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  1. Crixe's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 16, 2014, 2:29 PM - 501st building a - Speeder Bike #1

    A group of the 501'st here out in Utah just got the go ahead from our CO to build a new prop for our charity/convention events and possibly using in a parade.
    It would be easy if it was just build it without restrictions however we have some issues.
    We have screen accurate copy of the blueprints we are going to blow up to life size for scale references. My job is information gathering and assistance in every way I can to find the most cost efficient way possible to accomplish the task. This comes out of our own pockets here as we are 100% non profit we aren't going to get donations to make this.


    1. It MUST be light weight - We are considering high density foam coated with a hard shell
    2. It MUST hold a persons weight and be able to take some abuse so consider people sitting on it up to a level of 300lbs Max (Sometimes we'll have people holding children or two people at once). We don't want to have to turn people away as it's only going to need to hold someone for a photo op.
    3. We'd like it to be suspended by it's side so that there is no visible support from the front side to give it the illusion that it's floating.
    4. It has to come apart into manageable sections so we can transport it - they are around 10 feet long 3 meters (according to

    Star Wars: Behind the Magic ) long when assembled we can't fit that in a truck so the forks will have to come off.


    So with that in mind we've had a few ideas but I think we can do better. I've seen a product that can coat foam in a plastic from Smooth-On Epsilon. We've looked into it more but our understanding of it is a bit limited and while cost is't terrible we don't know anyone who's tested it. My other thought was trying a style used in ultra light airplanes but carbon fiber gets costly quick too. Then there is always Fiberglass but the end results is this has to be as accurate as we can make it so please please give me any ideas shoot them out there and I'll be passing everything along. We have access to a vacuum former for some of the parts such as the fins and what not but the structure is so big keeping it light is key.


    I've seen this post http://www.therpf.com/f9/my-full-siz...replica-92961/
    But as I said we can't have it solid metal we considered a metal skeleton though but it has to be lightweight. I expect the whole thing together fairly heavy but that's also why it needs to be able to come apart. The lighter it is however the more we can use it. We'd ideally like to make two one on each side of a parade float and have some of our speeder bike polites sit on it but that's more future thoughts there..


    I know I'm asking a lot here but all you can give will help and it's for a good cause I promise it will bring smiles to hundreds of children in need over it's life.
    Last edited by Crixe; 2 Weeks Ago at 2:57 PM. Reason: correction on size.
  2. RPF Premium Member
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 16, 2014, 10:17 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #2

    Here is quite a lengthy thread on Epsilon.

    http://www.therpf.com/f24/smoothons-...hlight=Epsilon

    Not used it myself, but thinking about it for a project.
  3. Crixe's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 16, 2014, 11:38 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #3

    hdtheater said: View Post
    Here is quite a lengthy thread on Epsilon.

    http://www.therpf.com/f24/smoothons-...hlight=Epsilon

    Not used it myself, but thinking about it for a project.
    So it's flexible. I was hoping for something that would be hard like rock. But we were considering testing it aswell please let me know what you come up with as we're talking on large surface here.
  4. RPF Premium Member
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 8:10 AM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #4

    I am using PVA glue over pink foam and the covering with regular fiberglass. It works, but I have had my issues with the process. My fiberglass cracked after it sat for.a while. I think it's due to using only one layer of mesh, but I am learning like you. I have been exploring other possibilities as well.

    -Eric
  5. Crixe's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 12:13 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #5

    hdtheater said: View Post
    I am using PVA glue over pink foam and the covering with regular fiberglass. It works, but I have had my issues with the process. My fiberglass cracked after it sat for.a while. I think it's due to using only one layer of mesh, but I am learning like you. I have been exploring other possibilities as well.
    -Eric
    I've been working with fiberglass myself on my clone armor alone so I've heard the horror stories about it cracking (thankfully its on the inside). I'm still wondering if there is a better means though. We are thinking (or atleast I am) that using some PVC plastic sheets (we have access to lots of them as we use em for armor forming) for some of the smaller non load bearing parts but still gotta find something that can work for this main body. Let me know if you learn anything new.
  6. Member Since
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 4:38 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #6

    What plans do you have for the base? To hold 300 pounds safely on top with a support from behind will I think require quite heavy steel support because the load is not directly underneath. One concern I would have there is the possibility of someone getting hurt if it tipped over. There may be other ways to achieve a floating look without cantilever ing the load...borrowed from the world of illusion. Pm me if you want to discuss. Totally awesome idea though!!!
  7. Member Since
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    orange county, New York
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 5:40 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #7

    Great Idea ! Any thoughts given to fabricating a frame out of steel gas pipe, you can get exact sizes cut and threaded at home depot. Using flanges with nuts and bolts you could break it down for transportation. Looking forward to this build.
  8. Gattaca's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 8:59 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #8

