Author Topic: KTMA Crow  (Read 7327 times)

OB10

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KTMA Crow
« on: February 22, 2015, 12:31:29 AM »
Okay, so I'm working on a KTMA Crow.  I know there's not a lot of information on the KTMA bots available, and right now it looks like sol.semo.edu/mst3k/botbuilding is down, so if there were some pics only posted there that I didn't download, I can't find them.  A couple of the pics seem to be of replicas.  The most useful info I've found so far is at  http://quartus.net/nbridges/bots/crow/ ; they have a bunch of vintage low res photos posted.  There are some other pics at http://www.mst3ktemple.com/ouch1.html that are also somewhat useful.

From the pics posted above and the KTMA episodes and bonus vids posted on youtube... I have some observations and questions, if anyone knows.

It looks like Crow doesn't have the shiny Testors topcoat.  Was he just given the basic gold paint, or have the photos and videos just deteriorated that much over time?  It really looks to me like he just has the regular gold undercoat as his final coat.

His upper arms seem to be tied on to the Floralier with white string, presumably the same type operating his jaw.

Lower arms and claws.  For a long time I thought he just had upper arms.  But from some of the stills, videos and screen caps I took it seems that he does have lower arms and hands.  The 3rd picture down the left side on quartus.net shows his lower arm (barely).  Some of the pics look like just the claws are sticking out the front of the elbow and the rest is back of the elbow, presumably to manipulate the arm/claw.  The small pics on www.mst3ktemple.com make it look like they may have just mounted the fanny pincher through the elbow joint, and apparently with some amount of pivoting.

Quartus.net says the upper arms were 1/2" CPVC.  (True?)  The top left picture on quartus with his jaw sort of askew seems to have the lower arm  almost sort of dangling from the upper arm, maybe just the fanny pincher taped on?

Quartus says that he has the Crown bowling pin.  Are there any pics that could confirm this?  Some of the screen caps have a straight dark shadow at the bottom of the logo area that would seem to confirm it, but most of what I'm seeing is probably the elastic going through the top of his beak.

Some screen caps I took look like they took 2 bowling pins to make Crow's beak, because he has an underbite and the lower jaw sticks into the back of the main bowling pin.  Wonder how they hinged his jaw.

From some angles his beak has a really weird look to it.  I'm presuming that's from having the elastic mounted too far to the front, torquing his face out of shape.  But sometimes it's really quite distorted.

For at least one episode, his spine tube was really long.  As he walks in back of Servo, he extends his neck quite far.

I though I had some other observations and questions, but the info and pics at the 2 above websites seem to have answered a lot of them.  But any other observations, clarifications, corrections or answers would be appreciated.  Any other websites I've overlooked would also be welcome.

Obi-Bob
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 06:30:00 PM by OB10 »

OB10

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2015, 01:45:58 PM »
Okay, after looking at a buncha video, this site, other sites, then starting this post, I finally found this thread again:  http://www.botbuilders.info/index.php?topic=16.msg20#msg20   ::)

I'm still interested in any other info people have, though.   ;)

Obi-Bob

Ron

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 08:41:09 AM »

The SOL site is back up (as of 02/23/15), so you should be able to access the photos there.

Quote
"It looks like Crow doesn't have the shiny Testors topcoat.  Was he just given the basic gold paint, or have the photos and videos just deteriorated that much over time?  It really looks to me like he just has the regular gold undercoat as his final coat."

KTMA Crow is just painted flat gold... no Testors (that's a Season 1 and on modification).  Make sure to include lots of paint runs and finger prints...  it makes it 100% authentic since Joel painted the bots just hours before he had to be at KTMA to film to pilot ;)

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"His upper arms seem to be tied on to the Floralier with white string, presumably the same type operating his jaw."

White cotton twine is what he used.  Use the same twine for the mouth control and attaching the arms to the body.

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"Lower arms and claws.  For a long time I thought he just had upper arms.  But from some of the stills, videos and screen caps I took it seems that he does have lower arms and hands.  The 3rd picture down the left side on quartus.net shows his lower arm (barely).  Some of the pics look like just the claws are sticking out the front of the elbow and the rest is back of the elbow, presumably to manipulate the arm/claw.  The small pics on www.mst3ktemple.com make it look like they may have just mounted the fanny pincher through the elbow joint, and apparently with some amount of pivoting."

I never ended up putting Fanny Pinchers on my KTMA Crow, but it's as simple as drilling a hole large enough to allow the rod that forms the "body" of the pincher to pass through (about 1/2' from the "wrist" end of the PVC)... disassemble the pincher... then reassemble... and there you have it.

Quote
"Quartus.net says the upper arms were 1/2" CPVC.  (True?)  The top left picture on quartus with his jaw sort of askew seems to have the lower arm  almost sort of dangling from the upper arm, maybe just the fanny pincher taped on?"

I use CPVC on my Crow builds, but it's in no way show accurate.  Remember, Quartus lives in Canada... so CPVC is the most common he'd find at the local hardware store.  On my build, I believe I just used 1/2 PVC.  At the end of the day, no one is really going to know, so use whatever you feel looks best.

