Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

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Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

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Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby royjess » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:53 pm

4 Years ago Jess and I visited the very first "Feel the Force Day" http://www.feeltheforceday.com/

When we were there, we met a guy called Adam and he had a R2D2 unit that he had built http://www.strawson.freeuk.com/droid/buildindex.htm

Adam and I have kept in touch and I see him every year at the "Feel the Force Day"

Back then, I decided that I wanted to build one. However, I knew nothing about DIY radio control.

I tracked down the plans to build one. These are not readily available and you have to join the "R2-D2 Builders Group on Yahoo! Groups" to down load the plans. None of the R2D2 forums are open to anyone, they are very much a closed group where you have to join to view.

The following copy and paste taken from the Astomech.net forums explains the general unwritten rules with regards to copyright, selling renting etc..

Well to my understanding talking to people from this business, it is illegal without a license. These replicas are seen as an artistic representation and therefore are our none monitory private property which is why we are allowed to exist, under fair use. However once you make them to sell for profit, it becomes a whole other thing as R2 as a product and character is to only be sold under the license of LFL since it is their intellectual property. This is why the rules of the club exist (no selling, renting, etc.)


In general they do frown upon any parts for sale that is not approved by the forums clubs, so purchasing anything off e-bay is a big no no.

So four years down the line and I was looking at purchasing the DeAgosini partworks build your own R2D2. After subscribing, I decided within days to cancel my subscription and instead I decided that I was going to build a full size one.

I was hoping to build one from scratch, using the 45cm metal lampshade, a good set of plans can be found here, but the build is not accurate http://www.rebeldog.co.uk/r2d2.asp

Most club R2D2 approve part runs can be purchased from the USA, not only these part runs cost a fortune, but you also have to pay import taxes on top of these. The hydro dome cost around $490 + P&P + £120 import taxes :o http://www.graniteearth.com/ProductDeta ... M-DOME-SET

At the last "Feel the Force day" in one of the side exhibits rooms, they had a fiberglass R2D2 kit on show. The cost of these were very expensive, but they did look good.

I came across a e-bay seller "Prodigy pros UK" making fiberglass R2D2 kits on ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Star-wars-R2d ... SwAuZX4-je

For just under £800 (£760 + £40 P&P) I wasn't going to purchase that :o

At the beginning of December last year, I decided to make an offer on the kit. My experience in making an offer on ebay is usually they get rejected, even if you make an offer of 1 penny under the asking price (and Jess has even tired to see if they accept or reject an offer of the actual asking price, and yes you guest it, they even reject the asking price as an offer). So I was very surprise when they accepted my offer of £350 (+£10 P&P) :o

So I was now committed to purchase and I paid my money. The estimated delivery date came and went and then I got a message saying that the item would be sent just before Christmas. A few days before the New Year, I get another message saying it would be sent the 1st working day in the new year. The new year came and went and I got another message saying that it would be sent a week later. This carried on and the rules of Ebay, you have 30 days withing the estimated delivery date to file a complaint for non delivery to get e-bay money back guarantee. So that is what I did, I opened up an ebay case against them. They marked the item as sent on the ebay site and gave me a tracking number, nothing turned up and I then received another message saying the item would be sent a few days later. Then I got another message to say that 3 boxes were on the way and another one a few days later as he had forgot to put some of the parts in the original boxes. To be honest I did got to the point that I though that the kit was never going to arrive.

The Kit arrived on Monday and some of the missing parts yesterday, but I'm still missing a pair of ankle cylinders and cylinders supports. So I've still got my case against them open, but these parts are easily made up if they are not sent. Apparently they were sent yesterday.

As for the kit, I must say, apart from the odd filling and sanding (which is to be expected), I've very impressed with the kit. The resin parts also need some work done, but I'm looking at purchasing the HP projectors from another supplier, something that I plan to do at the time of purchasing the kit.

So here is some my plans that I would like to implement

Fit RC and lights
Have the head turn
Fit wheels in the feet
R2 sounds
Moving Utility arms

Some ideas that I would like to do, but night not as these are something that might require some one with more experience to build and also I need to take in consideration that the fibre glass construction may make it more tricky

2-3-2 (this is where it goes from 2 legs to 3 and back again, a very difficult feat even for an experience builder, definitely not for a novice builder like me)
Periscope
Moving HP projectors
Doors opening with internal utility arms that come out

And the other thing that some builders add, but this is not to my liking and definitely not for use with the fibreglass dome, so I won't be doing this, and that is the pie sections opening up and closing on the dome.

So with a lot of other projects that I need to complete or start, and also I would like to wait for the warmer weather before I sand and fill the resin/fibreglass, I might not do much with this build until later on in the year.

I know that the clubs don't approve of purchasing parts from ebay, but this finish build is going to be for my personal enjoyment and I won't be taking the R2 out for public show. Only time will tell if I did the right thing or not.

