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NZXT Panzerbox Ultimate Gaming PC Build

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April 19, 2009 1:25:58 PM

Sponsored by:












New Wolfenstein Trailer!


Hi all, my company CustomPCMAX is going to be collaborating with Bill Owen at MNPCTech on custom modded gaming PC.

The whole project is a work in progress, but here is what we have so far.

Overview: Bill has received a pre-production NZXT Panzerbox case. His is going to be handling the modding of the case. NZXT was really cool in allowing him to get his hands on this before it is even in stores. This will be the "first EVER modded NZXT Panzerbox".


The case is going to be modded in tribute to Wolfenstein 3D since we both have fond memories of playing this game.

Here are some rough sketches that Bill made for the paint job. I think it is going to look very cool!



A window on the left side will have logo outline cut in the center and painted...probably smoked acrylic window (see concept pic 1). The right side panel will have an airbrushed mural of one of the enemies with what looks to be nuclear powered gun, background is storm cloud filled dark sky and Messerschmidt flying over (see concept pic 2). The perforated mid section of the case will be painted German camouflage, with German cross painted over the front fan, and nuclear symbol from same enemy soldier painted over top fan. Green light will eminate from the green LED fan and green cathodes.

Here is a better concept shot of the side panel with the window.



I am going to be providing the "guts" to this system. I run CustomPCMAX, a small Gaming PC Building company online. Me and Bill realized that we work in the same area (Mpls, Mn), so Bill was gracious enough to let me install a PC in one of his custom modded cases. This is very exciting for me, to say the least.

Internal Components (confirmed):
NZXT Precise Power 1200 Watt Modular PSU
Corsair 2x 2GB sticks (4 gig total) XMS3 DHX DDR3 1600 mhz
Creative Labs - PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Championship Series
AMD Phenom II x3 720 CPU

ATI Radeon 4890 GPU

Ultra 120 Extreme Revision A (AMD CPU Version)


Anyways, I think it would be cool, the Phenom will OC good (3.4-3.7 ghz average) and Radeon 4890 will be awesome.

More to come as we finalize things...

Creative Labs is also providing me with one of their Vado video recorders. I will be using that to record my video worklogs of the hardware installation.


Future Things to See:
Video worklogs of the modding and installation.
Benchmarking, OCing, gaming... all the fun stuff!

Please let me know what you think!
April 19, 2009 1:38:32 PM

I made a paper template for the Wolfenstein logo, I use this to mark the location for the outline I will cut, and where the real one will be painted later.





we'll be using the new PC Cable management clamps
http://www.mnpctech.com/CableClamp.html

April 19, 2009 3:16:29 PM

I'm using a 1.5" reinforced dremel cutting disc and tungstun carbide "barrel" engraving bit to cut the silhouette of the logo in the Panzerbox left access panel.



Related resources
April 20, 2009 1:01:20 AM


The silhouette cut-out for the Wolfenstein logo (painted later)



Temporary paper template for logo location


To give the window panel an armoured look, I'll be attach these carriage bolt heads around the frame. I cut these yesterday with a hacksaw...lol

I attach them with Scotch DP190 2 part epoxy.



Some cheapy kitchen drawer handles from Home Depot, I'm painting them, then installing them on the access panel for a more field type equipment look



After painting the carriage bolt heads matte black, I use scotch weld DP190 2 part epoxy to fasten the heads onto the panel.



Using a ruler to align the carriage bolt heads around the frame of the panel. These will be airbrushed later with weathered & rusty effect


The panel mods are finished, next stage is painting the real logo in place of the paper template.

