my Ghostbusters props

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DocNewborn

Well-Known Member
Hello all,

Alex 'Doc' Newborn here.

I've been a Ghostbusters fan since 1984, even did some very fanciful 'interpretation' Hallowe'en costumes beginning in about 1986.

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But after my wife bought me the Mattel PKE Meter 1:1-scale prop replica, which I received in January 2011 as a birthday present, I began to really want an 'accurate' Ghostbusters uniform.

And lo and behold, I found out that there were amazing online resources that had studied, researched, and occasionally even sourced every single tiny item on the flightsuit and equipment.

I still dithered over whether or not to indulge myself in this obsession, but one day in Sept. 2011, having seen an auction for some pieces which would mean no turning back, my wife and I had been discussing my crossroads for twenty minutes when by sheer chance we passed an Ectomobile in traffic on the way to pick up our youngest son from school.

"It's a sign!" I said.

Within weeks I had ordered a flightsuit, patches, belt, kneepads for the elbow pads, even a real set of military goggle frames to which I attached a down-and-dirty 'hardware store' faceplate and lens tubes.

And by Hallowe'en night 2011, I was semi-adequately ready to hang out with Brandon (on the right) and his Ecto.

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I also began accumulating a lot of other real-world items that had been used in the films. For instance, I have the same model of videocameras carried by Dan Aykroyd in the library scene of the first film and the museum sweep scene of the second film.

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Then in May of this year, I took the plunge and bought a proton pack shell from the same guy who had sourced the military frames. On GBFans.com's forums he's Vincenzo330.

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My goal was to construct mine from the same materials used on the movie props, wherever possible. If it was fiberglass on the hero prop, I wanted fiberglass on mine. Aluminum where it should be. Real Clippard valves, etc.

But if a nice time-saver or freebie was offered to me, I wasn't too proud to take a shortcut. A friend in New Zealand offered me a resin gun kit for the price of shipping, and he threw in several other trim pieces that I needed.

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This project would mean acquiring some new skills, like riveting and working with epoxy putty, and I was excited about challenging myself... although eventually I outsourced the welding to the shop teacher at the high school.

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Also in May, I got to meet Robin Shelby, the actress who played Slimer in GB2. My youngest son went with me to this event. Coincidentally, this photo was taken on her birthday.

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I took my *second* more accurate khaki jumpsuit, but without a proton pack, I decided to do an obscure reference to the GB2 electronic presskit, and dress as a behind-the-scenes Bill Murray.

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I decided to make another film prop, the one fans call the KUD Meter carried by Winston in the museum sweep in GB2.

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I got busy directing a local play (Little Shop of Horrors) so when I had the chance to meet Ernie Hudson in person at HorrorCon in Nashville on October 6th of this year, I hurried to assemble the KUD so I could have him sign this Winston-centric prop.

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It still lacks a blinking red LED, but it looked good enough to unveil to some of the AL, KY, and TN Ghostbusters in attendance, and proved quite popular.

I had Ernie sign it on the inside of the battery cover.

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"Alex - Keep Busting! Ernie Hudson (Winston)"

He even very gamely posed using the prop to scan a nearby Vigo portrait that one of the KY Ghostbusters brought.

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My friend Jaime Hitchcock of the TN GB saw me videotaping Ernie Hudson scanning Vigo in my own home movie and commented, "Oh Alex. You win!"

Here's me, my son, Ernie (holding my KUD) and Jaime.

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My proton pack made a lot of progress between then and Hallowe'en, even though it's still not 100% complete.

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Here's a pic from October 31st. Stay tuned for updates!

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Thanks for looking!
Alex
 
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DocNewborn

Well-Known Member
Nice pack, and I seriously love the camera I've been hunting for one of those

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I found the Panasonic PK-750 fairly easily, I just typed it into eBay and there happened to be one listed, and I was the only bidder. When it arrived, it was assembled in the right-hand way, so I had to swap the viewfinder over to Aykroyd's odd left-handed configuration.

Owning one also helped me to notice that one piece appears and disappears in the movie between exterior shots filmed in NY and interiors filmed in LA. It's the part that looks sort of like the stock on a rifle, misleadingly called a 'shoulder pad' in the instructions.

But I'm having a much harder time finding the same model of shoulder-slung video recorder seen in the film.

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Luckily, nowadays, most people are used to seeing all-in-one cameras and they just naturally assume it's capable of recording on its own.

~~~

Here's some pics from last month when I tagged along with Brandon in his Ecto to a 'Ghostbusters Quote-Along' screening in Tupelo, MS. During the day, our hosts suggested we take the car to Elvis' birthplace.

Pulling up...

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Some of my props in the back of his Ecto (note the Realistic Sound Level Meter). My unfinished pack is behind his on the rack...
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Getting our packs out...
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The ghost trap is Mattel's second 1:1-scale prop...
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Standing on the porch of the little 'shotgun' house...
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And posing with the 'Elvis at 13' statue.
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There's something awesome about taking a two-hour drive along the Natchez Trace in an Ectomobile, but it was even cooler coming back in the dark, with ghostly fog appearing in the headlights.

And the 'Rocky Horror'-esque GB Quote-Along itself was tremendous fun. They had select lines of dialogue come up like subtitles for the audience to shout, and distributed Silly String for everyone to use whenever the proton packs were fired.

The folks in attendance got a huge kick out of seeing our Matty PKE Meter and Ghost Trap being used simultaneous with the action on the screen, and no surprise, the line "How is Elvis and have you seen him lately?" got a huge roar of approval.

