Regular visitors to the Big Comic Page will be fully aware of just how much of a Ghosthead I am. And as such, it has long been a dream of mine to have my very own Proton Pack and Trap set. Unfortunately, the major barrier to this has always been the cost. A fully built Proton Pack made to the specification I’d want would likely end up costing in the region of £1500 – £2000 depending on the builder, postage and any additional features required.
So with the Proton Pack off the table (for the time being, at least), I had been looking to satisfy my prop itch by getting my hands on a Ghost Trap. Having found several vendors and checked the prices, I discovered that I simply couldn’t justify the cost of a fully built and painted replica. Thankfully, I also discovered that there’s a growing movement within the Ghostbuster prop building world of using 3D printed kits to allow enthusiasts and construct and paint their own trap.
Not exactly being the artistic type, I was more than a little apprehensive about going down this route, but after mulling over I decided that this was the only way I was going to be able to get my very own trap.
I spent a lot longer than I’d care to admit looking at the various vendors, reviews and what I could do with a 3D printed kit, before I eventually decided on a BenOfKent Props kit after speaking to Ben and others on his Facebook group.
When I got the kit it was it a “freshly” printed state meaning that the components (excluding the wheels) would need to be sawed, drilled, sanded, smoothed and painted before being finally put together.
I’m getting ahead of myself though. The first step in the process was to put all the parts together in their rough state to make sure that the kit fit together okay. This step was massively accelerated, completed in about 2 hours, due to the step-by-step video Ben has put on his YouTube channel. It lays out the different drill bits needed, as well as including some useful tips. It should also be pointed out that the kit came with all the screws, wheels and stickers required for the build.
After the rough build the trap was disassembled and the sanding begun. This was the most labour intensive, monotonous, and stressful part of the build for me. The sanding itself wasn’t the problem, but rather the act of ensuring that the layers of spray paint were thin and even enough. I eventually applied 10 layers of black and silver spray paint on the main parts of the kit. It was suggested that after several layers of sanding and painting that finer grade of sandpaper should be used. I am glad that I followed this advice and the majority of the finish was super smooth and you couldn’t tell that it was plastic.
The kit was reconstructed and I started work on the side bars, which involved more sanding and spray painting before they were glued to the side of the trap.
Once the supplied vinyl stickers were cut out, including a cross-hatch pattern for the doors and warning stickers for the other areas, the trap was complete.
As previously mentioned, I’m definitely not an ‘arts and crafts’ kind of person, and that can be seen in the final Trap I produced. Due to various snags along the way, I’m classing it as “battle damaged”, but I still really like the final product.
In terms of service, I cannot fault BenOfKent as his responses to questions were always extremely quick and very detailed. No question was too silly and he even sent out another set of screws (next day delivery) when the originals had a spurious rust issue. If every store and online seller was like him then there would be no customer complaints.
Would I build my own props again after this? Absolutely
Would I recommend and use BenOfKent again? Absolutely
Now all I need to do is start learning electronic so I can add lights, sounds and hopefully some smoke, so keep a lookout for part two of this build in the near future.
The writer of this piece was: David Gladman
David Tweets from @the_gladrags