User avatar
By SpiderFan2k3
#4937198
I have been haunting these boards since 2005, but this is my first real build. That said, I am a noob; I have not read every single post and don’t consider myself by any means an expert, so your suggestions and advice would be much appreciated.

I’m not going for screen-accuracy, but rather something that fits with my head cannon: the packs were made from surplus parts, and items that were already scarce in 1984 are even more so in 2020, leading to a function-over-form style. This is also going to help reduce the cost, if only by a minor percentage.

The initial plan was to scratch build the body using styrene, but that proved to be a far bigger challenge than my skills could handle, so I figured it was worth the extra $115 to have one professionally done. I also purchased resin cast parts that would be hard for me to do on my own: HGA, booster frame, ion arm, and motherboard. All acquired from GBFans shop.

Pack came in looking pretty good.

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Spent some time sanding down the gritty texture. There were also a few blemishes on the shell that I had to take care of: blobby excesses and indents on the n-filter; an ugly knuckle where the power cell meets the EDA and on the lip of the PPD where the cylinder is attached. Also, I wanted a little more definition in the raised strips on the crank gen and power cell so I sharpened the edges with a file.

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I had a difficult time getting the HGA to align with the crank gen due to the curvature of the shell where the gun mount bridge is. To get it to sit flush, I had to position it so the top of the HGA protruded a good ¼-inch above the crank gen. I took care of that with a Dremel and it is now just fine. Then, I went ahead and lined up the ion arm and marked it for the drill holes before attaching the HGA.

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I used Gorilla glue to affix the HGA because it sort of looks like the bumpy weld lines elsewhere on the pack. But don’t worry, I didn’t just use glue; I also drilled in the back and mounted it via screw. I did the same thing with the ion arm. (On my ion arm, there is a slight, inward curve on the side where the PH-25 resistor goes on the edge where it attaches to the shell. Is that supposed to be there?)

I've got some suitable alternative parts coming in as well as some easy sawing to do, so I'll post as I progress, as long as I can stand the heat in the garage. Questions and suggestions are always welcome.
Last edited by SpiderFan2k3 on July 21st, 2020, 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By SpiderFan2k3
#4937230
Had some parts arrive, so I feel obligated to post a second update because it got me all excited.

First up, I got my PPD, booster tube, and vacuum line cut. I used the 2” OD PVC for the tube and I found that cutting it at a 40-degree angle was just perfect to sit snug with no gaps. Not shown are the bolt holes drilled into the tube for attachment.

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I’m using a 2 ¼-inch rubber washer for the vacuum line spacer. I picked up a pack of 7 on Amazon for about $13 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L1 ... UTF8&psc=1) and I’m hoping that it won’t dimple when I attach the split loom.

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I plan on using a dowel rod to secure the loom in place and drill up into the wood from the underside of the shell. Pretty sure that it won’t be a problem as long as I don’t go too tight.

Also cut the filler tube and beam line and did a placement of all the parts so I could marvel in the reality of what is happening.

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Primed the booster and frame. I was too excited to just leave it alone. It was hot, the garage door was open, and I had a fan going, so they dried pretty quick. Oh, and the white specs on the frame is just PVC dust. I just set it there for the photo op.

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Moving on to painting, I hit my wooden dowels with some metallic silver. I will be touching up the PPD’s angle with some Bondo to smooth it out.

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Why did I paint them silver first? Well, I'm not particularly good at distressing things once they're complete. Also, I don't think I want to do much, if any, distressing to start with, so I may just let all the scrapes and scratches that are bound to happen naturally do the work for me. As long as the gouges and nicks aren't too deep.

I think they came out pretty good. Here’s a shot of my injector tubes with an actual piece of aluminum pipe for comparison. Now, if your wondering why I didn't just use the aluminum to begin with, it's because that pipe is for another project and I don't have enough .

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Gave the booster tube and the vacuum line the same treatment. I know that there is some raised bumpiness to them, but that’s okay, because I want some of the larger pieces to appear to be made of cast iron.

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And while those dried, I did some practice set up. I am actually quite impressed with the how the paint dried on top of the filler tube and beam line. I’ve got a washer to add to the beam line for the Clippard fitting, but I’m out of my Gorilla glue to give me the faux weld marks.

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Finally, my elbows arrived with the straight fittings. The 4 elbows cost me about $9 total on Amazon, and the straight connectors were $10 for a pack of 10. Again, I know they aren’t screen accurate, but with a little paint they’ll look just fine. I might (probably not) keep the threads silver just for some color contrast.

