#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 2 others liked this
#4937230
Had some parts arrive, so I feel obligated to post a second update because it got me all excited.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The hose fits incredibly snug around the dowel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s all for now.
kahuna900, twmedford23 liked this
#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)
robandliv liked this
#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.
#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.
#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…
#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.
#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?
#4938082
SpiderFan2k3 wrote: August 10th, 2020, 5:58 pm 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.
SpiderFan2k3 wrote: August 10th, 2020, 5:58 pmHow 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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#4938203
As I wait for items to arrive (maybe), I thought I take a moment to query about throwers since that is going to be my next project. There are so many topics dedicated to whose is best and why that I can't quite decide. I have it narrowed down to Throwingchicken, Benofkent, and CPU64.

What are some of the pros and cons of an aluminum thrower versus, say, a 3D printed one, or a resin cast? Also, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of room inside the body of any of them for all the lights and wires. Is this a problem for many?
#4938210
I've never had a 3D-printed thrower, so I can't provide a full list, but I can report on resin:

Alumninium
Pros
•Fairly light-weight
•Very strong, provides lots of room for electronics due to the strong, thin walls.
•Will survive being dropped from a decent height (though it may need some TLC).
•Screen-accurate to what was used on the original Hero and Super-Hero Proton Pack props.

Cons
•Can be very expensive.

Resin
Pros
•More affordable.

Cons
•Can be heavy.
•Can be very tight on the inside due to extra wall-width needed to provide strength.
•Will very likely not survive getting dropped from a decent height.
#4938239
I have one of TC's throwers and I can't say enough about it. It's a solid kit and it's easy to work with and make your own. If you're going for screen accurate aluminum is the way to go, though there can be a very long wait for those if that sways your decision one way or another.
#4938264
Thanks for the breakdown, Kingpin. And the review, Jwils32. I may end up going with an amalgam of items.

Next issue came up this evening...the fiberglass on my n-filter is way too thick. I can't get my fat hand in far enough to sand, and the angle is all wrong for a Dremel. Any tips? For the sake of stability , I don't really want to cut it off and reattach...
Kingpin liked this
#4938292
Hooray. My stuff from Karnivorious arrived. Resin booster plug, crank knob, and a Clippard valve.

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Overall, not bad. But the Clippard needed some painstaking detail work. There was a lot of resin ugliness under the cap and in the bisected section and an unsightly "crack" where a thin layer of resin overlapped the casting.

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I went to town on the underside of the cap with a hobby knife and got it looking pretty clean. That just left the weird globs in the crevasse.

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Fixed that with a fine sanding disc on the Dremel. Also, used a fine sandpaper on the whole of the outside to smooth out where the liquid resin settled.

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I fiddled with the booster plug, but the base is entirely too wide for the 2” OD PVC booster. I started sanding it, but have a long way to go before it will go in easily.

Still trying to figure out the issue with the n-filter.

Pretty soon I’m going to be ready to add all the details and stickers. My bumper and shock mount from Benofkent should be here by the end of the month.
GBfan77 liked this
#4938456
SpiderFan2k3 wrote:What's a common item to use for a spacer between the bumper and the cyclotron? Narrow dowel?

I received my bumper from Benofkent, so lots to do this weekend. Updates forthcoming.

A Steel Spacer, It should be 1/4 I.D. for the 1/4-20 bolt that attaches the Bellows. I believe the length varies on some Proton Packs so you might want to line your bumper up and measure first before you buy a spacer that is either too long or too short.

you could also use an aluminum spacer or maybe a nylon spacer but I believe the steel ones are more common at hardware stores.
#4938532
Another small update. Resin bumper and 3D-printed bellows arrived from Benofkent. Look great. There’s a little swiss-cheese happening on the underside of the bumper, but should be okay. I can fill in any obvious holes with compound.

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Did a test fit and it was perfect over the GBfans shell.

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Then, I got to work sanding the underside along the seam and taking off any casting remnants. After that, I pulled out a very old set of Stefan’s plans that I’d had printed at 1:1. They lined up fairly close so I could mark where to drill.

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I went ahead and marked the center point on the bumper for the bellows.

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#4938569
I am fast-approaching the second most frightening (to me) part of my pack build, after the lights and sounds: mounting the shell to the MB. I’m going to explain a little about how I did it and why because I was having a hard time finding info myself.

After drilling the holes in the shell where they were pre-marked, I lined up my aluminum brackets (which I obtained from GBfans). I used a marker to indicate the width of the bracket on the MB, then outlined the outer edge of the shell.

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With the positions and width marked, it was just a matter of setting the bracket on the MB and tracing the shape. At first, I was concerned that I had messed up and not factored in the thickness of the shell, but I soon realized that the shell is about as thick as the marker tip, so that made positioning very easy.

