R2D2 Build

My daughter wanted to be R2D2 for Bell County Comic Con 2019. Here is my step-by-step guide on how I did it on the cheap.

Materials needed:

  • 10 mm thick yoga mat
  • Large bowl
  • X-Acto knife or scissors
  • Masking tape or duct tape
  • foil or saran wrap
  • sharpie
  • acrylic paint
  • spray paint
  • Barge cement glue
  • butcher paper
  • Insulation sheathing
  • Two small pool noodles
  • bike helmet
  • Elastic

Measure the yoga mat to be around your subject to where it is not too big but not too small and cut a vertical line. You should have about a square shape left of the mat that you’re not using as the main part of the body.

once I made sure it was the right size I cut it and then glued the edges together to form a cylinder.
Have your subject put the cylinder on an eyeball where the arm holes need to go then cut out with the X-Acto knife try to make it even across.

Now when I first did this, I thought about attaching it to my daughter like a sandwich board with two straps. Don’t do that. It doesn’t work. I mean, it does work… But what ends up happening is the cylinder get smashed and it loses its round shape. So to remedy this I ended up buying two pool noodles, measuring them to the inside circumference of the cylinder, then cutting the end of it to fit and gluing the ends together. I then put one towards the top and one towards the bottom. Little serendipitous moment was that the pool noodle actually kept the cylinder up on my daughter shoulders so there wasn’t any additional strapping needed.

Next section is the head of R2D2. Grab your large bowl tape foil any of that stuff. I would before you start make sure the bowl will be a decent size or look size appropriate for the cylinder you made if it’s too small big it might look a little weird.

As you can see my bowl fit pretty well

We are going to Cover the bowl with saran wrap or foil first. Then use duck tape or masking tape to cover The saran wrap or foil.

The bowl flipped upside down
This is what it looks like after I’ve taken it off the bowl

Now Remove it from the bowl and take a sharpie and draw Two lines dividing it up into three sections and put registration marks on it like picture

No cut the pieces out and number them 123 in sequential order

No please the pattern onto your format that is left. My pieces fit exactly right. If you find that you don’t have enough and don’t want to use another Matt, just scale down the head pattern a bit. Trace the pattern onto your foam mat

on some of the bigger curves I cut a dart so it laid flat

Once traced, Cut out the pattern including the darts but not the registration marks.

Make sure the ridges or any non-smooth side is on the inside of your head and not the outside

Using the barge cement, go ahead and glue them together carefully lining up the registration marks. If it looks wonky or weird but the ends lineup go ahead and use a heat gun or a hair dryer to heat up the foam to mold it and shaped it the way you need to.

That’s a nice looking trashcan there…😂
I win

Now grab that bike helmet, you can get them for 3 to 5 dollars at a thrift store, and use the barge cement to glue to the inside of the head. Make sure you position it right in the middle.

Make sure to disinfect your thrift store helmet before putting it on your head you can do this by putting it in the freezer overnight and then of course Antibacterial wipes.

OK it’s time to paint! Go outside or into a protected area and put a dropcloth down and spray one to two layers of spray paint on your cylinder with white. On the helmets for one layer of white and the other layer silver.

Now while those are drying, get some butcher paper and I traced out my idea of what the leg shape should look like and size.

this is the leg reference I used
If you notice I only did half the leg. I folded the butcher paper in half then cut it out so both sides would be symmetrical
I put the cylinder body on the table so I could see what the Leg template looked like to make sure the template was sized right before I traced it onto my hard insulation foam.

Once you have your template cut out trace it onto your insulated foam

Go ahead and then cut out two legs with an X-Acto knife or I used a heat knife to cut through the insulation foam. If you’ve never worked with A heat knife you may want to practice on a few pieces before attempting it can get pretty crazy very quickly LOL.

My cut out was a little sloppy so I use the sander to soften the edges

now back to the main body and head of R2D2. I wish I could give you an easy answer to this part but I hand drew the details on the body and on the head via looking at reference pictures

I then painted in the blue box then gray then read lastly black.

beep boop

Then I repeated the process with the body.

For the legs I did not spray paint them. Instead I used white acrylic paint because spray paint will eat through the foam. Then painted like the previous two ones white paint was dry.

On the other side I added two sets of elastic straps for my daughter to slip her arms through; one around her wrist and one on her Upper arm. Unfortunately at comic con most of them ripped off so I will have to repair that next time she wears that or figure out a better way to do it.

used white duct tape to help lol

And that’s it! Now to add an extra fun element to it you can get a small Bluetooth speaker and run a R2d2 voice loop. We put the little speaker inside my daughters costume.

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