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Messages - Oldeworldsmith

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Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« on: February 15, 2019, 01:02:57 PM »

Having re-circled the wagons, I've now come to a new crossroads in regards to scales and sizes of certain element in the arms. I bought the new smaller sized hardware and reconstructed the arms based on the configuration seen in the ACPA photos I shared above.

I'm now confident in the following changes to the Netflix arm recipe (again, based on the known measurement of the square dowel rods being 3/8"):

-The spacers in between the arms are thinner than I previously had used and are now 5/16" in diameter
-The spacer lengths (and uniform space between the square dowels) are either 1" long or 1-1/8" long. This may seem like a small difference but it adds up in a huge way in regards to the size of another part which I will detail in full further on...
-The size of the machine screws and lock nuts used are now 6-32
-There are 22 #6 washers used throughout the build of one arm
-The machine screw lengths would ideally be 2-1/4" but to date, I haven't found any sold in that length for that gauge. That length must then be achieved via cutting longer screws (in the case of those pictured, 2-1/2") down to preference. A shorter 2" screw WILL NOT work for either possible width configuration. I tried them.

Due to my uncertainty in the exact length of the black nylon spacers, but now fully confident in the configuration of screws, nuts, washers, dowels and lamp joints, I have found that the precise diameter of the wrist sphere is what subsequently gets thrown into question.

I built one arm using the 1-1/8" spacers and the other using the 1"

You can see by the photos that if the 1" spacer is the right size, then the 1-3/4" sphere fits perfectly between the styrene wrist joints (no nylon washers required). If instead the 1-1/8" spacer is the correct size to use, then the gap between wrist joints is now much too large for the smaller sphere- However the next size up, a 2" sphere, now fits perfectly between the joints.

So what to do? Both look okay to me just by eye. What I believe will help break the tie is seeing what a full-sized set of enlarged grabber-claw hands look like in comparison to each sphere. To achieve a set of those means these arms are now on complete hold and it's time to get cracking on the molding and casting of the hands with the expanding resin.

Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« on: February 08, 2019, 03:25:14 PM »
Cool news update! For anyone who wasn't aware, the Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts inducted the Crow & Servo puppets into their collection this past January.

(Photos by Gary Glover)

Just a few days ago, Brent Lohaus posted new, super close-up images of the bots to the "MST3K & ICWXP Bot and Prop Builders" group on Facebook!

What's especially exciting for me is discovering that the details I've (so far) only been guessing at with the Netflix arms... Has been totally correct!  :D ;D 8) Both in materials and in the methods of assembly and ambulation!

Most importantly, Brent was able to get a photo that revealed the never-before-seen (by fans at least) area behind Crow's wrist sphere- specifically the spot where the puppet rod enters the wrist sphere from behind.

First is Brent's photo and then second is my own:

You can see what holds the rod in place from behind is indeed a shaft collar! Like these:

It prevents the rod, once secured into the resin claw hand, from being pushed out of the wrist sphere from behind. It still allows, via the set screw within the collar, for you to take apart the whole assembly for repair or replacement.


More of Brent's photos give us other cool details that we can see up-close for the first time!

- There's a screw in the back of the neck coupling that descends from under the bowling pin. I have to guess it's possibly for the ability to quickly switch out Crow heads should one become damaged. Or in the Nextflix case, should the servo-actuated jaw stop working.

- We can see the model in the museum is that very same type of remote-operated jaw version as there's electric cables emerging from the bottom of the PVC pipe where the eye controls mount.

- In that same photo we can see that the dowel rods attached to the arm rods are round. I've made a previous post where I demonstrated making them using square dowels. It's always up to the puppeteers personal preference. Many do prefer round as it allows for the rod to be easily rolled back and forth between finger and thumb with minimal effort of hand movement. I'll be certainly making a new pair with round dowels now!

- Lastly, it looks like many of the joints feature washers both inside and outside of the various attachment points.

