R2D2 or C3P0 kits?

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KrangPrime

Master Member
Just curious if anyone has them out there...but considering they are obviously far more complex than Tom Servo, I somehow doubt it :)

The dream prop build would either be a 3P0 or an R2 :)
 

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jcoffman99

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Complete kits in the R2 world are frowned upon. The unwritten rule between the builders and Lucasfilm is that part runs are okay but don't offer full kits. If you haven't checked out :: Astromech.net :: R2 Builders Club Official Website :: take a look. The folks over there are very helpful and you can get in on parts runs.My favorits thing at CV was the R2 builders room. It's amazing the work those folks do. When I get my shop built, I'm going to have a go at one.

John
 

MrSinistar

Well-Known Member
Just curious if anyone has them out there...but considering they are obviously far more complex than Tom Servo, I somehow doubt it :)

The dream prop build would either be a 3P0 or an R2 :)
I saw the R2 builders panel at DragonCon and I can definitely tell you that building an R2 is INFINITELY more difficult than making Tom Servo, hahahaha. A while back, I did some research into building my own R2 and I realized that building one requires lots of passion, hard work and money; the people that complete R2 builds are elite, IMO.
 

KrangPrime

Master Member
I saw the R2 builders panel at DragonCon and I can definitely tell you that building an R2 is INFINITELY more difficult than making Tom Servo, hahahaha. A while back, I did some research into building my own R2 and I realized that building one requires lots of passion, hard work and money; the people that complete R2 builds are elite, IMO.
Over time, I'd have the money :). I have the passion... The question is, do I have the skill? I assume putting together an R2 requires a bit more than drilling and painting skills
 

ralphee

Sr Member
Why not consider a Styrene Astro? Ive been looking at the Eggcrate styrene set up, and seriously considering buying one, its a set of laser cut sections for the body frame and skirt.
The joy of an R2 is you can do as much as you can afford i reckon, then pick it back up when time and funds allow.
Most parts are done in limited seasonal runs anyhow, so you could plan your next area of attack.
Reckon i may at least buy the body and skirt this year, itll only be a static display with lighting anyway for me, so styrene doesnt faze me at all.

lee
 

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MattMunson

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The short answer to your question, as mentioned before, is that there are no kits. I think the fact that lucas frowns on that is only a secondary reason for this. The main reason is that builders needs and desires are so diverse that it would be really difficult to make a "one size fits all" kit that appealed to everyone.

In general, everyone comes at an R2 with a different budget, a different toolset, and different areas of expertise and familiaritiy. Some people know how to machine but couldn't glue styrene together to save their lives, and some folks are the exact opposite. And there's everywhere in between.

The advice I always give to people considering building an R2 is this: first, decide what you want your R2 to do. Second, figure out your budget. Third, calculate which parts of your requirements can be completed with your budget.

I find that typically budget dictates materials. If you are going for an inexpensive build (relatively speaking) then you'll want to focus on styrene, wood, and resin. If you have some extra money, you can upgrade some parts to aluminum, and work in some extra gadgets.

My one piece of free advice that I will stick to until I die is this: there's ZERO reason or benefit to making an all metal droid. Unless you consider saying "I have an all metal droid" reason to do it. There's just no advantage. Anyone that tells you that they are more structurally sound and robust are selling you a bill of good. To be precise, it is true that an all metal droid may be more structurally sound. HOWEVER, there are NO circumstances in the natural world where you will need a droid that rugged. in fact ,there's a counter argument to be made that the slight flexibility offered by a wood frame is advantageous, as it can manage stresses better than a metal one.

As you dig into the R2 world, you'll find that there are a lot of "religious" debates like that one going around that have no right or wrong answer, but is really more geared toward your budgted, skills and toolset. For my money, I would never build an all metal droid again. My second R2 currently in progress is wood, resin, and a bit of metal. the ONLY things you need to have metal on your droid are the dome and the skins. If you're making a "show" droid, upgrade parts to metal that LOOK LIKE METAL on the real guy. If a part is painted blue, use resin.
 

