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By Prologic9
#4918435
From time to time I like to work on my ‘imaginary’ pack, looking into the community offerings and seeing how far the latest replicas have gotten. Occasionally buying a piece here or there when I thought it would be hard to come by later on. All for that someday build I just never have the time or willingness for.

Early in January I saw a pack up for sale on the RPF, and it peaked my interest again and so I fired up gbfans.com and started looking around. And, sad as it is to say, there was a very noticeable decline in the both the fan and prop-replica community. Forum postings are down to a trickle. I saw sellers like Nick-a-Tron had closed up months ago. Ghostbusting appeared to be dying.

It’s hard to say why this is. Maybe it’s because we’re just growning up? Or maybe someone made a terrible terrible remake that’s poisoned the community beyond repair? I don’t know I don’t really keep up with that stuff anymore.

All I know is that I realized if I didn’t build my someday pack today it would only get harder and harder to do as time went on.

And then like a week later they announced Ghostbusters III. So… who knows?


Part 1: The Hero Build

I’m not great at documenting things as I work. Here’s a bunch of random pictures, if anyone has any questions I’ll be glad to answer them.

A few things that I think are noteworthy;
  • I permanently embedded screws into the shell to attach the cyclotron lenses
  • I made a styrene shelf to hold the blue uppy-downy light lens, and this also evens out the spacing
  • I used styrene to make clean recesses where there were empty mounting holes on the screen used packs. I think this gives them a more purposeful look, like it was engineered to be that way and not just pointless holes
  • I cut out the n-filter on the Gbfans shell and used a fiberglass patching kit to turn it into an innie instead of an outie
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twmedford23, TragicManner, QuartZ and 2 others liked this
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By TragicManner
#4918436
That shell looks great, and you definitely have quite the collection of parts!

And I agree, the number of people who had been working on Proton Packs seems to have slowed down quite a bit, especially with a lot of people being quite content to make Spirit Halloween packs. Not that there's anything wrong with that, in my opinion, I've done the same. But for a lot of people, I think that the Spirit Halloween packs scratch that itch that many have had to have a proton pack, especially those who otherwise would have been unwilling to make their own. At the same time, I think there are those who are fine with just having a customized Spirit Halloween pack who would have otherwise made their own packs had that not been an option.

In addition, I think that a lot of people in the community were really looking for the chance to be just right to get into a proton pack build, and with Stefan Otto's, then later many people adding their parts, plans, and techniques to the pool of information available, I'd say that each year that pool of fans that really really wanted to make their Proton Packs has gone down as they've finally gotten to the point they could do it. I'm definitely a straggler in that camp. 3D printing finally pushed me over the edge, and I think a lot of the builds on here are similar: As 3D printing has become more and more reliable and less and less expensive, some of the last of us holding out have finally jumped in and started our builds. Considering the movie is 35 years old this year, and basically all of the fans who were fans of it within the first ten years of its release are now well into adulthood, it makes sense that they would find themselves with a little less time to dedicate to prop building than they once did.

And while I don't necessarily agree that the remake was terrible, I definitely feel it wasn't what a lot of existing GhostBusters fans were hoping for (myself included!), and as a result, those same fans didn't help carry it out to the masses, which meant it didn't really bring as big of a new wave of fans that many were hoping it would. It's too bad, really. We'll see what happens with GhostBusters 3.
By jpetrutis81
#4918440
I'm in the same boat in that I pick up the odd piece here and there when the price is right or it's a hard to find piece that comes available. I have my Spirit Pack as well that I'm continually tweaking but my end goal is a full size pack. Love seeing the builds as they get posted as they give me ideas and techniques (not to mention lessons learned) and this one is great as well! I thought about jumping on the 3D printing bandwagon but my finances don't currently support it. Now if I could only find a good metal bellow/bumper...
By QuartZ
#4918478
Your pack looks sweet! And your photography is very nice. Sure you may not have documented every step, but what you did show has given me some ideas for the future of my build so thank you! It looks so good unpainted!

-Dana
User avatar
By Prologic9
#4918565
I've been keeping up with your build, QuartZ. It's fantastic, I wanted to do something similar and have the modeling skills but not nearly enough practical experience with printing. One day I might replace these shells with 3d printed ones though, who knows.

A small update; I was curious what the inside of a dale resistor consisted of. I like the resin versions with clippard barbs from GB2, and wondered if I could put barbs into a real resistor.

