By Marcus B
#4926272
Hello all,

This has been a long time in the making. I ordered my pack in November 2017, it arrived in November 2018 with broken pieces and some rusty hardware. I reported the issues to Anovos ASAP and they assured me every month they'd be on there way, with a final communication in May 2019 that they were shipping the replacement parts soon.. and that was the last I heard from them.

Do not buy anything from Anovos.

I decided to finally move forward, make repairs myself, and start building this thing. I wish I had done it sooner but the promise of receiving the parts "soon" from Anovos kept me from doing it. Now I've missed another Halloween due to their empty promises. Oh well, that's in the past and there's nothing I can do about it.

I've never made a kit like this. I didn't even build too many models as a kid. So this is kind of new to me..mistakes will be made.

First, I fixed the booster tube and trigger box. One of the bolts had come off. Anovos had slathered it in glue on the inside but it still had broken off prior to getting to me. The trigger box had a small broken triangular piece. This one is my fault- as I moved the pack's box around in the time since I received it, it somehow got crushed. No big deal, both pieces were easily fixed with some gorilla glue. The break on the trigger box is on the bottom. Some light sanding and paint and it won't be noticeable to anyone.

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Next up, the big issue. The one that kept me building for so long. The front nub of the gun box is broken.
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I'm still working out how to fix this, but this is my work so far.

I ground down the broken tube until I reached the faux weld marks. This was so I had a reference for how wide the hole needed to be as I dremeled the rest of the tube out.
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I ordered a an aluminum tube from OnlineMetals and fit it in.
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Now this is where I ran into an issue. Anovos used a slightly smaller than 1" aluminum tube on the front part of the wand. I ordered a 1 1/4" OD tube with a 1" ID. This left an unsightly 1/4 wall exposed. Definitely doesn't look like the film. To fix this, I made a small collar to go around the Anovos tube, which will give the gun a more appropriate appearance. It's not accurate but it will work and most people would never even notice.
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Next step will be to get the holes drilled and tapped in the appropriate spot. I don't have a drill press so I need to figure out a way get this done. Once that's complete, I will epoxy the new nub into place.

Does anyone know the "correct" locations of the barrel screws? From what I can tell, the real props had them in various places with little to no consistency.

I also have worked on a few other items as I had time this past weekend.

I was test fitting the electronics from GBFans and noticed the switches don't reach through the thrower body. I carefully sanded the inside with a dremel. I might need to do some more but they do reach through now.
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I also cut out the Power Cell window. This is a big complaint by many who own this pack, and I see why. There are areas you are cutting through resin and fiber glass.. and it's really tough. I drilled holes with a large drill bit down the length of it, than used files to take out the rest. I'm not done with it.. the window itself needs a little filing done, especially near the bottom, but it is mostly gone now. I need to get on the inside and use a dremel to remove material so I can fit the blue acrylic in place.
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Kind of a schizophrenic start to the project.. I don't have a lot of the tools I'm going to need on hand, so I had to do what I could, then order tools like the filing set and wait. However, I've started to build it, and that's the important part.
Last edited by Marcus B on October 28th, 2019, 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dr.D liked this
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By King Delorean
#4926447
I was lucky that I got the preorder price of $600 when Anovos first announced the pack, and nothing came broken. I started blueing my pack in September and finished the first week of October. It wasn’t actually all that bad a build, but I got lucky that I didn’t have to deal with Anovos customer service.

If I had to do it again, I would go for a full aluminum build.
By Marcus B
#4926460
I thought about using the anovos switches, but grinding down some resin didn't seem like a big deal (it wasn't) and it was a little faster. Also, the mod doesn't preclude me from using them should I decide to later.

I also paid $600- at that price, the kit is reasonable. With a normal company, the price should have gone down after production ramped up. But Anovos needs to fund their scheme and jacked up the price. If I did this all again, I'd probably go with a BenOfKent kit.

Thrower update:

I dremeled off the rest of the faux welding on the front and used some epoxy putty to install a piece of aluminum for the nub. Also drilled and tapped the screw holes.

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I over did it a bit with the epoxy on the inside. I've never used it before and felt like it wouldn't work, but it feels very strong. I'm going to use the putty to make the welds on the outside as well which will provide additional support, and after that I will dremel away some of the excess inside as necessary.