MattMunson

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My recommended recipe:

Metal Dome
Metal Skins
Wood frame
Wood legs
Fiberglass or styrene feet.

Everything else, you can mix and match between resin, styrene, or aluminum.
 

shenphong

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Over time, I'd have the money :). I have the passion... The question is, do I have the skill? I assume putting together an R2 requires a bit more than drilling and painting skills
Actually, that is a lot of what is involved depending on what you want to build. So many parts are expertly cast or produced now that its fairly easy to put them together. It all depends on what you want in terms of the little R2 though. I've only been with the group a year but have learned so much. I'm currently building 2 droids, one a styrene static 2 up R2 with lights and sound but no movement and the second, a all metal motorized beast set up for remote control and automated sound with motion detector. My styrene droid is really a mix of styrene, wood, and small metal bits, but so far I'm about 60% complete and only $500 in. My metal droid is just about 20-30% in and I've already spent about $1200.

I'll agree with MattMuson though, try to avoid the all metal build unless you really, really want to. My styrene droid with wooden legs is very stable and could be motorized if I wanted it to. The metal droid is just a build out of passion and dreams lol.

If you are looking for just a decent display piece, going the "egg-crate," styrene droid is the way to go. It's light, easier to build and paint, and much cheaper. If you have the time, money, and passion...go for a full motorized build, satellite motors, 2-3-2 leg positioning, lighted dome and fully working arms. Several builders even have fully working projectors in their R2's. Join the R2 builders group and the astromech forums, those will definitely be the best places for information.
 

KrangPrime

Master Member
Actually, that is a lot of what is involved depending on what you want to build. So many parts are expertly cast or produced now that its fairly easy to put them together. It all depends on what you want in terms of the little R2 though. I've only been with the group a year but have learned so much. I'm currently building 2 droids, one a styrene static 2 up R2 with lights and sound but no movement and the second, a all metal motorized beast set up for remote control and automated sound with motion detector. My styrene droid is really a mix of styrene, wood, and small metal bits, but so far I'm about 60% complete and only $500 in. My metal droid is just about 20-30% in and I've already spent about $1200.

Wow...reading all this, What I was thinking was a Metal Dome, Resin body, and resin legs, plus lights and electronics with swivel head. I have a feeling it'd be far too expensive to make him move, considering the size of the controllers I've seen some folks use.

I'll check out the websites, but if anyone has a parts list site with pictures and prices, it'd be a good quick judge on what I'm going to spend :).

thanks for the input :)
 

MattMunson

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
If the prices shenphong listed scare you, then this might not be the right hobby for you :) R2 building is NOT a poor man's hobby. Even the most thrifty build will run you many hundreds of dollars. My "budget" droid is already past the 1000 dollar mark, and that's just in parts. My first one probably broke the 10k mark.
 

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shenphong

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My budget styrene droid is a styrene body, styrene dome, electronics that I'll be wiring and setting up myself (pre-wired lights, etc can run you $300+, the kit only cost me $110), wooden legs (only 2 for 2 up setup), and then varying resin bits here and there. I actually got a fantastic deal on the legs and the styrene body from someone locally in the bay and have yet to see anyone sell any type of deal like what I got so trust me, it'll most likely cost you much more. This is where the patience aspect comes in...build up slowly and cheaply, watch for great deals and snag them! In a few years you'll have a droid that would look wonderful in any home. Really a life size R2 that costs you $800-$1200 in a span of 3 yrs or so isn't very much, especially if you can build many of the items yourself if you have the tools.
 

shenphong

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here's a shot if it helps encourage you, its actually about 20% further than what is in the pic as that was something old I took a few months ago.



The dome swiveling set up alone is fairly expensive, the lazy susan bearing that fits the 300mm dome costs generally $70 thats just the bearings. My dome on my static droid will be moveable but not motorized, its meant to just be a display to light up in my office when people come in.
 

