Customizing your keyboards case
So you want to customize your keyboard but you don’t have it in your budget to throw down for a full keyset and a new USB cable. On the other hand, maybe your keyboard is looking a little beat up and you are just looking to freshen it up a little. Well a popular option is to pull your keyboard apart and repaint the case. If that is a little too permanent, you could also just use PlastiKote. PlastiKote gives you a nice matt finish in a wide variety of colors but if you mess up or change your mind later you can just peal the coating off. In my case, I put that badass Pimpmykeyboard Midnight Alpha keyset on my Wife’s Quickfire Rapid but the old rubberized finish on it was looking a little sad. See the photo below
I tossed around the idea of pulling it apart to repaint it but when I decided that I wanted to recolor it black, I went for another option all together. Rather than repainting the case, I remember that Cooler Master sells replacement top panels right on their website. You can get the same grey color that the older Quickfire Rapids had or you can get the black color that they went to later. Both versions lost some of the branding that our original Quickfire Rapid had, giving it a cleaner look. Lucky for us, Carter a friend of mine over at Cooler Master, happened to have one sitting in his car! They sent it over and before long I was digging into the Quickfire Rapid to swap out the top panels.
The top panel comes with a white shim to help you pop it off but before you can do that, you have to remove the single screw holding the top panel on. As you can see below, I busted a hole in the warranty sticker that asks me not to remove the sticker, hey I didn’t remove it :p. Once you remove the screw that locks the top panel down, you have to take the white shim and work it into the edge of the top panel. Once it pops loose in the first area, it doesn’t take too much to work around the rest of the keyboard. I was very impressed with how quickly I pulled the panel off. Putting the new panel back on went even quicker, you slide it on until it locks into place all around the edges then you put the screw back in.
The replacement top panel turned our old and LAN worn Quickfire Rapid into a new keyboard. When combined with the Midnight Alpha keyset from Pimpmykeyboard the keyboard looks amazing. I am keeping the old top panel around though. Should I decide to swap her keys to something else I plan on giving the old top panel a new coat of paint in a fitting color. If she has any say in it I would guess it will be something bright and eye-catching!
I should also point out that Cooler Master’s replacement top panels are actually half off right now on their website. If you are planning on a project like this in the future, now might not be a bad time to pick one up. Hell even if you are painting your keyboard, getting one it to paint while you use your keyboard day to day might not be a bad idea as well. Here is a link http://www.cmstore-usa.com/quickfire-rapid-replacement-top-panel/