Hello everyone and welcome on the worklog for my main entry for this year's Case Mod World Series, Realgar Project, based on a Cooler Master SL600M with a mineral stone as theme, the Realgar.
So let's take a look at the case while I take it apart to start modding
First thing to do: find a more optimal placement for the PSU, which will be more far into the front, with this custom brackets (after having done the necessary cuts on the case panel)
Back panel is swapped with a 10mm acrylic panel which will house the 360 radiator. This aluminum profile on the sides will help squaring out the internals and will serve as covers and structure elements for the center panel
Let's leave it at this huge acrylic panel, about to be sectioned
First I made some tests for the hardware layout, as I want to find a new way of mounting it, and this is the best option I could find. Obviously it's approximate:
Then I started to draw and cut the designs for the air vents, single 120 for the PSU fan and 360 for the back radiator.
First 10mm acrylic panel
Second 5mm panel that will go together with the 10mm one
And this is the effect with the two panels mounted together. They will have two different colours eventually and should create a very nice effect
Initially, you saw that I kept the PSU at the front with that fancy grill and all, but I realised it took up way too much space. So I realized that the top could easily house the PSU by cutting off some of the plastic structure of the external top panel. So what I have now is the PSU at the top and about 5cm more in the internals.
Next was the rear I/O ports, that have to be rethinked because of the layout I'm going to use for the motherboard: I grabbed some panel extensions and integrated them to the rear foot:
And last but not least, a simple yet very effective mod. The external panels on the SL600M come with a hooking systems that allows you to remove them by reaching the internal hooks and popping them off. This means you have to potentially open the case if you have to remove the external top or front panel, moreover you will have those hooks sticking out into the case, which make custom panels and covers hard to make. What I did was making four brackets with threaded inserts that I could fix the front panel to using four screws. Yeah now I have to use a screwdriver to take it off but at least I will have a flat area internally and I won't have to reach in the case to remove an external panel. Plus this was mandatory for the things I have in mind anyway
Made this to replace the previous PSU mounting. It will be a sort of lightbox, it's composed of three layers: a white opale one, and two clear with crystal patterns that will be painted red and in white stone effect.
Can't wait to see this all painted and lit up
Adding some crystal patterns to the radiator covers that will also serve as something else other than covers. You'll see as I go on with the fabrications
Today we're taking a look at some pieces I've made with the epoxy resin from Resin Pro, which are the center panel that will hold most of the hardware, and the power button.
I obviously started by making the mold for the panel
Then I made a couple pours, the final thickness will be about 15mm but I really didn't want the resin to get too hot so I proceded with pours of about 5/6mm each.
The surface changed completely while the resin cured, that's one thing to keep in mind if you want a very specific look
Next up was cutting the panel in the shape I wanted and doing some more creative work on one side and then clear coating with a thin pour. I used aluminum tape to seal the edges
After sanding and doing a bit of polishing I made the mount to the case, using a hollow aluminum tube with a threaded bar inside, which goes from bottom to top of the case, while I made a simple bracket on the back that attaches to the radiator. This way the panel is 100% solid mounted
And now a little bonus I mentioned before, the gem as power button
Made a lightbox for the front layered panels, I made it with red LEDs at first but I'll change it to WRGB later
And now doing something that I think could be implemented in a possible "Gaming Version" of the SL600M: a lit trim behind the front panel!
I started cutting an acrylic frame to size and bending it using the original panel as a template
When I put the frame behind the aluminum I had to adjust the bend radius so I heated more and shaped it perfectly
As for the plastic part of the front, I cut off all the pieces that were sticking out, to allow more space for the cables that will run through the front
Here are the lightbox lit and the front trim
I reshaped the two back panels with this characteristic cut I'm bringing along this whole project, to make it smoother and more geometric
Also began working on the front and top panels cutouts, I made this simple design in Silhouette Studio, cut the stencil and went over it with a pen once I applied it to the panel, this way all the sections in both panels will be exactly the same. It would've been hard doing it by hand since they're very irregular shapes. Obviously cut with my trusty scrollsaw
And as anticipated in the previous post, I swapped the red LEDs of the lightbox with WRGB strips
Same treatment for the top panel, again cut with a scrollsaw
And now something pretty unique. Aside from the resin panels, the new technique I couldn't wait to try out for this project was... growing crystals! And what better fitting project than a Realgar project?
What I did was forming a shape in polymer clay, let it dry, then coating it with glue and lay some borax on the surface, so that it could cover it and stay there once the glue dried.
Then I boiled some water and created a saturated solution with borax, adding it until it couldn't dilute anymore. I put the piece in the solution, waited over night and here you go: a nice big geode!
Unfortunately, I tried to dye the solution with red, because I wanted the crystals to be red, but it turned out I had to add sooo much dye in order to obtain a crystal that was red enough. In fact, what I got was more like a pink salt colour
Ready to take on another try (that would've meant buying gallons of dye), I thought YOLO and tried to paint the crystal with a metallic red, which is also a bit translucent, so maybe I wouldn't have lost most of shine from the crystals. And it turned out awesome, even better than I could've imagined!
This is what it was made for
Still for the front panel, I had to make something to fill the other cutouts I made. So I cut a pair of acrylic panels, turned them into a frame and taped the bottom with aluminum tape. It was time for another epoxy pour!