You can't, but I was easily able to go one better and remove the core entirely. A couple of styrene tubes for spacing and you can just thread the pneumatic hose all the way through.

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Kingpin liked this
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By Prologic9
#4919118
Well my lights & sounds kit decided to randomly die. It was an older Mighty Microcontroller kit that I bought 2nd hand so there's not much I can do but buy a whole new setup.

I guess I'll talk a little about this wand.

So... this wand was retrofitted from the full pack I bought early in the year. I have no idea who made it but it has a fairly unique construction. The body wasn't made from folded sheet metal, instead every face is 1/8" aluminum that was computer cut and welded together. Even the handles are 1/8" thick tubing with only the ends milled down to 1/16".

Ultimately I modified and replaced the front assembly with a freekygeeky handle and tip extension setup.

  • I used dupli-color lacquer spray for the black base. I always recommend lacquer paint when possible as it's so much easier to work with than enamel.
  • Using a scotch bright pad I quickly weathered the edges. I also put down scotch tape that creates chipping when pulled off.
  • Then I put down the dry-rub transfers
  • Finally I clear coated it in dupli-color matte clear. This seals in the dry transfers and 'locks' in the weathering. I polish and scrub the clearcoat to give texture to the finish. Working on the clearcoat makes it easy to try different looks without messing up your paint job. If you do something you don't like you can always just add more clearcoat.
I'll use acrylics to create dirt and grime effects, but I want to install my electronics first.

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Kingpin, jpetrutis81 liked this
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By starburst
#4919126
Stunning, Im in a similar boat to where you were... lots of years of planning and buying odd parts with big spaces between with little to no activity due to real life concerns taking a priority.

Glad to see I'm not the only one and looking forward to seeing you complete your Pack!
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By Prologic9
#4919383
Yeah the thrower weighs about 4lbs, and that's after replacing a lot of it with lighter parts. It's fine in hand but it throws the balance off when it's on the pack. It's looking like the pack will be 30-35 pounds when done so maybe then it will even out.
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By Spongeface
Supporting Member
#4919561
So I got the full electronics setup from GBfans and everything works nicely, but the bargraph animation is off by 4 LEDs.

Here's a quick video showing the animation. The bar is installed upside down; https://i.imgur.com/mstYKqs.mp4

I don't suppose anyone has experienced this issue?

The white FFC cable that connects the bar graph board to the GBFans WandLights board can have one end unplugged, rotated 180 degrees and replugged in and it should fix that. The connectors used allow you to plug the cable in one of two ways. It does not hurt anything, just messes up the display if not in the preferred orientation.
By kevinj319
#4919567
Looking really good!

After removing the cast N-filter, how did you do the fiberglass patch? Did you mold it over the metal N-filter?
User avatar
By Prologic9
#4919575
Yes, I glued some styrene to the bottom of the n-filter to close it off, covered it with a thin layer of vasaline, and laid the fiberglass directly on top.

Afterwords I saw a build where someone repaired the hole with fiberglass and made the cyclotron solid like the filming props. I'd probably go that route if I had to do it again but I do like not having to cut the N-filter.
User avatar
By Prologic9
#4919877
I've got the GBfans electronics thoroughly installed and figured out. Ultimately I do value the amount of customization these kits offer, but that also means there's a lot to work through.

With the lights installed I was able to finish the wand. Getting the GBfans lights and the Freeky tip extension to play together was a pretty tight fit. I would gladly pay extra for an extension system that lets me put the wand board in the pack itself.

I used some light acrylics on the wand exterior to give it some dirt and grime effects.
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I painted my cyclotron lenses with some clear red for accuracy. This doesn't have to be too strong since the LED's are red already.
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Here's a look at the pack interior. I've already started prepping the shell for paint and that's about all that's left to do.

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jpetrutis81 liked this
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By One time
#4919881
I've got the GBfans electronics thoroughly installed and figured out. Ultimately I do value the amount of customization these kits offer, but that also means there's a lot to work through.

With the lights installed I was able to finish the wand. Getting the GBfans lights and the Freeky tip extension to play together was a pretty tight fit. I would gladly pay extra for an extension system that lets me put the wand board in the pack itself.

I used some light acrylics on the wand exterior to give it some dirt and grime effects.
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Best wand I’ve ever seen.

But it looks like the main power switch is off and it’s still powered on?
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