Introduction: SCRAP-065-001 -- a Robot Kit-Bashed Out of Junk


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Hello. My designation is SCRAP-065-001. I was designed to be an armed patrol droid, with an embedded A.I. Once upon a time, I was the master prototype for a new fleet of armed patrol droids, the result of several brilliant minds; roboticists, machine learning experts, programmers, and AI designers. As I said, my designation is SCRAP-065-001. However, most humans just call me SCRAP, for short.

Well, at least, they did...before everything happened...

So, guys, I have a confession to make to all of you; I kind of have a thing for model-making. I have probably watched Adam Savage's styrene builds dozens of times. But...I kind of don't have a whole lot of interest in assembling actual pre-made model kits, like cars or tanks. They just don't seem as interesting to me.

But, I have this drawer of materials. I call it my "junk drawer". Whenever I get something that I think could turn out to be useful later, I throw it in that drawer. I now think I need to put some of these things to use, making a model of a sci-fi robot that I have named SCRAP.

Step 1: Gather Pieces

What exactly happened? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure. My best guess of the date is May 2nd, 2075. My internal clock tells me i spent about 30 years in stasis before waking. And then...everyone was gone. No more programmers or roboticists. Just me and a warehouse with various holes in the roof and ivy growing out of every crevice.

For this project, I wanted to basically "kit-bash" something together. For those that don't know, Kit-Bashing is essentially a form of modelmaking where you use pieces from pre-made model kits to add detail or scale to one of your models. I had a lot of different pieces in my junk bin that I wanted to use for this.

To start, I had pieces that I received from some Gachapon capsules at my local ThinkGeek store. These capsules were for 3 "Zaku heads" from an old version of Mobile Suit Gundam. Each head came in it's own little package, some pieces of the final assembly used in the outer capsule itself, with only 3 pieces left over after assembling it.

Then, I also had some small tubes, from spools of doggy poop bags that i knew i could use. I started off thinking of making a turret cannon or something or maybe a spaceship, but soon settled on making a robot. I was thinking of sort of an assistant robot like JACK from Gears of War.

Step 2: Assemble Main Body

My base metallic structure is 68.3 percent Iridium and 31.7 percent Nefilite; this makes an alloy that is lighter than steel but stronger than carbon fiber. The ratio is so specific that the mixture has to be monitored by computers instead of human hands; a stray mililiter or two of either metal would make a brittle pot metal that would shatter into bits under the first hit of a power hammer.

I glued the green pieces together with some super glue and removed some small plastic tabs from the bottom with a pair of pliers.

I also cut up my spools from the doggy poop bags into 1/4" pieces to use as thrusters on the bottom of the body. I had two different types of spools; cardboard and plastic. The cardboard ones I cut down with an exacto knife, while I used a mini-hacksaw and a Panavise Jr. to cut down the plastic ones. After this, I was left with 18 little thrusters. I evened them out as much as I could and painted them black inside and out.

Step 3: Attaching Thrusters to Main Body

I have a sequence of 14 small thrusters that allow me to move along easily and efficiently. I fuel it with biofuel made from any organic matter that I can pick up and put into my biomatter containment unit. Plants, leaves, even small animals can be converted into fuel. However...I don't like using animals for this. It feels...wrong somehow.

When I told this to one of the scientists, he laughed and called me something...I think it was "A Vege-tarian".

I had to decide where the thrusters would sit on the shell. I traced the bottom of my shell with a pencil on a piece of paper and used that to lay out these pieces. I soon decided that I would separate each from the others by using a toothpick as a spacer.

I used super glue to attach the thrusters to the bottom of the shell. I also discovered I only needed 7 of each thruster piece to cover this bottom section of the spaceship. Whoops, guess I have a few left over.

After attaching these, I used a material I hadn't used before; Rub'n Buff. Spreading some on a piece of a t-shirt and rubbing it over the thrusters, giving them silver highlights. I actually like how it turned out, as it makes the thrusters look like they were once clean metal, but have been covered up by a thick layer of soot and creosote.

Step 4: Side Cannons

At one time, I asked one of my AI programmers a question. For some reason, this exchange seems to stick around in my memory banks.

"Johnathan Cheatham. What is an American?" I asked.
"An American? Someone born in the USA. Where did you hear that term?" he said, the sound of his fingers typing on the keyboard filling the room.
"There are some people who say that 'Better that those robots die than actual Americans'. The other scientists talk about it. But, I was born here, even though I was born of software and robotics rather than biology. Does that make me not an American?"
The sound of typing stopped. He looked in my eyes and I looked into his. He looked...thoughtful.
"Maybe so, SCRAP," he said. "Maybe you are."

Next, I wanted to cut out some of the side of shell, so I could attach some straight cannons/guns to the body. I used my Dremel with a cutting bit to carve out a rectangle in the plastic, using a piece of a sticky note to make each side's cutout the exact same size. I also went ahead and sanded down the edges as well to make them a big smoother.

Then, I cut a small dowel that I had laying around (about 3/8") to two pieces of the same length (that's a bench hook i'm cutting them on). I painted them gray and flattened down one side with a knife. Then, i used the tip of the knife to scrape up the surface of both the flat side of the dowel and the inside of the plastic shell before using some super glue to put them together. This is called "toothing" up the surfaces, and gives more surface area for the glue to grab onto. After that, I just made sure the cannons were generally straight and left them to dry.

