Do you know Tom Servo? He’s pretty popular in my circle of friends, but it doesn’t seem like very many people know who he is. There was a show on TV called Mystery Science Theater 3000 – if you don’t know what it is, I highly recommend you go on Netflix immediately and watch a few episodes (my favorites include – Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders, Girl in Gold Boots, the short: Body Care and Grooming, and A Date With Your Family)
In general, he is a talking robot that sits with two of his friends trapped on a space station who are forced to watch terrible movies and end up riffing on it the whole time. That being said – my husband is going to dress up as the human main character for our local Comicon next week, and I wanted people to “get” who he was.
First I did this
But he said he didn’t want to have to carry it around all day. Which I understand, it was pretty flimsy…plus, the cat seemed to want a new friend.
Who was I to say no to that face?
Our friend mentioned if I made a replica, he would be happy to help carry it around – since he is also going as a MST3k (that’s how the cool kids say it) cast member.
This project took me a total of 3 days – and only because I had to wait 3 days for my gumball machine to be shipped to me, I couldn’t find the right slinkys, and I didn’t want to wait to start on the rest. Total number of hours (not including spray paint/paint drying time) 2.
Materials I used:
- A large tapered shape bowl – Free
- A plastic canister (I “borrowed” the one my sons bath toys came in – but I have seen some at costco that pretzels come in that would work, or cheese balls at the local grocery store) – Free
- 2 mini slinkys (found mine at the Dollar Tree, and then also saw them in the dollar spot at target) – $2 (for both)
- Doll hands (this was the most traumatic part for me. I found a baby doll at Goodwill and cut off his hands 😦 I had checked Joanns and Michaels for doll parts and they were all too small for my purpose.) $3.99
- 8 inch Plastic Gumball Machine – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZFSE8S/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00 (I got the one in the tab under “new for ___” and only paid $4.34 + shipping)
- 2 PVC pipe elbows – (had these in the garage) – Free
- 2 plastic baby bottle covers (The PVC pipe elbows were too short to fit over the shoulder areas, so I had to make it longer, if you attempt this project – you may or may not need to find something to do the same thing) – Free
- 1 pipe insulation (for the hoover skirt bottom and the details on the bottom) – $2.99
- 4 large legos (or lego type pieces) – Free
- 2 large wall anchors – Free
- 12 pack of soda box – Free
- Red spray paint – $3.99
- White spray paint – $3.99
- Silver paint – $1.99
- Hot glue
Now of course, this is just my interpretation of how he looks – I am in no way trying to make an exact replica (it’s the raptor in me) nor is he functional as a puppet (as he is on the show)
I’ll just walk you through this like I had all the pieces together at the same time – which is the most logical and organized (which I am neither) 😉
Cut the soda box into the shoulder pieces. Unfortunately I did not take any photos of this process, but reference this photo:
It’s basically a sideways check mark shape on the outside (both front and back) and cut straight across on the inside.
Second Step: Paint
Spray paint the tub base, the base of the gumball dispenser (the top lid also) and the wall anchors – Red
The bowl, soda box shoulders, baby hands and PVC pipe elbows (pipes are optional to paint) – White (if not white already, as you can see my bowl had a festive Christmas pattern)
The opening to gumball dispenser and the legos – Silver (I also removed the small “handle” that opens and closes the gumball dispenser, just by pulling it off after I disassembled it)
P.s. – The large legos in the first picture were not the ones I ended up using…in case that was confusing
Allow all pieces to dry.
Third Step: Assemble
Reassemble the gumball dispenser.
First attach the pipe insulation to the bowl (turn the bowl right side up). There should be a pre-cut line down the center of the insulation – open that completely and rim the circumference of the bowl with it. I used the hot glue on the inside (the underside of Tom) only to attach the insulation to the bowl.
Next, hot glue the bottom of the tub to the bottom of the bowl. Next glue the bottom of the gumball dispenser to the top of the tub. Glue the soda box shoulders to either side of the plastic tub (cut a semi-circle shape on the inside top for a better fit, if you would like). Then hot glue the PVC pipe elbows in the upper center on either side of the tub inside the shoulders (I had to use the bottle covers to extend the elbows past the shoulders because the slinky and hands would have been stuck inside the shoulder). Glue the slinkys to the PVC pipe elbows (the easiest way I found to do this was to put a thick line of hot glue to the inside bend of the elbow and stick one side of the slinky to it). Glue baby hands to the side of each slinky (same way I did the slinky to the elbow).
Fourth Step: Details
The pipe insulation I got was about 3 feet long and the circumference of my bowl was only about 14″ – so I had plenty left over. I cut a section about 5″ long and then in half and used that for the details around the hoover skirt.
Glue the lego pieces to the front of Tom and the wall anchors to either side of the legos.
Anmmmmmddddd you’re finished!
I think he turned out pretty awesome for only costing about $30 – and who knew I could build a robot!?
Let me know if you try this out. I would LOVE to see what you did and if you found any other ways to make it easier!