Bot Building - Crow

Here is a second post on the bits needed to even think about building, this time on your own snar-casm pal, Crow T Robot.

As with the GPC post, this isn’t a how to or a build diary, this is just to get some info out there for folks to realize exactly what you’re up against when deciding if you want to start to invest the time and energy (ie the dollars) for parts, hardware, tools, and the wrinkles on your face.

With the virtual trip to come at the time of Season 13’s first short, I’ll also try to get a Servo thread here before then so folks can appreciate these guys and other works of building, their history (a bit), and how to see beyond the parts and potentially go at your own.

First up, Crow’s head:



Crow’s body:


Crow’s arms:


Crow’s color:


Crow hardware and tools:

Also necessary for Crow’s arms is the same pipe insulation/tubing that forms GPCs lips, and the outer edging of Servo’s bowl. You’ll learn to appreciate the protection that this offers Crow as well as anyone/thing in his immediate vicinity at times :wink:

I didn’t really have to touch on this so much for GPC, but with Crow although we don’t have any electronics concerns, there is also a range of hardware and tool needs that I can quickly mention.

Again depending on your approach, you’ll need or want various lengths and strengths of pvc tubing, connectors, caps and appropriate glues and cement, etc.

Styrene stock is also needed to replace arm lengths, construct control systems for his eye and mouth mechanisms, and depending on your needs around display or use.

Other needed bits include elastic thread, upholstery or carpet or quilting thread, electrical tape, and scrap styrene sheet or stock depending on how you prefer to create any of his mechanisms.

An additional paint is needed depending on which Crow you are working on. Aside from a flat black (main pvc color and interior of eye cowl and bowling pin), you may want a semi-gloss, or satin black for the irrigation tubing and the interior cavity between the Floralier plates if building a later season bot. I like the Floralier interior to be flat black. I would prefer to have his main gold, but with that paint being so rare, I switch it up. ‘Always… no. Never forget to check your references’ (and keep them consistent.)

For additional tools, you will absolutely need a pop rivet tool and rivets, a hot melt or hot glue gun, various cutting tools that are easily controlled to cut compound plastic surfaces (cutting vs melting here), scuffing pads/steel wool (that Floralier plastic is funky), and appropriate eye, hand, and lung protection.

You’ll want accurate measuring tools and good reference for his beak and placement of his nest, eyes, and how to align his head to his body.

As with the other threads, I may open this up and discuss his other looks, but for now the above addresses his most common look, ‘the one we love’.


And last, a word on rarity.

If you were to give me this list and ask what you could have this week, and what you may have to wait years on… you wouldn’t like the reply.

Floraliers, tubing, and general hardware is not a problem as I type away.

The rest… is very difficult.

But you might have heard that there are a lot of folks out there building and they have to be acquiring them somehow, right? Well yeah, of course. You may not want to read how long some have been looking for and sourcing parts, and the luck that often plays into discoveries.

Well what about molding, casting, vacuforming, or alternate sources? Glad you asked. Absolutely there are folks who do this. But it’s not always so simple. Absolutely I’d be offering parts and duplicates to prevent loss or damage or etc to the donor pieces (which, after only a short bit of time, were how the bots were built for the show- these pieces were rare then!)

But I can’t duplicate what I don’t have. For our buddy here, it means I can not do anything with the Wallace Leisure Products lamp above (you will notice that I didn’t even bother to mention its name). I’ve got things going for most of his other parts, and will have more as my garage electrical upgrade allows me to safely do so (writing this in March 2022, hoping by this same Summer)

Well, what about the folks who do have the parts, or who have? Folks have known these are rare, for a very long time. But, well I guess ‘they got theirs and didn’t care’ has been come across a few times , and some just never thought this would endure as a hobby or that the hunt would become so difficult. Getting and using actual parts on their builds (some are finding out that wasn’t so bright, but… anyway) wasn’t an issue for folks, for various reasons, some not as nice or understandable. There’s more to this of course, but just understand, even the best intent of those who want all of this out there can not work around certain obstacles. But we’re gonna keep trying. :wink:


Sigh ok one more thing- a word on 3D printing-

You’ll often hear folks jabber about 3D printing as a solution to many of the needs around sourcing, and in short… this is often an ignorant hope offered to the bot gods.

Folks don’t understand what it takes to produce, costs involved, and what it means to absolutely nail a part in 3D prior to printing in whatever form (full disclosure, I’ve worked at Lucasfilm and am now at Nike, I have access to machinery and processes most don’t even know exist. At home I have a raise3d n2 plus. I will not print parts for bots)

The fidelity of dimension, tolerance, detail and surface quality is beyond your hobby modeler and beyond your even pro-sumer scanners and printers. I work with the output of an Artec Leo and… no.

You are much better off with exceptional vacuformed and mold/cast pieces. In bouts of wishfulness, I have considered investing in a home injection molding set-up as well.


Yes, so many of these parts have become insanely hard to find ! I have a small collection of original parts, that has been slowly growing over the last couple of years , and many I can’t/won’t use on a build because they are so so hard to find ……


would anybody be willing to take some measurements of the hockey mask element for crow?


Hi Derek. Question regarding the paints. It appears the Testors brand is no more. Are there viable alternatives to the lime gold out there that you could recommend?


Although I don’t have any suggestions for the kind of paint to use here, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the forums!

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It looks like you can still find it, although it’s probably getting more difficult.

This place showed up on google, for example:

I finished mine a couple of years ago, and I ended up sourcing it from several small hobby shops around the U.S.

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Good find. Thanks for sharing! How many cans would you say it takes for a finished product?


Although with the show’s production needs, I’ve got to think they’ve found a different solution.

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Bob Bukoski recommended six. I may have used a couple more than that.


Thank you!

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If you paint the fella with reg’lar gold style paint first, you can coat the top and get away with only one can. It’s only needed to make him have that greenishnessness and that effect is wasted on deeper layers.

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So a cheap gold to really coat it, then the Lime Gold for a finish coat or two?


On the facebook Botbuilders group someone brought up a WalMart version which looks fairly close, if SLIGHTLY too green.

I don’t know. That wasn’t my experience.

The spray enamel is really runny and Crow has a lot of parts to cover.

A solid gold base coat is essential though.