I was going to polish the robot and leave it in its natural color, but decided after seeing the chasis that it would look better painted.
The first step was to clean up a few remaining burrs on the chasis and smooth the edges a bit. Using a Dremel Tool, this took only a few minutes, but a file would have worked as well. (see b4paint, attached in next e-mail).
It took longer to dig out the paint cans and clean the nozzles, than it did to actually paint the chasis and wheel supports. As you can see, I went for a red paint scheme, and painted the supports silver. I wiped the chasis clean with laquer thinner to remove dust. For painting, I supported the rig from the rafters of my garage with a bit of wire, and shot the unit lightly with primer followed by 2 coats of paint. The wheel supports were placed on a piece of 2x4 and shot in an upright position. For final drying (it was a wet weekend) I place the unit on a cookie sheet and baked it hard, 150 degrees for 1 hour, with the ventilator fan running.
Having assembled the rig, I am sure I could assemble another in an hour. Still, it was more fun to put in a couple videos and tinker on it while enjoying a couple of Harrison Ford's movies. The only part of the instructions that were confusing was the first step, hooking up the whiskers. There is no indication which color wire goes to which whisker, (does it matter?) and I was looking for several minutes to locate the wire connectors, before I realized they were soldered to the chasis wiring.
Thank you all for your help in getting the robot to me in time for the 3 day weekend. Now I have all day tomorrow to play around and see what this little rig will do.
I've downloaded some of the instructions to program the controller and upgrade it, from Parallax, and I'll jump into it tomorrow. In the future, I'll be adding a protective plate on top of the rig. (There's a boat shop nearby that fabricates "chrome" aluminum sheet.) I'd also like to install a coprocessor and breadboard in "eyes" for this rig.
Just for fun, I might even see if I can vacuform some parts, as well as rob a dust buster, and rig up a lightweight vacuum to ride atop. With a relay attached to the high-V output, it might be possible to use it to vacuum up the birdseed my finches throw out. Sure, it would take longer than doing it by hand, but not half so much fun.