02.19.2008

My C-3PO Plan of Attack

by Jerry Chevalier
I thought it would be a good idea to start chronicling all of my builds for future reference and to possibly help out any newbies that were thinking of doing something like what I am doing. I figure what the heck…..I might actually have a few good ideas that others could use!
I purchased my C3PO fiberglass shell from Chris Barltett at TK409.com. One of the first things I noticed was there was NO WAY I was EVER going to fit inside this thing! OMG this thing is small! I am surprised that Anthony Daniels can fit in it! I obtained the head from the seller known as dish_man from eBay. This looks like a very good head. Very nice construction. The Brass parts I have collected so far are as follows: The upper arm, hand and leg pistons, head antenna, neck bolts and the eye grills. I will be making him into an animated statue and companion for R2D2. My plans are to have him talk and greet people at the front door as well as remotely monitor the house via a web cam. I also plan on having his head, arms and possibly his hands and waist remotely controlled. His voice responses will be remotely controlled but his responses can be switched over to automatic mode when unattended.
The TK409.com web site is an excellent site for reference material and how-to’s in the construction process of your droid. I know I used it a lot! However there were some things that were either very difficult to see or find out how they were done or they were simply not documented. I will include those tidbits in my blog as it relates to my build process.
So lets start off with a concept that I did not fully appreciate. Everything you do to the C3PO costume is prep work for the chroming or painting process. You do not actually start constructing him until AFTER he is chromed. Once that has happened then you start the assembly process. Depending on your schedule and need for C3PO’s presence you can do all of the prep work, hole drilling and any securing of brass parts to send him off to a chroming house. I am sending my 3PO to Coat of Chrome. They are the ones who do the Victoria Secrets chroming you may have heard about. I have heard a lot of very good things about them. They are located in Pa. There web address is http://www.coatofchrome.com/default.php
Once that is on its way I will be configuring electronic compoents in preperation for his eventual return. The process of concurrent processes in a build process is called compressing the time in time management terms. However, since I do not have a need to compress my time line I have decided to to take a head to toe approach to build my droid.