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Military PC Build for Raptr.com - Final Pics


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Hey everyone,

This case mod is being built for Raptr.com, for their Battlefield 3/Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Showdown. Members vote on which game they think is better, then I will base the theme of this case on which game gets the most votes. :)

Here are some early conceptual designs I made up, using various cases:


Around the same time I was building the Level 10GT case mod, and Raptr requested I incorporate some of the features used in that mod into this one. So the minigun was integrated into the design.


Then Cooler Master came through and provided their new Trooper case, which lent itself well to the theme. So new concepts were drawn up:


Fortunately, since both games are military styled, I don't have to wait for the outcome to get started. First, I'd like to thank the following sponsors for this project, especially Raptr for giving me this opportunity! :D






Here are a couple shots of the Trooper case:





And now we get to the goodies, courtesy Origin PC:


And finally disassembly of the Trooper case:


Now to start some actual work!

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First item up for build is the minigun. I'll be doing pretty much the same thing as I did in my Level 10GT mod, but this one will be slightly smaller. So I got some 3/4" acrylic tube, and cut some circles.


Using my miter saw, I cut the tubes down to 1' lengths.


Scuffed all parts.


Starting assembly, fitting the tubes in the holes.


All rings spaced appropriately.


And a shot of the minigun in the case for placement.


I'm thinking it will have to be lowered to accommodate the placement of the optical drive and Lamptron fan controller in the upper bays. The Trooper case features removable drive cages, so there will be plenty of room to work with. :)

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Quick update!

Working on the front bezel, making room for a 200mm fan. First thing I had to do was get some components in there and figure out where the minigun will be. This position looked too low, so I removed the lower bay cover and raised the minigun back up a bit.


Once that was finally established, I could mount the rollers.


Then it was time to hack off the lower half.


Then I cut some flat bar and bent them around the minigun and fan to kind of group them together.


Here's the new frame, pop riveted together.


My idea is to add some mesh to fill in the areas around both the minigun and fan. But that will have to wait til next time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok, finally an update on this! :D

Continuing on with the front bezel, I cut some mesh to fit inside my aluminum frame.


I cut it wider than the frame...


...then bent the excess down so it would fit.


Quick test fit on the case with gun. Got to fill the upper corners with something.


So I cut some pieces from scrap black acrylic.


Sanded them down and smoothed them out.


A nice fit.


Next up was to cut the hole for the 200mm fan into the mesh.


I liked the Sniper style fan grill from MNPCTech, so I had Bill make me up one to fit the 200mm fan. :)


Assembled the whole front bezel to see how it looks...


And with some power to the fan... Sweet!


I should have another update for you this weekend. 'til then!

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Another feature borrowed from the Level 10GT COD mod that Raptr wanted in this case was the first aid kit with integrated beverage cooler. First thing I had to do was figure out how to incorporate it into the Trooper case. I ended up going with a smaller kit and placing it towards the front on the left side panel.

Here is the smaller sized first aid box. The handle and latches will be removed.


After removing the mesh portions of the side panel, I added a window and beefed up the edge where the door's hinge will go.


Then I added a piano hinge using pop rivets.


The door is secured to the hinge via flathead screws and nuts.


Testing the door on the case. Closed...


Open. It's a smaller compartment than the other one, but it still can hold a can and maybe some band-aids or something. :)


Now for the internal part of the first aid kit. I grabbed another beverage cooler from Xoxide.


Removed the TEC and wiring from the casing.


Made a hole in the bottom of the box and fit it over the TEC plate.


The box will take the place of the Trooper's removable drive cages. And there's still room on the other side for some drives, just gotta make a new mounting system.

The first aid kit door will be painted black to match the case, after masking off a cross symbol. The inside will remain white.

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I'm back with another update! This feature of the build came about after I was well into the project. After staring at the case for what seems like hours (and probably was), I realized I could play off of the Trooper's rugged appearance, and add an exterior roll cage. Exo roll cages are common on 4X4 vehicles set up for rock crawling and extreme 4-wheeling. I've seen some military HMMWV's outfitted with them as well, so I thought it would enhance the overall theme here. Both side panels will have a protective cage, and there will be 3 or 4 "bull bars" going across the front bezel connecting them.

So I got some 1/2" acrylic rod and started cutting and bending. Taking the side panel's characteristics into consideration, I drew up a rough sketch of how I wanted the bars to go. I first started with the outer frame, making a U shape, then added the back piece, and finally the center cross bars.

