SERVO 09.2014 71
Made from a $40 "party store" skeleton and animated with
four cheap servos (Futaba S3003) — two for the elbows and
two for the thighs — Skully is hung from a music stand
terminated with a bent clothes’ hanger and mounted on a
mobile platform. The animation (dance action) is actuated
with a relay servo (on/off) and the skeleton is controlled
with a BASIC Stamp. What's the secret to adhering relatively
large arms and legs to small Futaba servo horns? Mold
SHAPELOCK around the servo horn and also glue
SHAPELOCK to the plastic bone using E6000.
SHAPELOCK is a thermal polymer that comes in little
plastic beads. It can be placed in hot water (two
minutes in the microwave does nicely) and molded
into whatever shape you desire. Once the plastic
cools, it gets hard. If needed, the plastic can be
reheated and reshaped.
I chopped off the crow's head and
mounted it on a cheap servo. It
moved and came to life! Funny, when
you work on an animal character
such as this one it feels a bit like
being a taxidermist. I've since added
an amplified authentic electronic
crow call actuated with an R/C relay.
If there's ever silence,
Caw starts crowing!
E6000 is a glue/sealant that
is very popular among craft
hobbyists. I like it because it
is shock absorbent.
Unfortunately, it takes
24 hours to cure, but if you
plan your work ahead of
time (i.e., do it before the
holidays), you'll get a good
bond that won't crack the
first time you shake a leg.
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By Camp Peavy