Interstellar was one of the tent-pole sci-fi movie releases of 2014. The actual movie seemed to get mixed reviews (I dug it), but there was one thing everyone could agree on: the companion robot design was incredible! The robots just about stole the movie, delivering the humor of R2-D2 and C-3PO with the intonation of HAL 9000. To boot, they featured a phenomenal mechanical design, able to solve a variety of problems in straightforward, real-world ways. I went home after the movie convinced that I could make a working toy of the design and got to work. The alluring thing about the robots TARS and CASE (and KIPP!) is the way their blocky bodies can reconfigure along a couple of axes. For a big, DX style toy of the bots, I knew I wanted to be able to move parts along two axes seamlessly, which meant using magnets. The end result is a little complicated and awkward, like the real thing, but it does work! I made this first version in 1/12 scale to go alongside my 6″ figure collection.
Here’s a shot of TARS alongside Star Wars Black 6″ Han Solo for scale. TARS is painted with Vallejo alcohol-based metallics for a smooth finish, and detailed with Monster Kolor and acrylics. I did the ‘face’ screen displays with waterslide decals, tinted with clear green paint. The name and logo were painted on using a 3D printed spray mask.
TARS in motion! Check after the jump for lots more photos.