- "Ah, Sir Chromalot, looks lovely ... shame about the drivers."
- — Jonathan Pearce in Series 6 as Sir Chromalot drives into Shunt while entering the Arena
Sir Chromalot achieved a consistently limited level of success in Robot Wars, reaching the second round of every heat it entered, losing to the eventual heat winner in three of the four instances (Big Brother, Firestorm 3 and S3 respectively), even continuing this trend in the Celebrity Special of the Fourth Wars.
Despite achieving very little success in robot combat, the team (The Hub Nuts) were considered one of the most popular entertainers in Robot Wars, along with the International Wreck Crew and Team Nemesis. Captain Steve Merrill in particular promoted "The Class Act", hiring cheerleaders and limousines to promote his machine, as well as consistently dressing in formal attire in the pits and roboteer control booths. The team's promotion of Sir Chromalot was a deliberate juxtaposition with its unremarkable nature (especially in Series 3-4), though the Series 5 and 6 models became more competitive after Ray Tait of Centurion joined the team and Sir Chromalot gained a functional rear-hinged flipper. A new version of Sir Chromalot attempted to enter the Seventh Wars, but was defeated in its qualifier by Scorpion.
Sir Chromalot's name was a pun on Sir Lancelot, one of the Knights of the Round Table from the legend of King Arthur.
Versions of Sir ChromalotEdit
Generally, Sir Chromalot's design remained consistent in its TV appearances, being a small circular-shaped robot with four wheels and with a body and chassis made out of a lorry wheel hub. The robot was finished in chromium silver, and regularly bore flags with its name written on it throughout its appearances.
The original Sir Chromalot that appeared in Series 3 was armed with a spike tipped with a cobalt cutter. However, it did not have a self-righting mechanism, which cost it in its battle against Big Brother.
Initially, this version of Sir Chromalot was to be equipped with horizontally spinning sledgehammers, resembling helicopter blades. However, this weapon had to be removed due to a variety of issues.
- "No one knew whether this thing would be finished in time, let alone work. Smith turned up the volume on his moaning and was well into needing a charisma by-pass. With only two days to go, things started going wrong. A major problem of radio interference had been discovered. Yep, now we kept getting Grays Taxis every time a relay switched in. It was sending the servos haywire. A whole day was lost to solving this fault. Then there was insufficient room for the batteries. Something had to give? It was decided that the 'something' remains classified. We would however like to thank the nice men in white coats."
- — The Sir Chromalot website on Sir Chromalot's spinner
To resolve the lack of self-righting that affected it in Series 3, the Series 4 Sir Chromalot featured an unusual tower mechanism that acted as its srimech. This mechanism ensured that the robot would only be toppled onto its side, with a series of self-righting arms mounted in the mechanism could push Sir Chromalot back onto its wheels. However, this mechanism was not seen properly in its appearances, and took up weight which could be used for more potent weaponry, so it was removed after Series 4. For this series only, it was also equipped with a long spinning drill on the right side of the machine, but it was a generally ineffective weapon due to how easily it bent.
For the Series 4 Celebrity Special, Sir Chromalot's srimech tower was draped in a shiny decorative cloak, covering it completely and rendering it useless.
Series 5/Extreme 1Edit
For Series 5, Sir Chromalot's spikes were removed and replaced with a pneumatic flipping arm, which featured a pair of forks and the gas bottle mounted on top of it. The flipping arm also had a spike attached to the rear which doubled as an axe, similar to the weapons of 8645T and Robochicken. While this new weapon proved reasonably effective, its design prevented it from acting as a srimech, which cost Sir Chromalot in its Series 5 battle against Firestorm 3.
The development of the flipping arm is credited to new team member Ray Tait, who had previously developed a flipping weapon for his robot Centurion.
Series 6/Extreme 2Edit
- "At RW, Sir Chromalot was absolutely on the limit of top weight allowance, by a few grams. That's how precise it was."
- — Steve Merrill
Sir Chromalot received considerable revisions to its body and weapon for Series 6. A silver-painted tyre was added to the rim of the wheel hub, while the flipping arm was made considerably smaller, had the gas bottle concealed within the hub, and no longer had the axe spike fitted to the rear. The flipping arm proved much more potent and effective than in Series 5, capable of flipping other robots over with considerable force and acting as the robot's srimech.
