BY bromie
I'm sure I don't need to explain why I'm on to my second pack - from what I've seen everyone is fully aware of the severe withdrawal symptoms that hit you immediately after finishing one GB prop :twisted:

So, in the words of one of my favourite shows: "The story so far..."

My GB1 build


Alright, maybe my build wasn't quite as good as Supernatural, but you get the idea.

Like I said, after 'finishing' my last pack build (yeah I know, like we're ever truly 'done' with these things :lol: ), I got the sudden urge to start a second build. The research resumed, this time for a GB2 semi-hero, and after losing several months of my life that I genuinely can't remember I had nearly every part ready for the complete build.

I think the gun is potentially the more difficult part to finish due to the amount of small fiddly bits and cramped work space, so I decided to start with this. I was going for full semi with this build (never go full semi...), so where else to start, but with Nick-a-Tron‽

He makes a fantastic fibreglass semi-hero thrower (and I think he's the only current builder of one), seen below:



Now, like any part there was some cleanup to do, but the beauty of a semi-hero build is that it is sloppy, and you don't have to worry about perfection. In fact it nearly killed me not being able to tidy it up, but I was going for a decent level of screen accuracy.

Nick casts the relevant hole locations in for you, so drilling everything out was a doddle:


Now, it's fibreglass, so it's basically inevitable that you'll end up chipping something, hence the epoxy putty.

Due to the construction of the semi-hero thrower (two half moulds glued together) there was a small bit of tidying to do along the seam lines. There were some thin spots in the resin, so I reinforced these with epoxy while still preserving the obvious seam, as they are seen on the screen used packs.

You can also see the epoxy around most of the larger holes; I was using the same stepped drill bits I used on my first pack, and I'd recommend everyone takes the time to find and read the numerous tips dotted throughout the build forum regarding drilling through fibreglass (slow speeds, drill in reverse, etc.). Not that I did, I just wanted the holes cut.

The base and bottom of the trigger box were cut with a Dremel, and left slightly untidy as per the screen used packs (which you can kind of see on Volguus's pack).

You won't see it until a bit later, but the bargraph opening was cut based on obsessive viewing of the reference section and screen caps.

It's been a few months so I can't remember exactly which pack I'm building; there were four semi-heroes, and on screen I think there was a pack that had a red HGA label (plus other features I found more interesting to the eye) and a different pack that had full gun labels. Unfortunately that means my pack won't be fully screen accurate, but instead based on two different packs.

Once I get round to the pack I'll find out again exactly what I'm basing my build on, but looking back at the reference photos make me think that I'm actually building the Washington DC Planet Hollywood pack and gun. So ignore that previous paragraph. Maybe.

Nick's build of his own semi-hero (If you have the means, I highly recommend you read it) was a big source of inspiration for my gun build, and I used some of his ideas as a kind of dedication to him (read: I stole some great ideas that I didn't think of :cry: ).

The real throwers used a wooden dowel secured into the end of the rear handle as a point to attach the split loom, so I did the same:

The length of the dowel is again based on obsessive research, and intense viewing of the bending point of the split loom... :sigh:

I fixed a spare cap head screw into the dowel, wrapped it with a large sausage of epoxy putty and then pulled it through from inside the handle. The wood was scored all along before doing this to give the epoxy something to 'grab,' and once in the right position left to set. I also screwed a hole through the wood before doing any of this for somewhere to put the wires through.

You can kind of see in the photo above, but I used brass inserts again for the two Clippard barbs.

Once given another round of filling and sanding, the gun was painted. I used the same brand paint as I always have (although it seems to have changed owners from Plastikote to Krylon) - this time a paint and primer, semi gloss black. I used this paint as I wanted to prime the gun for better paint endurance, but didn't want to use a gray primer as the semi-heroes didn't. This paint gives me the best of both worlds.

The finish is not as messy as it looks.
On to my favourite part of any build - attaching the greeblies!

OK, so, I took pictures of these to try and explain how I did something, but I can't remember what. So, erm...DRILL BITS!...

Thanks to Nosllit for supplying me with some of the rarer semi-hero parts, one of which was the proper Roto-Tellite indicator light used in the real semi-heroes:

It comes with the mounting plate, which I've used here as a bracket by bending it as it appeared the real throwers did. The large notch and hole below it are where the bracket mounts under the thrower switches, and the smaller hole nearest the lens is for the button head screw seen on the real props.

Thanks again to Chris for the FL-1 board, used to flash the white Arcoletric bulb top of the thrower:

The next few steps were just some basic wiring, so here're the finished electronics:

The FL-1 was wired as seen in Volguus's thrower - Arcoletric to '+', common ground to '-', other wire from Arcoletric to third connector from the left 'Q.' This gives the correct flashing sequence, but the potentiometer (the long blue block on the board) is used to set the flash speed, and I tried to copy what was seen in GB2 as close as possible.

For simplicity (and screen accuracy) a single positive and negative connection enters the gun via a 'Race Pack Lead' male and female connector (Maplin), which allows me to quick-disconnect the thrower if I need to. Well, I could if I wasn't going to epoxy the split-loom to the thrower.

