One of my favorite things about the architects of the Star Wars universe is how amazingly expressive they manage to make the droids, even though they limit them to very static sets of movements. And they manage to make some straight up adorable. But creating a droid that adorable and suffering from trauma and PTSD? Where did they even come up with that idea. I love it, and feel so bad for him, but he’s also so cute!
This model of D-O is great, despite being a little rough around the edges. I was a little worried about how well the upper “armature” that holds the head would stay up, but it does great job and is much more stable than I expected. I should not have doubted Fascinations, lol. I chose to set the antennae differently than the instructions, cause I like this sort of meek/shy “expression” better. One of those nice things where you can style the model as you want to, right?
So, I wasn’t necessarily planning on building and posting D-O this week. Actually, I was building another , slightly taller, droid, and finished it much later than I hoped – way too late to adequately do a write up for – so I pulled D-O out, thinking – single sheet, that should be quick, right? Well, it is a single sheet, but it’s not as simple of a build as I was expecting. It’s got some good bites of intricate details in it, which can result in it taking some more time than you expect. On top of that, I chose to add some extra challenge by trying to “tilt” the vent grating on the sides, for that little extra bit of realism/character. FYI… it’s really not designed for you to do that, and they resist. I spent a lot of time trying to straighten out the slats at a tilted angle, cause they got all sorts of bent up. Anyways, this is definitely a bit more of a challenge than I was expecting from a single-sheet model.
Most of the extra time was spent in doing that, and trying to shape the treads well, but some of it was dedicated to the tiny details included in this model, some of which I have a few pointers on. The first being the cable-management details they included. I know, that sounds crazy, but Fascinations included cable-management details for the wiring elements of D-O and I absolutely love it. But they are a little crazy to manage. Thankfully, I pre-read the instructions and called them out mentally as something to be thinking about. End result being that I always prepped them way early. Before working on any part that had one of these elements, I pre-bent one side of the cable-tie over to make a “pocket” that I could slide the other cable into, and then just have to fold the other side over that. I would suggest you do the same, if you can, because it was hard enough folding that second side over when it came time to manage those wires.
The treads on this model are somewhat challenging to form, because they don’t want to round out very well. This is mostly due to the segmented sections that fold over to shape the edges. It tends to want to fold between these segments, more than want to round evenly, so I spent a little extra time manually bending along the edges that were “inside” the flaps. Even then, it still turns out a little rough, but that’s okay, right?
The next bit of advice I’d like to give is in regards to all the greeblies (bits and bobs) on the back panel of D-O’s head. I didn’t follow the order of operations as declared by the instructions because I was concerned about messing up the thin and delicate antennae sticking out of this panel – those things are the expressive features of this droid and I didn’t want them to break. So…. I attached everything I could before attaching them, leaving only the two uses of part 20 out till after attaching the bottom antenna, then attaching them on either side, followed by attaching the top two antennae. It’s still not super easy, cause these are all tiny parts.
So, admission time… I goofed up on this build on something that I read-ahead on and told myself not to mess up. And then I messed up anyways. Because I was concerned about shaping D-O’s head well, I ignored the directions and rounded the top section before attaching the neck-post. Which, in and of itself, was not a problem. The problem came when, after attaching the next post, I proceeded with closing up the head, aligning all the tabs to be on the inside. It looked great, except for the fact that I forgot to fit the back panel in! I had to undo the back-most tab, and then carefully convince the back panel into place, which was not easy. Especially since it wouldn’t open up very much with the front two tabs still secured (and being on the inside, it was not easy to unsecure either of those). I did just barely manage to get the back panel in place, then tried to continue to close it up with the tab on the inside. But… well, if it’s not obvious – it’s no longer possible to secure that back tab on the inside, so I had to pull the tab back out, reverse the tab, and secure it on the outside. Lucky for me, the tab decided not to break off.
Finishing up the model included one of the more finicky moments, of course, which was the final step of aligning and securing the wiring together. I don’t know if I routed or shaped the wires incorrectly, but my long wire from the wheel secured to the short wire up top a lot closer to where it came out than shown in the diagram. But I’m okay with that. the curves and twists of the cable/wire elements looks quite nice in the end, feeling more natural and realistic – nothing is ever tightly bound and secured when working with wires on dynamically movable things… you have to have some slack to allow for that movement, right?
I really enjoyed this build, and it’s just so adorable and cute in the end. I’m dealing with the fact that the shape of the wheel / tread itself did not turn out as well as I would like, because you just can’t expect perfection when building these models – otherwise you will be forever disappointed with your results. This guy took me just shy of 2.5 hours to complete, which I managed all in one sitting (because I was stubbornly thinking it wouldn’t take that long, and decided to finish, not realizing how late I was staying up to finish it). As usual, feel free to watch my build video for reference. No sound, just building. It’s in real-time, too, so… not expecting anyone to watch it all the way through. You can set the playback speed higher on mobile or PC viewing though. Just an FYI there.