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Messages - DefenderDarko

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Bot Building - General Discussion / Re: Painting techniques....
« on: January 28, 2016, 10:17:10 PM »
It only happens when the can isn't properly mixed. Are you shaking the can for at least a minute and clearing the nozzle between spray applications?

I've literally never had this problem with Testors. I did do something similar with a matte spray once, but I wasn't clearing the nozzle.

Also, never use the bottom 1/8th of your can. It's not an even mixture at that point. Depending on the angle you spray, you generally use more paint than propellant, so the last bits of product in the can isn't really usable if you're going to obsess over the finish, like we all love to do.

Bot Building - General Discussion / Re: Painting techniques....
« on: January 24, 2016, 08:21:18 PM »
Temperature and humidity can help with that. It has to do with the flakes in the paint.

I say they both have a pretty good chance of coming to Hulu.

Since Shout Factory has obtained the rights, Hulu has been adding quite a few more episodes. They had a handful of them for awhile, but they've added numerous pre-Scifi episodes in the past month or so.

Hulu is also the only place that currently licenses and streams Rifftrax DVD releases.

Bot Building - General Discussion / Re: Painting techniques....
« on: January 22, 2016, 03:38:31 PM »
Testors is incredibly easy to work with and it won't run if you practice proper painting techniques.

Temperature is key. It's best to only paint when it's dry and 55 or above.

Sweeps. Use sweeps. I don't know how many times I've seen nimrods try to point the can at the item and just hold down the trigger. Study and practice automotive paint application techniques and replicate that using spray cans. When you sweep, start at the far left of the object, begin spraying, then move the can past the object and COMPLETELY off to the right side.

Never start and stop spraying your application while the can is pointing at the object. This creates overspray areas that compromise the finish. You should only hold the nozel for about 2-3 seconds while you do a pass. This prevents you from spraying too much paint or not spraying enough pigment in the mixture.

Any time you stop and start spraying again, ALWAYS clear the nozzle by spraying off to the side for a second. This will clear any buildup that might cause runs or uneven pigment distribution.

Also remember that the final finish coat is the one that really matters in terms of completion and accuracy. If you want Tom to be that Metal Flake Red, you only need one good coat of it. The coats underneath can be any gloss red paint. For beginning coats, don't bother with testors at all. Use something that rapid-dries, like automotive touch-up paint. It literally dries within seconds, so that will cut down on your work time a lot.

It doesn't hurt to use a clear coat for the final application. It will help work over any inconsistencies in the final paint application. This also allows you to buff out any overspray spots after you let it set for a few days and fully cure.

My usual application method is this direction: 1500 grit sanding > Ahesion Promoter(acetone spray, basically) > Tamiya white primer(or rustoleum auto primer as a back up) > Dupli-Color or Rustoleum brand basic coat(red, gold, etc) in at least two coats > Two coats of the final color > one coat of sealer, buff and finish after a week of curing. I NEVER use a full enamel as the second coat before the final. There's no reason to. It only needs to tint the primer, it doesn't need to have a full finish.

If you want to lay out the cash, there's a great line called Army Painter. They're basically fast-dry primers that come in assorted colors which are ideal for this sort of thing. They just cost $15 a can at most hobby shops. They're virtually idiot-proof.

I also don't recommend using steel wool to abrade the plastics. Crow's body parts are made from the trademark Tupperware blend of polyurethane and polyethylene, but using steel wool and such will only gouge the plastics. That plastic is not designed to corrode, so anything that rough will just cause bunching and drags on the surface. Instead, use 1500 grit automotive finishing paper. It will give it a soft satin finish that's easier to paint. Once you apply adhesion promoter, the paint should bond fine.

I hope this helps. I'm an experienced painter. I've painted actual cars, models, props, action figures, dioramas, homes, etc etc...

I had to reply to this...

The body is made from an SR-71 model kit.

Most of the little parts are ironically the same stuff I used on my SOL model. They're from a Ghostbusters 2 Ecto-1a model kit. You can see parts of the roof rack panels and the tanks on it. I actually used the tanks on my SOL, the caps of the tanks on my Microbus, etc.

I can take pics if you guys wanna see...

Post pictures if you do!