    I use MDF (medium density fiberboard sometimes called medite) quite a bit. You must use the light weight stuff because its pretty easy to carve. If you have some decent carpentry skills you could rough out the shapes, keeping them hollow, then carve the MDF with rasps, side grinders etc. It's also easy to fix mistakes with Bondo or that two part fake wood stuff. Once you have the shape you want you could seal it with water base lacquer. Sand it smooth then paint it the way you want. With this method you have the light weight and the durability you need for the project, plus it's cheap. You avoid the need for molds or fiberglass.
    Since you have plans you could borrow this method of model ship building to make your shapes. Stack the boards and carve off the corners.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. Crixe's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 9:17 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #9

    Miker said: View Post
    What plans do you have for the base? To hold 300 pounds safely on top with a support from behind will I think require quite heavy steel support because the load is not directly underneath. One concern I would have there is the possibility of someone getting hurt if it tipped over. There may be other ways to achieve a floating look without cantilever ing the load...borrowed from the world of illusion. Pm me if you want to discuss. Totally awesome idea though!!!
    Our hope was to see if we could use it as the "floating effect" similar to what people do when they are doing illusions like running a steel hoop around a person on a "floating" platform. Our booth generally has a very large back room so running a pole thru would be possible but I can see the issues we'd run into being that the counterweights would have to be more than the bike + the person. Using steel frame work was never an issue. for the support. Transporting the base long as it's detachable and can be of reasonable weight wasn't an issue. We did also discuss doing maybe something like the backdrop of endor just making the support covered by some fake foliage.




    Gattaca said: View Post
    I use MDF (medium density fiberboard sometimes called medite) quite a bit. You must use the light weight stuff because its pretty easy to carve. If you have some decent carpentry skills you could rough out the shapes, keeping them hollow, then carve the MDF with rasps, side grinders etc. It's also easy to fix mistakes with Bondo or that two part fake wood stuff. Once you have the shape you want you could seal it with water base lacquer. Sand it smooth then paint it the way you want. With this method you have the light weight and the durability you need for the project, plus it's cheap. You avoid the need for molds or fiberglass.
    Since you have plans you could borrow this method of model ship building to make your shapes. Stack the boards and carve off the corners.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	378062
    I do like the idea of MDF but as to our skills with woodworking the head of this project is a armor crafter he does vacuum forming and the like so we are used to working with bondo etc for fixing mistakes and we've been talking about using wood to create a ribbed structure over steel piping then cover it with something but my concern I voiced was the weigh as our CO made it pretty expressive that we had to get the weight low as possible and was hoping we might be able to attach two to a float so again weight issue. If we can't keep the weight down too much it will be a stationary prop.

    Chris Chance said: View Post
    Great Idea ! Any thoughts given to fabricating a frame out of steel gas pipe, you can get exact sizes cut and threaded at home depot. Using flanges with nuts and bolts you could break it down for transportation. Looking forward to this build.
    I'll definitely post WIP photos as we work on it.
  10. Member Since
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 9:31 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #10

    Crixe said: View Post
    Our hope was to see if we could use it as the "floating effect" similar to what people do when they are doing illusions like running a steel hoop around a person on a "floating" platform. Our booth generally has a very large back room so running a pole thru would be possible but I can see the issues we'd run into being that the counterweights would have to be more than the bike + the person. Using steel frame work was never an issue. for the support. Transporting the base long as it's detachable and can be of reasonable weight wasn't an issue. We did also discuss doing maybe something like the backdrop of endor just making the support covered by some fake foliage.

    It sounds like you may have some magician folks in the mix then. Without posting specifics, let me just say that to safely do that with random people jumping on it up to 300 pounds, the parts needed would not likely make it into the "light and easy to move" category. I'll drop you a pm...
    Mike
  11. Crixe's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 9:37 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #11

    Miker said: View Post
    It sounds like you may have some magician folks in the mix then. Without posting specifics, let me just say that to safely do that with random people jumping on it up to 300 pounds, the parts needed would not likely make it into the "light and easy to move" category. I'll drop you a pm...
    Mike
    I use the 300 lbs as a standard out of precaution generally people who come to our booths and use our photo ops or will be using this will be small children. As the majority of our work is done with make a wish foundation, cure for cancer foundation, and the like we really do focus on making the kids happy and when they see what we do we want them to smile in awe and amazement to give them something they can really be happy about.
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 9:43 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #12

    Crixe said: View Post
    I use the 300 lbs as a standard out of precaution generally people who come to our booths and use our photo ops or will be using this will be small children. As the majority of our work is done with make a wish foundation, cure for cancer foundation, and the like we really do focus on making the kids happy and when they see what we do we want them to smile in awe and amazement to give them something they can really be happy about.
    It's awesome isn't it? I'm a 501st-er too. Sent you pm. This is a great build. Have you also seen the Walt Disney world speeder bike that's out front of star tours? It's not to scale methinks, but still cool. Can't wait to see this happen!
  13. Crixe's Avatar
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 9:50 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #13

