Sometimes you come across a project on bit-tech'sforums that hits that inspirational nerve. You instantly know it's going to look epic, even if the maker has just posted a few renders, early designs or pictures of some metalwork. Sidewinder was one such project and it was no surprise to see forum user WolfandAngel's (aka Ian Warendorf) project narrowly miss out on winning Mod of the Month in April of this year, although he lost out to last year's Mod of the Year winner, oldnewby - not exactly a dunce when it comes to modding.
The project then picked up pace with the various parts for the scratchbuild coming together, much to the delight of the many followers eagerly awaiting WolfandAngel's next update. The project was completed just a few weeks ago and WolfandAngel has kindly taken the time to talk us through Sidewinders build process from start to finish. It's over to him.
Hi all, WolfandAngel here, although some of you may know me as Wolfie. This is my fourth project and it was inspired by, no less, by oldnewby’s Cygnus X1; the scales/fins were most inspiring. I am also a big fan of Microsoft's Sidewinder mouse, so I decided to integrate the shape of the mouse into my fins and the name of the mod. I started to make designs in Google SketchUp of the case and by the time I'd finished the design stage I had a folder with about 20 different versions of it.
I asked a friend to make a render for me because, quite simply, I suck at rendering. It would later help considerably in aiding me to figure out what did and what didn’t fit my concept.
The design of the various different components had to be perfect to save time and money, so I started with a series of mock-ups. For example, my original plan was to mount the fins like in Cygnus X1, but my bending angle tool was too large to allow this and this method of mounting turned out to be impractical for me. The CNC router I used broke too and the mock-ups came out very messed up but we managed to repair it and replace them.
These fins are for the edges of the case to cover up the radiators. I also made a mock-up of the frame and discovered that I miscalculated by 20cm in my auto-cut files. I decided to change the design of the side doors for safety reasons and because the pointy bits were sticking out too far for my liking.