HALLOWE'EN can always prove to be a stressful time for parents - especially when it comes to kids' costumes.

But for Saltcoats dad John Cowan, and his fiance Rachel Martin, this year has proved to be quite the challenge.

The Herald contacted John after seeing his daughter Grace's (aged three) amazing Ghostbusters costume.

What made it all the more impressive was the lengths John had gone to to make sure he got the outfit spot on.

Included in Grace's awesome look was a uber-realistic proton pack - something John put together with his own two hands.

Making his effort all the more impressive, John completed the work over only three weekends, grafting away during his weekends home from working away completing 12-hour shifts in England.

John told the Herald: "I had to learn how to solder circuits, thinking 'how can I do this, and get it the way I want?'

"I've only really got one shot at this, if I get it wrong I've either got to bin it or start from scratch!"

To create the proton back, John had to take two shells of existing Hasbro toys, which he molded together, adding numerous chaser circuits which he wired and placed himself.

This included hot-gluing battery packs into place, learning on the job and what he described as the "hardest part" - spray painting the previously blue shell black to match images he found online.

John explained: "I primed it before adding black spray paint, but I've never spray painted anything before.

"Rachel was kicking off because the primer was going all over her kitchen floor after she was coming in from 14-hour shifts herself!

"I ended up being up to stupid o'clock in the morning because I had to take it out the back door to spray paint it."

After three weekends of hard graft, into the wee hours of the morning, the light-up, noise-making proton pack was complete.

John even joked he was grateful for the clocks going back, giving him an extra hour to work away.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Grace in her completed Ghostbusters boiler suit.Grace in her completed Ghostbusters boiler suit. (Image: John Cowan)

After the main component was complete, John and Rachel modded a child's flight suit with no ghost logos and a name patch and added stickers, some of which John had to resize and print himself, to the proton pack.

Then the costume was complete, and John added Grace was "buzzing with it" which made it all worth it.

She even won the costume contest at her nursery Hallowe'en party - though John said that was the least he had hoped for!

He added: "There were certain points when I was putting it together where she was wanting to see it.

"I wasn't getting to spend too much time with her, with my tunnel vision trying to make it, but I tried to get her involved whenever it was safe.

"She was wanting to play with it there and then - but I was like 'nah, it's not finished yet!'"

John then only had two hours to enjoy with Grace wearing the completed costume before he headed back to work, but he knew it was all worth it.

He commented: "She was feert she was going to break it, but she was made up with it.

"She loves Ghostbusters. It's good to have something like that to have in common with your kids.

"Something to put a smile on the wean's coupon because that's what it's all about. I'm really happy with the result."