With my love of everything Star Wars, but most specifically, Droids. I was sitting at work the other day, thinking of a time when R2-C2 is done and how he basically looks like R2-D2 and if other R2-D2s are around, it might look odd. So I decided I’d build a secondary dome for him, one that I can swap out. I wanted something simple, where I don’t have to pay several hundred dollars for. Why don’t I do an R4 dome? OooOo What about that frog guy from Clone Wars that sits in an R4 dome… I could make him too!
Well I started working on the incompetent Colonel.
I started with making a wire armature… I took some 14 gauge wire and twisted it together using my drill. This is to give it a bit more strength. Made some loops at the feet and hands. Then wanted to add some bulk to the head (basically to save on clay) So I grabbed one of the dog’s unused tennis balls. Next up, was the eye stalks. I twisted some more wire and drilled it into the head.
After this was done, I needed a way to have him stand up. So I glued on some nuts on the foot loops. This will allow me to screw the armature into a base board that can stand on my desk as I work on him.
Well just having a bit of super glue holding the nut in place isn’t enough. I grabbed some of my JB Weld putty. This stuff essentially turns into steel as it hardens, and coated the nut and the foot loop with it.
I did this to both feet, then added some at some of the other weak joints like the pelvis and clavicle. I also need to add some at the base of the tennis ball and at the base of the eye stalks, but ran out.
Once I pick some more up and finish that, I’ll move on to making the armature for the hands.
Didn’t get as much done this weekend as I would of liked. But had a great weekend none the less. Ended up doing more planning for our Disney Star Wars Cruise in January. Participated in a Golf tournament and just had fun.
Any ways. I did get a few more parts in. The springs needed for the foot drives as well as the delrin rod for the foot drives as well.
I was having a hard time finding these exact parts as most of the sites that carried them only shipped to the US. And the thought of driving across the border to pick up a 4$ order… meh.
Finally found them from a Canadian site. Well funny thing is, the next day, I got an other package from the same company. This one contained 5 laparoscopic surgery tools!
With the bit of time I had to work on R2, I glued on the panels on the skin that are never actually going to open.
I also decided to tape some of the doors there as well as placed the coin slots, just to see how it would look. I also fixed a bit of the alignment issue… think I might still have a bit to do on that.
I noticed, that the slots for the utility arms are off… that or my arms are off. I’ll definitely need to look into that as I do plan on powering them. If you take a close look at the charging bay, I also added the LEDs and the board to it. If you’re REALLY nice, you might get a video tonight with the blinky blinky lights.
So I got alot of time this weekend to work on R2.
Started off by getting some new parts in and picking up some new parts.
Friday I got home to my shiny new Sabertooth speed controller for R2’s feet. I then went out and picked up some steal rods to build the shafts for the feet with, I also picked up more bits here and there.
Cutting steal with a dremmel… not so great. So I had to go back out and bought some jig blades for cutting steal. Remember kids… don’t touch steal you’ve been cutting with your bare hands… it’s hot!
I then continued work on the skins. I glued the inner and outer skins for the front together using e6000 and many clamps. Before gluing though, I sanded the inner skin and made sure no burrs were left.
While this set, I went back out to the garage and sanded the new radar eye. Once nice and smooth (well as smooth as you can get a 3D printed part), I applied a thin coat of glazing putty. The thing with glazing putty is that you don’t want to apply it too thick. So I’d put a thin coat, smooth it out, let it dry, then sand it, then rinse wash and repeat.
Eventually I got to this. You can still see some of the lines from the printing, but that’s why I got myself some filler primer. Once we’re at the painting stage, I’ll prime it and this special primer will fill in the rest of the gaps. Then I get to sand it some more and continue the fun.
Next up! More skins… Now one of the parts I’ve been dreading since I got the skins (probably why they’ve been laying around the living room for a few years now) is cutting the back skins to make an access hatch. Some builders access the inside of their astromechs by just removing the dome. Mine has too much stuff inside it, so I need a removable panel in the back to get in there. Unfortunately, the skins I have don’t have this hatch laser cut. Well not the inside skin at least. I removed the outside one, then attached the inside and outside skins together using tape. Now that everything was at the right places, I placed the outside hatch and placed tape to show where it lined up.
