Instructables

Animatronic Fawkes the Phoenix

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Step 4: Building up the body and head

Picture of Building up the body and head
body.jpg
skeleton.jpg

The body is based on a piece of plywood cut to the outline of the body with cut-outs for the neck servo and aluminum tube which serves as the neck shaft.  I bulked out the body with pieces of black foam packing material which I found was easily cut with a small saw or scissors and didn't shed pieces like styrofoam.  The leg tubes were inserted into wooden blocks attached to the plywood body base.

The head is based on a similar piece of plywood with a cutout for the beak servo.  To attach the head to the neck shaft, I cut and flatted the aluminum tube to fit around the plywood.  After aligning it to look natural, I screwed the flattened tube into place.  The lower beak was attached to the servo.  The glass beads used as eyes were glued to wooden blocks attached to the plywood head base to give them the proper spacing.  The spacing of the eyes, I found, dictated the width of the head.  The head was then bulked out with the packing foam as well.

Because the lower beak needed to be on the center line of the head, and the servo attachment wasn't, the lower beak attachment was made to a piece of metal attached to the servo horn.  The metal was bent to make the transition from the servo placement to the center of the head where the beak fit.  This can be seen in the picture of the entire framework below.  A little black paint to camouflage the metal color and it blended in well beneath the feathers of the face.
 
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