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The Crimson King/renamed TheMan in Black


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“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.














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.  :tongue: 


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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! :S 


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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!


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  • 2 weeks later...

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! :P




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,



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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!


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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!


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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:





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