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Ghostbusters Project: Final installation

Due to us having to go to Mexico for 6 months on very short notice in order to treat our daughters brain tumour, building was at a standstill for many months!

Finally, we came back and in January, I started building again.

One of the first things done was to install the electronics in my proton pack and mark this pack finished!

I managed to cram all the electronics down into the lovely metal thrower, but it was a tight squeeze.

I managed to fix the acrylic tube of my thrower partly myself, and partly with the help of a friend with a lathe. I got the edges done on the lathe, and fixed the frosty parts of the acrylic tube by masking the clear tube and running sand paper around the tube until it became properly frosty.

 

 

Once the thrower was done, it was time to turn my attention to the pack itself.

I started by marking the areas on the back plate where I could route cables and mount electronics to not interfere with the shell itself. Then I routed the cables for my two Pyle speakers that provides the sound in my pack.

Next up, I 3d printed housings for my LED reflectors and glued them in place on the shell with e6000 glue.

Some cable ties for cable management…

In a perfect world I would build a rig where the reflectors are mounted on the back plate, but as I was in a bit of a hurry at the moment, I decided to glue them in place for now.

More cable ties are placed for the electronics and cables on the motherboard itself. I also routed cables from the battery to the external board on the back that I will use for recharging my battery and turn on and off the main power of the pack. On the blue battery pack is an extra 120W amp that I am considering using. My electronics kit has a built in 40W amplifier, and it might work, but as I haven’t tried out the pack yet in a convention, it is something the future will have to decide.

The blue battery pack is little on the small scale, but it will work for now.

Once everything was routed, it was just a matter of assembling everything, do a bit of weathering with a chrome pen and some sand paper, and all done!

By | 2018-02-18T21:38:59+00:00 February 18th, 2018|Building, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters Proton Pack|Comments Off on Ghostbusters Project: Final installation

Ghostbusters Project: Finalising the pack

Over the weekend, I’ve managed to get quite a lot done.
Building is an outlet for me. It is a perfect way to relieve stress and think of other things, so particularly after an intense week with lots of ups and downs, like this one has been, really diving head first in to building is the best way to clear my head!

One of the things I don’t like as much, is painting. I don’t have a proper place to paint, and I’m not very good at spray cans, but still, I make do with what I have.

First off, it was time to spray the motherboard to get rid of that raw metal feel.

As always, a few thin layers is key here…

.. to build up more thin fast drying layers, until it is all covered and the clear coat goes on.

I’ve painted both the inside and outside of my motherboard, I figured it would be the neatest way, really.

Next up, I spent more time attaching things to the shell itself, like this painted v-hook to hang the thrower on. I cut off the bolts with a hand saw and sanded them flush by hand.

Some of the things that are screwed on from the outside, I’ve made it easier to remove, if needed. For the shock mount, I used wing nuts. It is also a good way to stop this from being overly tight and damaging the resin.

In the picture you also clearly see the mouse-hole cut out for the loom holder I made a while back. This holder will be superglued to the motherboard for now. It seems to be holding up very well so far.

I also adjusted the length of the cable, and finally took the decision to cut it off with my hand saw. I screwed in a bolt from the inside to press against the cable tiles and make it even sturdier, but this baby is not going anywhere.

I used the same idea on my copper foot wires on my R2-D2, where I used a rubber hose inside it, and had a screw inside a plug that forced it shut.

Since I started running out of things to do on the basic pack for now, I started dressing the pack. A few cables here…

… and a few cables there…

… and some more over here…

… and don’t forget around the Ion arm …

… and things are starting to look good.

As the more observant of you may have realized, I’ve flipped my ribbon cable. Some screen shot references from Ghostbuster (the Original movie from 1984) revealed that some of these ribbon cables were mounted just like mine was first, but on some packs, it was not orientated in the same way. That’s the beauty of prop building. Finding these little irregularities.

As I’ve modeled mine after the “Spengler” pack, ie the pack that was used by the late Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler in the movie, I twisted mine another half lap to get the rainbow coloured cables facing the outside of the pack. One of these details only a true nerd would ever see.

Here’s finally the pack in all its glory.

.. and here it is with some labels I had laying about attached at random places.

Of course there are still things to do on the pack itself. Normally there is an ugly weld between the Ion arm and the Booster tube, and the Booster tube should be welded on to the pack. Mine is just pressed against it for now. I may or may not fix this, depending on what look I want to go for. It is not a difficult thing to add, it all just depends on if I want to replace the resin parts with metal parts in the future or not.

Another thing that is still on the “to do” list is weathering. Once the entire pack (with thrower) is complete, I will sit down in some sessions and do some proper weathering. It looks too brand new at this point.

Last but not least, electronics. I have still not done anything when it comes to electronics. There is also the nice power panel I made a while back that needs to be mounted, but the base pack is mostly done at this point, and that feels just great!

Next week, I’ll start working on electronics and/or the thrower. Since the thrower has all the controls for the sounds and lights inside, it sort of can’t be done one without the other.

By | 2017-06-11T22:35:16+00:00 June 11th, 2017|Building, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters Proton Pack|Comments Off on Ghostbusters Project: Finalising the pack

Ghostbusters Project: Finalising the Booster

To continue where I left off yesterday, I continued the work on the Booster on my Ghostbusters Proton pack.

I took the raw 3d print, sanded off the biggest irregularities and then covered it heavily in spray filler. Once cured, it was time to sand it off again…

Two rounds of spray filler and sanding off until it was smooth, then time to start painting. The key to paint with spray colours is to build it up in thin layers and let them dry in between.

Once the paint was dry enough (it also dries a LOT faster when you apply it in small layers), it was time to clear coat the booster.

Once dry, it was time to mount on the proton pack. The mounting was done fairly easily and quickly. In reality, I should do a weld line around the booster, but as I am planning to replace this (possibly) with an aluminium tube at some point, I have opted to not do this just yet. We’ll see. If so I have the weld line to build up with epoxy resin, and also to do the “ugly weld” between the booster and the Ion arm.

So far, so good.

One of my pet peeves when it comes to 3d printing is that many people unfortunately do not put in the effort of making their prints smooth. Some people wishes to keep the 3d print lines as a statement, which is fine, but many prop makers don’t use the tool to its full potential: which in my world means to use the 3d printer to save time when building the core item, and the time saved in construction can be put into finishing instead. If used like this, and you use smart methods when doing the finish, you will save time overall and still have a prop that looks great!

Last piece to do on the outside of the pack: paint the motherboard, do the ugly weld and (possibly) the weld around the booster tube, then time for the dressing of the pack, adding labels, routing all the little cables and stuff that makes it look great.

There is still a LOT to be done on the inside of the pack, not to mention the thrower that I’ve barely started with. My plan for the thrower is to 3d print mounting panels to be placed on the inside of the thrower to hold the electronics in place.

By | 2017-06-09T16:12:23+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Building, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters Proton Pack|Comments Off on Ghostbusters Project: Finalising the Booster

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