I tried doing this on my own arms but ran into a problem. They may seem very thin, but washers add significant millimeters to the width of those arms. It all adds up quickly and throws off the sizing. Plus, I had never seen a photo of a screen-used Crow that was detailed enough to 100% confirm there were indeed washers present. At least now we can put that suspicion to rest. What this tells me now, is that the black spacers in-between the joints and possibly even the screws that are inside them, may indeed not be stock-sized. I already had them figured for slight alteration in lengths but it looks like that alteration could be even more significant than I thought.

You see, it's all based on the side-by-side foam insulation tubes and the wrist sphere. Those items dictate a fixed width between the dowels, joints and spacers. I'll have to look again at what needs to be done to resize those later elements while allowing for the extra inclusion of all those washers.

Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« on: January 18, 2019, 02:06:01 PM »
I've been experiencing an unwanted but unavoidable delay in getting to Crow's new hands. So in the meantime, I think it's time I shared my specs for the arms so you can get started on them for yourselves if you're inclined to do so!

My method for determining the measurements came both from available photos of Crow found online, and from my own Live Tour photos where I was able to get better profile angles on them. What you do is scale the image of a ruler to an object of known size nearest in proximity to the unknown-sized part you want to measure. In this case, the known parts were the lamp joints and more easily, the diameter of the cylindrical foam insulation tubes. Once the ruler is scaled and consistently giving you the correct measurement of the in-hand, real-world object in multiple areas of the photo, it's time to use it to measure the unknown parts. Here's a screen grab to give you an idea of how that works:

I cross-referenced those with other images of Crow and found the results consistent. Could they still be slightly off? I'm afraid that in using this method, one can never say with 100% surety these measurements are flawless. It's not a good way of getting tiny, specific results. For example, determining smaller fractions like 1/8"s or 1/16"s. But since I find these bots have rarely used fractioned measurements lower than 1/4" in the scratch-fabricated parts of their construction in the past, I feel fairly confident in these findings. My Netflix arms look pretty dang spot-on to me. Plus all the found parts that have to work in conjunction with the pieces I fabricated from raw materials also worked together perfectly.

So without further blabbering, here's my recipe for the Netflix arms with corresponding item description:

NOTE: This is a list of pieces required for ONE arm alone. All listed quantities must be doubled to make TWO arms.

ALSO: This recipe will give you the parts to make arms that are in the configuration of "Tour Crow" and "Promo Crow" which I chose as my personal favorite to replicate. See my second post in this thread for specifics on what makes them different from the other observed variations which you may find you prefer instead.

A.   Two sections of foam insulation tubing cut to 3.5”
B.   Two sections of foam insulation tubing cut to 4.5”
C.   Six Round 30mm Nylon Spacers (originally 1-1/4” in length) sanded down to 1-3/16”
D.   Three Round 30mm Nylon Spacers cut to 3/8” in length
E.   Four Round 30mm Nylon Spacers cut to ¼” in length
F.   Two standard 8-32 black nylon washers (30mm OD)
G.   Three 8-32, ¾” length bolts (unaltered length)
H.   Two 8-32 bolts custom cut to 2-1/8” in length
I.   Six 8-32, bolts custom cut to 2-3/8” in length
J.   Two 3/8” Square wooden dowels cut to 7-1/2” in length
K.   Two 3/8” Square wooden dowels cut to 7” in length
L.   Four 3/8” Square wooden dowels cut to 6” in length
M.   Resin cast lamp housing “shoulder” from Sledge Riprock’s eBay parts store
N.   1-¾” Diameter wooden sphere (sometimes simply labeled as a 'bead')
O.   Regular Crow-style ribbed rubber tubing (cut to 7 or 5 ribs, depending on your version preference)
P.   1-3/4” x 1-9/16” x 3/32” #38 rubber O-Ring
Q.   Eight 8-32 “Nyloc” aka Nylon Insert Lock nuts
R.   One 8-32 Hex Nut
S.   Pair of “upper shoulder” lamp joints (original metal, resin re-casts or styrene replicas)
T.   Pair of “elbow” lamp joints (original metal, resin re-casts or styrene replicas)
U.   Pair of custom, styrene “wrist” joints*

