#4949573
So after prevaricating for bloody ages I've finally decided to (belatedly) start my build thread. I've got a fair bit to catch up on, so I'll split this into several posts rather than one massive dump of my progress to date!

Like a few others I started out with a Spirit pack nearly three years ago, for a costume for my best friend's 80's themed wedding reception, and quickly started heading down the rabbit hole. Cue summer 2020 and lockdown, and I decided to take the plunge to a full size pack. Being in the UK and talking to a few other UK 'busters I went with BenofKent for my pack and trap (build thread for that here). I only actually started the pack in earnest in mid-December, so I'd had time to have a think about what I wanted from it and start upgrading parts.

Current pack parts list is:

Shell & motherboard - BenofKent
Vintage LC2 ALICE frame (I'll eventually upgrade this to an LC1 frame)
Vintage LC1 shoulder straps, belt and kidney pad - eBay
ALICE frame white neck foam - GBFans
Motherboard foam - DIY from EVA foam
Pack spacers - made myself from hockey pucks (yes, I know they're not quite the right size)
Booster tube - eBay (2.5" diameter aluminium, BoK's is 2.375" diameter)
Booster tube plug - Proton Props
Booster Ladder - Ross Hutchinson on Facebook (made with screen accurate parts, Dixon pencils etc.)
HGA - CPU64
Filler Tube - CPU64
Beam Line - CPU64
Vac Tube - CPU64
Ion Arm - CPU64
Injector Tubes - CPU64
N-Filter - GBFans
PPD - made myself with correct diameter aluminium tube and resin
Bumper - GBFans
Clippard elbows & barbs - Radwell.co.uk (elbows stamped with the Clippard logo, not sure of this is actually accurate or not though??)
4mm Legris elbows - namebrand (resin printed using vintage brass parts, not in hand yet though)
Dale Ph25 resistor - eBay (without the round bit on the top)
Sage M25W resistor - eBay
Dale RH50 resistor - eBay
Crank knob - GBFans
Legris Straights - GBFans
Bellows - Mack's Factory
Clippard R331 - Radwell.co.uk (will eventually try and get a vintage one)
Ribbon Cable - Fincher Technologies
Ribbon Cable clamp - BenofKent
Ribbon Cable p-clamp - eBay (Adel stamped DG18 model)
Pack labels - Mack's Factory
Pack dry rubs - Mack's Factory
Tubing (various) - GBFans
Pack lights & soundboard - GBFans
Speaker - 6.5" 3-way Fli speaker
Vent Relay - Spongeface
Smoke Kit - CS Props
"Spengler" Charging Plate & wiring harness - nstevic
Assorted nuts, bolts and washers
Cyclotron shelf - BenofKent
Powercell shelf - DIY

Got to cook dinner now, so wand parts list will have to wait!
Last edited by tobycj on May 26th, 2021, 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
RedSpecial, mburkit, l3w1sb159 and 1 others liked this
#4949604
So, on to the wand parts list. I'm using the BoK resin wand body for now, but already thinking about upgrading to an aluminium one at some point, so some of the nicer aluminium parts I have may or may not get used on this, I'm still undecided. None of the Freekygeeky parts are in hand yet, as I'm still waiting for his run of wand parts to be done (I signed up last July!)

Gun body - BenofKent
Trigger box - BenofKent
Instrument bar - BenofKent
Rear cylinder - BenofKent
Front cylinder - Benofkent (tried to DIY an aluminium one - went badly!)
Grips - BenofKent
Gun ears - BenofKent
Gun track - BenofKent
Gun track discs - BenofKent
S-Hook - BenofKent
Brass spacers - eBay
Heat sink - Freekygeeky
Large side knob - Freekygeeky
Small side knob - Freekygeeky
Top knob - Freekygeeky
Front knob - Freekygeeky
Side discs - GBFans (GB1 style with no knurling)
Hat lights - GBFans (two milky white, one orange)
Legris banjos - GBFans
Red / green tubing - GBFans
Trigger tip (welded) - GBFans
V-Hook - GBFans
Vintage R701 Clippard valve - eBay
Clear & Red Arcoelectric indicators - Farnell
Clear tube - DIY from a friend
Clippard hose barbs - Radwell
Pop mech - DIY
Electronics - GBFans
Super bright vent light - eBay (same as ovwthrillseekr used to sell)
Flashbulb kit - DIY (I'll be selling some on here once I sort a supporting membership)
Assorted bolts, mix of imperial and metric as there isn't really an equivalent of a 6-32 in metric.
marshallmg liked this
#4950102
So, I'll start this properly now!

First thing I really started in earnest was the motherboard. I tackled was the speaker grille to start with. After seeing Bishopdonmiguel's awesome grill in his build thread (highly recommended!) I contacted him and he very kindly agreed to share it with me.

Centre punching the design was crucial to avoid the drill bit wandering at all on the aluminium. Do not skimp on this if you try similar!

