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Bender Costume: Well Great is OK but Amazing Would Be Great


I didn’t write anything down, so this is all approximate




Dome on head 2 x 8” Styrofoam balls coated with aluminum foil First ball to cut in half.
Second ball to do it again right.
Foil to keep out government brain control (and also to prevent epoxy from melting foam)
Eyes 2 x six packs of 6” semi-opaque Winter Holiday tree ornaments First 10 balls to mess up with finger prints, glue and to slice up  fingers.  Last 2 balls for insertion  into head
Cylinder part of head ¼” Oak dowels, ¼” sheet metal screws, stiff poster board, wood staples,  Bondo, spackle.Around 10 inchish tall and 8 inchish diameter If you have some Minorcan blood in you, add ½” diameter so your nose will fit in.
Antenna Deodorant dispenser ball, paper rolled in a tube For those of us of a certain age, the paper rolling part is nostalgic
Torso About 8 months of your life:  1
hour designing, a lot of foam you will not use, 10 hours to re-design, a lot of trash cans and other pre-formed containers you will not use, 1 month of saying to hell with it,  ½” oak dowels, poster board, Bondo, spackle, around 4 months of sanding and repainting…about 5% of the paint retained between sanding rounds
It now weighs 30ish pounds. Beat it with a chain after you are done to give it that “Bender’s had an interesting life” look.  In another universe I would have done a vacuum molded fiberglass approach….I’ve got my eye on my wife’s Dyson.
Coating for everything Fiberglass fabric with epoxy coating Because it’s silky smoooooth and my dear ole dad would insist.  Remember, every little bubble and wrinkle will show through and add another 15 minutes of sanding and patching.
  • Quarter rolling tubes dipped in latex
  • Plexiglas tubes cut for articulation and then joined with foam
  • Various containers cut to size
  • Fake candles from wedding store
  • Servo rods and couplings from a model airplane store
Arms are longer than human so you have to attach the servo rods to operate the fingers.  I also inserted magnets in the fingers so that you can more easily pick up and hold props.
Feet Olive Garden to-go salad bowels, 6 Dremel bits and safety glasses Cutting the foot holes in the bottoms of these bowels was the most dangerous part of this little adventure.
Semi-melted bits of plastic flying everywhere sink right into your flesh and seem attracted to your eyes bout the same way tornados go for trailer parks.
Arms and legs Grey foam craft sheetsBlack foam sheets Cut the grey foam into 2 inchish strips and glue to the black foam. Then wrap the assemblage around PVC pipe as a form (3” for arms and 6” diam for legs) and glue the ends together.  Make about 8 of these before you get it right.  Don’t have the heart to throw out the early attempts, so hang them around the walls in your shop so your grandkids will reminisce about crazy ole pops when they are cleaning the place out after you are gone
Eye brows and animatronics Plastic cover from the folder that contains your family’s legal papers, aluminum tubing from a gun cleaning kit Strip out the Futaba radio gear from the model airplane that took off the tip of your finger 10 years ago.  Use standard flaps and aileron push rods and clevises for the connections.  Tear the whole thing out when you find that the radio frequency of the old kit is now used by cell phones or something…..causing
Bender’s expressions to be twitchy and jittery.  Go buy a really cheap 2 channel transmitter/receiver and start all over.  Get a little teary eyed because that Futaba was the last thing of your dad’s that you treasured.
  • Case of Valspar gray spray primer
  • Case of Valspar flat black spray paint
  • Bondo (because it sounds cool) and to fill the larger nooks and crannies
  • Spackle to fill the smaller nooks and crannies and also when you are too tired to sand Bondo
  • Good internet connection so you can stare at many Bender screen captures to estimate dimensions
  • Xacto knife blades : all sizes and sorts
  • Dremel tool and bits: all sizes and sorts
  • Time: all sizes and sorts (say 100 hours)
  • Router
  • Mucho epoxy
  • Wife that does not understand but does not question the various strange charges on the Mastercard
  • A really strong, if unexplainable desire to dothis thing right
  • Did I mention Bondo?
  • Around $100 (what you tell your wife)
  • Around $800 more (what you do not tell your wife).  About 2/3 of this is for stuff
    that you try but does not work
  • Did I mention Bondo?

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