Mark’s B9 Robot Resources

Brain Lights

In setting up the lighting inside my brain and bubble, I wanted to get the colors right on the bulbs in the light rods and crown. Many tremendous robot replicas use bulbs that have been colored red, and when lit they look pretty close. But in looking at a number of photos and screen grabs, as well as talking with some knowledgeable robot builders, I decided that amber is the correct color for these bulbs (second and third season colors, of course).

Krylon Staind Glass Paint (orange)Once I had a color selected, I needed a way to paint the bulbs without having to special order them (which can be done, BTW). Sharpie makes a permanent marker in a color called Marigold, but I decided that using a glass paint would give me the best results. After experimenting with brush-on paint, I ended up using Krylon’s aerosol stained glass paint in orange.

Applying the paint was simple: mask off the base of the bulb and spray on about four light coats. The paint has a tendency to build up on the top of the bulbs, so I stuck a pencil inside the masking tape and held the bulbs horizontally so I could paint the undersides evenly.

The results were just like I’d hoped for. I'm using #55 bulbs in the crown and #50 bulbs in the light rods. These are not flashing bulbs, but I’m using Tom Wisnionski’s nifty light controller to flash them. Purists might cringe at this, but Tom’s controller provides some cool lighting effects that can be used for special displays. It also enables me to use less expensive 6 volt bulbs that are easier to obtain.

Brain Lights MovieThe only way to appreciate the effect is to see the whole thing in action. I’ve put together a two-minute QuickTime movie that shows it off nicely. The light controller doesn’t interact with the crown and spinners, but I simulated what will happen when I pull the power pack on the robot.

Click here to see the video (small version)
Click here for the large version.

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Click on any photo to enlarge it. Below: my completed brain assembly.
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The screen grab below shows the colors clearly.
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A detail from the publicity photo of Verda and the robot supports the case for amber bulbs.
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Amber bulbs are apparent in Michael Davis’ photo of the unrestored stunt robot’s brain.
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