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Gonk!, Gonk!, Weekend!!

So you have decided to start building your first droid but you don’t know where to start. Have no fear!!! Here’s a little project that can be done in a couple of weekends. One of the best things about this build is you can really get creative. It is a great project for those who are getting started into building droids because the skills that are required are the basis for a larger build like an Astromech. It is also great to do with kids as well since most can be done with some simple tools with parental guidance or assistance. So lets go over what it takes and dive into the hobby of droid building.

The Materials

Here is a list of the basic materials that are used for this build…1. Storage Bins-anything can be used but if you are looking to build a regular 2 legged GNK the overall look should be squarish (if that is a word). I tend to look for something industrial looking and when I stack two of them together it should be as tall as it is long. If you are looking at a 4 legged GNK the appearance should be more rectangular. 2. Cake Pans-these are used to make the face of the droid or any other recessed panel. use different size pans to create an interesting look. Some builders use them for the feet as well. 3. Legs-will not get into “how to”for this part but there are a few options here. Wood, some use 2×4’s to attach the body to the feet. PVC would be another great choice but I wouldn’t go any smaller then 2” so it has good support. 4.-Black Corrugated ADS pipe, this is used to give that spring look the legs have and hides the leg support. Flexible Exhaust/Dryer pipe is another option that can be used as well. 5.Feet- As mentioned above cake pans can be used but I’ve seen others use wood, plastic bolt bins, and 3d printed feet to give it a more robotic look.

Now that we have covered the basic stuff the rest of it really up to you… this is where you get creative, have fun and use your…..imagination.


Really anything can be used hoses, containers, plastic bits and bobs, wires, old computer parts, flashlight lens, camera lens…the list goes on and on and is only limitations is your creativity. If you have a 3d printer the possibilities are endless. Just remember GNK’sare basically walking batteries and should look heavy and clunky.


Ok this can be one of the hardest parts of this build because not all paint sticks to plastic and not all plastic is the same. So before painting make sure the plastic your painting will accept and hold the paint, does it need to be primed first, should it be sanded first. If you plan on painting and spraying clear coat over it DON’T mix brands, some clears will react to other brand paint. Read the cans instructions and make sure it is made to adhere to plastic. There is plenty info on Google about painting plastic and when in doubt ask.


This is almost as tough as the painting issue. There are many different types and brands like Super Glue which is a CA glue, epoxies are a great choice for some things, even a hot glue gun can do the trick. My advice is to experiment with different types of glues on different materials to see what works. Make sure you read the instructions on the products you use.


(disclaimer…I’m NOT an electrician or electronic engineer please contact someone qualified before attempting electrical connections) ….so installing lights is critical for making your new droid come alive. LED lights installed in the GNK makes it look as it is running. It only requires a simple circuit and small batteries. An Arduino can be used to make the light blink and create light patterns. 


a simple search on YouTube and you should be able to find the “GONK,GONK!” sounds that could be played through a small Bluetooth speaker via cell phone ..easy as pie.


I saved this for last but the majority of everything mentioned can be done with some simple hand tools…… ruler, screwdrivers, razor knife….but some specialty tools can be used to make things easier like a Dremel and a cordless drill

Next Level

Taking your droid to the next level is where things get interesting. Programing light patterns, smoke machines, moving parts, motion detection….the possibilities are endless

So now you have the basic knowledge to build your very own Gonk Droid. This build is all about enjoying the process of creating. You can make your droid as simple or as complex as you want. If you have questions about the build or just want to get more involved contact us and we would be glad to help. “Happy Building!!”


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