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.
robandliv, mburkit, kahuna900 and 1 others liked this
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.
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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.
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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.
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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)
User avatar
By Lowberg
#4937810
Pack looks great and awesome job on fabricating some of the parts. Makes it a little more special when you know you made some things from scratch.

The paint issue unfortunately might be a chemical reaction between the two paints.
Are they the same brand? Rule of thumb whenever doing a layered paint job is to always use the same brand for each paint to avoid any issue like this, and always fully test on a piece of scrap if possible.
User avatar
By SpiderFan2k3
#4937811
The paint issue unfortunately might be a chemical reaction between the two paints.
Are they the same brand? Rule of thumb whenever doing a layered paint job is to always use the same brand for each paint to avoid any issue like this, and always fully test on a piece of scrap if possible.
Yes, both Krylon. When I reapplied in dryer conditions (though still hot as hell), the issue was mostly resolved.
User avatar
By SpiderFan2k3
#4937862
First thing I did when I got home was attach the injectors to the shell. I used some Gorilla glue to hold it in place, and when it was dry enough, I used wood screws to really dig into the dowels and hold firm to the pack. They should be safe from general bumps and handling. Anything short of a direct assault, really.

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To attach the red and blue hoses, I used wood screws, but took a Dremel to the heads so that the hoses will slide right on and stay put with some super glue. But I’m not quite there yet.

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While my injectors were drying on the shell, I started to attend to more intricate details. For the large resistor, I clipped the wide end and attached a hose barb to the top.

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This was done to look similar to the Sony lobby pack, seen below.

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Lastly, I attached the straight connectors. I know they aren’t accurate, but they work for me and they were stupid cheap on Amazon.

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The holes were ever so slightly too big and the fittings sat in there at uneven angles, so I slathered the backs to the inside of the shell with some good old JB Weld.

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Still waiting on a shipment from Karnivorous Creations of resin parts and some accessories ordered from GBFans.

More to come…
User avatar
By SpiderFan2k3
#4937941
Another day, another bit of progress.

Got the holes tapped for the resistors and ion arm end plate.

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Had a little trouble in that I originally attached the plate upside down and when I reversed it, the cap head screws did not want to grip the resin as firm. The solution? A little Loctite multipurpose putty on the threads. Then it was only a matter of screwing in the additional pieces. I went with the GB1-style with the knurled texture.

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Mounted the booster frame at the top and tapped the bottom for when I’m ready to use the ribbon cable. Then, moved on to the resistors. I didn’t have a drill bit large enough, so I used the Dremel for adequate results and supplemented that with some more putty. For now, the smaller resistor is fixed in place with a little bit of super glue, until my screws arrive as none of the hardware shops around had cap heads that small.

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My plan, while I wait for parts is to do what I can, when I can. Get the details and decals done before attaching the hoses. The problem is, I’m making this up as I go. I have no idea what order to do this in and I’m really hoping I don’t make a crucial mistake (which I’m realizing I may have already done in the placement of my Clippard elbow on the HGA as the hose barb points down at, possibly, too shallow of an angle). Time will tell.
User avatar
By SpiderFan2k3
#4938066
Some questions before I continue.

What does everyone use for the red pinstripe on the N-filter? What's best? Red electrical tape trimmed to size? Paint?

How is the ribbon cable attached to the shell under the crank gen? I know it goes through to the other side, but what keeps it from just pulling through?

Should I clear coat the pack? If so, would I do that before or after weathering?
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#4938082
Some questions before I continue.

What does everyone use for the red pinstripe on the N-filter? What's best? Red electrical tape trimmed to size? Paint?
I used red tape.
How is the ribbon cable attached to the shell under the crank gen? I know it goes through to the other side, but what keeps it from just pulling through?
The end of the ribbon cable which feeds into the Proton Pack was held in place by a cap-head screw fitted a little bit beneath the opening for the ribbon cable, visible just above and to the right of the PPD (at least, this was how it was done on the "Spengler" Pack):

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