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Animatronic step by step build

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Animatronic step by step build

Postby Churchill Creations » Thu May 05, 2011 5:39 pm

Hi all,

Thought it might help some people if I posted a step by step figure build. As always if there's any questions then please ask.

If you haven't already seen the FAQ thread which includes all the information you need regarding equipment and electronics required then here's the link... http://www.armortek.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3144

The Build...

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I've recently started using the Towerpro MG90 servos for the arms, these are not only high torque but also have metal gears making them very tough if knocked. The only issue is that these are a little too large for the main body moulding so you will need to remove the belly if you decide to use them.
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These are also fractionally taller than the servos I used to fit so you will need to dremel or file out another 1mm from the moulding as shown above, this could also be taken from the bottom if prefered.
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Ok, onto the main neck servo. Again I have recently upgraded my choice of servo to the Corona CS-929MG that as above has good torque but more importantly metal gears. You will need to remove the mounting lug from one side as shown above.
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A quick dry fit shows everything fits as it should. The main neck servo can be fixed with a small blob of Araldite either side of the servo while the arm servos can be screwed into place.
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OK, onto the smaller of the two neck servos, this time a 3.7g DYSO201. Once again you will need to trim off the mounting lugs, but on both sides this time.
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Position it in the moulding so the top of the case is level with the moulding as shown above. I use a small blob of Araldite each side then slide it into position, this is so in the event of a failure it will come out relatively easy.
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Now probably the most fiddly part of the build is the wire pushrod to the neck. Use the .5mm wire and bend a tight loop into the end using some fine needle nose pliers. The tighter you can get this loop, the less free play you will have in the finished figure. In the small neck moulding there are two small holes, you will need to bend a U shape out of the same .5mm wire as illustrated above.
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OK, that's it for part one, the next instalment should be added tomorrow. As usual any questions then ask away.
Animatronic kits and completed figures.
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Postby John Fitzsimons » Fri May 06, 2011 10:32 pm

Hi Sym, Got my torsos today and have the servos. Looking forward to the next installment.
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Postby Churchill Creations » Sun May 08, 2011 6:31 pm

Hi John,

Glad you got the parts OK, I'll hopefully add the next stage tonight.

Thanks,
Sym.
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Postby Churchill Creations » Sun May 15, 2011 1:59 pm

Part 2... sorry about the wait it's been a bit crazy this week.

The Build Continues...

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Moving onto the main neck servo again - Corona CS-929MG - choose the 2 arm servo horn from the accessories pack. In the accessories that came with your figure kit you should find 2x short screws, these need to be trimmed down a little as per the picture. Also drill out the holes in the horn to allow these screws to pass through.
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Remove the 2 screws and offer the servo horn up to the main neck moulding (slight confession here, I really should have show this step before fitting the blue micro servo). Using the holes already drilled into the horn drill into the base of the moulding for the screws to screw into. Sorry about the Grammar, my old boss always told me never to use the same word twice in any one sentence!
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Screw the horn onto its servo and then rotate so you can screw the neck assembly into position. If you are a belt and braces type then use some Araldite or similar at the same time. It is important that before you fit any horns to their servos that you centralise the servo either with a receiver, servo tester or if you're a real animal turn by hand to gauge the middle (I wouldn't recommend this last method as it can chew the gears on smaller servos).
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Next to the arms. You will need to remove an arm from your donor figure, I'm not going to lie to you they don't like being separated. I usually persuade a large bladed screwdriver through the top of a shoulder, push it as far into the body as I can, then prise the two upper body halves apart with brute force!

The kit was designed around Dragon figures but you can sometimes use BBi, Ignite, 21C and several others. The main thing to look out for is that the shoulder is a single joint and not the double jounted affairs that some of the later figures incorporate. These should have a short stub, often with a disc moulded into the end, you will need to trim this down so the 6mm aluminium tube can slide over, right up to the arm. Don't fit the tube yet though.

Now it is very important to keep the linkage that you are about to create as short as possible due to the tight confines of the inner body. Take a bearing and place it over the Dragon arm stub after it has been trimmed as above. Trim off the excess so the stub is as long as the bearings thickness, then remove the bearing. You can now glue the 6mm tube over the arm stub, to avoid the shoulder joint from being glued up a light smear of vaseline or grease over the moving bits will suffice.

Now glue both bearings onto the arms as illustrated above. Again if you are worried about gluing the bearings up a light smear of Vaseline or Grease will keep them safe.
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Once everything is dry measure 12-14mm from the inner bearing face and cut both 6mm tubes. Take a look at the instructions and you will see a diagram below step 7 that indicates the recommended angle you need to bend both tubes too. Use a pair of pliers and butt them up against the bearing, gauge the required angle and squash the tube flat, again on both arms. Carefully bend both tubes in the direction shown (towards the top back) then drill a small 1.5mm hole close to the end and file the end into a nice rounded shape if like me you like it to look neat.
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Postby Churchill Creations » Sun May 15, 2011 2:43 pm

