STAGE 132

 Return to the BUILD


“In this stage, you assemble the siren, strobe light and propello-ray, fitting them to the roof rack.”

 

Contents


Parts

Materials: All of the parts in this stage are plastic.

Build


Before I started this stage, I had heard from other builders of this Ecto-1 that the Roof Rack Frame was hollow and could be kind of flimsy. To give my Frame more strength, I decided to try using something new. I had seen cosplayers use this stuff called foam clay – it is moldable and lightweight, but dries hard and can be sanded and painted.

Therefore, I basically packed Black Foam Clay into the hollow interior of each Roof Frame piece and let it dry:

At the same time, I grabbed the rest of the Roof Frame sections from the next stage (Stage 133) and filled them as well:

I then temporarily assembled the entire Roof Frame assembly using the proper AP screws so it would be straight and square as the foam dried:

After letting the foam clay dry for 24 hours, I disassembled the Frame, trimmed off any excess and sanded the surfaces flat with a few high-grit sandpaper sticks. Then, on the side and rear Roof Frame sections, I used my Pin Vise Drill to drill through the foam where the small mounting holes were located. The structure is much stiffer now and not hollow, but the foam does shrink a bit leaving some gaps I can live with:

Installing the Federal C5GB Siren

Step 01

Fit the Federal C5GB Siren Front to the Federal C5GB Siren Middle, as shown.

There is a small alignment tab on the Siren Middle that should be aligned to this recess inside the Siren Front:

Fun Fact: The orientation of the Siren Front has changed a few times. Our model is correct to the car seen in the movie. However, during the Sony Pictures restoration of the Ecto-1 we can see today, the siren cover was mounted upside down – whoops!

Secure these parts together with two (2) KP screws – one at the top center and one at the bottom center:

NOTE: After installing the previous KP screws on my Siren Front/Middle, I decided they looked out of place and decided not to use them. Therefore, I glued my Siren Front to the Middle instead.

Fit this assembly to the open end of the Federal C5GB Siren Body, as shown.

There is a small alignment tab on the Siren Middle that is designed to key into this slot of the Siren Body:

Fit the keyed post on the bottom of the Siren Body into the matching hole at this location on the Roof Frame Lower:

Secure the Siren to the Frame Lower from below with one (1) HP screw:

Installing the Strobe Light

Step 02

Head to your Ecto-1 Body assembly and disconnect the Whelen FRDF-200 Strobe LED cable (67B marked ‘K’) from the wiring on the roof.

This long cable has grey/black wires and a clear LED:

Feed the LED of the Strobe cable up through this hole of the Roof Frame Lower, as shown:

Continue to feed this LED up through the large center hole of the Whelen HDRF-200 Strobe Light Base, as shown:

Then, press the LED up through this hole of the Whelen HDRF-200 Strobe Light Bulb Holder, as shown:

Now, fit the long posts of the Strobe Light Bulb Holder down through the outer holes of the Strobe Light Base, as shown:

Next, fit the posts of the Bulb Holder into the matching recesses at this location of the Roof Frame Lower, as shown:

Secure the Bulb Holder to the Frame Lower from below with two (2) TP screws, capturing the Base in between:

On my model, I made the decision not to use this Strobe LED. The reason is twofold – we never see this strobe working in the movie and I can eliminate another cable exposed on the roof of the model. Therefore, I removed the entire Whelen FRDF-200 Strobe LED cable and put a spare LED in its place:

Finally, firmly press the clear Whelen HDRF-200 Strobe Light Lens down onto the Bulb Holder as shown:

Installing the Propello-Ray

NOTE: Here, I will first show how the stock parts are built, then how I modified my Propello-Ray to be animated (see the Mod Zone below).

Step 03

Press fit the clear Federal 19 Propello-Ray Clear Lens into the matching recess inside the Federal 19 Propello-Ray Ring, as shown.

There is an alignment tab on the Clear Lens that matches a small locating notch inside the Ring:

Next, firmly press the red Federal 19 Propello-Ray Red Lens into the opening of the Ring, as shown.

If you look closely, the edge of this Red Lens has a beveled edge. The narrower side of this bevel should be inserted into the Ring first:

Head over to your Ecto-1 Body assembly and disconnect the Federal 19 Propello-Ray LED cable (67A marked ‘J’) from the wiring on the roof.

This long cable also has grey/black wires but with a red LED:

Next, feed the LED of this cable through the hole on the back of the Federal 19 Propello-Ray Cup, as shown:

Then, firmly press the LED of this cable into the hole on the back of the Propello-Ray Ring, as shown.

Here is where I decided to modify my Propello-Ray to be animated (note the new wires in the LED hole):

Everything we have built so far could still be disassembled, so now was the time to mod this Propello-Ray.

As the Federal 19 Propello-Ray on the real car had a rotating light inside, I decided to try adding an animated LED chip instead of the static lit LED used by the model. If you are happy to install the stock lighting, skip this Mod Zone and continue on with the stock build.

I found these cheap red 1/10 scale RC car beacons (available on Amazon, eBay, and many other sites) and ordered a few. After cracking them open, I found the tiny circuit board fits perfectly inside my Federal 19 Propello-Ray Ring:

Therefore, I began by cutting off the yellow wire from the back of the circuit board. While the red wire is for +5VDC and the brown wire is Ground (-), the yellow wire is used to change the pattern of the on-chip LEDs by sending it different PWM signals. Luckily for us, the default pattern is the best one:

Here is a quick video of how the LEDs animate inside the Beacon by default:

Next, I used a small amount of adhesive putty inside the Ring to hold the circuit board centered in place, as shown:

Then, I ran the beacon wires back through the Ring and seated the circuit board:

Finally, I lightly sanded the back of the Federal 19 Propello-Ray Clear Lens to help diffuse the light:

The rest of the assembly was normal, but I did enclose the red/brown wires of this LED chip with some white heat-shrink tubing to help hide it:

While feeding the cable back through the Cup, press the two pins of the Ring into the matching posts of the Cup as shown:

To connect my modified Propello-Ray to the stock wiring, I soldered a micro JST 1.25mm plug to the end of the RC Beacon wires.

IMPORTANT: The wiring of the stock plug connector is actually reverse-polarity, so here you can see my JST plug’s red (positive) wire being connected to the brown (negative) Ground wire of the Beacon wire:

The same goes for the black JST wire connecting to the red wire of the Beacon:

This is the final result of my Propello-Ray modification. We can now continue on with the rest of the stage:

Fit the U-shaped post on the bottom of the Cup into the matching hole at this location of the Roof Frame Lower:

Secure this Cup into place from below with one (1) IP screw:

Working on the Frame

Step 04

Fit the Roof Frame Right to the right edge of the Roof Frame Lower, aligning them as shown:

Secure the Frame Right to the Frame Lower with two (2) AP screws:

Next, fit the Roof Frame Rear to the back edge of the Roof Frame Right as shown:

Secure the Frame Right to this Frame Rear with two (2) more AP screws:

Thoughts


As one of the most recognizable parts of the Ecto-1, the pile of gadgets and emergency equipment on the roof rack is one of my favorite parts of the car. I am hopeful that it will turn out really well!

Next Up


Stage 133 – Roof Frames, Marine Radome Antenna/Mast/Decals

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