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Bishop's template only called for three different sizes of drill bit, but because I'm a glutton for punishment I opted for 11, working up from 2mm to 6.5mm. Drilling this took bloody ages, especially as the larger holes needed pilot holes first. I also learnt to my detriment that the motherboard needs to be clamped down or you get vibration, and the holes end up a bit triangular. Very annoying. Bishop also advised putting a slight countersink on the holes to avoid any sharp edges, and give a cleaner finish. Six hours later I had a finished speaker grille! So many holes.

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I'm using the aluminium cyclotron shelf that is available from BenofKent, and wanted to pimp that up a bit. Somewhere along the way I measured up where the cyclotron lights needed to go with the tried and trusted "tape it to the mobo and put the shell over the top and keep moving it until it's right" method.
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Bit of matt black spray paint and with a nod to the trap some yellow electrical tape left over from my trap build and I had a cyclotron shelf done. I used some grommets I had left from a belt gizmo build a while back for the lights to go through so there'd be no sharp edges for the wiring to rub against. They ended up being a little too small so I've since swapped them for some larger ones so the GBFans cyclotron lights sit in them snugly, and they'll get hot glued in place when I do the final fit.

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The speaker was slightly too wide for Ben's shelf, so rather than bending the shelf, or cutting that I trimmed down the edge of the speaker surround with the Dremel and a file. Turns out filings are a bugger to get off the big magnet on the speaker! The Fli sticker on the back got quite scuffed up, so I peeled that off and popped more electrical tape on there (which you can't see once it's under the shelf!)

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The speaker is mounted on some standoffs in each corner, and bolted to the mobo.

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In more shameless plagiarism I used Bishopdonmiguel's idea of a shelf to mount the electronics on at the top of the pack. Templated it with card, then cut it from 2mm black styrene sheet once I had the dimensions right.

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Bolted to the mobo using 10mm standoffs so there was space underneath to run wiring, and some brass washers under the locknuts as a little call to the washers on the booster ladder and bumper. It looked a bit boring plain black, and had got a bit scuffed on the workbench, so I popped another coat of matt black on, and then more yellow stripes. You can't have enough stripes, right?

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Because I was doing this in winter in my garage it got pretty cold, so I had a small fan heater going. I managed to leave the mobo with the shelf mounted in front of the fan (a few feet away though), and the heat warped the shelf! Disaster!

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With some judicious use of the heat gun and some heavy wood I managed to flatten it back out, and only had to trim a few millimeters off the edge and replace some of the tape. Crisis averted!

Got the GBFans soundboard and vent relay from Spongeface mounted up on nylon standoffs, and the battery just laid on for now. It's a 3000mAh Talentcell, but I made enough space for the 6000mAh which I think I'll upgrade to. I've not worked out how to attach it in place nicely yet either.

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I tried to use the powercell mount that BenofKent provides next, but it was totally the wrong size for the GBFans powercell lights, and was actually too wide for the shell to go over, so after wrestling with cutting it down I decided to cut my losses and threw it in the bin. I had some aluminium sheet left over from my trap, so bent that to shape, more paint and tape and created a nice simple powercell bracket. Redspecial helpfully let me know how far below the blue lens the lights should be mounted so I could get the dimensions right, so shout out to you (first of many!)

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Next I cut the mousehole on the shell and installed a loom clamp. In hindsight this doesn't work very well with split loom, so I need to think about how I secure the loom in it. Any suggestions welcomed!

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As others have found the clamp overlaps one of the shell brackets, so that needed cutting down so it sits over the bracket neatly

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Next I stripped everything off, and have the whole mobo a good sand with fine grit sandpaper, and then a wash in prep for paint. I popped a hole in there for the wiring from my charging plate from nstevic at this point too, and another large grommet so there'd be no chafing on the wires. Probably overkill as I got my charging harness dressed, but better safe than sorry.

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I taped off the inside leaving a strip round the edge. Spot the schoolboy error here...

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Yep, I forgot the right hand side isn't fully covered by the shell! Doh. Sanded the edge down so there wouldn't be a "lip" of paint, and then taped off again and applied more satin black. Little bit of overspray, but managed to tidy that up fairly well later on.

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Then got my charging plate rivetted in from the inside of the mobo, I don't think you could rivet it from the outside unless you added the bracket part of it afterwards? Certainly not with the riveter I have anyway.

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I got my smoke kit from CS Props around this point too, so worked out where that was going to mount as well (somewhere under the clippard valve and vac hose area where the blue tape is), and started to lay in cable clips for the various wiring.

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I also rivetted on the powercell shelf at this point, with three rivets that will stay unpainted as seen on some of the hero packs. I also found at this point that the nylon standoffs made the lights slightly wonky, so had to re-drill the holes on the shelf. Not sure how that happened, but managed to get them aligned ok and you'll not see the extra holes so I can live with it!

