How I made R2D2 from junk, Part 3.

Having now made a somewhat satisfactory dome (albeit without any detail, yet), it's time to do something with the body and leg assemblies.

I don't have a lot to say about these parts, other than they just worked. Not a lot of planning, and fairly minimal measurement went into making the barrel. The legs just kind of fell into place.

The legs:

R2D2's legs are made, mostly, from acrylic sheet. I love acrylic sheet. It's easy to work with, it doesn't mind being sanded and filed, it takes paint and glue with ease, and if you need something to be transparent, it's natural state is...transparent. For R2, though, acrylic's defining quality was structure. I built R2D2's legs using a rough template that I printed off the internet (I believe I searched for something along the lines of "r2d2 plans" or "r2d2 blueprints" and found many satisfactory examples). 

One of the most terrifying parts of this project, at least for my humble self, was the fact that R2D2 is essentially symmetrical. I hate symmetry. I hate making two of something. I hate building things where the left hand side has to match or mirror the right hand side. R2D2, unfortunately, has two legs. And they're both largely the same. As I said earlier, the legs just worked. I have no explanation or solution for making two droid legs. They just happened perfectly the first time. It's both exciting and disappointing simultaneously.

The body:

R2D2's body is also not a particularly complicated thing, being that it's essentially a cylinder. There are a few details that will need to be added, but the bulk of the work is done once you've cut out an appropriately-sized chunk of PVC pipe and built some kind of shoulder apparatus for the legs to attach to.

The first photograph above shows the tapered protuberance that goes underneath R2D2's body. This is the part that would have a rectangular hole to receive R2's third foot in its retracted position, but I had already decided that my R2D2 would be bipedal and I had no intention of constructing the third leg. We'll pretend the third leg is inside there, somewhere.

I chose to make the tapered part by stacking acrylic pieces (and scrap pieces), then smoothing the tapered sides with styrene sheet offcuts and filling with cyanoacrylate and soda or plastic putty. Ultimately, this was -- as usual -- the most difficult way I could possibly make the part, and my colleague chose a much simpler solution: utilise the already curved edges of the PVC tubing, and with about four cuts, make the shape and stick it together. 

The last four photographs above also show R2D2's feet with their initial covering of styrene, giving the appropriate shapes for the battery and cable mountings and a reasonable representation of the angular sole of his feet.

Next up: Detailing the body.