April 20, 2009 11:18:59 AM

Scuffing the paint surface first, with red scotch brite pad, to promote adhesion

April 20, 2009 12:56:29 PM

Applying Masking Film
April 20, 2009 1:35:52 PM

Tracing logo template onto masking film with tranfser paper (art supply store)


Outline of the logo template transfered onto masking film


Using Excato Knife to cut out the logo
a c 139 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
April 20, 2009 2:14:03 PM

Better than average case mod theme!
April 20, 2009 2:15:55 PM

Thank you WR2, we try to be the best!
April 21, 2009 11:58:57 AM

The first stage of paint will be marbelizing the logo, this will give the surface a cracked and weathered look

April 21, 2009 3:51:18 PM

Apply sheet of "Saran Wrap" over clear base coat. Allow to sit for 1 minute before peeling off. You get a cracked effect, this is refered to as a Marbelized effect, you can do it over paint too, it's especially cool with candy colors, it was first created by Jon Kosmoski in 60s, the wizard behind House of Kolor paints, fyi: his paint shop is 1 block from our studio.

Like anything else, it takes lots of practice. Brad has 16 yrs experience painting, so always try it on a test piece first!

April 21, 2009 6:53:15 PM

Wolfenstein logo after peeling off Saran Wrap



April 22, 2009 1:47:51 AM

I'll be using our machined aluminum "Targeted" Fan grills on the PSU and rear exhaust fan. I used these grills on my Red Baron case



I painted Antec 120mm red Led fan, Matte Black, for the NZXT PSU.

April 22, 2009 12:36:11 PM

This would be an awesome German beer logo



April 22, 2009 9:16:39 PM

Heres the "Targeted" 120mm fan grills. These are machined from 3/16" thick aircraft aluminum.





If you wish to paint these grills yourself with aerosol paint, heres how I do it

Scuff the surface first with a red scotch brite pad, (or med grit automotive sandpaper) then wipe off the grill with a tack cloth. I like to use SEM brand "self etching primer" because it proviodes the best paint adhesion to bare metal surfaces. You want to use a good enamel paint like ROUGH TOUGH by Krylon. I also like Plastikote's Engine Enamel series of automotive aerosol paints.



I'm skipping ahead, here how they look finished.
April 24, 2009 3:59:22 PM

Heres the concept for the carry handle Brad and I worked on. This is not the final design.

The Panzerbox carry handle will be milled from aircraft aluminum. It will measure 1" tall x 1-1/4" wide x 8" long. It will have finger grooves similar to our billet case handles. The rear portion of the handle will be channeled for carrying the Glock Pellet Gun.

I want the gun to be removable and functional.

The final version of the handle will have milled features that echo the Glock's barrel. It may also have a main PWR switch in the top.



The handle will attach to the top of the case with 2, 3/4" thick curved brackets, front & rear. These will be cnc milled from aircraft aluminum. Cross drilled and insert thru 2, square openings in the handle. Painted or Powder coated Matte Black, then airbrushed to look weathered, like it's seen some action!


April 25, 2009 11:36:28 AM

NZXT 1200 PSU's bottom is literally in your face when you open the case. From my perspective, it's a blank canvas waiting for you to add something. After painting the PSU matte black, I gave it to Brad to have the original Wolfenstein logo painted on the bottom. I like the distressed look of this version.



Instead of making a paint stencil by hand, Brads using a Roland GX-24 Vinyl Cutter to make a paint template.

The logo file is FREE! Wolfenstein logo on brandsoftheworld.com



Brad separates the logo in Roland's "Cut Studio" program. White background will be painted first, then Red foreground


Vinyl Film Templates, logo background (white) and foreground (red)


The Wolfenstein logo will be painted on the bottom of the NZXT 1200 PSU


The rest of the PSU is masked off to avoid overspray


The White background vinyl template is applied over the PSU.
April 25, 2009 3:56:11 PM

Applying White (House of Kolor brand) polyurethane paint for background, this is a automotive paint applied with HVLP professional spray gun.


April 25, 2009 5:22:59 PM

Remember the 2nd template?, it's for the Red!
April 25, 2009 7:42:35 PM

"Sinister Red" (House of Kolor brand) polyurethane paint for foreground, also applied with HVLP professional spray gun.