* Holes drilled in the styrene which will brace the wrist spheres must be smaller than the 3/8” bolts so that said bolts can be securely threaded into them vs. the other holes that will be drilled out larger to allow the longer 3/8” bolts to loosely slide into them. I personally recommend fabricating your own styrene versions as opposed to the resin ones as they will be much stronger and less prone to cracking when you thread the bolts in and out of them repeatedly during construction.

I have also been able to determine the measurements and parts for making Crow's new Netflix legs. I'd like to put them to the test in prototype form first though to make sure they're working and look correct. Happy building!

Other MST3K Related Bots / Re: Growler
« on: January 14, 2019, 11:06:39 AM »
I received the Bauer gloves this weekend, so here's a photo dump of them and my assessment of their accuracy.

I really do think these are a found-part match! The shapes are all present and correct to the screen used version in as many photos and screenshots as I've been able to observe.

Like most hockey gloves, movement in the fingers is possible, but doesn't provide a large amount of movement. The main digits are easiest to move (and decently tickle a keyboard) but the thumb is as useless for broad motion as I had guessed- It's only ambulation possible being used for pressing inward to the palm.

They are HUGE! I see that they come in slightly different sizes. The pair I found say they are 15"-38cm. I have no idea how we'd discover what size on-screen Growler uses as it's printed on the inside of the cuff but I'm hoping it's safe to say that most of the adult sized gloves are fairly close in scale to each other.

I'm certain the gloves used for the show are the all-black variety. That makes the palm sections already dyed black and the need to paint over bright pin-striping in the cracks between the finger foam moot. But it unfortunately looks like it's going to take an act of good fortune to find a fully black pair -or any pair- for that matter.

The biggest concern for me and the no.1 telltale detail that these are the real deal and that they kept the gloves as-is was going to be found with those goofy thumbs.

This photo highlights the area in which the thumb rests within the glove and how that then attaches to the large thumb guard with a "fabric loop."

Next are some screengrabs where you can indeed see the same thick thumb guard and the loops!

The next question I have is if the large wrist guard (the part bears the large "BaUeR" logo on it) is still present on the puppet as well. The bad part is that I can't find any photos or angles of his hands on-screen that give me complete satisfaction that it's there... Except for maybe this one from PuppetGarage's Instagram:

Now this is "Shadow Growler" (Timmy Growler?) and we've seen that the shadow versions can sometimes vary slightly from the regular versions. Yet, when we raise the brightness on the photo we can not only see that the wrist guard is still present (red outline), but that it's attached to the tube arms with bolts and washers in exactly the same place where I now know the rest of the glove should still exist (blue outline). Which means, beyond being painted and re-colored, the gloves are probably not modified in any other way from their off-the-shelf state!

Of course the other obvious dead-giveaway that the wrist guard is present is that Shadow Growler still sports the white letters of the Bauer logo!  ;)

I can also confirm that the gloves' large openings and flaps at the base of the palm area make it ideal for puppeteering with your arm inserted from below- while still allowing plenty of space above your own wrist for the arm-tubing to be attached.

So again, I think this model of hockey glove is indeed likely confirmed!

Other MST3K Related Bots / Re: Growler
« on: January 09, 2019, 09:48:30 AM »
No kidding! :o

I found a pair on eBay though for $80.00. I realize sourcing bot parts has never been a cheap hobby and that's still steep in my opinion, but not nearly as painful as $200. So I decided to take one for the team and buy them. They look correct but the only way to know for sure is to examine them in-hand. If they aren't the gloves we're all looking for, at least we'll know. I've lost money on false alarm parts before so I won't cry... Too much. I'll post pics when they arrive.

