Portland Ghostbusters

Shawn Marshall's 1984 PROTON PACK

This is one of two Proton Packs built by Shawn and his friend Bryan in the fall of 1984. Living in Tucson, AZ, he and Bryan took photos, measurements, and sketches of a pack that was displayed at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts for its film festival celebrating special effects (including speakers like Richard Edlund). Shawn and Bryan built their packs from plywood, masonite, PVC pipe, plexiglass, matte board, Pringles cans, Super-8 film canisters, custom fiberglass parts and other inexpensive pieces. As desktop printing didn’t exist in 1984 Shawn and Bryan pulled sticker and labels off the back of Atari arcade games, photocopiers, electrical boxes, etc. Bryan fabricated faux Alice Pack frames using aluminum, steel, and conduit incorporating straps purchased from a surplus store. They were able to build two (mostly) screen-accurate packs for around $100.

These 3D renders show the parts and materials that went into Shawn and Bryan’s Proton Packs. Over the decades Shawn replaced some wood components with fiberglass to reduce weight and added electronic lighting effects, all built from scratch.

KOLD-TV tucson appearances 1984-1985

These video clips represent the first recorded images of Shawn and Bryan’s Proton Packs. After debuting their gear at some Halloween costume contests they appeared at the Tus-Con XI convention on November 10, 1984, winning Best Craftsmanship and Audience Favorite. By 1985 they’d replaced their olive drab flight suits with more-accurate khaki versions.