Hand tools and fabrication machines
Use this figure as a number guide for the different pieces. Not numbers are the backplate and straps.
Draw out the box patterns out on the sintra using the silver sharpie marker and your ruler. Follow the dimensions in the patterns. Dashed lines indicate folds while solid lines are cuts.
Once traced, use a fresh exacto knife blade to cut through the sintra. You won't be able to cut through the plastic in just one pass. I recommend using your metal ruler as a straight edge and score the cut lines. Continue scoring the same line (4-6 times) until you've cut completely though the sintra.
Once the box patterns are measured and cut out from the large pieces of sintra, it is time to start folding up the pieces. Sintra melts fairly easily with a heat gun. sintra can give off an odor when heated and so these steps are best done under good ventilation. Also be careful because when sintra is warm enough to fold easily, it can burn your fingers, so wear your heat resistant gloves.
If you've never worked with sintra before have patience. Heat small sections by waving the heat gun back and forth over the seam you are going to be folding/bending. You can set the heat gun down and test the plastic to see if it will fold. If it doesn't fold as much or as easily as you need it to, simply heat it up again. The plastic is pretty forgiving if you bend too much or too little, you can always heat it up again and bend it back.
Some box need extra touches to finish them up. Fold them together first and then add the extras explained below.
2.1 Boxes 1 and 2
Carefully cut a 2"x3" rectangle from the right side of box 1. This will allow box 1 to sit flush against the round "Faraday Cage."
Cut two pieces of worbla or wonderflex that is slightly larger than the gap on both the right and left side of box 1. Use the heat gun to melt the worbla/wonderflex over the gap and press flush against all edges of box 1, sealing box 1.
On the top of box 1, cut a square piece of worbla and melt to the bottom half of the front. Cut small rectangles and melt them so they appear as rough "stitches" or tabs overlapping the square piece or worbla with the front of sintra.
2.3 Box 3
Even though box 3 is completely folded together the corners where edges meet aren't solid. You fix this by using your scissors to cut small pieces of worbla. Place half of the worbla on one side of a corner and use the heat gun to start melting it. Gently fold the worbla around the corner to the other side of the corner and press firm. The seam is now sealed.
Cut a larger, square piece of the worbla and melt on the surface of box 3. Then press two thumb tacks through the worbla and sintra.
2.4 Boxes 4 and 5
Boxes 4 and 5 eventually end up assembled together. Box 4 sits on top of Box 5.
Box 4 is hollow in the back and the left, right, and bottom edges are not 90 degree angles. This can be tricky. I suggest heating up and bending the left and right sides first. Then heat the front edge in small sections bending a little at a time until at 45 degrees.
The pattern for box 4 does not include the top cut out. The size of the cut out depends on the size of the false model magic handle.
To make the handle use and color model magic to roll a long cylinder about the length of the width of your palm. Squeeze the cylinder tight enough in your palm to leave impressions from your fingers, like grips. Form two thin rectangles that will act as the ends of the handle. Press the rectangular handle ends against the ends of the palm width cylinder. Allow the handle to air dry (about 24 hours) before handling further.
After your handle is nice and dry, trace out a rectangle on the front of box 4 that is just larger than the handle. Within the rectangle you've just traced, make 5 cuts following the pattern below. Along the dotted line, fold the sintra away from the face of box 4, making an opening big enough for the handle to sit snugly into.
The finishing touch on box 4 is to press thumb tacks into the plastic. The sintra is soft enough that you can press the tacks through without heating it up. However if you have problems, you can heat up the sinta and then press the tacks into the box.
While folding box 5, fold the left and right sides first. Then fold the front and back sides up. The bottom of box 5 is not completely closed and is folded an an angle.
Finally cut a piece of PVC tubing long enough to match the length of box 5.
2.5 "Box 6" is the "Faraday Cage" and it's pedestal
The cage is made from the metal mesh and duct tape. The top rings are cut from sintra and use tubing and hot melt glue to hold together. The pedestal is a ring of sintra that the cage sits upon.
To make the cage find a mixing bowl about 11" in diameter and 4" deep. Use this as your mold. I used a large metal mixing bowl for this.
Start making the cage by tracing out one large circle from the sintra, slightly larger than the bottom of the bowl. Draw 5 smaller circles inside of this circle to form a series of rings. The largest ring should be about 2" wide. Cut the smaller rings out from the center and discard two rings and the center circle as shown. You will be left with three rings that when aligned have gaps between them.
Take the largest ring and heat it up so that you can mold it around the bottom of the bowl, creating a lip.
Cut 8 lengths of the clear flexible tubing about 3" in length. Cut a notch out of each end, of each tube. This will help them sit more flush against the rings. Using hot melt glue, glue the tubes around the center ring, equally spacing them. You may need to hold the tubing in place while the hot glue cools. At the ends of the tubing around the largest ring, add excess hot melt glue so that it pools at the end.