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Overall, I think it's coming out great, though I'm a little worried it's crooked. It's hard to measure and place, and work with the putty, and measure again. I had to wait a while for the putty to start hardening and then go and fix it as it would sag a little here and there. The dimensions of the thrower are kind of wonky too, so perspective is hard to see. I think I got it close enough.
User avatar
By archinate
#4926501
Hats off to your efforts! I have an Anovos pack myself and there are definitely quality control problems in the kit: misaligned holes, fragile parts, and poor hardware that makes it a challenge for even experienced builders. I've had mine for just under a year and I am progressively swapping out parts for better quality.

In the end, the main shell and cast pack components are quite good IMO - even some of the replica fittings are quite good. With enough patience, the final product can look fantastic.

To others reading, I would not recommend buying from Anovos directly due to numerous customer service issues. I was lucky enough to pick up an unassembled kit from the second hand market on eBay at a lower price.

Good luck to you - I'll be following your build approach!
Marcus B liked this
By livewire008
#4926505
Good work so far, keep it up!

Each of these packs seem to come with it's own issues... I don't think I've seen two people with the same issue out of the couple of builds posted on here. FWIW, here's my own build and video...

http://www.gbfans.com/forum/viewtopic.p ... 9#p4916819

Like I said; no two packs seem to be quite the same (the quality control over there must be a real horror show) but hopefully some of the ideas and techniques might help you brainstorm/problem solve any issues you might run into.

Yeah, there's some warts (and buyers remorse from going the Anovos route in general) but with a little elbow grease these things can really shine. I think the pack shell alone is one of the better ones on the market (worth the headaches? eh...) but it's quite cool knowing it came from an average of 3D scans of screen used packs.

I wish I had thought about adding a quick disconnect between pack and thrower while I was still in the building phase as a full pack is quite difficult to transport, but I intend to add one soon-ish and it (should) be a simple enough addition.

Anyway, good luck. The journey is quite rewarding :)
Marcus B liked this
By Marcus B
#4926506
livewire008, I've been using your video a lot just for reference. It's probably the most complete documentation I've seen of an anovos pack build. It actually inspired this thread simply because there are so few references for building one I figure it might help someone.

Does your thrower handle rotate? And how did you achieve that? I've seen where people carve a channel on the inner tube that connects the front assembly. Wasn't sure if that's the best route.
By livewire008
#4926515
That's great to hear, I'm glad it's helping!

My handle does not rotate... the Anovos design pretty much ignores the green lever as well. I thought the way I routed the ear light/switch might cause friction with a pop out barrel so I decided to just glue it where I wanted it and cosmetically lock everything down.

If you're looking to make an extending wand, I saw some of the other Anovos builders (sorry, can't seem to locate the thread ATM) routed their wires on the outside by dremeling a channel and filling/sanding that with putty... I could be wrong, but that seems safer to me as it would avoid those wires from potentially getting bound up by the popping action.
By Marcus B
#4926516
Right now, mine is screwed in place and does not rotate. I saw the build with the routed cables, an idea I like and may do it as well. My goal is to leave open the possibility of rotation and extension.

I saw another build where they added some plastic, screws and washers to the trigger box, sloblo box (fuse box?, so it could be opened later if needed. That one I am definitely going to do.
livewire008 liked this
By livewire008
#4926517
Marcus B wrote: November 2nd, 2019, 4:14 pm Right now, mine is screwed in place and does not rotate. I saw the build with the routed cables, an idea I like and may do it as well. My goal is to leave open the possibility of rotation and extension.

I saw another build where they added some plastic, screws and washers to the trigger box, sloblo box (fuse box?, so it could be opened later if needed. That one I am definitely going to do.

Definitely a good idea. I could tell the threads in my thrower box, specifically, were getting a little "soft" after dry fitting it once(!) and when I did the final assembly, I used a drop of hot glue in the holes before running the screws in on top of them... just to give the threads a little extra "something" to grip onto that would also remain partially pliable if I ever (god forbid) have to open the wand up to do repair work without destroying the threads.

In general for dealing with the pre-drilled threads, especially when they're made of chocolate (aka; resin, haha) as they are here, it's important to back thread the screw to "find the thread" before you forward screw it down into place to avoid stripping or cross threading.

