you want to make your own B9 robot, but what is the next step?
What is the B9 Club?
The B9 Club is a group of people who have combined resources, information,
and individual talents to create the largest B9 Club in the world.
The B9 Club has members from all over the USA as well as the world!
Drawing on the talents and knowledge of its members the club has
been able to put all its resources together into one huge resource
called the B9 Club. Thanks to the internet, people throughout the
world can join the club!
What is it going to cost?
The first question people ask it "what is it going to cost
to make a B9"? This isn't an easy question to answer and depends
on what you want out of this project. The more authentic and accurate,
the more time and money it will take. The club offers information
for the "do it yourself" members using common materials
and tools to top-of-the-line professional quality authorized parts
that recreate the original robot. This is your first decision and
one that needs serious consideration before proceeding. I suggest
looking in the B9 Club Store in the parts section to see what parts
are available and what they cost. People have made B9 replicas from
under $1,000 to well over $10,000. Typical costs range between $5,000
and $7,000 on average for a very respectable replica.
What Skills and tools do I need?
This is very dependent on what parts you will be making yourself,
but in general you should have basic mechanical knowledge
and woodworking skills. Although I strongly recommend against using
wooden material in your B9 (more on this later), the tools and skills
used in woodworking are similar to those used with fiberglass and
plastic. You will use lots of sandpaper, primer and paint. Although
no special tools are required, a drill, saw, screwdriver, files,
and a good ruler will serve you well. Many times you can get around
using specialty tools if you plan your design carefully and develop
creative methods to accomplish what you need to do. Good planning
can be your best friend!
How long is this going to take me?
This is very dependent on what parts you buy and which you make
yourself. On average I would plan on spending 6 months to a year
to finish your robot. Your budget may require you to go slower,
but I highly recommend you complete your robot as planned and take
whatever time is required to do the job right! This is not a project
that you can complete in a few weekends. The most common mistake
is rushing into this and finding out midstream that you have made
some serious errors that you must go back and correct. I suggest
that you spend a few weeks planning your robot and studying the
real B9 robot. Once you have identified each part and studied it
you can make an informed decision whether it is within your capabilities
to make the part yourself, or if you would be better of buying the
part. One word of caution: only use pictures of the
original robot and learn to identify the mistakes on the restored
original robot (there are plenty of them!). If you use the
life sized cardboard B9 standup as a reference you are bound to
Any parts I should really purchase?
There are certain parts that I consider a "must buy" based
on their complexity and overall contribution to the final
product. I suggest you purchase the bubble and torso since
these items are difficult to make yourself and are generally
the "make or break" parts on your B9. Although it is possible
to make your own torso, it is a very labor intensive task and not
for the faint hearted. Also there are various blueprints available
for the robot - keep in mind that even the original robot varies
from its own original blueprints. This is where your research pays
Who can answer my questions?
I strongly recommend you join the B9Talk mailing list. This is a
mailing list created specifically for people wanting to share
information and ideas on building the B9 robot. You will find
many knowledgeable and helpful people here.
Any other advice?
your time and do the job right the first time.
you have kids include them in the project.
time out to spend with your friends, family, spouse, etc.
to make a lot of new friends and meet some really talented and
recommend using as little wood as possible, especially on outer
surfaces. Wood shrinks over time and changes dimensionally with
humidity and season changes. Over time wood grain will show through
and the paint around at your joints will crack.