Packaging & Appearance
As the case has to pass through the hands of various couriers as well as making the trip across the Atlantic, suffering at the hands of customs and then the local delivery guy, the packaging of the Mountain Mods case is crucial if it's to arrive in good condition. Despite the box being ripped open and closed numerous times (evident by the amount of different tape used to seal the box), it arrived in fair condition. There were few marks on the box and thankfully no footprints which is just as well as the box was not the most sturdy I have come across. Opening the box up, we find the contents to be securely packed with brown padding paper ensuring nothing is free to rattle around inside.
Unpacking the contents was like opening Pandora's box. Components after components were tightly packed inside, each part either being wrapped in cellophane or separate card board, Sellotaped to the component to strengthen and protect it. The main panels were wrapped securely in cellophane. This form of packaging, while frustrating for those unwrapping the product, is necessary to prevent the finish from being scratched. I would have preferred to have foam insert used as well as the wrapping but the modular nature of the cases dictates this to be an unnecessary luxury that would no doubt add to the cost. Regardless, every component arrived unscathed from the journey across the pond, testament to the good, if somewhat unorthodox packing methods used.
Because this case is so huge, it would be impractical (and expensive) to send the unit pre-built as although the package is light thanks to the aluminium construction, size is a major factor when posting. The unit arrives flat packed with nothing but the casters pre-assembled. Judging by the 100's of screws included, I certainly have my work cut out assembling the case. This work is made even more daunting due to the fact there's no instruction manual included. There's a short instruction manual on the Mountain Mods website but again, due to the individuality and uniqueness of the Mountain Mods cases, it would be impossible to cater for every possible setup.
After unwrapping all of the panels, I examined them for any dents, bends or scratches and I' happy to report there were none. Out of the whole case, there was only one very minor mark (read pin prick) that was not coated. The machining of the panels was very good with no sharp edges and the finish had no significant orange peel that I could detect - a rarity among powder coating.
Each panel has numerous screw holes, some counter sunk, some not which made the identification of which screws to use all the more easier. The first job was to begin with the base. I'm not a huge fan of casters but judging by the size of the case, I feel they are going to be needed as lifting the case when it's fully loaded with components and water is going to be quite a task. The wheels are your standard caster units which unfortunately do not have a locking mechanism on them, so ensure you have the case on an even surface.