For the Extreme 2 Challenge Belt, Sir Chromalot's tyre was replaced with metal armour outlined in hazard tape, and decorative chains and wigs added to the top, sides and rear of the robot.
This model of Sir Chromalot was retired after Extreme 2. Ray Tait left the team at this point.
The original Sir Chromalot was only finished very early in the morning on the day of its audition for Series 3. It worked well and qualified for the series..
- "Saturday at 4.33pm the whole crew assembled to see if Sir Chromalot was to perform or not. 4.45pm there was much celebration. It was working, a few teething problems to sort but of no real concern, we would make the audition Sunday. Finally at 2am Sunday, morning of the audition, it was done. It worked. It was devastating. It was powerful. It looked fantastic. It was SIR CHROMALOT"
- — The Hub Nuts website
Sir Chromalot's popularity earned it a seeded position in Series 4, allowing it to directly qualify for the series. It was not seeded for Series 5, so had to go through the qualifiers.
In Series 6, Sir Chromalot won its qualifier, defeating three unknown robots armed with spinning weapons, so automatically went through to the series.
Steve Merrill, along with several engineers from Alchrist Engineering, constructed a brand new version of Sir Chromalot for Series 7. This version was a radical departure from its predecessor, being a precision box-shaped robot equipped with two saw discs, tipped with tungsten carbide. However, it was never seen on television, as it was ripped to pieces in its qualifier battle, a vengeance battle with Scorpion. As a result, Sir Chromalot failed to qualify for Series 7 in this form.
In Heat D of the Third Wars, Sir Chromalot appeared on the televised show for the first time, arriving in style from the back of a Rolls-Royce. After a brief entertainment from the team, who danced around the arena, the robot fought in its first round battle, which saw it get placed up against fellow newcomers Shell Shock.
- "Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, this is Sir Chromalot."
- — Steve Merrill's arrival into Series 3
In the battle, Sir Chromalot immediately attacked Shell Shock and penetrated the shell with its spike. After this moment the axe of Shell Shock was permanently jammed down. Sir Chromalot pushed it into Matilda's CPZ, but Matilda pushed it out again. Then Sir Chromalot and Sir Killalot ganged up on Shell Shock together. Shell Shock's axe head broke off, and Sir Chromalot became stuck on top of it. Sir Killalot and Matilda attacked it and it was freed. It started to move again, but then Sir Killalot pushed it into the pit of oblivion. The judges ruled that Sir Chromalot should not have been pushed into the pit, so the judged the match on points and awarded Sir Chromalot the victory, to the chagrin of Craig Charles.
- "Well, the decision is in, and I don't agree with it, but I'm not a judge. Shell Shock will be shell shocked, because they've gone for Sir Chromalot!"
- — Craig Charles after the decision is made
In the second round, Sir Chromalot was placed up against another newcomer in Big Brother. Before the battle, the Sir Chromalot team took to the arena floor and paraded around, dancing to entertain the audience.
This battle was fairly brief, particularly in comparison to their previous battle. Big Brother drove Sir Chromalot towards the CPZ, however, Sir Chromalot turned around and tried a head-on charge on Big Brother. Big Brother also drove forwards, and ended up driving in underneath Sir Chromalot, this made the Hub Nuts' machine topple and fall upside down and left on its back, where it was unable to self-right. Sir Chromalot was deemed immobilised, and the House Robots then came in for the kill. However, even Shunt's diamond edged axe could not penetrate the underbelly of Sir Chromalot. Cease was soon called, and Sir Chromalot was eliminated from the competition. After the battle, Joe Watts from Big Brother shook hands with the Sir Chromalot team.
At the end of the series, Sir Chromalot was nominated for the Sportsmanship Award, however, it lost out to Diotoir.
- "Who's going to win? Siiiiiiiiiiir C-H-R-O-M-A-L-O-T! What does that spell? Siiiiiiiiiiir Chromalot!"
