Introduction: BB8 Star Wars Hover Disc/ Balloon Figure
Let me begin by saying that I am HUGE Star Wars fan. When I saw a toy and game contest I knew I had to make a Star Wars toy. I thought a lot about what I could do and what I wanted to do. For inspiration I even watched Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi. Ok maybe it wasn't for inspiration and more for my entertainment but come on those movies are epic.
Anyways if you think about it, the Star War story is so dependent on the droids like BB8, R2D2 and C3PO. In A New Hope Leia gives the Death Star plans to R2D2 and in The Force Awakens, Po gives the map of Luke to BB8. The droids are the cherry on top to what makes Star Wars, Star Wars.
What really got me thinking was when I saw that people made real, life-size, Star Wars Droids. There are videos of people making R2D2 and BB8 which I thought was so cool! Now, while I know some Arduino and coding, I definitely not make anything that crazy. After seeing the real life BB8 video, it gave me an idea about how BB8 looks like a balloon. This led to a chain reaction in my head. I remembered a youtube video about cool crafts you can make. It showed me how to make an air hockey puck with a balloon and said "Eureka!". This is how the BB8 Hover Disk came to be. And let me tell you from experience on using it, it came to be awesome.
How it works:
It is basically an air hockey puck that supplies the air instead of the table.
There are two balloons, one on the outside that is BB8's body, and one inside that stores air. When you blow up the inner balloon and release the valve the air comes rushing out the bottom creating a force under the CD that creates an upward force making the force of friction much less and it slides way easier.
Even if you do not want a hover disk BB8, You can still follow the steps to make a BB8 balloon figure =)
- 5 white balloons (Yes, I said 5)
- 1 CD
- 2 funnels https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lawn-and-...
- 1 water bottle cap that must open and close (I got mine from a dollar store water bottle)
- Glue (Hot glue gun should well, I only had silicon glue and super glue though)
- 2 Magnets that are fairly strong
- Colored Sharpies: Here are some cheap ones I used that had the colors I needed. I wish the orange matched BB8 though. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sharpie-Permanent-Mark...
Step 1: The Base of the Disc
- Take your CD
- Center your bottle cap on top of it
- Glue around the base of the cap. I used a combination of super glue and silicon glue but a hot glue gun would probably work better and dry faster!
- Let it dry and apply more glue if not 100% stuck to the CD
Step 2: Balloon Inception (Balloon in a Balloon)
The reasoning for this step is to make the inner balloon the air source, while the outer balloon will be the round body of BB8. This will allow BB8's body to always be inflated so even when the hover disc is out of air, it still looks like BB8.
Now, there really is no good way of doing this I found. But this is what worked for me
- Blow both balloons up and deflate them so they get a bit stretched
- Place the eraser side of a pencil all the way into one of the balloons
- Then place a magnet in the other. (I did this when the balloons were inside each other because I forgot, but I strongly recommend doing it here )
- Then, little by little, gently slide the with the magnet over the other balloon.
- Once it's fully around the other balloon remove the pencil and you have achieved Balloon Inception. Christopher Nolan would be proud
Step 3: Placing the Balloons on the Disk / Supports
This may be equally or more difficult than the balloon inside a balloon. Its important to pay attention to the steps here.
- First cut the bottom of the big funnel off.
- Then, you'll need to cut through it and put a notch so that you'll be able to open and close the valve. It is important to sand after you cut because if you don't the balloons may pop
- Take the medium sized funnel and thread the balloons through it.
- Then you have to attach both the balloons onto the mouthpiece.
- Now this is where it gets tricky, You have to inflate the outer balloon, and then reattach to the valve
- My cut of the red funnel was not as straight as I though so I had to add some skewer sticks to counter act the moment and keeping it from falling over
- Inflate the inner ballon through the bottom of the Cd and try just the hover disk out.
Step 4: BB8's Head
- Take apart the globe
- Fill it withe paper towels
- Wrap it in paper, tuck away the ends into the center
- smooth it out with your hands
- Cut a balloon stem off and wrap the rest of the balloon over the globe (Luckily I was a swimmer and am a pro on putting latex swim caps on heads)
- Fold a piece of paper so it fits inside the ballon, then take it out and glue a magnet in the center of the folded paper, then place it back in the globe
- Test it out on the hover disk, the magnet inside the balloon should connect to the one in the head.
Step 5: The Eyes
The Big Eye
- Form a half globe out of tin foil that is around the same proportions to the head as BB8 in the movie. (I just looked at a picture on google and checked
- Then place it on the head and wrap another balloon (without the stem) like you did for the head in the previous step
- Position it on the head in the spot where BB8 has his eye
The Little Eye
- Form another half circle about half the size as the first
- Repeat the same steps 2-3 as above
Trust me, if you use only one balloon layer for the head, when you color it will snap, and it looks better with three balloon layers because it covers the non smooth parts better.
Step 6: The Paint Job
1st photo is fully inflated
2nd is fully deflated
Honestly if you just draw how you see BB8, it will look good. I promise! Even if you mess up somewhere, I know that I did in more than one place, it will turn out fine! Even if you drastically mess up, you can always strip that balloon and put on another balloon so do not worry too much!
- When coloring the body, over inflate it and then color the body because when it shrinks it looks way better.
- For the head, the white mixes different with the sharpie so the orange looks more red.
Here are some links to photos I looked at when coloring mine:
Step 7: Final Thoughts
Now you can go have fun with your new toy.
Some Things to keep in mind/ Solve in Future:
- The more you use it the more the sharpie comes off
- The more you use it the less air pressure comes out the bottom as the balloon gets stretched out
- If you push it too hard it will fall over and you've literally wasted your breathe
- It is made out of balloons, they pop.
Some things I would do differently:
- Find a better orange Sharpie
- Use a hot glue gun instead of silicon glue and super glue
- Figure out a better support system to keep BB8 from falling over when pushed
- If I had access to a machine shop the cuts would be much nicer
- The CD I used had a paper sticker on the bottom which made it feel like it had more friction than it should have
- Figure out a way to keep more air in the balloon
For Future models:
- Make a BB9E First Order version or an R2D2 with a tin can and a balloon
- Create an air pump attachment because it does get annoying blowing it up each time
- Devise a lighter weight head, maybe out of another balloon!
Participated in the
Toys and Games Challenge