#347246
I'm just going to create the body of this thread, and update it as I have time, but I thought it might be valuable to some newbies or even "Halloweenies" to share my recent proton pack build story. My first pack! Here's a list of parts, the people I bought them from, the experience as a buyer and eventually some pics... as of Sept 24th, my pack is 95% complete w/ functional lights and sound.

A few things I've learned:
1. dont expect person A's parts to mate up to person B's parts
2. MANY prop sellers make parts to order, so be patient and dont expect your parts to ship right away with many sellers
3. research, research, research
4. rivetting is easy

Big thanks to EricHunter for getting me parts quickly and being up front and honest, and also for the time on the phone!

EricHunter (from eBay or KC Ghostbuster), great guy, took time to talk to me, fast shipping, clean resin parts:
semi completed gun (I'll eventually build my own maybe, but after a little work this gun looks amazing) 225
resin HGA
booster frame
bumper 75
crank knob
ion arm
shock mount

Crix; great guys also, fast shipping:
soundboard 40

Tyger, great mate from UK
2 keyfobs 26

ectolectibles (ebay) fast shipper, as described
"spray painted welding goggles" with cheap stickers 50

Phish4Dinner: friendly on the chats, fast shipper, nice fella
smc elbows 10
tubing kit 7
misc screws 2
m25 resistor 4
m50 resistor 5

Cullen: speedy shipper, gave me some cool free stickers:
sticker set

Bobs Prop Shop: really cool dude, loves what he does, LOCAL for me:
"Universal Studio" pack shell required some clean up, but after painting and assembling, looks great (does NOT fit MMM motherboard) 200

Multimedia Mayhem: Collin is great, LOTS to offer, shipped within about 10 days of the order, high quality parts:
MMM Motherboard 90
PKE holster
leghose kit
cable clamps
orange hat
booster tube
filler tube
injector tubes
LED cliplights
gloves
"P" clamps

Jupiter Electronics: fast shipping, NICE lights:
Pack lights 90
light lens kit 25

GBfans.com/AJ: what can I say.. he's the boss:
splitless loom 6
clippard elbows 12
clippard ion arm elbow 4
sale ph25 resistor 7

Umori Bawar/ Dimensional Fabrications:
aluminum gun ears
froisted gun tube
"banjo"/nycoil fittings
gun tip adapter
gun shook and clip

Brian Parks, great service, fast shipping:
dry rub transfers 18

Carls Electronics:
Canakit amp for sound board 20ish

starbaseatlanta (ebay): fast shippers:
SPENGLER tag 7

B2B auctions on eBay (new order, parts pending):
ion arm

Zombie Amusements: fairly good communication, this guy is busy though, still waiting for parts (will review once received):
pack bumper 60
thrower knob 20
GB1 Ribbon Cable 30
Gun Trigger 20
Dixie Cup Brackets 5

pities2004 (ebay) seems like a nice guy, but sent my box parcel instead of Priority, so instead of 2-3 day delivery... well its been 22 days since it shipped and im still empty handed and out $345. somehow the wrong zipcode was on the box making matters worse


Since this photo, I have mounted the pack to a green ALICE pack frame (will paint tomorrow) and fixed crooked injector tubes (mostly anyway). Just waiting on ribbon cable, thrower tip, ion arm, ion arm cap, crank knob, pack lenses for lights, bumper and shock mount.


Image
Image
#347253
Some_Guy wrote:I like how a majority of the parts were bought from blacklisted sellers on GBFans through eBay. You're basically asking for it, just a fair warning.
1 part on my pack (out of over 50 parts) is from a blacklisted seller. i dont think 1/50 counts as "almost every."

the only thing on my pack from a BL seller is the shell. i did buy parts from zombie... but never received them (not yet anyway), hence never installed them. as far as the shell, i bought a studio creation shell on ebay... but never received it. while waiting on my SC shell, I had acquired pretty much everything BUT a shell. i didnt want to wait any longer and the opportunity to buy a shell locally came up when VideoBob posted his shells for sale on ebay. i spoke with a dozen people in the chat here about buying a shell and the conclusion was that no one had one for sale except for one that was uneven. any others i'd have to go on a waiting list and there was no ETA on delivery (not an option). so I bought VideoBob's shell and its looks good to me.

