Pee-Wee's Big Adventure Clown

Duckbutt

Active Member
Hard to say about that 'Night of the Comet' suit. I agree it looks like another material in the photos, but it's also seriously faded/weathered. Not sure why someone would go through the trouble of making the same suit/hat/ruffles in another material. It is the only example of that color scheme I've found yet though.

On a side note, this popped up in my searches tonight - from a place in KY called Guntown Mountain:
clowny.jpg
 

BestBike

Active Member
That's a cool idea. If you have one normal face and the evil face, it would almost look like drama masks. When the master tool is completed, pulling just the face off and making a mold should be easy enough (much cheaper too!).

Yep. That would interest me, PWF. I would be in for a set of faces if you could eventually make that happen. I'll keep an eye on the thread. Thanks. -- BB
 

PeeWeeFan

Well-Known Member
On a side note, this popped up in my searches tonight - from a place in KY called Guntown Mountain:

That clown has seen some better days! It seems like the clowns that were actually used for displays/promotions suffer from cracked heads. If they saw sunlight, they fell apart. It's a shame that so much effort was put into making the suit weather resistant and then they used styrene for the heads. I should probably reach out to WHYLouisville and Guntown Mountain and see if they would be interested in buying a head, too.
 

Duckbutt

Active Member
Here are some reference photos of my clown and his outfit (in future posts I'll attach photos of the various sections as I'm disassembling him). Luckily mine is in almost new condition - I feel fortunate after seeing photos of so many trashed clowns!

DSC_8824.JPG DSC_8827.JPG DSC_8826.JPG DSC_8825.JPG
DSC_8832.JPG DSC_8831.JPG
DSC_8828.JPG DSC_8835.JPG
DSC_8840.JPG DSC_8841.JPG
 

Duckbutt

Active Member
Here are some photos of my old base, and the new one I'm constructing (with the older style platform). The name 'ROB' was scribbled under the base of my clown - the only identifying mark on the whole clown besides the motor brand! It looks like there was a plaque or sign attached to the corner of the base at some point. This must have been common - you can see it in the movie (shot of the clown from above after his bike is stolen, front right corner), and in some other clown photos on the web.

Dimensions of the top platform I'm making are 21x19. Bottom pieces are 17x6 and 17.5x6. All the plywood is 3/4" thick, although the platform and two of the sides on my original are actually only 1/2" thick (I adjusted dimensions to compensate). I did a couple versions with various dimensions and these seem to match the photos best. The height also matches my original clown, and gives about an inch of clearance for the wheels (the wheels are 5 inch diameter, 1 inch thick).

Indoor-outdoor carpet from the hardware store. It's a shade darker than my clown, but all of the local stores only have the one color. I'd like to see about finding some that's a little brighter green (it's bright under the clown's shoes too, so I don't think it's just sun fading).

DSC_8816.JPG DSC_8822.JPG DSC_8844.JPG DSC_8845.JPG DSC_8854.JPG DSC_8898.JPG DSC_8899.JPG DSC_8901.JPG
 

billy baloney

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Duckbutt said:
mine is in almost new condition - I feel fortunate after seeing photos of so many trashed clowns!

Yes you should, it's one of the nicest I've seen, did you find it locally or on the web?
 

BestBike

Active Member
Luckily mine is in almost new condition - I feel fortunate after seeing photos of so many trashed clowns!

Dang, DB. That looks like it just rolled out of the factory. Even though this thing creeps me out, I wouldn't have passed up one in that nice of condition. Great find.
 

PeeWeeFan

Well-Known Member
What year is your clown? It should be on the motor. I am just curious how many years these were made. Yours looks to be newer than most.
 

Duckbutt

Active Member
I got mine off eBay 3 - 4 years ago. Pretty tricky to find, since the search terms produce tons and tons of unrelated clown junk. I've got a bunch of complicated queries that I've checked every night since then, and I've never seen another one. I haven't told my wife yet, but I'll buy as many of these clowns as I can find ;)

I'll check the motor when I get the plastic torso off - the only sticker I can see with the torso on doesn't have a date. Not sure if mine is newer year-wise, or just well preserved (maybe only used indoors). It seems like there are mainly three different styles - original as in Big Adventure / Night of the Comet, new facepaint/suit with original base, and new facepaint/suit with rectangular base (like mine).

PeeWeeFan - I forget to comment awhile back - is your torso attached to the bottom of your clown? It should be stapled around the main body, covering the motor and mechanicals. Maybe someone repaired it and put it back wrong .. I remember yours looking a little pear-shaped in the photos.
 

Duckbutt

Active Member
Double-post .. regarding base dimensions ..

My original base is 6" tall (5.5" sides, 0.5" thick top piece). The top is 21x19x0.5, the left/right side pieces are 19x5.5x0.5, the front/back side pieces are 20x5.5x0.75. You can see the way they're assembled in the photos above - front/back are sandwiched between the left/right.

I kept the top on my new base the same 21x19, since the older clowns seemed to have the same amount of room around the feet. The wheels are 5" diameter, and you can see about an inch of clearance above the wheel in the photos with this style of base .. so I used 6" high sides instead of 5.5". I shrunk the dimensions of the side pieces so that there is 1" of overhang on all sides (I originally tried 2" but it was too much - 1" is just enough to cover the wheels, so is probably correct).

