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The field pack broken down into its components

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Hi all,

Building and perfecting my backpack has come close to an obsession for me and I thought I'd share some findings and observations I've made during my journey :) The discoveries that have been made lately on the individual parts are really an achievement of the entire sandtrooper brotherhood, however the Britannia Patrol has contributed more than their fair share to it (credit where credit is due!).
So without further ado lets see what treasures the prop builders from back in 76 utilized for the high-tech assault sandtrooper backpacks

Every good build should start with references so here we go:






These are the items you will need in order to assemble your backpack (parts may differ by backpack)


Radar Dish (Tupperware pitcher lid):


The Tupperware pitchers are available in various sizes and come either with a 4 or 5 inch lid (radar dish). The 4 inch lids are used with pitchers from 1 to 1,5L so thats what you should aim for as the 5 inch ones are too large.


A CD has the perfect size for a backing disc however it is a tad bit thin. What I did was use the CD as a template on a 2-3mm styrene or ABS sheet to cut out the backing plate (you can either use a black styrene sheet or in my case a white one that gets painted black).

Wet Wipe Bottle and mushroom cups

Pretty much as the name says ;-) This is what were shooting for:


Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a Tupperware dessert or ice cream cone with those specifications. These two who were closest but they both lack the widening lip at the bottom:




The black one was used on the old packs a lot and was quite a good fit but the emergence of the Karrimor backpack frame was a real game changer as everything on the pack had to grow in proportion. The correct diameter of the wet wipe bottle should be around 7,5-8,5cm.

Here you can see the actual size difference between the old and the new packs:


Vacuum forming of parts
As I couldnt find a correct mushroom cap I decided to do one myself using the vacuum forming technique:


Its actually not as hard as it sounds. Ive spent about 15,- EUR on the parts for a DIN A4 Vac machine (utilizing my good old vacuum cleaner) and 30,- EUR for a small oven on ebay. For those who want to give it a try I can highly recommend this video by Bill Doran >>>

And this is what it looks like including some self made moulds for the mushroom cap, thermal detonator plate and exhaust port.



Karrimor backpack frame

The Karrimor backpacks where popular with boy scouts back in the 70s. Occasionally they do pop up on ebay (best chances are on ebay UK). When you were lucky enough to snag one, some cutting is in order to get it to the appropriate length.

After cutting off the top the frame measures roughly 60x37cm.


After adding some aluminum stripes and a paint job this is what it looks like:


Next parts:




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Awesome guide! This will be so useful for all new recruits.

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Nice breakdown. Packs are definitely going the right direction.

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I made a thread with info for the Tupperware lids and pudding bowls.

It is by no means complete - but it can help people in searching for the items beyond typing in "Tupperware lid pudding cup" into the internet.

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With all things costuming, you can go super accurate or screen inspired. The only right choice is the one you make.

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I made a thread with info for the Tupperware lids and pudding bowls.

It is by no means complete - but it can help people in searching for the items beyond typing in "Tupperware lid pudding cup" into the internet.


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Excellent job bro'!



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Gio'Style canteen flask

Also one of the newer discoveries is the Gio'Style canteen flask. Before this faucet covers were frequently used. Original canteen flask can frequently be found on ebay or in the trade forum :)


All you have to do is some sanding to achieve an even surface, cut off the opening and paint it. After that add the bee stinger and you're done. There's really lots of stuff you can use as bee stinger; pencil shells, smaller hoses, whatever does the job ;-)


Mortar tube

The dimension of the mortar tube is roughly 6,5 x 75cm. Depending on where you're located this item may either be easily available or not at all. For example in Germany there are only standard sizes for pvc pipes and unfortunately 65mm is not one of them. In the UK on the other hand you can easily get them. Only thing you have to watch out for really is that the walls are not too thick unless you like carrying a really heavy backpack ;-)

The intake manifold / syphon

Never before the arrival of sandtrooper backpacks has part of a toilet been more adored and desired, lol. Seriously, next to the infamous Sonix radio this was one of the harder finds of your backpack before a pretty good substitute was found that just needs a little adjustment (it's offered in the trade forum). Some of us have found joy in bringing their backpacks to the next level by using mostly vintage parts. These are VERY rare finds and are usually gone as soon as they surface. So keep an eye out or bribe your local plumber :)



The "shotgun shells"

You can simply use a small pipe to replicate them or real (empty) shells from a shotgun. However, if you take a real close look it appears that there are little "thingies" sticking out of the shells which casts some doubt that they were indeed shotgun shells. Some have speculated on capacitors but this maybe one more thing we might never know for sure.


