Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Proton Pack

Here's a confession: I love Ghostbusters. Ever since I was a little kid, I've been infatuated with the movies and the cartoon. I've always wanted to be a Ghostbuster and so, for Halloween of 2009, I decided to be one.

I made this decision early in the year, in about March, so that I could get to work early. I found blueprints online (which I later found out had been long derided by the larger proton-pack-making community as being not close enough to screen-accurate) and began assembling items. Being that I wasn't all that concerned with being super screen-accurate, I had no qualms with using dimensions largely condemned by the community.

Oh, and one more thing - I wasn't making just one proton pack. No, I was going to make four, for myself and three friends.

By Halloween.

I started by making just mine, and then once I felt I'd had it down, I made the other three. I'm basically going to unload a ton of pictures here, with intermittent descriptions because there are just too many. Also, I remember almost *none* of the names for the individual pieces, so please forgive my crude descriptions.

We start with a cardboard stencil of the main plate.
 Then cut out in wood and painted. Throughout this project, I got overly excited and began painting things piecemeal, rather than waiting for everything to be completed first. Oh well. :)
  With standoffs glued in place.
 And the piece that goes on top of those standoffs.
 I think this was called the "EPA Box".
 And this is the "Power Cell"

I glued a nut in place for securing the pack to an army backpack frame.
 A bunch of stuff assembled and spackled.

 I believe this is called the "Gearbox Assembly". I realized after the pack was complete that I have too many notches on the top. I rectified it in the other three packs and took the incorrect one for myself.
 Working in the laundry room. :)
 A closeup of some parts in place.
 A regular 9"Ø cake pan with holes cut in it
 And big ol' washers.
 Another assembly preview shot.

 This was some kind of small ladder piece. This pic reminds me of bacon. Mmm... bacon...
 With the rungs and spackled...

Getting ready to spackle some of the cosmetic plating around the circumference of the bottom.

 This is the band that secures the "Cyclotron" in place.

I used some joint compound to fill in the corners and beveled them out.
Assembled and painted black. This is the first time it's looking like an actual proton pack!

 Various angles...

 I started by making my own gunbox for the actual handheld wand. I eventually purchased a mold online of the box and used that instead.

 I soldered an LED chaser circuit and tested it inside the power cell. Sadly, I never finished the electronics and the packs remain without fun lights to this day.
 Some weathering. Just silver paint on a rag, rubbed lightly over corners to give the illusion of metal showing through black paint.

 The four packs lined up.

Finally, all four complete with wands and weathered.
We had a lot of fun on Halloween. My wife dressed up as a zombie bride and posed for photos. Some Photoshop later, and she was a ghost zombie bride, and we four were busting her. We went to a bar later that night for a costume contest and won $300. W00t!
Sadly, the other three packs sit in various stages of ruin in their respective owners' homes. Mine is in tact on the wall in my man cave, with the jumpsuit hanging next to it on a hanger. It's my pride and joy :)

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