Wednesday, July 20, 2011

C-3P0, Terminator and other stuff

I've been slowing down my work on props lately and collecting parts. When I'm not working on my astromech droids I'm collecting parts or planning out how I'm going to do my next two robots. There is still much to do with R5-D4 like put servos and other things in the dome. I won't touch that dome until I have my R2-D2 or R2-Q5 finished. It took me 40 years of my life without a finished droid and I want to keep one on hand at all times. When I finish 2 of them. I'll take R5 apart and upgrade that.
My next project I'm collecting parts for is a full size C-3P0 that will be a wearable costume and also animatronic from the waist up. I got the head parts today and it was a great deal for really well made parts! I'm quite happy with the bang for the buck here. The builder is very good with vacuum formed props.
It also includes the rest of the head detail pieces including transparent lenses and LED lights, resistor and everything you need. You have to trim and sand and do your share of the work to get the head ready for the chrome plated look. 
I also ordered some feet. These feet need to be trimmed and then you can wear them over a size 10.5 narrow shoe. Which sucks my feet are 12-13:( I have no idea what the part next to the feet is for. I saw my first real life 3P0 at Phoenix Comicon and that pretty much cemented my on/off decision to do a project like this. This robot is frakking cool!

I could have bought a complete 3P0 off ebay from some recasters painted and done for half the price of going this route. I'm not that type of nerd and will only do business with decent folk that work sometimes with LFL that offer parts, not completed robots. A good deal of the fun is putting some elbow work into these projects. Another reason is learning of new skills you didn't know when you started this stuff. By the time you finish a droid or large scale robot. You'll probably be pretty good at painting, polishing, a dremel master of all things, soldering and medium level electronics, familiar with LEDs and china, and how CNC machine basics work. You'll end up knowing enough about nuts and bolt sizes to get hired at Ace Hardware if you don't the guys in the store on a first name basis.

That's valuable experience you'll never get if you hit 'buy it now' on ebay for a finished robot. There will be times your robot will break and you say. 'No big deal I built it once its easier to fix that part the second time. People who buy a finished droid have no idea what kind of electronics are inside, where parts came from, part terminology of what's what.
Anyway, when I'm not working on droids I have this evil Terminator T-800 robot I'm working on. This is the first of many skulls. I'm going to later replace with this a chromed out fullsize head. This head won't be on the finished Terminator but I needed a Terminator fix so I bought this to piece to place around with until I can afford a 1:1 head like this head in the photo below.
Eventually I'll buy the head for a small fortune. That will most likely be the only part on this build that I buy. The rest I'll build from scratch as you really can't get in on T-800 part runs as there aren't any. I think I'll finish the C-3P0 first and servo up that droid to figure out how I'm going to to this moving T-800 robot. This will be my masterpiece of a robot out of all of them.

I also got two of the most powerful Hitec servos has to offer. This will beef up the power to move the Gripper arm and CPU arm up and down. The servos I have installed are 133 oz of torque. The new servos above are rated at 403 oz of torque. Each servo is so expensive it cost more than the 3P0 above and the Terminator head also. By the time they arrived I checked servocity and they had just published newer more powerful servos making mine obsolete by the time it arrived:(

Two of  best servos they offer cost about as much as an Xbox 360! Ouch! I'll need tons of those to animate 3P0 probably enough to pay for a small used car.

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