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Gigantea - CM Elite 130 casemod


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New update!  Paint prep on this thing just takes forever.


So first off, I've got to get the rest of the fabrication done.  Have to, have to, have to.


Mounts in the spine for the stands.  Some giant inserts for 5/16" all thread.  They require a 17/32" hole.  Has anyone ever seen that bit???  So I drilled a 1/2" hole and filed it out to fit.




Then I epoxied the two inserts in because the fit was a bit loose.




Next up was to finish the head and tail.  The thin gauge aluminum I originally used to stiffen the head and tail was way too floppy, so I replaced it with .08" aluminum.




Then I bent and cut some more .08" Al to make end covers for the front and back.  This back plate is where I'll mount my I/O brackets.




Right now it's just got 2 mod blocks holding it at the top because I ran out of blocks, but I'll get some more and put 2 more at the bottom.




Now we need some armor pieces to clean up the head and tail.  I'm using the same 1/8" acrylic as the rest of the armor.




Little heat and bending...






Finished product before paint prep.




Next up is our mystery part.  What's it gonna be???


Starting with a 4' long, 1" red acrylic rod.






I wacked it in half.




And then applied TONS of heat.  OMG it took so much heat to get this stuff bendable.  Torch level.  My heat gun was useless.




That's as far as I got with the acrylic rod so far.  You can only try to set your shop on fire so much in one day, lol.


With that stuff going on and getting finished, the paint prep has continued and I've even put some paint down.


I rattle canned some of the interior sections just because the finish isn't as important and it's easier as far as set up and timing.




I also managed to get the legs painted.  When I painted the legs on Scout, I used wire to hang them, but that was really a pain and led to issues with runs since it's hard to hold and manipulate the leg on a wire and still keep the gun distance, so I needed a new method.  So I made leg sticks!




I just chopped up some 1/4" dowel and stuck them in holes in a board.  Then I put the legs on those.  I worked pretty well, except next time, I'll make sure to leave more space in between.




After the primer and a little sand, it was time to try out my new toy, an Iwata LPH-80 with 3M's PPS cup setup.




It's just a little trim gun, but it's so nice!  I've been happy with cheap guns for getting into painting, but this thing seems perfect for the size of jobs I'm doing.  I can't wait to see how it does on a full panel.  And the cups make clean up so easy!


And yes, that is yellow.  Viper Racing Yellow to be exact.  Racing colors make computers faster, right?  I'm using a single stage urethane for everything I'm shooting.  I might clear coat some parts, but it's not really necessary with this paint.  Just shoot it and it's done.




This just makes me think of the table flipping over and running away!


Nice and shiny!




Hopefully with a little more painting, I can start assembly and wiring.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Well, I made it back alive and well from Dreamhack Austin, where my previous build, Scout, took second in the mod competition.  It was crazy and cool and I even got to see Alain Simpels' Tristellar Whetstone and the Project Anvil EK Vulture mod.  So yeah, pretty cool.  But now that I'm back, I can get to work finishing up Gigantea.


I've been sloshing through painting and now I have enough done to start assembly.


I'll start off by explaining that I'm basing the color choices on another species of giant centipede, Scolopendra heros, or the giant redheaded centipede.  It's coloring is a lot more striking and perfect for what I'm looking for.




So lets start off with the part that's gonna hold all this together, the spine.




You can see i went for a more blood red, which is apt, since this thing is good at drawing blood from me.  I also did my first 'fade', lol.  I didn't want a solid break so I tried to fade to black.  It's a pain trying to wrap that paint line around a piece of tube.  Just a note, the tape line where I taped off the red to protect it from overspray won't show since it will be under a back plate.




Riveting some of my base sections together.  I probably would have got a little farther along, but I had to repaint a few of them to fix some chips.




While I couldn't get too far ahead of myself, I did manage to get the radiator setups put together and one of them mounted.  I went ahead and sleeved the wires on the fans even though you will hardly be able to see them.  That one, out of place wire can ruin everything.




And here we are with a few of the sections mounted with their brackets.  Once the paint cures on the other sections, I can really start to get rolling!




Thanks for following along!

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Keeping right on with the updates!


Cleaned my blocks and got them ready for installation.




And got more components installed.






And the second rad setup.




Figured I'd get this little bit of tube installed before I got too deep into things, since it would be near impossible later.




And most of the components installed so that I can figure out my wiring.




I've also been slicking up my paint.  Never fails, I get the perfect mix of paint and settings on the gun just about the time to wrap it up.  But I did figure out that by doubling the reducer in this gun with the smaller nozzle, it can lay some pretty slick paint.  To thick of paint=orange peel...good to know.  Here's a shot of some of the body parts curing.  Hmmmm...watching paint dry.




Bit of color sanding and some clear will make those pieces shine!

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Had to get my stand figured out before I got too much further along and got too much stuff in the way.  Started off with a piece of all thread rod.




Then I cut a piece of tubing leaving just enough thread to get through the bases.