besides, i understand why some of the sellers are blacklisted. but if NO one else is making some of the parts available, other than these BL sellers, what do you do?

so while one may say "put he K in quality" I dont see where you're coming from. just because the shell was purchased form someone who is accused of recasting, has no effect on my pack. in terms of quality, everything is prepped, cleaned up, sanded and painted to my liking. the only "piece" that is glued in to place is the PPD. everything else is riveted or bolted. i even took the time to make a custom molex wiring harness for the gun/sounds/lights. my clippards are real, alkon connectors, etc. so fro ma quality stand point, i dont see how you could get MUCH better than this pack.
#347257
Some stuff you may want to fix before you get fully assembled is highlighted in red:

Image

1) The crank generator appears to have a serious bow from warping in it. You could probably cut out the cylinder, fill the faces that should be flat with bondo, then replace the cylinder with PVC or something similar.

2) The powercell light cutout seems to be too wide. I'd put a thing piece of plastic over it with the correct width trimmed out.

3) The edge of the shell should fit closely to this edge. The MMM mobo is based of Stefan's plans which are now known to have issues, but even then, you shouldn't have nearly this large a gap. Most likely this is due to the origins of this shell, as molds and casts shrink, and as you pull one from the other, the effect is exaggerated. I'm not sure what you can do to fix that, other than cutting a new mobo, getting a better shell from sellers like Vincenzo, Zombierepellent, and | alkaline |, or just living with it.

As for blacklisted sellers, you seem to have experienced just why the list exists (your purchase from zombieamusements) Also, there's the quality to consider, aka, the shell you DO have and how it looks and fits. So indeed,
because the shell was purchased form someone who is accused of recasting
DOES have an affect.

The fact that you paid 50 bucks for painted welding goggles may also have something to do with previous comments.

On a more personal note, this:
i dont see how you could get MUCH better than this pack.
makes me scratch my head. There's tons of build threads on here, both scratch builds and assemblies, that, no offense, look far better than what you have shown here. I think the reason for this is that those members took time to ask whose parts fit better together, and sought out advice when they hit a roadblock.

There are tons of members more than willing to help out "newbs," as long as they are willing to take a deep breath before breaking out their credit card and buying stuff without pause. I think you're going to receive some flak because of your whole idea that your pack can stand with the big boys' (and it doesn't need to), and it honestly can't.
#347258
ChapterMasterTu'Shan wrote:
i dont see how you could get MUCH better than this pack.
makes me scratch my head. There's tons of build threads on here, both scratch builds and assemblies, that, no offense, look far better than what you have shown here. I think the reason for this is that those members took time to ask whose parts fit better together, and sought out advice when they hit a roadblock.

There are tons of members more than willing to help out "newbs," as long as they are willing to take a deep breath before breaking out their credit card and buying stuff without pause. I think you're going to receive some flak because of your whole idea that your pack can stand with the big boys' (and it doesn't need to), and it honestly can't.
Quoted for truth.
#347291
ChapterMasterTu'Shan wrote:Some stuff you may want to fix before you get fully assembled is highlighted in red:

Image

1) The crank generator appears to have a serious bow from warping in it. You could probably cut out the cylinder, fill the faces that should be flat with bondo, then replace the cylinder with PVC or something similar. yeah, i noticed that. wasn't sure if that was typical or not.

2) The powercell light cutout seems to be too wide. I'd put a thing piece of plastic over it with the correct width trimmed out. oops, didnt realize I cut it too wide. i'm not too worried about it though. the lens will still fit nicely behind it.

