- "It looked like the cross between a sort of lobster, and something that sort of formed from the scrapyard"
- — Chris Reynolds
Dead Metal was one of the four original House Robots alongside Matilda, Sergeant Bash and Shunt. Designed to resemble a mechanical scorpion that had "reanimated from a junkyard", he fought by grabbing hold of contestant robots with his front-mounted claws and cutting into them with the circular saw on his "head". He was driven by a battery powered engine, and moved at a speed of 5.4 metres per second (12 mph). Dead Metal was protected by a steel exoskeleton consisting of jagged armour plates and spiked struts as wheel guards. Dead Metal was originally going to be painted pink to match his lobster-like appearance, but was left grey to give him a more 'menacing' look. Despite appearing in all seven wars, Dead Metal was virtually unchanged from Series 3 onwards, except for receiving new pneumatic rams in his pincers for Series 4.
Appearance and Armament Edit
- "Our own version of a scorpion!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
In Series 1 and 2, Dead Metal had a more scorpion-like appearance. His circular saw was attached to a tail-like arm that would move forward from the robot's back. During series 1, the steel exoskeleton was much simpler in design, and as a result, its internal workings were visible and mostly unprotected. The saw blade was powered by a petrol strimmer motor, which was unreliable and caused little damage. The arm rotated at its pivot 180 degrees, but moved very slowly.
For Series 2, Dead Metal underwent a major overhaul that saw its capabilities improve tenfold. The petrol motor was replaced by an electric motor, and the saw was changed from a grinding blade to a diamond edged cutting disc. The steel exoskeleton was also completely changed to accommodate the new saw mechanism, giving Dead Metal a much more complex and well-protected appearance. The new cutting disc was more powerful and created sparks whenever Dead Metal attempted to saw through other robots, but still did not give the production team the destructive power they wanted. The arm was also modified- it was now driven by a pneumatic ram and only moved up and down on a 80 degree pivot, which visibly increased its potency and reliability, being less complicated, and able to come down on trapped competitors much more quickly.
In Series 3, Dead Metal underwent further improvement, and gained the appearance and destructive power he would maintain for the rest of the series. The original saw/pneumatic arm configuration was replaced with a Stihl cut-off saw (similar to the type used to cut steel and concrete on building sites) mounted inside the front and protected from damage by a triangular face-like exoskeleton covering it, which would be slowly driven forward via linear actuators to attack. As part of its design, the saw had to be moved forward slowly, otherwise the mechanism would jam.
Part of the rear armour plating was also mounted to the base of the saw mechanism- the combined section would move forward, giving the viewers the impression of a head biting down with its saw blade on trapped competitors. This new system proved to be far more powerful than the original grinding disc/arm configuration, capable of slicing deep into competitors, and producing spectacular sparks, particularly against metals like titanium.
The original air-driven rams used to power the pincers were replaced by a new hydraulic system that ran on Carbon dioxide- the new system proved more durable and powerful than the original air rams. The armour and exoskeleton would remain the same throughout the rest of Robot Wars, with only few minor modifications to improve protection and durability.
Dead Metal also later gained the ability to adjust the height of the front of his chassis, the idea being that this would allow the pincers to grab robots of different heights, and was often demonstrated in its arena introductions.
Dead Metal was one of the fastest House Robots, and his metre-wide body made him very difficult to flip over. Only Gravity ever achieved this; Cassius came close in its Series 2 Heat Final, but did not succeed.
Dead Metal was the fourth and final House Robot to be introduced into the first series; however, memorable moments involving him were few and far between, due to the lack of power in his weaponry. At this time, he had a more scorpion-like appearance, with his circular saw (a grinding blade in this series, rather than the cutting blade that would be used later) descending on an arm. However, the petrol strimmer motor powering the weapon was unreliable and caused little damage. The simpler steel exoskeleton also exposed his internal workings and left them mostly unprotected; despite this, Dead Metal never broke down.
