I downloaded all the plans and spent a while playing around with the pdf printing variables to get them the right size. WoF drew the jetpack at 15" wide. At the time, I think that was his best estimate of the actual width of the jetpack from lots of reference pictures (also posted on The Dented Helmet in the galleries.) I've decided to scale the jetpack up a bit to about 16.25" Two reasons: 1. I'm a taller guy (6'2") than the Boba Fett actor, and 2. some new pictures and some careful sizing makes it look like the real thing is bigger than 15". Even WoF seems to agree now, but he hasn't changed the official drawings yet.
Another challenge is getting the pipes that serve as the rocket thrusters and tanks the right size. To keep the project cheap and light, scratch builders go with plumbing supply PVC pipe. So I'm using 2.5" inside diameter pipe for the outside tanks and 4" I.D. pipe for the main tank. These are both really close to the sizes on the originals as far as I can tell although WoF has the middle tank a good bit smaller. So using readily available pipes requires tweaking the plans some more. Here's where I am now. I've got a number of the main pieces cut and fitting together with screws:
I went to Interstate Plastics in Sacramento and bought some expanded cell PVC foam board. This is the Sintra (trade name) that guys are talking about on the boards. A sheet of 4' x 8' .25" board is about $50. I also got a lot of 1/8" pieces for a great piece out of their scraps bin. I can't say enough good things about this stuff. I used a lot of in on the R2. It cuts easily, the edges clean up, it can be painted. It's lightweight and easy to work with. You can heat it up, bend it, and it will hold the shape. You can glue it and create really strong joints with standard plumbing pipe PVC cement. It's just about the ideal material for prop building. I got enough to build several jetpacks and the gauntlets.
The back of the jetpack or inside curves across both the X and Y axis. So I used a thinner piece (1/8") there and I've just temporarily screwed it together for fitting:
WoF's plans appear to be different from the real thing at the bottom here. On the screen used jetpack there's a recessed box. I'll be mocking that up and adding it. It'll be more detail and work, but not difficult. Once I've got all the modifications on these basic pieces sorted out, I'll be gluing all of these up. That'll add a lot of strength and integrity to the whole thing. The goal is to have it be tough, durable, but lightweight. I'm also going to cut some big pieces out of the pipes where they are hidden under the pack housing. That'll shave some more weight off. More soon.