Cut four rectangles from the wire mesh sheet that are 4" tall by 6" wide. Flip the assembled rings over. Using the black gorilla tape attach the 6" side of each square to the outermost lip of the ring. You will have formed a plus sign around the rings, leaving triangular gaps between the four mesh pieces. From the remaining sheet of wire mesh, cut four triangles that are big enough to connect the rectangles. Connect the rectangles and triangles with scotch tape. Using thin strips of the gorilla tape, tape the edge of the mesh cage, creating a smooth rim around the bottom of the cage.
Cut the pedestal from sintra by cutting a 6" wide by 35" long. This length may vary depending on the diameter of your cage; be sure to include an inch of overlap. Using the heat gun, warm up the sintra and start bending it into a ring. Overlap the ends by an inch and tape the ends together. Next you'll heat the ring and fold the lip inwards to create a top and bottom ledge. Heat a small section at a time and then fold inward. It won't be perfect and it doesn't have be. As long as the cage sits on the pedestal.
2.6 Box 7
Box 7 is a part of the proton gun. It connects the handle to the barrel. The right side of box 7 will contain a seam. The cut corner described below is the top right corner.
After box 7 is assembled, from the top corner cut a 45 degree corner out of the box, essentially blunting the corner. Cover the open corner with a piece of worbla. A few more modifications will be made to box 7 when you assemble it to the handle and barrel.
Cut two 3 inch pieces of the flexible tubing. Use the heat gun to heat up the each end and bend ~0.25" at a 90 degree angle. Then hot melt glue the two pieces onto the right side of box 7 across the seam.
2.7 Parts 8 and 9, the Handle and Barrel
Both the handle and barrel are made from paper towel and toilet paper tubes, covered in foam, worbla, and wonderflex.
The handle is a paper towel roll and a toilet paper roll taped together to make a long cylinder. At one end of the cylinder you'll form the hand portion of the handle. Cut two hand width strips of craft foam and wrap it around the end of the cylinder. You'll then cut smaller rectangles to form a "grip" on these foam strips. You need a wide, skinny rectangle and three short, skinny rectangles. The wide, skinny rectangle is layered down first. Then the three smaller rectangles layer on top of it, spaced a fingers' width apart. Finally cut and wrap two more skinny strips at the top and bottom of the grip. Create the other features on the handle using strips of foam, two layers thick.
The next step is to cover the cardboard tube and foam with pieces of worbla and wonderflex. You can use 100% of one or the other, they just give you different textures. As you heat the worbla, press it down firmly against the foam covering all cracks and surfaces, forming a smooth, hard surface.
The same technique applies to the barrel. Only the grip has no finger holds and is 1/3 of the way down the barrel. The barrel also has holes and cutouts. After the worbla/wonderflex is cooled, carefully use the exacto knife to cut 0.25" wide by 1" tall slots at the far end of the barrel. After the barrel is painted, we'll drill the holes.
2.8 Parts 10 and 11 - PVC tubing
Part 10 is the top PVC bracket and part 11 is the bottom bracket. We'll start with the top.
Part 10 Pieces:
- 1 90 degree angle connector
- 3 45 degree angle connectors
- 1.75" piece of PVC
- 0.5" piece of PVC
- 0.5" piece of PVC
- 6" piece of PVC
- 3.75" piece of PVC
- 4.5" piece of PVC
The trick to the top bracket is that the 45 degree connector that connects the 6" section to the 3.75" section doesn't stay 45 degrees. After assembled, use the heat gun to heat up this particular connector. Bend the connector until it is closer to a 67 degree angle.
Part 11 is the bottom bracket.
Part 11 Pieces:
- 2 90 degree angle connectors
- 2 45 degree angle connectors
- 2 6" pieces of PVC
- 3 3.75" pieces of PVC
- 7.25" piece of PVC
Using the dremel cut the ends of the 7.25" piece at about 45 degree angles. Then use pieces of worbla to attach to the 3.75" pieces.
2.9 Base Plates
A double layer of sintra is needed to reinforce the back base plate that everything is attached to. Once cut out, the smaller of the two pieces is glued on top of the larger base plate. I used gorilla super glue and pressed the two pieces together for 24 hours.
Layout all of your pieces on newspaper or butchers paper. Using the silver stainless steel spray paint, paint all visible surfaces of all components. Allow to properly dry.
Many of these pieces then look dirty and distressed. The technique here is to paint black acrylic onto the piece and then wipe most of it off. Leaving some paint behind. Layer up levels of paint to achieve the desired level of dark dirt.
Another trick is to paint on a layer of black paint. Then use steel wool or sandpaper to rub it back off.
Use the copper paint as accents on the barrel and box 7.
The last step is once everything is the desired level of dirty and dry, spray all surfaces with the clear matte sealant.
3.1 Paint the backpack straps
Spray paint the backpack straps neon orange. I used two cans to get it completely covered.
After the orange, use the glow-in-the-dark paint if you want an extra effect.
Finally, because of the waterproof treatment on the straps, the orange color rubbed off. The way to fix that is to seal the color in using fabric modge podge. Brush on the modge podge on one side of the backpack straps. Allow it to dry, flip and coat the other side. Don't worry that it appears to paint on white. It will dry clear.
Here comes the fun part, putting it all together. It's also the part where you need be the most flexible because parts might not fit perfectly. Again, remember the plastics can be reheated and reworked if necessary.
