This is the Replica back Plate. It is made out of heavy duty fiberglass. As you can see it has the additional mounting holes where the dial lights are mounted to give it additional stability. It also has the “Ears” to keep the black out effect in the torso from coming through. This is a high quality part. It is used on the replicas that Mike Joyce sells. This is perhaps the best part I have ever seen for a neon back plate and I have a collection of all of the neon back plates that have been made for the club spanning multiple years from as many members. This is a high quality part but it does require some fitting and there are some limitation.
This back plate is for a 12 row neon. As is, it WILL NOT fit a 16 row neon. There will need to be some serious modifications to the side wings and lower shelf to make it fit a 16 row but it can be done. Also, when you get your 12 row Neon from Craig or whomever, the first thing you should do is scrape off all of the black paint from the neon tubes. If you have a Replica torso, the neon barely fits and if the black paint is left on the tubes you will see it in the mouth area and that will be very distracting. The black paint comes off very easily. You can take a razor blade or small strips of 1000 or higher grit sand paper and gently rub the paint off.
Adhering the neon to the back plate is very easy. Just get the back silicon from Home depot or Lowes Home improvement center and glue it to the back plate. Again, make sure you glue just the loops of the neon to the wings of the back plate. If you put too much in there you will see the silicon through the neon mouth opening and will get a suboptimal result.
Craig’s neon was the prototype for the plate so it should fit Perfectly. Also this backplate will fit the Timk and Fred Barton torsos as well. The TimK torso requires a little stand off of about .50-75″ away from the front of the torso so the neon will “clear” the torso edges. This will be shown at the 2009 build off. As for the transformer wires, I drilled 2 holes through the outer wings of the back plate and passed the wires through the plate so I could keep the wire run as short as possible. I then applied Velcro to the back of the plate to adhere the transformer and the music interface. It makes it easier to make adjustments if necessary or replace components over time than if they are permanently glued. When installed correctly it is an awesome component to the B9. When the neon lights up, it just makes me want to yell out “ITS ALIVE”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!