R2D2 or C3P0 kits?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by KrangPrime, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    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 :)
     
  2. jcoffman99

    jcoffman99 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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
     
  3. MrSinistar

    MrSinistar Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    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
     
  5. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

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    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
     
  6. MattMunson

    MattMunson Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  7. MattMunson

    MattMunson Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  8. shenphong

    shenphong Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  9. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    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 :)
     
  10. MattMunson

    MattMunson Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  11. shenphong

    shenphong Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  12. shenphong

    shenphong Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  13. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    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 :)
     
  14. jcoffman99

    jcoffman99 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  15. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  16. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    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
     
  17. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    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 :)
     
  18. Finhead

    Finhead Sr Member

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    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?
     
  19. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    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
     
  20. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    I smell a swirling wallet vortex emerging! lol


    Doug
     
  21. leromero

    leromero New Member

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    I couldn't agree with you more. I have a cousin who built two complete C-3POs in Brass. This is a wearable suit to boot. The expense was incredible, but * does it look good.

    Currently we do most of our units in fiberglass, plastics, and resin. definitely build depending on your skill set. Research the heck out of it.
     
  22. leromero

    leromero New Member

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    Aint that the truth. We will be showing off our brass C-3PO wearable suit at Celebration in August. Can't wait.
     
  23. vtswordfish

    vtswordfish Sr Member

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    I am by no means an expert either, but I started building my R2 a year after I got out of college (at the age of 23, I am 28 now) and my build is somewhere in the 90% completion. Here are some things a newb like me learned:

    RESEARCH: As many of the others have said, take your time and decide what you want your R2 to do, how much you want to spend and where between those two will your parts and materials lie (i.e. aluminum, wood, etc.). I can tell you from experience that I didn't research nearly enough and just jumped right into things, looking back I wished I'd have done more research up front and started a binder earlier in my build than I ended up doing.

    Do not get discouraged about what initially may seem like an overwhelming build to do. This isn't something that will come together over the course of a weekend or a month, many of the builders will tell you that R2 is never truly '100%' complete, you constantly will be repairing and adding to your droid and it is a timely build.

    I'd echo what Master Munson said in that there really is no benefit to an 'all-metal' droid unless for the sake of wanting to brag about it (which is okay for those of you that do). Aluminum skins and dome for sure, the rest can easily be made from other materials without any noticeable difference. The nice thing about doing less metal is it allows for a budget drive system to be put in place instead of having to go with bigger motors to move around a 200lb+ droid.

    Go over to astromech.net and check things out, it is a plethora of knowledge and you will learn so much just from digging through old threads. The builders community will help you in every step of the way, there were plenty of times I asked dumb questions (sometimes repeatedly) and there was always someone willing to help!
     
  24. mickpell

    mickpell New Member

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    Echoing what others have said research, research and research some more
    i am currently building my second droid and have learnt tonnes of new skills over the past few years

    My second droid is mostly aluminium and boy is it heavy - making it a real struggle to get into the back of the car. Infact i need my wife aka droid technician to accompany me to any event we go to

    Next time i will go with the styrene build

    Get yourself over to astromech.net and good luck with whatever you choose to do

    Cheers
    mick
    www.r2inadelaide.com
     
  25. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    Re-activated my account over at astromech....and started browsing sale threads and info threads.. While I await for answers over there, a few Q's over here :).

    For example, if I wanted to start buying parts, something like this would be a good start for a basic aluminum dome, right? Astromech.net Forums

    In the Proton Pack world, all the parts and part sizes are different due to the fact that they are made from different plans.. but I'm assuming that's not the case in the R2 world, and that all R2 parts will fit all others no matter who you buy it from, right?
     
  26. MattMunson

    MattMunson Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The 300mm dome and the R&J dome are the way to go. The R&J are hard to come by, which makes the 300 the best solution. I haven't built on a 300, but have done two R&Js.

