This year marks the 10 year since I started building my very first R2. I have always keep him looking like he just rolled off the factory line, white and very clean. As I mentioned in an earlier post I just gave him a whole new paint job/makeover. After doing the Finland event I felt it was time to give him the “real”, been there and back look. The term is called weathering. I’ve put it off for the longest time because it felt wrong in some way. But now I’ve changed my mine. He now looks as if he’s telling a story. I stuck with episode 4 look “A New Hope”. He’s been across Tatooine with the sand, dirt, mud and oil look that follows. Weathering is a very hard thing to master but because I’ve weathered my Wall-e and BB-8 in the past I felt I was up for this challenge. Here’s the result!
3 years ago I made the frame for a Star Wars mouse droid. You see it regularly running about on the Death Star and even in a scene in the force awakens as well as Rogue One. Now that I have 3d printing working pretty well I decided to complete the build. I 3D printed all the minor parts like the top details and side paneling. It took only 3 days to complete and I even made a 3d printed gearbox for the fun of it. I have a motor controller on order and will install the sound box shortly. Here are the results so far.
Its been a few weeks since my last post. As usual with this kind of challenging project its 2 steps forward and 1 step back. In my case it was 3 steps forward and 2 steps backwards. Long story short, the cheapo motor to drive the forward and reverse couldn’t handle the sheer weight of my BB-8 and the (plastic) gears, well you can guess. My BB-8 weights a whopping 32kg!! Which is great for stability but hell for cheapo motors. I’d didn’t know they were plastic. So I invested in a proper robust motor with solid metal gears. It runs at 100 rpms on 12 volts. I can post more specs if wished. After changing out that I noticed my original designed control box fitted but gave limited room for anything/everything else. I redesigned it from the ground up making it 2/3s smaller than the original. Its now using three Pololu Simple Motor Controllers. One for each of the main motors. I’m using two 24v12s and one 18v7. I got three because its cheaper and easier to change out one instead of a more expensive all-in-one solution. Also this new solution is much quieter as well as being programmable.
After all the changes and minor tweaks I could finally do a test run and it works. I forgot to record a video but trust me it works. I’ve finally now have been able/comfortable with closing up the entire BB-8 body while leaving 2 detachable access panels for future “thumbs-up” animatronics and so forth. Also these access panels are just big enough to remove every internal component if need be. This past week I’ve been covering, sanding, covering and sanding to get a nice smooth finish before I started the layers and layers of white glossy. BB-8 isn’t suppose to be glossy but I’ll flatten the gloss after all the detailing is done. So enough said and here are the pictures.
I’ve been working a my 3d printed dome for BB8 for a while and I’ve been trying to find way to make it lighter. A few weekends ago I decided to try vacuum forming my printed dome and to my surprise it actually worked. I then tweaked my settings a few times to get the optimal look. The pictures below are versions 1.0 and 2.0 next to the original 3d version. I’m impressed not only that it worked but also by the amount of weight I’ve saved. It now only weighs about a 3rd of the original 3d version. At present I’m painting and installing the lights so I’m saving the final picture of the completed dome for a few more days. I’ve also stumbled over a way to save on lighting weight as well which I’ll show at a later date. My present dome I’m working on will do full revolutions meaning the entire dome and skirt will spin together. I’m also working on a 3rd dome version where the “skirt” doesn’t turn at all, just the dome itself will turn. This is the way the original BB-8 in the movie works. I should also note that the internal mechanisms are already installed and setup to work that way.