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I sat and looked in the box for a while an asked myself, do I really have
time to build this up this weekend. I decided I had waited 30 years to
have this kit and I was putting life on hold for today
First off, the instructions for this kit are great and there is not much
to add. The first thing I did was print out a few pictures of the hero
Phaser from all of the sides that I could find and thumb tacked them over
Sand the shells to size (I just followed the directions and compared it to
the photos of the hero). I went with the tile-cutting bit to remove the
site area and a drill press for the thumb wheel and it worked great.
When you have shell sizes correct the small part of the front ring matches
up exactly with the lip on the front of the shells. (My front ring came
with a thin layer of fiberglass resin that will come off when sanded; it
is supposed to be removed)
I keep test fitting the parts as I go to make sure
I do not have any surprises near
the end of the build.
Use the tip in the instructions to paint on the line for the side rail
thickness and then just use a
file (it is well worth the few extra minutes it takes). I was afraid with
the small amount of material
you have to remove to touch this with the dremmel.
Here is a rail test fit.
I used a drill press vice to hold the shells and a drill
press. I followed the directions to
drill out the hole for the emitter. I had to use a round file to remove a
from the inside of the bottom shell to get the barrel to sit square with
Here is the emitter test fit
I used a fine tooth razor saw and did exactly like the
instructions said. (Tip, used the back of the blade of your hobby razor to
deepen the line that you will follow with the saw. It will help keep the
saw in the grove when you cut) All went well and my shells are done and
ready for the moving parts.
If you do not have a bench vice I would highly suggest
getting one I used it to do all of the
bends and it works great.
Site test fit.
I used the vice to do all of the battery terminal bends.
I used needle nose pliers to push the brads through battery terminals.
Leave a gap in your vice for the nails tips to go through when you are
pushing them through.
Here is the epoxy the torch and the solder I used.
Here is a shot heating the clip from the bottom.
Here is the wire getting soldered to the battery clip,
do not forget to sand the clip and use flux where you are attaching your
Here is the finished battery clip. On to the next part.
Alright, the thumb wheel assembly is a little tricky
I used a drill press to make sure the nail hole went straight through the
Ok the tricky part. The brass nail (brad) needs to hang
out 1/16 of an inch from one side of the thumb wheel and the switch wedge
is on the other. These need to be soldered at the same time. The easiest
way I could figure out to get this to work was to clamp the head of the
nail 1/16 of an inch into the vice grips and sit the thumbwheel onto it.
Then I laid a small flattened piece of silver solder under the switch
wedge and heated the whole thing from the bottom.
Next I put the wheel on a block and soldered the axle
into the thumb wheel (From what I can tell from pic's this is the way it
is on the hero phaser). You need to be careful not to heat up the area
with the nail or the switch wedge too much or the whole thing will fall
Next I soldered together the hood hinge, this worked
just like the instructions.
Here is a shot of the completed pieces. On to the next
This part was a little bit confusing in the instructions
so I thought I would take a photo. This is the B-B being used to flange
the rivet in the emitter fulcrum.
Here is the completed fulcrum.
This was also confusing. The bottom rod is part# 14
Emitter linkage rod, the top rod is part# 15 site and emitter actuator
For bending the linkage I used a 1/4 drill bit to form
my loop that will go around the emitter
and a finishing nail to form the loop that will connect to the cam.
Here is what not to do. I super glued both sides in to
test fit. I ended up pulling this apart and going back and sanding the
inside area under where the pins go so the epoxy will stick properly. I
also sanded and cleaned with rubbing alcohol the pin parts that will be
Here are the pins being potted with J-B quick weld. Off
I used Rustolium aluminum metallic paint on the thumb
wheel. No primer two coats since I
think the intention is to wear off a bit.
This is the dremmel bit I am using to cut my site cover
and plexy axle groves, it works great.
I just put the axle in the site cover and marked where
the groves go. There is plenty of material
but be careful not the blow the side of the p1 out. If you run the dremmel
on about 1 1/2
you have plenty of control not to over cut. If you look close on the GJ
P1's right side you
can see where the site lid axel pushed through the side a little.