The thermal detonator plate

Simply a piece from the regular TK thermal detonator. The types differ between ANH, ESB and RotJ so make sure you get an ANH version with 7 stripes.



I've found it a little tricky to find a real accurate piece so I decided to make one myself. If you don't have a vacuum forming device you can also just cut out a pice of styrene/ABS and bend it to shape using a heat gun and a tube. Then you can just use a small piece of wood and use cables or wires as digonal stripes. Lastly you attach an appropriate size washer next to it and paint it all white - ét vóila :)

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Thanks, guys :)

Next stop...

Exhaust Port

Generally, there are two different options for the exhaust port but they only differ in a tiny detail. The one the 'move along' pack differs in the way that the ribbed section does not seem to extend all the way to the exhaust pipe while the other one (as seen on a behind the screens shot below) does.



Although it's not a large part there are quite a few things that go into it. I've found it incredibly difficult to find a piece which even roughly matches the proportions and its shape so I've made one myself. If you can't find an appropriate body for the port you might as well just cut a piece of wood into proportions and use a longer nail to attach the pipe.



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What do you use for the ribbing section that goes around the pipe? I've had a hard time finding something that works.

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Laboratory Pipe

Depending on the type of backpack this pipe on left side either goes down about 2/3 of the pack or all the way.



I used a pipe with a diameter of about 3cm and cut it to the appropriate lenght. After that I cut to pieces from the same pipe and made another cut, just enough so I could squeeze them in the longer pipe. Some glueing and painting did the rest:



Seed Trays

There are two different types of seed trays used for the backpacks; the upper ones have 3 diagonal stripes and no indention on the sides while the lower ones have 5 diagonal stripes and indentions. Both have slighty trapezoidal shapes:


The dimensions are roughly as follows:

Top: 32,5cm

Bottom (incl. edges): 37,5

Height per single seed tray: ~7cm



One trick I've used (Thanks, Lee!) to obtain the curved shape of the backpack was to fix the aluminum stripe on the bottom of the frame not on the top but on the other side. This way I could avoid to bend the aluminum frame which is not easy to do, particularly if you don't have the adequate tools.

Sonix Victory 75 radio

Last but not least: The holy grail for sandtroopers - the legendary Sonix Victory 75 radio. Only a very limited number of those radios came out of Hong Kong in the 70's. Up to date there are only a couple of known sources. Requests to take 3D scans or take moulds were so far without avail. At one time Art Andrews offered a price of 1.000,- USD for whoever brings him that radio but nothing ever came of it (his offer still stands!).

The dimensions of the Sonix are: 24cm (height), 19cm (width) and 9cm (depth).

Depending on the pack there are two different kinds of displays that were used however this only becomes relevant for SWAT.



No matter how long the search one day we will find it :):td:

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Could you show the process of attaching them all together?

Hi Jason,

unfortunately I haven't taken pictures while putting the exhaust port together but once you have all the different parts lined up it's really straightforward. I roughly followed these steps:

1. Pull the ribbed section over the larger pipe. If it's too tight you can also cut it and glue it on.

2. Attach the larger pipe to the body. You can see I've glued a smaller piece inside on the bottom of the body where I stick the larger pipe on.

3. Attach the clamp

4. Hot glue the top section of the exhaust port (with the diagonal cut) to the pipe.

5. Glue on the base of the body using hot glue and superglue

6. Glue the rectangles on the "feet"

7. Prime and Paint the whole port

8. Attach the binder to the top section of the exhaust port

Hope that helps!

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Here's a question since lots of these pieces need to be painted - what sandpaper grit is recommend to prep the pieces for primer and paint? I'm not very knowledgeable with painting.

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@Airborne Trooper: Check out Pandatroopers Build Thread in the Pinned section. That's pretty much the approach I've used to fix the trays.

@LoveMonkey: I didn't actually use that much sandpaper for my backpack. In fact, I think the only part that got some sanding was the canteen flask. Usually you would start with a low grit sandpaper and work your way up to the finer ones once the surface becomes smoother. To get started I would buy sandpapers with the grits 80, 150, 240, 600 (The lower the number, the larger the abrasive particles). For the other pieces it suffices if you use some kind of alcohol to clean the parts before priming.

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