Monday, August 23, 2010

Workspace Completed

After making the decision that I really wanted to build a droid, there were three big starting points I had to deal with: Where I was going to do this work, what droid I'm building, and what materials I'm going to use. Today I got the first of these 3 mostly done, and should finish up one of the other two this week. My hope is to make the first cuts on the frame this weekend, if it's feasible.

That said, my workspace is mostly cleared off. I had a chance to go to Harbor Freight today and get the 1/4" router and other materials I knew I'd need. I put together the drill press I've had sitting around to make sure it worked (it does!) and then proceeded to put the parts away. I only spent about $76 on the additional tools I'd need, so I'm pretty happy with that.

The next big decisions is material. There are 3 main designs for the frame: Aluminum, Plywood, or High Impact Polystyrene. This is one of the biggest decisions I'm going to have to make, as the design I use will forever dominate this droid. Honestly, aluminum is out of the question, as the costs of the material are just too high for me in the making of my initial droid. That leaves Plywood, which is a more available product, but heavier, or Polystyrene which is lighter. I've been planning on a styrene build for a while now, but I think I'm starting to change my mind as I think about the lifecycle of the little guy. He'd be light with the styrene, but he wouldn't be very durable that way.

The last major decision is what astromech I'm building. I had decided that I didn't want to attempt R2-D2, as it would require more precision than I was going to be comfortable with, but I think I've figured out which one I'm going to do. The good thing is that painting is going to be so late in the project for me (frame and legs should take me until the end of the year, so it'll be when I start putting the outer layers on him that I'll be really painting). For right now, I'm focusing on making him as R4-P17, which is Obi-wan's droid in both Episode II and III. It should work out nicely, as it's still in continuity, but it's not the "most recognized" droid that way.

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