Jump to content

Fluffy - CM MasterBox Q300P

Insolent Gnome

Recommended Posts

So this mod starts with a story.  It isn't a real story, but it is the story behind this mod.


Imagine yourself in a building.  All around are people putting together computers for sale at large scale retail stores.  Off in one corner is Sean's work table.  Sean is putting together computers just like everyone else.  Budget PC's to be sold at someone's local Wally World.  And though the box will say 'gaming', these computers aren't the gaming monsters purchasers are lead to believe.  A bunch of technical jargon plus the word 'gaming' meant to sucker anyone not well versed in computer lingo.  


Sean is at his table, putting together another computer.  His fifth one today.  He used to care.  He used to get the wires just so and snug them up with a zip tie (he wasn't a fan of the zip ties, but that's what his bosses gave him) and cut the tie of perfectly flush.  He used to make sure the computers he put together looked as good as they could with what he was given.  Now, he doesn't.  As long as a zip tie won't poke someone's eye out and the back door shuts on the wiring, it's good enough.

At two paragraphs in, you're probably wondering why I'm telling you a story about some guy named Sean, and you'd be right to.  But this isn't a story about Sean, it's about that fifth computer of the day that Sean is putting together.  Whether by some universal magic, a random cosmic ray striking just the right spot, or an oddball plot device used to make a story work, that fifth computer was special.  It was aware.


Now it didn't know everything there was to know right at the moment it became aware.  This isn't 'that' kind of plot device.  But slowly, after being shoved into a box and sent to some store in middle America, it started to realize what it was.  Even though it's box said 'gaming' it didn't feel very gaming.  In fact it felt quite boring and weak.  It knew it couldn't do much about what parts Sean had put into it, but it could do something about how it looked.  It could at least feel gaming even if it wasn't going to be playing AAA titles at maximum resolutions.


It knew what it had to do.  And it knew that anyone who tried to stop it was going to lose a hand.



And that's the story of this case, a boring, cheap, entry-level boutique build that's decided to take matters into its own hands, or cables as the case may be.  The base is a cheap computer with basic sleeving, ketchup and mustard wires, zip ties, cheap stock parts, etc.  and it has ripped itself apart giving it a maw that can easily take a hand and sprouting sleeved cables as tentacles hunting for the parts to finally make it look cool.


And I'm calling it Fluffy, cause why not?


I'm starting off with the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300P.  And interesting little case with some nice handles on it.  It's a little flimsy but for the price, not a bad case.  And air flow everywhere, the thing is nothing but holes.  Granted they cover all the holes with pieces of plastic, but I can work on that.




Joining the Q300P is some hardware that I'm quite familiar with, it's the hardware from my Scout build.  Gigabyte Z-97N-WIFI, an Intel 4790K with 8GB of Crucial Ballistix RAM, Asus GTX960 Strix, and some other parts that will actually be swapped out for something different later.  Hey, it happens.




Like I said, the Q300P has some neat little features, like the moveable I/O panel.  That's pretty trick.  But the side window is plastic and the front and top are covered by plastics that have very small grills for air flow.  That's not pretty trick.




The aforementioned holes everywhere plus 3 fans, 2 RGB and one non-RGB.  On the cheaper side of fans, but for the price...




Look at the tiny grills this thing is supposed to breath through.  I'm gonna have to open it up a bit.  Not that my setup will need that much air flow with a stock intel cooler and a 960, but it just seems wrong to make a case breath through this.  What is this, the 90's?




The first step in modding this thing is, well, to cut it in half.  Why start small, right?  Laying out a general tooth pattern.




And next thing you know, it's a jagged tetanus machine.






And that's it for this round, but thanks for checking my build out and sitting through my little story!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just cutting a door and some of the frame won't cut it. (haha, cut it)  We need to match up the other side of the case and the window.  The window that came with the case was, I don't know, some thermoplastic something or other, but I want to cut teeth into it and sharpen them.  Plus I want it non-tinted and crystal clear.  We're gonna need some acrylic.

Using the original window as a template I cut out some 1/8" acrylic.


Then I cut my tooth pattern to mimic the other door and used a grinding bit in my dremel to sharpen all the tooth edges.  Adding a sense of danger...oooooohhh.


You might notice some cracks.  I wanted it to look like when the panel pulled apart, it cracked the acrylic.  I was originally wanted to get that look across the whole panel and tried a bunch of different ideas.  Breaking the acrylic with a hammer, but that was pretty uncontrollable.  Getting it to craze with alcohol, but the acrylic needs to be under tension to craze(ie a bend), so that didn't work either.  I wound up tempering my goals and went for cracks at the points of the break.  I got these by bridging the acrylic over my open vise and using a ball peen hammer to tap just enough to give me a crack.  Once the crack started, I could just put some pressure on it to extend it.


Next I turned my attention to the back door.  I didn't want just jagged edges.  I wanted it to look like this thing grew teeth.  I wanted to give a bit of bend to them to make them look realistic.  My first approach was to beat the edges with a hammer over a piece of iron pipe, giving them a bit of curve.  It was the right direction but just not enough for me.



To get more bend, I took my ball peen hammer (it got a workout on this build) and beat the center of the teeth, thinning and expanding the metal out in the center of them.  This plus bending them back into line with the panel gave me the perfect look.  It left me with impact marks, but those sand out.


And now I have some truly vicious looking teeth.


