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[United Kingdom] Richi Bowzer

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Welcome to another project I am doing at the moment (other build is F1 themed) for the Thermaltake Invitational 2015 Mod completion, my theme for this build is Illusionist, I am either going to go big or go home and try to create an illusion with the innards, it might not even work, but that’s my risk.


First let me start out by saying a big thank you to my sponsors for this build, first up we have the main sponsor of course.


First off let me start off with a big thanks to the sponsors that jumped on board.







Thermaltake obviously who are organising the competition and for supplying  X9 case and a whole range of products from the Case, cooler, tubes and rads as well as the fans.






A Big thank you goes out to Gigabyte who is supplying the motherboard for this project.






A big thank you to XFX for supplying the 290x for this Project






Not forgetting OCZ who supplied the 2 x 240GB OCZ Vector 150 SSDS for the build.






Massive thanks to AVEXIR for supplying the memory kit for the build







Big thanks to V1 Tech for the custom grills and GPU backplate





Thanks to Dremel who seem to step up on every build and supply me with accessories and tools.

First up the case, we have all seen it – the Thermaltake X9.


It’s completely insane size wise, but has all the room you need for multiple loops, with extra-large radiators.

So be prepared to laugh at my demise or join in the fun as I try to make an illusion happen inside and enjoy the roller coaster ride we have of creating a build within one month.




·        Case - Thermaltake Core X9
·        CPU - Intel i5 4690
·        Motherboard –  Gigabyte Z97MX-Gaming 5
·        Graphics – XFX R290X
·        Memory - 4 x 4Gb Avexir Blitz 1.1 – 1600mhz
·        Hard Drives - 2 x 240 Gb OCZ Vector 150 SSD’s


So let me give you some idea of what I am about to create, my plan is to make themed case, with not much done to the outside (unless of course you class a custom candy red paint job as custom).


Most of my work is going to be done to the insides really creating separate compartments for Motherboard and GPU and thus making it a bit of an illusion depending which side you are looking from, one thing I should point out is I will be trying things with reflections too, Just to see if I can achieve a certain effect. This will either work or fail but hey you don’t do anything in modding without trying.


Enjoy the build all.

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First thing I had to do was completely strip out the case, simply because I had to prep it and get it ready for paint.




First priority for me is to strip out the case itself, this is quite a simple task and made very easy thanks to the way the case was designed.





Now that was done I only had to do the one outer modification that was needed and that was to cut a window in the other side panel so both have a window, however I only wanted a top window in this side so it was time to get out the trusty Dremel.




For those of you that are thinking about cutting a panel my best advice is to mark it up with tape and then use the Dremel at a slight angle for best results, also let the tool do the work and don’t force it.




Once that was cut, it was just a simple case of removing the grill to be left with this




Nice a simple, obviously before getting ready for paint I will have to file the edges down of the cut a bit, but first here is what the new cut panel looks like on the case.




New window done and ready, next time I will post a teaser of paint work, but without the candy just to give you an idea of imagery… and why building I will blur it out just to keep you waiting until final shots. So get ready for the ride and enjoy the Illusionist.

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So back again with a small little update for you guys, first off the goodies that arrived for this build



As you can probably see I have enough parts for the build including 2x RL480 radiator, also included is some hardline, a Pacific P1 pump (which is a good old trusty D5 with a silent kit and variable speed control) also a T11 res to go with it. Also I have a Pacific PT20 which is a res pump combo for the cheaper budget and probably ideal for a smaller cooling loop. I also opted for the Pacific W2 waterblock which was designed by Swiftech for Tt and to be honest it was I know brainer as it is one of my favourite blocks (I’ll show you why later on today).


Now as my build is red and black mainly you will probably think that the choice of water being blue is a bit strange, well the simple reason is I wanted to be different due to the fact every one that has red and black normally goes down that route inside. I have done it myself on a previous build so I wanted to be different this time round and went with blue coolant and blue fans.. It might not even work but we will have to see.



I have to say a big Kudos goes out to Gigabyte who supplied me with this motherboard for the build the Z97MX-Gaming 5. Yes I chose a Micro ATX for this build would you believe it in a case this big, there is a reason for that as you will see later in the build, read the specs of the motherboard here..