After the paint sets for 20 mins, the vinyl template is peeled off


Now the Distressing, this rig has seen some action in the field!

Wetsand with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper.





Puurfect!


More custom paint to come later. Lets get our custom painted fan and grill, installed on the PSU first!
April 29, 2009 7:20:12 PM

This topic has been moved from the section Homebuilt Systems to section CPU & Components by RCPilot
April 29, 2009 8:00:23 PM

Thank you RCPilot. btw: I love RC trucks and boats! :D 
May 1, 2009 8:18:18 PM

More updates on the way. We're painting the machined aluminum bullet thumbscrews to look more authentic.

The surface is first prepped, using red scotch brite pad to scuff the bare aluminum


Is that a "cribbage board" for thumbscrews?, drilling holes in a piece of wood, works great for holding thumbscrews for paint. The threads were taped off.


For maximum paint adhesion, we use SEM brand self etching primer for the base coat


A couple coats of grey self etching primer
May 2, 2009 2:14:41 PM

Brad prefers to tape the bullet thumbscrews to paint stick





Paint entire bullet first copper color first, mask off the tip after cured, then paint the shell brass color.

May 4, 2009 7:24:26 PM

After the paint has cured, I dry brushed the shells with "Antiquing Gel" by Home Decor. "Dry brushing" means you are painting with a brush that is almost 100% dry. It's an easy way to create a weathered effect or highlights. These are machined aluminum bullet thumbscrews



After 2 hours, the "Antiquing Gel" had cured. The final coat is a "Flat" Clear coat aerosol paint by KRYLON



May 4, 2009 8:05:09 PM

Very nice MM, this case is going to be a monster. I am glad they gave you the Precise 1200w PSU, since it seems to be the only decent PSU NZXT makes...
May 4, 2009 10:18:12 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
Very nice MM, this case is going to be a monster. I am glad they gave you the Precise 1200w PSU, since it seems to be the only decent PSU NZXT makes...


The finish reminded me of Ultra's PSUs
May 6, 2009 11:57:44 AM

Hoping to work on the handle in couple of weeks
May 6, 2009 6:40:57 PM

I talked to Johnny Hou at NZXT yesterday. The Panzerbox release has been pushed back to the end of May.

He says you should see the Panzerbox LAN case in online retail stores mid June.
May 6, 2009 8:31:53 PM

MonsterMawd said:
The finish reminded me of Ultra's PSUs


Really? Is it that shiny? The Ultra X3 1000w PSU my idiot friend bought (way too overpowered and overpriced for his system) is extremely shiny.

And by a decent PSU I mean that it is less likely to explode... burn marks could ruin even one of your great modded cases.
May 9, 2009 1:23:12 PM

Yes, just like Ultras, I swear!


Video of the NZXT PSU mod with Wolfenstein Mod

May 10, 2009 11:11:49 AM

Paint commenced yesterday on the chassis, or what I refer to as the mid section of the Panzerbox, it's welded together as one piece. We painted over the drive covers, just because it's easier to do it this way.

Theme was inspired by this screen shot of the bad guy in the new Wolfenstein game




May 10, 2009 3:30:07 PM

That paint job really works with the case, maybe NZXT should be taking notes.
May 10, 2009 4:07:57 PM

hehe, NZXT is studying my moves already, it's Ok... theyre good people to work with

The vinyl stencil is applied to the chassis before painting camo pattern over it.












May 10, 2009 4:41:21 PM

I honestly did not think the Panzerbox would be ideal for a wolfenstein mod, but it is really coming out well. The perforated insignia on top looks extremely well done considering it was painted on a perforated surface.
May 12, 2009 2:08:12 PM

Thank you Blood Raven! I really like the perforated center
May 12, 2009 10:40:05 PM

The left access panel is ready, to re-install the Smoked Acrylic Window! :) 






May 13, 2009 8:38:30 PM

It is really look great, the dark side panel and dark window really accent the camo middle so well. The perforation really gives it a great textile and a quality look to it. I think I am more excited about this one than the Khaos build, though I'm more of a subtly man myself so I guess it makes sense.

