Introduction: Kiteman and Robot the Pandemic Pants

When in times of crisis, like with the current pandemic, always keep your wits about you and have a sense of humour. It’s the only way to survive shelter in place. Practice social distancing and wash your hands! Be safe all you all.

I don’t recall when I surpassed Lord Kiteman in number of instructables, I think I am the loss leader now but it was always fun to make something Kiteman themed. And here we stand.

So if you are going through an entire catalog of movies, be sure to catch the Wallace & Gromit animated movies. Cracking cheese!

There’s an ibles cardboard contest going on and here’s some inspiration to make something. I’ve got plenty of cardboard waiting to recycle, lots of glue, and an idea. Always been a crafts supply hoarder but not toilet paper...

I will make a Kiteman - Instructables themed set of techno trousers.

Step 1: Stepping Into It...

Btw, my Instructables Robot build is here:

As with most of my projects like this, it's really a free form thing with minimal measuring. Let the materials you have on hand dictate what the end result will be.

We need to rough out or frame the skeleton of the project.

I had a couple of empty toilet roll paper tubes. They would make nice legs for the robo trousers. And build off of that.

You can scale up or down to make it any size desired.

The rest of the structure of the build is cut up strips and pieces from a cardboard box. The one I had consisted of heavy double layer corrugated cardboard which provided additional strength but a little more difficult to work with because it was stiffer and harder to cut.

Use care with the sharp tools you use to cut cardboard.

Cardboard does not absorb glue as well as sheet paper so watch out for mysterious glue drips that might make a mess of your work area and your hands or clothing.

Step 2: Made From Scratch...

I would recommend you try to use a pliers-type stapler to help with construction. It can reach in tight places and operated with one hand to quickly fix a piece in place until the glue sets. It also uses a larger staple than the standard stapler, can punch through thicker cardboard and hold. So much easier than wrangling a whole box of paper clamps to use.

Knowing the size of the upper legs, I made the booties and lower leg.

The legs were then connected with a cross brace which is the "hip". Since I wanted the legs to be able to move, I thought about how to attach the legs. I could have put a dowel in to pivot the legs. The legs seem to flex ok when glued to the cross brace so I just reinforced the joint with some fabric glued over it.

The bulbous shell was then constructed in a basketweaving fashion. I glued strips radiating out from the central top platform. Those were bent into position and cross strips glued horizontally to complete the framework.

I added the tube sticking out of the top to be the mating pin for the top section. It is filled inside with cardboard to reinforce it.

Step 3: It's Not Finished Until the Paperwork Is Done...

Create the cardboard structure for the Kiteman top section.

Papier mache does wonders for covering rough shapes and gives it a complete skin.

I upcycled a bunch of envelopes that were in the paper recycling bin. Tear out the plastic window and dissasemble the envelope by peeling apart at the seams.

Since I had a smaller area to cover, I used glue full strength and applied it directly to a bit of paper. When that was applied, I put more glue on and smoothed everything out. This direct method seems to dry a lot faster and ends up stronger but you use a lot more glue. Then again, I buy glue in gallon jugs and use a refillable squeeze bottle applicator.

Step 4: The Prime Directive...

Additional detail was added on the shoes with a hot glue gun.

Cardboard and paper are very porous surfaces.

Paint goes on better when the object to be painted is primed for painting.

I gave everything a coat of acrylic white paint.

I used acrylic paints for the rest of the colors used.

When painting the brown shoes, I somehow got some on the painted yellow main part. I might have weathered the paint a little to tone down the bright yellow-orange later but this prompted me to just go full blast with making it look like a rusty robot. A happy little accident.

Use a permanent marker to draw in the lines and round rivet dots for the bottom section. Add the three stripes on the leg portions.

I cut some thin strips of felt and tied that into a bow knot. That was glued on the shoes to look like shoelaces.

For Kiteman, draw on the outline of the lab coat.

I made the green bow tie out of some sheet craft foam and hot glued it on.

The tuft of hair is made from black pipecleaners inserted and glued in holes punched with an awl.

Step 5: Mood for a Day...

No face. wait, that character is from somewhere else.

I always had in mind to make this with moveable parts. It would make a great prop to use for stop motion animation videos

The Kiteman body pivots on the robo trousers.

I had made the face so it could be a socket for interchangeable parts. One of the techniques of stop animation is to have on hand multiple copies of a body part but with different poses. You could switch it out as you film the next frame without having to manipulate the movement or position of say the mouth or eyes which you do with clay figures.

I've attached the chart of the many emotions this Kiteman is capable of expressing. Print out, mount on cardstock and used double sided tape to affix to the headshell.

Step 6: Can't Go for a Walkie...

I haven't yet cleared enough space to do a stop motion animation but I'll get around to it.


Social distance.

Wash your hands.

Stay home.

Stay safe.


Browse through my instructables for more Kiteman themed stuff or other nonsense.


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