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  1. #1
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array 1ceTr0n's Avatar
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    Project: *Night Fire* Asus ROG theme case rebuild

    Welp, never thought i'd get back into my case modding days, but the excitment of this new Sandy Bridge build along with the cool color theme, Overclock.net club that goes along with mobo and the ROG ASUS community as well, i've been pondering about doing something special with this build and my Antec mini p-180 that just been screaming for something new to be done to it. Its been a reliable and flexible case with me these past few years, as all my previuos Antec cases have been and even to do this day, no matter how much time I spent on Newegg, I just couldn't find a case worthy enough of starting this project on. Thus, I decided it was time to give my now becoming rare and not well known Antec mini-p180 a "rebirth" with my new computer build

    After a few weeks of thinking, planning and googling around, I just placed an order with FrozenCpu after all these years of not doing any case projects and will begin this weekend!

    Stay tuned for info on the Asus ROG themed project:

    *Night Fire*

  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array 1ceTr0n's Avatar
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    So, before we begin this little makeover project, lets start with the case itself.

    http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=Mw==

    The antec Mini P-180 startead to make its debut around mid 08 and was pretty popular amongst people who wanted a flexible case, but still wanted something that was quiet and noise reducing as well, even with fairly powerful equipment.

    After building my "Black Ice" project back nearly 3 years ago this month using a Silverstone SUGO 4 case, my first mATX build after years of the large and mostly unused expansion of ATX sized builds. I went through couple of mATX cases, including the short lived SUGO 5 series case, when I decided to go back to my favorite case maker and go with the Antec mini-p180 which I have used ever since, including my most recent Sandy Bridge upgrade build

    Now that my hardware is up to snuff by todays standards for some decent PC gaming, I felt it was time to get my case up to standards as well. Considering I simply couldn't find a new mATX that melt all my high standards that I wanted in a case, I decided to modify my exisiting mini p-180 because, well....thats what case modders do!

    The case itself has worked very well the last 3 years with my Core 2 Duo build but has largely remain unchanged except fan removals and swapping with Gentle Typhoons 120mms




    For MANY years, i've stuck with the typical and honestly, VERY overused lighting them of blue and white LED"s and such, and this build was no different other then I didn't really exemplify either the colors or lighing in the mini p-180





    With my new Sandy Bridge build including my first Asus ROG mobo, the Maximum IV Gene-Z, the color theme of the mobo orginally had me grossed out with the red/black/silver. However, the more I looked at it, the more I was getting used to the idea of maybe taking it to the next time, and just for a change from the years of Blue and white i've been doing in the last several of my case mods





    Yes, I think its very overdue time for not only a new case mod but also, a new color theme that i've never had or attempted before. My aging mini p-180 case is just the right blank slate to start off with

    I've got a few ideas to make the front stand out a bit more






    Yes, the large blowhole need some "contrast" me thinks and I have a simple yet effective idea in me brain....






    These very thick and heavy Antec triple layer sound dampening panels do work very well, but after 3 years, they are boring as hell to look it and don't promote any enjoyment of seeing expesnive electronic goodies inside the case, so were gonna fix that...





    G.Skills generous donation of goodies after getting my memory with no case sticker help further my idea of what to go with...





    And of course the downright sexy and beastly looking combo of the Dark Knight HSF and the new Asus ROG Maximum IV Gene-Z mobo is the main reason and example of what my plans are for the case makeover will consist off.




    Even the mobo box and innards themselves are really sexy looking! I justhad to sit and stare at all the goodies I got with this ROG mobo, when I first opened i! Freaking awesome, thanks Asus! It just further inspired me to do something different and unique with this build, within my budget guideline



  3. #3
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array 1ceTr0n's Avatar
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    This back area has been pretty neglected for awhile now, time we did something with it, even just a little, and I have a quick and easy idea!




    The primary cooling of the Mini P-180 during its "Black Ice" days has worked ok, but not great and looks boring as hell. Were gonna change that as well on all fronts




    Even the drab backside of the case is gonna git a little bit of a facelift. Why not?






    Because of the rapidly changing world of PC electronics, computers and even cases themselves along with other finacial obligations, I recently decided to add a new goal to this project. Not only did I wanna give my new computer build a nice and unique place to live in and give my old antec mini p-180 case new lease on life, but I also just didn't wanna shell out a large amount of money in the process. So, i've decided that Project: *Night Fire* will be accomplished in the budget area of only:

    $100!


    So stay tuned!!