3) The edge of the shell should fit closely to this edge. The MMM mobo is based of Stefan's plans which are now known to have issues, but even then, you shouldn't have nearly this large a gap. Most likely this is due to the origins of this shell, as molds and casts shrink, and as you pull one from the other, the effect is exaggerated. I'm not sure what you can do to fix that, other than cutting a new mobo, getting a better shell from sellers like Vincenzo, Zombierepellent, and | alkaline |, or just living with it. i plan on just trimming this shell. the top it too tall, and there is the area you highlighted that is too big. those can easily be filed down. the only area i can't fix without a new mobo is where the power cell hangs over the mobo on the bottom by about a half inch. will have to live with that though.

As for blacklisted sellers, you seem to have experienced just why the list exists (your purchase from zombieamusements) Also, there's the quality to consider, aka, the shell you DO have and how it looks and fits. So indeed,
because the shell was purchased form someone who is accused of recasting
DOES have an affect.

The fact that you paid 50 bucks for painted welding goggles may also have something to do with previous comments. haha, i didnt care enough about the goggles so I'm happy with those. just keep in mind, i likely wont be attending any cons or anything so the chance of anyone outside of this board recognizing that my goggles are gay isnt very likely :)

On a more personal note, this:
i dont see how you could get MUCH better than this pack.
makes me scratch my head. There's tons of build threads on here, both scratch builds and assemblies, that, no offense, look far better than what you have shown here. I think the reason for this is that those members took time to ask whose parts fit better together, and sought out advice when they hit a roadblock. keep in mind my pack isnt finished. between straightening out the generator box, finishing the missing details, trimming the mobo, etc... I really dont think there will be other packs that will be "MUCH" better than mine. I'm not saying there wont be 100 packs that aren't better than mine, I'm just saying that they wont be better by "much." I hope to have it all done in about a week, so we'll take a 2nd look at that point.

There are tons of members more than willing to help out "newbs," as long as they are willing to take a deep breath before breaking out their credit card and buying stuff without pause. I think you're going to receive some flak because of your whole idea that your pack can stand with the big boys' (and it doesn't need to), and it honestly can't.
I appreciate the time you took for your response and I commented in red. Thanks again!
#347300
When I started researching packs, everyone's parts looked the same. After a while, you start to see that not all parts are created equal. Even some respectable sellers with good business practices don't necessarily have the best casts.

Granted, I am doing a sloooooow build because I don't have the funds to buy everything all at once. But that will work to my advantage as I have put over a year into research so far and I am able to lie in wait for the best parts to become available and pounce on them.
#347301
ChapterMasterTu'Shan wrote:It might be in your best interest to ask for a return from Mr. Moseley and ask in the Wanted section here if anyone has a shell to spare. For the money I think Bob owes you, you can get a much, much better shell.
lol, thanks. i paid $200 for "instant gratification." when I picked it up, the N filter had a crack around it (which wasnt mentioned in the auction), but I filled in the crack with glue. the N filter on top is a little concave and the crank generator is concave, but other than that, I'm happy with the shell. its THICK which is nice; feels really sturdy. for example, where I had to drill out the cyclotron holes... there are spots where the plastic is as thick as a whole inch (which I like). the overall shape of the thing is nice, so I'm happy. also, because this shell is NOT a fiberglass shell, its very durable. you guys may not like the guy thats selling the shell, but that doesnt entirely make it a bad shell.

I did look for a while and asked a million people if anyone had a shell READY to sell and didnt have any luck.

One thing about this hobby that blows my mind is that people that make these parts, like shells, dont "stock them" and keep them ready to sell. I would have been more than happy to shell out a few more bucks for another shell, but there wasnt one to be found.
#347302
kevinj319 wrote:When I started researching packs, everyone's parts looked the same. After a while, you start to see that not all parts are created equal. Even some respectable sellers with good business practices don't necessarily have the best casts.