- — The chants of The Chromettes
Sir Chromalot returned for the Fourth Wars as the number 27 seeds, being granted this seeding due to its popularity with the crowd and its Sportsmanship Award nomination. The team arrived in the back of a truck, accompanied by a squad of cheerleaders as extra support. Sir Chromalot participated in Heat M of the main competition. In its first round melee, the seeded Sir Chromalot machine was placed up against two newcomers in Reactor and Scorpion.
The battle started worryingly for the number 27 seeds as Scorpion pushed Sir Chromalot around the arena for a while with relative ease. Fortunately, Sir Chromalot was able to halt Scorpion in its tracks with its spike, up against the arena side wall, and Reactor took this opportunity to swoop in and flip Scorpion over. Scorpion was unable to self-right, so it was deemed immobilised, and was then pushed onto the flame pit, before being severely damaged by the House Robots. This put the seeded Sir Chromalot machine through to the next round of the Heat.
In the second round, things didn't go too smoothly for Sir Chromalot as it was placed up against a returning robot in The Steel Avenger. Before the battle, the cheerleaders (referred to as the "Chromettes"), performed a dance routine to entertain the crowd.
In this battle, Sir Chromalot used the spikes to pivot The Steel Avenger round and cause minor damage. However, The Steel Avenger was also able to take advantage of Sir Chromalot's low pushing power, and directed it around in circles on the arena floor, whilst also trying to hit the tall srimech apparatus of Sir Chromalot with its axe. The Steel Avenger missed with its axe on numerous occasions, only managing to hit Sir Chromalot once, however several more hits in between were edited out. The drill weapon then suddenly broke on Sir Chromalot after a hefty slam from The Steel Avenger, this then almost served as a cue for the pit of oblivion to descend. The Steel Avenger then carried Sir Chromalot now showing very little movement over to the pit, before lining it up perfectly, and dumping it down with ease. Cease was called and the seeded Sir Chromalot was eliminated from the competition.
- "The cheerleaders won't be cheering now!"
- — Craig Charles post-battle
Sir Chromalot also entered in the Celebrity Special, which took place during the Christmas season of the Fourth Wars. The robot was driven by Boyzone's Shane Lynch, who considered himself to be the best of the Celebrity drivers in the competition.
In its first round battle, Sir Chromalot was placed up against Disc-O-Inferno. In the battle, Sir Chromalot started the stronger machine as it avoided the disc of its opponent and caught it side-on with its spike and drill, giving it the pushing advantage and sent Disc-O-Inferno skimming off the arena wall. Sir Chromalot then chased after Disc-O-Inferno before it got struck back from the flywheel, and was pushed a little in return. Sir Chromalot's decorations were set alight and burnt completely when it drove foolishly over the flame pit whilst trying to push Disc-O-Inferno over to the arena side wall. This gave Sir Chromalot back its srimech. However, Sir Chromalot had almost nothing more to do in the battle, as when it pulled away, it was clear that Disc-O-Inferno had become immobilised after its aerial had burnt out after the robot was pushed over the flame pit by Sir Chromalot. Sir Chromalot pulled away and let the house robots do some more damage to Disc-O-Inferno, before assisting them to place it on the arena floor flipper to be flipped. However, more foolish driving had Sir Chromalot end in the path of Disc-O-Inferno being launched from the flipper, and crashing into Sir Chromalot on landing. Sir Killalot dumped Disco-O-Inferno into the pit of oblivion before cease was finally called, confirming victory for Sir Chromalot. This put Sir Chromalot through to the second round of the competition.
In the Semi-Final round, Sir Chromalot was placed up against the rising tournament favourites in Pussycat.
In this battle, Sir Chromalot couldn't get away from the cutting saw of Pussycat at all, and suffered tremendous damage. Sir Chromalot tried in vain to attack Pussycat, and soon lost its drill upon contact with the saw. After a while of Pussycat cutting into a fairly statuesque Sir Chromalot, Pussycat scuttled across to the other side of the arena, making it clear that Sir Chromalot was completely immobilised. The House Robots then closed in on the defeated machine, first pushing it onto the flame pit, losing more decorations, and then toppling it over before taking it over to the arena floor flipper to be flipped. After Sir Chromalot was flipped by the Arena Floor Flipper, Sir Killalot crumpled the scrimech and took Sir Chromalot over to the pit of oblivion and dumped it down, eliminating it from the competition.
