It’s Con season and geeks are in full bloom. Every year at Denver Comic Con, there are so many sights to behold. We got a lot of interviews this year. We will be featuring each interview from Denver Comic Con over the next three months! First up is Jim Shima, droid builder extraordinaire. We like covering cool items, but also affordable items. Now these may look expensive, and some are, but one can build a droid over time. There is a huge support group out there and, budget providing, you can have your Astromech up and running in no time.
Real life Droids!
What it is:
DYI protocol Droid and Astromech, better known as C3PO and R2D2
How Much it Costs:
Cost can vary quite a bit, depending on materials and function of the Droid. If you want a nice looking R2 unit to just sit and look pretty, here’s a list and instructions on how to do that-
Total cost is about $150-$200.
If you want something that can move, have cool light and sounds.
Here’s one guide I found online that showed a higher end R2-
There are actually dozens of how to guides and a great support group out there.
In the Colorado/Wyoming area we have Mountain States Droid Builders (http://msr2droids.com/) . A great bunch of friendly people. You can find them here on their Facebook page –
Just Google your local area for builders as they are all over the world.
Total cost is in the $5000 range, some as high as $10,000. This can vary depending on materials but I think can expect it to exceed $500 :). Keep in mind though that you can spread this cost out over many years. You might need that time to gain the skill needed and build it slowly to make it just perfect.
As you can see there’s more than just R2D2 and C3PO that can be built.
Is It Worth It?:
Everything we cover at Hush is worth it! Droids are no exception. Certainly these are the most recognizable pieces of movie-making magic ever. C3PO and R2D2 are the most well known and well liked characters in the history of movies. If you have a home theater or you are the ultimate Star Wars collector you would not be disappointed with life sized R2 or 3PO. I think the extra bonus is that you get the satisfaction of knowing you built it. Just like Anakin you can be a Droid builder and build C3PO, and maybe one day a Sith Lord.
This probably the coolest item we have covered yet here at Hush for Shut Up and Take My Money. That being said, this takes a time and financial commitment. You might be able to offer money to one of the current builders for a finished droid, but I wouldn’t count on it. They would probably want quite a bit of money for them, and rightly so! If this is something you would like to have, take some time and do some research online. There is a great community of friendly folks who have gone down the same road and are willing to offer advise. Being good with your hands and having some experience with electronics is a plus but not a requirement. I believe all that is required is passion, enthusiasm and commitment to the build.
My special thanks to Jim Shima for sharing his passion with me and allowing Hush to do an interview with him.
You can find out info about his projects here- www.hyperdynelabs.com