Many thanks to and a shout out to OCZ who supplied 2x 240gb Vector 150 SSD’s for the build, full specs of these drives can be seen here.



Not forget Avexir as well who supplied me with 4 sticks of 4GB DDR3 blitz 1.1, the details of which can be found here.



Massive thanks goes out to XFX for supplying the R9 290X Double Dissipation model for the build, for more info on this card click here.



Last but not least is Scan international who not only stepped up with the CPU, they also supplied the various other parts for the build, including gpu block, as well as the lighting and some small bits and bobs. Take a look at their website here, they are not called Scan international for nothing.


Lastly and not least I am going to leave you guys with a sneak peak of the paintwork on the case.



I am in love with the paint job, were most of my budget has gone, red candy paint and flakes are not cheap at all.. so the case with paint job is the most expensive part of the build. Stay tuned (or website checking) as more posts will be going up.

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So today I am going to prep the CPU block for what I want to do, the block I chose as mentioned previously is the Pacific W2.





As you can see the block has Thermaltake’s logo on there so for my plan I have to remove that.




To do this I get my trusty tray out and use 1500 wet and dry sand paper, with plenty of water to minimise the scratches, also I have to be quite light handed as I am not trying to key it for paint but just get the paint off.






Now it’s nearly off we move over to the 2500 grit wet and dry and lightly again with plenty of water until we end up with this.




Block prepared, will polish with acrylic polish to insure I get any minor scratches left out, but I will be posting more soon.. keep watching.

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Yesterdays work just involved a bit of test fitting of components, also had to make sure I would cut the slit out of the mobo tray I need to, hence measuring it up.





Not much room on the other side really but hey it will do for what I want… also not too sure on rad placement for second rad, but I am sure I will decide.




Now the trick here will be to turn that small space down the bottom of motherboard into a huge one, so what do I need to do that?




That’s what I need, some mirror acrylic… grabbed your interest yet? To be continued……….

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Ok so today is a mixed bag of things I have done, first up is the Res mount, due to the infinity mirror design I have I will be placing the res inside that area.

So placement is important too




#### do you see the wire mess inside the case, don’t worry I have a plan for that, but back to the res.




This is the placement area I have chosen the reason being is I want this on its own to be the inside of the infinity mirror, I want it to be visible endlessly. To give you an small example of what I mean.




With a double sided mirror acrylic piece in between motherboard and res, you can see the effect I am going for, this means outer windows need one way privacy mirror film.. (ignore blurry pics I did not want to take the protective film off and wont until the last minute). Now the hardest job on this build lol.




Yep that’s right putting the mirror film onto the panel is the hardest job, only because I have a lovely white cat that meant I had to order extra film as the first few attempts were failed due to #### cat hair… GRR little git he he.. anyway this time it was more effective and I will post some pics up to show you final result with window in panel tomorrow. To be continued…….

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Ok last time we were looking at the state of the cabling in the rig, well its hectic trust me, here are some shots of it.




This is quite serious to me so I thought I would try something different that I normally would do, just because of the space in the  case.




I think the picture tells the story some black trunking, yes trunking should sort the mess out, let’s see what I ended up doing.




I actually quite like this as it gives it a much cleaner look than cable ties, it’s the first time I have used trunking ever in a PC but I think it works… To Be Continued

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Ok before I post another little update, let me show you what turned up yesterday.




A very nice box from Tt eSports department, going top left to right we have the Ventus X Mouse, TT ESPORTS SHOCK 3D 7.1, The POSEIDON ZX Illuminated – Brown Switch Edition, The Hyperion Headset Stand and the TT ESPORTS THERON PLUS+ mouse that is compatible with the smart Tt eSPORTS PLUS+ software that can monitor stats..







I have yet to try this headset yet, but I do have to say I love the volume and control on the ear piece, one of my pet hates with headsets is having to reach down and find the volume control when gaming yes there is a clip, but I don’t personally use those so it makes a nice change.. also one grip I personally had with the previous headsets of Tt was the comfort, but these seem to feel like a soft sponge on your head, which is a good thing. I also actually like the headset stand as well, why I saw these sort of things as a gimmick, having a packed desk has made me change my mind, simple but effective.