Due to the weakness of the saw, Dead Metal often relied on his pincers, as well as his speed and ramming ability. This proved to be especially effective in Heat D, when the featherweight Bugs was battered by Dead Metal when it got stuck on a grille; and in Heat E, when the pincers cut through the plaster on Torque of the Devil's head; and in Heat F, when Dead Metal teamed up with Sergeant Bash and Matilda to push The Blob back in its Gauntlet run. However, this tactic still did not always work, as Robot the Bruce was easily able to push him aside in its Gauntlet run in Heat C, as was Skarab in Heat F.
Dead Metal was also adapted to be used in the Football Trial in Heat C and acted as the goalkeeper. Instead of a circular saw, the arm had a large ball on the end, used to hit the ball away from the goal. One of his few instances of major damage to a robot occured in this Trial, when he slammed WYSIWYG against the goalpost, causing it to break down (although, since WYSIWYG was a stock robot and not permitted to pass the trial, it is not clear whether or not it truly broke down).
Due to the poor performance of his saw in Series 1, Dead Metal received a major upgrade which greatly increased his capabilities. The unreliable petrol motor was replaced with an electric motor, and the grinding blade with a deadly diamond-edged cutting disc. The arm also ran on a simpler pneumatic ram system, making it able to come down on competitors more quickly. Despite a relative lack of power compared to later series, the saw proved far more effective, and produced Dead Metal's signature sparks whenever he attempted to cut through an opponent.
With the upgrade, Dead Metal began seeing great success in stopping opponents in the Gauntlet, using a combination of speed, pushing power and trapping ability to prevent robots including Sting, Onslaught, Killerhurtz, Panic Attack and Loco from completing it. One of his signature moves was grabbing the competitor with its pincers and pushing them towards the pit, while cutting them with his saw. Notably, he continued to cut into the top of Wizard's protruding hat even after it had been pitted, prompting boos from the audience.
Dead Metal temporarily replaced Shunt for the Sumo Trial event in Heat L. This was perhaps his finest hour in this series, defeating four out of five opponents, and only losing to Vercingetorix because he ran out of time. He did fall out of the ring once, against Haardvark, but Haardvark was already knocked out by that time.
Despite this success, Dead Metal still faced several failures. He was completely outmatched by Chaos during the Tug of War event, and was easily dragged into the pit. Dead Metal was also pushed into the pit by Talos during its Gauntlet run. During the King of the Castle Trial run, Plunderbird 2 pushed it off the platform with Sergeant Bash. This event was also the source of one of its more comical appearances - he managed to catch Mega Hurts with his pincers and forced it over the edge backwards, but as this happened Mega Hurts flipped over, and Dead Metal fell over the edge with it, crushing Mega Hurts' computer monitor with its weight.
Dead Metal's saw blade and saw blade mount were completely redesigned for the Third Wars, a new blade was fitted on a much larger mount with increased power. This arrangement would go on to be used on Dead Metal for the remainder of Robot Wars. The new saw enabled Dead Metal to make much more significant damage to competitors, such as Griffon and Onslaught.
Dead Metal was also assigned as the permanent Goalkeeper for the Robotic Soccer Competition that ran alongside the main competition, though still often making errors that made it easier for some robots to go on and score.
- The circular saw produced huge amounts of sparks when cutting into titanium. Examples of this included a battle between Hypno-Disc, Ming 3 and Wheely Big Cheese in Robot Wars Extreme, when it sliced into Wheely Big Cheese's wheels. When Gravedigger faced Darke Destroyer in Series 3 the saw produced great sparks again after Darke Destroyer was immobilised. Dead Metal also produced destructive sparks on the likes of Overkill, Thing 2, Rippa Raptor, G-Force and Techno Trousers.
- In a battle between Bumblebot and Ultor in Series 3, Dead Metal's saw cut right through Bumblebot's axe leaving it without a head.