KrangPrime

Master Member
If the prices shenphong listed scare you, then this might not be the right hobby for you :) R2 building is NOT a poor man's hobby. Even the most thrifty build will run you many hundreds of dollars. My "budget" droid is already past the 1000 dollar mark, and that's just in parts. My first one probably broke the 10k mark.
I'm curious, but how much would just a metal dome with lights and sound cost? Even if I can get that small a thing to look good, it'd be a good starting point :)
 

jcoffman99

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You could get a nice fiberglass dome for 275. Metal dome lasercut for 475. Then there are all the various dome attachements (eye, holoprojectors,etc.) Not sure about the electronics.
 

wannab

Sr Member
Aluminum Dome with lighting?

Alu Dome 475 + shipping
Alu Holoprojectors 350 + shipping
Alu Logic Display surrounds 125 + shipping
Dome Lighting kit (not assembled or soldered) 100 + shipping
PSI Housing 65 shipped
Dome topper 12 shipped

sub total $1127 (without shipping)

[edit]
Forgot to add the Radar Eye Guessing around the 200 mark for that (cant remember off hand what they went for).

new sub total 1327 (without shipping)
[edit]

Add more for any tools you may need to purchase, any paint or painting services. You need soldering skills (for lighting kit). There is also a ton of time required just to prep the dome (shells) -- deburring and sanding. So don't expect it to be a snap together project, there is a lot of head scratching just with the dome.

Aluminum R2 is not for the faint of heart or lean budget person. That said, it is totally worth the time frustration and money spent! :thumbsup


Doug
 
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wannab

Sr Member
C3po is the cheaper option for sure (yes even gold vac metalized), but it still isn't cheap. Warning, if you go the 3po route you can easily fall into the brass greeble money pit - similar affliction as the R2 aluminum junkie. lol



Doug
 

KrangPrime

Master Member
Aluminum Dome with lighting?

Alu Dome 475 + shipping
Alu Holoprojectors 350 + shipping
Alu Logic Display surrounds 125 + shipping
Dome Lighting kit (not assembled or soldered) 100 + shipping
PSI Housing 65 shipped
Dome topper 12 shipped

sub total $1127 (without shipping)

Add more for any tools you may need to purchase, any paint or painting services. You need soldering skills (for lighting kit). There is also a ton of time required just to prep the dome (shells) -- deburring and sanding. So don't expect it to be a snap together project, there is a lot of head scratching just with the dome.

Aluminum R2 is not for the faint of heart or lean budget person. That said, it is totally worth the time frustration and money spent! :thumbsup


Doug
Hmm, that's certainly reasonable for a next project. How complicated are the electronics? If they at least come with instructions, and are somewhat easy to follow with no experience, I'm hoping it shouldn't be that tough to figure out :).

I think this is the route I'm going to go once I finish Tom Servo. If I can get a working head done this year, we'll see how dedicated I am for a finished body next year to attach it too ;o) About a Month's salary for a finished head and something that cool is worth it :)
 

Finhead

Sr Member
C3po is the cheaper option for sure (yes even gold vac metalized), but it still isn't cheap. Warning, if you go the 3po route you can easily fall into the brass greeble money pit - similar affliction as the R2 aluminum junkie. lol



Doug
But are those Brass/Aluminum greeblies worth it since your getting them plated anyway? I planed to make most of them on my lathe and mill but would it be worth the effort?
 

wannab

Sr Member
But are those Brass/Aluminum greeblies worth it since your getting them plated anyway? I planed to make most of them on my lathe and mill but would it be worth the effort?
I think it comes down to a durability (perceived or actual) issue more than anything. If you can do them in house -- why not? It'd just add more of a personal touch. I think more of the "wearers" prefer the brass and "displayers" not as much.


Doug
 

wannab

Sr Member
Hmm, that's certainly reasonable for a next project. How complicated are the electronics? If they at least come with instructions, and are somewhat easy to follow with no experience, I'm hoping it shouldn't be that tough to figure out :).

I think this is the route I'm going to go once I finish Tom Servo. If I can get a working head done this year, we'll see how dedicated I am for a finished body next year to attach it too ;o) About a Month's salary for a finished head and something that cool is worth it :)
I smell a swirling wallet vortex emerging! lol


Doug
 

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