When I decided to build my own Astromech I knew that I was starting down a long and winding road. Let’s be honest here; I didn’t set out to build just any astromech, I was gonna build an R2D2! A trait that I have had as long as I can remember is that I always have preferred to go my own way… I just gotta be me. This means that I tend to run in a different direction than the majority. Sometimes this trait has provided me with an amazing journey, but often it only meant that I was not just blazing a new trail, but actually re-inventing the wheel! Working this way often means that I am working longer and harder on a problem than necessary, but for me it really is the problem-solving that I enjoy.
I enjoy having a back-story. At this time, R6-T3x is referred to as "it" because I don't yet know for certain if it has Masculine or Feminine traits. This post will be updated semi-regularly as I learn more about R6-T3x.
R6-T3x is a tough little R6 Astromech. The R6 Series from IA was considered to be the company’s biggest triumph since releasing the R2 decades earlier. Rugged and Quick with the most advanced CPU to date, it was promptly adopted by Military as well as the General Consumer. 6-T3x is an ex- Imperial Military Droid, currently aligned with the New Republic. Just to be clear, this is not a Captured Imperial Droid that has been re-programmed to work with the Alliance… for all intents and purposes 6-t3x Chose to align itself with the Alliance!
As I have mentioned before, I have decided to build with Composite Skins.What this means, in essence, is the body of my R6 will be skinned with a shell made up of a fiberglass composite. I have purchased a set of molds from long-time Builders Club member Crash, who had made a number of skin sets for club members plus two sets which we towards building the R2-D2s which were featured in daily parades at the Hollywood Studios park at Disney World.
I have been gathering info, parts and supplies for my Composite Skins. My molds are now in hand, but my BC weather is just a bit too unstable yet to dive in to this part of the project. I have built a simple practice frame out of standard grade 1/2” plywood, but have chosen to attempt a more minimalistic frame more suited to my new skins. I have some ideas, but will wait until I have a set of skins made before proceeding. In the mean time, I decided to tackle the Legs. It is a bit unconventional I think to start here, but hey… I’m going my own way…
Skins! I’m really excited to have created my first couple sets of Composite Skins. The process required a fair amount of prep work, including a two hour drive to meet with a Composites Expert to help refine my plan and choose products. As mentioned earlier, I purchased molds from long-time Builder’s Club Member, Crash. I have worked through the exact process that Crash used to produce up to 100 Skins from these molds in the past (including Skins for a Disney park) and have made a few small tweaks for local conditions and my supplier’s recommendations.