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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: Mounting the pack

Since I received my motherboard, I could start working on attaching the motherboard to the frame, and the shell to the motherboard.

One of the first things I simply had to try, was to fit the speakers on to my laser cut grille, and they matched up perfectly!

Next up was drilling the holes into the Alice Frame, which was a lot harder than I thought, but it worked out fine.

Once the motherboard was attached, I started attaching the L-brackets that holds the shell to the motherboard.

I used very strong magnets to hold them in place while I gently pushed then around with the shell to get where I wanted them, then drilled through and riveted from the back, as per the original packs. When they had been placed, I taped them while I carefully marked the positions for them with a sharpie.

Note that I let the L-bracket underneath the mount point for the thrower lie down, in order to make proper space inside for the metal reinforcements I will put inside.

Of course, not all of them were a perfect match, as I don’t have a proper work bench or drill press. One of them moved around a bit, but with a little filing, it fit just fine.

With the pack clamped down on top of the brackets, I drilled through the shell (going backwards first) with a 3mm drill, then continued in into the L bracket to get the hole at the precise correct place.

Once the guiding hole was done, I drilled upp to 5mm on the brackets..

.. before I hand tapped them to 1/8″.

Tapping is hard work, and with aluminium, it is important to lubricate (I used isopropanol) and go forward a turn, then back half a turn, lubricate, and repeat.

Just look at these lovely blue Pyle speakers. They will make my pack loud!

Once all holes were tapped, I screwed the motherboard in to place..

And had my (bored) fiancée take the obligatory first pictures of me wearing my work in progress:

Let me know what you think. I think it fits well, and looks like it has a good height on me.

One thing that bothers me though, is I think my shell is a bit wonky, turns out that there is a gap…

With a little mild pressure, it closes nicely, however. I’m not sure how to solve this. I think there might be a place on my shell that needs a bit of filing, but I might also make some bracket that this can hook in to from the inside. We’ll see.

I am not too worried, though.

Finally, as a closer, I also received these:

By | 2017-05-24T22:41:28+00:00 May 24th, 2017|Building, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters Proton Pack|Comments Off on Ghostbusters Project: Mounting the pack

Ghostbusters Project: Like a glove!

I had a friend of mine call up one of his friends, and .. well.. long story short, I received my laser cut motherboard today!

It was a bit unnerving as I had never really seen this fit my Nick-a-tron shell for real, but only printed versions on paper, taped together and done a few test fittings, and you never know if the people receiving the files will open them correctly or scale them differently.

Turns out, it was spot on!

It fits just perfect! Just like it should!

So, without further ado, if you too have the cravings for a nick-a-tron shell, and could use a step file to cnc or laser cut your own motherboard, here are the files.

Nickatron Motherboard Step files

I have added one file with my speaker grills in it, and one without (light version)

Please drop me a line of you use them.

cheers,
Micke

By | 2017-05-22T23:52:24+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Building, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters Proton Pack|Comments Off on Ghostbusters Project: Like a glove!

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