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"Quartus says that he has the Crown bowling pin.  Are there any pics that could confirm this?  Some of the screen caps have a straight dark shadow at the bottom of the logo area that would seem to confirm it, but most of what I'm seeing is probably the elastic going through the top of his beak."

If I recall correctly, Quartus used a Crow pin because it was cheaper than using an Empire pin... it was just a pet project for him, so he didn't want to burn an E pin for something he might sell or just put in a closet.

Side note: He also used bottom injection pins for the shoulders (which again is cheaper than using Crows or Empires) on his KTMA Servo.  I used an Empire for the beak, and neck injected Crowns on my projects for authenticity's sake.
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"Some screen caps I took look like they took 2 bowling pins to make Crow's beak, because he has an underbite and the lower jaw sticks into the back of the main bowling pin.  Wonder how they hinged his jaw."
The pin is one pin, cut in a hurry, the night before they had to shoot the pilot.  The strange "bending" that Crow's beak does is because the cut only goes back so far, and the "hinge" is just relying on the plastic of the pin, no additional hardware was added (to my knowledge).

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"From some angles his beak has a really weird look to it.  I'm presuming that's from having the elastic mounted too far to the front, torquing his face out of shape.  But sometimes it's really quite distorted."

The elastic is mounted slightly further forward than in later Crows.  I wouldn't replicate this on your bot unless you're looking for absolute screen accuracy.  Personally, I just did my KTMA beak like I'd do a CC/SciFi era beak.  Even Joel didn't notice the difference.

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"For at least one episode, his spine tube was really long.  As he walks in back of Servo, he extends his neck quite far."
I'd chalk that up to the PVC not having something to limit it's range of movement.  The original KTMA Crow just had Trace's hand stopping the PVC from sliding up through the top of the Floralier.

If there are any other questions I can answer, just ask!

- Ron

fkane123

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2015, 02:20:04 PM »
How on earth do you know all of that, Ron? Something tells me there is more to our esteemed host here than meets the eye.

OB10

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 11:11:14 PM »
Here are some screen caps from... some video or other I got from youtube.  This version, at least, seems to have used 2 bowling pins.  He has a pronounced underbite which wouldn't happen if it was all one pin and not cut all the way through, and the shadow seems to clearly show 2 separate pin pieces, the lower jaw of which seems to be from a second pin and inserted into the main pin.  The weird top view of him has a really weird reflection on the upper part of his beak, but it still looks like a weirdly shaped pin.  Might just be caused from the elastic distortion of the upper part of his beak, and maybe from the studio lighting choices.  The pin seems to have a really weird shape, but that's probably caused by the lens distortion and elastic distortion.  The other shot is where Crow is "extending his neck" when he walked behind Servo.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24502629@N04/16442991537/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24502629@N04/16027965094/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24502629@N04/16442978697/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24502629@N04/16650286125/

A lot of the screen grabs I'm looking at have his lower jaw kind of pointing to his left.  Probably irrelevant.  I wonder what they used for a hinge.  But if they cut a 2nd pin for his lower jaw giving him an underbite, maybe they just shoved his lower jaw into the main pin, and used the white cotton string to keep the lower jaw tensioned into the main pin?  That way they probably wouldn't need a hinge.

Funny to put so much thought (using the term loosely) and research into something that was just tossed together.  Ah, the joy of props!   :D

And thanks for the awesome info, Ron!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 11:13:20 PM by OB10 »

Ron

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2015, 10:31:38 AM »
How on earth do you know all of that, Ron? Something tells me there is more to our esteemed host here than meets the eye.

Honestly, it's just from years of being in the hobby and asking other builders a MILLION questions.  I've also been lucky enough to pick Joel's brain directly on a few occasions about questions relating to bot building.

treadwell

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2015, 10:11:45 PM »

KTMA Crow is just painted flat gold... no Testors (that's a Season 1 and on modification).

A little off topic here, but did you notice in the movie, when Crow is picking a hole in the hull and looks up at camera (Mike POV), the soap dish is plain gold while the rest of him has the Testors? Unique head with a hinge in the neck never used again, so the gold dish never appears again TMK.

OB10

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 07:18:18 PM »
That's really funny, Treadwell.  I've seen the movie a buncha times and I don't know if I noticed that while watching it.  One more reason to watch it again soon.

A couple more questions for Those Of You Who Know:

  • Is the pic on the upper left of Quartus' site, "Closeup of KTMA Crow" a replica or the original?

  • The string attaching the arm that's visible seems to be not centered on the edge of the floralier.  Presuming that that's intentional, would that mean his shoulder/upper arm mounting holes are just a little back of center, sort of like a human's?  Simple enough to rotate the "front" for the "back" if they should be closer to the front, though.  So, intentional, or just done in a hurry?

  • Are the grid pieces of the floralier attached (to the "top" of the vases)?  Hard to tell from the Quartus photo, but to me it kinda looks like they are not attached.