    As for your question about all the parts fitting together, that is the hope ,but not always the reality. When you hear people talk about parts being "Built to club spec" that means that they used club designed and approved drawings to fabricate them. The idea was to eliminate guesswork, and creating a world just like you were describing. Where you can buy different parts from different vendors and not worry about if they are all going to fit together properly.

    To come as close as possible to ensuring this, you might want to only go with Builders Council approved runs. In theory, these runs are of parts that are to club spec, and are made by reputable dealers. This is not ALWAYS the reality, but that is certainly the intent.

    Avoid buying off ebay. This is where you will find non-spec parts that are of lower quality materials, and may not fit properly. If you find yourself in a situation saying "Yeah, but it's so cheap! For all the money I save, it'll be worth it even if I have to do some cleaning up!!!!"

    This is the path to madness!!! :lol
     
  27. MattMunson

    MattMunson Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here's a faq I put together after finishing my first R2:

    R2-D2 Building Blog

    And whatever you do, no matter what, read victor franco's blog.
     
    vtswordfish likes this.
  28. MattMunson

    MattMunson Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  29. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    Hmm, so this seems like a good part to start buying with :). I'll make a note to check out for Builders Spec mentions, and don't worry. I avoid ebay these days like the plauge ;o)!
     
  30. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I want to add in the metal VS wood VS xxx debate. I chose to use real aluminum parts on anything that is exposed metal on the real prop. Dome, center vents, coin returns etc. If you can afford the real deal on these parts do it. No matter how well its done spray painted 'silver' doesnt look and feel like the real thing.

    I started mine 6 years ago. Metal skins, dome and misc parts on an ABS frame and legs. Metal feet and skirt. I need to finish the feet, source some battery boxes and shoulder flanges. Then my static R2 is done.
     
  31. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    That WAS my philosophy as well, untill I saw the price for three metal holoprojectors ;o).... I might be able to do one metal and two resin, but not three..

    Here are the parts ordered so far...

    1 - 300mm Aluminum Laser-Cut Dome Run
    Put in an order, have not heard back from yet.... I am still not sure of the purpose of the inner dome. I assumed the outer dome would be thick enough to hold all electronics snugly. can someone explain the purpose of the outer and inner dome?

    2 - Tecees V3 dome lighting kit


    Now we need a resin radar eye, resin holo projector.....front and rear logic surrounds....
     
  32. shenphong

    shenphong Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm using a styrene laser cut dome on my office droid build and for the price, I'd definitely do it on a budget. You can paint it silver or whichever color you like and styrene is very easy to work with. Just an option if you are considering building on a budget.
     
  33. darth_myeek

    darth_myeek Sr Member

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    Matt,
    Nice to see that list. It's almost the exact direction I am heading. A metal frame although looovely is a kazillion bucks, and has to be significantly heavier than wood. Loved your original r2 blog for a long time. Thanks!

    Neil,
    I agree you don't need for every HP to be aluminum. I have three alu hp, and recently picked up a resin beater hp with the intent of using the resin holo for the anh damaged HP look.

    Good luck,
    Mike
     
  34. darth_myeek

    darth_myeek Sr Member

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    The inner dome structure allows you to screw hardware into the dome without having exposed heads. Like when mounting aluminum HPs for example. Builders drill & countersink mounting holes into inner dome and tack machine screws with a little glue to keep them in place. The inner dome also gives you a surface to glue panels on, and add hinges for servo controlled panels. Doing this makes it easier to remove/repair HPs or other components after completion versus gluing HPs on which would take more work, but doable.

    Might PM Daren to make sure you are on that run, if you don't see your name in the list.
     
  35. shenphong

    shenphong Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There is also someone selling their 300mm Alu. dome in the Junkyard on the astromech forums as well...it appears that its still available.
     
  36. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    OK, confirmed through PM, payment sent :). So we've got the dome and lights secured :)

    it doesn't look like any resin holo projectors are out on the market now. There does seem to be a resin radar eye for $25's though....
     