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As this is a GB1 pack I wanted the ALICE frame spacers to be right(ish) as well, so I bought some hockey pucks and then using my mitre saw and some ingenuity to hold them down I cut them to size. I know the half moon one is the wrong diameter, so I had to tweak the dimensions a little. Drilled the holes in them all with my pillar drill so they were nice and straight, and then used the Dremel for the channel in the half moon spacer, and I had a pretty decent set of spacers knocked up.

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One thing that is bugging me is the rivets BoK uses for the pack brackets, as they're not large flange. How much hassle would it be to drill these out and replace them? Anyone got any experience of that sort of thing and have any good tips? In hindsight I should have done that before any painting...

That brings me fairly neatly to a close on the motherboard side of things for now, and I need to go and cook dinner now my wife is home!
Nighty80, RedSpecial, JWils23 and 1 others liked this
#4950134
Very nice sir. Kudos for making the spacers yourself, they look bang on.
I had the same problem with the 3d printed powercell bracket from ben, had to make a template of the powercell board and use that to cut the excess off to get the shell to fit.
tobycj liked this
#4950198
Onto the first part of the shell build now.

I decided fairly early on that I wanted to upgrade some of the pack parts to aluminium, the first of which I tackled was the PPD. As this is just an aluminium tube filled with resin I thought I'd have a crack at making my own, so bought the requisite 1.25" aluminium tube on eBay and some two part quick setting resin, and then cut the tube to length and angle with my mitre saw.

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First attempt with the resin was an unmitigated disaster, and even after 24 hours was nowhere near set :( I think I'd not mixed it thoroughly enough, and possibly hadn't fully dried the aluminium after I washed it, so I had to pull it out and start over. Fortunately I'd only done one as a proof of concept so didn't waste much resin at all.

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Take two, with the tubes hot glued to a board held at a 45 degree(ish) angle. They all needed topping up afterwards, and the resin pulled a layer of the board off too, so they all had to be sanded afterwards as well!

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They came out ok, but all had small air bubbles that I filled with some P38 Isopon body filler and then sanded back so they were smooth. I later traded all the extras with my buddy Dave Proton Props for a GBFans bumper, as the BoK bumper's arms were a little short for my liking, so it either sat really close to the cyclotron, or sat too high on the sync gen to leave an appropriate gap between the bumper and the cyclotron.

It was at this point that I found that BoK uses a 1.375" resin PPD with his kits, based off Stefan Otto's plans, so my nice aluminium one was too small. Undeterred I started to build up the point it mounts with more P38 filler and milliput to get the right profile for my correctly sized PPD. Much filling and sanding ensued to get it to be the right fit, and right location.

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BoK recommends attaching the PPD through the front of it, and into the shell with a nut inside, but once the danger sticker is on you'd not be able to remove it easily, so I've opted to mount it from inside the shell with a couple of socket head screws. I taped the PPD down, drilled the holes in the shell and marked them on the PPD before drilling and tapping that as well. I got the first hole in the shell in the wrong place and realised it was nigh on impossible to access to screw in, so moved them a bit.

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I also added the nipples to the EDA discs at this point as well, using rivets and then milliput to smooth them out. I was VERY careful to get them dead centre first, as I thought it would be really apparent if they were off centre. I also did a tester of two size rivets on some scrap first to see which looked better, and I've of course forgotten which size I used now. Suffice to say it was whichever I thought looked more accurate at the time!

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As I was adding the CS Props smoke kit I needed to cut out the base of the n-filter on the cyclotron, so I bought an appropriate size hole saw (60mm I think?) and set to work cutting that out. I was VERY nervous doing this as there was no going back if I cocked it up. Turned out fine though.

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As I'm going for a hero-ish build I wanted to include some of the small details that are sometimes overlooked, so decideds to add the "dimples" on the cyclotron rings. I just eyeballed where I thought they needed to go from reference photos and some other build threads, marked them up, drilled and tapped to 4-40. After some more thinking I thought 4-40 was a bit small, so consulted some folk on Facebook and enlarged them slightly to 6-32, and was much happier with how they looked.

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While I was on the cyclotron rings I noted from Redspecial's excellent texture and painting guide that there were striations on them on at least one pack, so tried to replicate these with a combination of a very fine toothed pull saw and a scalpel. Not sure if they'll be too subtle once the pack is re-primed and painted, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

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Next up was probably the most significant modification I made to the shell, and one that had my really sweating over doing as I could have really made a mess of the shell here. As I mentioned before BoK uses Stefan Otto's plans, which have a 2.75" diameter n-filter, whereas the GBFans aluminium one is a 3" diameter. I debated whether to attach the n-filter the screen accurate way by cutting it to the profile of the cyclotron, or simply enlarging the hole that is already in the BoK shell for it to sit in. I opted for the latter, as that seemed the easier (albeit less accurate) of the two options. To get it to fit required some fairly significant cutting into the shell. I made a template from a Pringles tube, which is also handily about 3" in diameter, so I could mark on the top of the cyclotron where I needed to cut to, and then set cutting the shell with a small saw and my trusty Dremel.

