Help needed w/ Crow (MST3K) puppet

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squirk

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Could use help from the hive mind on a problem I am having with a Crow T. Robot puppet I have been working on. For reference:

1957653_418302694979733_1812441036_o.jpg



I know there aren't tons of ppl on here who have completed one of these, but I'm hoping there's enough general knowledge that can be applied to solve my issue.

Probably easiest to just watch the attached video - the problem is obvious.





The hinge on the mouth is a thick piece of elastic with E6000 connecting the two pieces of the mouth at the hinge point. The elastic is stiffened with hot glue.

The tension on the mouth is elastic string, looped through two small holes on the top piece and two on the bottom, and then tied together inside the mouth (I hope that makes sense). The mouth is opened with a thin wire, threaded through the same two small holes in the bottom piece of the mouth, and threaded through that silver grommet in his neck.

I am not sure where I went wrong in terms of getting the mouth to open and close straight up and down., and not casting to the left and right like in the video. I thought maybe the grommet and the bottom jaw were not centered, meaning that when I pulled the string, I was inadvertently pulling the jaw down at an angle, causing it to cast like that, but after a lot of experimentation, that doesn't seem to be the solution.

Did I make the tension on the elastic string too tight? Do I need to put more hot glue on the hinge and let it set in place with the mouth closed and centered?

This is kind of a stopping point for me, as I don't want to finish the rest of the head until I know I don't have to mess with the mouth any more.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Please and thank you.
 
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AnubisGuard

Sr Member
The lower jaw on the screen used seasons 1 through 10 Crow is nested slightly inside the upper jaw around the area of the hinge. That provides a self-centering action. They appear to have moved to some kind of rigid hinge and a flush jaw in the revival; a lot of the promotional Crows made over the years also have flush jaws, so they're not good reference for how he was constructed for the series..

You'll notice that on the pre-Netflix version of him, his mouth never completely closes; this is because of the nested jaw assembly. The soft plastic of the lower jaw was squashed together a little bit and the elastic hinge then used to pull it up and inside just a little. I don't have access to my scans of the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide to hand, but I used them extensively as reference when I was building my own Crow ~20 years ago, and there's some BTS photos from the making of the Movie that show it really well.
 

AnubisGuard

Sr Member
Here's a pic of mine (I'm holding the jaw shut because the elastic is shot after two decades)

IMG_20201115_152255185.jpg


Notice the slight wedge-shaped gap at the front, also visible in these screencaps:

468e2bab7ee2b9b5daf5f02dd5ea2be4fe2c299f_00.jpg


74f.jpg


On mine, I also drilled a hole right through the jaw and threaded the fishing line into the mouth, tied it to the bottom end of the elastic, and then anchored that to the roof of the mouth. That ensured the string and the elastic where in line.
 

squirk

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks to you both. shotts63 - do you have a pic of how you set your shim? After all of my careful cuttiing with the Dremel to get the flush jaw, would really like to not have to re-set it.
 

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shotts63

Well-Known Member
Sorry, I don’t have any pictures as he is in storage right now. But it’s mounted the same as the elastic, and it’s more ridged to help return it to its proper place.
 

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