Author Topic: My First Bot Project: Carl the Nanite!  (Read 1618 times)

Danzilla93

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My First Bot Project: Carl the Nanite!
« on: May 07, 2017, 01:57:40 PM »
Hello there, won't you?  :)

I'm a LONG time lurker and a first time poster!  This amazing forum has been such a wonderful fountain of information for me over the last half decade, as I've begun to apply my art experience to my long time love of character creation, kit bashing, and, of course, anything and everything MST3K!  Over the years I've managed to accumulate a small but awesome collection of MST3K bot/prop reproductions, all but one of which I've built/am building myself!  The only one I didn't do myself was Crow... I have the great sledge_riprock to thank for him! ;)

In trying to find the perfect project to be my first post here, it became pretty obvious that it needed to be my first ever completed bot building project, way back from early 2014...

As far back as 2012, I began accumulating various bot parts whenever/wherever I could.  My big goal was to build my own lovable, huggable Gypsy, but, of course, that's easier said than done.  By mid 2013, I had accumulated all of her parts, but got cold feet about slicing into my long sought and finally acquired Century Loveseat.  While I worked up the cajones to attempt Gypsy, I decided I needed to tackle an easier, less complicated bot build, and after consulting this very site, decided to build my own Nanite!

The parts list was pretty simple: a VHS tape (of which I had many blanks), a cassette case (again, tons of those), film canister lids (just enough of those!), gutter clips (which I ordered off eBay... but man, the shipping...), and assorted odds and ends for the head and back.  I snagged some of those wooden square craft shapes from Michael's, which I used for the eye squares and the variously sized plates on the backs.

During the Sci-fi Era, the Nanites were operated by rods under a tabletop, and their heads were pulled back/up via string.  I didn't attach a string to mine, but I did want him to be able to look up like his brethren did in the show.  In the great tradition of "simple is better", I simply bent a piece of thin cardboard in half, and superglued it to the head and tape.  Bam, instant hinge!

This is where I hit my big roadblock, though.  I really wanted my Nanite to have an opening mouth, but I couldn't, for the life of me, find any duffle bag clips that matched the ones used on the show.  I was darn close to giving up and just gluing an immobile clip onto his face, when, like a bolt from the blue, inspiration struck.

After wondering around my house looking for SOMETHING, ANYTHING that could work for a mouth, I found one of those blue dental floss containers with the flipping lid.  Without further ado, I ripped the lid off and sliced it in half.  I hope mom didn't mind...

Anyway, my next challenge was finding a way to get the two halves to open and close while also getting them attached to the head.  The problem was the lower jaw, which, in order to open, couldn't be glued to the head or upper jaw.  My solution was to cut an old gift card in half and then tape it back together, creating a hinge.  I then glued the top of the card to the head, letting the lower half dangle off with the hinge aligned to the lower edge of the head.  Then the upper and lower jaws were glued on, and boom!  Opening and closing jaw!  I was very proud of myself!  ;D

I then hit the whole thing with a couple of coats of blue metallic paint, and then added some cuircut-esque details to the back and color to the eyes and mouth with a silver paint pen.

Looking back at the end result three years later, I'm still pretty happy with the result!  I'd love to make him a friend sometime, but I've got a few other MST3K projects to finish first...

For those interested, here are some shots of Carl the Nanite in various stages of development!  (And, in case you are wondering, I got the name from Robot Holocaust.  Tom's suggestion of the name "Carl" for the Plant Guy cracks me up every time!)


Ron

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Re: My First Bot Project: Carl the Nanite!
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 07:54:34 PM »
Love it... very nicely done!

Danzilla93

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Re: My First Bot Project: Carl the Nanite!
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 09:27:38 PM »
Thanks Ron!  ;D

I need to take some better, more recent pictures of him.  Hopefully they turn out clearer and less... sideways.

tjmagneto

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Re: My First Bot Project: Carl the Nanite!
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 10:24:23 PM »
My First Post!!! Great build, I've been wanting to build a few Nanites as of late. Can't have just one.

Danzilla93

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Re: My First Bot Project: Carl the Nanite!
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2017, 07:21:06 AM »
My First Post!!! Great build, I've been wanting to build a few Nanites as of late. Can't have just one.

Haha, right you are!  They're like awesome little kit bashed potato chips.  ;)

Thanks for your (first) comment!  I'm flattered that it was in my topic!  I wish you well in your epic Nanite building quest.  If you need any pointers, links to supplies, or closer pics of my Nanite for visual reference, just let me know!  ;D