Author Topic: My first bot build! Crow T. Robot lives!  (Read 3456 times)

DefenderDarko

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My first bot build! Crow T. Robot lives!
« on: December 31, 2015, 07:46:50 PM »
Hey guys, first post here. I've been lurking around for awhile...

I've been an obsessive MST3K fan since about 1994 and I always wanted a pair of the bots.
I'm actually a prop builder(mostly Ghostbusters stuff) and statue/figure maker guy, so I have plenty of tools and experience, just not with the bots. I've been 'studying' this forum for awhile to see what kind of mess I would be getting myself into if I tried to make the bots...

For Christmas, my awesome wife bought me the Bob kits from ebay. Best Christmas ever! Despite having the flu, I went to work on the 26th and had them finished three days later. LONG HOURS. Trial and Error, unfit painting conditions(ice storm here in Texas with flickering unreliable power).

I mostly followed the guides Bob supplied, but I added some of my own techniques(different paint types, adhesives, etc). Overall, he probably took about 15 hours of actual work time.


Here's my Crow!

Some notes...I did not use Testors "Metal Flake Gold". All of the big hobby stores in town did not have it and after inquiring, they told me that the paint color was no longer available. You guys should look into that. I instead used Testors Inca Gold. It's really close to the same color and under different lighting, it can range from that greenish gold tint to a warmer color. I really love how it turned out.

I prepped all of the parts using autmotive paint methods, instead of basic car model stuff. The base plastics were first coated with adhesion promoter(basically aerosol acetone for plastic car parts). Then white auto primer, then fast-drying automotive touch-up gold, then finally the testors gold. This method actually dries a lot faster than using Krylon and Testors products, which can take hours to days to finally dry. It's just not necessary. The automotive touchup paints by dupli-color cost a bit more, but they dry almost instantly, which cuts down on the hours. They're also perfectly durable.  Another good thing about the Inca Gold I used is that it is a 'one coat' paint. While this is not necessary true(It still took three coats), it doesn't run like classic Testors sprays, especially the old Lime Gold/Metal Flake Gold, which was sort of a tinted clear coat.

Moving on! The first construction work I did was to cut the bowling pin. I figured if I could get that done right, the rest would be easy. I used a carbon diamond saw for my rotary tool and carefully cut the line. To make it look nicer, I slightly beveled the edges of the beak to make them look cleaner and to get rid of any rough spots in the cut. I had a mishap cutting the neck hole in the pin, but it was easily repaired with superglue and sandpaper.

Next was the control rod, eye dish, torso, etc. I eventually had it all figured out.  One of the more annoying parts was the rivet in the neck for the pull string. I know some people don't use it, but I love how it looks, so I eventually had it shaved down enough that it didn't drag the string.

The eye mechanism ended up being way easier to make than I thought it would be. Getting the goalie mask to balance on the back of the bowling pin took more work.

One question....What is the right way to fasten the shoulder joints to the shoulder blocks? Bob's kit just uses a wiring head clamp pushed around the peg, but it falls off so easily. Did the show do this? I'd much rather put a screw with a washer on the end, if that's accurate. 

Anyhow, here's Mr. T. Robot! It took me 20 years, but I finally have them. He's fully functional, clean, and sarcastic!

Tom is posted in the Tom Servo sub-forum!




Aaron N.

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Re: My first bot build! Crow T. Robot lives!
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2016, 11:29:10 AM »
Fantastic work, sir! You'd never know the lime gold wasn't used.

Also, it's nice to see another GB builder!! I'm in the process of making a hero AND a semi-hero. No joke, it's taken five years to get where I am now, and I'm still not close to fished.

- Aaron

katsu

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Re: My first bot build! Crow T. Robot lives!
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2016, 10:59:53 PM »
Great bots! Love the pics!

sledge_riprock

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Re: My first bot build! Crow T. Robot lives!
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 06:20:30 PM »
"One question....What is the right way to fasten the shoulder joints to the shoulder blocks? Bob's kit just uses a wiring head clamp pushed around the peg, but it falls off so easily. Did the show do this? I'd much rather put a screw with a washer on the end, if that's accurate. "

Hey! Great job on your Crow and Servo. The electrical spade that hold the pin into the shoulder block is show accurate. The original desk lamp had a snap ring that held the pin in place. My guess is that they either lost the snap ring and found a quick substitute or they chose to use that electric spade to make it easier to remove and replace Crow's arms.

When attaching the pin with the spade you need to crimp the top edges around the groove in the pin with a pair of small pliers. Below are a couple of pics I'll try to add to the instruction guide. Once they're crimped they stay on quite well.

Also the paint job looks real good. I haven't heard anything about the Lime Gold Metal Flake being discontinued. I've been buying fairly large quantities of it online without any problems.  ;D


1984gojifan

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Re: My first bot build! Crow T. Robot lives!
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2016, 10:44:30 AM »
I used Inca gold for Crow once. :-\ I'm really disappointed that Hobby Lobby doesn't carry Gold Metalflake. >:( They don't even carry Purple Metalflake either. The ONE place that carries all the bot paints are my local Phil's Hobby Shop. The people at your local hobby shops are complete idiots if they don't know their stuff.
"Watch out for snakes!"

DefenderDarko

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Re: My first bot build! Crow T. Robot lives!
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 12:55:56 AM »
"One question....What is the right way to fasten the shoulder joints to the shoulder blocks? Bob's kit just uses a wiring head clamp pushed around the peg, but it falls off so easily. Did the show do this? I'd much rather put a screw with a washer on the end, if that's accurate. "

Hey! Great job on your Crow and Servo. The electrical spade that hold the pin into the shoulder block is show accurate. The original desk lamp had a snap ring that held the pin in place. My guess is that they either lost the snap ring and found a quick substitute or they chose to use that electric spade to make it easier to remove and replace Crow's arms.

When attaching the pin with the spade you need to crimp the top edges around the groove in the pin with a pair of small pliers. Below are a couple of pics I'll try to add to the instruction guide. Once they're crimped they stay on quite well.

Also the paint job looks real good. I haven't heard anything about the Lime Gold Metal Flake being discontinued. I've been buying fairly large quantities of it online without any problems.  ;D

Damn! I wish I would have known about that sooner. I already shaved the ends and tapped them for a small automotive washer/screw.

So was Crow always Lime/Metal Flake Gold? in some episodes, he clearly is. He has that greenish cast over the gold, but in a lot of the season 4/5 episodes, he definitely looks warmer. I don't think the Inca Gold existed back then as a custom color, but he looks too warm to be lime gold in a lot of the spots.

I still plan to get some cans of Metal Flake Gold online. It's technically a tinted clear-coat, so it should go over the Inca Gold just fine.

DefenderDarko

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Re: My first bot build! Crow T. Robot lives!
« Reply #6 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.