Proton Pack

I built this proton pack and Neutrona wand of a a period of evenings for about a month in the run up to Halloween 2022. I just about got it to a usable state for the 31st, but there are a few details, mostly on the wand needed to fully complete it.

My daughters love the Ghostbusters theme tune and the youngest (3 at the time) went through a phase of running round the house shouting "Ghostboosters". They jointly decided that they should be ghosts for halloween, which gave me an excuse for finally building the pack, something that had been on my project ideas list for a long time.

I used the excellent GBfans forum(1) for inspiration and details, and I'd really like to thank all those that have freely provided information for everyone else to use. I'd particularly single out Stefan for his plans(2) which were essential to the build, but there are countless others where I gained other useful info, plus of course lots of great reference photos.

I quickly realised that if I chased the goal of a fully screen accurate pack, it would cost a lot of money, and more importantly take far longer than the time I had available. I therefore chose to go down the route of making a representative pack.
I chose to use solid polystyrene insulation foam and PVC pipe as I felt this would likely be the quickest method for me with the tools I have, but I chose to supplement this with resin greeblies and neutrona wand body from one of the UK based suppliers on Etsy.

I started off using Lostwax's plans(3) to get some of the key templates for backplane and cyclotron- unfortunately I didn't immediately realise his scale is slightly out compared to Stefan's plans until after I cut my aluminium backboard. I did therefore have to amend a few dimensions as I went along.

I'd bought foam in 50mm, 20mm and 10mm thicknesses and used these laminated with water based contact adhesive to make the foam blocks, and then cut out most parts using the bandsaw, sanding afterwards with 120 grit abrasive paper. Details were then built up with plastazote of a few different thicknesses.

Round parts were generally made from PVC pipe- guttering down pipe proved to be good for the largest diameters, and I used a selection of other sizes for the remainder of the parts. In a couple of cases foamed PVC sheet was used to cap off the PVC pipes, fixed with solvent weld adhesive.

Generally parts were assembled together with hot-melt adhesive.

I fitted rivnuts into the backplane to allow it to be fitted to the pack frame easily- I used a genuine alice pack frame I managed to find on ebay, the single most expensive part of the project!

The resin-cast greeblies were cleaned up and painted and then fitted to appropriate places on the the pack. For other greeblies, I raided my stores and got a bit creative.
Bolts are all genuine hex-socket bolts either tapped into other parts or glued in.
Convolute tube was saved from a wallpaper stripper.
Plastic pipes are all lengths of pneumatic tubing salvaged from scrap pneumatic equipment, as were all the elbows and fittings. I painted some fittings to get closer to the colour in the film.
Ribbon cable was some new old stock 40 way spectra-strip bought from a surplus dealer. The P-clip was a random ex-equipment one of an appropriate size from my stores.
Cyclotron light filters are red acrylic left over from another project
Labels are the H-Props set printed using laser printer onto white PET label stock.

The main paint was simply a couple of coats of black artist's acrylic, lightly weathered with silver, brown and green acrylics. One area i need to spend more time on is the finish- It looked good enough for Halloween but looks a bit to cartoony for my tastes.

Proton Pack Proton Pack
Foam cut and glued to form basic shapes

Proton Pack
PVC pipe capped and being painted

Back Panel
Aluminium back panel with rivnuts fitted

Proton Pack
Assembled and painted black with acrylic paint

Proton Pack
Assembly of pipework and greeblies

The Neutrona Wand started life as a shell casting bought through Etsy. It is the wand and it's associated mount that I ran out of time on in 2022 and will need updates to finish it off properly.

The main tubes are industrial PVC pipe. I had a couple of PVC handles that I cut and fitted for the grips.
The heatsink is a piece of heatsink extrusion cut down to suit, whilst not strictly accurate it looks close enough.
Switches, indicator lamps and control knob are all parts from my stock, salvaged from a range of old equipment. Whilst none of them are strictly 'correct' I tried to select parts that have the right sort of aesthetic, and were of the era when the packs were originally built.
There are parts needed to finish the wand off, but the main one is the mount to the pack. For halloween I quickly fitted a d-ring which meant I could clip it to the belt.

Neutrona Wand

Neutrona Wand
Neutrona wand painted and assembled

The flight suit I used is a genuine one, bought at a surplus dealer a good few years ago when I first thought of doing the costume. I bought a belt, and added the no ghosts and name patches, but could really do with adding the other accessories.

When halloween came around, my daughters had changed their mind about being ghosts so we didn't end up with the family costume, but now they have seen it finished, they have promised me that we'll do the family group in 2023!

Proton Pack
Completed Proton Pack


Built Sept/Oct 2022
(C) M.Pantrey 2023