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Thread: Thermaltake Invitational Competition (USA Build)

  1. #1
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    Thermaltake Invitational Competition (USA Build)

    Lets get this build log started off. My name is Jon Hansz.
    Alot of people know me as PennyWise.

    I am representing the USA in the 2016 Thermaltake Invitational mod contest.
    It runs from now to December 15th.
    There are 13 modders from around the world competing for $15,000 in prizes.
    They are also doing various giveaways to the community for voting, so make sure to get on and vote.
    There is a Pre Event Predictions vote as well.

    First off, I'd like to give a huge thanks to all the sponsors.
    Without you, none of this would be possible.

    All the hardware has arrived and I've started working on the design.
    There is so much awesome here.
















  2. #2
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    I have been wanting to do a dragon build for the longest time.
    So, I have decided to go with a blue and white Ice Dragon build.
    I'm going to start by sculpting out the basic size and shape of the body, head, and tail of the dragon with clay.
    After completeing that, I will be vacuum forming the clay shapes. This keeps the sculpture light and durable.
    When the basic shapes are done, I can start adding other peices to them before I begin sculpting.
    I am also tossing around some other designs for the rest of the case.


  3. #3
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    At this point, I am just sculpting the general base shape of the dragon.
    These pieces will be vacuum formed tonight.
    The clay needs to be made to were I can pull it out of the vacuum form.
    This is why I keep it to a basic shape.
    I do this to make the sculpture lighter and more durable.
    It also uses less Magic Sculpt, which is a little spendy.
    The next process is to get the outside of the case to a point that I can rivet the vacuum formed pieces to the outside.
    There are alot of things that need to be done in order to work with the theme.
    I will then build off of these pieces to create the dragon.
    The face will have a few more layers of polystyrene on it to help build it out.
    Then I can begin adding more body parts and sculpting in the details.






  4. #4
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    I built a DIY vacuum former to use for projects like this.
    Basically its built out of plywood, 2x4s and construction caulking (to make it air tight).
    First, I had to bake the clay in the oven. Other wise it would stick to the plastic when I vacuum form it.
    I use my shop vac to suck all the air out.
    The plastic is cut into squares the size of the wood frame that I made (The exact size of the oven in my kitchen.
    I usually vacuum form 2 of each part, that way if somthing goes wrong, I have a backup.
    After the pieces have cooled, I cut out the form that I am going to use and then stick it to the case with tape. This helps get the right orientation, and will give you a good idea where you want to go from there.
    I got the pieces places were I want them, and I will start riveting the body onto the side panel.
    I'm holding back on the front and top panel. I have decided to use a different design on these to more match the theme.
    I will try to get some more work done and posted by friday. I will be at PDXLan all weekend, so there wont be much being accomplished.
















  5. #5
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    After getting everything placed were I wanted, I finished riveting it to the case.
    The face is going to have to have multiple layers, so I started sculpting the parts that will get covered up.
    When this drys, I will be able to do some sanding then move to the next layer.
    While everything sets up on the face, I began work on the body.
    I started by sculpting some arms and legs with clay, then proceeded to vacuum for them.
    After riveting the legs to the body, I started sculpting the connections between the body and the legs.
    I sculpted out muscles and bones, then layed scaled skin over the top.
    I am still working on where the wings are going and how I will durably attach them.




























  6. #6
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    I cut out a basic wing pattern to get a good look at were I was going and how much skin I would have to put on before attaching the wings.
    The skin was a little harder to get such a large area, so I had to break it up into pieces and put it together.
    When I get to sanding, I should be able to blend it in nicely.
    Finaly I can attach the wings to see were I want to go with the rest of it.
    I decided to use a second piece of polystyrene under the wing pattern, so I glued it on.
    This along with the Magic Sculpt will be plenty strong.
    Goal for this weekend is to finish the body, tail, and most of the head.
    I would love to be at the point I can start sanding and preping for paint next weekend.












  7. #7
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    Most of the skin on the body is complete, I still have alot of sanding to do.
    Thought I would take a break and show you guys how things are coming along.
    I got that feeling it's gonna be a late night.


  8. #8
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    Just a quick update, spines have been added to the back.
    The hand will need a couple more layers and a bit of sanding.
    Alot of sanding in store for me this week.






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    I sanded down the face and added some more spikes.
    Now I just need to let this set up a little, then I can add the rest and begin sculpting the face.
    Ohh, and here's a look at the panel on the case.




  10. #10
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    The face is going slower than I thought. I have a bunch more detail to sculpt.
    Then I got a ton more sanding to do.


  11. #11
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    Ok, so I made some head way on the face today, but the only thing I need to figure out is if i have time to put some glowing blue eyes in. I'm just not sure I will have time for it. What do you guys think?








  12. #12
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    Ok, from all my build logs, everyone wants glowing eyes.
    I still have to wire them up with leds, but this is it.






  13. #13
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    Haven't had very much time this week to post up pictures, but I am just about ready for primer.
    I added the left hand ripping through the front of the case.
    The claws will be sitting on top the TT logo.
    I have also built a top and wove some polystyrene. I will be painting this to look more like woven leather.
    The tail is sculpted on top and I have added skin and spines.
    I sanded the tail and the body.
    The head still needs more sanding, but I should be ready for primer, hopefully tomorrow.
    There is still a little more sanding that I need to do on the tail as well.