Crow T. Robot / Re: Attaching hockey mask to bowling pin?
« on: January 21, 2016, 10:54:13 PM »
Yeah, the answer is that all of it and none of it is 'accurate'. They never put that much thought into it. Crow was just a prop to be tossed around, busted up, and replaced as long as they got the shot for the host segment. They were hastily assembled most of the time. There are countless episodes where Crow is missing his rubber shoulder hoses and plenty of episodes where he has Lime Gold sprayed on his shoulder blocks(giving them a sort of clear gold cast). Like most props, high quality fan work usually far exceeds anything that was rapid prototyped for the shoot.

I prefer the basket to not quite touch the soap dish. I don't want the paint rubbing between them. There are plenty of show instances where the net touched the dish and plenty where it didn't. I also fasten mine with two wingnuts(Bob Bukoski kit), which stops it from rotating or anything. One warning...It's really tough to get that basket, eye dish, and bowling pin to all line up because they're all random parts never meant to interact and they sort of float, glued onto a PVC coupler. The show models always looked lopsided.

You can get them straight, though. I did so by putting two small brass washers on the bolts between the bowling pin and the basket. This gives the basket a more flat surface to press against, which helps it even out.

The show models were really inconsistent. Just pick what you like or pick one episode and focus on replicating that specific puppet in most aspects.

Yeah, I used 1/2" CPVC, basically the same thing most people use for Crow's eye control rod.

The smaller wrist part of the common Crow hands will fit in it loosely, but you want the cuff to go up further on the wrist of the claw, so measure and sand the back of the claw so it fits in there slightly loose/snug(easy to rotate). Afterwards you need to cut the end of the claw shorter so there's room to run the wrist screw through there.

You will need a rotary tool to do this. Even a cheap $10 rotary from Harbor Freight will work fine.

MST3K Related Props / Pearl's Microbus, the Widowmaker!
« on: January 13, 2016, 01:15:09 PM »
This one is pretty basic and I'm not the first to do this...

I started with a five inch pull-back car I found at a Hastings store. It's partially diecast and partially plastic. I cleaned off the hippie logos and peace signs from the red portions and touched up the paint, adding scratches and wear here and there.

For the overall design, I decided to combine elements from the small model replica and the large-scale bus used in the show.

The radar dish and some of the rockets were from an Ecto-1 model kit. The main body of the rockets were PVC pipe.

The license plate was cut from styrene. I designed it in photoshop and printed it.

I painted it all up and here she is!

I plan to hang the SOL and the Bus above the desk...

MST3K Related Props / My Satellite of Love model!
« on: January 13, 2016, 01:08:36 PM »
Hey guys, I just completed my SOL this morning. It's about 20 inches long.

I started off by assembling four papercraft soccer balls. If any of you are familiar with Pepakura, you'll know what I'm talking about.

I then folded and printed the two large shafts that connect the four spheres(See how I averted that joke?)

Once they were glued together, I brushed the whole thing with polyester fiberglass resin. Afterwards, I did what BBI did. I just took random pieces of model kit parts from various cars and started gluing them to it. I added some wooden dowel rods for the central pipe, a candy machine container for the escape pod hatch, and the radar dish and various other parts come from a Call of Duty block builder set.

The whole thing was then painted over with dark gray Plasti-Dip to lock it all together and give it an even surface. It was then hit with some gray Tamiya primer and speckled with black. The final touch was the little window in front, which has a picture of Mike and the bots, as a reference to the Sci-Fi intro.

Hey guys....I've done quite a lot of studying of these puppets. Being experienced at prop making(although these are my first MST puppets), I think I've managed to figure out a few things that I still see a lot of questions about.

For one, the wrists. The current popular wrist cast I see on the market is not accurate to the show models from what I've seen. The common wrist cast features a wide wrist area with a narrow stud that is tapped and bolted into the 'guitar pick' shaped joint at the front...

The show models actually have two versions. First is the Comedy Central era, which was a long wrist with a double bolt(it is bolted in front and back at the top of the wrist joint).

In addition to this, all versions of the Crow puppet feature rotating wrists. In most episodes, Crow's wrists are rotated to hold items and sometimes they're just rotated by accident. The wrist basically rotates in a small cuff made from a small piece of PVC pipe. This results in the wrist of the puppet being wider than the elbow and shoulder joints. The other two wrist joints are just offset using washers or nuts on each side of the two wrist struts.

The second version I've found is the Sci-Fi channel version. Like the Trace era wrist, it features a large PVC cuff that the hand is inserted into and it also rotates. The main different is that it is only bolted at the front of the guitar-pick, allowing the wrist to move up and down, as well as rotate.

My best guess is that the show version's hands were just shoved into the cuff, but I created a more durable version using a screw and a shallow resin fill inside of the wrist cuff to serve as a backstop that you can drill into for the screw to be inserted.