~~~

Since these pics were made, the front plate of my Ecto-goggles has cracked, so I have disassembled them to make a sturdier plate (possibly leftover 1/8" thick aluminum sheet purchased for my proton pack) and probably new straps.

~~~

I forgot to list my very first 'accurate' GB prop from back in the 80's, a piece of set dressing from the first film...

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It was just luck that my parents had hung the exact same 'etc.' sign in my bedroom as a kid, and when I spotted it in a photo in the book Making Ghostbusters while I was in college, I rummaged through their attic and found it. It was originally black, so I gave it a coat of gold spray-paint.

In the above pic, I am holding it up in front of the movie paused on my TV.

~~~

And my most recent 'set dressing' prop...

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Yeah, I know, super-obscure.

I recently found a little notebook that I took to the theatre with me when I saw GB2 on opening day in 1989, to jot down details. One of them said 'Bozo head on cop's computer', and I had no idea what it referred to.

So I cued up the film, and whattayaknow?

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"What was chasing you in de park? A park bench was chasing you in de park?"

How had I NEVER spotted that in any subsequent viewing since that first impression? I got obsessed with it, wanted to know what it looked like from the front.

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Found this one on eBay for 99 cents, and it looks to be a perfect match.

~~~

I also decided to make a black GB flightsuit out of an old TIE Pilot costume that was worn one time only. Here it is with new patches:

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I debuted it publicly for the first time at the Alabama Phoenix Festival where I got to meet Robin Shelby.

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(Left to right: Robin's husband Sean Spence, ALGB webmaster Brock Parker, ALGB's Bo Bearden, Robin, and me.)

And then this month I decided to add another element to the black suit, inspired by the helmets seen in these early GB storyboards.

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So I purchased this airsoft helmet with visor, and it gives the whole thing sort of a SWAT look.

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Alex
 
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Onkelpsycho

Sr Member
Thats a pretty godd alternative paint job for any white car yyou can transform into an Ecto 1...

If I ever try to make an own GB car, which has no wings, I think I will do it the same way....
 

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DocNewborn

Well-Known Member
Yes, the Lifegard PASS alarm is real. It's a mark II.

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On the left is how it looked when it arrived.

On the right is how it looked after I cleaned it, sanded some of the worst scuffs down, and retouched the worn lettering.

Since the lettering is raised, I just sprayed some black paint onto a Q-tip and applied it to the letters before it dried.

I wish the 'SLOFD' part hadn't been scratched in by the previous owner, but it's hard to find these without some sort of similar identifying marks.

And yes, it is fully functional. No, I don't keep a battery in it. Way too loud to risk it going off at an event.

Alex
 
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DocNewborn

Well-Known Member
Update!

Some more Ghostbusters props I've collected since November...

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Egon's calculator

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Egon's hardhat (still need to make the sticker, though I have deciphered what the original came from-- a piece of airport runway equipment)

And a different model of hardhat was obtained for the costume Dan Aykroyd wears when they go into the tunnel. Here's how the hardhat first looked when it arrived: solid white, just like the real painted movie prop's original color beneath its flaking paint.
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I first tried it with the weathered look...
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... as seen on the film prop...
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But I felt like I overdid it, so I stripped it and repainted it solid yellow before permanently attaching the headlamp.
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Even the battery pack is movie-accurate.

I may make a second attempt on the weathering, but the paint is so flaky, it's already accumulated a few real ones anyway. May as well just let time weather it naturally.

Alex
 
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Norse Iron Man

Well-Known Member
Indeed. I was emphasizing how impressed I was.

It also blows my mind how many of the more obscure, lesser known props you've acquired.

The only interesting piece I have is a lifegard IV that was used in the background of a fan film! lol
 

DocNewborn

Well-Known Member
Got the blinking red LED added to my KUD meter yesterday. It's controlled by the flatted toggle switch. I did some of the work, but the main credit goes to my retired electrician Dad.

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Also, I forgot to update about my Ecto-goggles, which now have aluminum plates and socket-head-cap-screws (replacing the incorrect philips-head screws that I used to secure the acrylic plates). I also made a new pad from foamies and snaps which is interchangeable with my real-military-but-not-movie-accurate facepad seen in earlier photos.

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I may eventually change the tubes, but for now I am still using the hardware store pieces I made in October 2011.

Another newly acquired real-world item is this ITT Relay for the ghost trap foot pedal. I'm slowly accumulating parts to make a real trap. I also have some of the knobs and resistors already.

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Alex
 
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DocNewborn

Well-Known Member
Some more trap parts:

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~~~

I'm also currently in the process of modding and repainting the Matty PKE Meter. I sanded off the copyright info on the back of the handle.

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And then gave it a coat of metallic bronze paint.

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~~~

Plus I'm building Janine's alarm button for the desk.

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My red button arrived yesterday and has been tweaked to match the screen-used prop. Awaiting a chrome clothesline for the dome it sits on.

~~~

And my pack is nearing completion. It now has the lights installed and working, most of the labels on, and I've replaced the kidney pad and waist straps with versions accurate to GB1. I'm weathering the brand new waist straps now, to match the sun-beaten look of my LC-1 shoulder straps and kidney pad.

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More to come!

Alex
 

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DocNewborn

Well-Known Member
I'll pass along the compliment to Brandon about the Ecto. He got it in a straight-up trade for a Mustang if I recall correctly. It was originally a dove-gray Navy ambulance.

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Here's his build thread from GBFans.com: '67 Bonneville Ecto-1 Progress Thread - Community - Ghostbusters Fans Forum

We're planning a road trip in it two weeks from now to 'Alabama Phoenix Festival', where I'll get to see Robin Shelby and Ernie Hudson again, and all the other Alabama Ghostbusters.

~~~

I completed my 'We Got One' alarm button yesterday. Hopefully one day I'll have the correct antique model of bell to attach to it.

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I'm also finishing up converting a navy blue flightsuit to a charcoal gray one, as seen in GB2.

Alex
 

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