The most time consuming part of this effort was determining what I was going to change and how I would achieve it. I did this in many steps and changed my mind on some things, which made it take longer than it would have otherwise. Had I known what I know now, I would have approached this more systematically and it would have been more efficient. For example, removing all the portions of the pack that I would replace, at the same time; cutting all the PVC at the same time; cutting all the wood pieces at the same time, etc. I have no experience with projects like this so it was all trial and error.
I started by disassembling the pack; removed the cardboard backing, the stock electronics, lenses, straps, hoses, handles, etc. I removed all the stickers with goo-gone to end up with a bare shell.
Here’s a list of what I used and some measurements..
-Thin cutoff wheel
-Metal cutoff wheel
60/120/220 sanding sponges
2-part Epoxy (JB Weld)
Hex key set
Drill/Tap set (4-40,6-32,8-32,10-24, 1/4-20)
Step Bit set
Rivet tool (& assortment of rivets)
Hobby Wood (basswood)
Flat aluminum bar
Metallic Chrome Paint
Orange peel wall texture spray
Sliver Rub N’ Buff
BEN OF KENT:
80% 3D Shock Mount
80% 3D Custom Bumper
80% Metal Ion arm cap
80% Metal Ribbon clamp
80% 3D Booster frame
80% 3D Gun Track
80% 3D Top knob
80% Scaled Labels
8” Cake Pan
2 large brass screws
10/32 nuts & female threads
1” Nylon Spacers x3 (Frame)
1/2” Nylon Spacer (Top knob)
Clippard brass fittings
4mm Brass bushings
3 Aluminum labels
80% 3D resistors
2nd Gen Legris elbows
GB 1 Ribbon Cable
1/2” Splitless Loom
Rear loom 6-32 3/4” x1
Instrument Bar 6-32 1” x2
Clippard 4-40 1/2” x2
Top knob 4-40 1 1/2” x1
Front handle 6-32 1/2” x2
Ribbon clamp 8-32 1” x2
Mobo/shell 10-24 1” x4
Bumper 10-24 1 1/2” x4
HGA 8-32 1/2” x4
HGA rear 8-32 1” x1
Clippard 6-32 1/2” x2
Injectors 8-32 1 1/2” x2
Beam line 8-32 1” x1
Booster frame 8-32 1/2” x2
Booster tube 8-32 1” x2
Alice carriage 1/4-20 1 1/2” x3
Front handle tube 1/2” 14 cm
Rear handle tube 1/2” 16 cm
Front barrel end ring 1/2” 1 cm
Trigger tip ring 1/2” 0.8 cm
Rear cylinder 1/2” 2.2 cm
Injectors 3/4” 19.7 cm
Booster tube 1 1/2” 21 cm
Beam line 1/2” 6 cm
HGA 1 1/2” 6.3 cm
Instrument bar 6.3 cm
Gun box bottom plate 5.3 cm x 8.9 cm
Injector mount 6.1 cm x 3.6 cm
Injector red/blue bump 1.5 cm x 3.7 cm
Center bottom bump 1 cm x 3.7 cm
Booster ‘shelf’ 7.5 cm x 18.5 cm
Booster ‘shelf’ supports 2.3 cm x 13cm (left)
2.3 cm x 18.5 (right)
2.3 cm x 7.5 cm (top)
N Filter 1 1/2” Adapter 9 Holes
EDA/shelf height 7.3 cm
The first thing I wanted to correct was the flimsy feeling of the thrower handles. It felt like a matter of time before they broke so I cut the grips out and cut out the handles entirely. I carefully saved the front handle pieces to use later.
I didn’t approach everything in the right order with the thrower. After cutting the grips out and sanding them to fit a 1/2” PVC tube, I used an acrylic orange paint on them. My plan was to paint, sand, paint sand multiple layers and then hit them with a clear coat to seal it.
I’ll also note that I tried a number of glues and epoxy’s and after using hot glue in some places, I replaced it with black milliput. That stuff isn’t too tacky, easy to mold and get hard as a rock once cured. For the PVC handles, I had to use a sanding drum to hollow them out a little to fit the clear tube.
Initially I used hot glue to secure the PVC handles but it wasn’t sturdy enough so I removed the hot glue and used JB weld, then reinforced it with milliput. Keeping the handles straight while the epoxy cured was difficult. When the handles are crooked, I think its very easy to spot so I was checking and rechecking when doing this.
The clear tube was cut from a saline flush (any paramedic out there will know what I’m talking about) and I wrapped it with masking tape and gently hit the exposed middle part with a sanding drum on the slowest setting. This gave it a frosted look.
The front handle parts were saved and glued with a two part epoxy and some fake welds were done with the milliput. I filled the weird gap spots with milliput and sanded them.
For the other two front rings, I simply cut them from the same PVC and sanded them to fit. I used Silver Rub N Buff to give them an aluminum finish. The trigger tip was cut from a piece of 1/8” basswood. I looked through reference photos of these, hand drew the shape on the wood and then cut it out. I put a notch in the PVC ring and glued it in place, then reinforced it with plumbers puddy epoxy. I used the Rub N Buff for the silver finish.
The banjo fittings were cut from a piece of plywood. I used the harder plywood instead of the basswood because of how small the pieces were and because I didn’t want them breaking easily. I drilled a hole in the bottom to accept a small brass tube. It gave a little detail to them. I painted gold and eventually finished them with antique gold Rub N Buff for a more authentic finish.
Originally I went with a 3D printed v hook but after a while it bugged me how big and wrong it looked so I made one from a sheet of aluminum.
The gun box had to be routed for the lights and switches so I cut the bottom out to create an access point. This made installing the electronics much easier. I utilized the existing screw holes to secure it. This piece would be attached to the gun track.
I ordered an 80% 3D printed gun track from Ben Of Kent and cut/shortened the back to make it sized right. On the gun track, I bought a simple ‘s’ hook and bent one side to create the hook. It was secured in place by 6-32 screws/nuts with washers.
For the three vent light openings, I drilled several holes and then used a file to shape the rest of the opening. I used this method for the bargraph hole as well.
I removed the existing molded ‘small knob’ on the right side and used a metal 1/8” shaft collar (cheap on eBay) to fit on the green lever I made from 1/8” metal rod (cheap at Home Depot). The green part was cut from the green tubing (purchased from gbfans.com)
I purchased spongeface’s spirit electronics so that had to be taken into account as I used the putty and such.
I corrected the top of the gun box to give it more of a rounded edge on the top left. I accomplished this by using a dremel sanding wheel, slowly sanding in the direction of the curve. I then use a sanding sponge to smooth it out. I also cut out the molded top knob. I placed a 1/2” nylon spacer (Home Depot) and fake welds for the top knob post. The top knob is 80% 3D printed and was ordered from Ben Of Kent.
For the screws i had to kinda wing it for some of the miscellaneous ones, like for the bottom plate and the tip trigger, but most of what I used for the build is 4-40, 6-32 or 8-32 screws. This made it easy when threading things like the front handle screws by the gun lock. For the brass spacers I found some 4mmx8mm brass bushings online. I think they’re used for RC cars or something.
The instrument bar was cut from a piece of square wood and routed for the lights. The rear cylinder was made with the existing molded piece glued and supported to a length of PVC that was partially cut to fit under the instrument bar. I tapped (8-32 I think) for the brass tube barbs (purchased on eBay). I had to use a couple long wood screws on the side to secure where the intensify button will go. I’m not at all happy with this move as it looks stupid but we’ll see, I may change it.