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“[In this issue,] you can fit various reactor components to the base.”

This is going to be a longer issue as I am doing quite a few mods along the way!

NOTE: As we build up this Reactor Platform, I will be using colored electrical tape to match the same tape on The ‘A’ car. We do get some colored Adhesive Stickers in Issue 125 for this, but I want to be more accurate using my own tape and I feel it is going to be easier to do now instead of later. If you want to use the stickers and have that issue available now, you can install them now as well.



Materials: All of the non-electrical parts are plastic.


  • Drive Time: Model Instructions
  • A Perfect Combination: Making Back to the Future: The Ride
  • A Time Traveler’s Guide: Marlene McFly


Reactor Components

Step 1

Gently untwist the wires at the middle of the Multicoloured Wires.

You can actually untwist these wires all the way if you want:

Lay these wires into the channels of the Separator in the order shown.

The way these wires are supposed to be added to our model is not very accurate to The ‘A’ Car seen here. You may even notice that the ends of these wires have come out of that grey ‘plug’ in the black heat sink on the right. They should be in there, but I was not about to touch the museum car:

First, let’s make the order of these wires a little more realistic:

Step 2

Fit the Separator Top onto the Separator, as shown:

Step 3

Secure this Separator assembly to the Reactor Platform with two (2) SM screws, as shown.

Before attaching this, I grouped up these wires with three of the awesome Mini Cable Ties from Mike Lane:

Step 4

Push the pins on the ‘pipe’ end of the Multicoloured Wires into the Reactor Platform and Reactor Component (111C red) as shown.

A couple of things are wrong here. First, on The ‘A’ Car, these two curved hoses are supposed to connect to the black tanks behind them:

Unfortunately, on the museum car, the driver’s side one had popped off its fitting:

As you can see, the wires that are connected to our pipe should not be there. I cut them off right at the end of the curved pipe, as shown:

Also, per the real car images above, this should have a strip of orange electrical tape, so I added some:

Then, I just popped both the pins into place. Friction holds this fairly well, but I used a drop of super glue on the bottom pin anyway:

Step 5

Secure the ‘heat sink’ on the end of the Multicoloured Wires onto the Reactor Component (111B silver) with two (2) AP screws.

Fun Fact: On the real car, this is a model 421-K heatsink from Wakefield-Vette:

Step 6A

Fit the post and two pegs of Reactor Component (112A) to this location on the Reactor Platform.

To continue the on the first Mod Zone above: Since I was trying to be more accurate to the real car, the wires I cut off the ‘pipe’ earlier should actually get tucked underneath this component. To make room for these wires, I needed to use my half-circle needle file to grind a groove into the forward side, like this:

I then trimmed the wires back to fit and put a couple Mini Cable Ties on them:

Next, I glued the ends of these wires into my groove under the Reactor Component (112A). On the real car, this component is a heatsink from a vintage Hewlett Packard 77-01A oscilloscope recorder:

Finally, I fit the entire thing to the Reactor Deck, as shown:

Step 6B

Secure this part into place from below with one (1) AP screw:

Step 7A

Fit both Reactor Components (112E) to these locations on the Reactor Platform.

There is a small pin on each component that aligns these parts correctly:

Step 7B

Secure both of these parts into place from below with two (2) AP screws:

Step 8A

Fit the Reactor Component (112F) to this locations on the Reactor Platform.

This hose has a keyed socket on one end that matches the raised keyed part on the platform, aligning it correctly. On the real car, this tube was a duct from Blo-R-Vac:

Step 8B

Secure this part into place from below with one (1) BP screw:

Step 9

Push the posts of the Reactor Component (112G) into the Reactor Platform and Reactor Component (111C red) as shown.

Same process as the other side we already did. If it is loose, don’t be afraid to glue it in place:

Steps 10A-B

On The ‘A’ Car, these parts make up a Robinson gryoscope base:

To make ours a little more accurate, I first ‘painted’ the center cylinder of Reactor Component (112D) with my favorite Metallic Silver Sharpie:

A fantastic tip that I heard about from other builders was to remove the springs from of a couple of old ballpoint pens…

Then, I cut about 3-4 mm off each end of each spring using diagonal cutters:

Next, I placed these cut springs over the four posts of Reactor Component (112C), like this:

Push the pin on the straight end of Reactor Component (112B) into the matching hole of Reactor Component (112C):

Press the four pegs of Reactor Component (112D) down into the matching holes of Reactor Component (112B):

My springs were a bit tall, so I had to put tiny drops of super glue on each post and squeeze it together for a bit. I think this looks amazing!

Step 11A

Fit these Reactor Components to this location on the Reactor Platform. Make sure the pipe (112B) fits down into this hole:

Step 11B

Secure this assembly into place from below with one (1) BP screw.

I was unable to get a photograph of this screw, but it is right underneath it.


I knew it; I had mods to do all over! It was expected, however, because I want this Reactor Platform to be as close to the real car as I can get without too much extra effort. Still, it is coming along nicely.

Next Up

 Issue 113 – Reactor: Drum, Top Plate, LED, Filament

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