Here are some of the questions regarding R2-D2 I
am getting asked the most:
"Are there any kits available for a
- Well.... There was an
officially licenced full-size R2-D2 replica available from Don Post
Studios. It had only some light and sound effect; it wasn´t radio
controlled in any way. The price tag of the ones that popped up
sometimes on e-bay was around $7.000 - 10.000, so it´s rather exclusive
In Mid-2006 Master Repicas announced that they were going to sell a
similar non-R/C full-size R2-unit. Besides that, there may be some
people out there selling R2 kits over the Internet, but be careful
about that. Some of those are of very bad quality, and their sellers
are sometimes even worse....
- "I would like to build my own
full-size R2-D2. Can you send me some information and/or blueprints on
how to do this?"
- In the last few years, the wonderful bunch of
people that make up the "R2 builders club" have collected such a wealth
of information, photos and blueprints that my humble collection pales
in comparison to that. Just go to the link section and check
"astromech.net" for starters.
- "What will I need to build my own
- What you will need most are not tools or
hardware, but willpower, endurance and a mind that´s not easily stopped
by the inevitable setbacks. I think I built about four sets of feet,
about three bodies and three heads before I ended up with today´s
version that works. Just don´t give up. If you can´t solder, learn it.
Your local public library will have some books about that subject.
Maybe you will even learn something valuable for a future profession !
- "Which skills will I need ?"
- Basic woodworking skills like sawing,
- Basic plastics skills like cutting,
- Basic metal skills like sawing, drilling,
- Some electrical/electronical skills like
soldering or being able to construct a basic electrical circuit.
- At least a hint of an idea where to get
all the materials you will need.
- "Which tools will I need at least ?
- Of course this varies wildly with the kind of
droid you´re contemplating, but I found the following helpful :
- A hacksaw with metal blades
- An electrical drill with the usual bits
for steel drilling
- A sharp hobby knife for cutting of styrene
- A screwdriver and others like a phillips
- A hammer and a vise on a bench or a table
- Several files and rasps of different sizes
- Wrenches, Pliers and some metal scissors
- A soldering iron with accesories
- A simple voltmeter with a circuit tester
- Don´t use this a simple shopping list. If
you never worked with any of these tools, I would recommend starting
your modeling career with something more simple. like a kit for a model
ship or something similiar.
- "How many hours did you need to
complete your Artoo?"
- I tried to count it all, and I ended at a
total of about 1100 hours for the actual construction. To this one
might add the countless hours spent on research for data and pictures
and the time used for thinking and planing.
- "How many parts are there in your
- Well, quite a lot. Remember, about the only
items I bought were the electronic and electrical stuff. All the rest
was cut from styrene sheet, sawed out of plywood, drilled, milled,
filed, etched, etc. from scrap metal, and so on. I guess there are
several thousands individual parts assembled.And some single big parts
like the casts for the legs were so complex they took dozens if not
hundreds of hours to build.
- "How much did it cost to build that
- Building my Artoo-model wasn´t that much a
financial challenge as it was one of endurance. The basic components
like styrene plastic sheets or plywood are rather cheap. Besides, to
remind you, I worked on Artoo for several years, so the total material
costs of about maybe $250 were spread over a very long time. A lot of
accessories like the three windshield wiper motors were bought from the
car scrapyard. The only truly expensive items were the remote control
and the video camera with transmitter, which cost me about $400 each,
but you won´t need at least the last one.
- "Is your R2-D2 available for sale?"
- No, unless you would pay me a really
hilarious, obscene amount of money. And I won´t build R2´s on order,
even for that amount, because I would probably very soon have
Lucasfilm´s lawyers on my doorstep. If you want one, see question No. 2
Droids only ! May The
Force Be With You!
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