So this year, with help from a blog post I found through Pinterest, I set out to remedy the situation and create the birthday cake to end all birthday cakes.
R2-D2 stood over 18" tall and is comprised of (7) 6" cakes (minus some for carving the shape), a full recipe of rice krispies (for the legs) and a ton of fondant and silver luster dust.
I won't bore you too much with the details, but here are a couple pictures taken during construction.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with how this project turned out. He's not perfect - I had some trouble with proportioning things out right and ended up having to cut out a layer and a couple big chunks from the legs in order to shorten them to the right height. I am also not sure what the correct way to get the legs to 'attach' to the body. I ended up just smearing buttercream in the cracks and holding them in place until it crusted. It wasn't the prettiest solution, but it worked and didn't look half bad (if I do say so, myself, lol).
I also learned the benefit of having an airbrush. I got to see and play with demo airbrushes at the Austin cake convention this year, but filed them away in my, "I'll never really need one of those, but maybe one day if I have a ton of extra cash sitting around" box and pretty much forgot about them. But an airbrush would have made painting the top of R2 to a nice silver SO MUCH EASIER. I was able to get the luster dust 'paint' to work, but it took a considerable amount of time, and the entire time I was nervous that it would dry with the paint brush lines. In the end (and after sitting overnight in my dry fridge) everything melded together and the silver ended up being one of the best parts of the cake (much shinier in person, the pictures don't do it justice at all), but it sure was nerve racking waiting and not knowing!
On a completely different note...I realized while working on this cake - I really love making wedding cakes, making someone happy and creating something beautiful, but making celebration cakes are SO MUCH MORE FUN! They really allow me to be creative - coming up with different ways to add details to make the cake more and more realistic and fun. Also, I think they're overall appreciated more. Sure, you help make the bride happy with a wedding cake, but the responses I've gotten from showing people (or from Joe showing people) the R2-D2 are 10x as excited as any reactions I've ever gotten about a wedding cake. I'm definitely excited to do more 'fun' cakes in the future.
Have you ever made a sculpted cake?
What childhood movie element would you choose to have made into a cake?