  4. #4
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array 1ceTr0n's Avatar
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    Just got back home after a long day on the road and I found one of the best sites a case modder can hope for, a nice box left on my doorstep filled with goodies!





  5. #5
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array 1ceTr0n's Avatar
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    Allright, time for some updated progress, as i've done alot and actually, its already near completion, but here's the progress report:


    Need to tear the case down to its essentials so we can do what we want with it





    The top fan grill was a bit of a pain to get removed with all the sticky tape, but it finally gave it after fighting with it






    Yep, even the boring ASUS DVD/RW drive is gonna get some love as well, sure has beena while since I did a DVD drive!





    Were gonna be changing up a few things in the front panel as well, mainly that Blue LED needs to be retired, several years worth of blue HDD activity LED's is enough I think..



  6. #6
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array 1ceTr0n's Avatar
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    Now its time to prep up our few parts for our painting. The quickest and simpliest method in my opion is just a good scuffing up with some sandpaper to give the paint a rough surface to cling too, worked well for me in the past!





    At long last, after several case builds and years later of the same thing, im finally doing a new color other then my metallic blue flake from Rustoleum, its time for some sexy red!




    Oh yeah, it looks good already!


  7. #7
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array 1ceTr0n's Avatar
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    Now were gonna start working on the biggest and toughest part of the case redo, the side panel window, along with some minor case tweaks i've been wanting to do for awhile





    First off, seeings how im gonna be mounting my HDD in the upper 5.25'' drive bay, and I want maximum air flow with twin 120mm intake fans, its time to get rid of the useless and annoying drive bay shelf. Its drill time baby!




    Poor little shelf and its rivets never stood a chance...




    Ahhhhh, i've been wanting to do that for years, MUCH better! Also removed the plastic drive bay guide rail on top as well, no more air impedence here folks!


  8. #8
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array 1ceTr0n's Avatar
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    Now its time we start on the hardest part, getting the window installed correctly THE FIRST TIME because there is no second chance with these suckers. This is a 10'' x 10'' window kit from Frozencpu.com that fit the bill just perfect for my needs.



    To protect the rather fragile outer aluminum siding during measuing, handling and especially cutting the window, I covered the entire panel in painters tape. Cheap, easily removable and it works.






    When your dealing with nearly any case modding, especially windows, I cannot stress enough. MEASURE ONCE, MEASURE TWICE, MEASURE THREE TIMES and then....maybe cut!









    With the rest of the panel covered in tape to prevent scratching during cutting, its time to cross the point of no return. We start with a small incision with the best tool for case modding, the good old dremel.





    From this point forward, to save time, excessive mess and because I prefer it for my case cutting for the past several years, I'm switching to a jigsaw with new, medium teeth blades to cut the rest of the window




  9. #9
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array 1ceTr0n's Avatar
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    With some help from my father with the shop vac to clean up the shavings that this is gonna create while I cut, its time to do this! *drum roll*






    A few minutes later, it is done! Phew...glad thats over with!




    Because this is an Antec mini-p180, the side panels are a 3 layered designed to muffle noise from within the case with two layers of aluminum and a thick and soft plastic between them. Because the window kit is designed to be installed in basic cold rolled steel cases, I needed to thin the window cutout





    With the inner layer of aluminum removed, by far the messiest part is now here, I have to take the dremel and remove ALOT of the plastic paneling so the window molding is able to fit around the case panel. This took awhile and smelled horrible with hot melting plasting flying everywhere



  10. #10
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    With the messiest and longest part of the window prepping done and cleaned up, now we can move on to the trickiest part of installing these windows, getting the molding and window installed and NOT scratch the bezesus out of the window in the process



    This step basically requires alot of finger work, grunting, elbow grease and patience, especially since the panel is still pretty thick even after all the dremeling





    With the molding forced into place, now we need to insert the window. This by far is the best way to make you fingers sore and red, installing one of these damn things.







    Again, more grunting, painful finger work, elbow grease, fumbling and some cursing is required at this step





    But at last, we are successfull and the window has been installed with nary a scratch! Damn, that looks freaking sweet with the case! The molding will get cleaned and armor all'ed to have a nicer appearance near the end of the project, but the hardest part is finally done with! Not many Antec mini p-180's out there with a sexy window to look inside, no siree!






    We've also completed our painting! That metallic flake red sure looks sexy! Best to let it cure and dry over night, i'm tired and my fingers hurt like hell anyway. Its been a busy, and productive case modding day!



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