My Projects - Now includes R2-D2 v. 2.0

MattMunson

Master Member
Since I seem to be belting out so many smaller projects lately, I figure rather than start a new thread for each one, I'll just have one thread. yay for consolidation!!! This will also keep some clutter out of my MattMobile thread. You know, keepin' it pure!!!! :lol

Today's prop is the Compression Rifle from Star Trek: Voyager. While this build is not terribly timely (I've had the kit for something like 7 years now!!) it was very fast. From raw kit to finished prop was 6 days.



In order to get something done this fast, I had to sacrifice a lot of things I would normally attend to. You know, just clean up, perfect fit of parts, etc. My main goal was to get it done, not to get it perfect. That said, I think it turned out nicely, and I'm happy to have this finished piece in my collection.

There are more pictures, and some write up to be found on my blog.

The Project Workbench: Star Trek Voyager Compression Rifle Is Finished.

I've also written plenty of other blog posts detailing some of the build up if you're interested.

Now I need to decide what my next project will be!
 
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Mr. Nagata

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: My Completed Projects

Awesome build! And you're right, I think only you see the flaws in this. It's very well done.

BTW, has Netflix renewed your interest in Trek props as it has for me? I haven't built a trek prop in years, but watching all the episodes on instant has me going a little crazy. I've got some other stuff to post in the next couple of days.
 

MattMunson

Master Member
Nah, no netflix interest renewal, just burning through the stack of kits i have collected over the years. I figure its time to finally get these done, or just walk away from them.

I have already started on my next kit, and it's a real doozy. Crappy casting of an obscure prop from a widely despised movie. What could go wrong???
 

adorman1

New Member
Re: My Completed Projects

I enjoy reading about your side projects in addition to your work on the MattMobile and I have a question about the kits that you work on (Batman & Robin Suction Cup Climber, Star Trek Voyager Compression Rifle, Batman Dead End Batarang, etc.) that might seem a bit naïve, but as a newcomer to prop making, I had to ask. Where do you get the kits? Are they sold by fellow RPFers or is there a prop replica warehouse store that I am not aware of?
 
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Vaderman

Sr Member
Re: My Completed Projects

Those look great Matt!
I think I need to adopt this policy of "get it done" and make it perfect later. I have so many projects piled in the garage because4 I am waiting on a tool or a part or some research on some detail (well, and some free time!)

Again, you are an inspiration Matt!
 

MattMunson

Master Member
Re: My Completed Projects

Thank you Vaderman! As always, you are far too kind. It took me YEARS to get to the point I am now, where I'm just banging out kits. I picked up a phaser rifle the other day that I started a few years ago, spent a few weeks on, and honestly, it looks like I just got started. You just have to let go of this abstract notion of "perfection" if you ever want to get anything done. There may be a few props out there that I want to spend the time on to get it right, but off the top of my head, I cannot think of them. I'd much rather just get it done.

Adorman1, the hobby has changed a lot over the past few years. Ten years ago, you could go into the junkyard and find half a dozen people selling resin kits of ALL manner. Folks on the board would have an online catalog with all kinds of goodies. If you purchased a few things, you would be "in the loop" when new stuff came out that was not displayed online. I also got a lot of kits in trade, from friends in the hobby. Seems like a big part of this hobby is unfinished kits trading hands. Every time I sell a kit in the junkyard that I've been sitting on for years, I kind of keep my eye open to see how long it takes THAT dude to re-sell it :)

So I guess the answer is, you just have to keep your eyes open. I would say in general, if you're looking for something, post a "want to buy" thread in the junkyard, and see what turns up.

Oppositely, there's PLENTY of people on ebay and the internet who sell TERRIBLE low quality product. Bad seam lines, cheap resin, crappy castings, all the kinds of things that can just make a build up miserable. I personally like to find a dealer that sells good quality stuff, and then I just stick with them.

OOOOOh, if you're interested in trek stuff, there's roddenberry.com, who sells kits made by the same people that made them for the show. Stuff like that pops up occasionally for other properties too. I guess you just have to keep your eyes open.
 

