Saturday, March 27, 2010

Getting the show on the road.

It took me about a year to collect enough parts to really get going. The first R2 parts I got was the dome & frame. The dome is a Formosa generation II. I went with the wooden frame since it is what I'm use to working with the most. The frame was made out of plywood and didn't feel sturdy so to give it some reinforcement I added some fiberglass. Assembling the frame was probably about the easiest part by far.

No matter what you get you always have to make some adjustments. You would think that all the parts are universal & and are interchangeable.

The skins are not to terribly difficult all you do is punch out the pieces. As there are many reasons why I may need to remove my skins I attached them to the frame with small screws. I don't recommend gluing them on.

Not all skins came with the extra parts to build your own ports, vents & etc. With a little time & patience & a whole lot of glue and details done. Granted I didn't like how some of them came out after assembling and went with resin parts.

FYI, not all resin pieces are equal. Sometimes that have lots of bubbles in them. The easiest way to fix this is using body plastic to fill them in. Of course once it's dried & harden you'll have to sand it down.

Knowledge is power - How to get started on an R2D2 build.

You know the saying there is more than one way to skin a cat? Well, there is more than one way to build a droid. It's not an easy build and can try your patients at time but definitely a labor of love that's worth it. You have to remember you are the only one who limits yourself. Many think that because we have a life size replica that we are rich & have money to toss around. WRONG! We are average Joes just like you. Not all of us are mechanically inclined either. The plus side is even if you've never picked up a hand tool you can still build an R2. Just go with your strengths and don't be afraid to ask for help in the group. I happen to be lucky, as I said, "I'm no stranger to tools." I've been working with cars since I was a kid as well as been building large scale model airplanes for over 20 yrs.

Just like anyone else I looked online to see if there was information on how to build an R2D2. Did you know that if you do a search on Yahoo for "How to build an R2D2" you will get almost a million results. The best place to start looking for information is at The official website of the R2-D2 builder's club. There are other groups and forums out there and most of them tie back to this group as the main hub. From here you can find out if there are local builders groups in your area such as Southern R2 Builders.

Before you jump into anything weather it's starting a new hobby or building your droid you must alway do research & lots of reading. Many may be surprised at the thought that I don't post much in the forums but I've read almost every post. This first step is the most important. You get tips on what works & what doesn't. Also by doing the leg work you can come across some great deals. Life happens and sometimes fellow R2 builders for one reason or another decide to sell off parts of their droids. Getting second hand parts is a great way to keep your cost down.  You will also find in the group links to plans on how to build your own frame, skins as well as cut out the pie panels on the dome. There are also fellow builders who do runs on parts as well as manufacture parts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

R2D2 build by Todd & Jessica Bixby

Here is my little buddy, sporting new paint and just put back together, exterior is done except power couplers and letting him go play in the mud a bit like all young droids are known to do from time to time. i just need to remember to keep him away from Dagobah!