Is the BB-8 to scale with the UCS R2-D2?
Everyone is pretty much excited about the release of BB-8's (75187) and one of the most common question that I see being asked online is:- Is the BB-8 to scale with it's droid companion R2-D2? Some AFOLs have already managed to get their hands on this and displayed side by side. While some agree that it's actually TO-SCALE, I have my doubts.
In Summary: I find that it's decent and almost accurate, but not exact scale. So, I've done my investigation using ratios and photos, and here's my results.
Since we're going to be using photos to determine the accuracy of scale, we're going to be needing a baseline. At this point, without my own BB-8 build, this photo is going to be used as the reference point for accuracy. The good thing about being a sphere, it does not really matter which angle we're looking at BB-8, he's always going to be the same 'size'. I just need to zoom in or out of the photo to superimpose them on my reference lines.
Thanks to AFOL Victor Garcia for allowing us use of his photo.
Before we proceed, we need to understand the actual sizes of the two droids. The below 4 points are very important to how we compare and reference all photos.
Wookiepedia facts: R2-D2 stands at 1.09m (42.91 in) and BB-8 rolls in at 0.67m (26.37 in)
1. R2D2 Tilt - We assume that the height stated for R2-D2 is when he's standing full up straight. Any tilt effect would render him shorter in height when compared in photos. We would be taking this into account.
2. Depth Error - Because we're using photographs, we have to account for distance scale.
3. Baseline - We use this line to measure the point where BB8 touches the ground, and in all photos, BB-8 will be our point of reference.
4. Width - We're using the BB-8 width to compare it to R2-D2 from various aspects.
Let's begin begin our comparison with a few reliable shots of reliable sources / photos of the two metal heads.
Photo #1 - The Force Awakens still
This scene from The Force awakens is the closest the two buddies ever get together. They share very little scenes, but this is a rather good shot of them side by side, almost. One problem is that R2 stands a little further into the scene, I can't tell how much exactly, but it's pretty much obvious. I'm can't tell for sure if R2 standing any closer is going to make up his height, but we'll have to work with this for now. The great part is he's standing upright. It's not easy to find R2 in this position.
Photo #2 : Star Wars Celebration
Once again, using BB8 as the baseline, you can see that R2 is positioned further behind and he's tilted at quite and angle and there is some depth error. While not a reliable photo to use, it's serves at a reference for width - note the Yellow Dotted lines for the reference.
Photo #3: Star Wars Celebration
Similar to the previous photo, it seems that R2 is at its same tilt, but almost at the same plane with BB-8. Gives you a view to show that the height scales are almost correct. I use almost as we'll never know until we get R2 to stand straight up. Damn you R2!
Photo #4: Star Wars Celebration
This is the 'almost' perfect shot. Taken at eye-level, vantage point from below the stage, gives us a good height measurement. You can see that R2 is tilted very little and almost being accurate to the height we expect him to be. It almost seems that the 1.09m height is based on a Tilted angle. I guess we'll never know unless we get someone from Lucasfilms/Disney to confirm this?
Photo 5: Reference Photo
Since we've only got this photo to go on, and after staring at quite a number of photos, here's my observation regarding the 4 specific baselines we've been looking at
1. R2D2 Tilt - Considering this photo has R2 standing up straight and without a tilt, it's still failing to reach the height requirements. Yes, the baseline is not at his feet, but even so accommodating the difference, it still does not make up the height needed.
2. Depth Error - Both are almost side-to-side, it's almost easy to see it's both at a proper plane to compare them at.
3. Baseline - Both droids are aligned. BB-8 is slightly lifted, and R2's feet touch the imaginary lines.
4. Width - I find that BB-8 is slightly wider (since he's our reference point), or you could say R2 is slimmer. Just scroll up and look at all the photos again.
In summary, until I get my hands on the BB-8 and do my own measurements, I'm going to say it's at a decent scale, but not totally accurate. BB-8 is wider and taller (as reference) to the UCS R2-D2.
Victor Garcia kindly made new photos at a better angles, removing BB-8's base, and front shot with R2 upright. We still find that R2 is an estimated 6-7cm shorter (about 2.5in). Definitely not a show stopper for purchasing a BB-8 though!