Introduction: Ghostbusters Proton Back Pack

Well it took me a while, but after a long time wishing I had a Proton pack, and reading many websites, I actually got it made.

It's not 100% screen accurate, but i thinks its quite close.

I wore the costume with this pack at a few halloween events last year and got plenty of attention and great comments. So here is my instructable on how I did it.

As its made mainly from scrap parts and bits I had laying around, it cost me practically nothing.

It did turn out to be quite heavy as its mainly wood. I know you can get Vac-formed packs put I didn't want to spent a fortune. I will say however, once I stated this project, I sort of got a little obsessed with finding parts that looked right, but didn't cost much or I could get free.

One 'Mantra' to remember through all this is, 'measure twice, cut once'. It saved me a few times. Lol

Step 1: Research

I did a lot of research online and found some very good resources. The best collection I found on The Ghostbusters Fans forum

here are some direct links to parts of this forum

Full set of blueprints

Other useful downloads

Pack parts named

I didn't follow one set of plans religiously, I mixed and matched as I went along, using the plans that I found easiest to work from. The full set of blueprints, however, I found most useful.

Step 2: First Few Parts

Materials used.

There are several different materials used during this build. I mainly just used what came to hand and fit the dimensions of what was needed. I will try and detail them as I go along, but its mainly 2"x1" pine, 12mm ply wood, and 3mm MDF. Other stuff used included broom handle, plastic waste pipe and various nuts/bolts and washers.

As for adhesives, I mainly used PVA wood glue and Two part epoxy. A hot glue gun is very useful too.

As you can see in the pictures above, I started with the 'ion arm', 'EDA box', 'Power cell' and 'Proton pack spacer'

The power cell was made from 3mm MDF and the ridges on the power cell were made using lolly sticks. The two tube attached to the power cell are made using plastic waste pipe. The ion arm was made using just two sections of pine glued together, one with a 45 degree cut at the end.

The EDA box was again made from sections of pine to make the sides and 3mm MDF to make the lid. The tube is just a cardboard poster tube. I left the plastic lid in and just added a bottle top from a 2 litre pop bottle to make the lid insert. The best way I found for fixing the bottle top was to screw a piece of broom handle into it, cutting it off flush and the using a short wood screw, screw through the poster tube lid into the wooden dowel in the bottle cap.

The spacer was made in three parts. The first being the thin section and the rounded section at the top. I made this using sections of pine and a layer of 18mm MDF. The full outline made from 3mm is the lid. The round part on top (cyclotron) was again made from 2 layers of 18mm MDF glued together with PVA, however I didnt fix this onto the spacer as I will need to get inside the spacer later to add the lights.

The bottom half of the spacer circle was made using small blocks of the 2x1 pine, all fixed together using PVA. once all the parts were set, I used decorators caulk to fill some small gaps, and then sanded each part smooth.

I used matt black acrylic spray paint to paint the finished Ion Arm and Power Cell.

Step 3: The Gear Box

The gear box is quite a straight forward part to make. Using 12mm ply to make the side and adding 2 sections of pine on top made the made shape. from the inside the narrow slot was covered with a piece of 3mm MDF. A short section of plastic waste pipe finished the basic box.

Again lolly sticks were used to add the details on the edges and corners. once the glue was dry I sanded the edges to round them off slightly and painted the whole thing using matt black acrylic spray.

The crank knob was a small bottle cap with a little piece of plastic rod glued to it using epoxy. Once dry it was painted using grey primer and glued to the painted gearbox.

The round part is called the HGA and was made using a small 'Pringles' tin cut down and painted matt black. I screwed in 4 self tapping black pan head screws to add detail. Two small brass plumbing parts (one painted grey) were screwed into the top.

Step 4: Gun Support, Cyclotron Lights and N-Filter

The gun support is another easy part and is just 2 sections of wide pine board glued together. I used the blueprints to get the correct size. The ridges again added using lolly sticks, and the corners and edges sanded off to make them rounded slightly. Paint it matt black.

The light lenses on the cyclotron are 4 metal cover discs from door handles with red clear perspex discs in them. Holes will be cut into the MDF to accept the metal covers later using the plans to measure out the centres from the centre line of the cyclotron.

The N-filter is, again a cut down pringles tube with holes cut into it using a exacto or craft knife. aluminium mesh was glued on the inside after painting the tube matt black. a strip of red insulating tape made the decorative ring.

Step 5: Booster Frame, Bumper and Shock Mount.

The Booster frame (ladder shaped object) is cut from 3mm hardboard using the dimensions given in the plans. It is decorated with a strip of ridged rubber matting on each side and a pencil with the ends cut at and angle, again one on each side. The whole thing painted with the Matt black Acrylic. Using a block of wood inside the cardboard 'Booster Tube' the frame was screwed down using black pan-head screws with a washer under each one.

