Ok, figured like everyone else, i should document our GB work journey.

I'm shooting for something a cross between movie accurate, and what I can locate available, and within a reasonable price. Also, since my wife will be wearing one, a 35-50 pound pack was just out of the question. Our packs so far (without the alice frames, or the insulating foam synchronous generator parts are abut 5 pounds or so tops. I don't know how much the alice frames weight, but I'm guessing with the proton guns, we'll be around 10-12 pounds tops, and fully geared up, we'll have maybe a 18 pound total load.

We are doing two uniforms, two goggles, two packs, 1 ghost trap, 1 cobbled PKe meter, one turkey bulb squeeze thing, ghost bombs, and probably something else I'm forgetting.

So far, we've spent about $230 or so, and have aquired everything (I think) for the packs and wands, including lighting, 2 flight suits, 2 pistol belts, 2 alice frames, and everything for the goggles.

Total shopping time is probably 14 hours total.. and that's a lot of getting things, looking at them, taking them back and getting other parts instead.

For completeness, here are our goggles.. note they still need stickers, wider band replacements, top bands, and some additional knobs.. I have them all, but we wanted to really start the packs.


Here are the wip for the proton packs. We've cut some corners, and substituted some items, but I think they are coming out FAR better then anticipated.

This is our initial test layout for the packs: (This changed a LOT.. we found we kept buying things far too large.. guess the movie makes them look larger then life? But this is what we finally settled on.


And this is after about 5 hours of work:


Thing of note:

Ion rods are not brass, but are far cheaper steel painted brass.. ;)

Blue electrical boxes are all from Lowe's, but Home depot also carries the same brand and parts.

Power light is a lanyard jogging stick from walmart.. it'll be inside the power box, and can either flash, or light steadily. ($3.50 or so) (At some point, I'd LOVE a source for blue chasers, if someone has a cheap resource.)

Light inside the cyclotron are fading leds. the power box for them is on the lower left, and will easily be accessible for turning on or off, and also for battery swaps. One we have red lenses of the hols, I think even though colored, they'll look fine. (They were $7.99 each, from target and had easy to pull off clear skeletons on them.)

Another diversion we've made, is for wire couplings that are not elbows, and for various brass nut additions, they will just be standard cheap bots, with nuts attached, painted brass color. Looks good, and about 1/10th the price!

We started with Norm's plans, but quickly diverted, since many of the parts just aren't available around here, and Halloween is just around the corner. We specifically did not cut the motherboard since placement and parts was an initial work in progress, and changed often.

The caution striped thing in the middle is our take on Bradster's ghost bombs. Cheap easy, and look decent.

Not shown, was our solution to the expensive ribbon cable.. simple rainbow ribbon from Michael's, that actually looks pretty decent! Also, we are using insulation foam for the synchronous generator, and to raise the booster away from the motherboard.

We're also going to try something unique for the gun hand grips: 3/4 inch pvc insulation, with wrapped black zip ties tightly attached, to give it that "handgrip" kind of look.

Military gear should arrive later this week, as well as blue spinning battery powered police lights that will sit on the top left of the pack for entry "impact".

Any comments, feedback, criticisms, improvements would be greatly appreciated!
Last edited by Gareee on September 21st, 2010, 10:18 am, edited 5 times in total.
AJ Quick liked this
By UltimateGBfan
It's coming along very nicely.

You are proof that good looking packs can be made on a budget and before Halloween.

Can't wait to see it finished.
By Bradester
Are you going to trim or shape the bottom near the Cyclotron? What plans do you have for the middle area?
By Sloar
I love it! My pack is very similar. I'm also using the blue jogging light from Wal-Mart for my power cell... if you find a cheap source for one that chases, let me know. I've looked everywhere and can't find anything.
Here's a suggestion. Try printing Stefans plans full scale and taping it to your board. It really helps me visualize the final product and helps keep things to scale, though I really suggest not taking it too seriously. I started to worry about measurements and spacing and everything, and for a while it made it all entirely too stressful and complicated.
Oh, and the goggles are beautiful.
Please keep us updated!
By Governor
Here is a suggestion for some budget lights. THere are some electronics kits offered by many different places. Basically a small board, a timer and you have to assemble it but they run off of a 9 volt battery and while not completely screen accurate will give you the look. Something else you might consider is looking at a computer store for case lighting options. They generally have LED lights for effects that are cheap.

Chasing LED Strip Kit

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... T/-/1.html


Simple Led Flashing Circuit.

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... T/-/1.html

Adustable LED flashing Circuit.

