met Craig Reinbrecht at the 2004 Chiller Theater convention. I commented
on his great robot and he said, "You should join the club and build
one". I said, Yeah, right. I have a high school knowledge of woodworking
and worked with fiberglass many years ago at an awful job I once had making
ugly industrial parts. This is a complex project and I really didn't think
I would be capable of doing anything of this magnitude. Then I got looking
at the robots people were making, and the very cool materials available
that I had never thought of using. This got me thinking. I guess the rest
is history. Thanks Craig!
I tried to form the bubble using the vacuform method described by several
B9 club members. I built a chamber and gave it a good shot, but with somewhat
disastrous results (click here).
I can see that temperature and pressure are very important. My kitchen
oven wasn't quite right for this. The toaster oven worked flawlessly for
all the other plastic parts though.
The torso was challenging but most certainly doable. The basic tapered
cylinder is made from mat board reinforced inside with 2 X 4s and bondo
around the arm hole inserts. The upper and lower domes have a skeleton
of wood and mat board which I slapped the bondo over and sanded (and
sanded and sanded). As someone else had stated, the textured paint hides
a lot of mistakes. There are of course several things I would do differently
if I were to do it again. I would somehow try to get the weight down
as it weighs (an estimated) 60 pounds (27 kilos). Not fun to move around.
The tread section was pretty easy, though making the wheels was boring,
time consuming, and boring. I was seeing 3 inch circles in my sleep for
The collar, radar and brain pieces were fun and quite easy after struggling
with the torso for three weeks.
guess it will always be a work in progress. This B9 took about 10 weeks
to construct and cost just under 700 bucks sans bubble.
Thanks to everyone whose web sites and methods made it a lot easier for
me. Kudos to Mike Joyce for keeping it all together!