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Keeper of the Strix


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Hi everyone. I'm new here but definitely not new to modding. I was asked to build a case mod around the Strix GPU like some of you also were. We all went completely different directions so it's really cool to see what everyone else has done.

 

I always like to try new ways of doing things and creating different styles so that I never get caught up in doing the same thing over and over. So sometimes I step way outside the box and come up with crazy ideas. I think this is one of those times/

 

 

So ... my concept is a little hard to draw up but seems easier to explain.

My concept is to build a case that is square and transform it into a cage or crate with bars over a window that shows the GPU through the window. I will transform the cage (case) into a 1000 year old ancient beat up "keeper of the Strix". It won't actually be a window but just an opening with bars like a jail cell would have. And the bars could be slightly bent outward in the middle as if it had tried to escape .
 
I will transform the case by painting it and airbrushing artwork with ancient writings that actually spell out the names of sponsors. Throw in some scratches, and scuff marks, and general wear and tear.  And I will add some banding or belts with locks. I thought of adding to the authenticity of it's age by creating case feet that resemble bird claws too.
 
I will remove a lot of the brackets and things inside the case and possibly do a water cooling set up with red UV coolant. This could be made to look like blood. I could do a fill port on the top of the case  and make it appear that the Strix lives off the blood of those that get too close. ?? Maybe??
 
I can do some really cool special effects with lighting too and possibly make the fans glow red like eyes. I might also paint highlights on the GPU cover to create a scary owl appearance. Not like feathers but more of a futuristic terminator type owl.

Imagine a Strix (owl) that is immortal and has been locked away since the beginning of time and has been guarded by all kinds of different civilizations. ..... that's what I am aiming for.

I've gathered up all my hardware and most materials and I'm ready to make some real progress.

Here are some photos to show some of my design ideas I will incorporate...

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And here is my table of mod parts ...

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And last but not least,,, a huge Thank you to Asus for asking me to be involved with this project. And to our sponsor Coolermaster for stepping up and taking care of all of us.
 

 

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Cool idea! I like the concept + story. :) Strix is such a cool icon- productname. :D

Thank you. I have a lot more to update..

 

 

Update time!!

I have been busy with all the fabrication getting the main shell ready and also played with the GPU a little.

I'm going to build the outside of the case out of old wood but I think it's a good idea to use something metal on the inside to have a good foundation. Then I can fasten the wood to it.

I had some perforated aluminum sheeting that I think is perfect because I can use the holes to put screws into the wood. And it's a lot lighter with holes too. So I drew up my plan for cuts and where i needed to make my bends..

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I just used a table and some metal bars to make my own metal brake..

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To fold the ends in I used some wood and clamped pieces together with the metal i between so it would be a nice bend. I made the wood so it would fit exactly in between the 2 walls I already bent.

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Nice clean bends. It definitely helps that is is perforated.

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So that is all done for now and I'm doing a little space planning to see where everything will go before I make any cuts.

I moved onto the hardware and popped in the cpu...

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and memory... it will be getting modded too, so no more blue color..

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I stripped down the Strix because it will have a different look than the rest of the mod. This Strix will be looking like a Terminator style Strix that is immortal and although it has been locked away for thousands of years in the beat up cage, it remains shiny.

I pulled the shell off ..

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I removed all the decals...

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Then I sanded it down to the bare metal (aluminum)..

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I decided to make it look even more like a Strix (owl) that it needs a beak. So I shaped one out of aluminum that will fit and look good...

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After a few test fits and some trimming, it fits great!...

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And I gave it a quick polish so it will have an official Terminator look.

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Then I started the looooonnnngggggggg process of polishing the rest of the cover. This takes hours and hours of sanding from 400 grit all the way to 3000 grit with many steps in between. ..

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With the nose back on and all shined up. It's gonna look awesome..

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So now I will be adding the nameplates back onto it and doing a little more paint work to bring out the Strix look in more detail. I'll be doing something really cool to create the eyes and make them glow too.

Stay tuned..

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Will be finishing this build next week so I have gathered about all my supplies, and finished a few more things. Kind of worn out from the MOD24 competition so I'm a little slower than normal.


Here is the exterior,, sort of...

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I'll be tearing the boards off these crusty pallets so that I have some weathered material to go with my theme of being ancient.

I also made all my cuts to the inner cage for my windows and fans, etc.

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This will be water cooled and everything is being kept as compact as possible so I popped a couple holes into the mobo tray.

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Fitting some boards together to get an idea of the visual. I will also be trimming it out with some leather straps and buckles. I'm making all the hardware look ancient too. More on that part later..

