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Old Gallery » Bot Building

Back in the prime of Mystery Science Theatre 3000′s reign on cable access television, “bot building” used to be all the rage.  Unfortunately, since the show is now gone and all the people have moved on (albeit to similar projects).

A few months ago, I decided I was going to try my hand at bot building… but instead of picking up replicas of the original bot parts (and spending $300-$500 on parts which I was likely to screw up) I decided to follow a different approach… since the original bots were made out of  “found items” that Joel and the others ran across and thought would be useful, I followed suit and made my bot out of junk store and Wal Mart items.

Since none of these were ever going to be… or even aspire to be… the “show” Servo (well, ok, maybe number 3, Red), I decided to take their designs in my own unique and radical way.  Each Servo is a custom work, borrowing design elements from the world around them, playing with the concept of Servo as a mass-produced bot (akin to the differences between R2D2 and the other RxDx units in Star Wars).

Mr. Hal Servo

image173His head is a modified version of the “Basketball” model of the Carousel Candy Dispensers.  His upper torso is made of a personal water jug (think water cooler jug, only smaller) turned upside down, which also gives him a convenient carrying handle on his back.  His skirt is a halloween candy bowl, although not quite the same as the infamous “Boo Bowl” the original servo used.  I used a + shaped PVC connector between the body and head for the puppetry, so his shoulders are mounted off the sides of the + to give him added stability.  Arms are made of washing machine hose, hands are doll hands, and the “engine” piece in yellow on his front is an original Ben 10 Omnitrix, hollowed out and painted yellow.  His head can turn (and raise) like in the show, and his mouth works via a string that runs out the bottom.  His arms do not move, however in exchange for the more rigid structure they gain posability, so I can have him hold up objects, wave at people, or even give high-fives.

 

Decepticon Servo

2010-08-11 13_32_01Decepticon Servo was a gift for a friend of mine’s birthday back in 2010.  I painted Servo’s normally clear dome again – but this time with gloss black, and from the inside, giving it an unusual and unsettling appearance.  Same skeleton as Hal with a few refinements to make the head more easily movable and to give better/more comfortable hand controls.  The chest area was left blank on purpose (he eventually got a large Decepticon decal placed there), so on the skirt I gave him an “engine” with an electronic feature – this one had a battery-operated light.  And yes, he has wings and a claw – this is an “evil” Servo, after all.  All those parts came from a G1 Omega Supreme.

 

 

“Red” Servo

2010-08-10 18_01_37My one attempt (so far) at building a “traditional” style Servo using the samenominal style of design.   He is unfinished, as I never really found acceptable substitutes for the shoulders or the engine block, but is still fully servicable as is.  His hoverskirt is adorned with rubber doorstops, which do a decent job of conforming to the slight curvature of the bowl AND looking like the trains.  I did not double-up on the neck joint on this due to a shortage of extra caps, but think with the extra length of the torso it’s not really needed.  Like all my Servos, he trades his bendy spring arms for tubing and a posable endoskeleton giving him significant improvements of durability and abuse.