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This left the resin either paper thin, or completely gone in places - not conducive for attaching an n-filter to! I taped the n-filter in place, and built up the inside of the shell with tissue paper and wood glue to start with, and then later applied liberal amounts of P38 filler over the back of that so I had a nice solid mounting point. The n-filter is then attached with some socket head screws from inside the shell, so it'll be fairly easily removed should I ever need to.

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Not a bad fit I think. I'll use a little bit of milliput later on to fill the gaps.

Next up was mounting the bumper to the shell. I know people have found it quite hard to get level, but I seemed to luck out and got it pretty much perfect first try. Beginner's luck maybe? One question is bumper washers - brass or steel? A lot of people seem to use brass for GB1 packs, but the Marshall Arts photos look more like steel. I like the look of brass, so I think I'll likely keep them that way regardless.

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I also added the striations seen on the screen used bumper to the ends here, again with a fine tooth saw and a scalpel.

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I added the hole for the bellows to mount through the bumper and into the cyclotron here too, but since then some folk in the community did a great bit of research that shows the bellows were only mounted to the bumper, and not the cyclotron as well in GB1, so the longer bolt and spacer was a GB2 retrofit. So I've obviously filled the hole in the cyclotron now!

Time to go cook dinner again (tomato and mushroom pasta tonight), so I'll leave it there for today!
#4950650
Steadily catching up with my current progress with this thread now, so on we go...

I drilled the hole for the ribbon cable to feed back into the shell, so I marked out how far out from the gearbox and booster box with a drill bit (I saw someone else do this, so thanks for the idea!), and then worked out the centre point and drilled a pilot hole, then using a step bit from inside the shell drilled out the hole to 16mm.

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I used the step bit again to drill out the vac hose hole at the top of the pack. This was quite hard to get the angle without hitting the corner of the gun mount with the largest part of the step bit, and I ended up chipping it a bit, so had to fill it with P38 and sand it back later.
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Next up was more idea stealing, this time from Bishopdonmiguel again. He had magnetic connectors for his vac hose and I liked the idea, so I did the same. I had to grind out a significant amount of resin inside the shell to allow a piece of wooden dowel with a rare earth magnet recessed in to sit in place, then whacked a load of body filler over it to hold it in place. One thing I did find here was I forgot to check it lined up with the other magnetised dowel, so they don't quite align when in place. Only a slight irritation, but annoying nonetheless.

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To stop the magnets smashing together and possibly chipping I glued one of the plastic separators to one of them, to buffer them a bit. Seems to work quite well.
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I made the dowel that sticks out a bit longer so the vac hose has a better orientation on it when in place.
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Then I did the same for other end, using a screw from inside the shell to hold the dowel in place, which will all be hidden by the aluminium vac tube.
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After perusing RedSpecial's excellent texture guide I wanted to start adding some of the details to the shell that are seen ion the hero packs. First up was some of the nail heads on the ribs on the powercell, crank gen and gun mount. I drilled pilot holes, slightly countersunk them so the nails would sit almost flush and then dropped them in place with a dab of epoxy glue. I used a combination of some wire clip nails and random panel pins I had knocking about in the garage, as they didn't appear to all be the same size. One thing worth remembering is to shorten the nails, so they don't stick out into the pack. I didn't think of this until they were glued in place, and then it was a pain to try and cut them off, so I did the best I could and covered the sharp ends over with milliput so there was nothing to catch any electronics or wiring by accident.

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A little bit of milliput over the top of some of them, as some appeared to have some filler over them to cover them up a bit.
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I then went back and added the woodgrain effect to the ribs with a Dremel sanding drum and a scalpel, varying the amount and depth to try and match the hero reference photos as best as I could.
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I'd also noticed that the top powercell rib stepped back in all the way down, rather than having a sort of "shelf", so I filled this with milliput and sanded it back smooth so the step back was only for the top part of the rib.
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Then I marked out the hole for the crank knob potentiometer, and drilled that with the pillar drill. I'm using Nathan Stevic's volume control in there as well, so the crank knob will move nicely rather than being static.
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I thought I was plowing through the pack at this point, and would be done pretty quickly. Just before Christmas I'd decided to upgrade the ion arm, HGA, beam line, filler tube, injector tubes and vac hose tube for aluminium ones from CPU64 and all seemed well, and he was ready to ship them in mid-January. Then, radio silence for three months unfortunately! He did then get in touch right as I was about to call it quits and get them elsewhere, but this gave me time to step back and have a bit of a think about what I wanted from the pack if I was going to put such nice parts on. That'll be the next post!

