By RichardLess
#4935130
Ok. I’m so sorry if this has been asked before, I imagine it has but I also have some specific things that pertain to my situation.

Ok. So there’s a lot of pack builders out there. My dream has been owning a proton pack for as long as I can remember. I have zero technical knowledge & expertise. This has what’s stopped me from building my own proton pack. But I had the idea of maybe hiring someone to build one for me and supplying the parts. So just as a quick question:

Approx how much does it cost to buy all the parts? I don’t need to build a neutrino wand, I have one from Matty collector. So all I would need is the pack parts itself. I know that’s probably a loaded question. But any general estimate would be much appreciated.

I’m also a very tall(6’4) & bulky individual(more muscle than fat) so how hard would it be to find a proper flight suit in my size. I know there are some plus size cosplayers out there, do you make your own or buy them somewhere?

Any help would be much appreciated.
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By JWils23
Supporting Member
#4935135
I think to fully answer this question you’d have decide how screen accurate you want to be. Do you already have a shell? Are you going for all aluminum parts on the pack or will resin (or some other material) be more what you’re looking for. Then when it comes to parts like the clippard valves, elbows, tubing etc are you looking for vintage or is using modern equivalents good for you?

If you went for all aluminum parts you could probably get them all for somewhere between $350-500 depending on where you sourced them from. If you went the resin route you’re probably looking between $150-300. Then depending on what you’re looking to do for the elbows/fittings/tubing anywhere from $100-150. That’s assuming you aren’t hunting for vintage, hard to find items that come with a much heftier price tag. I added two links below for bundles on eBay, one resin and one aluminum. It’s not an ad or endorsement, just trying to show costs as you could buy many of these from the GBfans shop or other vendors who sell on this site. There are also sellers like BoK and Karniverous Creations that sell entire kits, shell/mobo and all parts which might be worth looking into if you don’t have a shell yet and need the whole shabang.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/231237910333
https://www.ebay.com/itm/331313595313

When it comes to the thrower, I know you said you have a Matty thrower but just my personal opinion building your own is awesome. You can pick up a resin thrower kit from TC for $200 and it’s a great kit. I have one and originally I was thinking I’d just try and find a Matty thrower but decided to take the plunge and build my own. Best decision I ever made and glad I went that route instead! Doing that pushed me to do an all aluminum thrower on the build I’m working on now, RJ at Freeky Geeky is putting the parts together for that one. Nothing against going the Matty route, just food for thought!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/178510195/ ... nager_grid
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By Kingpin
Moderator
#4935145
As with JWils, I'd like to encourage you to instead save the Matty thrower as a collectible, and go through assembling the thrower along with the rest of the Pack... It's quite possibly the most enjoyable element as you're working on something so familiar, and with so much character... And that while some bits can be tricky because they're snug, the end result is just... So damn rewarding. Turning on the thrower lights for the first time after installing them was just... Something else. :) I've got one of RJ's aluminium throwers, and it's a piece of art... Almost a shame to paint it. :)

Plus, a metal thrower will be stronger than the Matty thrower's plastic. Plus, with a mechanical, non-motor based extension system, it should generally last longer than the Matty thrower's motor-based extension system.

And don't worry if it seems quite pricey to begin with, as we generally advise you can buy pieces across a peried of time rather than all at once... Which is doubly helpful as pieces come and go, and aren't always in stock at the same time.

Beyond that Rich, don't hesitate to ask, or consider a question stupid... It's what we and the forum are here for. :)
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By ccv66
#4935155
I would never tell someone to pay high eBay prices for a Matty wand, much better to build your own, however you already have it. Its definitely not the most accurate, but makes the build process pretty easy. Get spongeface Matty spirit blaster board, lights and speaker and your pretty much done with the electronics. I haven't done the math, I'd guess $600 range depending on what parts you get. ( Not including wand). Would suggest doing it yourself, it's not that bad and it's fun & rewarding. Plus there's no reason you can't upgrade your wand down the road. I have a pack with an aluminum wand and one with the Matty wand, the pack with the Matty wand was nice because I didn't have the urge to do an over the top build and spend top dollar on every part. Some ways it was relaxing not worrying about building the perfect pack.