Chris also supplies modified 3V LEDs made to look and fit like the original incandescent bulbs fitted in the Roto-Tellite indicator, but as I'm using a 12V CCTV blue brick again I tried a few solutions to step the voltage down to the 3V required by the LEDs. This didn't work, so I decided to pay a stupid amount for 10 OEM incandescent bulbs from the US (can provide the spec. if needed, but they're 12V T1.75 6mm aircraft indicator bulbs). Seriously, for UK builders with accuracy OCD the postage and customs fees must take up half of the overall costs! These bulbs were simply wired up the common positive and negative connections, seen at the top right of the above pic.

I used Nosllit-supplied sockets for the the hat light, which meant that the indicator bulbs I'd bought fit perfectly! Chris also supplied connection hardware (washers and solder rings), so once the socket was epoxied in the correct place the positive and negative connections were again wired to the common power connections.

The negative connection entering the thrower is wired through the 'Activate' switch (I think it's a SPST), so that this switch acts as a master On/Off switch for the thrower lights (and eventually also the pack lights). Important safety tip - I'm not an electrician so this could be completely insane for all I know. No other switches or lights are used, as I didn't need barrel lights, etc.

As a last...nerdy...note, the wires are arranged inside the thrower as close as possible to what was seen in Volguus's reference pics...

This is the cover I made for the rear of the trigger box:

I was going for the messy look of the reference pack, otherwise I'd have done a better job. And I think it only had two screws, but I was using some creative licence :-D

The front handle:

Can't take much credit here, as this is all part of Nick's fantastic mould! I used no heatshrink on the ear, with the hat light mounted in a socket and the switch epoxied in place, both open to the bottom, as per the reference pack.

The banjo is a modified GBFans replica. I had some spare (wrong-sized) red tubing left over, so I drilled out the inside of the banjo until it was the... WAIT! That's what I used the drill bits for! Anyway...err... oh yeah, until it was the right size for the tubing. The tubing was epoxied in place, but the best thing is that the interior diameter of the tubing is the perfect size for the correct-sized tubing, so once finished it should look like a decent copy of the Nycoil banjo. The banjo is screwed straight into the fibreglass, with a small dab of epoxy.

Kind of...?

Side shot. You can see the mounting screws for the FL-1 board, the real Clippard R-331 and Nick-a-Tron resin knob replicas. The gun is now fully decal'd, except for this one 'Danger' sticker, so I'll get it sorted and take some more pictures at some point.

I'd normally have hated how untidy the gun looks, but I'm loving it more and more just because of the semi-hero's distinguishing features.

The front, with kind-of-close-enough Clippard screws. The gun has since been tidied up a bit more (for example around the hat light), so it'll hopefully look a bit better in the next round of pics.

As the screen used thrower looks like everything was painted with the knobs still attached, I tried to add this detail to my thrower. They were painted metallic silver (some Plastikote I had left over from my very early GB1 thrower), buffed, sanded slightly and then touched up with a black marker pen. On the real throwers the knobs have plenty of black paint overspray, so I used the marker and sanded until I was happy with the look.

My favourite part of the gun:

Everything is properly attached here, so it was ready for decals. Again, you can see the side knobs and how I've tried to replicate overspray around the base of the smaller knob; and the instrument bar screws are just for looks, as the reference pack had them.

One slight area of indecision - the heatsink. I wanted some more heft and durability to the thrower, so decided early on that I was going to use a metal heatsink, rather than a resin one as required (the one here is from the GBFans shop). I don't think that the reference pack had a rounded heatsink, but...creative licence. Same reason I used a real Clippard rather than a replica.

It took me forever to get the bargraph properly positioned, but it's now perfectly entered. On my thrower that small screw doesn't do anything, as the bargraph is held in place by those two switches, but I believe on the real throwers that's what it was used for.

A bit more of the same really:

Like I said, the gun is now fully decal'd, so I'll post some new pictures soon.

Last photo I've got left in the album, just shows the power connector:

Unfortunately that's it for now. I promise I won't leave it ages before I get some more pics up...
You wanna know something...I love you! No, I truly do!

Thanks for the comments fellas. I really want to get on with the pack, but I've just had to fork out for car insurance (which has risen by £200 over last year!), so I've got to be sensible. 'Ish.

I'll hopefully have an order in within a month or two Nick, and then I can complete #2 :wink:

I've found that people are coming 'round to GB2 more and more, if you know what I mean (as much as I'm actually looking forward to the reboot, maybe people are 'defensive' of their original films?), and I look forward to more semi-hero builds like Nick's, mburkit's and VS's.
Man, car insurance is getting ridiculous over here!! Hope you get to start the build soon buddy. Looking forward to seeing you put mine to shame
I know, right! Apparently an 'Insurance Premium Tax' was increased last November, but I didn't find out until I had to renew this month! Apparently everyone should expect at least £100 increase in cost!

And haha and I like to think of it more as continual improvement - the next person learns from our mistakes and goes one better! Well, not always, but threads like that old trap build make a nice change (remember, the one where he masked everything up and sprayed like an inch of paint? Can't remember the name, but I'm sure it turned out to be a troll?...).
Lovely!! Kept that one quiet didn't they.

Seriously, your work is such an inspiration. Your Spengler inspired pack and trap builds are amazing reading.

I must have missed that. Maybe before my time?!?
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