Image

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To be continued...
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby steve131 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:00 pm

Very nice Roy ,are the legs in a fixed position or do they articulate :?: Will enjoy this build over the long hot summer ,enjoy your Astro Droid 8-) Was it the one you were looking for :lol:
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby wingnut » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:24 pm

:o OMG ! you are actually doing it, looking at the links you are going need some pretty power full servos and motors not to mention a battery or more than one battery :?: it looks fairly heavy.
looking forward to your build diary and I'm sure there will be some "Roy" enhancements :laughing-rolling: ;)
Can't for your build diary.
Good luck !
Cheers Mike.
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby wingnut » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:49 pm

Hello Roy,
On reflection after reviewing your post again, If the "clubs" ect. have a problem It's with the distributor not you :twisted:
Cheers Mike.
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby royjess » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:41 pm

Thanks all for your replies and interest

steve131 wrote:Very nice Roy ,are the legs in a fixed position or do they articulate :?: Will enjoy this build over the long hot summer ,enjoy your Astro Droid 8-) Was it the one you were looking for :lol:


The kit don't come with any shoulder fixings, the guy that makes these uses a 7" metal tubing/pipe. So it will be up to me to make it able to change position or not. For an RC build, this is very tricky as you not only got to get the balance right when it changes from 3 legs to 2 legs, but you also need to lock the ankles in position as well as the timing right other wise the R2 will topple over. Then you need to add all the servos to make it work. A fixed 3 legged R2 is more stable and lighter when built.

I would like it to go from 3 leg to 2 and visa versa, especially for having it on display in the home. 2 legs will take up less space. This motion don't have to be RC operated, it can be built to be manually done to simplify things.

wingnut wrote::o OMG ! you are actually doing it, looking at the links you are going need some pretty power full servos and motors not to mention a battery or more than one battery :?: it looks fairly heavy.
looking forward to your build diary and I'm sure there will be some "Roy" enhancements :laughing-rolling: ;)
Can't for your build diary.
Good luck !
Cheers Mike.


I'm going for the single 12V battery, others fit 2 to make it 24V.

Building one out of wood and metal are usually very heavy, I know a lot of R2 builders have to use a sack barrow to carry theirs around on. Another reason for going for a 3 legged R2, it will be a lot more stable and with the weight you won't want one of these to topple over on someone. The fibre glass kit is lighter, but still quiet heavy.

wingnut wrote:Hello Roy,
On reflection after reviewing your post again, If the "clubs" ect. have a problem It's with the distributor not you :twisted:
Cheers Mike.


You are right there, however you have to bear in mind that the plans are not Disney or George Lucas official blueprints, these have been originally drawn up by Astomech site. So they really own the copy right to these dimensions as these might not be screen accurate. The clubs are non profitable and these plans and any part runs are exclusively for it members only for private use. So anyone using these dimensions for commercial gain are breaking the their terms and conditions, as they would have originally have joined the clubs in the first place to gain these plans.

Yes there is nothing legally preventing me from purchasing the kit, but I'm fuelling the above trade.

Today a parcel arrived and it contained my missing parts and a free gift from the seller :o

Image

To be continued...
Completed Builds Hachette - The Black Pearl
Completed Builds DeAgostini - Build the Millennium Falcon

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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby casper » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:10 am

That's so cool Roy can't wait to see it come together. I have always fancied doing a full size R2D2
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby Mark » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:07 am

That was a fantastic bargain Roy !! Shame it was a bit of an effort to get it, but I guess that goes with garage kits.
I understand the quandary about non-licensed kits, but given that it's the only way of getting a full sized kit.... It's not like they are copying a kit that's already available. Likewise, I can understand the builders clubs being very careful so they don't antagonise Lucas/Disney. I suspect full size Dalek kits have the same issues with the BBC.

Anyway, really looking forward to this build. Lots of challenges ahead with the mechanics of it. An automated 3-2-3 set-up would be very impressive, but very difficult to do - I can imagine the need to work gears, locking pins, all sorts of levers, some very careful consideration to the centre of gravity, and some fancy electronics to time it all. You're gonna need a good sound system too !

Batteries, 12v is probably the way to go, or whatever you can get commercially with speed controllers and motors to suit. You can always put 2 12v batteries in parallel if you need more capacity, without increasing the voltage. Don't do that with LiPos though. It's not safe to parallel LiPos - they can go bang ! Literally !!
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby royjess » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:04 am

I told the story of the effort in getting the kit just to warn others who may decide to purchase the kit from the same company. I basically put it down to the company underestimating the Christmas orders.