Granted, I am doing a sloooooow build because I don't have the funds to buy everything all at once. But that will work to my advantage as I have put over a year into research so far and I am able to lie in wait for the best parts to become available and pounce on them.
unfortunately I didnt have the luxury of time. my wife decided at the end of August that she didnt want me to wear my uber deluxe Freddy costume (too scary for the kids), and told me to just do the ghostbuster thing. so i started planning, researching and buying at the end of August.
#347307
Jacob King wrote: I'm happy with the shell. its THICK which is nice; feels really sturdy. for example, where I had to drill out the cyclotron holes... there are spots where the plastic is as thick as a whole inch (which I like). the overall shape of the thing is nice, so I'm happy. also, because this shell is NOT a fiberglass shell, its very durable. you guys may not like the guy thats selling the shell, but that doesnt entirely make it a bad shell.
So this was one of his "spray plastic" shells that he was marketing as light weight then?
Jacob King wrote:One thing about this hobby that blows my mind is that people that make these parts, like shells, dont "stock them" and keep them ready to sell. I would have been more than happy to shell out a few more bucks for another shell, but there wasnt one to be found.
There are a couple reasons for this. One, the cost of materials and time required to produce shells are high. Even making 10 shells is a significant outlay of time and money for the producer with no guarentee that people will want it. Two, as soon as someone says they're selling shells they're inundated with orders and can't keep up. This may seem to go against what I just said but just because people order doesn't mean they're going to pay. People back out for all sorts of reasons. Three, everything about the process of making shells is big. Molds are big, materials are big, finished shells are big, shipping supplies are big. Most shell producers are working out of a standard suburban garage that's not 100% dedicated to shell production so there's just not enough space to store 10, 15, 20 shells.
#347312
I usually stay out of these sort of discussions, but I just wanted to say something here. I am a newer member and have been collecting parts for my own builds for the last year. I have been on waiting lists for some time and expect to continue to be on the waiting lists for a lot longer. I want quality, and the only way to get quality parts is to make them yourself (doing it right) or get on waiting lists.
Jacob King wrote: I did look for a while and asked a million people if anyone had a shell READY to sell and didnt have any luck.

besides, i understand why some of the sellers are blacklisted. but if NO one else is making some of the parts available, other than these BL sellers, what do you do?
My opinion (and advice to another new person) is the reason there aren't shells READY from people not on the blacklist is because those shells are of QUALITY and there is a high DEMAND for them. They can't keep them in "on hand"...they sell out. The reason the blacklisted sellers have them "on hand" is because they are of LOWER quality and there isn't a DEMAND for them. If all quality sellers are out, and all blacklisted sellers have stock....that should tell you something. People aren't buying from the blacklisted sellers. If you want quality to run with the big dogs around here then you will have to do a lot of research and wait a long time for parts. If you just want to put together a pack that looks the part, that normal people who aren't huge fans won't notice the difference, and get it done in a short period of time, that's perfectly fine. After all it's YOUR pack. It's whatever YOU make it. BUT please don't come on the boards and post that you got all these parts from blacklisted sellers (and there are more than just one...recheck the list) and claim that your pack is of top quality. Please don't make claims that the amazing build threads on here aren't "much" better. It's insulting. And you won't be making very many friends. Please don't take me wrong, I'm not saying your build doesn't have quality, but its far from the expert's packs being built on this forum who spend a ton of time researching, planning, and building.

