User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4917908
Good Evening fellow Ghostheads. I'm looking to add to my costume collection with a working proton pack. I've been bouncing back and forth between KnowOnesDesing and a pack kit form Karnivorous. Obviously, Karnivorous is more expensive but I was wondering if anyone has purchased a kit from either of these two people and what their experience has been with them.

My background in costume construction has only been TK armor with the 501st. I had a blast putting it together and shimming it to fit myself. This project, of course, seems more involved but I'm up for the challenge. As of now my questions really revolve around price per quality and the time allotted that would need to build from start to a completed working pack with lights and sound.

I've been on these forums for years ever since I joined the 501st back in 2004. I guess getting the pack together is more of a puzzle that can be constructed in whatever order you like. However, the daunting part for me is the electronics and the best way to mount and troubleshoot lighting and sound issues. Obviously, the soundboard and hardware from here have been hard to come by as I would like to give back to this community. Unfortunately, I may have to find another vendor for those bits. Part of that 'puzzle' of constructing the pack, what are the best ways to incorporate those electronics while putting the pack together but still have access to them if there needs to be repairs or replacements of any kind? I'm having trouble with visualizing this part of the project which really has held me up on purchasing anything from the start.

I've been fumbling on how to ask for opinions on this stuff for a while, but with only 5 months to go, I thought I should just try to get a response from anyone that is willing to offer their suggestions and opinions. :blush:

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by Fitzhume on July 17th, 2019, 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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User avatar
By Prologic9
#4917910
Only 5 months to go until what? Is it a con?

#1 advise everyone should take is; Don't worry about the Con. If you show up with a missing proton filangee no one will care.

It's very easy in a build to go down certain paths only to change your mind and end up wasting money and resources. The best thing to do is keep your choices focused on what's going to make your pack the pack you want, not external deadlines or matters that don't directly effect the build.

I wouldn't worry about ordering from either of the sellers you mentioned. Garrick Backer (KnowOne's Designs) recently did a build video on Punished Props that, while not step-by-step, should be of great help to anyone putting that together. And it will give you an exact idea of what you'll be getting;

https://youtu.be/y6skw2Pl6PU

Garrick sells an affordable entry level Proton Pack experience. It's not super accurate, but there's nothing wrong with that. I've seen people buy his packs (or similar packs from other sellers) and then when they get them they bad mouth the work because they're not like the $5,000 packs they see online. And that's not right.

Make sure you understand what you're committing to.

Karnivorous Creations has a feedback thread here;
http://www.gbfans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=17444

If you're looking at a full kit in that price range though, I'd recommend BenofKentProps. You'll pay less, get more, and Ben's work is just fantastic. He also offers a huge variety of packages so you could potentially buy the back-pack only and then get;

ThrowingChicken's Proton Gun Kit. I believe he still sells them here or on his Etsy store. If you're not going full aluminum then this kit is a dream. At $195, is it twice as good as a $99 kit? Absolutely, it's actually like 8x better. I'd even recommend it over an aluminum thrower to anyone concerned about weight.

Regarding electronics; all of these items should offer similar access for post-protronic-insertion. The original props themselves were built to have easy access to these things, so it tends to follow that the replicas do as well.
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User avatar
By bishopdonmiguel
Supporting Member
#4917913
Study pack builds. They have all the answers you seek. There are many ways to build a pack and the builders here have solved problems in many unique ways.

Unfortunately with all the picture hosting site chaos, some of the build photo links may be dead. I spent some time relinking the pics in my build thread. Have a look through it and it may give you a rough idea how you’d like to solve the puzzle.

Bishop’s All-Fired Plain-Vanilla Pack Build
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User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4917937
I appreciate the time you put into your replies. I gave myself a deadline because I wanted to do this for Halloween last year with the family. Life happens as you know and it snuck on me rather quickly. I told myself then to commit to this since it's an item that I want and have also that I can walk with my kids for Holloween as they love Ghostbusters. Hell, it's also appeasing the child inside me as well.

What is it about BenofKentProps's kit that you really like about it?
User avatar
By Prologic9
#4917938
I don't want to compare makers too much because I'm not trying to talk down anyone's work.

BenofKent is the only place I know of that offers a complete kit. He also includes aluminum parts where others are resin. If you were to purchase the items his kit includes separately that others do not you're looking at several hundreds of dollars extra.

His shell is also polyurethane, which is a huge advantage over every other shell maker out there right now. And he preps and mounts it to the motherboard for you. His shells sit perfectly flush to his motherboards which appear to be cut to each shell specifically so they align perfectly. Or maybe that's due to the material not warping as much as fiberglass? I don't know, either way it really is just top notch work.
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User avatar
By NGLetho
#4917964
I was very fortunate in the position to acquire a karnivous pack and gun kit. While this is my first build (still work in progress) and nothing else to compare too I consider it very nice and high quality. You can also message him if you have any questions. He was extremely nice and was really willing to work with me.

As stated before , there are also other greats out there.

