In this fine Instructable i will be showing how to make a star wars half scale MSE Droid or "mouse droid" from star wars. the build is creatively quick and inexpensive (around $40).
First: clear an area for your work. you'll need a work bench or table that you don't mind having paint, glue, plastic on it etc. be sure for it to be well lit and have power to it. then gather the following materials:
A Cheap but not to cheap radio control car from toys are us or walmart for $20 bones make sure it comes with a descent controller. i used a 1:24 scale.
High Temp Hot Glue
Band-Saw or your choice of saw
Dowl Rod and PVC pipe
2 cans of krylon spray paint (one Flat black [or your favorite color], one flat clear coat.)
Foam board or craft foam sheet.
1 Sheet of HDPE plastic (you can get this at Menards, (Cheap and easy to work with and strong!) or ABS (more expensive harder to work with.)
!SAFETY GLASS! EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!
and last some sweet jams to listen too.
After collecting your tools and materials next get a couple reference pictures of the inter-webs and print them off and tack them in front of your work area.
the website below, mouse droid builders clubs has measurements and sound clips for the sound board (for later) the measurements are full scale so what you need to do is check your scale RC car and Multiply your scale (.24) by the measurement given make sure to use your decimals.
now the fun part begins. Star taking apart the R/C car of your personal choice and remove the body and tape down any loose wires. you dont want to accidentally cut one with the dremel.
after the R/C car is apart use a calculator to collect all the measurements and make paper or car board patterns out of them. making patterns allows you to make more cuts and make extra pieces quickly and allows you to come back to the project again easily.
once you have the correct measurements and patterns cut out the HDPE. i used a band saw. HDPE is easy to cut but to big of a saw blade or jig saw motions will destroy or bend the plastic so i recommend cutting with a dremel if you dont have access to a band saw. after they're cut sand off the burrs with a low grit sand paper.
start glueing the pieces together in segments starting from the bottom up. you will most likely have to cut off the under body of the R/C car to make the pieces fit to scale. simple use a dremel to cut off what you need to fit it on there. be careful with trimming the R/C car the plastic is really cheap and will melt and fling molten plastic and harden with sharp edges be sure to have safety goggles on by this point.
then hot glue the body to the R/C car. make sure its glued in the front, back and sides. you may choose to make supports with scrap plastic from the underneath. make sure the kit is firmly attached this part of the body will take the impact when you run into things with it. be sure the front wheels wells allow for the max turning radius... so it can turn and there's nothing rubbing against the tires or scraping the ground etc.
once the bottom body is on start building it up add the bumper on the body with a hole in it in case something falls in there you can retrieve it. i put 2 layers of plastic with 2 layers of foam board or craft foam between then for some give in the droid.
then put the main body together with gluing the pieces together from the inside. you may need a extra hand to keep the pieces up while the hot glue cools and hardens (mind yous p's and q's). once its together put some hot glue in the gaps and corners on the out side and grind them of with a sand paper bit from the dremel. this will smooth the edges and fill body gaps making it stronger and look better. make sure the bit is rotating away from you because the friction will melt the glue and fling it at you. the plastic will be fine and wont melt.
attach the main body the the rest of the droid. make sure its centered before you glue it on. then trim the bumper as you see fit.
now its time for the "circuit board panels" these two pieces can be made out of just about anything. i used some craft foam easy to cut and glue together. in the movie the use a "bread board and chips" if your a electrical person you know what im talking about.
after you got your panels all together cut a square on the side of the droid on one side just smaller then one of the panels the cover the square hole with the panel and attach it with either snaps/small screws/Velcro or what have you, so you can take it off easily. the other side you can just hot glue it firmly.
now its time for the "antenna" cut some rectangular pieces and 4 pegs from the wood dowel. base your cut and fittings of what they look like in your reference pictures. then use your assortment of "greebies" to make the antenna like pieces. i used spare PVC pipe and the rest of the dowel.
after everything is fitted to the droid its time to make it pretty. use your dremel skills to lightly round square edges and the hot glue flat and sand the grind marks flat with high grit sand paper. after that its time for the coats of paint. use krylon paint and color of your choice to paint it. i recommend 2-3 coats and let it dry for the day then put a coat or two of clear coat to keep the paint on there.
Sha-Zam! you have a mouse droid that's R/C! but wait what about the whole behind the panel you say?
well on the nice site of mouse droid builder club you can download your favorite sounds and put them on a old MP3 player. go to walmart or best buy and buy some powerful but small speakers shouldn't be any more then $10-$15 bones then plug em into your MP3 player on shuffle and throw it all in the droid and hit play seal it up and you got a cheap sound board for your droid!
now its ready for crowds and kids!
thanks for reading feel free to ask any questions!
hope you enjoyed reading and hope you give your own MSE droid a try!
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