As a bit of a random addendum to this post, around this time I decided to upgrade a few other parts from BoK, legris banjos being one of them. Once I got the GBFans banjos I did a comparison to the BoK banjos, and realised quite how different they were.
L-R: BoK with his supplied bolt, BoK with M4 slotted bolt, GBFans with banjo bolt
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I'd decided to see what I could do to make the BoK banjo a bit more accurate, so filed down the nozzle part to be shorter, and then tried to turn the recessed lip on the nozzle in the pillar drill with some fine files. Worked ok, and made it look a lot better than it came as standard I think.
L-R: BoK with M4 bolt, modified BoK with M5 bolt, GBFans with banjo bolt
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That brings me to a close for this post, as it's time for me to cook dinner again (fajitas tonight).
twmedford23, l3w1sb159, RedSpecial and 2 others liked this
#4950962
Looking really nice! I love the tape job you gave the internal components, really looks cool! And you just really be a glutton for punishment using 11 different bits on that template! I did 3 and felt like I was going insane :lol:
tobycj liked this
#4950970
JWils23 wrote: June 24th, 2021, 3:54 pm Looking really nice! I love the tape job you gave the internal components, really looks cool! And you just really be a glutton for punishment using 11 different bits on that template! I did 3 and felt like I was going insane :lol:
I got halfway through and realised it was a bloody stupid idea, but I was too committed by that point :lol:

Need to get more photos off my phone and uploaded this weekend and do another big update, and try and get vaguely up to date with it!
JWils23 liked this
#4951058
So last post I mentioned I unfortunately had quite a wait for the aluminium pack parts from CPU64, so I spent some more time doing research and talking to some more experienced builders at this point (big shout out in particular to RedSpecial and Dave at Proton Props!). I decided I wanted to make the BoK shell a bit more screen accurate, as there were a few inaccuracies that once I'd really noticed them I couldn't get to stop bugging me. Point to note here, BenofKent doesn't claim his shells are screen accurate, so this isn't a pop at Ben, just that I wanted to up my game on this pack.

I mentioned the "shelf" on the top of the powercell last post, and that was the first part of the actual shell that I changed. Next was the top right corner of the gearbox. It was pointed out that this stepped down a bit more on the screen used backs, so a bit of time with the Dremel and some sandpaper and I'd brought that profile down to something closer to the real packs. I think in hindsight I could have taken it down a bit further, but c'est la vie.
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Next was the wonky fins on the powercell and the crank gen. I marked out where the fins needed to be cut back on one side, and built up on the other and then took to them (carefully) with a file to take away one side, and then with a styrene shim the same depth as the fins built up the other side with milliput, then sanded them back so they were flush with the original level, and both sides of each fin were parallel to each other. It doesn't show up that well in these photos, but they're all nicely wonky! One catch here was the nails in the face of the fins I'd carefully put in before were now off centre, but I decided to live with that, it adds to the quirkiness of the shell. I lost most of the woodgrain texture I'd applied at this point, so added that back later.
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Dave also helpfully pointed out that one of the plates on the sync gen is missing on the BoK shell (a throwback to Stefan Otto's plans). It's one you can't really see as it's under the ribbon cable, but in for a penny in for a pound, so I decided to add it. I got a 50x50mm piece of 3mm styrene sheet off ebay for this, as the height was bang on 50mm so only needed to be trimmed on one side to be the right size. I sanded a bit of a flat spot on the sync gen for it to attach to, then lightly rounded off the edges and corners to match the other plates already on the shell and attached with glue, being careful to keep the spacing even. A little bit of milliput was required along the edges just to fill some small gaps where it didn't quite sit flush.
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Next was a bigger change to the shell. You'll have noted that BoK cuts a hole for his booster tube, and mounts it into the shell rather than cutting it at an angle like the real packs, so I decided I wanted to replicate this as well.
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I traced a template of the hole, then cut a piece of 2mm styrene to shape and epoxied it into the hole, leaving it slightly recessed.
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Next applied P38 body filler before sanding it so it was flush and smooth.
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Applied some more body filler to the back so it was nice and sturdy too. Shouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon!
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Then took my mitre saw to the BoK booster tube (I did a 40 degree cut for reference), and reattached it to the shell.
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It was at this point I thought that the booster tube seemed to sit quite low down the face of the attenuator compared to reference photos, so did some digging and realised the BoK booster tube is slightly smaller diameter at 2.375", rather than 2.5" like the real packs. Cue another trip to eBay, and a purchase of some 2.5" diameter aluminium tube, which I then cut the angle on again, and to the right length to just sit over the top edge of the shell. The leading edge of the booster tube sits much closer to the top of the attenuator now.