    Miker said: View Post
    It's awesome isn't it? I'm a 501st-er too. Sent you pm. This is a great build. Have you also seen the Walt Disney world speeder bike that's out front of star tours? It's not to scale methinks, but still cool. Can't wait to see this happen!
    I haven't been to disney world in years sadly, ironic cause I used to live in florida. I'll check it out though. If it's 10 feet it should be to scale according to the "behind the magic". But yeah I joined for several reasons myself but this has hit me in a personal level because I can relate to a lot of the children's charities. I also just love making things
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    2 Weeks Ago  Sep 17, 2014, 10:40 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #14

    Was looking around on the web and found this web site: http://www.funkymonkeyprops.com/page29.htm this guy has some good ideas that might help. (I hope i'm not out of line by linking someone else's website, I have no affiliation with it or the build shown on it).
  15. Crixe's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 18, 2014, 1:45 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #15

    beetle said: View Post
    Was looking around on the web and found this web site: http://www.funkymonkeyprops.com/page29.htm this guy has some good ideas that might help. (I hope i'm not out of line by linking someone else's website, I have no affiliation with it or the build shown on it).
    I looked it over and I'm really impressed with the build quality the way he utilized the MDF and placed holes to lessen weight is a big plus too. I noticed he even set it on the hood of his rather nice looking car, that shows me that it would have to be pretty light. I sent him a message to ask if he'd be interested or able to share any of the plans he worked out for our charity.
  16. diaxus's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 18, 2014, 2:52 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #16

    ive been thinking about the same problem, the solution I came up with best would be to make a female mould and use the tech from fiberglass boats ,baths and cars, Using a chop gun and sprayer, it makes good hard clean casts that can take a lot of weight
  17. Crixe's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 18, 2014, 8:47 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #17

    I have been looking into that even considering carbon fiber cast in this method but I'm not sure if we have anyone with the tools to do a spray on coat of fiberglass, but I will ask our guys and see. Cost is a factor so will have to do some estimations.
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 19, 2014, 1:27 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #18

    Epsilon is not structural at all.
  19. Crixe's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 19, 2014, 1:43 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #19

    masternewbie said: View Post
    Epsilon is not structural at all.
    Yeah I saw that when I read into it. Seems like it's more for smoothing it out and making it look nice sure I can find some use for it maybe make a rifle from foam that doesn't weigh 10 lbs and haul it around when I'm Trooping.
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 20, 2014, 2:07 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #20

    I am in Ogden Ut and am in the process of building a full sized speeder bike. I'd say I am about 20% done at the moment. This is gonna be FUN!!!
  21. RPF Premium Member rootman055's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 20, 2014, 3:59 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #21

    Great to see this project being documented; thanks for starting this thread!
  22. Crixe's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 20, 2014, 4:13 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #22

    I'd like to add that I believe I was shamefully mistaken in the measurement and size of the speeder bike that it is actually 4.4 Meters and has 3 sources to back it up the main of which is "The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels" making it 14.43 Feet long / 173 inches.
  23. RPF Premium Member
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 21, 2014, 5:22 AM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #23

    We have a member of our Garrison (Capital City) starting on a speeder bike as well...I'll be interested in your progress on this build.
  24. Crixe's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Sep 24, 2014, 10:27 PM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #24

    SithApprentice2 said: View Post
    We have a member of our Garrison (Capital City) starting on a speeder bike as well...I'll be interested in your progress on this build.
    Fairly large reference of all the details on the bike, but I'm hoping that we can start the bike sometime next month at least the framework, we've started building up a good team thanks to both RPF and some of the 501st in the area hopefully more of them will volunteer to help with the build supplies but it's all up to each individual as any 501st member knows you aren't obligated to spend your money you do it because you either want to look better/fix your armor/or help out.
  25. jedi5150's Avatar
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    5 Days Ago  Sep 27, 2014, 9:35 AM - Re: 501st building a - Speeder Bike #25

    Hi,
    I'm Doug, CO of your neighbor to the north, the Timberline Garrison. I think we may have met briefly at SLCC. Sounds like a fun project! First, let me share some lessons learned from having R2:
    Do NOT underestimate the destructive power of children. If it looks like it will push, they'll push it. If it looks like it will pull, they'll pull it. If it looks like it will turn, they'll turn it. If it doesn't look like it will break, they'll break it anyway. Because I chose to build a light-weight, styrene-based droid, it isn't as durable as say an all-aluminum droid, and things break much easier. I end up making repairs after nearly every event. Also, unless you just make a hard-and-fast rule at your booth, adults will want to sit on it too, so there's a decision to make there depending on the construction.

    My point is this: If you're going to build it, I'd highly recommend building it out of the strongest materials the budget will allow. Perhaps a frame of aluminum pipe/tubing? It's lighter than steel, but stronger than pvc/wood/etc.

    Have you considered consulting with the Belgian Garrison? They built this one that was at Celebration V and VI. I'm sure they could share some lessons learned and insight.
    Click image for larger version. 

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