I 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 a week.

The collar, radar and brain pieces were fun and quite easy after struggling with the torso for three weeks.

I 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!

~ Lew