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Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« Last post by Dr.cgad on December 13, 2018, 01:13:48 PM »
Pretty Nice.
Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« Last post by Oldeworldsmith on December 12, 2018, 10:43:07 AM »
Hereís a brief rundown on how to make the puppet arm-rods. I determined the rod itself from handle to the base of the hand is 20Ē. The method Iíve always seen puppet arm rods be built (and previously made myself) hasnít changed much over the years and looking at the photos, they seem no different with Crow.

Knowing that, Iím going to recommend buying & cutting yourself a pair of 1/8Ē steel rods at 22Ē to allow some working space in both the handle and the hand. Bend about a ľĒ inch of one of the ends on each rod in a vice.


Get yourself a length of 5/8Ē square wooden dowel. Cut two 5Ē length pieces and sand all the edges -both top, bottom, and sides- so that they are rounded enough to hold comfortably. Drill a 1/8Ē hole through the dead center of each dowel about an inch down from one of the ends.

Use a Dremel to carve out a channel from the hole to the end of the dowel deep enough so that the bent ends of the rods can fit into the drilled hole and also sink into the channel just far enough to be below the surface of the dowel.

Use a two-part epoxy glue to fill in the channels and set the rods. Cover the tops of the rods with the epoxy as well and let it cure. The epoxy comes in different cure times based on what you choose. I prefer a 5 min. set times myself but itís available in much quicker.

Once thatís set, go ahead and paint them flat black. You can then also wrap the handles in Gaffers tape to make the grips even better for handling.

And thatís it! Youíre good to go on whatís probably the easiest and cheapest component of the Netflix arms.
Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by Oldeworldsmith on December 11, 2018, 03:35:14 PM »
I was told the trigger grip is a custom part. Which is okay since I think it looks like it would be fairly easy to replicate with a 3D printer like you mentioned. It's simply bolted to the control rod. The mouth string is fished out of that into a thinner, yellow tube which then feeds into the top of the trigger handle. The string then is tied to the jointed trigger- ultimately allowing the mouth to be worked in much the same way as those original novelty fanny-pincher hands worked.

The puppeteer is Grant Baciocco.

He's puppeteered Crow since the 2014 Turkey Day revival and continues to do so on the show to this day. He stepped in and performed Crow for the 30th Ann. Live Tour in place of Hampton. Which is completely appropriate as he's an accomplished performer as well (and a darn nice guy to boot). He's also the performer behind M. Waverly.
Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« Last post by Oldeworldsmith on December 11, 2018, 02:57:17 PM »
I wanted to share an update of where Iím at with the Netflix arms. I did a couple trial-runs with different lengths of arm dowels in order to test if my measuring method was accurate (which I will detail in a future post). Iíve finally settled on the what I confidentially believe to be the correct lengths which have successfully allowed me to recreate the same full range of motion and poses Iíve seen the real ones performÖ Or at least as confident as I can be without being able to take a ruler to the real thing in person.

Iím now in the middle of painting all the components and once thatís done, Iíll be sharing a full list of parts and measurements. But for now, I thought Iíd share the method I worked out for wrists as they arenít terribly complicated, but explaining them is going to be touch lengthy.

Whatís obvious from watching the show is that a puppet rod now sneaks up through the open elbow area, into a sphere and then attaches to the enlarged fanny pincher hand. It allows for general movement of the forearm and also the rotation the hand as well. Iíve seen no evidence that the hands are articulated with an opening and closing ďpincher styleĒ mechanism. They are attached with what I would assume to be the standard Split Push-In Rivets which simply allow for the finger-half of the hand to freely hang and flop open & shut.

What that means for the wrist though is that the spheres which make them up must have at least one pivot point in relation to the rest of the arm, and also allow for rotation of the hands via a rod traveling straight through them. Again, Iím not saying I know for certain this was how it was done... But this way very much works, looks perfectly accurate from the outside, and Iíd be quite shocked to find out they did something drastically different.

Using the comparative photo-measurement method, the wrist spheres appear to have a diameter of 1-3/4Ē which is consistent with the spacing between the rest of the joints. I found a batch of wooden spheres at a Hobby Lobby in just this size. Any larger (next standard size up is 2Ē) and it becomes obviously too big and no longer fits or matches the scale in relation to the rest of the assembly seen in the photos.

It can be very difficult if youíve never drilled directly through the center of a sphere before. Iíd absolutely recommend using a drill press as opposed to free-handing it. It will allow you to safely secure the shape and get a precision mark on the center point. It should also be noted these wooden sphere ďbeadsĒ have a helpful way of finding their center points in that there will be two spots where, during their creation, they were held in a lathe and spun. Find them and use an awl to indent holes in them for your drills to sink accurately into.