  37. darth_myeek

    darth_myeek Sr Member

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    Yea, first rule of r2_builder club is patience. You can also post a want-to-buy.

    Check out mcwhlr's "Aluminum PSI Housing set {OPEN}" It's about to ship, and he may have some extras. Neat way to hold the Teeces PSI boards, and as parts go pretty cheap.
     
  38. MattMunson

    MattMunson Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have an aluminum holo projector on mine, and regret it 100%. It cost a fortune, and is COMPLETELY covered in paint. There is not a single inch of it that is raw aluminum. So I paid a ton to have something that looks IDENTICAL to my resin holo projectors. Bad move on my part. Ah, to be new to the R2 building game again! lol
     
  39. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    Sound like you messed up there Matt. Even on the ANH R2 there are areas that are not painted.


    Doug
     
  40. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    I thought all the HP's where silver?

    OK, so I think I've got the radar eye settled on... costs about $25's. Just waiting on confirmation that it fits the dome OK...

    Same goes for real and front surrounds. only thing left is the drive motor for the dome (not sure what it's called) and the HP's.
     
  41. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    You have some research to do. lol
    Dig through the screen shot galleries at astromech and decide which version you are after ANH, ESB,or ROTJ. Even in ANH there are variations shot to shot.

    BTW, don't forget about the radar eye "lens". I believe they are always available (around 15-20 bux).


    Doug
     
  42. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    If you are only doing the dome at this point, you don't need a dome drive setup -- as it mounts to the body.


    Doug
     
  43. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    true, but I saw some setups where there was just a dome, and the head swiveled anyway :).

    turns out the guy making the $25 dollar resin radar isn't making them anymore.. WORR Parts : Astromech Parts so that leads us with this guy.. I assume these will fit the 300MM dome just fine?
     
  44. darth_myeek

    darth_myeek Sr Member

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    I am ignorant, but I think (Wayne) WORR is part owner of Astromech. If I remember correctly, he just got his site together and before production had to step away before the ordering process began and help family out. Everyone is giving him space this last Fall.


    If he is taking orders again, from what I hear his work is top-shelf.
     
  45. glenthornetms

    glenthornetms Member

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    I'm not an Astromech builder or expert but I remember GoldenArmour (I do not in anyway promote these guys) doing head, body and other bits. So am I right in saying that this is frowned upon with the droid builders community?
    I'm just curious as I really admire all the work you guys put into these things :cool
     
  46. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    Yes, his parts would be club spec. Contact him (Wayne) if parts are available.

    Can you point me to a thread where someone has just a head that spins? It would have to be set on some kind of base that the dome drive would be mounted to. If you go this route you will have to go ahead and order the Rockler bearing ($70 range), the dome drive motor (Pitman), a drive wheel with possibly a shaft adapter and either buy a motor mount or build one. You'll need to power it and manually switch it. If you want it remote controlled that opens up another can-o-worms all together.


    Doug
     
  47. vtswordfish

    vtswordfish Sr Member

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    No doubt, victor's blog is awesome...I got SO much info from him while building my droid, I totally ripped his plans for the center foot and probably a dozen other things.
     
  48. vtswordfish

    vtswordfish Sr Member

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    DO NOT BUY FROM THEM!

    I can tell you from firsthand experience that there work is extremely rough, I bought a fiberglass dome that turned out to be a GoldenArmour, it was a terrible decision and I ended up practically having to give that thing away to get rid of it. It isn't a matter of them not being to spec, it is a matter of it being an absolute waste of time/money.
     
  49. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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  50. KrangPrime

    KrangPrime Master Member

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    It was on a video somewhere. I can't seem t orefind the link. He had it set on a glass table top and was remotely controling the dome swivel with just the dome itself.

    I def want this thing to be all remote controlled :)
    -edit seems like astromech is having some problems, heh.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012

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