  • Do the fanny pincher assemblies pivot at the elbow?  If they did, it seems there would need to be an elliptical hole for the fanny pinchers to pass through.  And then they would be looser and floppier, and more of a nuisance to the puppeteer.  The few oh-so-tiny photos I've seen have the grips coming right out of the elbow area, but there's one sketch where Crow is giving Joel a haircut, so I'm presuming that the tube of the fanny pinchers can slide through, at least.

Obi-Bob

Ron

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 10:09:29 AM »

KTMA Crow is just painted flat gold... no Testors (that's a Season 1 and on modification).

A little off topic here, but did you notice in the movie, when Crow is picking a hole in the hull and looks up at camera (Mike POV), the soap dish is plain gold while the rest of him has the Testors? Unique head with a hinge in the neck never used again, so the gold dish never appears again TMK.






« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 10:13:49 AM by Ron »

Ron

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 10:24:11 AM »
Quote
Is the pic on the upper left of Quartus' site, "Closeup of KTMA Crow" a replica or the original?

As far as I can tell, that's a picture from the MST3K Scrapbook VHS tape.

Quote
The string attaching the arm that's visible seems to be not centered on the edge of the floralier.  Presuming that that's intentional, would that mean his shoulder/upper arm mounting holes are just a little back of center, sort of like a human's?  Simple enough to rotate the "front" for the "back" if they should be closer to the front, though.  So, intentional, or just done in a hurry?

By Joel's own admission, the bots were completed just a few hours before they filmed the pilot... so it's safe to assume it was just done in a hurry.

Quote
Are the grid pieces of the floralier attached (to the "top" of the vases)?  Hard to tell from the Quartus photo, but to me it kinda looks like they are not attached.

I don't believe that the arrangement grids are present on KTMA Crow.  Their addition was likely part of Trace's later seasons modifications.

Quote
Do the fanny pincher assemblies pivot at the elbow?  If they did, it seems there would need to be an elliptical hole for the fanny pinchers to pass through.  And then they would be looser and floppier, and more of a nuisance to the puppeteer.  The few oh-so-tiny photos I've seen have the grips coming right out of the elbow area, but there's one sketch where Crow is giving Joel a haircut, so I'm presuming that the tube of the fanny pinchers can slide through, at least.

To me, it looks like Trace's arm hidden inside the little smock Crow is wearing.



The Comedy Channel era version looks like it had a little more engineering put into it ;)


OB10

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2015, 05:46:28 PM »
Excellent pics!  And yeah, that's the KTMA haircut shot I was thinking of.  I haven't seen the episode for awhile.  Does it look like Crow's hand is coming right out of the elbow?  It's hard to tell with his smock.

I wonder how they attached the hockey mask under the dougboy helmet.  Probably just bolted onto the back of the pin.  I doubt the helmet strap would keep the helmet on while he moves around.  Not that anyone is probably too likely to want to replicate that particular version of him, though.

On the side view of him, it looks like his lower jaw is set into the main body of the bowling pin.  Probably just some slop in the jaw hinge, I suppose.  Also you can see the nylon thread from his jaw doesn't feed into his neck, it just disappears at the bottom of the screen.  Maybe the face tilt mechanism or cable got in the way of his jaw string.

Obi-Bob

treadwell

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2015, 04:06:14 AM »
In these stills I'm not seeing what I thought I saw previously (shrug). Maybe it was the lighting.

DaZero

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2015, 05:00:28 PM »
So I found something curious. Im not sure if its accurate or not, and the real ones are easy enough to find, but apprentally theres a Mattel game called "Bounce Off" with like 10-20 balls or so in the same color as the old school Gnip Gnop colors.

No idea what size they are, so maybe theyre the size of the (maybe) smaller than 38 mm gnip gnop balls, or maybe not.

Of course, even if they are, for 11.99 you get more balls than you know what to do with.....or for $20-30-ish you get the old school Gnip Gnop balls, the board itself you can use for the KTMA SOL, KTMA/CC S1 Crow eye's, and a ball the right color for KTMA Gypsy's eye, and Gnip Gnop was made by Parker Brothers, so unless Mattel resused molds from them, who knows if theyre the right shade and/or size.

Still, if they are, theyre there for cheap instore at Target for anyone who needs them NOW.




Dont know how useful this is, but figured it couldnt hurt to share. Didnt seem like it deserved its own thread cluttering up the board, especially if they dont match, but figured it my help you with KTMA Crow.

Besides, aside from me finding the Bounce Off game on mine own, Im mainly just rehashing another post where I quoted the board here on Gnip Gnop anyway, so Im not the one doing the real hard research here :p

P.S. What are the sizes on the new school yellow & I think orange colored Gnip Gnop balls? Are they just the same size or is it a retool?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 05:05:45 PM by DaZero »

crowtrobotfan4

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2015, 02:35:51 PM »
Here's my ktma crow

Ron

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Re: KTMA Crow
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2015, 08:23:47 AM »
Slicked back hair... nice ;)