I would highly recommend not to stress about meeting the deadline. If it's few good lessons I've been learning on the way as a first time..
1. It takes time and its alot of research.
2. Things will probably break and not go as planned.
3. It can take a bit to get parts (but absolutely worth the wait and excitement when they make it in).

I am in the same boat with the electronics but after doing a ton of research and the help with the outstanding community I am fairly confident when that time will come (just waiting on the soundboard now).
User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4917986
I have TK armor under my belt but to say that is the same as this can be quite an understatement. I've been in contact with Benofketnprops and Karnivous and both have been very helpful and professional so far. I believe I will be pulling the trigger soon and play the waiting game.

I'm sure there were extra tools that you had to purchase just for this project. Did you find that you just had to pick them up as you went along?
User avatar
By NGLetho
#4917992
I have TK armor under my belt but to say that is the same as this can be quite an understatement. I've been in contact with Benofketnprops and Karnivous and both have been very helpful and professional so far. I believe I will be pulling the trigger soon and play the waiting game.

I'm sure there were extra tools that you had to purchase just for this project. Did you find that you just had to pick them up as you went along?
Tools :
Drill (pretty much a must have)
Dremel : While it's not a must have I highly recommend it. Especially the wand attachment to get into small places.
Tap and drill set. : If you want to tap and create threads into parts, Irwin sells a very inexpensive set with all the bits (1/4 - 20, 8 -32 and so forth) the only one not in the kit was the 4-40 but they sell it separate.
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User avatar
By starburst
#4917993
I have TK armor under my belt but to say that is the same as this can be quite an understatement. I've been in contact with Benofketnprops and Karnivous and both have been very helpful and professional so far. I believe I will be pulling the trigger soon and play the waiting game.

I'm sure there were extra tools that you had to purchase just for this project. Did you find that you just had to pick them up as you went along?
Looking forward to seeing you start work on your Pack, who did you decide to go with or will you make us wait and see?
User avatar
By starburst
#4918022
I'm almost at the stage you are at (I just have one more GB Fans order I want to put in before I'm there) and I'm going to be going with Ben myself.
User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4918025
I did end up purchasing a kit from Ben since I haven't been collecting parts over the years, as I should probably have been doing. But it is what it is. If you are interested, I'll keep you up-to-date on the build as I go through. I'm sure I will be looking for some advice in the future.

Actually, the 2nd would be what is the opinion of those that have a pack with lights/sound, what is the hardware that you use?
User avatar
By starburst
#4918029
Congratulations!

I think its swings and roundabouts when it comes to that and there is no real correct answer. I decided to slowly collect parts first, and when I say slowly I mean really slowly as until recently when I bought some parts from VenkmanSwagger's (unfortunately) canned build I hadn't really put any money into it for a while. Sometimes I think I should have picked up the shell etc first to start working on it and then collected parts I wanted to upgrade as I went along.

I've gone for a GB Fans kit but an alternative I have heard good things about is from "Ninja Tunes", I would imagine there will be a good few people who will be able to give you hands on advice about the GBF board (I bought my lights and soundboard from VS and ordering the wand kit when its back in stock) but if you are looking for options drop a message to venkman69 as he's got the Ninja Tunes board.
User avatar
By Knowone251
Supporting Member
#4918071
Thank you for the kind words, I couldn't describe my kits & builds better. I sometimes us the term "Trooping Pack" as mine tend to be about half the weight. But you'll always get crisper detail out of cast pieces. Pack building is always a game of trade offs. OP i hope you have a great time getting your kit together!
Only 5 months to go until what? Is it a con?

#1 advise everyone should take is; Don't worry about the Con. If you show up with a missing proton filangee no one will care.

It's very easy in a build to go down certain paths only to change your mind and end up wasting money and resources. The best thing to do is keep your choices focused on what's going to make your pack the pack you want, not external deadlines or matters that don't directly effect the build.

I wouldn't worry about ordering from either of the sellers you mentioned. Garrick Backer (KnowOne's Designs) recently did a build video on Punished Props that, while not step-by-step, should be of great help to anyone putting that together. And it will give you an exact idea of what you'll be getting;

https://youtu.be/y6skw2Pl6PU

Garrick sells an affordable entry level Proton Pack experience. It's not super accurate, but there's nothing wrong with that. I've seen people buy his packs (or similar packs from other sellers) and then when they get them they bad mouth the work because they're not like the $5,000 packs they see online. And that's not right.

Make sure you understand what you're committing to.

Karnivorous Creations has a feedback thread here;
http://www.gbfans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=17444

If you're looking at a full kit in that price range though, I'd recommend BenofKentProps. You'll pay less, get more, and Ben's work is just fantastic. He also offers a huge variety of packages so you could potentially buy the back-pack only and then get;

ThrowingChicken's Proton Gun Kit. I believe he still sells them here or on his Etsy store. If you're not going full aluminum then this kit is a dream. At $195, is it twice as good as a $99 kit? Absolutely, it's actually like 8x better. I'd even recommend it over an aluminum thrower to anyone concerned about weight.