Man at 6'4" you'll probably have to have a flight suit custom made. Could try to Google flights suit size chart and see what's available, otherwise take a look at Gibson-barnes or Indy magnolia to make you one. Might be hard to find a cheap option at your height
By RichardLess
#4935182
I think to fully answer this question you’d have decide how screen accurate you want to be. Do you already have a shell? Are you going for all aluminum parts on the pack or will resin (or some other material) be more what you’re looking for. Then when it comes to parts like the clippard valves, elbows, tubing etc are you looking for vintage or is using modern equivalents good for you?

If you went for all aluminum parts you could probably get them all for somewhere between $350-500 depending on where you sourced them from. If you went the resin route you’re probably looking between $150-300. Then depending on what you’re looking to do for the elbows/fittings/tubing anywhere from $100-150. That’s assuming you aren’t hunting for vintage, hard to find items that come with a much heftier price tag. I added two links below for bundles on eBay, one resin and one aluminum. It’s not an ad or endorsement, just trying to show costs as you could buy many of these from the GBfans shop or other vendors who sell on this site. There are also sellers like BoK and Karniverous Creations that sell entire kits, shell/mobo and all parts which might be worth looking into if you don’t have a shell yet and need the whole shabang.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/231237910333
https://www.ebay.com/itm/331313595313

When it comes to the thrower, I know you said you have a Matty thrower but just my personal opinion building your own is awesome. You can pick up a resin thrower kit from TC for $200 and it’s a great kit. I have one and originally I was thinking I’d just try and find a Matty thrower but decided to take the plunge and build my own. Best decision I ever made and glad I went that route instead! Doing that pushed me to do an all aluminum thrower on the build I’m working on now, RJ at Freeky Geeky is putting the parts together for that one. Nothing against going the Matty route, just food for thought!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/178510195/ ... nager_grid
As with JWils, I'd like to encourage you to instead save the Matty thrower as a collectible, and go through assembling the thrower along with the rest of the Pack... It's quite possibly the most enjoyable element as you're working on something so familiar, and with so much character... And that while some bits can be tricky because they're snug, the end result is just... So damn rewarding. Turning on the thrower lights for the first time after installing them was just... Something else. :) I've got one of RJ's aluminium throwers, and it's a piece of art... Almost a shame to paint it. :)

Plus, a metal thrower will be stronger than the Matty thrower's plastic. Plus, with a mechanical, non-motor based extension system, it should generally last longer than the Matty thrower's motor-based extension system.

And don't worry if it seems quite pricey to begin with, as we generally advise you can buy pieces across a peried of time rather than all at once... Which is doubly helpful as pieces come and go, and aren't always in stock at the same time.

Beyond that Rich, don't hesitate to ask, or consider a question stupid... It's what we and the forum are here for. :)
Thanks for the replies.
So you all made packs yourself? Do you consider yourself a handy person? It’s just...I’m not...at all. I would *like* to do it myself it’s just...I know how discouraged I can get. I have a few model kits I bought with the intention of putting them together and I opened one and just...let’s just say they are gathering dust lol. I get overwhelmed and, well, let’s just say I have some personal problems with anxiety(it’s a long story).

So the pieces that you can buy from GB fans and other places, they don’t require any machining or welding do they? Is it just a matter of buying them and assembling things in the proper order?

I was so bummed Matty collector never ended up making the whole pack. Then there was this other website Anovos I think? They had one that looked awesome but apparently there are issues with delivery and people not receiving them.

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for...a long time. I think I’m ready to take the jump. I was going to hire someone but I can just see all kinds of issues and I’d probably spend the same amount in the end as buying one off eBay or wherever.

Thanks for the links and encouragement. Hopefully one day I can share pictures of a pack I completed on here, knowing it all started today with some help from you all. Thanks.
User avatar
By Glenn Frederick
Supporting Member
#4935187
If you're going with aluminum parts then It's mostly drilling holes and attaching parts with screws. Most sellers have their Aluminum parts already tapped so it's basically just drilling holes in the shell and using screws to attach the pieces.