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... T/-/1.html

10 Channel Lighting Board

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... R/-/1.html

Again, if you search Google for LED kit.. you'll probably find some other results. Here is one example of a company that makes examples of all the stuff above.

http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/p ... ?dept=1067

Good luck!
By Gareee
Thanks for the encouragement, guys!

Yeah the bottom will be shaped.. I didn't want to cut the motherboard until i knew exactly what parts we were using, and what the layout would be. We're using norm's plans, and online pics as well as the dvd for reference images.
(You'd THINK on the deluxe DVD releases they would have at least had some pics of the equipment props!)

And nope, haven't found a cheap chaser light.. if we do, I'll swap that inside our power supplies, but if not, I'll just live with what we have.

BTW, hard to tell from te pics, some of those electronic boxes are stacks.. a double stack where the v gunmount connects to, and a triple stack on the top left, where the ion rod attaches to. Not sure what greeble I'll use for that attachment yet, bu I think I might have some old Bionicle toy parts that might look right.

Oh! Wife came up with a killer solution for the gunmount, so it doesn't rock butr hangs secure, but is still easy to remove.

You'll need a 4 pack of metal corner braces.. the kind that lie flat and are not bent, but ar in a "L" shape.

The mount on the pack will be an inverted "V", kind of like what the original packs had. Smartest durable attachement is to screw the electrical box to the motherboard there, so it doesn't come off.. I'll make a paper template for that, so I can pre drill the motherboard holes for that. Attach anything first to the box, and paint it, because it'll be a final assembly thing.

Bolt the v corner part to the side of the box, with the head of the bolt outside, the corner part, a nut or two as a spacer, and then the box, with a nut on the inside of the box for attachment.

The corner brace has 4 holes in it, but ONLY use the two closest to the elbow of the V.

On the gun, mount the other one in the same fashion, however inverted, so the arms of the V shape can slide into each other on both parts!

This should eliminate rocking, like the original v joint did, but also make it very easy to remove and replace on the "hook".

Cost is under $2, and is FAR more durable then a dixie cup holder!
By Gareee
Governor wrote:Here is a suggestion for some budget lights. THere are some electronics kits offered by many different places. Basically a small board, a timer and you have to assemble it but they run off of a 9 volt battery and while not completely screen accurate will give you the look. Something else you might consider is looking at a computer store for case lighting options. They generally have LED lights for effects that are cheap.

Chasing LED Strip Kit

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... T/-/1.html


Simple Led Flashing Circuit.

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... T/-/1.html

Adustable LED flashing Circuit.

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... T/-/1.html

10 Channel Lighting Board

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... R/-/1.html

Again, if you search Google for LED kit.. you'll probably find some other results. Here is one example of a company that makes examples of all the stuff above.

http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/p ... ?dept=1067

Good luck!
Thanks for that, but electronics building is a bit beyond me. I can hack and superglue junk together, but knowing voltages, meters n such is beyond me skills. That;s why I'm looking for contained battery powered solutions. If I had the luxury of time, I might learn those skills, but if I can just find a cheap solution, I'll take that option. My biggest issue, is I don;t live in a large city, with a ton of shopping opportunities. I have 2 small malls within an hour drive away, and any serious large scale real city stuff is a 2 hour highway drive.. and when you add additional legwork hitting a number of stores in an unfamiliar territory, internet shopping becomes so much more attractive!

I LOVE where we live at, but sometimes I DO miss big city things like brick n mortar shopping, and stadium seating movie theaters.
By Gareee
I also picked up dowel that fits inside the 1" pvc pipe that connects below the power supply today, but I was just thinking that pvc glue is VERY strong, and might be a simpler better solution. Not sure how well it'll weld the plastic going to the power supply.

And IMHO, cutting out the rectangular holes for the power supply was a pain in the rump.

Simple solution to clean up those edges? We have to add a fogged windo for the power supply anyway... so I'll use paint em black, and then tape the window on the front using black electric tape.. I'll overlap the rough cuts a bit, so it looks like I have nice tidy clean edges! ;)
By Ghostwalker
I'll also creating a budget pack for Halloween and have to keep wrestling with not going overboard with making it screen accurate (stupid perfectionism!). Things are coming along well for me so far, and yours is coming along great, too!

The goggles in particular looked fantastic! I haven't build any myself yet. What plans did you use for them? Do you have an equipment list? I'd kill to get a parts list from you and know what plans you used!

By Gareee
I used Norm's plans here. Pretty easy to make actually, and all the parts are in local stores easily found. I am redoing the straps on them because they are narrow, and ride up some.. plus there's also supposed to be a middle srap that welding goggles don't have on them.

