some fangs. I cut styrofoam into a basic fang shape and covered it with Worbla´s Finest Art to achieve more stability. The fangs, however, got a little larger than I thought and it was no longer possible to close the case. To overcome this issue, I installed metal hinges in the front of the upper jaw, which allow to flip in the fangs. Magnets were adjusted to hold the fangs in place, either flipped in or out. Besides, I sprayed some expanding foam into the hole below the eyebrow to strengthen up this area and make it less fragile, as you can see in the picture.

 

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As an eye catcher, I decided to install a designed acrylic glass in the upper jaw. I cut out the needed size with my jigsaw and made a template for the design. The top part of the acrylic shows the krait head logo, depicted on the motherboard package, as well as the MSI logo. I used different engraving bits to cut the design into the acrylic glass and cleaned the edges with an exacto knife. Then, I cut the motherboard name also into the acrylic with the exacto knife.

 

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To hold the acrylic glass in the upper jaw, I build a mounting made of L-shaped aluminum rods, screwed directly into the glass fiber.

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For illuminating the acrylic glass, I soldered the LEDs, resistors and wires together and placed them at the bottom and the top edges of the acrylic glass. In this way, the light beam will pass the glass and highlight the engravings. In addition, I put some LEDs below the motherboard to give it a little white shine on the edges.

 

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Now, it was time to paint the krait. To match my overall design, I decided to only use black and white.  As mentioned above, I used multiple coats of PVA glue as a primer followed by 3-4 layers of black spray paint. After finishing the first layer, I adjusted the eyes, made of semi translucent acrylic glass, into the eye sockets and fixed them with some Worbla. I masked the eyes to protect them from color, before I continued painting.  

 

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The white detail lines were sprayed on freehand. Since the krait should look like a banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus), I tried to mimic the head pattern of this species. Unfortunately, the white paint entered the gaps between single scales of the snake skin pattern. I recovered them by applying black paint with a thin brush into the gaps. This gives the krait skin also a more three dimensional impression. I finished the outer surface by applying three layers of clear coat to achieve a wet-like, snaky look. At last the fangs were painted in ivory color.
 

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Before I put everything together, I made a final fitting of the hardware and the sleeved cables. I did a last test run of the system also.
 

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Next up: Final Pictures.

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Now it’s done, here are the final pictures of my Nocturnal Hunter.

I would like to appreciate MSI, Cooler Master and Kingston for sponsoring the hardware. Special thanks I want to give to Victoria from MSI Taiwan for giving me the opportunity to build this case mod and organizing the hardware. At last, I want to thank my girlfriend, who not only made serious quality inspections of my work, but is also a spring of inspiration for me and fully supports my ambitions to be a better artist.

 

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