- During the battle in the First World Championship between Chaos 2 and Razer, Dead Metal was able to catch Chaos 2 from the front end after being pushed into the CPZ by Razer, allowing Dead Metal an opportunity to slice a huge gash into Chaos 2's flipper. This, along with earlier damage inflicted by Razer, prompted Chaos 2 to reverse straight into the pit to avoid further damage after it had escaped.
- Due to its speed, pushing power and ability to trap opponents, Dead Metal proved to be a major challenge to get past in the Gauntlet, single-handedly stopping opponents like Sting, Onslaught, Killerhurtz, Panic Attack, Wizard and Loco from finishing through cunning use of its pushing power, blocking the routes, and the pits.
- One of its most well-known methods of ending Gauntlet runs was catching the gauntlet-runner in its pincers and pushing them towards the pit, whilst simultaneously cutting into them with its saw. It would continue this until the opponent was hanging over the pit, by which point it would then release its pincers to drop them in.
- In Wizard's gauntlet run in Series 2, it prompted booing from the audience by continuing to attack Wizard after it had been pitted, cutting up the top of its protruding hat with its saw.
- In the Heat Semi-final battle between Onslaught and Beast of Bodmin in Series 3, it almost cut the immobilised Onslaught's chassis in half with its saw.
- In Heat 5 of Series 3, during the Round 1 battle between Sonic and Hammertron, Dead Metal single-handedly dispatched the immobilised Hammertron, effortlessly cutting its tank treads to pieces with its saw, following up by immediately dragging it into the pit.
- In Battle 4 of The Minor Meltdown between Bigger Brother and Rick, Dead Metal's saw came loose, fell off of its mount, and then proceeded to roll across the arena, passing in between a gap in the wall and falling out of the arena.
- In Nickelodeon Robot Wars, it, along with Shunt and Sir Killalot, was able to dispatch Squirmin Vermin and Humdrum to win the House Robot Rebellion. Dead Metal was able to cause huge damage to both robots with its weaponry, slicing right into Humdrum's chassis at least twice.
- During its run on Mega Hurts' King of the Castle Trial in Series 2, it managed to catch Mega Hurts from the front end with its pincers, and forced it over the edge backwards- as this happened, Mega Hurts flipped over backwards as it landed, causing Dead Metal to overshoot and fall on top of it, crushing Mega-Hurts' computer monitor under its weight.
- It proved to be very successful in the Sumo Trial of Series 2, when it temporarily replaced Shunt in the last heat. Here, it managed to defeat four of its five opponents, only failing against Vercingetorix by running out of time. Even still, it only fell off the ring once after knocking out Haardvark.
- Being outmatched in a Tug of War with Chaos in Series 2, ultimately ending up being dragged backwards into the pit.
- During Talos' gauntlet run in Series 2, it was pushed backwards into the pit.
- Getting pushed off the platform with Sergeant Bash by Plunderbird 2 in its King of the Castle Trial run.
- In the Northern Annihilator, Dead Metal drove into the arena wall and broke one of its pincers.
- In Heat D of Series 5, whilst pitting one of the Gemini twins, he fell down as well.
- After Dantomkia had won its semi final in the All-Stars, it took on Dead Metal and Growler, who both broke down.
- In the Minor Meltdown battle between Bigger Brother and Rick, its saw fell off and rolled along the arena before falling into a gap between the arena and the side wall.
- During a battle with Lightning in Series 7, Gravity flipped Shunt and Dead Metal for fun, resulting in a red card from Refbot. This was, as a result, the only time Dead Metal has ever been flipped.
Appearances in MerchandiseEdit
- Dead Metal/Pullback
- Dead Metal/Minibot
- Dead Metal/Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem
- Dead Metal/Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction
- Dead Metal/Robot Wars: Advanced Destruction
- Dead Metal/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (GBA)
- Dead Metal/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (PC/Xbox)