Building the John Long P1

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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 my bench.

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 little material
from the inside of the bottom shell to get the barrel to sit square with the front.
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 wire.

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 thumbwheel.

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 apart.

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 part.

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 cam.

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 glued.

Here are the pins being potted with J-B quick weld. Off to paint.

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 installation.

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 footings.

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 tricky to
grind out later.

Here is the thumbwheel with the added footing being epoxied in.

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 styrene.

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 depth.

Here is a back view of the gully depth.

You need to test fit the emitter mechanism to line it up before gluing.

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 bends.


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 platform.

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 to seeing.

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 BOW (NOTE:
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 somewhat sluggishly
from looking at the complexity of the cams but it works great. I would highly recommend
building one of these up. This definitely brings back the feeling of completing your
first Exploration set.

This is not the final paint job but here it is!!!! Have Fun



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