MattMunson

Master Member
Re: My Completed Projects

I am making lots of progress on my second R2. I'm going to be pounding away on him all of October, as I'm still waiting for the batmobile shell to arrive. This will keep me busy.





A couple more pics and write up can be found on my blog:

The Project Workbench: R2: Frame, Legs, Center Vents

Also, for the curious, I'm duplicating all of my blogspot entries over to my "legacy" R2 blog I kept on mattmunson.com. You can find it here, along with the full blog of my first R2 build. I will actually be using my own blog as reference for the second droid. I'm really hoping that *I* will be the one benefitting from all of my suffering on the first one!!! :)

R2-D2 Building Blog
 

MattMunson

Master Member
I've been working on R2 steadily for the past few days, though it's been a little slower going than I had hoped. Today was more body panel attachment, and also working on the back door.

 

MattMunson

Master Member
I dunno if I'd call it a "basic" version, as it's going to do a lot of cool stuff!! lol. That said, the whole "tool arm and opening doors" thing never really appealed to me. Dunno why, I just have no desire for those add-ons. The main purpose of R2V2 is to have a droid I can transport easily. He's going to be lightweight, and robust. The idea is that if a little kid kicks him, I won't freak out because the paint gets scratched.
 

MattMunson

Master Member
No worries man, I'm just messin' with ya :)

In my mind, I would say a "basic" version is a static version. No motors, no lights, just a guy that sits in a corner and looks awesome. And don't get me wrong, thats still A LOT of work. But in my mind, that's what I think of when I think 'basic'. I would say I'm doing a mid-tier build, as far as functionality goes. He will be fully mobile, his head will spin by remote, he will talk, and his dome will light up in all the same ways as the screen used ones.

I consider a "top tier" build to be one that does the 3-2-3 conversion, has a lot of tool arms, the periscope, remote controlled holo-emitters, and stuff like that. While those builds are insanely impressive, I just don't have the patience to achieve those kinds of results. I just want a robot I can take to events, walk around, and have fun with. one that won't mind if it gets some scratches or dings.
 

MattMunson

Master Member
Tons of little things going on with the droid.

Pocket vents are cleaned up and primered:


Skirt is all cleaned up and ready to be painted:


scratch built a coin return:


Rockler Showed up:


Center vents and surrounds are done:




AND I've ordered my final pieces for the senna drive system. Most of the parts are already here. I'm just waiting on the parts from NPC. whoohoo!
 

MattMunson

Master Member
There is no actual kit available, but instead you purchase parts from various sellers based on your needs and goals.

Estimates vary, but in my experience, you could probably do a static droid, for a couple thousand dollars. If you want to all metal, with tons of automation and tool arms, you can spend over 10k easily.

And that doesnt include tools you may need to purchase in order to make it happen.

Those estimates assume you are building to club spec, and are buying the stuff. You could download the blue prints and built it out of whatever you have available for cheaper.

For a MUCH more detailed answer, head over to www.astromech.net and read through their forums. Great bunch of folks who are very dedicated to the hobby, and extremely knowledgeable.
 

Pwrsrce

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yeah...What he said. :)

While there are many variables in building R2, probably the BIGGEST variable is the resourcefulness and ability of each individual builder. There are SOOOO many different ways to go about it, and it all boils down to what skills the building has.

I think one of my favorite droid builds is still Craig Smith's original R2. He used an 18" scrap PVC pipe for the body, an 18" Weber grill bottom for the dome, and hand made a LOT of the parts using scrap pieces of wood,plastic, whatever...

In the end, he had a pretty nice looking R2 that was fully remote controlled and could do the 2-3-2 conversion.

And he only spent about $600 on it...

It wasn't uber accurate, but it sure looked a heck of a lot like R2...And he didn't have to get a second mortgage on his home to do it.

Great looking build Matt...It makes me want to finally get started on mine.

Jason
 
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