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.