Nice! I need to redo the jaw of my gpc2 as well, I could never figure out a good control mechanism for it, not even the oven mitt method worked for me.
I think they used a pistol grip setup.
Yea, I tried a few different things too! This really turned out to be sort of a pain after a while, and I had to enlist the help of my beautiful and talented wife to help sew the “mermaid cover” for me! I wanted something I could display , but something that had the puppet controls also. I’ll post a better pic once I finish up the lens and paint , but I went with the elastic string and pulley for the controls. Simple enough and I was able to display her in a cool way
At some point I’ll redo the jaw….the newer pales are alittle different tho! I couldn’t find any for several weeks, and as soon as I found some it looks like there has been some slight changes to them. They have alittle grove on the side, and the rear has a smaller “lip”
Yes, the “pistol” hand controller was so cool! I tried to make one and I couldn’t get it quite right.
A better view of the mouth . A loop of elastic string runs from the top to the the bottom jaw. Similar to Crows mouth assembly . A pulley string runs from the bottom of the jaw, and is used to open and shut the mouth . As of now , it’s not attached , as it just sort of hangs ,
Put in a spring that’s just strong enough to close the mouth and you can make it talk with inertia.
Tom Servo’s been sitting disassembled in my garage for 4 months but I finally started assembling him this weekend, so I could use him for our upcoming fanficisode production. I’ve been putting off working on him because it’s been a disaster of a project, where every little thing that could possibly go wrong has gone wrong, and every time I’ve tried to fix something I’ve only made it worse.
The hoverskirt went together fine, but after fully assembling it, I left it sitting in a box on the other side of the garage with the other white parts. But I guess being in the same room with a dryer created enough of a static charge on the plastic that it managed to suck up every damn microparticle of black primer spraypaint hanging in the air, all the way from the other side of the garage, so as soon as I’d finished primering all the darker pieces, I discovered the entire thing was covered in ugly black smears. (I managed to wipe it down and clean it up using paint thinner, but it still has a few smudges especially around the edges of the train pieces that I couldn’t get rid of completely.
I already owned an original screen-accurate 1990’s snack dispenser head (which are now difficult to find) that I bought decades ago to build a paper maché Tom Servo to take to the MST3K Movie premiere when I was 18, but 18 year-old me used crazy glue to glue the dome together, which of course left it absolutely covered with ugly fingerprints.
I tried to spray a bunch of acrylic lacquer on both the inside and outside of the dome in the hopes of either obscuring the fingerprints or frosting the plastic like the modern Tom puppets, but it only halfway worked, and unfortunately, in the process of doing this Tom took a piece of paper towel to the face which fused itself to his dome, and trying to scrape it off with an xacto blade only served to scratch the hell out of the surface. So now he’s got a massive blemish right in the very front of his face that I can’t remove, and I’m afraid anything else I do to it at this point will just make it worse.
I also ended up with a little bit of silver spill-over around the mouth area, which I figured wasn’t a big deal, as I could just paint over it. But as soon as I started air-brushing on the metallic red, I saw that it showed up quite distinctly as a completely different color. I then put down coat after coat in this area, thinking that it would eventually match up with the rest of the paint job, but after blowing through an entire bottle of Testors, it’s now lumpy and paint-streaked and looks like crap, again, right smack dab in the most visible part of the bot.
Those were my painting problems, but I’ve also run into all sorts of issues with the mouth articulation. I’m not sure if I accidentally broke something 26 years ago when I was originally putting him together, but the lower jaw dislocates and will stick 3/4 of the way closed unless I manually reach up and reseat it, which is not at all helpful if you’re trying to use him as an actual puppet, as I intend to. There’s very little room on the underside of the snack dispenser, but I rigged up an internal spring mechanism that helps pull it back into default position, but this now means that the mouth is extremely noisy to operate, and it still dislocates and jams every so often.
And when my 90° angle bit broke attaching his engine block round about midnight tonight (my fault for using it on a higher powered drill, but it was getting late and my low torque cordless was dead) I decided enough was enough, so he’s now sitting in time-out until I can order a replacement from Amazon and no longer want to smash his stupid gumball face in with a pipe wrench.
the testers red is almost translucent black primer is to dark you need a red primer and too many coats gets you a marron red . his paint is very hard to work with , the easiest way i have found is to use testers red lacquer as a base coat then a light ruby red .
Testors can be tough to work with ! I usually use a primer , followed by a “similar” color in a regular spray paint , then use the testors after. It’s still runny , so I always feel like I’m barely spraying anything on I’m really light coats . It’s super frustrating!
I want to say I used Colonial Red on my Tom , then a coat of the ruby red .
His Dome looks actually pretty close to the new screen used some, IMO. Krylon makes a “frosted glass” spray for windows , I thought about using to disguise the crack I have on mine.
You’ll get him back up and on his…….bowl
While I’m waiting for my right-angle bit to arrive, I did make some minor modifications to Tom’s hands. I drilled a hole through the core very slowly until I just nicked the edge of the surface, and then dropped a bunch of cheap Daiso rare earth magnets down the hole and sealed the end with UV resin (which you can also pick up cheap at Daiso)
The end result is that Tom can now hold extremely lightweight props that are made out of metal or have a rare earth magnet taped/built into them. Unfortunately the magnets are still pretty weak, except at that one spot on the palm where they nick the surface, and are not strong enough to make the two hands stick to each other in a praying or two-handed carrying motion.
But it still could be useful, especially for any scene where you have to put something into or take something out of Tom’s hand without a camera edit.
I’m also going to be 3D printing an add-on part that glues/screws to the back of the arm between it and the flashlight shoulder (it’ll only be about 3mm thicker than normal on the outside) then slots through a 3/4" PVC pipe sized hole in the shoulder/barrel, when it is bolted in place to another piece with a horizontal crossbar that you can hook a rod or bit of coat hanger into to puppeteer his arms up and down. (I’m guesstimating the thickness of the barrel, so it may take a few tried to get the holes lines up, but once I do, I’ll share the files with anybody who wants them).
This will also mean that (theoretically) the arms can be swapped out after assembly if for some reason a skit demands that Tom temporarily be given Hercules pecs, or some other sort of specialized arms.
I’m also adding in a few extra mounting holes to the crossbar in case later on I or someone else want to do something fancy like add in actual servo motors or a lift bar.
Very very cool! Can’t wait to see the final assembly!
Ordered a couple of the pails - making one as a thank you gift as well - and on the website it’s the right dirt trap pattern, but isn’t what was delivered. Nice to see yours, i hope that i can find buckets/pails.
Curious if you recall tinting or placing a specific gel in the lens…?
Yes! Gary was cool enough to allow us to host the booklet here! It’s long, long out of print. The booklet has great information and is a fun look at how our favorite bots were assembled !
I also recommend checking out some of Gary’s bot building YouTube videos . It’s as in-depth of a “bot build” tutorial as you will find!
Hey! That’s me!