A test fit
You need to cut the same groves for the site. Leave
about 1/32 gap between the edge of the site and the back of the P1 site
hole. This actually is fairly easy to line up.
Here is about how it should sit when the grooves are the
correct depth (back to work).
I had to back track a little. I went to paint the front
bottom part and dropped it and both the pins broke off. So I highly
recommend soldering little footings on all of the places where epoxy is
only holding a pin or axle (this was a tip from jlong and it works great).
It takes a little longer but really pays off in strength and ease of part
Here is a shot of the footings on the bottom pins to
give an idea of how to use them.
As in the directions I decided to give brush painting it
a try since my end goal is to have something as close to a real original
as possible. Make sure to put the paint in the sink and run warm water on
them. You know you did correctly if the ball in the can move around freely
in the can. I played with mixing colors and compared it against the photos
of the hero phaser until I felt it looked close. I mixed it as follows.
Spray paint in a cup as the directions indicate.
10 Seconds of Krylon gray primer
3 Seconds of Krylon Flat black
1 Second of Krylon Navy blue.
Here are the parts primed for paint
Here is the final pain job of all the parts (NOTE: you
can also see the small footings soldered
on the site hood and site hinges). The body is not buffed out yet.
The site hood was much easier to epoxy down with the
And here is the final working site mechanism (The first
buff is done on the body and it brings
out the blue a little)
I added an extra piece of brass sheeting to give the
thumbwheel a strong hold to the top shell. I silver soldered the part that
the thumbwheel axle goes through to the brass sheeting.
Flange the inside of the thumbwheel hole away from the
wheel so that the wheel does not bind up against the fiberglass any where.
I covered the plexy glass site with tape to protect it
from getting scratched while I was
installing the thumbwheel assembly. I also taped the site hood down so it
was not moving
around while I worked on the inside.
I used a hobby knife to put some deep scratches into the
surface so the epoxy would have something to grab onto. NOTE: Once I got
the thumbwheel into position and it was turning freely
I drew the outline with a sharpie so I could position it for gluing. I
took a little material out on the
side wall side of the wheel opening to allow the linkage a free path. Make
sure your mechanisms
will have a free path of travel before you glue this in, it could be
grind out later.
Here is the thumbwheel with the added footing being
And the thumbwheel potted using j-b weld.
And here is the battery box mounted in the top shell.
NOTE: when you test fit the battery box do it with a battery in it just to
be sure everything fits.
And here it is with all of the top shell mechanicals
mounted. It is starting to look like a phaser.
I had to mess with the switch part installation a little
bit and ended up doing it in four separate steps. First I mounted the back
switch contact with epoxy to the shell. Test fit this; it should sit
almost directly on the edge of the thumb wheel. Rotate the wheel all the
back and make sure that the wedge on the thumb wheel bends the contact
forward as far as possible and mark where it is sitting with a Sharpe.
Then epoxy it in.
Next I epoxied in a small square of thin styrene I had
laying around to function as the insulator between the contacts. I used my
multi-meter to check for continuity and shorts at each step to make sure
there were no problems. If you do not have a multi-meter to test with no
problem, put your battery in the battery box with one lead from your grain
of wheat bulb wedged between the left contact. use the other lead to test
with. If it lights up you have continuity if not the circuit is open.
Here is the second switch contact epoxied on top of the
Once this is dry you can test your switch using the
meter or the grain of wheat bulb. Once all tested good I potted the
contacts using J-B weld.
If you are using the GOW bulb to do your tests make sure
you hook it up to the battery and
make sure it works before you start. It is an electronic part and they can
fail out of the box (A
few years working in a TV repair shop will teach you that well). On to
the emitter mechanism.
I pulled out the part that I had bent and attached to
the emitter and the cam earlier for fine-tuning. I hade to take some
length off and re-bend it.
