Thursday, September 23, 2010

What is an R6 astromech?

We shall start off defining our problem... What is an R6 unit? Well, in the SW Expanded Universe (all the stuff outside of the movies and series), a lot like R2 - a bit more capable, the biggest difference is a different shaped head.

R6-D14, current colour scheme

The advantage with the head shape is that it's much easier to scratch build than is a hemispherical(ish) dome. And I find it a bit more aesthetically pleasing. Why is scratchbuilding important? Simple - money. Until I have enough money to throw around getting the top end equipment (like a machined aluminium inner frame), I'm going to have to make do.

So, at the moment, I trying to find ways to make do. A bit of searching, a bit of maths, and some talking online (thanks to Dan Stuettgen, builder of R6-D1 for his dome plans, I'd link to him, but he has no current website), a demo copy of Turbocad, and a couple of visits to a local retail store with a printery (that can handle printing A1 and A0) has lead me to having copies of the front and rear skins (of the body), and two of the head. At this stage, I've only put the hatches on the top of the dome in, will slowly get the other ones for the head done as I can.

The paper plans will eventually be used as templates for making a frame (admittedly, machined aluminium would be nice)... and paper with give way, either to more aluminium, or to sheet styrene. No guessing which will be cheaper, easier, and lighter, though. I might have to make do with wood for a frame...

For those of you who haven't guessed, this could be an expensive hobby... and I haven't started talking about what I want as the electronics inside. I'll give you a clue - not an empty, static display, and not radio controlled...

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