As always great work!
May 16, 2009 12:33:32 PM

Thank you Blood Raven!

I received a lot of inquiries off list asking about the Black fan with Red leds in the NZXT PSU.



The red beam of light over the Black fan blades creates a menacing look. Great fit with our Wolfenstein theme. It's very easy to do yourself, heres how I did it.



I used this 120mm Logisys Red led fan. I'm removing the stickers before applying the paint.


No surface prep necessary when using Krylon's "Fusion" aerosol to paint plastic.


I'm using cloth dabbed with Lacquer Thinner to remove the glue residue left by the sticker.


I've pulled out the 4, leds and tape all of the wires. I've also taken the Kamikaze approach when using Fusion on another project and didn't tape off anything before painting it. Logisys fans are remarkably resilient to my abuse.


Krylon's Fusion dries within 15 minutes.


The fan is finished!



120mm Honeycomb Mesh Fan Grill for the front of the fan.


The honeycomb grill is made from 22 gauge steel and powder coated Black.

May 16, 2009 9:51:30 PM

2x 250mm Red LED Cooling fans arrived today, these will replace the Panzerbox's stock 190mm fan in the front and top.

May 17, 2009 6:59:31 PM

I'm gonna keep the 25omm fans clear so they illuminate the perforated chassis.

The factory NZXT 190mm cooling fan, BEFORE


250mm cooling fan, AFTER


Sleeved the pwr/reset/hd/pwr leds connection
May 18, 2009 10:25:09 AM

We are pleased to announce that AMD/ATI has joined in and is sponsoring our Project Panzerbox. They had been blown away by the work done so far and felt it was a great opportunity for their products to be shown off. We are sure that these components will help us create an extremely fast gaming PC!




To help us bring this together, they were kind enough to provide us with both a CPU and a GPU. I took a few pictures of the components.

The CPU they provided is the AMD Phenom™ II X3 720


Specs:
Socket - AM3
Stock Clock - 2800 mhz
Cores: 3
L3 Cache - 6mb

The GPU they provided is the ATI Radeon™ HD 4890


Specs:
Click for details
Core Clock - 850MHz
Stream Processors - 800 Stream Processing Units
Memory Clock - 3.9 Gbps
Memory Size - 1GB
Memory Type - DDR5
May 18, 2009 7:54:54 PM

I installed the 250mm cooling fan, looks good!



May 30, 2009 1:33:29 PM

We are pleased to announce our new sponsor for the Wolfenstein PC Project!



2x 2GB sticks (4 gig total) XMS3 DHX DDR3 1600 mhz!

Thank you Corsair Memory, You're the best!

June 5, 2009 5:08:13 PM

I've been a huge fan of Thermalright since the release of their XP-120 Heat sink. I would preach that heat sink paired with the 120mm Panaflo L1A


I've been deep in product developement from mnpctech over the past week, so Wolfy project was on the side line till the Radeon shroud arrived from Nate.

I've always wanted to have a kick ass mural airbrushed onto a gpu shroud. I love it when Modders go beyond the viewer's expectations. Add those small details you have to look hard to find. This imho is what makes the best mods!



Using Red Scotch brite to scuff the plastic


Using "SEM brand" Black Flexible primer for plastics


Applied Krylon Flat Black Enamel





What will be airbrushed on the shroud. .....stay tuned
June 5, 2009 5:30:56 PM

Ok, another big announcement!



We are pleased to announce that Thermalright is sponsoring the Project Panzerbox Mod! They are providing us with one of their high quality CPU heat sinks & fan.

Ultra 120 Extreme Revision A (AMD CPU Version)


This is a stock photo, some of the accesories might be different for the AMD version.


Thank you Thermalright!
June 6, 2009 2:51:58 AM

Brad wants to airbrush something inspired by the "Tesla" weapon blueprint on the shroud.

!