Hello everyone, and welcome to our most ambitious project so far!

It all began when we looked at the family's old-looking VW bus and started wondering how to transform it. The first idea was to transform it into a woody-vw bus, but after a Star Wars marathon, we finally found the droid we were looking for.

We decided to recreate all the objects on R2D2 and adapt them to fit the bus. All the measurements and computer work took about 50 hours, plus vinyl wrapping till we lost count.

Without further ado, let me show you how we developed this project!

Step 1: Planning the design

No, I don't have much pride on the first draft. But it did the job.

R2D2's body is a cylinder, so our initial idea was to unroll the cylinder and wrap the bus with that pattern. But it ended up not becoming one with the force, I mean the bus. Simply throwing the original layout of R2's objects on the vehicle was the easiest way, but as you can see on the second image, even by stretching and shrinking the original layout (from a papercraft file), it lacked proper interaction with the bus. So we chose the hard way and decided to re-imagine and recreate the layout specifically to fit the van. The main adaptation would be the head elements, which would go in the front of the bus.

In Brazil the VW bus or "Kombi" was manufactured continuously up until 2014. If know a little about the different models, you will notice something odd about this one. While on the rest of the world the vehicle updated from the T1 > T2 > T3, in Brazil they have a single windscreen (from the T2) with square side windows and a barn door (from the T1) for passengers, made from 1975 until 1998 (when the T2 production took place). Engine upgrade to water cooled only came in 2003. Our particular bus is a 1992 1.6L aircooled with staggering 58cv that is converted to also run on CNG, which gives it better mileage, but even less power.

Yeah, the force it's not strong with this one.

The T3 model never was manufactured in Brazil, but considering it's overall shape with less curves, it would be an easier candidate for this project. But do PLEASE use a white one, it'll make things waaay more simple.

It was all planned based on vinyl wrap customization, since we already worked with vinyl stickers. We had absolutely no experience on car wrapping, but a VW bus seemed flat enough to begin with.


Very cool! It looks like quite the rewarding endeavor. Was the printing done 3' wide? Could a person at home print individual modules themselves and apply in pieces?
<p>Yes, the printing was done about 3' wide on a printing plotter. There are 2 main issues to address if printing at home. One is the fact that desktop printers do not print on vinyl (plotters use a solvent ink that opens up tiny pores on the surface, allowing the pigment to settle on the vinyl). The other is the lack of UV resistance on regular desktop inkjet inks (you could adapt pigmented ink depending on your printer). Then it all boils down to the material you're printing onto (paper, plastic, some other film). You could combine a desktop printable adhesive with a transparent film on top (so it'd be waterproof) but it'd be difficult to heat-shape it then.</p>
Thanks so much for the info! And again, very cool van!
<p>Hi, this is amazing work, thank you for sharing. Are you in California yet? I've driven my 1971 VW bus across the States twice, now settled in the Clear Lake area north of SanFran. On facebook my bus is called The YesWeCan CamperVan. Please post a photo of your VW there and link to us so we can keep in touch.</p>
<p>This instructable brought back memories of a panel beater here in South Africa that made a VW Bus that looked the same front and rear he only painted the &quot;Headlights&quot;of the back part in red. Then he made a short version with the body cut right at the back of the front seats and then just in front of the engine removed that centre cutout and welded the front and rear together called it &quot;Half loaf&quot; This was done in the early parts of the sixties!</p>
<p>Haha, I looked for a two-front vw bus. So funky looking!</p>
I stumbled upon this because I was looking for templates for a similar project. Would you consider sharing any of the graphics???
<p>Certainly! I just included two files on the last step. We have no rights over R2's objects anyway, so feel free to use them :)</p><p>What project do you have in mind?</p>
We bought a 1975 Boler and the plan is to do the same with it!
<p>Nice! That will look so damn cute :D</p>
Thanks! We will start restoring it in about a year or so and hopefully we can give it a shot. I think we will use white and grey paint and then individual decals so any help would be hugely appreciated!!
<p>Ficou Show! Ganhou meu voto.</p>
<p>Hi, the bus looks great! I was wondering what brand of vinyl car wrap did you use?</p>
<p>I used Oracal vinyl for all the parts (blue vinyl, silver vinyl and printed vinyl) except the reflective section right under the windows (which was a generic brand).</p>
<p>Very cool. Y'all did a great job with the tedious vinyl wrapping.</p><p>I recently painted <a href="http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=124666" rel="nofollow">my motorcycle</a> up as a Viper from Battlestar Galactica. I very nearly decided to do an X-Wing and have the top-mounted case be R2-D2, but that would've been way more complicated. Maybe if I had known to try vinyl wrapping I would have gone for it. Process <a href="http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=124666" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p><p>Again, very cool! Thanks for posting.</p>
<p>Awesome bike man! It look quite a lot with a x-wing fighter even so. I love the battle worn effects. If you put a rebel alliance vinyl decal above the headlight it`d be a complete x-wing xD</p>
<p>Love it!</p>
<p>Chrome tint the windsheild!!</p>
<p>TOO COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL<strong>!</strong>! <strong>x^D</strong></p>
<p>voted for both</p>
<p>Very cool project, i know what would make this pop even more...cp30 rims!!</p>
<p>Great build, I love how it looks!</p><p>How fast can it make the Kessel Run?</p>
<p>About 12 'parsecs', if it is inside the Millennium Falcon. Otherwise, probably around 100k</p>
If I had an extra VW bus I would so do this.
I voted it for both.
<p>Not seen something so unique and exciting, have I. May the force be with you and the droid. And you have my vote.</p>
<p>Amazing - think of how great looking this would also be on one of the old VW bugs also.</p>
<p>I am very fond of VW bugs also. But I think that one fits better as a C3PO cosplay. Look up &quot;Golden VW Bug&quot; on google images and tell me what you think! Cheers!</p>
Definite 3PO - on the golden bug. I forgot about the headlights and his eyes. What a roll reversal - R2 being the bigger one:^))
<p>Being one of R2's biggest fan, need to say this is truly one of the coolest r2difications I have ever seen. Super Duper Awesome job!!!</p>
<p>Wow. You did an incredible job. Top notch work!</p>
<p>OMG, it's so cool!! Two awesomeness in one!!!</p><p>Brilliant idea and implementation! Definitely love it! :)</p>
<p>So cool man</p>
so great! you really captured the essence of r2
<p>Thanks, I really think the natural dirt on the bus from road use (notice on the side on the cover photo) helps to give the appearance of a battle damaged droid. Heck, R2 gets dirty all the time, and so does my bus, haha.</p>
<p>Hello, my name's Josh, I'm a journalist from the UK. I'm interested in writing a news story about your R2D2 van, drop me an email at josh@catersnews.com if you're interested. Cheers.</p>
<p>Absolutely - it looks like it's been cruising around Tatooine</p>
<p>MUITO AFUDE! parab&eacute;ns pela criatividade, nunca mais vou ver uma kombi da mesma maneira!</p><p>abra&ccedil;&atilde;o!</p>
<p>Oh, that is brilliant!</p>
<p>This is so awesome!!!! You did a really great work! Thank you so much for sharing it with everyone :D</p>
<p>OMG I love this! Really nice job!</p>
<p>This is so awesome. Super creative and fun. I bet the chicks really dig it.</p>
<p>This might be the greatest thing I have every seen in my life!</p>
<p style="margin-left: 20.0px;">Awn, we feel so honored ^^</p>
<p>That's just AWESOME!!! I would add a R2 dome on the roof.</p>

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More by mimaki cg60:From salvaged to awesome liquor display...with lights Carved Bird Pendant R2D2 VW Bus 
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