Check local Ace hardware stores for the goggles.. they are only $9.95 each, and the parts to hop them up are at most another 3 or 4 dollars.

I started doing the foam cutting today.. I'm using a dremel with a cutting attachement, and that's proving to be messy, and inaccurate cutting wise, which means more grinding or sanding, and puttying and more sanding.

Plywood probably is easier to work with, but the end result will be MUCH, and I'm also looking at comfort for wearing these.
By Gareee
I'd say concentrate on the pack and gun.. if you then still have time, you can do the goggles in 1/2 a day easily, including shopping.

Odds are we might need that day towards the end of the month on the pack and gun still.
By Gareee
Update for tonight...

Carved the foam syncronious generator parts for both packs.. these are just the rough cuts, before sanding and glueing. Plans are tomorrow to glue them, and then sand them down to the final shape.

Here's just the bottom most foam part:


Our basic plans were the norm plans, but because we are using some slightly different parts, the plans of course had to be changed. Best advise to someone doing the carved foam method, is make patterns!

And here's all the foam laid in place, with the parts placed as well, so the shape is all coming together.


The bottom part patten fits our base parts, the second one fits that, and gives us the triangular shape, and the top part is that same exact pattern, except the rectangular corner on the mid left is removed. That means you only really need two main patterns for this. The second pattern becomes the third, with that corner removed.

Tomorrow, I'll glue the foam together, sand it to it's final shape, and do various other misc things. Since our attenuators under our booster are a little different, I'll have to fudge that plan. Also, becuase we started with the norm plans, I'll also have to extend my motherboard under the power supply about 1/2 to 1 inch. (Otherwise the two pvc pipes with wires coming down from the power supply towards the cyclotron won't fit properly.)

Cutting with the jigsaw was WORLDS better then trying to use the dremel! I'm really liking foam work now!
AJ Quick liked this
By Gareee
Short update... both synchronious generator parts all glued and in final sanded shape. (Spray glue works GREAT for foam, BTW, and it's available in most stores. In this case, I'm using Duro.


Also, spackling done on all the electronic boxes... still some very minor spackling to do on the foam parts shown.

I picked up a new octopus orbital sander a few days ago, since all I really had was various sandpaper sheets.. and it's KILLER! It comes with a much of smaller attachements that odds are will come in very handy, came with the sandpaper in various graders, and even came with a bag for $39.95 at Lowe's.

(Plus now I got me a new tool out of the deal as well.. hehee!!)

I think I'm about ready to do the final shape cuts on the motherboards, clean them up, and then start some minor assembly. Not bad for a few days work!
AJ Quick liked this
By Gareee
Another quick update.. couldn't find clippards locally, and didn't want to shell out for 4 of them.. so made my own fake ones..


Bottom is a part of the basswood leftover from the motherboards, 35 mm film cannister body, and the cap is a connector from a zoids toy... but spray tips could have been substituted.

Question: is the clippard silver with a black base and label, or is just the top of it silver, and the rest black?
AJ Quick liked this
By Gareee
Last update for today....


This shows final placement of most parts, how the battery compartment looks on the left of the synchronous generator, the fake clippards with screws, and a few more bits n parts. Can't find my damned bumper making materials.. must still be in the back of the wife's car...
AJ Quick liked this
By staticbuster
those packs are coming along quite nicely! and yeah, waynesville is the sticks...good work on working with what is available!

hey i didnt notice this before, but what did you use for the disc that the clippard mounts to above the cyclotron?
By GhostGuy
Whoops, I already see a problem! Your N-Filter is going to be way too big.

You need to get one of these:

Yep, I'm pretty sure eating another can of super hot pringles is your only solution to this problem.
By Gareee
LOL! I need to get proper measurements to cut the pringles cans today. Wife is gobbling the hot chips, to "help out" with construction.

My pack choice of flavor is the dill. ;)

and the disc in my fake clippard is just a part of the basswood from the frame construction. I measures how large I wanted it's dimensions from the clippard film cannister, cut that rectangle out, marked all the center points of the sides, drew lines between then to get the rough "diamond" shape, and then used my new octopus orbital sander to round all the corners for it's final shape.

Since you need one for the pack AND one for the thrower, use a small amount of glue to glue two together, and that will cut your worktime in half. I actually wafered four at one time, since I'm doing two packs.Just use a small enough amount of glue so you can easily separate them afterwards.

If you are using spray glue for the foam parts, use that because it's perfect for this type of job. A light coat will hold them all together nicely, but when you done, a gentle tug will separate them. Then just make sure the tacky side is down when you glue them down.