Other MST3K Related Bots / Re: Growler
« on: January 08, 2019, 02:09:21 PM »
Brilliant connection fastbilly1! I decided to try and ID the model & brand of gloves that we can see in the prototyping image from Instagram. I think I did find them! Though it's a bit hard to say if these model of gloves made it all the way through to the final puppet or not. I have to try and find some better images of Growler's hands but the thumbs of the hockey gloves seem somewhat useless to me for movement if they were left unaltered from their off-the-shelf state.

In the first image I raised the brightness of the glove in the Instagram image to get a better look at the shape of the ridges and markings on the back of the gloves. Also, after some digging I confirmed that what I thought could be the letters "e A" printed on the wrist strap are "e R," just obscured by the duct tape. Which does indeed make them "Bauer" brand, same as the knee pads that make up his shoulders:

The second image is a pair I found via Google image searching that seem to have the same back-of-hand, foam-guard shapes with light grey pin-striping as seen in the prototype photo. They are Bauer Vapor x60 SR hockey gloves.

The only sales pages I could find for that model feature them in the same shape, but in different colors and with bright white pin-striping. Seeing as how they eventually become green, their original colors likely don't matter. However I couldn't find any web stores that still had them in stock. Guess it's time for eBay hunting!

A couple store links:
Looks like Amazon (as of this posting) has a pair but at that price, NO THANK YOU SIRS:

Other MST3K Related Bots / Re: Waverly
« on: January 04, 2019, 07:57:42 PM »
That would be fantastic if you can send even that half piece to Ron! The 3D scans will only serve as a labor-saving starting point on the parts anyway. I was actually doing a photo-layered comparison today to a picture you posted of your halved, green mouth piece over a similar profile photo of Waverly. It’s definitely been manipulated from the original. The lengths of the square and round  extrusions are different on the final and the top part of the “beak” has been modeled to be slightly wider than the bottom just as I suspected.

Manipulating those changes on a scanned model that we can quickly align to the X,Y,Z axes will be easier than trying to model one anew from photos that don’t give us perfect profile angles to work from.

Been slowly teaching myself Blender in anticipation of working on the 3D scanned parts... Mostly because I don't have CAD and Blender's free.

Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« on: December 31, 2018, 02:03:43 PM »
I'm closing out 2018 with a body assembly and articulation test of the Netflix arms! Hit the link below for a video.


Tom Servo / Re: Five Below Snack Dispenser
« on: December 27, 2018, 10:47:50 AM »
That’s good to hear. Makes those heads viable minus the globes!

Tom Servo / Re: Five Below Snack Dispenser
« on: December 24, 2018, 05:10:44 PM »
Can you take a photo of what the backside of the beak looks like? It looks like the thin ring that holds the globe in place is what’s blocking the mouth bits from being removed. If the plastic has been friction-sealed at the top seam so that it’s not removable, then yes, this would be the first gumball head I’ve personally seen where you couldn’t access those parts simply by removing the globe.

Tom Servo / Re: Toms Servo's Real Hands Found!
« on: December 24, 2018, 04:54:06 PM »
Phenomenal!  :D I almost wish there could be a museum exhibition of all those parts in their original form.

Tom Servo / Re: Five Below Snack Dispenser
« on: December 24, 2018, 04:49:31 PM »
As far as I can tell from the photos, minus the globe and the top disc like you say, it looks identical. No doubt still the same molds are being used.

