Alien Artillery

This special show brings three of the best animotion studios together to save the world (or a hollywood backlot at the very least) from an alien invasion. The teams will first be judged by an impartial judge as to which creation is the most creative design. The first test of the machines will be to navigate an obstacle course set in the old west. They will be timed and will be assessed a penalty for each alien they do not shoot (they have to shoot the aliens in the head for it to count). Next, in New York City, they will all leave the start line at the same time and take one of three paths towards two 10-foot tall aliens. To conquer these aliens, they will have to use a flame-thrower and burn them to the ground, then race back to the finish line. In the final battle, they will have to cut through the 3 wires of a security barrier then move forward to a "control panel" of three panels of steel. Once they remove the panels from the frame, it's open season on the alien queen. The first team to shoot the alien queen in the eye wins.

Each challenge is worth 3 points to the winner, 2 to second place and 1 point to the 3rd place finisher. The team with the highest total of points wins the competition. Since this is a special show, the teams will have 20 hours (2 days) in which to build their machines. As an added bonus...Rossi and Bobbi Sue are joined by a very special guest.

Jim Henson's Creature Shop is going to take a skid-loader (Bobcat) and leave it mostly alone. The bucket will get a mean looking extension that holds their finger and a manually operated cutting knife. The large "finger" will also hold the flame thrower. Their gun will be located within easy reach of the driver, just in front of the steering levers. To increase the functionality, they will add a large foam head to the top of the Bobcat, complete with foam hands. This team is going to have to get it in gear and stay focused.

The guys of KNB are going ghoulish. They want to use a compact excavator and twist it's arm to the side. By moving the arm to the side and putting the driver in the middle it will look really weird. Their gun will be mounted on the "shoulder" of the main arm with their gun and a cutter/flame thrower/finger at the end of the big hydraulic arm. This is going to be a mission impossible. Moving a tangle of hydraulics just for the sake of "cool" will take a long time.

George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) aren't straying far from home. Using a compact excavator as a base, they will attach a breech loading gun and flame thrower to an arm near the cab and a finger at the end of the main arm. To make it look cool, they're going to make it look like R2D2. To cut the wire, a pneumatic cutter will pinch it against a metal plate. This shouldn't be too hard but ILM faces the "stigma" of being computer animation guys without much knowledge of how things go together in the real world.
Jim Henson's Creature Shop
clockwise from top left,
Captain John, Duke,
Patrick and Phil
clockwise from top left,
Captain Dave, Lil Al,
Tim and Jake
Industrial Light & Magic
clockwise from top left,
Captain Grant, Mark,
Rob and Geoff

ILM strikes first by finding 
an excavator for a base
KNB follows suit rather quickly
It takes some time but the
Henson team find their loader
and they waste no time in building
their "prow" for the front
ILM already has their finger attached
and test it, picking up duct tape
KNB get to work in moving the
arm and its hydraulic jungle
To make the dome of R2D2, ILM
will be using this satellite dish
ILM are no working on getting
their air gun built for testing
KNB have built their claw but have
jerry-rigged their hydraulic fittings
KNB shows off their claw and cutter
combination end effecter
ILM have their gun working 
at the end of day one
After a day of work, the Henson 
team have their finger...and decorations
To start day two, team Henson
work on their air gun
ILM, mean while perfect their
chopping actuator
KNB have a hopper attached to
their gun for rapid firing
The Henson crew use a blade on
a string for their cutting tool
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