Step 5: Detailing the Cannons

I was originally meant to be a patrol droid; to replace human scouts sent to gather intelligence about the enemy and their movements. My sidearms are 45 caliber, while powerful, are not intended for long-term use. I only have about 30 shots of ammunition between them. Most of the weight of my guns is to decrease the bang they make when they go off. Quite appropriate, I think.

So, I also wanted to give the cannons some detail. I don't have any styrene or anything advanced, but I do have some gray cardstock. I cut out 3 differently sized pieces of cardstock to give the barrel some detail. I sized them to the right size for my dowels. Then I used super glue to attach the first piece to the dowel and then used tacky glue to attach the other pieces on top of that. I also attempted to space out the joints of the cardstock so I didn't get a bulge in one place.

That gave me some concentric rings around the end of my barrels. I also cut out some foamcore pieces that I thought I would apply as muzzle breaks (kind of like on the end of a sniper rifle), but I eventually decided against it.

Step 6: Building Up an Inner Structure

The day I woke, a few leaves, or a small animal (ugh) must have found it's way into my biomatter containment unit. I must have had barely enough energy to churn that up into a little fuel for me to move once again. I raised my head and found that the world had changed. Moss and moisture had built up over my structure, and the warehouse I rested in was almost completely destroyed. The only reason I was still alive was that I was hidden in a corner, where just enough of the roof had stayed up to shield me from the rain and sun.

So, I wanted to put in a neck and head onto this robot model, but there isn't really anything good to attach it to within the shell. So, I cut out a piece of foamcore to put in as a bottom. With this, I can attach the neck and head.

But, I didn't want to keep it square and white. The white stands out way too much and I wanted to add in some detail to the underlying structure. So, to that end, I painted the whole panel black and cut out a few pieces. I cut out a triangle out of the back and a rectangle out of the front. It took some major maneuvering to get the piece to sit flush within the shell, but once I got it there, I was able to super glue it down.

Step 7: Robot Head

I fed myself from clumps of ivy growing on the walls until I was able to move once again. I spent a long time exploring that facility, but there was nothing to see. The computers were destroyed or non-operable. And there were no humans around. No clues as to what happened while I was asleep.

I actually took a lot of time figuring out what kind of head to give this robot. I initially was thinking about ordering some styrene and building one from scratch. But, I then found another thing from my scrap bin; an empty tic tac container. If I take out the lid of the case and pry off the flipped open piece of plastic, it actually looks pretty good for a robot head. So, I painted it with a coat of dark green and then spread around some light green paint to give it some highlights.

After that, I took the lid of the tic tac container and painted the inside blue. I also painted a small piece of foamcore to glue inside the lid and painted that black.

After that, I cut out a piece of foamcore to serve as a back for the head. This is useful in the next step.

Step 8: Robot Neck and Assembly

I took my time to fill my fuel tanks with any leaves or vines I could find. I didn't know what I was to do next, but I couldn't stay here, sleeping in a dead warehouse, living day to day. I had to find...something.

I then assembled some foamcore so that I had a neck structure, using that foamcore piece for the back of the head so that I can later attach the head to the neck.

I painted a base coat of gray and then slathered on some dark green and crimson paints all over the neck to look like it had moss and rust all over it. I also applied some Rub n' Buff to it.

Step 9: Assembly and Painting Main Structure

I started to explore what kinds of functionality I was built with. I discovered I could broadcast over radio frequencies. Who knows how far those signals could go; radio towers might be destroyed or inoperable. was worth a shot.

I then painted the plastic shell a dark green, sanding it all over beforehand, and attached the neck to the internal structure I made earlier. I used some super glue with baking soda to attach the neck. I also added some rub and buff to the cannons, giving them a metal look.

If you don't know, when baking soda is combined with super glue, it will both make the super glue set faster and will add material that will fill any gaps between the surfaces being glued.

Step 10: Adding the Head and Lens

I felt...a little bit of sadness leaving behind the facility I was built in. It was the closest thing to a home that I had ever known. But I kept going and didn't look back. Now I move from place to place, searching for...I'm not sure. Maybe humans? A purpose to drive me? Or maybe the journey is what I need, something to drive me forward before my parts and internal mechanisms grind themselves to dust and I run out of fuel.

Now I added the head onto the robot. Once I added it, I decided that he needed another eye. I took one of the leftover thruster pieces and gave it a heavy coat of Rub n' Buff. I then gave it a little dry brushing of some dark green paint to take off some of the shine.

As well, I wanted to give this eye some manner of lens. My wife found these tiny beads in her collection of craft supplies that fit perfectly within the eye. I had to use 2 of them to make up for the depth of the thruster piece, but after I glued them both in place, my robot had a small red eye.

Step 11: Signing Off

I am moving along a course due West. I will be repeating this message upon every frequency I can broadcast on at noon everyday. If you can find me, I would very much appreciate the company.

SCRAP here, signing off.

So, I didn't exactly get to put in everything that I wanted on this model. I actually wanted to give him some extendable arms (which, in the fiction written along with this, he definitely has to grab leaves to shove in his biomatter containment unit). But, unfortunately, I just ran out of time to make them.

But, when I do add them, I will be sure to add the steps to this instructable for everyone viewing.

Thanks for reading! Happy modeling!

Trash to Treasure

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Trash to Treasure