Tom Servo / Re: Tom Servo's Engine Block Found!...Finally
« on: December 24, 2018, 02:13:29 PM »
What an awesome reveal!!!  :D Truly a Holy Grail find! Thanks for sharing it with us  :)

Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« on: December 22, 2018, 02:59:56 PM »
I’m about to post the measurements and materials I used to build these Netflix arms soon- I promise! But every recipe made to imitate another is always requiring taste-testing & refining in the kitchen before being served (how’s that for a metaphor?). I’ve been changing up a lot of the details and hardware on these things as I learn & observe more from new photos. I can’t promise they’ll ever 100% the same as the ones constructed by Puppetgarage, but I’m going to make sure they’re as darn close as I can get them (for being someone who only saw the real ones in person, in passing, at the Live Shows) before I commit to putting out my final parts list.

For now, I wanted to look at color. Specifically paint. Even more specifically, the color of paint used on Crow’s “Wrist Spheres.”

Here’s how my Netflix arms are looking after their first round of painting & re-assembly:

I’m crazy happy with how these have come out! All except for one part. I’m not satisfied that the wrist spheres are matching what I see on screen and in photos. It’s clear they’re painted with a flat finish but what is harder to tell for certain, is if the somewhat grey shade they appear to be, is due to the way the light is being scattered across their flat finish or not.

Case in point, I painted them first Krylon Flat Black; the same Flat Black I’ve used on all the Crows I’ve built over the years. As you might be able to tell from the photos, that just doesn’t look quite right.

Have a look this photo of the screen-used Crow:

Compare the shade of his Spheres to the the other parts of him that are clearly black. Parts such as his shoulders, neck and the drain tube in his chest. The Spheres have always looked to me to be just a few shades lighter and my first pass coloring my own has fully convinced me that the real ones couldn’t be plain ol’ Flat Black either.

The lighter shade they appear to be immediately made me think of a paint I’ve used many times before on other projects. Grey colored spray paint is available in spades… But not so many “shades” (see what I did there?)

I knew what I wanted to use this second time around is Rust-oleum Automotive Primer:

Since this stuff is a Primer, it’s ultra-flat and is one of the only off-the-shelf paints on the market that’s a very, very dark grey. An almost-but-not-quite black color which is exactly what the real ones look like to my eye in photos. Since I would have to remove them again, I took a few photos that help demonstrate the method I devised to attach the Spheres to the wrist joints.

On the guitar-pick-like wrist joints, I have two holes drilled large enough to freely permit the 8-32 bolts I’m using throughout the arms to slide in easily. This allows for free ambulation of the arms when puppeteering. However I made the hole I drilled in the joint that accepts the shorter bolts for the Wrist Sphere smaller. Small enough to permit the bolt but not the threads, so that those two bolts must be threaded into the styrene joints with a screwdriver. This makes the joints hold the bolts firmly in place. The Spheres can then rotate and spin freely around the fixed bolts.

After a couple coats of the Rust-oleum Primer, I think the results speak for themselves:

Here’s the collection of colors I personally use both for old-school Crows and (with the addition of the Rust-oleum Primer) Netflix Crow:
-Krylon Semi-Gloss or Satin Black (your preference)- For the shoulders and Neck
-Rust-oleum Flat Black- For all interior parts of Crow; Inside the soap dish, Floraliers, etc.
-Rust-oleum Automotive Primer- For the Wrist Spheres
-Testors Metallic Gold- As a primer layer for the exterior gold parts
-Testors Gloss Custom Gold Metal Flake- for the final color of all Crow’s gold bits

Now I’ve heard there’s some concern over the current Testors formula of what was once called, “Lime Gold Metal Flake.” The batch I’m using (renamed “Custom Gold”) is dated 2011 so I’m not completely sure if this is the newest batch everyone’s talking about or not. I find though that it doesn’t look any different, when enough coats are applied and dried compared to the oldest, original formula that I used on my first Crow back in the late 90s:

But if anyone else knows of a reason why any Crow replica and the latest iteration of the Testors Gold Metal Flake paint should not be wed, I would ask that you please, not forever keep your peace and let me know!  ;)

Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« on: December 20, 2018, 09:56:43 PM »
Soooo close to being 90% done! If only the accursed Metal Flake paint would dry faster on the final joints...

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