My trigger box also has nuts on the inside of the box as the included screws didn't thread into anything there. I probably should have shown that in my video when I was talking about how none of that fit together :walterpeck:
By Marcus B
#4926648
One step forward, two steps back.

I've discovered many cracks around the edge of the shell in the resin. These go through to the outside. Too thin to just glue shut, I think I'll have to file, drill, dremel into them carefully then use Milliput to fill and shape. And I thought this weekend, I might finally start putting things together...

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By Glenn Frederick
#4926677
I don't think it's cracks in the resin, the pack and parts seem to have some kind of special black coating that cracks in places and I think you would be wasting your time drilling into them just to fill with Milliput .

If you plan on painting it maybe sanding it first with high grit sandpaper then use a Filler Primer?
The shell is fiberglass and I don't see those cracks effecting the integrity of the shell.
By Marcus B
#4926721
I took out the file set and carefully started filing away on the edge of the back, and on the front where I could see the cracks. I didn't go nuts- I filed away more on the back, but just enough on the front that I could lay in some milliput and this appears to have worked just fine. Wetting down the milliput let me get a nice smooth appearance on the outside where needed. I also put some milliput on the inside where I thought it might help reinforce things. Most of the cracks seem to be in fairly logical places where some light bending can occur, and were fairly minor, except the one near the HGA.. well, under the box below the HGA. That one ran from the back fiberglass, up the side and over to the front of the pack maybe about two inches. After my repair though, I don't think I'll have to do much with these ever again. It seemed very solid this morning.
By Marcus B
#4930631
After taking a break due to the cold weather and holidays, I've started work again.

First thing was to get this stupid power cell window area cleared out. I had done a lot of grinding in this area before... and then I did some more... and then more... and... I still needed to do some to get it done. I think it's looking good now though, plenty of room to place the blue acrylic and some space for the GBFans power cell light.
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Following livewire008's suggestion in his video, I purchased spongeface's bezel kit. I filed away the Anovos window so I could fit it. I'm not gluing it in just yet, but I did a dry fit and it looks nice. I think the trick here will be assembling the bezel kit itself.
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I also received my arcolectric lights for the wand. You can see the clear one in the pic above. That one fits a bit loosely, so I'll have to fill in the existing hole a little. The red Slo Blo light was tight, and I very carefully made it larger by carefully increasing the drill bit size. I'm planning on buying the hat lights.. but GBFans is out of stock on the lenses. AJ had issues contacting the company to place an order, but it sounds like that has been resolved.. but he also announced there is a possibility of the "milky white" lenses being made.. so I'm holding out for those.

This weekend, the weather is suppose to be warmer, so I'm hoping to put some texture on and paint the shell, as well as some other pieces so I can start assembling the pack itself.
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By Marcus B
#4930773
I declared victory on the power cell window too early.. there's enough space for everything, but I can't get the acrylic to be flat. Very frustrating. Due to the location it's hard to get a dremel in or anything else.
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By Marcus B
#4939061
So I've neglected my pack for a bit as the pandemic took over my life and everyone else's! I hope everyone is doing well.

I started work again, and it's coming along. I got the blue acrylic to lie flat, finally. I used black Sugru moldable glue to hold it in. I liked the idea sugru because it can be cut out and removed if I ever want to replace the acrylic for some reason such as damage. One of my goals is to make certain parts easily replaceable, like the not anywhere close to screen accurate fittings Anovos supplied, I might secure with a bit of E6000, but parts that should stay in place forever get epoxy.
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After the power cell acrylic was dealt with I began actually assembling it and have gotten pretty far. You can see my effort to texture the shell in this shot, which I didn't document. I tried a few things, but I'll be honest, I'm not happy with any of them and not really happy with the outcome.. I guess it looks OK. Might look better once everything is in place, and I have a chance to do some weathering.
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kahuna900 liked this
By Marcus B
#4939966
I'm really neglecting this thread, but I'll still share some progress milestones. If anyone has an Anovos pack and is wondering how I did something, feel free to ask. I probably do have a picture of it.

I think the exterior is done. The only thing I'm noticing is the bumper is maybe a little off.. but other than that and weathering which I will do once the pack and gun are built and joined together.. it's done. And as you can see, I've also installed the lighting kit. The crank knob is wired up to control volume as well. Eventually I may move volume control elsewhere on the pack to make it more convenient for me, but I still would've wanted to the crank knob to turn so I needed a potentiometer anyway. It'll do for now and at least it offers exterior control.

