A prop I’ve admired for a long time is the tracking bug the Agents use to track Neo in The Matrix.
There is little reference material for these out there, with the easiest-to-find photos being of the oversized prop they used in the production for the closeup as the bug was dropped from the car after being removed from Neo.
I was more interested in creating the prop in its standard size, and as far as I could find, the glances of the prop in the film are all there are to try and judge the scale of this prop. Based on best guesses examining screenshots, I’ve shared my design dimensions below, but do consider they won’t be screen-accurate.
Having recently got myself a benchtop lathe, I decided to make one as a weekend project and, after a couple of tries, produced the device pictured below.
The “head” of the bug is made of mild steel and is already showing minor signs of corrosion. I need some stainless the right size, and I may remake that part in the future.
I decided to thread the brass body into the steel head so it could come apart if needed later. The legs, the top “clip”, and the tail were all made with steel wire of a couple of diameters and either formed using pliers or wrapped around a mandrel on the lathe in the case of the tail.
Drilling the tiny holes for the steel wires was the most challenging part; I achieved that on my mini mill with a micro drill adapter to give me some good feedback during the drilling.
I turned the display base from a scrap hex piece of mystery mild steel that I used salt water and weathering paint to give some “real world” matrix patina.