4.1 Attach straps to the back plate
These backpack straps are designed to attach to a ready made frame. We need to turn our back base plate into a frame. Flip the back plate over to make your measurements. I did this part before painting but it could easily be done after.
Per the measurements in the picture, cut 0.25" wide slots through both layers of base plate. You can then weave the straps through the slots. Some orange may come off during this process. That's okay, it just makes them look more worn.
Additionally you'll need to attach shoulder straps at the top of the base plate and two at the bottom of the base plate. This is done by drilling two holes per strap, 1" apart and then connected with cable ties. Drill the holes within the pink circles.
Once all attached, try on your backpack. Adjust the straps as necessary for a comfortable fit.
4.2 Assemble and Attach Box 1 and Box 2
Box 2 acts as a strap around box 1. Place box 2 over box 1 as shown in the photos, leaving enough space at the top of box 1 to attach a magnetic name tag. Once the name tag is placed, tape the magnetic back piece inside box 1. This lets you pop the name tag on and off again without disassembly. Add the final touches by super gluing two knobs to box 1.
Attach box 1 and box 2 to the base plate with two screws. Align box 2 the strap with the top edge of the base plate. Drill two holes from the back, through all four layers of sintra. Then install two screws.
4.3 Assemble and attach cage and pedestal
First install the lights into the cage. For the cage we'll use the multi color LEDs. Cut a length of the flexible tubing the same length as the strip of LEDs. Remove the sticky backing from the lights and stick the lights to the tubing. Attach the lights to the cage by using cable ties to loop through the mesh and around the light tube. Spiral the light tube from the top of the cage to the bottom until completely attached to the cage.
Attach the pedestal to the baseplate with screws. Center the pedestal on the front of the baseplate. Drill three holes from the back of the pack through the front into the pedestal. Then secure with screws.
Next we'll attach the cage to the pedestal. The LEDs disconnect from the battery pack. Disconnect the two and feed the connector from the pack under the pedestal and into it's center. Reconnect the LEDs and the battery. Secure the battery pack to the base plate with command strips. Then use the self adhesive velcro to attach the cage to the pedestal in three places.
4.4 Attach PVC brackets
Attach the caps to the end of the PVC brackets. Align the brackets on the front of the pack. Drill a hole from the backside of the pack through the cap and install a screw, attaching the cap. The brackets can then be removed and reattached without taking the caps off the pack.
4.5 Assemble and attach boxes 4 and 5
Use two screws to attach box 4 to box 5 from inside box 5. Align box 5 at the bottom of the base plate and attach from the back side with three screws.
Decorate the PVC tube by cutting a piece of the yellow ribbon and attach it with modge podge. Use a sharpie marker to add the black stripes. Use two thumb tacks on either end to secure the tube to the side tabs.
4.6 Attach box 3 to bottom bracket
Using two screws, attach box 3 to the bottom bracket. Drill two holes first and then install the screws from the inside of box 3.
After box 3 is attached, add the magnetic name tag. Tape the magnetic back plate inside box 3 opposite of where you want the name tag to sit.
4.7 Assemble and attach proton gun
First we'll drill holes in the barrel. Using a cordless drill, drill a series of evenly spaced holes at the bottom of the barrel and a few more at the top. You may notice that the drill bit catches the cardboard tube on the inside. If this muddies the holes, peel the cardboard from the inside.
We're next going to reinforce both the barrel and the handle with a piece of PVC tubing. Cut two lengths of pipe, one ~2 inches longer than the length of the barrel and one ~3 inches longer than the length of the handle. Use screws to attach the PVC to the barrel and to the handle.
Next it's time to attach the handle to box 7. Align the handle on the box such that the bottom two inches of the handle extends past the bottom of the box and such that the handle grip points to the left, so that it fits in your right hand when you grab it from your back. Mark three holes on the handle and box 7. Drill holes and then attach with screws.
Next its time to install the lights in the barrel. The battery pack will go on the outside of the box next to the handle. Attach the battery pack with command velcro strips. Just below the box, drill a hole so that the lights and cords can pass from the battery pack into the box and into the barrel. Then feed the lights down the barrel and coil up inside. The lights may not be heavy enough to pass through the whole length of the tube. Tape either a heavy, skinny or skinny, long object to the end of the lights. Feed the object down the tube and pull the lights through. Tape the end of the lights inside the barrel when done.
Finally we're ready to attach the barrel to the box. Just like the handle, drill two holes through the box and into the barrel. Install screws.
4.8 Add cables from pack to proton gun
Cut an arms length of red wire. Cut an identical length of black PET sleeving. Align the two lengths together and tie together with cable ties about ever 3-4 inches. Tape one end of the cabling to the handle on the pack. Attach the other to the valve. Table the valve to the base plate near the podium and top bracket. Wind the cabling and tuck at the top of the pack.
4.9 Attach proton gun to pack
First attach the side bracket to the base plate with 4 screws. Attach the proton gun to the base plate using double sided velcro. Press firmly to attach.\
Program the name badges to scroll various numbers. Select the red LED in the cage with the controller. Lately, throw on your jumpsuit, grab your friends, don't be afraid of no ghosts.