- Craig Charles: "I haven't seen such a serious match, in ages, on Robot Wars."
- Shane Lynch: "Well, I was trying to give the crowd what they wanted to see."
- — Post-battle interview
At the end of the series, Sir Chromalot, for the second series running, was nominated for the Sportsmanship award, however, for the second series in a row, it lost out to Diotoir.
The new Sir Chromalot machine made its Extreme Series 1 début by fighting in a Vengeance battle, where it went up against Plunderbird 5, caused by an argument between the teams as to which team were the better showmen, and which team had a better entry. The pre-match banter included various name-calling and insults, including a mock award presented to the Plunderbird team by Steve Merrill.
- Mike Onslow: "It's about time you pair of girlies got yourself a decent hard image"
- Steve Merrill: "Listen here, Plunder-Girls, everytime I move my foot, your mouth opens!"
- — The Class Act and International Wrecking Crew trade insults
The battle itself was a long and dull one as both robots spent a long while dodging around one another. Eventually, Sir Chromalot made a flip on Plunderbird 5, a flip that made Plunderbird 5 get stuck on the top of Sir Chromalot.
- "Once again boys, you're all talk and no trousers"
- — Jonathan Pearce commentating mid-battle
After a few moments, Plunderbird 5 finally got off the top of Sir Chromalot, and the fight continued. However, the battle at long last came to a conclusion as Sir Chromalot pressed the pit release button, making the pit descend. Plunderbird 5 was on the pit mouth, and then lost control completely, resulting in the robot positioning itself in such a way that the wheels were hanging over the pit of oblivion, meaning that Plunderbird 5 couldn't move away. The result of the battle was now perfectly clear, but Sir Chromalot was confirmed the winner as Sergeant Bash then came out of his CPZ and pushed Plunderbird 5 into the pit fully.
Sir Chromalot also had a disastrous Tag Team Terror partnership with Napalm in the first series of Extreme. Although the two teams appeared very confident going into their first round battle up against Suicidal Tendencies and The Steel Avenger (who beat Sir Chromalot in Series 4), the Tag Team partnership couldn't live up to it.
In the battle, Sir Chromalot stayed in its specified corner, doing absolutely nothing, until it was official that Napalm was immobilised, after being completely destroyed by both robots of the opposing Tag Team partnership. Sir Chromalot itself eventually came out as Napalm was lifted and then dumped out of the arena by Sir Killalot. Sir Chromalot was overwhelmed by the power of its opponents, but it still managed to lift The Steel Avenger onto the scoop of Suicidal Tendencies, leaving the pair locked together briefly. Unfortunately, Sir Chromalot couldn't avoid the pressure from Sir Killalot, and was pitted within moments, without much retaliation at all from Sir Chromalot. Cease was then called, and Sir Chromalot and Napalm were eliminated from the competition.
- "Oh guys, come on, I'm so depressed! But not really, I'll be back!"
- — Steve Merill's melodramatic exit from Extreme 1 towards the cameras
- "Ray Tait...appears to have gotten his hands on the machine, because it actually works!"
- — Philippa Forrester observing the new and improved Sir Chromalot, and the former Centurion captain
Sir Chromalot returned for the Fifth Wars, unseeded this time. The robot participated in Heat D of the main competition. In the first round of the Heat, Sir Chromalot was placed up against newcomers to the main competition in Rohog.
After getting a few light flips and bashes on Rohog, none managing to flip Rohog fully over, Sir Chromalot pushed Rohog into the angle grinder neighbouring the flame pit, before driving back into the centre of the Arena, while Rohog, didn't make any movement. Rohog was then immediately counted out by the Refbot, before being completely obliterated by the House Robots Sir Killalot and Matilda. Cease was eventually called, and Sir Chromalot was put through to the next round of the Heat.
In the second round of the Heat, Sir Chromalot was placed up against the number seven seeds Firestorm 3.