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I used some tape to hold the brackets in place on the MB and gently placed the shell over them. I used the marker and indicated where the ¼-20 holes needed to be tapped. After each one was marked, I labeled it on the bottom so that I wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting where they go.

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I work for a hydraulics manufacturer and we have a machine shop. The head machinist said he’d tap them for me as well as drill the holes for the rivets.

I’ve never used a hand riveter before and I hope I can do this.

Still lots to do. Stay tuned.
#4938591
Came home and got right to work. Hit the aluminum ion cap with some black and set it to dry.

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To hold the ribbon cable (I’m using GB2 style because it is readily available and looks “busier” than the GB1 style) onto the plate, I used super glue. I will be screwing the plates together, but that cable was stiff and I needed it to be in place when I affixed to the shell.

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Booster tube and frame came next. Added the washers under the cap nut screws, but realized I had a problem…

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…My booster plug wasn’t in the tube yet. Beginners, if you’re reading, here is where I kicked myself for rushing certain aspects of my build. I had placed the booster tube mounting screw inside the tube in such a way that the plug would not go in all the way and stuck up about an inch. And if I put the plug in first, there was no way for me to get the screw back into position because of the diameter of the plug; also, the plug dropped way too far down inside the tube by about 2 inches and was resting on the top cap nut screw holding the frame, which was 2 inches too deep. So, what to do?

First, I measured the distance from the top screw on the booster frame and to the top of the tube, then subtracted the difference in the height of the plug. To remedy the gap, I used some of the leftover rubber washers I had from the vacuum line (needed 3) and glued them to the bottom of the plug. Then, I placed the booster tube mounting screw and inserted the plug from the bottom of the tube. When it was in place, I tightened the cap nut on the frame, which also secured the plug at the proper height. Not 100% centered, but close enough that I like it; I think it goes with the whole asymmetrical aesthetic of the pack anyway.

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My ion arm end cap was fairly dry, perfect for a little weathering. Maybe did too much? I think I’m going to redo it so that it looks a little closer to the actual props that had more black in the center.

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Finally, mounted the ribbon cable and the ion end cap. That ribbon cable was a pain. I worked and worked it, folded and rolled and coiled and crumpled. It was still stiff as a coat hanger and was adamant that it didn’t want to go into the hole on the shell. What are some ways to make it more mailable? Hair dryer?

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Received my brackets back from the shop today, so I'm thinking I might at least drill the rivet placement on the MB.
#4938607
My fears have been realized. Tried riveting my brackets to the MB and it was horrible. The first rivet jumped at the last second and isn't level with the MB; the second went in better, but the mandrel got jammed in the gun. After a half an hour, I managed to get it to eject from the back. Tried a third rivet (I should have known better). Something snapped inside the gun and shot across the garage--not the ejected mandrel--and now it is locked in the closed position.

Oh and did I mention that is riven gun was fresh out of the package?

I'm going to take a shower and calm down and start again tomorrow with something simple, like painting.
#4938623
EnderWeggen wrote: August 27th, 2020, 5:44 am Just drill them out and start over, Just make sure not to drill into your mother board when drilling the heads off the rivets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE4rqqj9OO0 this shows how on a counter sunk rivet but its the same practice for what you will have to do. Hope it helps
Thank you. I'll test it on something mundane. Need a new hand rivet gun first. Handles are locked closed and there is a rivet jammed inside. :walterpeck:
#4938657
Okay. I've centered myself and moved on from the "rivet incident."

I ordered a wand kit from Throwingchicken. Decided on the resin because I am both practical and impatient. I can make minor adjustments to the resin with a Dremel much easier than aluminum; and the top manufacturers of aluminum wand kits are not currently taking new orders. So I'll update the want here and there as I go.

As for now, I've got the bumper and shock mount sprayed. I'm going to be attaching them to the shell this weekend. When my stickers get here, I'll get the detail work done and have a mostly-completed shell.

How does everyone attach their colored lenses? Glue? Bonding putty? I'd like to get those in before I put on all the doodads and risk breaking them off.
#4938659
SpiderFan2k3 wrote: August 28th, 2020, 1:02 pm How does everyone attach their colored lenses? Glue? Bonding putty? I'd like to get those in before I put on all the doodads and risk breaking them off.
Mine were hot-glued to the Cyclotron cover, though I may try a different approach with Pack #2.
#4938666
Well, I ruined my MB.

I removed the wonky rivets and was able to use my new hand rivet tool to get the brackets affixed. Yay!

But the brackets, which I had tested and measured and measured and tested, were too close to the edge of the MB for the shell to fit over. BOOOooo!

So, I drilled out those rivets, reset the brackets on the MB, drilled new rivet holes and tried again. And it was still not even close. Now, I've got a MB that resembles Swiss cheese and no idea of where I went so wrong.

Ordered another MB. I'm going to use a large piece of cardboard as a template. Where am I going wrong? Is there a simpler way to place the brackets so it lines up with my shell better?

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