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Here is some of the hardware I will be using. I tossed these in my tumbler to take the finish off and now off to the saltwater they go!

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I bench tested all the hardware and made sure I was good to go before I lock anything into place. Booted perfect so now I start modding hardware....

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Lots of progress...

The memory had to be changed to fit this mod because the blue was definitely going to work. I prepped it and painted it textured black to help it blend in. The whole point of this mod is to draw attention to the GPU so it will be the only real shiny flashy thing that will jump out at you.

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I picked up some rawhide straps and some spikes to create an old leathery strap for incorporating into the build. Pretty easy to do really. Just drill a hole in the strap and push the pin through and the spike on the other side. Then smack it with a hammer.

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They look pretty official..

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Then onto making them look old...... a little bit of oil works killer.

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I want to make this look like a cage that even Houdini could not escape so I am using chains and locks, etc . But they have to look old too. So with the help of some Muriatic Acid I took the brand new shiny chain and various bits and turned them rusty in a matter of hours.
CAUTION!!!  Be very careful with this stuff. It will kill you if you're not careful.
You can see the piece on the left is what it looked like before the treatment.

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Moving over to the case itself --
I finished my walls and made the pieces that have the windows with bars. I used some 3/16" steel rod and cut it into pieces then bent them randomly to give them some character. Then I heated them and smacked them with a hammer to beat them up a little. I drilled holes into the edges of the planks to insert the rods into and pressed everything together with some glue and splines to lock it all together forever.

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I built the floor and cut the holes to match the bottom of the chassis so the fans have a place to breathe. You can also see I painted the chassis black. I used black paint with red flake.

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Here it is all sitting together.. It's starting to look like something now!

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I ran out of old wood so now I really need to work some magic on the new top. I used some new cedar 1x2 and left some gaps in between the rows. It's something they used to do in old boxes they carried chickens and stuff in so I thought it would be appropriate. You can see there is a torch sitting on top... That is my secret aging weapon.
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I ended up using 3 different stain colors first to give it a grayish look but I forgot to take pics.. Boring anyway.. so onto the fire!!
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And to blend the entire case together I burned a lot of small areas. Some are really charred and it looks cool. It can go with the story of this cage and how the Strix has survived for ages inside. Even through fires and yet it stays unharmed and perfectly shiny.
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I discovered the hinges available on the market don't look old enough so I needed to make some. I used new brass hinges and soaked them in hydrogen peroxide and also some vinegar. Then I hit them with a little heat. I needed something for the top to open and this should do the trick.
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Back to the hardware-

I finished up the GPU mod by adding the nose piece. I painted the brow area black and added the "winged death" piece to make it even more evil looking. The blood red paint came out great on the fan blades too. I put all the nameplates back on and bolted it back together.
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Earlier I promised something about some extra feature that I added so here you go..

I have been using halo led mods for case fans and other stuff for a while and thought this was the perfect opportunity to give this thing some huge wow factor. You can barely notice them hidden behind the fan blades but once I power them on...



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Pretty cool? Almost hypnotizing right??  It looks much much cooler in person. The camera cannot pick up on how great it really looks. I can change the lights so they flash or pulse, and the brightness too. I ended up turning them so they stay on and turned the brightness way down because they are so powerful it's blinding.


More coming very soon... I'm almost finished.

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Finishing it up!

I mounted all the chains and corner pieces. I put some eyelets on the top too so the chain has a spot for padlocks.

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These padlocks are actual antiques I bought from a dealer in India. They were hand made over 100 years ago. Still functioning and are the perfect look.
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Back in the time this was supposedly created you could not just go find a handle so people made other things work that were simple. I used some leather to wind around the top piece and our trusty intern Zane tied a good knot.
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You can see there are a lot of different writings on the cage in various languages. That is because this thing has been passed from one civilization to the next through time and they made sure to put clear warnings of the danger. It was given the name "Winged Death" at one point in Asia.
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Now it is time to be sent to the new "Keeper of the Strix"...

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I shipped this thing out but needed to build a crate so of course I built a crate to match the mod. If you've seen the mods I do you probably have seen them with a custom crate too.
I'm not sure if I should have put skulls on it though. People get a little freaked out these days with stuff like that. I hope it makes it ok..

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That was without the flair.. But I gotta add flair..

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And I added the latches and handles. I put some thick foam in there so it should withstand the abuse that UPS will put it through.  They have damaged every build I've shipped. Even the crates look like :) once they get there.

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And that's another completed mission. :-)

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