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Once everything is dry then Araldite the bearings squarely into the front body moulding, I choose to use Araldite over Epoxy or other glues as it has a stiffer consistency that also acts as a filler. Also it stays in a gel state for a short while before fully hardening, this is the perfect time to trim off any excess resin or release any glued up joints before leaving it to haren fully.
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If you haven't already fitted the neck moulding now would be as good a time as any, a simple piece of thin aluminium tube pushed through and glued at the ends. You can also bend the .5mm wire to create the pushrod for the neck that you previously created. Take note of the angles shown, this is to avoid the back moulding when finally assembled.
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Using the thicker piano wire bend the main arm pushrods as shown. In the fittings kit that came with your figure you will find some mini keepers, use these to attach the pushrods to the neck and both arm servo with z bends on the other end of the arm rods.
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Using the same small aluminium tube as the neck joint, attach the left forearm the the upper moulding. Again push it through and glue the ends. Use Vaseline or grease to avoid sticking everything together.
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Before fitting the back check for clearance on the arm servos and if necessary cut a clearance hole in the back. You can either Araldite the back in place or use something like silicone in case you need to get back into the figure with the least problems. Once the back is in place you can make up and fit the left arm pushrod as shown above. With the arm down have the forearm at right angles to the upper arm, test then adjust to suit.
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Finally fit the head and hands. To fit the head run the neck under boiling water to soften the plastic. Avoid any excessive force on the mechanism or servos, by softening the head it should slip on easily. You will need to drill a hole into the left forearm at the correct size to suit your hands.
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OK, that's the main build, the next instalment will cover the wiring and the optional twisting base. Speak to you all soon.

Sym.
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Postby Paul Wills » Wed May 18, 2011 5:16 pm

Hello Sym,

Thought I would bump your post with this.

I have almost finished my Anamtronic Commander, the main part of the body is from Churchill Creations, but everything else is my own. I have to admit that I struggled with the programming at first, but once I got the hang of it it's easy.

Anyway click on the URL below to see him, I just have to finish off his left map hand then he is ready to liven up my Tiger 1.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhKA3saGw6s

Paul. 8)
Nord West KampfGruppe, 13. Panzer kompanie (Schwere) Tiger 1321, Hageunau Panther 21st Pz Dv Panzer V Ausf G, King Tiger No II s.H.Pz.Abt. 505, and Sd.Kfz. 7 half-track of the Artillery Regiment 146 (mot), attached to the 16.Infanterie-Division (mot)
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Postby Roy Pickavance » Wed May 18, 2011 8:19 pm

Hi Paul,
Good to see you got him finnished.
Moves faster than you and me put together.
Regaqrds Roy
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Postby John Fitzsimons » Wed May 18, 2011 8:43 pm

Hi Paul,

Thats the best I have seen. Did'nt start mine yet.
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Postby Churchill Creations » Thu May 19, 2011 9:02 am

Hi Paul

That is superb, well done. What servos did you go with?

I have to admit when you first use the Pololu software it seems quite daunting, but after a little while it becomes a lot easier. As soon as I get chance I will post a basic programming thread to try and help those who are struggling.

I've spent most of the last week remaking new moulds as the existing ones give up the ghost and needed replacing. I think I've contacted everyone who was waiting but if I haven't my apologies for the delay.

Off to my local clubs Fly-In this weekend so I'll be sitting in front of the camper in the sun moulding away (that's in between shouting at pilots as unfortunately I'm the Safety Officer, could they have picked a worse guy, lol). If anyone is near the Walsall area then pop along and say hello, http://greenacresmac.co.uk/

When I get back I will finish this thread off with the rotating base option, speak to you all soon.

Cheers,
Sym.
Animatronic kits and completed figures.
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Postby Churchill Creations » Thu May 19, 2011 9:10 am

Seeing your figure Paul has got me thinking... With the size of these controller cards together with some small 2 cell LiPo's I wonder if we could build a figure that was totally stand alone? By this I mean no leads, external batteries or any visible box or connections, maybe with the exception of a Ruck Sack for the controller.

Mmmm, I feel like having a play.
Sym.
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Postby John Fitzsimons » Thu May 19, 2011 6:51 pm

Hi Sym. Just curious, Is there a reason why the left arm is made in resin and the right arm is a figure donated arm. I might make up some right arms rather than amputate. This is a very helpful tutorial. Thanks for putting it on. Looking forward to starting my figures soon.
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Postby Paul Wills » Thu May 19, 2011 7:26 pm

Thanks for the comments guys 8) Sym, the servos I used were the 3.7g DYSO201 micro servo, CS-929MG metal gear and two of the Towerpro MG90 14g 2.5Kg torque metal gear servos for the arms as you recommended.

I like your think on the stand alone figure, although I have found my figure wont stand without support due to the servos movement. he tends to sway and fall over, my wife said he looks like me after 8 pints of Guinness! :shock: :roll: :lol:

Paul.
Nord West KampfGruppe, 13. Panzer kompanie (Schwere) Tiger 1321, Hageunau Panther 21st Pz Dv Panzer V Ausf G, King Tiger No II s.H.Pz.Abt. 505, and Sd.Kfz. 7 half-track of the Artillery Regiment 146 (mot), attached to the 16.Infanterie-Division (mot)
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Postby Churchill Creations » Thu May 19, 2011 7:30 pm

Hi John,

Now that's a good question. I do have a 2 part moulded right arm that I originally intended to include in the kit. The biggest problem was a lack of articulation that made it difficult to get the correct position when the binoculars were raised, and fitting clothes was nearly impossible with 2 rigid arms.

I have considered fitting the forearm after the figure was clothed but it still made sync'ing the arm to head awkward. Maybe I should look into it again, though you would still need hands and a head.

Cheers
Sym.
Last edited by Churchill Creations on Thu May 19, 2011 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Animatronic kits and completed figures.
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Postby John Fitzsimons » Thu May 19, 2011 8:28 pm

Thanks Sym, That explains it. I had not thought about how to get the uniform on.
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Postby Churchill Creations » Fri May 20, 2011 10:10 am

I really am impressed with your programming Paul, very fluid.

Yeah I was thinking of maybe a screw thread in the soul of his boots so he could be bolted down. I've been playing with muscle wire and had also considered the ability to stand up and sit down, a bit like those wooden toys as a kid wid the press in base that made them collapse. Even thought in the past about a 1/6th dog that would sit down and stand up using the same method. Where will it all end?

Sym.
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