1:1 WALL-E

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by PrestonAltr, Apr 19, 2015.

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  1. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    Hey Everybody!

    I'm beginning the long but worthwhile process of building a 1:1 scale WALL-E. I'm a member of the WALL-E Builder's Club and will post my updates on this thread over the coming months.

    For now, I thought I'd show you a draft of my first part: the solar charge port. If any scaling seems off to you, or you have any notes, please let me know!



    Solar Board.jpg

    I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be "donating" most of my upcoming paychecks to the Church of Smooth-On.
     
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  2. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE: 7-17-15

    Sorry for the delay, as things have been hectic with work. Long story short, I took another look at the CAD drawings and blueprints on the WALL-E Builders Club page and found my scaling was off. While planning the final scale of the project, like so many of my fellow club members, I discovered WALL-E is just too big at 1:1 scale to even fit out the front door of my apartment. As such, I have chosen to continue the project at 3/4 scale.

    I ended up using balsa to get the fine detail. My plan is to coat the balsa in a light layer of spackling paste, followed by sanding and finishing resin to remove any trace of wood grain before painting. I was able to print up the solar charge graphic at my local Staples, with yellow acrylic glued beneath. In the final photo you see I removed the plexiglass to prevent spackling or finishing resin from damaging it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
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  3. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Hi there,

    I was curious to see some pictures of your build ... alas those attachments are not working for me ... please have aonther try?

    - update -

    Okay ... I've seen them now via your link, thanks ... great start ... looking forward to your progress :)

    Chaim
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
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  4. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE: 7-27-15

    I am excited to announce that the solar charge section of the WALL-E is now COMPLETE!

    Since my last update, I sought out my local Hobby shop and learned the best way to rid the balsa of its deep grain would be to coat it in "Aero Gloss Sanding Sealer" and sand it down with finer and finer grit sandpaper. After about three hours of applying single layers, sanding, and repeating, I was able to come away with a fantastic, almost plastic surface (thanks to some 600 grit sandpaper). The next step (after all the various parts were attached with Zap-A-Gap) was to apply a thin coat of fiberglass resin to prevent cracking whenever WALL-E bumps into things. Once this step was done, I re-sanded the surface back down to 600 grit and prepped for paint. I began with a dark grey Automotive Primer from Rust-O-Leum (two coats), followed by a rust colored matte paint. Once that coat was completely dry, I applied sand/dirt to the areas which were going to be "rusty" and coated the whole surface with the original Automotive Primer. Finally, I applied a coat of matte "satin granite" and began to brush/sand away the dirt hidden by the paint. The result was fantastic (as seen below). Finally, for the buttons, I used a small brush and also applied a little more detail in areas which needed it. The final stage was to coat the whole thing in matte clear coat to protect from chipping (MATTE is the key word here, as gloss would ruin the whole illusion).

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  5. Mclabop

    Mclabop Active Member

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    Nice one mate, can't wait to see the final. I eventually want to build a Wall-E or a Claptrap.
     
  6. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Interesting build; it's just that I wouldn't have used Balsa wood. As you know, it's too fragile and can be damaged easily. I would've used a small thickness panel of MDF and plastic (Sintra or other) for the fine details. Easy to sand, paint and seal and less work than Balsa.
    I'm going to follow your build and see what you'll cook for us next;) Keep up the good work.
     
  7. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    Great point! For that reason, I applied several coats of fiberglass over the whole thing to make sure it wouldn't chip before painting. Hopefully the placement of this part on the WALL-E (and the addition of the trim around the top) will protect it. The body itself will be MDF!

    Thanks for the support, guys!
     
  8. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE: 8-27-15

    Hey folks! Since I last posted, I began work on the arm section. One of the best experiences was meeting Michael McMaster and Mike Senna at the D23 Expo and take high-res photos of their WALL-Es. They gave me several tips for my design that I used (see below). For instance, weight is always an issue with animatronics, so the brushed metal parts are actually just cardstock bent in the correct shape and fiberglassed for stability (resin only). WALL-E's famous yellow paint is actually a Rustoleum Inverted Striping Paint used for marking those yellow lines down roadways. I should be posting further updates this weekend, after I fiberglass and age the hand section.