Drill this first hole completely through the sphere. The hole should be the same diameter of your puppet rod- just large enough to allow the rod to slip easily through and spin freely without friction.

Next, youíll need to drill straight through the center again, but this time at a 90-degree right angle to the hole you just previously drilled for the puppet rod. This new hole will need to be large enough to admit two 8-32, ĺĒ length bolts. You can use a differently-sized gauge for the bolts if you please, but their length should not exceed ĺĒ

As you can see in the dotted, red outlines I added, you donít want them to go all the way through & meet in the middle. They should only go into the sphere deep enough to offer it a rotation point while not impedeing the puppet rod- which will occupy the center space. You should be able smoothly spin the sphere both on the rod and (separately) on the bolts and not have it wobble. If it does wobble from an uneven centrifugal force, thatís a sign you didnít properly drill your holes directly through the center points on the sphere. Try, try again!

The bolts will ultimately serve as the attachment points between the styrene joints. The puppet rod (seen in my photo with temporary shaft collars to keep it in place) will eventually attach to the resin pincher hands.

ÖSpeaking of which, Iím also starting the process of enlarging a pair of the hands via the method I heard was used for the real-deals. Specifically, using an expanding resin. You can look up HydroSpan100 on Google for a full explanation and demo of how it works. In short, it will require a significant amount of time and several generations of re-molding to get them to their show size. Weíre talking weeks to potentially months here actually and wouldnít you know itÖ The company I bought the resin from sent me a batch that expires this coming April! So, wish me speedy luck. Iíve made silicone molds and cast resin many times before but this will be my first time attempting to work with the expanding variety.

Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by Robert K S on December 11, 2018, 01:45:48 PM »
how do you then feel about "Tour Crow?" Seeing how he features what I think is the coolest & slickest string-based puppet jaw mechanism to date:

It looks kind of like a trigger mechanism to do the mouth actuation?  Has anyone identified the part (or is it like a custom 3-D printed thing)?  How exactly does it work?  Who is the puppeteer in the photograph?
Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by Robert K S on December 11, 2018, 01:39:22 PM »
I will say that to him if I ever see him again.  Last time he came to Cleveland I wore my neon green lab coat.  He liked it and spent a while talking to me.  This was after the revival was announced but before the shows were made.  He lamented that it "wasn't the same show" and that he had already made up his mind that he wouldn't be having anything to do with it.
Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by squidsicle on December 10, 2018, 03:31:54 PM »
agreed. I saw Trace Friday night.  I WANTED to say "it takes three people to create a tenth of the performance you gave"
What I ACTUALLY said was nothing.
Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by Oldeworldsmith on December 07, 2018, 10:30:43 AM »
I don't think you'll find anyone who disagrees with that! The servo-actuated mouth is pretty darn bleh for every reason you listed and more. I can't think of any practical reason to mimic it for a fan-built bot either.

I do wonder if any of the Kickstarter funders who got screen-used Crow puppets as part of their rewards received the models with the mechanisms in the mouth. If so, I would love to get a look at them just to satisfy my academic curiosity... But certainly not for replicating.

Given how it seems that's all you hate about Netflix Crow, how do you then feel about "Tour Crow?" Seeing how he features what I think is the coolest & slickest string-based puppet jaw mechanism to date:

Crow T. Robot / Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by Robert K S on December 06, 2018, 11:32:29 PM »
There, I said it.  Fight me.

I'm not referring to Hampton Yount.  He's fine.

I don't even mean the double-bulky arms.  "I'm different!"

I mean the new mouth actuation mechanism.  It has much lower responsiveness/bandwidth than the direct pull-string of old Crow.  Any multi-syllable word results in Crow's mouth mostly just staying open for the entirety of the word.  Sometimes Crow's mouth never closes for the entirety of a sentence.  It really lowers the verisimilitude of Crow as a puppet character.  If you try to read his lips, he only ever says "AH-AH-AH-AH-AH" now.  Once you notice this, it's impossible to get over.  MST3K is ruined forever.  Well, at least any of the bits where Crow is talking.

Point is, if you're going to build Crow, don't waste your time trying to build him with the new mouth actuator.  Do him justice and put in the old pull-string.
Bot Building - General Discussion / Re: Gypsy Reference
« Last post by Snarkticon on December 04, 2018, 03:20:27 PM »
Hi! I haven't forgotten. I simply wasn't able to muster up the time or energy yet. I'll snag some reference shots tonight and contact the scanning place tomorrow!
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