Scratch Built GB1 Proton Pack (Image Heavy)

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tripoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A good first build. The first Paranorman pack was a little better but used the same mentality to build most all of the pack. For a full size pack, looks good. Far much better I think than those who try to convert the Spirit packs.
I never had a better time in costume than when going out in GB gear. The reaction from everyone is incredible, you will have a fun time with it. Eventually you will want to upgrade, but a fine job with this pack.
 

FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
Wow, I'd never guess it was all scratch built with stuff you had on hand. It looks very professional! Great work!!!!

Thanks! I tried to cut cost as much as possible as I knew it was going to cost a small fortune buying the electronics. Was also a fun challenge, every day looking at stuff around the house and wondering, would that make a good PPD? Lol..

Great build! A proton pack was my first foray into prop replica building when I was in high school. Mine is not at all accurate, but it was fun to make.

Thanks, it has been a ton of fun! Everyone loves the proton pack. I read somewhere it's one of the most sought after prop replicas, which I don't know how you quantify that, but totally makes sense to me...lol.
 
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FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
A good first build. The first Paranorman pack was a little better but used the same mentality to build most all of the pack. For a full size pack, looks good. Far much better I think than those who try to convert the Spirit packs.
I never had a better time in costume than when going out in GB gear. The reaction from everyone is incredible, you will have a fun time with it. Eventually you will want to upgrade, but a fine job with this pack.

Thanks, I really appreciate it! Yeah, down the road I would like to get a real pack and put together a proper one. I'm glad I went about it this way though because I learned so much about the pack. I figure once I make one from a proper shell and parts, it will fly by, comparatively speaking.

I tried to go in on the Spirit pack, but the areas it's wrong are so glaring I couldn't do it. The size really bothered me, but when I realized the bumper was molded into the body it became a hard no. For some people it works, but I'm too OCD about stuff like that.

It's been a fun learning experience, and I can't wait to finish it and wear it out.
 

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FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
So, update on the Neutrona Wand/Proton Gun/Neutrino Wand/Whatever...I never realized there was so much contention over the naming of a prop!?

It's been slow progress as I've been working on building it out of foam, like the pack, mainly due to weight concerns and not wanting it to rip off the pack. I have a 3D printed V-Hook to connect it and am trying to minimize weight as much as possible. I'm also building the gun track out of a piece of really light weight wood (Balsa, maybe?) from a wooden sign I sourced from the dollar store, that was amazingly enough the proper width. I'll post pics of it once I finish it.

Things went along smoothly to begin with, other than having to back pedal a bit to allow for electronics to feed through the rear handle. This is where I got using EVA, Styrene and some PVC pipe:

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FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
So currently, I'm on hold while I wait on some stuff to come in. Namely, I'm waiting on the acrylic tube for the gun tip, and my grips.

I found some bike handles that I thought would work great for the grips, but they are from AliExpress so God only knows when they will show up. They aren't perfectly screen accurate (obviously) but they are pretty close and are also brown, which will make things easier when it comes to weathering them. Here's what I got (For $4!):

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While studying the handle grips and attaching them I realized that the Venkman71 plans I was working from did not take into account the front handle swiveling, or that a good deal of folks believe the green lever to the left of the instrument bar extends the gun tip on the wand. Also, I've realized I got a lot of details wrong, especially on that same instrument bar, which isn't long enough on the left side.

As such, I'm seriously debating starting over and rebuilding what I have so far. I have really been studying ThrowingChicken's kit over the past week. It seemed I was following a similar path, especially with how I decided to address mounting the PVC of both handles to the body, but his solutions for accessing the body for electronics are way better and more practical. I hate redoing work, but would rather get it right rather than settle and be lazy.

I have come up with a solution for the green lever/extending barrel bit using a dollar store gun and some other bits, but I'm waiting on the acrylic tube to come in so I can properly test it. Hopefully I will have some updates soon. Whether I rebuild or not, I should at least be able to address the handle swivel issue before the other parts come in, and I still have to finish the gun track. Cross your fingers for me!
 

dr_slurpee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great work on the pack and use of materials! One comment on the gun, the front handle should be the same diameter as the rear handle.
 

FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
Great work on the pack and use of materials! One comment on the gun, the front handle should be the same diameter as the rear handle.