Moving on to the mice.






The name says it all with this one and the Ventus X is designed for those of you that suffer with sweaty palms. Having a vent were the main part of you palm would sit is a good idea, I remember back in 2006 a guy actually modded his mouse to put a fan in because of sweaty palms… ewww. 





The TT ESPORTS THERON PLUS+ mouse is designed with a bit more style in mind and as you can see has a very glossy finish (not for the sweaty palm crowd). But overall quite pleasing on the eye, with this mouse though I would have to use the weights as it feels to light for my liking.





The keyboard is actually quite sold, I dropped the thing getting it out of the box and there was not a mark on it, although I do have to say I prefer a blue switch to the brown switch cherry… having said that they do have a blue version, so there is plenty of choice.


I have to say a big thank you to Tt eSports division for sending over the goodies thank you.

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Ok back onto the mod, a few minor things for you guys to look at, first a very very small little add on, why it may be pointless due to the fact it will be hidden with panels on, I have got a bit rectal about the smaller details in my builds, hence the cable routing I posted earlier, I could of easily just left the wires out as they would not have been seen down there, but in reality I would of known they were messy.. 


This feature is nothing major but something I wanted to try. 




So why it is only a piece of vinyl added to the rad it has a little trick up its sleeve.




Yes the vinyl has a heat reactive ink that changes through quite a few colours the warmer it gets, so if you like a small rad temp sensor ;).




Also on today’s agenda was to prep the graphics card ready to go in the build as it will be all put together soon, the only problem here was I got bored just looking at the GPU block so soothing had to be done that side tracked me lol…








Just a small little detail added, that you might be just able to see once rig is complete but hey, even the devil likes small details on a build even if you can’t see them.  Now let us take a little look back at the acrylic piece that separates the mobo and the rest of the build.




I do not like the joined together pieces looking so different and why it is another part of the build that won’t be seen, it has to be tidied up.




That’s better, it looks a lot more uniform than it did after a few minutes on the acrylic scraper.

Expect a lot more updates as I get nearer and nearer to the end of this build.

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OK so a small but quick update on the assembly work on the rig, some bits have failed to turn up. But I must soldier on despite this and make a few changes to the layout inside.











Main thing left to do is to sort out sata cable tiding, and clean everything up, I hope by some miracle some things turn up before final photo shoot later on :(.. let’s hope they do, if so sata drives can be moved to original planned location, if not oh well we all have to adapt. Stay tuned.

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So let me tell you a little story, I have to say I am absolutely in love with the paintwork… but I do have one big problem with my build.. Because of the use of flakes and such I found it so hard to photograph it was madness, depending on the light angle towards the build it just is completely different colours, but anyway here goes and I hope you guys enjoy it.
















Phew thought I would break up the photos so there is a space for you guys to read why other photos load :P






The front featuring the illusionist figure, and yes the same applies all other the case, its just crazy how this paint job reacts to different lighting.









I so love this paint job, and thanks to the guy that done the art work I went with for the paint job for teaching me to spray with candy red. Lets take a closer look around them skulls shall we.





You may be noticing now how the red has gone to a deeper blood red with light to the side of the case!

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Now the next set of picture are not perfect, but I had to do something, just to show you how many flakes are in the paint job.








They are all over the paint, 1000s and 1000s of them Ohhhh candy and flakes…. (not intentially trying to sound like homer simpson with a candy and Cadbury;s flake fetish :P) any way let us take a look at it lit up inside.








Oops bit bored of the white, lets change it controller to red




Love the reaction between red and blue, it’s a good contrast, let me put the panel back on and take a few more photos.










Back too the other side of the case




SSD placement sticking up through window now let us take a look at the reservoir









Yes there are quite a few, well actually one, just part of the little trick on the eyes. I Think I do need to upgrade my ageing DSLR though as I could not take video with it and Kodak HD cam is not working to do a video… but I will add a video sometime in the next 2 weeks.  But to be fair please judge your voting on what you see here. This is only fair and respectful to all the people involved. I have to say I enjoyed this build and thank Thermaltake for the invite and have to say a big massive thanks to the sponsors who produced. Thank you so much all.

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