The aftermath trilogy was one of the first cannon set of books I listened to. It’s a great series set just after the events of Return of the Jedi. It caught us up with some of our favorite characters, and introduced us to some new ones.
One of those new ones is Mr. Bones - a heavily modified B1 battle droid. It was built by Temmin “Snap” Wexeley, using parts he found in an old Separatist foundry beneath his city on the planet Akiva. After a battle, Snap replaced his right forearm (Luke knows his pain :)) and replaced it with a customized astromech arm, in which was concealed a vibro blade!
Painted in stark red & black, Mr. Bones' programming included some combat droid programs, martial arts and other movements, including that of General Grievous! He developed an almost human-like personality and self-awareness. He was fiercely protective of Snap, and ultimately died to protect him on the battle of Jakku. He's an awesome character, which is why I set out to make him.
Staritng out with a Hasbro Black Series B1 Battle Droid, I mounted it to a makeshift stand so that I could more easily add several coats of the red acrylic paint. Once completed, the black paint details required much more precision so I need it off the stand. This process took a while - between painting one section, then letting it dry until I had one coat. Then repeating the process twice more for a good color depth.
During the paint drying times, I planned out how I was going to produce the attachments. I worked out some basic shapes and proceeded to 3D print them. My plan was to use a dremel to whittle away the plastic blocks into the desired shape, but the wasn't enough precision. The only 3D printed piece that I ended up using was the vibro blade.
The next option was air-dry modeling clay. I fashioned some relatively sized chunks of clay into the basic shapes I need for the headpiece, ocular rods, shoulder and ankle bones. For the Astromech arm, I fashioned a rectangle of clay into the basic size. I then cut off the right hand of the figure, leaving a sizable length of plastic forearm to slide the clay onto, leaving a sized hole to glue the piece. I also poked the 3D printed vibro blade into the other end so that I could glue it in place later. Before leaving them to dry, I pressed the bone pieces onto the area where they were intended to be placed so that they would be indented with the shape of the area. I then let them dry for 48 hours.
I then went back to the dremel, slowly drilling away material until I got my shape & scale & detail. This took a while, but I worked slowly and I didn't break any pieces! Once finished, I dry brush painted a bone yellow color, being sure to let some of the natural grey clay coloring to come through. The astromech arm also took quite a bit of time, getting details in. Once satisfied with the shape & size, I created a few extra small pieces to glue onto it after, including the curved blades on the top. For the ocular attachments, I cut down the thinly rolled clay into small rods, longer than I need to help with installation. For the final step of this stage, I used the dremel again to bore out an area around the eyes. Once deep enough, I had all the prep work to begin glueing.
Over several days, I glued the headpiece, shoulder and ankle bones. I did each one separately so that I could get the best resting angle of the figure to allow for drying of the glue without moving the bones. During the drying times, I glued the extra small clay pieces to the astromech arm, including the vibro blade. I then painted 4 coats of red to cover the clay color. I painted some fine small details in black, then applied several coats of gun metal paint to the blade. Once dried, i glued the attachment the figure - and Mr Bones was almost complete!
I added some black thread to simulate metal wiring keeping the bones in place. A few touch-ups to the main figure frame finished him off! Added the B1 Battle Droid Rifle to finish the project.
I learnt so much during this process, that I may just do it again and perfect it. Thanks for reading!