At this point I'll mention the booster ladder, that a fellow UK 'buster kindly made for me from the correct found parts. I know the real ones were resin casts of a master, so this is technically not screen accurate, but it looks really cool anyway I think. Made with rubber matting, board with the correct pattern and real, correct type Dixon Ticonderoga pencils.
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A side by side comparison with the BoK resin one that came with my kit. Dimensions are pretty close for the frame, but the texture on the rungs is off, and the "pencils" are too skinny. Not sure what Ben actually used for his master for those, as they seem skinnier than any pencils I had in the house when I compared them.
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The end on profile was quite different, Ben's matting section is angled up, and the ridges weren't very triangular. I improved these later on with a small triangular file so the profile looked better, despite the fact I'm not using it, so if I sell it on someone will get a slightly more accurate version at least.
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From chats with RedSpecial he also noted that there were quite a few angles and edges on the BoK shell that needed rounding off, or bevels and fillets adding, so more sanding, filing and milliput work commenced.
The arrows mark where changes needed to be made. The ribs on the front of the gearbox were very square, so these all got rounded off, and then started to add milliput to create fillets where there were some right angles on the shell.
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The top of the sync gen needed a fillet too, so that was added
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The whole top right corner between the gun mount and the crank gen had fillets added, and I built up the top edge where the BoK shell had a slight step before going into the crank gen. I rounded off the top corner of the crank gen, as this seemed to taper as it went down. I also rounded off the top of the ribs a bit, as they appeared to be too angular as well.
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The top left corner of the crank gen where it joined the EDA had a fillet added too, as that stepped in too suddenly previously.
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The corner between the powercell and EDA had a fillet added as well, as that was another quite sharp corner before.
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I ended up doing this to most places where there was an internal corner on the shell, as looking at the reference photos very few, if any, of them were right angles. Particularly of note was the right hand side of the sync gen had a fillet that made a big difference. I also added a bevel to the step just between the sync gen and the gearbox, as this seemed to be quite pronounced in the reference photos, as well as a smaller bevel to the step down between the beam line and filler tube. I don't appear to have any photos of this at this stage for some reason, guess I just got carried away.

The final significant change to the shell at this point was the ribs on the front of the gearbox. The gaps in between them were very square, whereas the ref pics show them being a rounded bottom to the gap, I guess done with a small rat tail file or something similar? The size of them was also uneven, with the second from the left being smaller than the rest, so I wanted to replicate this detail as well.
You can see here that the gaps are square, and there was a slight undercut along the top edge for some reason.
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P38 liberally applied to fill the gaps and the undercut along the top edge of the ribs.
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Sanded back nice and flush
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Then marked up where the gaps should be (thanks to RedSpecial for dimensions on these), and then used a small round file to get the appropriate profile
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Not long after this my aluminium parts arrived from CPU64, and hot damn! they are lovely.
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That's where I'll pause for now, and hopefully get another post done at some point this weekend...
RedSpecial, marshallmg liked this
#4951359
Back once again, this mammoth post might get me pretty much up to speed with my pack build now...