  14. #14
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    A lot of skill, thanks for sharing it with us.
    Intel 7960X ES @ 4.4Ghz
    ASUS Rampage VI Extreme
    GTX 1080ti Galax Hall of Fame
    32GB Galax Hall of Fame
    Intel Optane
    Platimax 1350W
    Enermax 240 Liqtech AIO

    Intel 8700K @ 5.2Ghz
    Asus Maximus X Apex
    GRX 1080ti Galax Hall of Fame
    16GB Galax Hall of Fame
    Intel Optane
    Platimax 1350W
    Enermax 240 Liqtech AIO

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the feedback Fugger.

    So it's been a long week.
    I built a temporary paint booth in my garage. This thing is working quite well.
    The inside of the panels and inside of the case were taped off to keep them black.
    I primered the case and all the panels.
    After the primary dried, I began masking off the dragon and any part that will be airbrushed.
    This process took along time to get everything all taped off.
    The outside of the case will be gun metal gray with a glossy clear coat.
    I will decide if I want to add anything else to the outside later. I think the dragon coming through the case should be good.
    I put on several layers of clear to really shine it up.
    When the clear was dry, I pulled all the tape off.
    It still needs to cure all the way before I can mask the panels off and start airbrushing the dragon.
    I'm going to take this opportunity to start working on the build out.
    I started by adding some white highlights to the motherboard.
    They were all hand cut vinyl decals.
    The blue vinyl came in today. It matches the memory quite well.
    I will be re-badging various parts with these vinyls.
























  16. #16
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    Huge thanks to Mainframe Customs for supplying all the sleeving, wire, pins, and connectors.
    If you guys haven't used them, you gotta check them out.
    So my airbrushes weren't cutting it, so I had to order out a new one.
    In the mean time while I wated for those to come in, I blocked the cards, and did a little work on the inside of the case.
    I decided to keep the stock backplate. The Asus logo color is controlable from the mobo.
    I hand cut several pieces of vinyl for the mobo. I still have to add more in other areas, but you will get the idea.
    The radiator and fans are all mounted, and I was working on the reservoir placement.
    I think I will build a back plate to cover the holes behind the reservoirs.
    Well, the new airbrush came in. It is by fare a night and day difference. I got an Iwata eclipse hp-cs.
    The amount of masking I have had to do on this so fare is just crazy.
    You wouldn't think it would take that long to just mask somthing off.
    So, I got the base color painted on the dragon.
    I cant get the airbrush into all the little areas of the dragon, so I will have to do alot hand painting for the shading.
    So I have the first layer of shading done. I shaded each and every scale, and a little on the wings.
    I will be working from darks to light, so the dragon will get more white from each layer. I am hoping I will only have 2 or 3 more layers.
    Also with the deadline being extended another month, I have some other plans as well.


















  17. #17
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    Got a little more hand painting done today, I think 1 more layer on the scales and the skin will be complet.
    Then all I have is face, spine, wing and hand detail work.
    I can hit most of that up with the airbrush.


  18. #18
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    The tail is now caught up to were the body is.
    There is still one more layer I need to do on the scales.
    I have started by hand painting some of the face and will blend it in with the airbrush.
    Next There will be some white and greys added.
    Hopefully done by this weekend with paint.




  19. #19
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    Got some more done on the scales.
    Pretty tired from being sick, so ill try to get some more done tomorrow.


  20. #20
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    All the scales are finally complete.
    I am almost done painting the spine and wings.
    There is still a little work left on the claws to do.
    I still have to blend and add more detail to the face, but Its getting a lot closer.
    There is a lot more detail going into the teeth as well.








  21. #21
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    I still have a couple touch ups to do, and I have to re-apply the TT badge, but the front panel is just about done.




  22. #22
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    Thanks for the awesome feedback guys. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    I am finally getting over this cold.
    The rest of the dragon is finished with the clear coat and I have removed all the masking.
    There are a couple touch up spots that I need to hit, but it really came out great.
    I still need to apply the TT badge to the front under the claw, but I'm saving that for last.
    Apparently my TT dude approves of the results.

    I built a backing for 1 of the reservoir.
    Taking perforated aluminum, I cut and bent over the edges.
    Then I vinyl covered a metal sheet and added it to the back of the aluminum.

    I also tore the SLI bridge apart, painted it, and then built a top for it.
    It now matches the rest of the theme.

    I have this next week off of work, so I should be able to make a lot of head way.














  23. #23
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    Thank you to Main Frame Customs for supplying me with some Teleios sleeving, wire, pins, and connectors.
    All the cables are sleeved and I have laced them together. I just need to finish the PSU ends.
    I have also bent and installed all the tubing.
    On the back side, I have begun the wire management and fan controller mounting.




















  24. #24
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    Hiding the massive amount of wires on this build is a challenge.
    All the cables are finished and plugged in.
    I mounted all the fan controllers and the RGB fitting controllers.
    The 2 separate loops are filled. one with blue and the other with white.
    The LEDs are finally installed in the eyes.
    I have added slits to the dragon eyes and attached the Thermaltake badge under the claw.
    The OS is now installed and I can start playing with the lighting.
    I wanted to see what I could do with the lighting already in the case before installing more lighting.




















  25. #25
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    I built a stand for the hard drive, then made it into a plaque.
    The Name of this build is now FrostByte.
    The HDD is now hooked up and I have made several custom decals for the outside of the case.
    More to come.














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