Thursday, July 5, 2012

R2-Q5 - Making a droid

I've been a Star Wars fan since my parents took me to see Return of the Jedi when I was three years old. It's one of my earliest memories. Sitting in my dad's lap in a crowded theater and seeing luke wielding a green lightsaber with the sands of Tatooine in the background.

So when I started getting the bug to make stuff last summer, I came across astromech.net. A sight dedicated to droid builders of the R2 variety. A great site for collaborating ideas, tutorials, or just chatting on a regular basis with people who share the interest. With any large group there are a few bad apples, but I've found this to be a great community.

Here's a photo of how my droid has been sitting since the fall.



I'm going with R2-Q5 as the designation. There's something of a 10:1 ratio for R2-D2 vs. other full size replicas and imperial droids need to represent!

This one will permanently be on all three feet. Apparently retracting feet are expensive to make, but it will be remote controlled with moving dome, opening doors, blinky lights, and sounds. The last piece I put together was a lens for the radar eye. The radar itself was made from Resin by Mansugi on astromech.net. 

The lens is from an arts and crafts ornament found at Michaels. An idea discussed at astromech.net. The diameter of the cut coincidentally matched my kitchen sink drain, which was used as a template. Yes, I went looking through the house like a Sesame Street episode looking for circles.
The ornament ball is fairly sturdy, but I put too much pressure on it trying to rush through cutting. The edge of the dome is thicker than the top, meaning the breaking point isn't going to be on the piece of scrap. This is why I'm using a knife in the picture and taking my time.




Here's the final fit before gluing in place.