So I had a good pack base going. Now I needed a neutrino wand and get that tray lid painted for a cyclotron. I mentioned way back in part #1 that the wand probably would not be as 'accurate' as the rest of the pack for lack of finer details, budget, time, and the fact that no one can think of what it looks like without a photo reference. All the same, I wanted it to at least look reasonably similar and still look like a usable prop(I didn't want it to look like a toy). So with that in mind, I dove in.
Similar to how I started the base, I took a reference picture and traced out the major geometric shapes to figure out what I'd need and how I'd put it all together.
So, the dart gun I got from the dollar store would likely do well enough for the shootie bit. I could cobble together lots of those cylindrical bits out of the leftover cardboard tubing. The hose heads from the dollar store would do well enough for handles, even if not really super accurately. I had a small plastic project box from another project I could use for that little breakout area that housed some switches.
That left the box. That was going to be tricky to do using only cobbled together pieces, especially due to its very specialized and awkward shape. So for this I'd have to do a bit of carpentry.
I acquired a slab of craft plywood from a Michaels store (like most things from Michaels, I'm sure I could have gotten it for infinitely cheaper elsewhere, but it was convenient). Since the shape was fairly simple (basically just an extruded square angle-ey...thing) it'd be a fairly simply job to draw the profile, cut it out with the Dremel cutting wheel, use that one shape as a stencil for the other side, and just make bits big enough to connect the two.
I wasn't looking for super accuracy so the measurements were improvised. I just drew an approximation with a Sharpie and ruler on the plywood and had at it.
With the shapes cut out, I cut out places for the switches, wires and other bits before setting out to attack it all together. I had these square dowels from the dollar store I could use to reinforce the edges alongside tiny carpentry screws. Then heaps upon heaps of wood glue. This all sounds like a lot, but this part was probably built within an hour if not counting glue drying time.
A major issue was the hole which would eventually hold the handle. It can't be a straight circular hole cut since the panel would intersect the cylindrical handle at an angle. So it'd be somewhat of an oval. All I did was cut an approximate hole with a hold saw(think big, round, hollow, drill bit) and then used a Dremel sanding bit to make it taller until the handle part fit. I then applied copious amounts of hot glue to hold it there.
I then basically just glued on the other pieces, similar to the pack base, until it 'looked good'.
Coating it with an even spray coat of primer really covers up all those flaws and cleans up all that chaos.
The cyclotron was much simpler. Basically, I masked off the areas that would be lit up by LEDs and primed and coated the whole thing in black paint. The masked off circles, since the plastic was translucent, would serve to soften and diffuse the LED light while the black painted bits would keep everything else dark.
I unfortunately have few pictures of this step but here's a completed inside wherein I also included some glued on mini shot glass Solo cups and red LEDs to be lit up later. The Solo cups would isolate each light and prevent 'light bleeding'.
You'll also notice these little ring things around the unpainted circles. These appeared in the reference pics and make it look like the LEDs were industrially installed heavyset glass numbers so I wanted them too. I cut these out of hobby 'fun foam' and glued them in place, sealed them with white glue and coated them with the same primer and paint as the rest of the cyclotron.
That's it for those two for now. Next post we dive into some Arduino work!
"Inside every sane person there’s a madman struggling to get out."
Réal is a jackass of all trades, master of none, with interests in politics, human interface design, animation, video games, VR, technology, and making random stuff. Has a skill to have both too much time on his hands and nowhere near enough to get stuff done.