I used the dremmel tool with a drum sanding bit
(pictured) and created a gully under the barrel to allow the emitter to
move freely in and out with out binding on the bottom.
Do not carve out too much material. If you run the
Dremmel on about 1 1/2 speed, you will have plenty of control of the grove
Here is a back view of the gully depth.
You need to test fit the emitter mechanism to line it up
I tested the fulcrum movement to make sure that the emitter was not
binding anywhere. At this point, I did the final tuning on the linkage
WE HAVE REACHED THE LAST PAGE OF THE INSTRUCTION
I drilled a few holes through the cam mounting bar so that the J-B Weld
would get a good grip on the part (I think CylandProps gave this tip in
the ASAP version of this thread).
This is the epoxy putty that I used to make a flat
platform for the cam assembly to sit on. This
stuff really sucks but it was all that the hobby shop had. I would not
recommend it. If jlong
happens to read this part, it would be great if we could get a
recommendation on what
he uses for epoxy putty.
Here is the platform for the cam assembly to sit on.
When I mounted my hood return spring, I dug out a small
+ for the spring and the small retaining rod to sit in.
Here is the spring potted in J-b Weld
Here is the full cam assembly mounted to the epoxy putty
I made sure to slide on the bottom cover to check if any
part of the mechanism was binding. I had to grind out a high spot with the
dremmel tool and the drum sanding bit.
Here is the completed assembly from the view we are used
Gluing the side rails on goes exactly the way it is
described in the instructions. I highly recommend remembering to tack the
side rail down as in the instructions before attempting to epoxy it.
Next, I bent the cam arm the runs between the thumb
wheel and the rising site. The directions
give you the length measurements but you need to fine tune it by bending a
the bow shape is very important to making the emitter linkage work so
follow the shape of
this part to the letter from the instruction sheet.) in it.
I soldered the tiny washer on to function as a catch
point for the emitter linkage on the bow of
the site linkage. (NOTE: Again, follow the instructions closely here and
use a soldering iron and electrical solder, not silver solder. You will
very likely need to adjust where this washer
sits on the bow and it is much easier to just heat it and move it with the
soldering iron than
using the torch)
Here is a back view of the cam assembly for the site.
And a shot of the operating site.
Now this part is hard to explain.
The cam rod for the emitter actually is looped around the rod for t rides
the arc of the site cam until it hits the washer and then moves the
emitter cam mechanism. Here are a few photos to try to depict what is
going on here. You really have to make this part to see how all of the
parts relate to each other. This was the most exciting part of the build
form me as I have always wanted to see exactly how this part worked.
Bottom view, emitter retracted site cam. This loop
Bottom view, emitter extended
Side view, emitter retracted
Side view, emitter extended.
On to electrical
Not a whole lot to describe here that the instructions
do not. I soldered the GOW bulb lead directly to the contact. (Disclaimer:
The kit has a wire that acts as a bridge between the contacts and the GOW
lead. Unless you are very comfortable soldering and have a soldering iron
that you can adjust the temperature on I suggest using the wire. Over
heating the contact could cause many different problems that could set you
back to redoing the contacts.) I used a piece of tape between the contacts
to make sure no solder bridged them.
And we have lights.
A very cool side effect of the emitter light is that it
also would have illuminated the rising site from the actor’s perspective.
This part is speculation but I had wondered why there was paint on the
rails of the GJ hero phaser when they could have very easily just removed
the bottom cover to paint it. Well I think there is a possibility the
paint was covering the clear epoxy that was in the gaps along the rail.
The epoxy seems to pick up the light from the emitter inside very well and
you can see it through any gaps.
And all we have left is a final coat of paint put on
with a brush after assembly Wah Chang style. The weight and feel of this
thing is great. The site/emitter action is also amazingly smooth for all
of the mechanisms inside. I was sort of expecting that it would have moved
from looking at the complexity of the cams but it works great. I would
building one of these up. This definitely brings back the feeling of
first Exploration set.
This is not the final paint job but here it is!!!! Have Fun