Now on to the neutrona wand..

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By Marcus B
#4940280
Alright, this gun kit is coming along now! I'm cautiously optimistic I can get this done for halloween now. I bit the bullet and ordered the legris elbow and welded trigger tip from the GBFans store, but I have the Anovos ones if those don't arrive in time.
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As you can see pretty much everything is where it should be. One thing that threw me was the clippard. The screws included with it are too short to reach through, and even if they did, on the inside the outer screw is basically going into the wall of the gun body. I thought about drilling/tapping.. but I just don't like the idea given the clippard weighs a bit compared to other parts and the threads are so fine. Luckily, someone on the FB Anovos Pack group gave me a wonderful suggestion: threaded inserts. The threads for the insert itself are coarse and I could epoxy those in place easily. It worked very well. Only issue was Anovos drilled one of the holes in the wrong spot. Milliput epoxy putty to the rescue, I fixed that up redrilled and epoxied the inserts in.

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The original holes for the ear were also way too close to the edge, so I have also filled them in and will re-drill new ones. I am going to do some research on how others have wired up the ear as well... since the switch is pre-attached to the cable with the led, I'm not sure how you go about inserting them. Do I drill an extra large hole and insert threw the bottom, hoping the nut/washer will be bigger than the body enough to hold?

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kahuna900 liked this
By Marcus B
#4940433
Gun is coming along. Waiting on a trigger tip, banjos and replacement hat lights from GBFans (mine don't seat in the sockets). Basically all that needs done is adding those, mounting the wand kit board.. then feeding the ribbon cable into it and closing it up.
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Here is my wand vs the new Spengler wand. They did a great job for $100 I think.
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Last edited by Marcus B on October 5th, 2020, 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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User avatar
By mike_waclo
#4940438
Marcus B wrote: October 5th, 2020, 10:21 am Gun is coming along. Waiting on a trigger tip, elbows, and replacement hat lights from GBFans (mine don't seat in the sockets). Basically all that needs done is adding those, mounting the wand kit board.. then feeding the ribbon cable into it and closing it up.

Looking good! I'd highly recommend using a tap, or maybe even those threaded inserts you used for the Clippard, to help secure the bottom plate. The holes pre-drilled in the box don't line up well with the plate, and the resin is so soft, you'll strip it out pretty easily trying to get the original screws in there. I ended up tapping the body for slightly wider, longer socket-head bolts, and they've worked really well.
By Marcus B
#4940440
da_rambler20 wrote: October 5th, 2020, 10:37 am nice work. running the wires from the wand to the tip is what freaks me out the most. I have no idea how I'm going to do that.
So... I did it this way, I'm not saying it was the right way.. or the best... or a good idea at all. I saw someone on the forums here route down the outside of the grip.. but I wanted mine "accurate" to one of the guns.. or a sum of them. So I wanted the entrance/exit points of the wires in the right place. Granted, I'm not following any one pack.. so IDK if it was worth it in the end, but here is what I did:

I routed a channel with a dremel. I taped a straight line to follow in the middle and started there. I then tried to cut the turns.. but as you can see I was using a cutting disc and that caused me some issues. I eventually switched to a different bit to smooth out the route and soften the corners of the turns.
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Then I filled in the route black Sugru. Sugru should be removeable should I need to. It can be sanded (though they warn it won't be "sealed" anymore) and painted (again, a warning- they say since it is flexible paint may not stick.. however, I'm not really using it in a spot where it can flex). Sugru should be easily removeable should I ever need to redo the wiring.

This is all on the underside of the handle, so I don't mind that it doesn't look perfect.. and once I do paint and weather the grips so I think I can hide my work here.
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By Marcus B
#4940443
mike_waclo wrote: October 5th, 2020, 11:06 am Looking good! I'd highly recommend using a tap, or maybe even those threaded inserts you used for the Clippard, to help secure the bottom plate. The holes pre-drilled in the box don't line up well with the plate, and the resin is so soft, you'll strip it out pretty easily trying to get the original screws in there. I ended up tapping the body for slightly wider, longer socket-head bolts, and they've worked really well.
Yep- I've already bought the threaded inserts and screws for this.
Last edited by Marcus B on October 5th, 2020, 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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