Slip on the base and use a nut and washer to secure.




All that's left now is painting the tube.  BTW, I did manage to find out how to paint HDPE with success.  Turns out running a flame over it and wiping it down real well lets paint stick to it.  I gather that helps get rid of the release agents in the material's outer surface, or that's what I read anyways.  So far the paint is sticking well.


The front stand was a little different since it's mount was on a 45.  So I added a 45 to the all thread.  Easy enough.




The tubing doesn't cover all the way, but there will be a bunch of wire runs going through and I think that will cover up the unsleeved part.


With that out of the way, I took my back armor pieces that had been painted on the bottom side and taped them up




I then sprayed the tops of the armor silver.




Don't worry, this isn't the end product.  I've got something a little special in store for these bad boys.

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So I said I had something special in store for the back armor and here it is...




I found an old tutorial from Dirt Design Graphic on spraying a carbon fiber pattern and I figured what self-respecting, giant centipede robot wouldn't die to have CF armor plating?  It's basically a silver base and then you mask it with drawer liner, and spray your black.  Then you pull the mask and fog some more color on to it to blend it in.  I still have to coat it in a clear, but I like how it came out and that it's not the standard vinyl CF look.






But that's not all, cause it also comes in red!






While the armor pieces have been curing I've been trying to get all my parts ready for clear coat and I've also started on the wiring.


My LED assembly line.




And the LED's sleeved up and getting tied together for the GPU backplate.




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Continuing with wiring up the LEDs, got them all tied together and then epoxied them in my acrylic.




And then put in the case.  On the case?  No clue.






And because I'm impatient and because I didn't want to move any further along without making sure it turned out like I wanted, I hooked it to a 12v power supply.




Doh! One LED was bad.  And holy crap that came out awesome!


Plugged in the 'eyes', and fixed the LED, though I may have to swap out the LED.  I didn't have a matching one and this one looks dull.  Or maybe it's just the way it's in the acrylic.




After testing and fixing, I mounted the boards up.






This thing is going to look crazy in the dark!



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Update time!  Guess what?  More wiring!  WOOT!


My standard wire building setup.




I stick down a couple of pieces of tape, one so I can mark wire measurements and the other for notes and pinouts.  The tape is perfect so I don't lose anything and it makes measuring and cutting the wire easy.  It's also a great idea at the end of the project to grab some good photos of the tape with the pinouts and notes for later reference if you decide to rewire something or reuse the PSU in another project.  I forgot to grab pics of my notes in the first build I used this CM V850 and I thought I would be stuck pulling apart a custom set of sleeved and stitched wires to figure the pinout.  Luckily my last build's V1200 has the same pinout and I did keep good pics of those notes.


I decided that instead of individually sleeved wires, I would go with some more industrial looking split loom.  This saved some time and effort since I easily had around 150' of wiring.




I think it also fits the build more.  Whoever saw a piece of machinery roll out of a factory with individually sleeved wire, right?




I also started running some tubing since it shares space with the wire runs.






Since I'm using 2 of the case fronts, I had my choice of what to do with the front panel I/O.  I wound up choosing the butt I/O since having the I/O and buttons on top of a 3' tall case seemed like a pain.  You wouldn't even be able to see the switch to turn it on let alone plug in anything and then you'd have the cables hanging down.




I did kill the USB 3 connectors which seems to be a trend with me anymore.  This is the second case where the standard 3.0 wiring just doesn't work for me.  This time I would have had to have a bulky 20pin junction somewhere in the wire runs and I didn't want that.  And I'm running 4 3.0 ports to the back of the case anyways, so I'll have plenty.  The rest of the wiring had to be extended and since I had 3 I/O setups, I just lopped the wires off one and added them to another.  


And that's most of the wiring, now I'm just waiting on patch cables to extend necessary ports to the back.  Though once I have all those, I will probably re-order the wiring in the runs just to make it look cleaner.




Since the wiring is mostly finished, that means I get to start putting the body together.  Yay!


Epoxied the LED eyes in.




And I started putting on sections where I was done with the wiring.




Sorry about the upside down picture, but it was upside down since I don't have any legs on it yet.  That's coming up soon though!

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Alright, now we're getting somewhere.  I didn't really do much, but I crossed that threshold where it's starting to look like the finished product.


First off, I got all my patch cables in today so I could get those run.




I'm pulling 2 DisplayPorts, 4 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 and 1 ethernet(it's a dual nic board) port to the back panel.  I figure this will take care of everything I might need at a LAN and then some.


Cleaned the wires up so they don't look like a mess too!




Even with the patch cables thrown in, it came out looking pretty clean.




The last bit of running wire, the GPU riser.  I got a nice 400mm riser from Li Heat.  It was pretty cool, I told them I could really use a longer riser and they were like here's a link to a 400mm one.  I didn't really expect it to be that easy.




It may not be the prettiest way to run a riser, but it gets stuff from A to B, so it works for me.




