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Frank T. ( B9-0126 )


"Last time as you recall ..."

Who knew that those words would change my life? Like most B9 builders, I grew up in the 60's watching Lost in Space. While the show was always enjoyable to watch, it was the hardware of the show that really intrigued me. The Jupiter 2, Chariot, The Laser Guns, Space Pod and all those winky blinky lights on the ship always got my creative juices flowing. My Jupiter 2's were created with shoe boxes and masking tape as were my laser guns and space pod. But there was really one piece of equipment that always fascinated me the most. The robot. Being only 7 at the time, I always wondered if he was real, or imaginery. I even wrote a letter to CBS and then WNEW channel 5 in New York when it moved to syndication, to ask for photos or any kind of information on the B9. That's really when this quest began. For 30 years I always wondered about that robot. I built my share of wood and cardboard robots through my youth, but non-could ever compare to good old B9.

Flash forward 30 years.
Ironically it was October 16th, 1997 when all of this madness really began to kick in. Lost in Space was soon to be a motion picture, the Sci-Fi channel was having Lost In Space marathons to commemorate its anniversary, Lost In Space specials where popping up everywhere, and suddenly like magic, it was cool to be a Lost in Space fan.

Thoughts of building a B9 were starting up again. But where to find information? Enter cyberspace. I immediately started to scour the net for anything on Lost in Space and the robot. It wasn't until about December when I found "Dewey's Latest Robot" page. COOL! I e-mailed Dewey, and hence started the journey.

For some reason, I started from the top down instead of the bottom up like most B9 builders have. I ordered the brain, bubble lifter, radar and collar from Dewey, and the bubble from Planet Plastics. When all the pieces arrived, I stared at them for 3 days disbelieving that this was really happening.

I assembled the entire head section in about a month. You have to improvise and make a connecting plate to connect the lower portion of the bubble plate to the bubble lifter. If you look at pictures real close, you'll see it dead center on the lower bubble plate. It's black and appears to have 4 screws in it. Your best source for these kinds of dilemmas: HOME DEPOT. You'll have a field day in that store. Trust me. Every time you see something cool, you'll begin thinking "I wonder if I could use this for . . ."

It was about this time that Dewey told me he had a source for torsos. Once he told me about how authentic it was, I had to have it. When it arrived, it was a happy day in New Jersey. Of course, as I looked at it I thought, "How the hell am I going to cut out the voice box and light holes?" The ultimate model kit continued to give lessons in creativity. Anyway, with the help of my dad (he's been in this for as long as I have, helping me build things when I was young) the cutting and drilling went fairlywell.

Next it was time to get myself in really deep with this project. Who else could satisfy my robot desires, but none other than Fred B. I first found out about Fred through Dewey. I finally got to see some of his creations when Sci-Fi Entertainment did a piece on him. When I saw his robots, it was "pon-farr" time for me. I sent him e-mail and essentially bought the rest of the robot (except for the legs, which I got from Dewey, the acrylic ribs which I got from Scott S., and the programming unit which I got from Chris G.) from him. While waiting for the Fred B. parts to arrive, I also ordered all the light fixtures, lens caps, bulbs, neon FX generator and sound system.

I'm using a Sony Mini Disk player for my playback. I've sampled lots of robot lines from the TV show (remember, can't have music in the background when he's speaking!) using my PC, so it was easy to make a disk. You should have been here the night when I hooked up the neon to the sound system and put it all in the torso! It was another happy night in NJ. Since then, I've gotten the legs from Dewey, and most of the parts I ordered from Fred have come in. I'm single and I live alone, which probably has made this adventure easier. I've heard some of the "disgruntled wife" stories, so I'm kind of lucky in that respect. Let me tell you something folks, this is one hell of a project, don't let anyone kid you. Be prepared to spend some dough, have a few sleepless nights and probably without a doubt, do some of the most creative thinking of your lives. But you know something . . . It's worth it! I still can't believe he's here in my house.


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