You will have to do some riveting and tapping to mount the shell on the motherboard which isn't that hard to do and once you learn it's kind of fun. I would recommend getting a good tap set since you'll be tapping a few parts and can get use out of them but save money and get a cheap hand rivet gun if you have a place like Harbor Freight.

One of the first things I bought before I had my first GB Fans shell was the Alice frame at my local surplus store. If you live in the US then you could check to see if you can get a good deal at a
Army Surplus, otherwise you can get one off eBay but I would recommend getting a actual military Alice frame and not one of those cheap knock-offs.

One thing to decide is what kind of Proton Pack did you want, GB84 or GB2?
By RichardLess
#4935192
I would never tell someone to pay high eBay prices for a Matty wand, much better to build your own, however you already have it. Its definitely not the most accurate, but makes the build process pretty easy. Get spongeface Matty spirit blaster board, lights and speaker and your pretty much done with the electronics. I haven't done the math, I'd guess $600 range depending on what parts you get. ( Not including wand). Would suggest doing it yourself, it's not that bad and it's fun & rewarding. Plus there's no reason you can't upgrade your wand down the road. I have a pack with an aluminum wand and one with the Matty wand, the pack with the Matty wand was nice because I didn't have the urge to do an over the top build and spend top dollar on every part. Some ways it was relaxing not worrying about building the perfect pack.

Man at 6'4" you'll probably have to have a flight suit custom made. Could try to Google flights suit size chart and see what's available, otherwise take a look at Gibson-barnes or Indy magnolia to make you one. Might be hard to find a cheap option at your height
Do you have any pictures you’d be comfortable sharing of the both your packs? Just so I can see the different between how a Matty Collector and aluminum pack looks. I’d really appreciate it.

Again, I’m maybe the least handy person in the world. I feel proud of myself when I change a light bulb or assemble my desk fan lol. I soldered Electrical wires to a power source once for a highschool project. That’s about the extent of my expertise lol.

Are all you pack builders fairly handy or knowledgeable about such things? Has anyone inept as me at This sort of thing ever tried to make a proton pack? How’d it go? How many fingers did you lose? Did you have any hair remaining when you finished?
User avatar
By Austin
Supporting Member
#4935194
Bottom line: They're not cheap if you want a nice replica.

If you're not looking for highly screen accurate materials, you can probably get away with a nice replica, with lights and sound, for around $1,200-$1,500 conservatively. This would mean going with PVC pipe rather than aluminum tubing, and resin replicas and modern alternatives for many of the parts. But, you would have to assemble and paint everything yourself.

If you were to commission someone to build one, you can tack on another $800-$1,000 at least(and again, conservatively) to have someone build what I described above.

When you start getting into super screen accurate territory, you're starting to creep into the $2,500+ range. Screen accurate plus vintage parts, easy $3,000+. This doesn't include commission fees.

There are of course ways to achieve a much cheaper build. But most of these don't yield a "museum quality" replica.

If money is an issue, my advice would be do your research, determine what level of accuracy you wish to achieve, and start collecting parts. You can buy a piece here and there as funds permit, and this gives you time to think about if you'd like to attempt the build yourself or hire someone to build it for you once you've collected most, if not everything, needed to start assembly.
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#4935204
So you all made packs yourself? Do you consider yourself a handy person?
For my first I had assistance from two prop builders who'd had a few years of assembling Proton Packs under their belts, where we spent a day and a half working on it over a weekend... I think I assembled the Gear Box and part of the Spacer (though my memory's a little hazy, after about eight years).
I fully assembled the Pack's second thrower (the first I'd inherited assembled, but unpainted), from drilling it to install the handles, to painting/decaling it, to installing the light kit. I also fully painted, decaled and weathered the backpack portion. I also repaired and strengthened the N-Filter after it got a knock from a lady's handbag on its first public outing.

So I'd say I'm sorta-handy. The next Pack I'm planning to assemble I'll be assembling solo.

