Animatronic step by step build

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Churchill Creations
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Animatronic step by step build

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

Hi all,

Here's an updated version of the instructions for our older moulded kit, if you have any questions please contact me at churchillcreations@yahoo.co.uk
The latest CAD designed kits have an instructional video, if you have one of thee then here is the link - https://youtu.be/1C9uYOdYvWE


The Neck...
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CIMG1752.jpg
There are two dimples in the small neck moulding, these need to be drilled out using a 1mm bit to accept the brass wire hoop.
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CIMG1750.jpg
Using the 1mm brass wire supplied cut a small length and bend a square "U" shape using Needle Nose Pliers. The legs of the wire must line up with the two holes in the small neck moulding.
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CIMG1751.jpg
Bend a hoop in one end of the remaining brass wire. I use the supplied steel piano wire and bend the brass wire around it as if coiling a spring, use Needle Nose Pliers to ensure a tight fit and ensure the end is as closed as possible to make a circle. Once happy slide the hoop over the "U" shaped brass as shown.
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CIMG1762.jpg
Glue the "U" section into the small neck moulding and leave to set.

Once dry drill a 2mm hole through the dimples on both the small and large neck mouldings for the neck pivot pin. When happy place the two mouldings together and push a cut length of the 1mm aluminium tube through both parts ensuring that the middle mouldings rotates freely, if so apply a drop of glue onto each end of the tube. I find the easiest way to cut the tube is to rest a blade on the edge and roll the tube to create a groove, once a visible groove is noticeable you can flex both sides and snap along the line.

I use a 4-5g MG sub micro servo for the small neck (Hitec HS-35HD or Blue Arrow D05010MG are ideal). This needs to sit as far down as possible to avoid the horn protruding too far out of the back. You can either glue or use foam servo tape to fix in place, though I would recommend leaving it loose until fitted into the body to ensure there is enough room for the servo to move in the chest.

Once mounted you will have to bend the brass wire pushrod as shown, you can use a simple Z-Bend to attach it to the servo horn.
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CIMG1742.jpg
The neck assembly mounts onto a larger metal geared servo for the left/right function. I use Turnigy MG90's as they are affordable, easily available and so far relatively reliable if a little noisy. You need to cut off one of the mounting lugs as shown, take note that it is the lug furthest from the horn output.

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CIMG1754.jpg
Attach a double servo horn after centring the servo. With the missing lug facing down and the small neck servo facing upwards screw the horn onto the main neck moulding, ensure the screws are far enough out to avoid piercing the small neck servo. You can drill 2mm holes in the moulding to accept the supplied screws for this purpose.

Once you have finished the neck assembly you can fix it into the front body moulding with either foam servo tape or a drop of glue either side of the servo casing. Avoid using too much glue to aid servo servicing in the future. The large servo must line up so it doesn't protrude into the large cutout of the front body molding where the arm servos mount.
Last edited by Churchill Creations on Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Animatronic kits and completed figures.

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John Fitzsimons
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Post by 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.

Churchill Creations
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Post by 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.
Animatronic kits and completed figures.

Churchill Creations
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Post by Churchill Creations » Sun May 15, 2011 1:59 pm

Part 2 - The arms...
CIMG1753.jpg
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. Trim off the excess so the stub on the Dragon arm 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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CIMG1759.jpg
CIMG1760.jpg
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.

If you have the early kit without the moulded horn for the pointing arm then this process applies to both sides.
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CIMG1764.jpg
When both arms have cured you can glue them into the front body moulding as shown.

Once everything has cured fit two MG-91 or similar servos into the stomach as illustrated. Use the supplied piano wire to bend some arm pushrods, again using Z-Bends to attach at both ends.
Attachments
CIMG1764.jpg
Last edited by Churchill Creations on Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Animatronic kits and completed figures.

Churchill Creations
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Post by Churchill Creations » Sun May 15, 2011 2:43 pm

Finishing off...
CIMG1770.jpg
Using the same size aluminium tube as the neck joint attach the left forearm the the upper moulding. Again drill then push the wire through and glue the ends. Use Vaseline or grease to avoid sticking everything together.
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CIMG1771.jpg
Before fitting the back check for clearance on the arm servos and neck mechanism, if necessary cut clearance holes 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.
CIMG1770.jpg
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Image

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 done, I will update the pictures in the Pololu programming thread shortly.

Sym.
Last edited by Churchill Creations on Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Animatronic kits and completed figures.

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Paul Wills
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Post by 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)
9 kp pz gren div grossdeutschland Tiger A23, Sd.Kfz. 7 half-track Artl Reg 146 (mot), 16.Infanterie-Division (mot). Flak 36 88mm, Erg-Zug Flak-Stammbatterie Augsburg. King Tiger & Pak41

Roy Pickavance
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Post by 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
It could be worse, It could be Tuesday.

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John Fitzsimons
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Post by John Fitzsimons » Wed May 18, 2011 8:43 pm

Hi Paul,

Thats the best I have seen. Did'nt start mine yet.

Churchill Creations
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Post by 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.

Churchill Creations
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Post by 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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John Fitzsimons
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Post by 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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Paul Wills
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Post by 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.
9 kp pz gren div grossdeutschland Tiger A23, Sd.Kfz. 7 half-track Artl Reg 146 (mot), 16.Infanterie-Division (mot). Flak 36 88mm, Erg-Zug Flak-Stammbatterie Augsburg. King Tiger & Pak41

Churchill Creations
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Post by 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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John Fitzsimons
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Post by 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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Post by 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.
Animatronic kits and completed figures.

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