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6322 Views 21 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  UnOrthodOx
Yeah, I've been mostly quiet for quite a while. My main project is on hold due to weather (Extremely large), and I've just been tinkering away in the Garage.

Bob began as a desire to animate a static prop from the laboratory last year.

YouTube - Lab Test

Which, amounted to Fred being placed under a sheet with a flicker cirtuit to cast the shadows of the skeleton onto the blacklight lit sheet.

The kids loved it. BUT, I wanted it to sit up and scream.

The problems amounted to:

Nowhere in the setup to have/hide a compressor. This was going to need to be mechanical.

Fred needs to be up in the yard days after the lab goes, so it either needed to be easily removed, or a new skelly.

I really didn't have the cash to be buying another bucky, and I was worried about moving that much weight with bungies (Knowing what I know now, that wouldn't have been a problem)

So...I decided to create Bob.

I really don't know where I've read on all these things.

Started with some simple EMT conduit to serve as the lever to raise/lower Bob, and his backbone.

I read somewhere on here about the pipe insulation and zippy ties making a backbone. I traced out Fred's ribcage as close as I could, and made a little template out of cardboard.

A hole for the pipe was drilled into some PVC, and the conduit threaded through that. This PVC was set into larger PVC for the swivel, easily enough, and the bungies were strapped to the legs of the table. 1 side to raise, the other to stop Bob from slamming all the way down.

Adding a gate latch, and Bob sat up on command. Much to the pleasure of my daughter.

With the basic mechanics worked out (though we need to adjust some lengths and minor things on those bungies), it was time to proceed with constructing Bob.


I've had some experience with mache, but this is, by far, the most ambitious we've gotten with it. Standard newspaper foundation. Paperclay topcoat...

I had to add the head, because it just didn't feel right talking to a headless torso (yes, I talk to it...mostly cussing when things aren't going well). And, the smiley face just makes me laugh. Knowing that will be underneath when I skulpt the skull over top...:D

It's been a long, slow process. Doing things in stages. I have no doubt I could do a second better, but we're learning quite a bit, and I'm enjoying the challenge so far. I might just be making my own skellies from now on, since all the little mistakes will be covered up when we corpse it anyway.

Last night, we added the shoulders. Did not want these hinged, but that would have been easily possible. He's starting to turn out.

Since the weather calls for rain all week, good chance I'll be working on Bob instead of my other projects this week. So, hope to have progress soon.
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Got the forearms done, and laid the groundwork for the skull and hand sculpting.

Got to tweak the paperclay recipe a tad, then we'll be ready to go.

Hope to have the torso completed next weekend.

My little helper.

Thankfully the glue I use is easy cleanup with water...

Hand groundwork.

Elbow hinges.



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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bob looks great! Are the lifting mechanics just a bunge? No air or motor? How is it released? How is it reset? Can you post more information on your lifting configuration and maybe a video of it in action? Thanks! Can't wait to see the finished prop.
Video after he's corpsed and dries, for sure. I'll see if I can do it earlier, but I need to adjust some of the bungie lengths, and etc. (I got a nifty 'build your own bungie' set that lets you swap connectors and lengths)

I can get more pics tonight.

Just bungie, because the classroom where he's going to be has nowhere to hide an air compressor, and didn't want the tripping hazard of the air lines running around the walking path. Theoretically could have hung them overhead and ran them through the fire exit, but there was issues with leaving said exit open and disabling the alarm...(no windows)

In all simplicity, Bob is a catapult.

Bob is armed manually, pushing him back/down into a gate latch under the table. From there, there are 2 bungies. The first pops him up, the second acts as a stop preventing the inevitable face plant. This second also helps keep him straight, thanks to how the pole bends. This gives the action a bit of bounce, which will hopefully help shake off the cloth that's going to be covering him.

The trigger is going to be a foot switch for the mad scientist/igor to activate. It pulls a small block and tackle rig that pulls open the gate latch. I have the foot switch on order. (it will also turn on a set of speakers, which will have a mp3 player attached to them playing a scream track on loop, so you get the sound as well, and when released, the screaming stops)

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Wow that's awesome. Did you make the rib template freehand? I'd like to see a tut on that...it beats rolling newspaper for hours on end lol.
THIS was a trial run... I'm planning a pdf download you can print off and trace yourself. ;)

But, I wrapped some newspaper around my bucky, stuck a light in him, and traced the ribs as best I could, and when that looked like crapola, we freehanded a bit. :p (somehow we came out with an extra rib...)

also, what role did the gas can play in the paper mache part of this build?
It was the nearest junk of the right height to hold that bone in place while the glue dried. A wiser man would have just laid Bob down....:eek:

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Project BYOB is definately on my to-do list. ;) (build your own bob)

Anyhow, I have some better pics of the mechanism, but have been side-tracked due to a family reunion this weekend. I was volunteered to cook for 24 people...3 days, breakfast, lunch and dinner... nice to give me notice...

We'll update after the weekend.

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Ok, I've made the motion video, FINALLY.

He's not fully corpsed, the trigger is temporary (a couple pulleys with make it operate on a footswitch), and there's still no legs or sound, but you get the idea.

YouTube - Bob Motion

For more detailed photos of the mechanism, you can head over here.
He doesn't throw off a sheet just now, but the latex on him is still all rubbery, which will lessen once we stain him.

YouTube - Bob Motion 2

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The latest from Bob.

I love Bob's face. Though, it needs teeth. Couldn't find our super glue to give him any last night.

I'm actually most pleased with how Bob's hands turned out. None of those annoying springs and wires you have to fuss with on a Bucky.

My camera sucks. (ok, it's broken, lacks a fully manual mode for me to fix it, and keeps messing up exposure lengths) I'll get some flash pictures later.


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I've modified my plans a bit on that thanks to some challenges in the final corpsing on Bob.

There still will be a template, but I'm going to be giving some detailed measurements as well, because it IS being difficult to get it to print out properly, and I think I actually have a BETTER means of doing this now!

I had some tools stolen which has put a delay in my plans of starting Bob 2.0, but we're nearing the ability to replace them and get going. Couple weeks, I think. And, I'm pretty certain Bob 2.0 will be looking much better, as far as the ribcage is concerned.
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