Now carefully using my Dremmel and a metal cutting wheel, I started to cut… Now, safety first, I had a respirator, in order now to breath in any little bits of metal and safety goggles… yet some metal still ended up go under the goggles.
While working on this, my neighbour came by to see what I was working on. He knows I work on Star Wars costuming as he’s come by during my armor building parties. But a fully functional, life size R2? His mind was blown.
After several cutting wheels, I got the hatch out. Sanded it to remove the burrs and any sharp edges. Now I need to take all the panels out.
Now I started gluing the insides and outsides of the panels. More e6000 and more clamps. These will need to be glued onto the hatch as they won’t be opening up.
Now the inside and outside parts of the hatch are being glued.
At this point it was getting late on the last day of my r2 building long weekend. I decided to place the front skins on just to see how it fit. I haven’t attached them yet, as I need to make a trip to Ottawa Fastners to get some screws to attach the mounting blocks and some Set Screws to tap where I’ll need to drill.
I’m still fighting this nasty summer cold and barely have any energy. However, this afternoon I cut out the main pieces for R2’s skirt.
Once I did this though, I was done and ready for a nap :p
I typically don’t get this knocked down by a cold but I swear this one could incapacitate a Rancor.
Later this evening I was feeling a bit better and decided to glue the skirt.
Since clamps wouldn’t reach. I decided to use the good old heavy cookbooks to weigh everything down while it dried.
Like with the legs. I still have to attach the skins, outer ribbing and paint it. But it looks good so far.
So those 3D parts I ordered, arrived today.
So I bought a few more parts from a club member that 3d prints them.
The parts I got are:
Shoulder Hydraulics: These are rods that go in the shoulder’s horse shoe
Shoulder Buttons: Small buttons that also go into the shoulder’s horse shoe
Under Shoulder Details: An odd shaped piece that goes in the legs, bellow the shoulder
Ankle Cylinders: Cylinders that fit on each side of the ankles
Cylinder Holders: The holders to hold the cylinders
Ankle Wedges: Small wedges that go bellow the cylinders
Radar Eye: I wasn’t happy with my old one, so I got a new one
Now I’m only missing a few pieces… the horse shoes, side vents and pocket vents and both the octagon ports and power couplers. I also noticed I’m missing the kick panels but I can make those myself with some aluminum sheets.
We’re getting there!!!
The wife was planning on spending this past Saturday with her mom. So what a better chance to work on R2.
I brought all the CNC’d parts down the night before. The second she left, I turned the music up, grabbed my iPad with the assembly instructions and got to work.
Some of you might remember the flat packs I received a while back (See this post).
I carefully detached the parts for one of the legs.
Once detached, I carefully removed any of the tabs left and sanded them down.
I then placed one of the sides of the leg down and dry fit all the ribs. Once I was happy with how they fit, I placed the other side of the leg on them to make sure everything aligned.
Now, everything fits… time to start gluing. I grabbed one of the tubes of Weld-On 16, it’s a gel solvent for acrylics. This stuff is interesting… first off, it free flows, so be careful. But if you do drop it on anything, it doesn’t seem to glue to anything. It simply dissolves this type of plastic. So if you get some anywhere else, you can just wipe it off. I placed a bead of it across every rib and placed them in their slots. I then put the top part of the leg back on and clamped it good. This made sure that they were on straight and wouldn’t tilt or warp.
After it was dry enough (only takes a few minutes for it to set, but 24 hours to fully cure). I removed the clamps and top plate. I then added a bead to the other side of the ribs and placed the top plate back on. And then more clamps.
Once the clamps were removed, I had a nice leg… unfortunately, there’s tons more work to do to it. If you look at the next two pictures, you’ll notice the slots… R2 didn’t have these slots in the movie… so neither can we.
So we’re going to add some smoother plates on the inside and outside of the leg. Since this is such a big surface and we don’t want gaps or for it to slip or warp, we better make sure the surface is treated for it.