Still trying to find the same kind of wheels as the originals. In atleast Big Adventure and Night of the Comet, they're a shiny metal and rubber - similar to the below but more reflective:

Stocking-Carts-Replacement-Wheels-8-inch-by-1-58.jpg
 
Last edited:

Duckbutt

Active Member
Triple-post .. one last thing for tonight ..

I stumbled on this photo just now while browsing Flickr. Looks familiar! I'd love to know more history on these things .. I wonder if there is anyone at Marshal Moody who knows more? I am guessing these clowns are even newer than what we're dealing with in this thread.

1355436913_57f6a11d04_o.jpg

And another one, from a site called '54 Crazy Things You'll Find at a Gigantic Flea Market' ..
enhanced-buzz-10735-1373903068-5.jpg
 
Last edited:

Duckbutt

Active Member
Quiet in here today - everyone must be working on their clowns ;)

Here are some more construction photos. The lower half of the body is built to almost identical specs as my clown. I used nails instead of staples since I don't have a powered staple gun (the original is almost entirely held together with long staples).

Dimensions are below (all 0.75" thick plywood) ..
- Legs - 36" x 3.875", notches cut out at the top for the front cross piece (0.75" x 3.875")
- Feet - 2.375" x 3.875" (my original had two different sizes, so I split the difference) - these fit down inside the shoes and are what actually bolts the whole clown to the base
- Leg supports - 1.5" x 21", tapered at 18"
- Front cross piece - 3.825" x 12", goes in leg notches
- Back support piece - 5" x 6" (the longer dimension goes vertically)
- Spine front piece - 3" x 12", this is where the rods go that connect to the rotating upper half of the clown
- Spine back piece - 3" x 8"

DSC_8903.JPG DSC_8912.JPG DSC_8910.JPG DSC_8904.JPG
 

PeeWeeFan

Well-Known Member
Good work, DB! The construction of my clown is similar, but it is a little different. They seemed to have beefed up the "pelvic" region.

- - - Updated - - -

Good work, DB! The construction of my clown is similar, but it is a little different. They seemed to have beefed up the "pelvic" region on yours.
 

billy baloney

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I may be jumping ahead, but, how tall are they?, I think they're 6', is that including the base or not?, awesome so far by the way.
 

Duckbutt

Active Member
I'd have to measure at home tonight, but I suspect they are about 6' tall (or maybe a hair over) with the hat off and standing on the base.

PeeWeeFan - Did you get anything useful out of Rex Engineering as far as history or motor details? I called just now to get basic details of that motor, and they wanted me to either buy it or go jump in a lake. Very off-putting, I might just see about hijacking a motor and mechanism from another animatronic (I was looking last night anyway - the main plate that hinges everything together would need to be custom machined, probably the trickiest part of the clown besides the head).
 

PeeWeeFan

Well-Known Member
Rex did not offer too much as far as history. They simply said the company is no longer in existence (which is wrong - they just don't make anything anymore), and they sell quite a few motors around Christmas time for animatronic santas.

I believe the main plate is actually a casting. There are other bits in the mech that would require machining though, such as the brass slider. I will likely tackle it at some point - being a mechanical engineer, it's right up my alley. The mech is why I have suggested others to simply buy the Pennywise animatronic clown.
 

Duckbutt

Active Member
Yes, I agree the original plate looks like a metal cast. I figure the only way common folk like us will replicate it is by machining. I suspect the rest will be spot welding, bending, cutting, drilling, and turning all the rods and small bits. Good excuse to buy more tools ;)

I am curious what the torsos on the original clowns looked like. In the Oddities video, they reach right in from the back .. so no plastic on the back atleast. These clowns also don't seem as rotund, so I'm guessing they had smaller torso frames and maybe no plastic on the front (although it seems like they would put some kind of protection besides just the suit). Haven't figured out what I'm going to do for my new clown yet ..

My wife is helping put the grass on the base. I would like to find a brighter green at some point, but all the hardware stores here have just the one color option. I'm going to see if some of the real carpet stores have more options.

I'm glad the guys at Rex gave you some information atleast. I haven't had that rude of a phone call in awhile, especially after only getting one question out. They struck me as every other place that just wants to take your money and move on.
 

Duckbutt

Active Member
I knew the typical Home Depot / Lowe's grass carpet was too dark, but I figured we could lightly staple it on as a test run and see how much material is needed. The top is done first, folded under the lip, and sides are wrapped in one long strip. Ignoring the color, I think it looks good .. I'm still very happy with the dimensions of this new base.

Tomorrow I'm going to order a handful of samples from Georgia Carpet and some other big names. Hopefully it won't take too long to find a match for the original carpet ..

DSC_8915.JPG DSC_8917.JPG
 

PeeWeeFan

Well-Known Member
Looks good! I would not have imagined it being that much darker though. I thought that was one of those items that never changed. There is some artificial turf on eBay that seems to match a little better.

artificial_turf.jpg
 

PeeWeeFan

Well-Known Member
DB, can you show how the clown is bolted down underneath the shoes? My base is not original, and the mounting appears non-standard.
 

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
Top