Onto the rest...

I've noticed that people always have questions about the eye movement mechanism, with some people incorrectly reporting that Corbett's puppet didn't have the full range of eye movement like Trace's did. This is not true. They're actually mostly identical.

For the pulley inside of the 'skull', Bob Bukoski has basically cracked it. It's just a rope that double overs a pulley wheel that connects to the eyes and two ends of the rope go down inside of the inner pipe and come out of a hole that is designed to allow for a paddle, where each end of the string attaches like a see-saw. The outer pipe is cut out so that the paddle can go up and down, and also rotate side to side about an inch. This is the method that Trace created and Bob has reproduced perfectly using resin kits.

Trace's was more hand-made and crude than Bob's resin kit. His paddle was actually a plastic spoon or spatula handle with the end cut off. You can see in most pictures that its rounded with a hole where the utensil was hanged in the kitchen.

It's just a big plastic spoon!

As for Corbett's puppet, nothing was removed from it. It was only improved. Instead of using the big gaudy spoon handle, Corbett's puppet was changed to have a thumb wheel instead. It fits in the same exact spot and is threaded with string the same way, it's just much smaller. This is allowed Bill to hold the main rod with one hand and puppet the eyes with his thumb. He could roll the wheel up and down to raise and lower the eyes and flip it back and forth for the side to side movement. His other hand was free to move the mouth.

Bill using the thumbwheel in his left hand...

Here are the diagrams I drew to explain how to build either versions. I think it will make sense to most of you. I have already created the Sci-Fi era wrist cuffs and I'm working on the thumbwheel.


Thanks! Have any of you tried this mod or made the Trace style double bolted wrists?

Crow T. Robot / Crow wrists/hands upgraded! Sci-Fi era style wrist cuffs
« on: January 08, 2016, 07:33:02 PM »
Hey guys, I just wanted to post this as an update.

First off, have any of you guys done this? In most of the Scifi episodes i've watched, Crow has a thick wrist and his hands sort of peg into it. His wrists joint part is actually about 1/4" wider than his elbow and shoulder and it seems to be balanced out with spacers.

I really liked the way it looked and I wanted Crow's wrists to turn.

To start off, I'm using Bob's awesome hand casts.

I started by shortening the wrist peg on Bob's cast and I then measured about half an inch up the larger part of the claw and used a rotary tool to smooth it down so it would fit into a 1.5" inch cut of a small pvc pipe. I spent some time sanding it by hand to make it smooth and even, then I started on the wrist piece, which was cut from some pvc drain pipe.

Once it fit and rotated smoothly, I stuck the pvc wrist piece on the handle of a fork(exactly the same size as the peg I shaved down on the back of the claw) and poured white resin in the opposite end, also about 1/4" deep. I did this to create a backstop for the wrist joint so I could tap it and run a screw through it. This is what allows the wrist to turn inside of the pvc wrist joint I made.

You can see in the photos below. After everything was done, I mounted it with screws and used some brass spacers to even out the width of the wrist joint. I also noticed that the brass finisher/spacers would be awesome for the outside of the arm joints for people who have scratchbuilt their flat joint pieces and may want a raised circle to run the screw through. Lowes carries a great brass finisher that is the perfect size.

Anyhow, one last thing I added was a rubber grommet between the collar and the top of the Floralier. I didn't like how the collar rubbed the paint off the top as the head/torso was turned, so I placed a rubber grommet there to stop it.

Anyhow, here's updated Crow!

Crow T. Robot / Re: My first bot build! Crow T. Robot lives!
« on: January 08, 2016, 12:14:27 AM »
Good news! I managed to restore the shoulder pegs the way Bob originally had them after I shaved the peg off and put a screw in there to hold them to the shoulder blocks.

To restore the part I cut off, I made a tube around the shaved end out of electrical tape and made a mix of black resin and filled it up. It filled in the screw hole and added a half inch of length to the area where I shaved it off, seamlessly.

I then let it cure and used a rotary tool to cut and shape the new resin stem into a peg, identical to the original. The arms are now secured the way they were intended :)

I do everything the hard way, sometimes.

Parts Sourcing / Re: Tom Servo "Haircut" Heads
« on: January 06, 2016, 11:52:01 PM »
You can spray the beak just fine, but you need to use a brush-on paint for touchups. That's the easiest way. The red is easier to retouch than the silver, so allow for silver overspray before red.

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