Next, I had an idea on how to strengthen it's legs up so I didn't have to worry about the braze joints so much.  I've done a little work with urethane resins and decided to try filling the legs and basically give them a solid core.




I just happened to have some white left.  What really sucks is last week I mixed up and threw away about 4 gallons of some other quick set urethane that I had decided I wasn't going to use.  Doh!  But oh well, it didn't take much and I've got 2 gallons of white to use up.


Mix A and B and in 10 minutes or less, you get plastic.




I wish I had done this before paint.  This urethane gets really hot and I was a bit worried about the paint.  Luckily no problems with the heat, but I did find some pin holes and that was a pain.


With the legs cored? and ready to go, I put most of the body on along with the stands and legs.  You'll notice I'm missing a pair of my base legs.  The pin holes created some paint problems and they're getting fixed.




Going from the last picture to the next picture was...interesting.  It's heavy, unwieldy, and has no place to grab on to.  I was sure something would break.  Fortunately, nothing did.




Now it's starting to look like something.




I went ahead and started adding some more legs.




While I like the tinting and black tips on the legs, it does look like it's carrying a bunch of bananas with all those legs right next to each other.




Next up is the res/pump and the back armor.  I'm a little concerned about the armor because I painted one too many of them red.  So it's either going to be a weird transition or that piece is getting repainted.  I'm waiting to get it on to see.  But, until then, thanks for following along!  

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More updates!  I noticed that the tinting on the legs didn't really come through in the earlier pics so I grabbed a better pic.  And, well, it still doesn't stand out, but I guess that's the point of fading it in, right?  The tips are obviously black, and the section next to the body is orange.  It came out sort of mottled from the gun, but I liked it so I kept it.




Got the back armor put on except that last red piece is supposed to be a black piece.  I put it on to see if it would look ok, but I think it needs to be redone.  It just doesn't work with the black body section.






This is me stealing some mod blocks out of my shop rig.  Performance PC's was out but I had some I could nick and not hurt the structure.  It needed to be cleaned anyways. wink.png




Those blocks let me put the nose piece and head armor on.




And, oh yeah, got the res mounted up.  The lines to it are a little loop-y.  I've ordered a couple of extra 90's to tighten up those runs.  




Monsoon's MMRS comes with a pair of CCFL bulbs for backlighting, but I totally forgot to figure in inverters.  I don't have any or an easy spot to tie into my 12v light run.




So they're out and I needed to figure out something else.  I've been thinking about thicker walled reservoirs that would allow you to punch mounting holes for LED's and not kill the tube, but this res is way too thin.  And there are Primochill light towers and light plugs, which I have a few, but I didn't want a wire running from the top of the res.  But the other day I did see, I guess, an 'exclusive' light ring from Alphacool, which was basically a LED strip inside a round plastic housing, and that looked pretty cool.  And it's just a LED strip wrapped around the res, how hard could that be.  Turns out, not hard at all.




They used a much denser packed LED strip, but this strip's spacing turned out to be perfect for the coupler to also be the clamp that holds the strip in a loop and be the exact size to fit over the res.  On a side note, I'm glad I ordered an extra res tube for running clear coolant because pulling the other one off the case would have been a pain.


And tossing some power to it.




Here is my finished product.  I wrapped the outside of the strip with electrical tape and painted the connector black.  I'll also be covering most of the connector with heatshrink so it won't really stand out.




For the redneck engineering that went into it, I think it came out awesome.  




I'll have to write up a little how-to because this is a great way to light a res.  And I will give Alphacool or whoever total credit, I didn't come up with the idea, but I did make it for about a $1.  Plus anything with a bezel on it wouldn't have worked on the MMRS anyways because of the tension bars.


After getting that done I threw in some Mayhems Blitz to clean everything up especially since I have old blocks in there.  Don't want anything growing or blocking up the system.




And she's pumping away in the workshop now, pulling all the old dye residue out.

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So before, I had shown off the 1" red acrylic rod and the bend I put into part of it.  Well, I needed two so gas torch and tape to the rescue.




For as bad of a job as I did taping them together, they came out very similar.  Next was to hit them with the portaband, die grinder, mini sander, and anything else I could find to get them shaped into points.




When it was all said and done, I wound up with two canes for gnomes.  




Not giving away what they're for just yet though.


I also got some 90 fittings in so I could finish the res.  And since it was all cleaned and rinsed, it was time to fill it with some Mayhems X1 in blood red of course.






The 90's really helped clean up the tubing.  And with the lights out, the res is eerie.




With the res done and filled, I figured it was time to see what happened when I hit the power switch.  Luckily, no blue smoke!


Relatively mild mannered with the lights on.




Little peeved when the lights start going out.




With the lights out, it's time for an exorcist!








I wish the PSU LEDs were a bit brighter, but they do a pretty good job of lighting the back end.




I also grabbed a video with the lights out.  This thing looks freaky!


Just a few final things to finish up now and she should be ready for final pics in no time!  Thanks for following along!
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