The R2 clubs slate ebay, but when purchasing online or via mail order, there are regulations to protect you, actually you have more protection than if you make a purchase by walking into a high street shop. As long as I filed a case with them thought ebay within 30 days of estimated delivery, I was covered. As for copy right and the club rules, I not at all bothered, I'm sure I'm more than capable to scratch build an R2 unit. I just find it strange and contradiction when they say only purchase club approve items as they are non profitable, I'm sure that someone is making money from the approved part runs ;) I must admit, some of the items for an R2 you can purchase on ebay are a complete joke and I'm sure that I can build a better item for less money. If you watch all the films, no two R2's are the same. There is variations between the films. Actually it is easier to go online and view magic forums full of magic secrets without signing up to any forums than it is to get access to the R2 Clubs :o

As for batteries, many moons ago when I used to perform my magic illusion show out and about street performing as well as fetes, I used to run my sound equipment off a 12v battery. I used batteries from solid Gel car batteries, small motorbike batteries (I'm aware that gel ones are now available) and even a 12v security alarm battery. As I won't be taking my R2 to conventions and will only be for home use, a smaller battery sealed gel battery would be the way to go.

Last night I notice there is an error in the kit which is not screen accurate I've got two right legs. :angry-banghead: Did they send me the wrong part, but when I've check all of his listings photos and FB photos, this seems to be the norm with this kit. So it looks like I need to modify it to make it screen accurate. The two legs should mirror each other, so the buttons and piston recess should be the other way around on one of the legs, (So on the left leg I need the two square holes situated on the right hand side and the long rectangle recess situated on the left hand side)

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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby Mark » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:14 pm

There's an interesting optical illusion in your photo. It looks like the curve on the top of the legs are handed. I.e. A sharper curve at the front than the back (or the other way round). I guess that came from the camera lens, or just the angle they are placed at. I hope it's not too much bother to correct the legs, but it's something I couldn't live with either !!
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby royjess » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:35 pm

There is a rough join line near the rear edge which will need to be sanded. It looks like the legs were moulded in two half's then then joined together.

As for the left hand or right hand legs, I could quiet easily leave it as they are. If you take a look at the following images, even throughout the films (even in the same episodes), they seem to swap the legs over, just take a look at the position of the buttons and piston on the top shoulder

Image

Image

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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby Mark » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:48 pm

They must have had several different props, or maybe were careless when carrying out repairs ?
Or do you think they did it deliberately to mess up the 'rivet counter' model makers :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby wingnut » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:48 pm

" Today a parcel arrived and it contained my missing parts and a free gift from the seller " :o
Oh no !! that's a come and buy me CP30 :angry-banghead: :angry-banghead: :laughing-rolling: ;)
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby royjess » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:17 pm

There was never one R2 used for films, they had different ones doing different things, I presume that the legs were dismantled for transport and who ever put them together, fitted them on the wrong side

wingnut wrote:" Today a parcel arrived and it contained my missing parts and a free gift from the seller " :o
Oh no !! that's a come and buy me CP30 :angry-banghead: :angry-banghead: :laughing-rolling: ;)
Cheers Mike.


Image

Building a full size C3PO was already on my list once the R2 is built ;) :D
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby steve131 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:20 pm

R2 would need a friend to keep him company , red arm and silver leg for Protocol Droid :?:
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby royjess » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:15 pm

I might not actually modify the recess, the buttons can either be at the front or back, and you can't view both sides at the same time, so unless you know, I don't think anyone would notice that both legs are the same. It's just one of those small things that only I will know about and would it bug me?

So far, I've done no physical work with the build, all just researching and I've been costing up the additional parts, electrical, hardware, paint and tools required. I estimate that it's going to cost me an additional £800+ to complete. So not only finding the free time that will slow this build down, but also the cost.
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby wingnut » Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:23 pm

Flipping heck Roy that's a lot of "Dosh" :o
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby royjess » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:37 pm

The costing is a rough estimate based on a quick search of the products required. The costing is for a basic droid with basic RC. If I want the droid to do more like having the periscope and 232 operation, then the cost is likely to rise. Also the cost could go the other way if I manage to find the products cheaper or find a cheaper way of building the R2, for example the Teeces (dome lighting) costing if done the Astromech way is going to cost around £150 to £250, however, I might build them my own electric circuits for less.
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby royjess » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:38 pm

I spent the last few days test fitting one of the legs, I've partially sanded it by hand using a home made sanding block from sponge. It still need more time sanding, but easy dose it as I want to get the surface as smooth as possible.

Image

I also cut out the holes in the dome to fit the HP projectors. The resin projectors are solid and I want to fit some lights to these, so I hollowed these out. It was here that I realised how strong these resin parts were. Very tough.

Image

I also started to cut out holes in the main body to fit some of the resin parts. Still more need to be done.

Image


Image


I must stress when working with fibreglass and resin, make sure that you completely suite up with a face mask. Fibreglass and resin is not nice stuff to work with.


To be continued....
Completed Builds Hachette - The Black Pearl
Completed Builds DeAgostini - Build the Millennium Falcon

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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby Mark » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:48 am

I can feel the dust from here :laughing-rolling:

Great start Roy !
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Re: Building my own full size (1:1 scale) R2D2

Postby royjess » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:03 am

Thanks Mark

Despite being all suited up, I still feel like I've been dragged through a stinging nettle bush backwards. Not as itchy this morning, but I'll be giving a few days to give my body a rest before I do any more. I've also spent a few hours last night cleaning all my power tools from the fibreglass
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