So, after looking around the available kits i decided on one of Nick-a-Tron's, mainly due to the simplicity and ease of construction the kit looked like it had. And that was definitely true! It was so easy to put together, the parts required hardly any sanding or alteration, and they had a very well built feel to them. There were literally ZERO bubbles or defects that required filling. I mean the kit is so well produced that you can see the manufacturers markings on the screw heads!
I actually wanted to create a fairly decent replica of a GB1 trap (specifically a hybrid of the Sedgewick trap and the one from the promo photos), so i used all real parts where i could. These were sourced from all the usual places - the GBFans shop and forum, and MMM. I'd made the trap pedal first 'cos i hated the flimsy toy version, but this was before i'd rendered the Matty trap unusable. Anyway, here's some pics:
Metal vector plate
I looked at nearly every reference photo when making this, 'cos i'm really anal with the details. I even painted the screw threads under the relay black after seeing it on one of the real props, and the ribbon cable was fixed as close to as seen in the Sedgewick scene. As far as i know most of the parts are accurate, the only things i might eventually change are the SMC straight fitting and the label on top of the relay. For GB1 it was the Legris straight that was used, wasn't it? Also i'd like to find a metallic label for the relay - the one at the minute is the grey version from the HProps label sheet. Oh, and i could do with some feet for it as well.
Now, the eagle eyed may have noticed that connector, and it ain't just for looks. I'm actually quite proud of this - I wired the electronics from the trap into the pedal! The switch is inside the bellows, and the LED is under the Cliplite, with everything wired through the inside of base. I used a small diameter bit to drill a channel across the base, so with the Hammond boxes attached there're no visible wires.
It took a while to find the right bellows for under the pedal, but i eventually used a cut up steering gaiter from a Ford Sierra (only cost a few quid new from eBay). I wasn't going for screen accurate as i wanted it to be functional as well as look right, so i'm very happy with how it turned out. After eyeing several pictures i decided was the best size for this. I've seen some that are too small or too big and don't look right, but i think at least this size matches what was on screen. The height of the bellows was also decided by eye. It was easy to cut one fold off at a time, and i just kept going 'till it sat at the right height and was able to depress fully.
I also borrowed someone else's excellent idea for attaching the bellows - there are two metal discs either end, just big enough to wedge in tight between the folds of the gaiter. The two screws you can see in the pedal attach with nuts to the other side, and there's a third disc under the base which sandwiches the bellows and the second disc up tight against the base. I epoxied the switch to this middle disc, this took a few goes - i wanted the switch to contact perfectly on every press, but it is now absolutely spot on.
I used the same painting process for the pedal and trap - i sprayed a few coats of Plastikote metallic first, and then a few more top coats of Plastikote satin black. I used Plastikote enamel for the yellow stripes and red side rods. I kept to light coats as the coats adhere better, and (as you may find out as you come to weather the finished parts) means the paint doesn't come off in chunks when you sand it afterwards. This allows for a lot more natural weathering and doesn't just rip the paint off back to raw material.
Like i said i was going for Sedgewick/promo shoot hybrid, so incorporated different elements from each. For an example of my anality (might have just invented a word), i wanted to replicate the stripes on the trap here:
I just think they don't look right if the spacing or stripe width is off, it can make the whole trap look out of proportion. The black stripes are slightly narrower than the yellow as well.
The doors do open, but are fairly secure due to the way they're attached. The cartridge does not come out separately because i though this would take too much time to finish the way i'd want.
The whole trap is kept together with brass inserts and the screws you can see. Everything fits together a bit like a jigsaw, and each piece is fixed to more than one other so the whole thing is held together very solidly. I only used epoxy for things like the red lens and the two side knobs, but everything else is basically able to be taken apart and put back together with no problems.
Here are some pics of the finished trap, and sorry for the quality on some, they were taken with my iPad:
All real parts - knob, resistor and vector plate
Real Raytheon knob from JoeLuna - huge thanks to him. Rods from MMM
Now i'm very pleased with how the front turned out. Firstly i need to give another massive thanks to Nick. His kit has the proper size and shape GB1 knobs moulded into the front panel, so i asked whether i was able to buy these separately. He replied by sending me a bag of them...for free!!! I just thought that was amazing, 'cos they were the kind of accurate i was going for. I sprayed them metallic then satin again, trying to keep the look of the proper round knobs even though mine are made from resin.
Spraying the round knobs and sanding the layers away didn't work, so the black one's ring (erm...yeah ) is actually coloured in with a metallic marker, and the silver one with black shoe polish!! Again, i was really really pleased with how this turned out:
You can just about see but i also used a pair of small grub screws on the silver knob to add to its realism.
And the last few glamour shots:
Forgot to close the doors properly here, they aren't wonky like that in person
As you can see i haven't fitted any electronics yet. This is just because there isn't a kit i've seen that works or looks the way i want it, so i'm happy to wait 'till then.
After this was all finished i gave it a sanding on the edges most likely to be worn down over time, and then a light dusting of Fullers Earth. This was just brushed on straight from the bag and then brushed off to a more natural dusting.
The only things i'm missing now are the labels for the battery cover and bottom of the trap. I did buy one of Joe's last labels but ended up ruining that, so i'm just waiting for his next (more accurate) ones to come out.
So - that's it. I hope something here can help someone with their build so i can pay something back into the site i've gotten so much from.
I may have forgotten a detail so i anyone has any questions just let me know, i'll try and help as best i can.
Finally, thanks to Nick-a-Tron for his amazing kit, JoeLuna for some authentic parts and an amazing fuse label, Multimedia Mayhem for many parts and those fantastic metal plates, Dimension Fabrications for the real metal vector plates, and GBFans for their absolutely fantastic shop and insanely helpful forum.