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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  9. Snow Builder

    Snow Builder Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looks great.
     
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  10. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    Just wanted to post a small update of the completed hands. Before coating in fiberglass, I glued a layer of cardstock over the fingers to get rid of the wood grain.

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  11. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    Hey All,
    At this point, the head is nearly finished (with the exception of the magnifying glass lenses which are being shipped soon and the B&L decal for the inner eye). The biggest challenge was to keep the head light (for the servos) while maintaining some rigidity in case of any bumps. With that in mind, I settled on PVC, wooden dowels, and foamcore.
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  12. DL4567

    DL4567 Sr Member

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    Looks amazing so far! Great work. I'm just curious, what is considered to be the accurate overall dimensions (W & H) on a 1:1 WALL-E? I have one of the 3D cardboard theater lobby displays, and it has always looked over-sized to me. Just wondering if it really is. Thanks!
     
  13. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    Thanks for the kind words! The scale throughout the film changes, but judging from the scale of known items (the Rubik's cube, cooler, and VHS tape), the geniuses in the WALL-E builder's club have put him around 18 or 19 inches wide (not including treads) and about that amount deep/tall. If you're interested in building one yourself, there's tons of helpful CAD drawings on the WALL-E Builder's Club yahoo group. BUT as I mentioned earlier, I chose to make mine 3/4 scale so it could fit through my door.
     
  14. DL4567

    DL4567 Sr Member

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    Very interesting, thanks for the reply. I measured my large cardboard version, and the body is 25" wide, excluding the tracks. It makes for a nice display, but just takes up a lot of space. There was a smaller version on display in some Best Buy stores years ago of similar construction, but that one looked *too*small. Oh well, guess you have to make one yourself to have it be the correct size. Looking forward to seeing more pics of your project in the future!

    Large version:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0nEW4Feaq...pg/bSzwqwlnAt4/s400/2625370804_7ca90d1558.jpg

    Best Buy version:
    http://i539.photobucket.com/albums/ff356/PixarVixen/forum images/BestBuyWALLEdisplay.jpg
     
  15. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE 9-29-15
    Super short update! I bought a few cheap magnifying glass lenses from Amazon and attached them with Zap-a-Gap. The rings around them are just foam core and cardstock. I also added in the aperture decals around the eyes which feature "B&L" as well as other details.
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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  16. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Really good build so far. Love the overall look of it. Keep up the great work:)
     
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  17. NS4

    NS4 Well-Known Member

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    I have one of the large cardboard versions too - picked it up off gumtree (Craigslist) for $50!
    I agree with it being overscale though. I thought about scanning/drawing up all the parts and printing another version at a more "correct" scale.
    Just need to find the time to do it!

    OP - the build look amazing!
     
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  18. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE: 11-9-15

    Hey folks! Pretty sizable update for you. I completed the neck section using the same methods as before (plus some red bull lids). I also purchased the servos and equipment from the fantastic Servo City website and am days away from connecting everything together to become operational.

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  19. Yeats

    Yeats Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh man I want to build a wall-e. Where did you get the blueprints?
     
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  20. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    Check out the "WALL-E Builder's Club" group on Yahoo! It's a fantastic community.
     
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  21. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    Further developments with the body!
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  22. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE 1-3-16

    Happy New Year! Since my last update, I have completed the detail work on the body (including the B&L Logo on the compactor door) and have begun to paint! The raised lettering on the compactor door is simply cardboard brushed with fiberglass on an MDF base. Hope you like it!


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  23. undeadmith

    undeadmith Active Member

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    amazing work so far :D
     
  24. EmmaInCandyland

    EmmaInCandyland Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Way too cool!!!
     
  25. JDiamond

    JDiamond Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looks great
     
  26. Vormz

    Vormz Sr Member

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    Your Wall-E looks just so cool! Amazing work so far!
     
  27. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE: 1-9-2016

    I'm always surprised by how AWESOME things look after they're airbrushed (See the difference between photos 2 and 5). Since the last update, I finished the paint on the body and put everything together. What's left on this build: 1. The Trim (Cosmetic) 2. The Sound System (Electronic) and 3. Wheel/Chassis System (Mechanical).

