I just ordered some stuff in anticipation of getting the cases back. Possibly by the end of this week, but more likely by the end of next week.
I got three colors of Cerakote. White, black, and gunmetal gray. My idea so far is an all white case, and a black case with gunmetal grey fins. Also got a mini HVLP touchup spray gun and other bits and pieces for that.
A thought about the IO shield and motherboard size: These cases are strictly thin ITX, which greatly limits the type of systems I can use. Intel only, and motherboard options are limited. Sort of a bummer, but as can be seen in the pictures a full-size IO shield will almost certainly not fit. It might be possible, and I will take some measurements when I get the cases back to see if I can extend the IO shield cutout up or down (or both).
I’m a little worried about motherboard mounting and placement. I am not sure how far off the motherboard mounting plate the board will end up in relation to where the IO shield is cut out. I have several different height brass standoffs, so I can make adjustments for that. I just hope it lines up correctly.
I’d like to do stuff at the front of the case. There’s a large rectangular cutout where the original many-pin connector was. I was thinking about using an arduino and placing an OLED display in that spot, and use it to display temperatures of the coolant and maybe the internal case. There’s also a large-ish U-shaped cutout, and I was thinking maybe a vandal power switch there. I need to buckle down and learn how to design stuff in FreeCAD or OpenSCAD so I can 3D print frames for both of these.
Pretty excited. I can definitely see this project finishing, as I have most if not all the stuff required to do it.