Thanks, that's helpful! The plans I was working from had the rear handle the same diameter as the nub to the side of the front handle, and the front handle a smaller diameter. Further reinforces the whole, "Redo the gun body" thing... :[
 

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FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
This is great work. Do you happen to have sizes? I want to design one in 1:8 scale for my son.
Thanks

Thanks, I appreciate it! I used a mix of blue prints from different sources after researching the pack for awhile. The main ones are Stefan's, which seem to be the most commonly used plans, but the plans by Sean Bishop were handy when visualizing some of the shapes and how to put it all together. I also took some inspiration on how to build different things from Norm Gagnon, and definitely recommend checking out his plans on making a budget build. Lastly, for building my bumper I used plans by the Palm Coast Busters that they provided. Stefan's and the Palm Coast plan's are all to scale, so you would just have to adjust the measurements.

If you have a 3D printer, a ton of folks have printable files posted that you can pull down, scale and print. Unfortunately, that wasn't an option for me and I had to make it myself. I did use files provided by a guy named Quentin to print the Clippard and Legris elbows, as well as the crank knob, and they were perfect. He actually uploaded the whole pack, and you can download the whole thing and pick and choose what to print. The link for that is below, should you have 3D capabilities.

Here are the links:

Stefan Otto Plans

Sean Bishop Plans

Norm Gagnon Budget Plans

Palm Coast Busters Plans (Bumper Only)

3D Printer Files: FULL PACK

Tons of info, I know, sorry. Hopefully that helps!
 

FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
Small update:

I'm working on rebuilding the proton gun. I really didn't want to, but in retrospect I'm glad I did because so far v.2.0 is pretty superior. My progress with this build has been a bunch of accidental discoveries that have some how worked out in my favor, and this gun has been no different. My wife bought a table for the yard and the box it arrived in had some small plastic squares protecting the corners inside it. I originally kept them thinking I could use them in the build somewhere, but not sure where.

When I started building the gun I knew I wanted the trigger box to be sturdier than foam given it would have two triggers and get a good deal of physical contact, but wasn't sure how to handle it. I ended up using this plastic for it and it's perfect. The stuff is so dense that it's more than strong enough, it glued together perfectly, it's lighter than the foam and I have waaaaaaay more space for electronics because the walls are maybe an eight of an inch thick. WIN/WIN.

Anyways, when I started building the second gun body I decided it wouldn't make sense to have this really strong trigger box attached to a (more or less) strong foam body, but I had already used the small amount of plastic I had making the box, so I let it sit for a few days while I thought over what to do.

Fast forward to this weekend. My wife and I did some spring cleaning and got rid of a bunch of junk, including a couple of broken plastic containers said junk was in. It occurred to me the plastic was the same thickness and density as the other, so I hacked apart my poor old Sterilite container and got to building. The results? A gunbox that is much, much stronger and a TON of space for my electronics. It's still a little rough as I haven't dremeled the edges yet, but you get the idea. I didn't even have to round the left edge, I just used the rounded corner of the container and it worked perfectly.

My trigger box will now be secured to an equally strong instrument bar, have the wiring holes built in and be ready to rock and roll.

So here you have it, proton gun body 2.0, sponsored (indirectly) by Sterilite. The adventures in scratch building continue...

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Hopefully I'll have some more updates in the next few days. Thanks for reading along. :]
 

Krats

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I would quite like to see your progress too. It's a project I keep meaning to tackle myself.
 

FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
I would quite like to see your progress too. It's a project I keep meaning to tackle myself.

Hey everyone!

Yes, I do have updates! Sorry it's been awhile, honestly, with Covid I kind of lost steam and put it away for a bit. That said, I'm back on the wagon and the finish line is in sight.

It's taken awhile to get the details right, I underestimated just how much was crammed into the wand, visually speaking. I've looked at so many reference photos and blue prints trying to get it as close to screen accurate as I can. I'm at the point where I'm more or less ready to paint it and work on installing the light boards I bought from GBFans. I have the lights for both the wand and the pack, so just need the soundboard for the full schebang. I also managed to engineer the thing where the barrel accurately extend and retracts, thanks to a dollar store pop gun and copying Throwing Chicken's design for the innards, and the barrel also rotates.

Here's where I'm at right now, with everything more or less assembled for test fits. I also tested the lights and led covers and everything fits like a glove.

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My goal from here is to get everything painted black, install the wand tube and lock it in place, then put the electronics in. Afterwards I'll weather it and beat it up a bit.

The thing has turned out much heavier than anticipated so I'm going to have to go back and do some work on the inside of my pack to ensure this thing doesn't rip the gun mount off. Debating the best ways to go about that, but I'm leaning towards trying out fiberglass for the first time if I can't think of anything better.

I'll post some detail pics of other things I've made for the wand next.

Thanks for following up folks. It's been a long journey, but I think I'm almost there! For a scratch built pack, I think it's turning out pretty good.
 