Then I had the front panel left.  This one went a little sideways from my original idea.

I cut a tooth pattern in the plastic front panel to somewhat match what was cut on the metal front of the case.  I didn't want it to be a perfect match cause that would look too perfect.  I ground the edges of the teeth like the side panel, but also ground across the teeth, wanting to give them a textured feel.


Unfortunately I'm not a fan of the frosted look that the grinding produced.  To deal with this, I coated the ground areas with clear coat.  This fills up all the little gaps that light jumps around in and really toned down the frosted look.  Now the areas just look wore down and roughed up.


While I was at it, I hit the edges of the teeth on the acrylic panels as well, killing the frosted look and giving them more of a crystalline feel.


Thanks for following along!  Next up the MB tray.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the motherboard tray, I got stuck for a while deciding whether I wanted to just cut it down so it didn't get in the way or if I wanted to match it up to the rest of the torn look of the case.  I went with the latter which meant a lot of grinding.


After it was all cut out, I ground the edges and paint off of them tips and twisted them to make it look like they had been torn asunder.


While in my grinding fury, I hit the back of the teeth on the metal door to clean up the ball peen marks on them.


Next up was some paint.  I wanted to give the torn metal parts a shiny metal look without having to worry about them rusting down the road.  I tried Molotow chrome paint for the first time and boy was I impressed.  Way easier than other chromes I've tried and really looks great.  I did my initial painting with an air brush.



I also hit the tooth pattern on the rest of the case with the chrome to match it up.


After the air brushing was done, I went back and dry brushed the edges with the chrome.  I wanted it to look like the paint had cracked or been worn down around the edges of the teeth.


I also hit the torn part of the MB tray with the chrome treatment.


You might notice the nice little panel holding the angle of the case in that pic.  I decided that using a hammer to prop open the case wasn't a real long term solution so I made a plate that covers the original PCI slots and holds the case open out of aluminum.


The slot is for a display cable to run to the GPU, because, well, that isn't really gonna mount to the case in a normal fashion.

A bit of bend on the plate keeps the maw open.


Since I wanted the case to look stock, at least in the non-ripped open parts, I wanted to get the paint on this plate as close as possible to the stock paint.  To get the textured look, I used Krylon's stone textured paint as a base and covered that with a semi-gloss black.  It's not perfect, but you've got to get pretty close to spot it.  Close enough to lose a hand.


With that, the maw was pretty much done except for some tweaking for fit.



Thanks for following along!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As intimidating as all those jagged edges were, I wanted more.  Tentacles.

For the tentacles, I wanted what appeared to be sleeved cables, but I also wanted them to stay in place, so standard cable wasn't going to work.  I chose to use 14 ga. solid copper from some 3 strand house wire that I had left over from a project.


I cut it down into 2' and 3' sections that I could sleeve and ditched the bare neutral, since I wanted the insulation to help fill out the sleeving.

Some of the cables sleeved for my original crazy plan.


Before slapping the tentacles in, I wanted to get some of the components in so I knew what I had to work around.  In goes the MB, processor, RAM and that gorgeous stock Intel cooler so I can see how the I/O cables would run.


Right through the middle of the case, with clear zip ties...perfect.

I'm going to mount the tentacles coming out from under the PSU.  It's a good place to hide the mounting hardware, plus it looks like the PSU is sprouting cables.  To hold the cables in place, I used a couple of 4" steel brackets and sandwiched the cable ends and the case floor between them.  That way I could lock them together and the cables shouldn't twist, which was a concern when I was working this out in my head.


Now originally I had some crazy plans.


Yeah, it was a little busy.  And I was going with some crazy diorama ideas with the cables, but that got a little out of hand.  It's one thing for my someone to not get the gist of what's going on in a build from a pic in the middle of the process, but when I have trouble figuring out what's going on, that's a problem.

It was a very colorful mistake though.  And the PSU covers up the mounts perfectly.  And that PSU...I went with an Enermax 500W unit that I had.  No modular cables, ketchup and mustard wires, the whole nine.  Or would it be a lack of the whole nine??  Save for the fact that I'm using a mITX board instead of ATX, this system could be the twin of the system I mistakenly looked at at Walmart the last time we were browsing around.


I wound up taking all the different colors and ideas out and went with something a little simpler that you could understand at a glance.  Fewer cables and all of them red make for nice tentacles.


You might be wondering why, if I took the time to position the other cables like I was playing with an action figure, did I leave to sets unfinished.  And I'll tell you.

This case came to life, tore itself open into a giant maw to devour any hand to got to close, grew tentacles to grab up all the cool RGB performance parts, and...


...ripped it's own GPU out of it's slot to hold it in a vertical mount position.  If that ain't some cool, gamer case cred right there, I don't know what is.

I love how the 8 pin connector is just staring you down like, "What are you looking at?"

I did use a riser cable to hook up the GPU so it does work and the cables do hold it in place and keep it from moving around.  Plus with where it's at in relation to the teeth, it should get some decent air intake.  And now you can see why I added a slot for the display cable, the GPU isn't really mounted to a panel that gives you access to the ports.

Also in that pic you can see none of the zip ties are cut flush or even all that straight.  It was surprisingly hard to make sure I didn't cut them off cleanly.

And there you have it, a cheap 'boutique' gaming PC that has come to life and is determined to look cool and will take your hand off if given the chance.




Next up the final pics.  Thanks for following along!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..