    Thank you all for your support and I can't wait to move onto the next part of the build.

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  28. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Beautiful!! The paint job either breaks it or makes it...and yours is A+:cool
     
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  29. Sabs

    Sabs Member

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    I love watching these builds. I would love to make one, but I don't have space to put things like this once they're done. I will be content in knowing that they exist elsewhere. Keep up the great work!
     
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  30. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE 2-7-16

    Hey Folks! WALL-E now moves and speaks! I've included a video as well as the photos you see below. I decided to re-scale the arms and I'm feeling much better with how the whole body is looking. I followed the R2D2 Builder's Club sound system schematic pretty much to the letter with a CFSound IV and 12 Channel RF Remote wired together, powered by a 12 volt battery. Super easy circuitry with no soldering required. I'd highly recommend this to anyone making any kind of robot (or other creature or character) that requires sound effects.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  31. DL4567

    DL4567 Sr Member

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    Awesome!!! I'm blown away by this update. For some reason I thought you were making a static-only Wall-E, but you just brought that thing to life! Have you done any motor movement stuff like that before? I'm so intimidated by it, I've never even considered trying it.
     
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  32. Jintosh

    Jintosh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Totally awesome !!! Love the movement !
     
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  33. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    DL4567, it IS intimidating... but due to the vast amount of free resources online regarding this kinda thing, it's really easy to dive into (once you've read up a bit). Thankfully, because so much of WALL-E is just RC/Drone parts, it was 99% just plug-and-play. If you get the chance, I'd highly recommend it!
     
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  34. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Wow! What an update alright:cool...love it!!
     
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  35. VoidConstruct

    VoidConstruct New Member

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    Great work! That's one of my favorite movies to watch with my Son and he loves it.
     
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  36. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    DL4567, it IS intimidating... but due to the vast amount of free resources online regarding this kinda thing, it's really easy to dive into (once you've read up a bit). Thankfully, because so much of WALL-E is just RC/Drone parts, it was 99% just plug-and-play. If you get the chance, I'd highly recommend it!
     
  37. 13doctorwho

    13doctorwho Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That is brilliant. The movement really sells it!! I, too, have always been intimidated by servos. It really is beautiful work.
     
  38. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE 4-1-16

    No April Fools tricks here, just another update! My NPC motors and motor controller arrived. I also began the process of cutting/drilling/welding the frame. I will be using some springs as suspension to prevent excessive jerking when he starts moving. In regards to the wheels, as you can see I made some out of MDF, foam and fiberglass... But they were far from perfect and I was lucky enough to have a friend with an Ultimaker 2.0 who 3D printed my CAD files into wheels. Things are definitely coming together!


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  39. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I really admire the dedication it takes to complete a project like this.

    Well done, you! :cheers

    -Rylo
     
  40. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    Thank you so much! It's been a labor of love.
     
  41. naigon

    naigon New Member

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    Looking amazing! I love the head movements, looks like he has the same personality from the movie. Will be cool to see when completed.
     
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  42. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Lookin' spiffy for sure! Keep going: it's very cool:cool
     
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  43. halliwax

    halliwax Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    that garage looks familiar?! is mcmaster working with you? the progress you are making is amazing. he's coming together great!
     
  44. ShortWookie

    ShortWookie Active Member

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    Amazing work!
     
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  45. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    Thank you! It's actually at Extreme Steel in Culver City... McMaster has been my mentor on this project since the beginning, but all the construction and electronics I've done myself.
     
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  46. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE 4-16-16

    Just a few photos showing the progress of the left motor mount. I ended up using two springs to hold the axle in place.

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  47. brandomack

    brandomack Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I love WALL-E, this is just awesome.
     
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  48. Mark Miku

    Mark Miku New Member

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    Mint build. Love all the photos. Cannot wait to see it finished.
     
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  49. PrestonAltr

    PrestonAltr New Member

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    UPDATE 7-5-16

    Since my last update, I welded WALL-E's frame together, mounted his motors, completed the circuitry for his drive train, sculpted in Chevant, made molds out of Smooth On Mold Star 30, AND began casting his wheels in Smooth On's Task 13.

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  50. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Veeerrryyy niiiice!! Glad that the project is still on.
     
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