Warren Ludwig, an illustrator and designer located near Kansas City, created this automaton called DiggerBot. This photo shows the automaton nearly done, but not yet painted. I happen to love it in this state, but the finished paint job also turned out great.
Be sure to check out Warren Ludwig's extensive blog coverage of the process of making this automaton. He takes you through the initial sketch, subject research, mechanical tests, trail-and-error engineering, construction details, and painting. It is a great representation of the process of a making an original automaton in my opinion. There are also some great modeling techniques in his entries as well. Good stuff!
Here is a link to Warren Ludwig's blog featuring the DiggerBot automaton.