The Bumper bar is made from the plastic capping from a section of electrical trunking. I marked where the bends needed to be, then gently heated it with a heat gun, just enough to soften the plastic. Using a broom handle as a 'form' I bent the trunking cap to 90 degrees and held it until it cooled. The side were then cut to length.

The flat section in the middle is made from 3mm MDF, again using the plans for dimensions, and glued to the plastic using 2-part epoxy. Then again, painted using the Matt black Acrylic.

The Shock Mount is the metal ring in the middle of the bumper. Its sometimes called 'The Bellows'. I made mine using a 60mm M8 bolt and stacked up alternating size washers. Placing the bolt through a hole in the bumper, and using a couple of nuts as a spacer between bumper and Cyclotron. The finally adding a nut on the inside of the cyclotron to fix it in place. Once this nut was tightened up, i screwed the bumper bar sides to the sides of the cyclotron using 2 self tapping pan-head screws.

Step 6: Cyclotron Lights

The lights in the cyclotron are quite straight forward. Using the plans, I marked out where they needed to be. Using a spade bit the same diameter as the metal rings, I drilled holes to a depth of about 5mm. This allows the rings to be recessed into the cyclotron. Now using a smaller spade bit that was the same diameter as the 35mm film tubs, I finished the holes. The 35mm film tubs were pushed in from behind until flush at the front. 4 discs were cut from 2mm red perspex to be used as lenses. You could use anything that's red and transparent here really or just even paint the bottoms of the film tubs red. Hot glue the film tubs in place. Be careful however, the film tubs can melt quite easy.

Using small pieces of Veroboard to mount 2 x 10mm red LED's, that were then glued to the inside of the film tub lids with the wire coming through a hole in the lid. The film tub lids are then just put back on the film tubs.

I used a Picaxe project board to program the light sequence. The battery pack is in the power box, along with the blue LED's. The program for the Picaxe is very straight forward

Step 7: The Gun

Or sometimes called the 'Particle Thrower', was treated as a separate build and done alongside the main pack.

The main body is just a box made from 12mm ply with 3mm lid and base. The plans for this are very detailed and if followed carefully, its quite straight forward. The handle and the barrel are made from PVC waste pipe. The clear end section on the barrel is a clear plastic sweet tube! The hand grips were made from the sides of an empty sun cream bottle. and just screwed to the PVC pipe with self tapping screws. Everything was painted matt black before adding decorations and stickers.

The detailed decorations are bits and bob I had laying around that looked similar to the real one, toggle switches, bush buttons, plastic buttons, bottle caps sprayed silver and another 35mm film tub to make the 'Clippard Valve'. The heatsink on the side is from a PC motherboard that was in my junk pile.

The knob on the Clippard is just a piece of dowel covered in aluminium tape and screws to the bade of the tub.

The LED's and lights inside the gun are just wired direct to a 2 x AA battery pack and use one of the toggle switches to turn them on and off.

The 'sight' at the end of the barrel is a 'jubilee' pipe clip with a piece of 2mm perspex cut to shape and covered in aluminium tape, epoxied to it.

The 'wire' that connects the gun to the pack is actually armoured cable trunking inserted into the PVC handle and held in place with 2 self tapping screws, and inserted into a hole in the in the base of the pack and epoxied in place.

The gun mount has a small piece of 20mm flat aluminium bent into a shallow 'S' shape screwed to the side to make a hook, and the base of the gun has a piece of 10mm flat aluminium bent into a 'U' shape to make a loop. The gun just then slides onto the hook.

Step 8: Wiring and Final Details.

All the wiring on show on the Proton Pack is done with old ethernet cables with the plugs cut off.

I had several red, blue, yellow and green ones in my parts box. To fix a cable I drilled a hole where it needed to be and screwed a nut onto the end of the cable until it was about 2cm down. Then just used epoxy to glue the wire into the hole with the nut flush up against the hole. It gives a more finished look.

If you want to be as accurate as you can be, the multi coloured ribbon cable in the middle is quite hard to get hold of. I ordered a 50cm length from a seller on Ebay, but you could use an old Floppy drive, or Hard drive IDE cable.

All the stickers for the Proton pack were printed from a file I got from the Hprops website.

I've included the Decals in a PDF below.

After printing on normal printer paper I sprayed the page with clear matt Acrylic to seal them. In hind-sight I should have used gloss. Once dry I then carefully cut each one out and used double sided tape to apply them. You could of course use paper glue or PVA.

I used the plans and photos of the real packs to show me where each label needed to go.

The shoulder straps were cut from an old backpack I had and just screwed to the back of the proton pack.

The last photo shows me wearing my pack. I will be uploading more instructables soon for the overalls and the Ecto Goggles.

Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed it. If there is anything I have missed or not made clear, please just leave me comment.

Happy Halloween!!

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Halloween Costume Contest 2016