It has been a while since I’ve had a chance to build a Proton Gun from start to finish, so after the release of my latest Proton Gun kit I thought it was about time to dive into a complete build. This thread can serve as a tutorial or just something of interest. If you have any questions about the process please don’t hesitate to ask.
To start with, the entirety of this build was captured with an overhead video camera. The raw footage clocked it at around 8 hours, covering two days, now compressed into 15 minutes for your enjoyment. If you are using this thread as a tutorial I would suggest following both the video and the thread. I will also link the photos to correlate with time makers on the video.
The first thing I did after unwrapping the kit was to begin drilling out all of the holes so I could test fit everything before painting. One of the big changes in this kit from the previous versions is how the trigger box attaches. In the previous version the trigger box was opened on the bottom and could be secured with a nut and bolt, then a supplied base plate would cover this opening. The trouble with that method was it goes against what is seen in the film. In the film the trigger box appears completely closed off. Replicating that in resin would be rather difficult, and sealing it off after the fact kind of puts you in a bind should you never need to access the switches if one breaks. For this kit I devised a system where the base plate is moved to the inner side of the trigger box and gets covered and hidden by the Rear Instrument Bar and the rear handle. So now we have the illusion of an enclosed Trigger Box yet it is 100% removable should the need arise.
Attaching the Trigger Box is rather simple. I start by attaching the side plate to the Rear Instrument Bar using two button head screws using the pre-marked holes at quadrants 2 and 4. Once in place I drilled two holes through quadrants 1 and 3, straight through into the inside of the Rear Instrument Bar.
Once drilled, I used an angled Allen wrench to bolt the box to the side plate through the inside of the Rear Instrument Bar.
Before we get too far ahead you need to decide what size switch you want to use. The commonly acceptable sizes are mini and micro. If you are using a mini switch, you do not want to glue down the inside bracket before installing the switch, otherwise you won’t have a large enough opening to fit the switch. The inside bracket fits very tightly into the trigger box, so when it does come to gluing it down I would suggest just adding a tiny drop of super glue, this way you can break the bond should you ever need to remove the switch. If you are using the micro then this probably will not be an issue, this may not even be an issue for all mini switches, just check the fit before you glue the bracket down.
The Rear Instrument Bar comes with a laser cut cover which is secured with two Allen head bolts.
After drilling out the corresponding markers on the Rear Cylinder and its location on the rear of the proton gun body.
]Then bolted on from the inside. Tip: You can use an angled Allen wrench, but if you have a long enough screwdriver it’s much easier to reach this point through the front handle opening.
The Baseplate & Gun Track secured to the bottom.
Fitting the resin Clippard Valve using Slotted Fillisters.
Here I have modified the front handle so that the barrel lock hangs off of the end of the tube. I carved the tube down with a hobby knife then used a file to smooth it out.
Another big change in this kit from previous versions is how the front handle attaches. Previously there was a resin peg cast with the gun body that you’d slide your handle over. Now I’ve oped to make things closer to how they did it with the film props by casting a real aluminum nub onto the front of the gun. If you do not care about rotating your barrel, you can go ahead and glue the front handle over the supplied aluminum tube then secure it to the proton gun body using an Allen head bolt.
But if you are like me and want your front barrel to rotate as it does in the film, it’s a fairly simple task that can be accomplished with just a drill and a small file. My method is to glue the aluminum tube inside of the front handle as mentioned above, then, with the barrel facing away from me, slide this into the nub and rotate the grip counter-clockwise until the barrel lock is just a hair away from touching the front cylinder. I then drilled my first hole.
I then rotated the barrel clockwise ever so slightly and drilled another hole. Rinse and repeat until the barrel lock is now a hair away from touching the gun track. When you are done it should look like above.
I then took a small file to the holes to open them up. The aluminum is fairly soft and will file easily.
After a few minutes I’ve carved out this nice little notch for the bolt to fit into. When you attach this to the nub the slot will allow it to rotate back and forth along the bolt.
Alternatively you can use a welded aluminum front handle from one of the metal fabricators on GBFans. Installing it isn’t all that different from the resin version, but the placement of the slot changes. Rather than rotating the grip inside of the nub, the nub is secured to the inner tube and the outer tube rotates around it. The slot is carved further up the tube where the bolt would be covered up by the front grip.
Carve a notch in the grip so it can fit over the bolt.
Then secure the grip to the handle using a bolt through the Barrel Lock and the front ear.
For the rear handle you want to trace the inside of the gun body onto your tube and then cut out a notch like this.
Added glue to all the surfaces the tube is going to touch inside of the gun. I used Gorilla Glue. I would suggest that or some kind of epoxy. The tube is then screwed down to the mounting block in the inside of the gun body.
Using an epoxy putty to make a fake weld, I started by filling in the seam between the bun body and tube.
To make my beads I rolled out a thin string of the putty then cut it up into tiny sections. I’d roll them in balls before placing them.
Press the putty bead down along the seam and then pull away as you push down. It’s like a half circle that is then smeared off in one direction. Always follow the same direction.
I like to look at reference material while I do this so I can follow the bead pattern as best I can. The thrower I was modeling this after had them going counter-clockwise around the rear handle seam.
I did the same to cover a seam line on the front handle ear.
The original film prop had a pretty heavy weld along the Rear Instrument Bar and Trigger Box. Since I want to be able to remove my Trigger Box in the future, I had to get a little creative with this application. [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=W_HBIprIwLw#t=221 I want the fake weld to stick to the Rear Instrument Bar, but not the Trigger Box, so I masked off the Trigger Box and then applied a release. [/url]
Same process as before.
After the putty has cured, I [url= https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... IwLw#t=245 ]take fresh putty and squeeze it over the beads[/url]. This smooths them out a bit and completes the look.
Same as above. At this time I also filled any bubbles or casting seams that needed to be patched up.
Thanks to the tape and the release the Trigger Box separated from the weld just fine.
At this point I disassembled everything, did a quick sand with a sanding sponge then primed it. I did another quick sanding then applied paint. For this build I wanted a mostly clean look, so I hit it with semi-gloss black paint then buffed it with a rubbing compound to smooth out the paint texture a little and dull it slightly. You are pretty much free to do what you want, though, such as painting it silver then flat black and scratching it up for a heavily weathered effect.
After painting we are ready to put it all back together. Here I’ve loosened the Trigger Box side plate so I could place the brass rod.
Running wires for the Heavy Props light kit.
The light kit runs off of a 9volt battery, which happens to fit perfectly inside of the Rear Instrument Bar.
And there we go. Since most things after painting are just reassembly I didn’t document it too much, but you can follow the video if you want to see that. I am very happy with how this build came out. Right now the barrel rotates but does not extend, something I hope to remedy in the future. I may replace the Clippard Valve and the knobs with real/aluminum ones in the future, though the Rub-N-Buff finish on the resin castings is pretty convincing as is.
Nice sold build. Again I am very pleased with the results and how simple it was. If you have any questions or comments I look forward to hearing them. Thanks for looking!