This is just my opinion and advice from one new member to another. Besides if you really wanted a top notch pack you could have gotten this amazing finished pack http://www.gbfans.com/community/viewtop ... 31&t=27072. Then you could have talked all you wanted about the quality of the pack and compare it to the greats.
#347322
As a newb I have learned that my vac shell is undersized and not near as good as a fiberglass pack made by a quality member. Although I am building a halloween pack and have limited time I am happy so far. A nicer shell should make all the difference tho. Yes some prop makers parts are better than others. Everything I have received from the gbfans store is top notch. A few items I have purchased from ebay are acceptable. Some better than others. Only reason I went with ebay for some of the smaller parts is the high demand and lack of time for the quality parts. I have ordred what I can from MMM tho. Next time I do this and have the money I will spend more on a quality shell.
#347334
bjz wrote:As a newb I have learned that my vac shell is undersized and not near as good as a fiberglass pack ... Next time I do this and have the money I will spend more on a quality shell.
i agree
drjameshouse wrote:Besides if you really wanted a top notch pack you could have gotten this amazing finished pack http://www.gbfans.com/community/viewtop ... 31&t=27072. Then you could have talked all you wanted about the quality of the pack and compare it to the greats.
i honestly dont see much difference between his pack and mine. yes, there ARE differences (and of course my pack isnt finished...) but they look pretty close to me. granted his has more aluminum, but I couldnt justify the price difference just to say mine has an all aluminum thrower.
ThrowingChicken wrote:Your barrel lock is on upside down.
thanks dude!
#347337
Jacob King wrote:i honestly dont see much difference between his pack and mine. yes, there ARE differences (and of course my pack isnt finished...) but they look pretty close to me.
Take it from the people that have studied the packs extensively, they just don't compair. As an example, here's a universal studios pack:
Image
Ostensibly more or less "the same" shell you have.

Now here's a GB2 pack from the same exhibit:
Image

Baring the obvious additions like the orange reflectors there are marked differences in the shape and quality of the packs.
#347350
Jacob King wrote: i honestly dont see much difference between his pack and mine.
You don't, but most of the people around here can and do.

Will the general public? No.

Will they believe it's a highly accurate pack? Sure.

Is it true? Nope.

Should you continue to insist your pack can stand up to a "Heavy" pack? I wouldn't advise it.
#347399
People aren't necessarily trying to knock you for being inaccurate, they are trying to help you. Warped parts are unacceptable unless they are marked and sold as such and with a discount.

I realize that if you want it quick, you can't be choosy and seek out the best of the best.

And that's fine, not everyone needs to have the most accurate pack. But claiming there is little difference between your discount parts and the finest example of a pack created thus far... it's poppycock.

Is there a difference between Empire Strikes Back and Phantom Menace?
#347406
Jacob, work with the parts you have - the only person you want to impress is yourself ( and your wife, since you spent a good deal of time and money on this). Have fun building this. There's always next time to get it "right."
#347409
exo95er wrote:Jacob, work with the parts you have - the only person you want to impress is yourself ( and your wife, since you spent a good deal of time and money on this). Have fun building this. There's always next time to get it "right."
thanks for the kind words mate. i'm a "halloweenie" so i wont be out at cons. but it seems the biggest complaint everyone has is about my sh1tty shell. luckily, if I decide to, I can eventually buy a NICE shell and just swap everything over. I spent a good bit of time making the pack so that it was solid, and EVERYTHING but the PPD is bolted in to place (not glued) so I can easily swap parts from one shell to another.

maybe after Halloween I'll start keeping an eye out for a good shell. everything else i'm perfectly happy with so far.

thanks again!
#347572
Make what you need to make, if it makes you happy. I think your first post noting that this would be a good checklist for the Halloween folks is pretty accurate.

If you're only making this for Halloween, though, I'm not sure why you're being such a supposed stickler for details - you might as well just stick some random wires and stickers on your shell and call it a day - most people don't know the finer details of the pack, and if that's your intended audience, why go to all the trouble?
#347626
Carpeteria wrote:Make what you need to make, if it makes you happy. I think your first post noting that this would be a good checklist for the Halloween folks is pretty accurate.

If you're only making this for Halloween, though, I'm not sure why you're being such a supposed stickler for details - you might as well just stick some random wires and stickers on your shell and call it a day - most people don't know the finer details of the pack, and if that's your intended audience, why go to all the trouble?
you pretty much nailed it. this is mostly a halloween pack... but since its something i've wanted for a LONG time, i want it too look good. i want the right parts, right stickers, etc... if there is a "wave" in the gearbox, I can live with that.

Any chance for a aluminum trap commission? He[…]

We appreciate the head's up, but a head's up on w[…]

Ya and when he said he was terrified beyond the ca[…]

Clearly, what we need is a law making Ghostbusters[…]