So I brought the leg outside and sanded the whole leg down. This gives enough texture to hold the leg skin on. Again, tons of clamps to hold these on
While the leg skins dry and set, I didn’t want to just stop. So I started work on the ankle. Again, I trimmed the parts down and dry fit them. I then glued them in place
I then glued on the bottom of the ankle in place and since I couldn’t clamp it, I ended up using painter’s tape
Once the ankle was dry, I brought it outside and sanded the ribs down in order for it to follow the angle of the curved parts for when I add the skin on it.
I then glued 2 of the square leg pieces that bulk up the ankle. Of course, this is where I ran into some confusion. Looking at the instructions, I couldn’t figure out how many layers are supposed to go together. This is mainly because the guy who made these parts has since changed the thickness of plastic he uses for these due to availability. But his instructions weren’t too clear about it. I’ve emailed him and got a response already, however I think I was too tired by the time I got them, since it still wasn’t too clear. I’m hoping that when I have time tonight after dinner that they make more sense to me.
Once all of this was done, I started the process again for the other leg…
Once this is done, I need to finish the ankles and glue the side skins. Then I can move on to the next part.. probably the skirt.
One of the most important aspects of the Wookiee is the face… it’s yet an other technique, in which one can get carried away.
For our builds, we were using these fiberglass skulls. It’s just a half skull so we needed something in the back. With Target closing in Canada, we managed to get skateboarding helmets for cheap, we cut part of them off and riveted them to the skull. We also had to cut the eyes and jaw out as it was one solid piece.
We then attached aluminum strips and riveted the top and jaw to them to give it the articulation we wanted. I then sewed on some more mesh and attached that to the back so we could give the wookiees their nice hair
Once all that was done, it was back to punching the hair in the silicone face. I think I went a bit crazy with the punching as my face ended up looking like a muppet. However, I’d rather have more and trim it than not enough and have to detach the face once it’s glued on.
After finishing all this punching, I had to attach the skin to the skull. First step was to burn all the fur that extended through the mask to give it a smoother texture to glue… This also helped keep the fur in place.
I then used a gasket maker… this tar looking rubber sealant… it’s messy… really messy to glue the face on. Luckily I didn’t get any on the fur.
Next problem was… WAY TOO MUCH hair! I was unfortunately running out of time as I had a press conference to attend the next day. I tried combing it, placing it with heat and using hair spray.
Unfortunately… at the press conference… it looked like my face melted.
The next day, a friend suggested a product called Got2B… it’s a glue for hair. I started spraying it on and it worked great. But I still had too much hair. So a friend and fellow cosplayer, who’s a hair stylist by day, stopped by the booth and gave Chewie a trim… This worked wonders and I’m ALMOST happy with him.
Things left to do is attach the fishing line under his chin a bit better to give him an actual chin line. I want to trim a bit more. I also surprisingly have to add more hair on the sides and back to cover my neck some more.
Other than that.. he’s a cute wookiee
Working on the legs was an interesting part of this costume.
We had bought 15″ dry wall stilts. The first problem was that the stilts’ feet were tiny… there was no way we could balance ourselves on these, let alone attach the toes.
So Luc cut out some plywood that we shaped into a front part and back part. This would give us the flex needed when walking as well as ample surface.
I then went and sealed them to prevent any damage if they got wet. Once dry, we bolted these into the stilts.
Next up, stilts are very skinny… Wookiee legs are not. We got some upholstery foam and wrapped the stilts in a way that our own toes wouldn’t stick out. The foam was held in place with tons and tons of tape.
Once happy with the shape, I sewed some mesh into a leg warmer, where we could latch the fur. We also attached the wookiee toes to the foot with more tape.
I then tried to suit up and I noticed the pants were caving in where the stilts were. So based on an other Garrison member’s build we added a metal frame, drilled holes in them and attached elastic straps.
I added these straps by stretching them first. This way, if I step forward and the elastic relaxed, it wouldn’t be all loose and cause more caving in.