If you know of any prop-builders who live near you, and you're friends with, I'd definitely encourage you to get into contact with them... The weekend I spent with those guys who helped me was a lot of fun, and it was a major learning experience. :)

And one of the better (if not best) ways to prevent getting overwhelmed was to produce a to-do list, break the Pack up into bite-size chunks and a clear series of steps.
So the pieces that you can buy from GB fans and other places, they don’t require any machining or welding do they? Is it just a matter of buying them and assembling things in the proper order?
The parts stocked in the store shouldn't need any machining or welding (though some like the Pack shell would require drilling for various bolts, and the motherboard would require drilling to install the A.L.I.C.E. frame and L brackets to mount the shell) Even the piping pieces the store stocks for the 2016 Packs don't require welding as these can either be fixed with adhesives or screws (which I believe some of the 2016 Pack props featured).

Although there's no established order to install them, I believe it should be relatively straightforward. :)
By Couture
#4935216
I would recommend getting a good tap set since you'll be tapping a few parts and can get use out of them but save money and get a cheap hand rivet gun if you have a place like Harbor Freight.
Can you recommend a good tap set, or at least what to look for in one?
User avatar
By ccv66
#4935224
Just spending money doesn't always make a huge visual difference. I don't have a metal pack, just wand and HGA. Everything else went resign . I put higher end parts on one pack and left over parts on my old one. I'm the only one that notices. They looked identical to most people. You think I'd have one friend " wow you got real 4mm legris elbows!" Not one, I should probably find better friends. I'm not even sure how much difference there is between heavyprops resign vs metal parts are after paint, minus cost and weight. Could spend a lot of money just to impress people on the internet. I think pick a number you feel comfortable spending and buy parts to fit your budget.

The pack build as a whole seem intimidating, but when you break it down it's not that bad. If you have the wand done and ordered the shell +mother board, the hardest part left is research. Only need to drill, rivet and paint after that. Figuring out where to spend the money. I'd rather see you get real clippard valves and high pack lables than metal pack parts.

Remember measure once , cuss twice

You should definitely practice drilling and tapping on scraps before attempting on your pack. If you screw up, you can heli coil it. There's some tools you can go cheap some you can't . Rather you buy the one good tap then buy the whole set cheap.
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By Glenn Frederick
Supporting Member
#4935228
I would recommend getting a good tap set since you'll be tapping a few parts and can get use out of them but save money and get a cheap hand rivet gun if you have a place like Harbor Freight.
Can you recommend a good tap set, or at least what to look for in one?

I bought my Tap set at Lowe's https://www.lowes.com/pd/IRWIN-All-Purp ... 1000363545
on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/HANSON-80187-All ... =hi&sr=1-7

Not only do you get the Taps and handle but you get also the right drill bits for each Tap. Just about every Tap in that set is used on various parts the Pack. There's another 13 piece set on Amazon that's missing the 4/40 Tap but in its place has a 12/24 tap DON'T BUY THAT SET! Make sure it's has the 4/40 Tap because that's one you're really going to need, you're never going to need a 12/24 Tap for the Pack. I went to my local ACE Hardware and found the IRWIN 1/8 NPT Tap and bought the handle and drill bit separately for the legris fittings.
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By Corey91
#4935451
Does FreekyGeeky still sell aluminum throwers? There's only 2 or 3 items on his shop and everything is sold out. I'd really love to get an aluminum one to go with all my aluminum parts on my pack. but the only thrower kit im seeing thats not 3D printed is Throwing Chickens resin one.

Anyone know where I can get an aluminum one? I'd even be interested in buying a completed one!
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By Kingpin
Moderator
#4935454
There are occasions that RJ hasn't had a chance to update his website, and not everything's in stock all the time. I'd suggest you send him an email to ask, though I'm not currently aware of him having stopped making Aluminium throwers.
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By JWils23
Supporting Member
#4935466
RJ is in the middle of doing a thrower run and restock right now. I know he said he was making a few extra bodies for the shop so I’d reach out and see if you can snag one. Also, go to the Freeky geeky Facebook page and you can sign up for the runs he’s doing, the most recent ones for the knobs and trigger box are still up I believe.
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By abritinthebay
Supporting Member
#4935539
As others have mentioned: depends on exactly what kind of pack you want.

I’ve seen people do magic with cardboard boxes & bondo for $50. I don’t recommend it, but it’s possible.

On the other hand, the correct bar graph for the wand costs ~$1200. For just that one part.

... there’s a range.

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