So now I had all my aluminium parts from CPU64 I did the usual dry fit of everything. Luckily I was back in the office for the first time in six months just after they arrived, so I took a cue from someone else (mburkit maybe?) and photocopied the bottom of all of the parts so I could get the mounting points exactly right.
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There's a slight angle to the bottom face of the powercell, so the injector tubes didn't sit quite parallel to the shell, so like the screen used packs I added a spacer of sorts at the top just using more milliput. This sits slightly below the top edge of the injector tubes when they're attached. To get the right kind of thickness to the spacer and still have the injector tubes parallel I've had to put a washer between the powercell and bottom of the injector tubes when they're attached, but you can't see it, so it's no big deal.
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As I'd got the vac hose tube as well I had to sand down that part of the shell, as the bottom "plate" was moulded into the shell with just an aluminium tube that slotted into the hole. Once I'd sanded down the shell enough I filled the hole with more P38, then drilled and tapped that for the mounting hardware CPU64 supplied.
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I eyeballed the placement of the beam line and filler tube from various screen used packs. I ended up moving the beam line over a bit, as initially I had it quite tight into the corner of the sync gen, but didn't like the look of that so moved it out a bit. Everything else was then dry fitted and checked it all looked ok. You can see in the second photo that I've got the injector tube bracket dry fitted in there as well - I used 3mm aluminium sheet, cut a strip, bent it in my vice, and then rounded off the top corners with a file until I liked the profile.
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Once I was happy with the fit of everything I got another coat of primer over the whole shell, and did all of the aluminium parts as well. More on this when I get to weathering...
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Then got everything taped off for the texture coat, using RedSpecial's excellent texture guide he put together a while ago. As I'm in the UK you can't get the Homax stuff over here at all, so I used a car product called Protex ProXL that gives a similar texture.
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Unfortunately the first coat was an unmitigated disaster! It was very grainy, and rough, far more like the truck bed texture spray and not at all what I wanted. Sad face :(
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In disgust and annoyance I walked away from it for a day or two, and let it cure before returning and sanding most of the texture back. Fortunately this wasn't too difficult to do. The next attempt fared much better I'm happy to say. I think first time around I was too far away from the shell, and didn't apply a thick enough coat - which is the opposite problem I normally have with spray painting!
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I had some bigger lumps on the face of the cyclotron, that while mostly hidden by the bumper I still wasn't happy with, so that had a light sanding once the paint had cured, and then another light coat to even it out.
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I did my best to replicate the heavier areas of texturing, and what seemed like overspray on the sync gen plates, and
Clippard valve & vac hose mounts, as well as keeping some areas free of texture.
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The woodgrain texture on the ribs was a bit to light and had mostly got lost with the primer coats, so I redid those at this point too, and the same for the saw marks on the cyclotron rings.
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Once everything was unmasked I then did a satin black coat over the whole pack, with a heavy coat on the crank gen and top face of the sync gen, which I then ran a paint brush through to put brush strokes in. They're a bit more subtle than I intended, but I was happy enough with them.
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Ended up pretty happy with the woodgrain texture on the ribs, and the nails look good to.
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Then I got all of the metal parts painted separately. The ion arm cap from BoK doesn't have rods that unscrew, so I taped off the main block first, hit the rods with black spray paint and then wiped it down with some kitchen roll almost immediately, so it looked nice and grimy. Then taped the rods off and did the main block, and bingo!
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Riveted the bracket onto the injector tubes after they were painted, and subsequently hit that with a coat of satin black for the rivets too. I attached it at the base with some 6-32 socket cap screws so it's removable if needs be. Seems I'd got my measurement and placement a mm or so out, so had to trim the leading edge as it didn't fit in against the filler tube, so had to touch up the paint later on. You can see how the top edge isn't flush to the powercell due to the spacer I put in earlier.
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Next job was to get the n-filter properly fitted out. I painted the inside white to reflect the vent light better, and then epoxied in the mesh. I replaced the mesh that came from GBFans with some 2mm hole mesh from Amazon, as the hole size seemed a bit small for my liking.
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I bolted the n-filter in place, then filled the gap between it and the cyclotron with black milliput, and slightly textured it so it would blend into the texture on the cyclotron. This wasn't as good as I hoped after I painted, but it's pretty insignificant, and not too noticeable. I carefully taped off the mesh, and then hit it with more satin black as the milliput stood out like a sore thumb.
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I'd previously drilled pilot holes for the legris straights while I waited on a GBFans order to come in, so once they turned up I drilled and tapped those to the right size (1/8-27 NPT for reference). This was quite hard to drill straight due to the placement and angle of them, but I think I managed to straighten it up enough with the tap
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Then started to get everything else fitted. I previously mentioned I swapped the BoK bumper for a GBFans one, as the arms on BoK's are a bit short, so if the base of the arms is in the right place then the bumper sits flush to the cyclotron, and if the gap to the cyclotron is right then the arms sit too high up the sides of the sync gen. Shot showing them side by side for comparison.
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Another detail on the screen used bumpers is the wire poking out of them that was presumably part of the structure they were built around, so I added this on both sides by drilling holes, cutting short lengths of rod and then gluing them in place, then filed them to an angle. You can see the striations on the ends of the bumpers nicely here too, that was presumably from them being sawn to size?
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Most parts fitted...
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Obviously any good pack needs the weld between the ion arm and the booster tube. As I can't weld, this was a cut down 12mm bolt ground down smooth along one side, and black milliput. I went for the "normal" ugly weld, rather than the Spengler weld as it was a lot easier to do! I glued the bolt in place with epoxy first, then built up the "weld" with milliput, before repainting that area, being careful with overspray.
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I was lazy and taped off the ion arm cap rather than removing it, and when I peeled the tape off it took waaaaaay too much paint off that I intended for weathering, so had to repaint that.
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Then I started to fit the tubing, I swapped to GBFans tubing for all of this as it's much more flexible, and the blue is a better colour match I think. I know people have had problems with the tubing between the RH50 resistor and the clippard elbow on the ion arm kinking, but the GBFans tubing went on like a dream, no problems with that at all! I spent bloody ages zooming in on various reference photos to see how many ribs on the split loom were used, and of course it varied wildly between packs, so I plumped for what I liked the look of in the end.
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CPU64 taps the end of his injector tubes for Clippard barbs, so I used the shorter style so the curve of the tubing wasn't as affected as much. The other ends are just a tight push fit, so if they snag on anything when I'm out and about they should just pull out
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Next up was getting the ribbon cable on. I used my vice, some clamps and cable ties to get the twist on the ribbon cable, then left it for the best part of a week so the twist would "set" well. I found when I took the clamps off it had held pretty well, so that made fitting it quite easy. I left the cable ties on when fitting it to help stop it untwisting at all, and then replaced them with some cable ties RedSpecial kindly sent me, that match the white ones used on the thrower loom, so seems a reasonable leap to assume they were also used on the pack. The end inside the pack is held with a shit load of gaffer tape!
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Worth mentioning the vac hose at this point as well, I epoxied in the other ends of the dowel with inset magnets in either end, and that makes it easily removeable if I need to take it off. The split isn't quite where I want it, due to the curve it came with, so I might yet stretch a piece out and redo that. I added a twist of wire at the top, but the gauge is a bit small so that might get swapped out too when I get some larger gauge wire, and I'll add one at the other end as well.
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I should have mentioned earlier that I rusted up all of my bolts as well, using a mix of vinegar and salt, and leaving them outside for a couple of days. I gave them a good scrub with a small wire brush before fitting to take the worst of the rust off and make it a little more subtle than in this pic.
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Next up was stickers, obviously from Mack's Factory as they're superb! I used some isopropyl alcohol to wipe down the bumper and top of the n-filter first, but used way too much it seems, and it make the paint go weird, so that also needed a touch up which was more masking off and avoiding overspray on anything. Annoying!
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The foil stickers in particular are quite hard to get on nicely, as they're hard to get off the backing without bending them. The one above the booster tube suffered a little bit from creases from this, but I managed to smooth most of them out with a credit card so it's not too visible now.
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There were FIVE different stickers for the n-filter, and I plumped for the white one after some discussion with pals. It's very slightly translucent, so doesn't look as stark against the pack once fitted.
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That is pretty much as much as I can do on the pack itself, bar weathering, as I'm waiting on some legris elbow replicas from namebrand.

