My MB Jet Pack
I received it on the 15th, and finished about 2 or 3 days ago. I was wearing it by the 19th, and had it painted the 20th. I was told it was the hardest part of the suit, but actually, it was the easiest. After fiberglassing my bucket, it was pretty simple. I used Squadron green putty for the seams, instead of bondo, and I wasn't really picky. After all, this was going to be weathered. I actually WORE it last weekend in Charlotte- only it was primered. Then Sunday I painted it- that took about 2-3 hours. The paint layers set fast enough after silvercoating it the night before......and if the masking tape (duct tape, actually- I was out of mask) pulled off some paint, so much the better. I actually ended up HANDpainting the orange on the main tank two more times, it peeled off so easily. But I wanted it to do that.
I used a wax candle to rub all over the silver areas to be "scratched", before I painted the colors. Then I just used my fingernails to scrape off those areas, which were shinier. And it LOOKS scratched.
The thrust nozzles move in unison (one of my Fett costume pet peeves), thanks to a chrome tube I found that did the trick. They're sheetrock screwed to it.
The harness clips are run through slots I cut ABOVE the access panel, and run around a 1 1/2 x 3/4" x 10" piece of wood. Then the straps are screwed to the underside, so when the pack pulls down....it also pulls toward me. That was the theory until I foamed it, anyway. The wood is secured by two drywall screws through the body surface lip under the access panel , through the wood, and into the PVC rocket pipe. Pretty sturdy.
I machined my greeblies, though they're not perfectly accurate. The beacon looks good, though. And the LED is insanely bright and blinks. The toggle on the pack bottom controls it.
I used colors DeanO supplied in another thread: WalMart Royal Blue 20001, Krylon Pumpkin Orange 2411, Krylon Burgundy Satin 3503, and flat white. And I hand-painted the markings, which I tried to take pics of, but my camera sucks. I also airbrushed the edges of all the tanks and white areas with thinned black to darken the corners. My airbrush also sucks.
I DID screw up with the expanding foam. I took advice here literally, and figured I'd need "no more than 2 sample kits". When, in fact, I didn't really need ONE. Guess what I did.......I mixed an ENTIRE kit, then started pouring it, thinking I'd need another kit to finish it. Yup. And everything including the weathering was already perfect. The foam started to mushroom out the access panel, and I had to take emergency measures to prevent more damage. Fortunately, the only "bulging" that occurred, was the area around the access panel- I just chiseled around the inside. But what I REALLY screwed up doing, was leaving the rocket in, to block the passage. Now I can't get it out. What was I thinking? Oh well. I also couldn't pull the wiring through, or rotate the thrust nozzle "axle". But those were easy fixes. Anyway, just to warn people- Don't do what I did. I was under the impression that the foam had a different consistency, too. Whiter and softer, instead of the brown brittle blech. I actually didn't need the foam at all, judging by how sturdy it was- I used excess plastic from the kit to reinforce the inside seams. Oh well.
But, it still turned out awesome in spite of that.
Here are pics in two different light sources:
A good shot of the bottom, showing the LED toggle:
Here's the LED type I used, only it was red. They were $10 at DragonCon, and contain 3 micro watch batteries. I just re-wired mine, so I didn't use the bottom section, but rather ran the batteries down inside the pack. It's simple enough, but you have to build a small wiring "slug" for inside the LED housing, and also a battery containment. I used two mini lamp sockets from Radio Shack for that, and a machined plastic sleeve for the slug.