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FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
I ended up scratch building some of the greeblies, such as the gold, hex stem base where the green hose runs from the control box to the tube below, and some of the hat lights/LED covers.

For the green hose stems, I took a mechanical pencil and found it was more or less the exact size I was looking for, as well as the shape. The plastic is very soft, so it was easy to cut two small pieces from it. I then used some leftover metal wire from the coat hanger I turned into my barrel extension switch to fashion a rod to attach them, and the green hose to. They are currently painted and ready to go, but I don't have any photos of them in gold yet.

They look really rough here, but they are smooth and shiny IRL.

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For the hat lights, I have had no luck tracking any down that weren't crazy expensive for what I was looking to spend. One day, while working on the wand, my kids were playing with their Nerf guns and I got caught in the cross fire. When I picked up the dart and looked at it, I realized the tip looked kinda like a hat light. I measured it and it was pretty darn close, so I stole one for the tip of the wand.

I needed an opaque one for the body of the wand, so I used Play-Doh (don't judge me) to make a fast mold, and cast it in hot glue. Not the ideal solution, but I'm trying to use what I have on hand as much as possible and didn't want to buy resin for a hat light alone. The end result was pretty good and both fit perfectly. And don't worry, the yellow Play-Doh came off fine with water.

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I used this same method to make another opaque cover using an LED lens I had that was the right shape/size, but not the right color. Here's a pic where you can see both pieces, and the resulting casts I made of them.

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The last pics I have are for the wand tip. I took a plain acrylic tube and frosted the two bands myself using masking tape and 200+ grit sand paper. Measuring out those rings and where they hit was a nightmare, but thanks to Illustrator and some good reference images I was able to get in the right ball park (I think). If anyone wants those, let me know and I can provide as I couldn't find hard numbers on the wand tube anywhere.

In my research for the frosted bands I also found lots of pics showing the bulb that is visible inside the wand tip. I hacked up a dollar store flash light and stole the LED from it, which fit pretty much perfectly. The silver thrower tip covers the area where the bulb is mounted, so all you see is the bulb extending beneath the silver tip. I'm debating adding more in, because other opaque elements can be seen within the tube in ref photos, but I'm not sure if they would hamper my lights too much to be worth the effort.

Here's the hand sanded and beveled tube:

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And here's the tube with the LED installed:

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I also have some red electrical wire, and brown leather cord (to simulate brown electrical wire, that crap is expensive!) that I will run under the barrel and into the gun body per reference photos I've found. I'll take pics of those and post too, but I'm waiting on the heat shrink to come in for that bit before I can get it together.

At this point I pretty much have to get it painted so I can move forward.

Thanks for following along folks, I'll have more pics soon.
 

FSURobbie

Well-Known Member
A Friday Night Lights Update:

Sorry, bad pun...

Anyways, I got everything painted with the first coat of black tonight after sealing it all yesterday. While I wait on it to dry, I decided to redo the bulb in the wand tip to closer match references I found online. Specifically, how the wires running from the Nycoil banjo elbows on the tip went into the wand and connected to the bulb. To do this I drilled a 3/16 hole into the tube roughly were it looked like it was on the Sony lobby pics of the screen used props. In the ref images it's clear that there is a small silver ring that the wires feed through into the tube. My kids are obsessed with Perler beads (look them up if you want a cheap, fun activity for your kids) and I realized that one of the beads was a perfect fit for the 3/16 hole and the two electrical wires fit in it snugly. I cut a grey one in half, used some Silver Rub N Buff on both ends, and popped it in.

From there I built a little light element to attach to the wand, as it's visible in reference images that there is an opaque piece inside the wand that sits behind the bulb, just above the first frosted band.

To build it I used an old white Christmas light holder, a silica container from an old pill bottle, some electrical wire, a 9V battery terminal and a piece of opaque plastic that works as a placeholder of sorts for the bulb. Here's the resulting light bulb element I created. It's not perfect, but it matches up closely enough to the screen used pics I found that I'm happy with it.

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The fun part was inserting it into the tube, wires first, and feeding them through that 3/16 hole. For the wires, I also had to switch to red and black rather than red and brown. The brown wire I had on hand was too thick to be accurate, and I figured black was close enough that I would roll with it rather than spending more money on a brown wire.

Here's how it looks now in the tube (please forgive my crappy fake weld lines on the wand tip):

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The Nycoil banjo elbows are actually the only thing I have left to scratch build. I'll try and knock them out tomorrow, while finishing up the paint on all the main body parts of the thrower. Thanks for reading, more updates soon!
 
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