In this battle, Firestorm 3 flipped over Sir Chromalot almost immediately, and due to the awkward position and shape of the flipping arm, Sir Chromalot was unable to self-right, deeming it immobile. Sir Chromalot was thrown around the arena for a little while longer by Firestorm 3, before eventually being counted out by the Refbot. Cease was called and Sir Chromalot was eliminated from the competition, meaning it was out of the main competition in the second round for the third time in a row.
- "...an American truck wheel hub turned into an invincible, self-righting, CO2 gas flipping machine that they claim is Razer-proof, bomb-proof and Jonathan Pearce-proof! Steve and Ray, make my day!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Sir Chromalot entered the arena for the Sixth Wars by carelessly crashing into Shunt, prompting the House Robot briefly tried to chase it, although it was never in true danger. In its closely-waged first-round battle, Sir Chromalot was placed up against a returning spinner, The Alien, Series 2 Semi-Finalists GBH 2 and newcomers ICU.
- "Whatever happens to the Sir Chromalot team, they are great value, great fun, great showmen...and...Steve and Ray, it would be great to see your machine down the pit!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as the battle starts
In the battle, Sir Chromalot hung back as The Alien attacked the other two competitors, before charging into The Alien and flipping it onto its back. As The Alien slowly self-righted, Sir Chromalot took an axe blow from ICU and fled, before Sir Chromalot was flipped over by The Alien. Sir Chromalot then swiftly self-righted and flipped GBH 2 onto its back, with Team Joint Effort's machine self-righting again. Sir Chromalot then flipped over ICU, who was unable to self-right, as the axe mechanism broke not long before hand. Sir Chromalot then missed a flip on The Alien, but was flipped over by GBH 2 once more. Sir Chromalot managed to self-right, albeit with some effort, and was then flipped into the arena side wall by GBH 2, after they were pushed backwards by The Alien. Sir Chromalot did manage to self-right, but it was resting up against the arena side wall, meaning the robot was still unable to flee, another flip from the flipper did nothing but put Sir Chromalot back onto its back. Sir Chromalot couldn't fire its flipper at all for the rest of the battle, as it was locked open. However, as it was so close to the end of the battle, Sir Chromalot had just managed to hold on to a judges' decision. The decision controversially went in favour of Sir Chromalot and The Alien, putting The Class Act through to the second round of the heat on a 2-1 split decision, which ultimately declared that Sir Chromalot had done enough before it was left lying upside down.
Sir Chromalot then faced number seven seeds S3 in the second round, the second series in a row where Sir Chromalot met the seventh seed in the second round of a heat.
- Philippa Forrester: "Have you ever looked at your robot lately?"
- Steve Merrill: "Have you seen this jacket? I've got the gold one on now. Do you like the gold jacket?"
- Philippa Forrester: "Are you worried about S3?"
- Steve Merrill: "No, who are S3?"
- — Steve Merrill whilst his robot remains in bits just before the fight
In this battle, Sir Chromalot started by activating the pit release button and attempting to lure the seeded machine towards it. However, S3 closed the gap between Sir Chromalot and its own disc weapon, and slashed Sir Chromalot twice, knocking Sir Chromalot clean over onto its back. Sir Chromalot immediately self-righted and continued to lure S3 around the pit of oblivion. However, Sir Chromalot's flipping arm eventually ran out of gas from self-righting after being flipped by S3's flywheel. S3 righted it, but Sir Chromalot broke down from the blow and was counted out by the Refbot, eliminating it from the competition, meaning it was eliminated in the Heat Semi-final for a fourth time in succession. Dead Metal put punishment on Sir Chromalot, before accelerating into the pit of oblivion with the defeated Sir Chromalot.
- Craig Charles: "When are you going to build a better robot?"
- Steve Merrill: "When you get a better jacket!"
- — Post-battle
Sir Chromalot exclusively competed in the Challenge Belt competition in the second series of Extreme. In the first round, Sir Chromalot was placed up against three times Grand Finalists Hypno-Disc, two-time Heat finalists S.M.I.D.S.Y. and recent Semi-finalists and Most Promising Newcomer Award winner Dantomkia, largely making The Class Act the clear underdogs for the battle.
- "...not a problem for us!"