Alternately you could probably use double sided poster tape.
By Ghostwalker
What type of spray adhesive did you use for the foam insulation spacer?

I'm also using foam for mine (ended up being a lot easier to work with and cost effective) and so far wood glue seems to get the job done all right. I'll double check some scrap pieces that I glued together tonight to make sure it would hold well and wouldn't react with the foam.

Thanks for the tip with the latex paint on the foam insulation, too - that's going to be so muck easier than coating it in something else just to be able to paint it!

Now that most of my pack parts are done, its time to take and post some pics, I guess. Also time to get to work on the thrower this week!

By Gareee
Thanks! It's still coming along well, but I'm considering that new bumper tutorial rather then what I was going to attempt.

As far as foam assembly, if you have a big flat surface, and are joining foam to non significantly load bearing foam, then spray glue is the best, IMHO. That's what's kept my synchronous generator parts together.

I did some tests today, and latex paintable water washup caulk/filler works great on foam.. and it's cheap at walmart. (If comes in caulking gun tubes.)

For something with more strength, liquid nails does not react with foam at all, and appears to bond very well. Note that I think is really DOES need to cure completely overnight.

(Someone mentioned in chat last night to NOT do main assemblys with hot melt glue.. unless you want to constantly be glueing parts back on again!)

I also used show goo to glue my washers to my ion arm pvc deal, and also to glue the washers to the cake pan.

More pics after I'm done working on them today...
By Gareee
Quickie Pic update with our Ghost grenades, to put on our belt as "stuff". We also scored some older black box like walkie talkies off ebay yesterday that even still work.

Here's da Ghost Bombs....

AJ Quick liked this
By GhostGuy
I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but... making things that look like pipe bombs MIGHT be frowned upon by your local law enforcement if they see them. You don't want the bomb squad coming out and doing a controlled detonation of yor proton pack after you get stopped for a traffic violation. :-)

And if you think I'm being paranoid, read this:

Don't simply assume the cops are gonna use common sense. :-)
By Gareee
Well, in that case, we shouldn't be wearing unlicensed nuclear accelerators on our backs either! ;)
By Gareee
Another update... after a bazillion mismeasurements, we have decent routered wooden bumpers. I still need to glue some knots that came out of them, sand them, and add the center octagon ion knob bridge, but they are looking pretty decently, I think, and pack "shape" is looking more like a pack now.


We're using reflectors for the inside of our cyclotrons, and I should have the bumpers completed tomorrow, and hopefully final motherboards cut to proper size.

Because our power supplys are a tad longer then the norm plans, I'll need to shorten the 1" pvc cable couplings coming from the bottom of it.

EDIT: OOPS! the bumper is flipped wrong left to right!
AJ Quick liked this
By Gareee
Bumper update:

Lots of finish work since last night.

I ended up routing out the grooves for the ion knob plates, because routing went better then hoped for, and the bumpers would have more durability.

I'd got some unique assembly here, so I'll point out things of note.

The ion knows are (I think) 1 1/4 pvc, with weed whacker line wrapped around them, and washers glued on top. To make then stay on the bumpers and be able to take some abuse, there's a 1 1/2" screw into a inverted 3/4 pvc cap screwed into the bumper. The screw also holds the 1/4" basswood octagons in place as well. The Ion knobs then slip down over this, with a tight fit. (There's also a channel dremmelled into the pvc cap, so the weed whacker line which starts in a drilled hole in the pvc pipe, and is hot melt glued in doesn't take any stress when adding the ion knobs.

Hope that paragraph made sense!


Next I'll wood fill the bumpers, and then after sanding, they should then be ready for paint.
AJ Quick liked this
By Gareee
Ok, here's a update with a painted bumper.. it' sstill a bit wet, so there's still some shine to it, but you get the idea of what it looks like painted.

I still want to put another coat or two of paint on it, before calling them "done.. that'll cut down the woodgrain a bit more that still showing up some.

Still, I'm pretty pleased with them.


I'm also going to ass some silver "scrapes" to it as well, and that should also help sell the "metal" look a bit more.

I could hit the paint with some steel wool, but I'm getting overly anal about the bumpers, so it's time to rein in a bit, and just enjoy how they came out.
AJ Quick liked this
By Gareee
...and here's a test fit of the bumpers on the packs.


One thing I AM noticing, is Norm's plans Ion knob is about 1/3rd larger around then it should be. If I was making movie accurate packs, this would bug the heck out of me, but I can;t decide if I want to redo the ion knobs or not.. fortunately, mine are easily removable and replaceable.
AJ Quick liked this
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