How I made R2D2 from junk, Part 1.

Heyhey. So yeah. This isn't a "how to" guide, or a tutorial, or any of those things. This is just a bunch of photos of what I did to make a model of R2D2 using a few things from Bunnings and some junk I had lying around.

If you want more info, feel free to drop a comment, and I'll try to remember what I did.

Some quick background: This project was part of a challenge with a colleague, wherein we both foolishly decided to construct R2D2s, pretty much to the same scale, and with pretty much the same materials and intention. I'll talk a bit about where our techniques and materials varied, and why, and I hope to provide a photo of both finished products toward the end. 

Let's start with the best and worst part of making R2D2:

The Dome.

Oh, god. The dome. My first piece of advice, if you ever attempt to build an R2D2 of any scale, is to find a dome first. Find a good dome. Find a nice, structural dome. If you want to build a full-size droid, IKEA has a pendant lamp for around the $100 mark that's perfect. If you're going for something smaller, try a ball, or a Christmas bauble. My colleague chose the Christmas bauble path. I didn't.

I, foolishly, decided to tailor my dome size to the size of PVC tube I had intended to use for the body of R2. This meant I was on the hunt for a 75mm dome. And I struggled to find one. I found Christmas baubles in the 78mm range, but I was stubborn, and ultimately chose a very labour intensive and unsatisfying way to make my droid head.

That...thing...that you see above is a styrofoam ball from Spotlight with the initial layers of a shell being built over it. The shell is made from liberal dousings of cyanoacrylate (super glue, and in a well-ventilated area, I might add) and sprinklings of baking soda. After about a bazillion layers of glue and soda, I ended up with an eggshell-thin dome supported by soft foam, and ultimately filled with every kind of plastic bog and putty I could find. Was I satisfied? No. Will it do the job? It'll have to, for now.

My advice? Christmas bauble, next time.