One thing I mentioned previously was the mobo brackets being mounted with small rivets. This kept bugging me so Dave at Proton Props kindly sent me some large flange rivets that he uses for his commission builds, and I drilled out the existing ones one at a time and replaced them. Far easier than I thought it might be, and didn't result in the brackets moving at all.
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Quick spritz of paint over them all, and over the button head screws holding the speaker, mounting boards etc as well, making sure to leave the three rivets for the powercell lights unpainted.
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Then added the large danger sticker, and some mobo foam along the top edge from 6mm EVA foam. I made a bunch of templates for these first based off a guide someone posted on facebook, they've been refined a bit since then based on some better screenshots.
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Once that was done I got the alice frame attached to the mobo, which was a bugger to do as the two bottom bolts were right by the cyclotron shelf and hard to get the nuts on them tightened up. Managed it in the end, but would think about that more carefully next time.
Then attached the shell to the mobo, and found there's a bloody gap! ARGH! Not too sure whether the mobo has got slightly bent, or the shell has twisted a bit, and not got a resolution to the problem yet either. It's flush top and bottom, and only seems to be in the middle section of the pack. Any suggestions welcome!
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And breathe! This brings me pretty much up to date on the pack now, I need to have a proper think about weathering next. I've got some fuller's earth on the way, and some Vallejo oiled earth wash so planning on some combination of those, but probably want to test on something else before I put them on the pack.
RedSpecial, Nighty80, marshallmg and 2 others liked this
#4951365
Coming along very nicely!
I made the same mistake with the Protex trying to use it like regular spray paint, something to remember for next time.

And about the mobo I found mine has a slight gap in the same place , but from some reference pics I've seen it seems the screen used packs had this problem too.
tobycj liked this
#4951444
Looking great! Photocopying the bottom of the parts really helps nail down the exact mounting points. Really like all the little details, especially the bumper. I might have to go back and add the wire ends to mine. It has the striations since it’s a lineage bumper but it doesn’t have the wire ends. You may have motivated me…
tobycj liked this
#4951455
JWils23 wrote: July 6th, 2021, 8:45 pm Looking great! Photocopying the bottom of the parts really helps nail down the exact mounting points. Really like all the little details, especially the bumper. I might have to go back and add the wire ends to mine. It has the striations since it’s a lineage bumper but it doesn’t have the wire ends. You may have motivated me…
Thanks a lot dude. Sorry not sorry on the bumper though! ;)
#4951712
Great build! I am new to GBFans and building my own Benofkent kit. Looking for some help with the sizes / dimensions of the powercell light and cyclotron light mounts that you built... I am building my own from some aluminum I have. Any help is greatly appreciated. :)
#4951726
atyslau wrote: July 14th, 2021, 4:02 pm Great build! I am new to GBFans and building my own Benofkent kit. Looking for some help with the sizes / dimensions of the powercell light and cyclotron light mounts that you built... I am building my own from some aluminum I have. Any help is greatly appreciated. :)
Thanks!

The cyclotron shelf was from BoK as part of the kit, he does sell them separately, but obviously depending on where you are in the world might not be good value to get one shipped to you. I'll crack open the pack this evening and take some measurements of that and the powercell mount too for you though :)
#4952176
Ah sorry, totally forgot about my touched the pack since then! Just gone and opened it up though.

Powercell shelf is 106mm long, 34mm wide and 62mm tall. I used 1.5mm aluminium sheet for it, so that height includes 3mm of that top and bottom.

The cyclotron shelf is also 1.5mm thickness. That is 125mm long, 162mm wide plus the "wings" that it mounts on are a further 25mm each, for a total width of 212mm, and finally it is 77mm tall.

Let me know if you need any other measurements!

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