- — Ray Tait upon hearing the line-up
For this event, the robot had been draped in chains, most likely to try to deflect the attacks from the spinning disc weapons on S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Hypno-Disc. In the battle, after staying out of major trouble for the majority of the battle, Sir Chromalot looked fit to go through as Hypno-Disc had sailed out of the arena very early on in the battle, and S.M.I.D.S.Y was being constantly picked on by both Dantomkia and Mr. Psycho.
However, Dantomkia then turned on Sir Chromalot and flipped it onto its back into an unoccupied CPZ, Sir Chromalot's added chains restricted it from self-righting, leaving it available for Matilda to attack, who spun Sir Chromalot back onto its wheels using her 27kg flywheel, before using it to hurl Sir Chromalot out of the arena and into the arena entrance gates, eliminating The Class Act from the competition. This was Sir Chromalot's last appearance on the televised show.
- "They do fantastic dinners here!"
- — Solace for Steve Merrill
|SIR CHROMALOT - RESULTS|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat D, Round 1||vs. Shell Shock||Won|
|Heat D, Round 2||vs. Big Brother||Lost|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
27th Seed, Heat, Round 2
|Heat M, Eliminator||vs. Reactor, Scorpion||Qualified|
|Heat M, Semi-Final||vs. The Steel Avenger||Lost|
|Round 1||vs. Disc-O-Inferno||Won|
|Round 2||vs. Pussycat||Lost|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Tag Team Terror|
Competing with Napalm, Round 1
|Round 1||vs. Suicidal Tendencies & The Steel Avenger||Lost|
|Vengeance||vs. Plunderbird 5||Won|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat D, Eliminator||vs. Rohog||Won|
|Heat D, Semi Final||vs. Firestorm 3 (7)||Lost|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat D, Round 1||vs. GBH 2, ICU, The Alien||Qualified|
|Heat D, Round 2||vs. S3 (7)||Lost|
|Extreme Series 2|
|Round 1||vs. Dantomkia, Hypno-Disc, S.M.I.D.S.Y.||Eliminated|
- Wins: 6
- Losses: 7
|Main Series||Sir Chromalot Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Fourth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Sixth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Seventh Wars||Failed to qualify|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
Appearances in MerchandiseEdit
- Interestingly, in Sir Chromalot's three unseeded main appearances, it fought in Heat D, losing in Round 2 to the eventual heat winner, two of which being the number seven seed for the series. The robot also lost in Round 2 of its main competition appearance as a seed.
- In fact, Sir Chromalot never made it past Round 2 in any competition, always losing in Round 1 of any competitions it took part in during either series of Extreme (not counting its Vengeance battle, which was a one-off battle).
- Sir Chromalot was profiled in Robot Wars: The Ultimate Guide.
- During testing before Series 3, Sir Chromalot survived being hit by multiple cars.
- In all of its unseeded appearances in the main competition, Sir Chromalot lost as a result of being flipped, despite being equipped with a flipping weapon for two of these series.
- In Series 4, Sir Chromalot measured 1.41 metres tall, making this the tallest competing robot in the main competition of all time.
- Shell Shock was the only one of Sir Chromalot's opponents that never appeared in any other series.
- Sir Chromalot and Gemini are the only robots to lose in the second round of two different episodes - the Series 4 Celebrity Special and Heat D of Series 5. They also appeared in Episode 8 of Extreme 1, losing their respective battles in that episode.
- Sir Chromalot never lost a battle on a judges' decision.
- Sir Chromalot was misspelt as "Sir Chromolot" on the team's work bench for Series 5.
- In Sir Chromalot's last appearance on Robot Wars, the Robot Wars announcer Stuart McDonald mistakenly pronounced it Sir Chompalot, despite saying it correctly for over three years before hand.
- Sadly, Hub Nuts team captain Steve Merrill passed away on June 19th, 2011 from complications relating to bowel cancer.  Both surviving models of Sir Chromalot became the property of Ray Tait.
- ↑ http://smithelec.theshoppe.com/history.htm
- ↑ The Hub Nuts website - History
- ↑ Robot2000 news
- ↑ Sir Chromalot Road Test
- ↑ http://www.thurrockgazette.co.uk/news/9110287.Tributes_paid_to_well_known_Steve/