R2-D2 FAQ´s

Here are some of the questions regarding R2-D2 I am getting asked the most:

"Are there any kits available for a full-size R2-D2?"
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 R2-D2 ?"
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 ?"

"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 :

"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 Artoo?"
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 full-size R2-D2?"
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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