So a while ago I asked about getting a H440 and tearing it apart for the purposes of repainting. I looked up more and more and actually found someone going to do the same thing. So after that final confirmation that it was possible, I pulled the trigger.
I got the case toady and after a some shopping for paint and supplies I got to work. Took the better part of 3 hours and it looks so bare now. Check it out, pretty comprehensive deconstruction.
Having done it now, this case is amazingly well put together. I had some serious trouble with a few of the screws, not hard to get to, quite the opposite, being incredibly well tightened. They case is fantastically well thought out, everything has it's place and nothing out of place. The cables are really well taken care of from the beginning. It is such a joy to work on, and I have not even begun to put parts in it yet.
While it is completely possible to fully take this case apart, I get the feeling NZXT really did not intend for it to ever actually be tried, or encouraged. The parts are all easily accessible and and in great positions, but also incredibly well secured. I mean drop it on the floor and it will not come loose. It is solid in the same way a chunk of granite is.
If you want a rock solid, heavy, silent and supremely well thought out case, this is the best I have ever had.
Enough of my praising. Next time we get decent weather, should be in the next week or so, I will get to preparing it, taping it off and cleaning it, then when it is warm and dry I will paint it. So I will post more on my adventures then.
EDIT #1: Got some painting done, then ran out of paint.
I like the look so far, and when the black bit are back on it should pop. Don't worry it is not as shockingly bright as it seems in the pictures, I am just not a pro photographer and using my phone.
EDIT #2: Since last time I have applied a second and third coat to varying degrees of success. The outside panels that make up the front, top and two sides were not only the largest but also the worst looking when it was all over.
I had wanted to half ass it just because I wanted to actually have the case done and in use, in the sense that if the coats were smooth and free of imperfections I would just put it back together and press it into action. Unfortunately the skin of the case turned out more than a little scaly and bumpy, I was little annoyed and pissed off. This was mostly my fault as I had not used this paint before and was not familiar with its application. By the second coat I had worked it out but it was too late the damage was done, so I continued and would fix it later with sanding and one last "real" coat.
Also further down the comment stream I alluded to this paint taking "many ages of man" to dry, this was incorrect, it in fact takes eons (damn acrylic). The upside to acrylic is that being plastic based it goes on relatively thick and takes well to sanding.
If I told you that after the sanding it felt like silk it would be 100% subjective fact!
I could not be happier, especially as I also messed up with the alluded to drying. It was more than just a little tacky. Strangely you could handle the panels and it would not take up finger prints or feel tacky but leave it face down on news paper? Well it took some headlines with it. This is exactly what happened when it came time to paint the back of the panels. I laid them, recently painted, face down on the paper and hoped it was dry enough to deal with it. It was not. I assured myself that the paper would come off with some white spirit on a cloth. It did not. So sand paper was my only salvation. Thankfully it took the paper off and left a damn fine finish.
Here is the latest crop of images:
It should be explained that the "dust" on my had at the end was "drying" on to my hand. That is the extent to which this stuff refuses to dry. It was still slightly tacky when sanding off the top surface. It feels like a rubberised mouse covering almost.
There is still a little more sanding to do tomorrow to make it 100% smooth. After that it will be another layer of paint and final wet sanding. This is taking way longer than I expected.
I am seriously considering sticking the panels into the oven on low heat to cure them, just not sure if the foam can survive 75-100 Celsius. Thoughts?
Apologies for the feet...
More next time, hopefully a timely release.
EDIT #3: Spoiler edition.
So as is the way in Ireland when it rains it only pours. The weather broke and now I cannot paint the final coat till it clears up and It only needs the final coat to clean it up it is 95% perfect right now. So I decided to see what it would maybe look like with the black back on the top panel.
Spoiler, it looks good.
I could just put it together right now but there are a few very small flaws that would annoy me simply because I know they are there. So it has to wait but when the final coat is done, IT WILL BE DONE! Unfortunately it looks like another week again before that happens. Sate yourself with these for now.
A promise of good things to come.
EDIT #4: So got some good weather and did the final painting on the four outer panels, the only ones that needed it. I made a mess.on one of them so it will need some touch up work but the other three are finished where paint is concerned.
Only some sanding to do now, 400 grit for the very few small blemishes, 800 grit to smmoth the scratches out and wet sand 800 to smooth everything out once all is dry.
I also did a test fit with the sides on the tower frame and it looks good if a very tight fit now with the extra layers. I will be putting the pieces back in the tower later today, that fans and their controller, the front panel I/O and switches and the HDD cages will go in along with all the miscellaneous bits. Once the outer panels are dry and finished in another week, sigh, the PC components will go in and it will be finished.
I will put some pictures up of the partial reassembly.
EDIT #5: It has been partially reassembled. and as I suspected with the black accents back in place it looks fuckin' rockin'! It is nearing the point where it will all be over. The exterior panels are drying and have come out damn near perfect, they don't need a final sanding I just need to mount them and be done they are that smooth.
I am am super hyped for the final parts swap and reassembly and it is not far off. I am just annoyed that I don't have themed parts yet. Damn blue motherboards.
Enjoys for the time of completion nears.
EDIT #6: I swear I am nearly done annoying you guys.
So it together and finished, just about, just need to do a very quick touch up on the windowed panel. And then put the parts in. I will be rearranging my room for installing the PC. May as well do it while all the cables are out and then hide them proper again.
So glad this is nearly completely done.
EDIT #6.5: And on the, what is this now, 68th or so day it was done. The parts are in and it is running. Thankfully the primary job of being silent is a huge success, even with a large hole because the window is not back in yet. Result!
Also I spent the time and did some serious cable management. On that I can say it is as clean as an inside job bank robbery. I am super proud of it, regardless of the mid range parts.
The link is the same as part 6 but I added in the last images so will drop it again.
IT IS DONE!