About

History

Around about May 2013, we took a trip to Milton Keynes Collectormania for a day out and to meet a few people. Whilst there, we came across the UK arm of the R2 Builders club, with numerous droids on show. Someone may have then been heard to utter the fateful words: ‘You could make one of those’. That was enough to plant the seed. After a long drive home, I went online and signed up for both the Yahoo! group and the astromech.net forums, along with joining the UK specific astromech.info forum. I was pretty much doomed from there on.

After lots of reading of build logs both on the forums and around the net I was ready to take the plunge and start ordering parts. This website is here to log the progress.

Personally, I’m an IT guy with lots of various hobbies including electronics and computers, so I had a good start on parts of the build. I am very new to actually building anything beyond airfix models (badly). This was a chance to get some skills in other areas.

Links

About

History

Around about May 2013, we took a trip to Milton Keynes Collectormania for a day out and to meet a few people. Whilst there, we came across the UK arm of the R2 Builders club, with numerous droids on show. Someone may have then been heard to utter the fateful words: ‘You could make one of those’. That was enough to plant the seed. After a long drive home, I went online and signed up for both the Yahoo! group and the astromech.net forums, along with joining the UK specific astromech.info forum. I was pretty much doomed from there on.

After lots of reading of build logs both on the forums and around the net I was ready to take the plunge and start ordering parts. This website is here to log the progress.

Personally, I’m an IT guy with lots of various hobbies including electronics and computers, so I had a good start on parts of the build. I am very new to actually building anything beyond airfix models (badly). This was a chance to get some skills in other areas.

Links

Blog

Big printers

I’ve just done a post over on my other blog (seeing as it wasn’t R2 related), but it is going to be used a lot for my droids over the next few months. So head over to read about the upgrades I’ve done on my CR10-S5 printer

FAQ

There are a few questions that I get asked a lot at conventions, so thought I’d draw up a quick FAQ.

  • How much?

    Droids vary greatly in cost, ranging from total budget ones made from wood and lampshades from B&Q, to the top of the line ones costing upwards of £20k with all the gadgets and 2-3-2 mechanisms. Mine is somewhere in the middle. A lot of cost comes from the fact that many of the parts have to come from the States, which of course incurs major shipping and import costs. Oh, and none of this takes labour into account.

  • How long?

    I started mine in 2013, and if you ask any droid builder they will tell you they are never finished.

  • Whats it made of?

    Currently, he is mostly aluminium. His skirt us a fibreglass casting. A few bits of steel and plastic thrown in, along with a load of electronics. Main power is a battery made from 18650 cells (the same type of thing as in the Tesla cars and powerwalls), made from recycled laptop batteries.

  • Is it a kit?

    Short answer, no. Long answer is that as part of the global builders club you get access to a lot of resources in the way of other builders. There are ‘runs’ of parts, where a builder will take on a production run of a single part with the idea that getting 100 produced is cheaper per unit. The extras will be sold to other builders at cost. There is still a lot of work to get all these parts put together, including a lot of fabrication of parts yourself.

  • Can I/my kid have a go?

    No. These droids are heavy, cost a lot, and take a lot of practice to drive.

  • I want one!

    As a member of the builders club, they can’t be sold or made to order. We have a close working relationship with Lucas Film (and now Disney), and don’t want to do anything to betray that. If you really want one, the best option is to join the builders club and make your own. Its great fun, and if you chose to take your droid to events then you’ll get the reward of the reactions of everyone you meet.

    Global Builders Club – http://astromech.net
    UK Builders Club – http://astromech.info