Regarding electronics; all of these items should offer similar access for post-protronic-insertion. The original props themselves were built to have easy access to these things, so it tends to follow that the replicas do as well.
User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4918130
Per sound and lights, is it wise to wait for boards to become available here in the shop or possible use someone else's hardware? I've seen so many different boards put together to do all the same thing.

Even though I'm putting together what I call a traditional pack, I like the thought of having the sounds and lights from the video game as well. When it comes to that configuration, will the lights that in the cyclotron switch accordingly with what is available from the store here or what is necessary to achieve that look and sound?
User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4921543
I'm to the point where I'm finishing up the holes on the pack itself before priming and painting. I'm analyzing how big of holes to use for the bumper to attach it to the pack. The bumper lines up in between two sections of the sync.gen. and I'm curious if people used bolts that fit in between those sections or did you use a thicker bolt that will have to have part of those sections drilled into?
User avatar
By Demon Vice Commander
#4921549
The bumper lines up in between two sections of the sync.gen. and I'm curious if people used bolts that fit in between those sections or did you use a thicker bolt that will have to have part of those sections drilled into?
The bumper uses four 1/4-20 Allen head bolts (or pan head for GB2) to secure it to the sides of the synchronous generator.
User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4921555
The bumper lines up in between two sections of the sync.gen. and I'm curious if people used bolts that fit in between those sections or did you use a thicker bolt that will have to have part of those sections drilled into?
The bumper uses four 1/4-20 Allen head bolts (or pan head for GB2) to secure it to the sides of the synchronous generator.
I have both types of bolts but I haven't decided which to go with yet. Now, the threaded part of the bolt does not fit between the sections of the synchronous generator. Do most people still use this thickness of a bolt to then just drill through that space and including parts of those pannels?

Here is an image of what I'm attempting describe:
Image
User avatar
By Prologic9
#4921559
Here's my BoK shell and bumper with a 1/2 inch spacer on the center mounting point. I made one each of the side-screws cosmetic only, but that's just me. These are 1/4 screws but you could also use M6-1.00 screws like Ben uses to attach the shell if you want to keep them all consistent.

Image

Image
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User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4921562
OH, those are great pictures. Thanks for sharing those with me!

Prologic9, so you tapped your holes in the bumper as well. Did either of you drill these holes at the same time, bumper and sync.gen together? Or did you drill the bumper first and then line it up and mark it on the sync.generator?

Again, thanks for posting these pictures, this is a huge help!
User avatar
By Prologic9
#4921563
Actually I only tapped the bumper, and that was really just because of the faux screws.

For the shell I think it's better to drill holes large enough for the screws to pass through and then use nuts on the inside to secure them. This gives your parts a little wiggle room and it's more secure than tapping into polyurethane.
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User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4921810
Hi all!

I'm sort of stuck. I have my last hole to drill but I'm not sure how to go about it. In Benofkent's pack, the gearbox is partially solid where the split loom (hose) will go. I would say that the top half of it or more is solid. What is the best method for getting a nice centered hole here to mount a dowel rod or open it, fix a dowel rod here to allow for the hose to fit properly over it securely?

Image

Image
User avatar
By bishopdonmiguel
Supporting Member
#4921812
You could get a long threaded rod. Drill a hole through the center of a short section of wood dowel that is long enough to glue the hose to later. Countersink the ends using a forstner bit wide enough for nuts and washers. Install rod into dowel and tighten nuts with one end flush. Mark a hole in the middle of the gearbox using dowel to center and make sure you leave space on the pack side for the loom to slide over dowel later. Use a long bit, drill hole through gearbox and inset the threaded rod through the hole. Affix with washer and nut on inside.
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User avatar
By Fitzhume
#4921813
You could get a long threaded rod. Drill a hole through the center of a short section of wood dowel that is long enough to glue the hose to later. Countersink the ends using a forstner bit wide enough for nuts and washers. Install rod into dowel and tighten nuts with one end flush. Mark a hole in the middle of the gearbox using dowel to center and make sure you leave space on the pack side for the loom to slide over dowel later. Use a long bit, drill hole through gearbox and inset the threaded rod through the hole. Affix with washer and nut on inside.
Didn't you do something similar with your build but used magnets in the tube and in the pack?
By alleyradb
#4921814
I purchased a kit from Ben last year and was a bit apprehensive about drilling that gearbox hole, as well.

I ended up using a 1” drill hole punch attachment — the same one to drill for your loom that connects to your wand. I ended up securing it to a hand bit-driver and hand-cranked the punch. It was a lot of elbow grease, but it was gentle on the pack. (Lots of horror stories of people drilling too deeply and cracking their shell or making a hole!)

Once I got that in about an inch or two, I could see the cut I was making from the inside of the pack. From there I used my dremel to cut (gently!) into the hole punch cut.

I hope that made sense. The loom didn’t need any dowels or magnets or anything to sit in there nicely. I ended up just gorilla gluing the loom on the inside along with a zip tie to prevent it from back out, should the glue fail.

Hope this helps! Worst case scenario: bondo and some sanding!
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