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That’s all for now. I’ve got my tubing, split looms, and Clippard fittings on the way, so three’s going to be more soon.
kahuna900 liked this
User avatar
By SpiderFan2k3
#4937257
Tubes, hoses, and fittings arrived from GBFans store.

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With the paint dry, I was able to glue the washers onto the injectors and beam line. The plan is to tap the washers to thread the fittings.

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I went ahead and cut a ¾-inch dowel to connect the hose from the crank gen to the vacuum line.

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The hose fits incredibly snug around the dowel.

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But I was happy enough with the result that I attached the dowels to the shell using deck screws.

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Finally, I tested the hose over the anchor. I had to use a flathead screwdriver to slide it all the way flush against the shell, but the effort was, I think, worth the results.

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More this weekend.
Kingpin liked this
User avatar
By SpiderFan2k3
#4937376
Boy, it was hot this weekend. I wasn’t able to do much work detail work on the pack (I’ve nicknamed her Gladys), so, after a brief mockup to triple (or was it quadruple) check placement--what can I say, I love looking at it, I decided that letting paint dry was the best use of my time.

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But first, Bondo. Man, I hate this stuff. I’ve never used it before, so I probably did it wrong, but I found that it was exceedingly messy and dried too darn fast, leaving me with little bits of rubbery flakes all over my work area like crumbled erasers. That said, the end result was satisfactory, but I’m hesitant to use it again. If anyone has any recommendations for alternatives or tips on using it, I’d be very grateful.

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I used Krylon Fusion All-in-One satin black for the accessory pieces. I think the color gives it that glossy dullness that I’m looking for, recreating a smooth but unpolished metal.

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While those dried, I gave Gladys her primer coat. Lightly, thought, as I want to avoid pooling or dripping.

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The elbows. Yeesh, what I headache these were—for me, because I’m new at this. I thought: Hey, I’ll just hit these with some good old-fashioned Testors gray model paint and be done. Wrong. The paint dried gloppy and the bodies were a mess of brush strokes. And to top it off, in the heat, the paint stayed tacky; I painted them Friday night after work and checked on them Sunday afternoon. So, now, they had imbedded thumb prints all over them as well. Finally, I dipped them in some thinner to get the paint off, wiped them down, and sprayed them with a blast of primer, which I should have done to begins with because the look pretty perfect, color-wise.

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I’m going to get the threads painted a gold/brass, but need to run some tests on the extras to see if I should spray, brush, or dip them.

Back to Gladys. She got dolled up with a coat of metallic silver. As I said, I’m not practiced in distressing, so I’m hoping that with a coat of silver under the black, any minor abrasions to the shell will display the lighter coat underneath. She looks pretty either way.

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Lastly, my resisters came in, and I need to thank gbmichael and his Etsy store, GBHQPartsdepot, for getting them out so fast.

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On a final note, I need to admit my own hubris in a few decisions I’ve made while putting Gladys together in hopes that future builders just stay completely away from these pitfalls.

“Good enough” isn’t good enough if you think you can do it better. See, I painted one of the elbows and hated the way it looked, but hoped it was “good enough.” And then I painted the others the same way. And the whole time I kept thinking, I could do better, but these are good enough. They weren’t.

Buy extra. If you only need three elbows, buy a pack of 5 or 10 in case you screw up so bad there’s no turning back. If you need two and a half feet of tubing, buy 6.

Never assume paint will fix a color problem. I tried to save money by purchasing clear 4mm tubing in hope I could just paint it red. Nope. It was a short trip on the fail-boat S.S. Screw-up. The tubing was the wrong kind (silicon) and it was too flexible which caused the paint to crack and flake off leaving my tubing looking like the heel of an old woman’s foot. So, instead of saving money, I’m out about what I would have spent in the first place.

That’s all for now.
kahuna900, twmedford23 liked this
User avatar
By SpiderFan2k3
#4937769
As Tom Petty put it, "The waiting is the hardest part."

While I wait for more parts to arrive, I went ahead and attached the PPD, the booster tube, and the filler and beam line to the the shell. Then I got the Clippard L fittings into place on the beam line and HGA. Gladys is starting to fill out.

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Lastly, I added the detail coat to my elbows, but I might be getting some resin replicas of the actual Legris elbows, so I won't put those on just yet.

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Currently waiting on: crank knob, booster plug, and Clippard valve (all resin cast)

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