First thing I did was make a bending jig, so my radii would be the same for each bend. I carved out the edge of a piece of wood so the bar wouldn't flatten out at the bend.


Using the heat gun, I could apply intense heat to a very specific area.


After a few minutes, the result is a perfect 90 degrees. :)


For the ends, I used my Dremel to grind them to mate up with the back 1/2" rod.


Fits nicely!


The back piece needed a raised area in the middle, so some 45 degree bends were made using the same jig, just with a lesser bend.


Here you can see how I'm following the contours of the side panel. Now the center cross bars can be measured, cut and bent.


For the other end of the center cross bars, they need to turn down to meet the front.


Coming together! Just need one more vertical center brace.


All pieces made, glued and sanded.


Next step is to make a bunch of stand-offs to raise the roll cage off the side panel, and provide a means for mounting as well. Til then!

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A couple more pics on the mounting of the roll cage...

Tapping the standoffs...


And mounted on the panel.


This one's pretty much ready for priming/painting. Now I have to do the other side as well as the front bull bars.


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  • 2 weeks later...

New Year's Update!

I had Steve Nunez do some airbrushing for me on the right side panel. After seeing his phenomenal work on DarthBeavis' cases and BOBDBONE's Wonder Woman case, I didn't have to think twice about who was going to do it. I made up a design combining BF3 wallpapers and raptr's Dino mascot. The client ended up wanting something a bit more subtle than our original concept, so the screaming BF3 logo was taken out, and the soldier was replaced with the Dino.


The detail is spot on with the reference images I sent.


A close up of the jet.


I managed to get more work done over the holidays. I pretty much finished the exo roll cage. Got the other side panel done and ready for paint, as well as the front cross bull bars.

With both side panel cages in place, I could get the cross bars sized to fit and their standoffs made and glued on.


All four made. The one on top is actually the bottom piece, which doesn't require standoffs. It will be secured directly to the front bezel.


After reinforcing the standoffs with a 2-part plastic epoxy, I located the mounting holes, drilled and tapped.


They are secured by standard screws from behind the bezel.


Top three mounted.


The bottom piece is screwed directly into the bottom of the bezel.


If it's not too cold tonight, I'll get some painting done. Then I can move on to the top and front cover plates. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the final cover plates made for the front and top. We're finally in the home stretch!

After placing the Lamptron fan controller and LG Blu-ray drive in place, I took a bunch of measurements.


Transferred those measurements onto a piece of extra aluminum sheet and proceeded to cut out the holes.


Test fit. Needs a bit of fine tuning, but its pretty much there. Don't worry, the green anodizing won't be around for long.


After a few more test fits and minor adjustments, I filed and sanded the edges smooth. Then shot it with some black paint.


With the front done, I could move to the top switch plate, which would be a bit more time consuming. I made a paper template first,


And marked the alu sheet for cutting.


Got rid of the stock fan controller and buttons.


After drilling the mounting holes around the perimeter, and figuring out where everything was going to go, I started drilling my pilot holes.


Used my trusty step drill bit to drill out the holes for the switches and leds.


Got these military fighter pilot toggle switches from Bill Owen. :)


I opted to get the clear ones so I could paint them.


A quick test fit.


Continuing on with the hole-making. I used my square needle file to get the corners first, then it was easy to do the rest with my flat files.


Looking pretty good. Now I gotta get the IO ports positioned underneath to match. Since the stock IO ports were hard-wired to one single circuit board along with the fan controller, I had to dig into my stash to find another set. I did re-use the USB 3.0 ports in their original locations, and the eSATA is the original port, just relocated to the bottom center.


There! Now that looks cool. Just have to do final touches and paint the cover plate. I'll paint the toggle covers red as well. Bill had anodized red ones, but I didn't like how they looked, so I opted to get the clear ones so I could paint to suit.



Here's a final shot of how the whole front looks. Starting to come together now!


This weekend I'll be finishing up the exterior, and moving on to the wiring and component installation. woot!

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Small update:

Got the toggle switch covers painted red, and the top switch plate fully mounted on the case.


Now on to the minigun motor installation and wiring! Here's all the parts for making the barrel spin.


Here's a shot of the mount I made for the motor. I ended up going with a different motor with more torque, as the first one was a bit weak.


I originally started with equal sized gears, but the barrels didn't spin quite as fast as I wanted. So I swapped them out, going with a larger one on the motor, and a smaller one on the barrel.


So between the higher torque motor and the gear reduction, I got the barrels to spin a lot faster and more consistent. I'll post up a video soon, once I get everything wired up. :)

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