Sunday, June 20, 2010

Photo updates....

Just a few updates and comments...

I started getting my PVC battery boxes ready with a few coats of primer. These were made by Matt McCormick and he did such a great job. I realized later that these are a little short so I might not be able to get my NPC motors to fit but I'll prep and get them ready anyway. I might go with aluminum at some point and someone else can use these...not sure yet but the craftsmanship is very nice! - you can find more information on these at his blog at:

I drilled out the PSI diffuser set from Daren to make room for my PSI's from Mike Valcheck - these things are just awesome and super bright!

I haven't done a whole lot here, the frame, skins, and dome. This was before a LOT of sanding to get the inner and outer dome to fit. I'm hoping to paint the dome this next week if I can manage to cut everything out - pretty easy on the styrene dome. I was working on the inner skins so they are missing in the photo.

I quickly put together Andy's HP Servo Holder...I think it's a great item to have and will need to fine tune it when I get to that point.

I had a LOT of frustration in trying to get things to line up and fit. My problem was that things just were not fitting right. The CNC cut wood frame was a little short, something that is normal so you don't "see" the frame above the skins. Well, mine was a little more than 1/8" short so my great LDP from David Shaw just would not fit, even after cutting the top of the frame. I managed to get clearance for the LDP but then after propping it up, the Rocker bearing would sit level. So, I used a cut piece of PVC to add to the top of the frame. So, in the photo, after some time, I have the LDP fitting perfect with the skins and frame...a beautiful site. I'm waiting on a few more items to check the fit before I glue and attach the skins so things are still in a holding pattern but at least I can see it working. I have not decided yet if I will just paint the frame (behind the LDP) black, or if I will get out the router, I'm thinking probably some flat black will be in my future.
So, there are a few other things I working on, a few more items have come in from my friendly UPS/USPS/and FedEx guys.
I'm still waiting on a few parts for the dome and I cannot wait to get it painted and looking just right. I'm also getting an aluminum dome but will use the styrene for awhile. As I started with the styrene, I'm going to finish R2 with it and will upgrade later when I have the time. Questions are always good and if you're seeing me making a grave mistake on something...please, mention it! ;)

Friday, June 4, 2010

What a Rebel...

So, I sanded some more and I'm almost there to primer the dome...then sand some more. I really REALLY wanted to get the styrene dome together without having to cut the dome...I'm sure it really doesn't matter and I get that it would have saved me a bunch of time, but I just wanted the inside to be clean and solid.

One thing I really like is that each of these droids is so unique...even all the R2's. You could have asked me a year ago in a lineup and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference but now having spent some time with them, you quickly learn how to pick out each other's droids in a lineup.

While I'm making R2-D2, I'm not really going to follow a specific scene, I'm taking a few different things that I like and making it work. While a pure aluminum HP really is a beautiful thing, I really like the painted segments of the hp's seen in ANH. I also like how one of the back panels is not painted and one of the back panel on the dome is not painted either. I'm going to go with the "LA" look and leave the inner skin unpainted too. While I think the same detail can be achieved with weathering...I'll be doing both. Also, while I'm sure some will roll their eyes, my dome bumps will be LED switches as some have used, mine were ordered this morning and I'm including a photo of what they look like. No, it's not screen accurate...but I like the added detail. I don't think I'll have the switch actually connected anything though as kids hands tend to wander...but I like the LED look. Mine is the blue LED but the outer rim is aluminum to match the dome and not black.

Also, another update was I've ordered the 300mm aluminum dome. I think it will be awhile before I do anything with it but once my build slows down a bit, I'll at least have it on hand to work with.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More Parts on the Way!

Well, work has left me just way too busy but I of course have had some time to spend some money! I ordered a few aluminum parts from David Shaw that should be here in another week, of those, the coin slot is going to help me align the skins. I also ordered some VHB tape to help with the skins and some special aluminum paint that will go on the dome once I'm done filling/sanding/filling/and sanding.

I ordered the atomic pickle Pittman dome drive and the Pittman motor arrived yesterday. I got in on the aluminum skirt run along with a few other parts and can't wait to start working on things.

While I do not have much to show for my efforts or photos, I thought I'd leave you with a story from this week. So, here you go...

I was one of the parent helpers in a walking field trip with my daughter's elementary school class to one of our local fire stations. These kids were so excited to meet some REAL heroes and I also enjoy going along to help out. During part of the Fire Captain's "show and tell" he had the parents line up by different compartments on the large ladder truck. Once the Captain pointed to us, we would open the door and everyone would first guess what the item was used for and explain its' purpose. So, I had my assigned door and once it was my turn, before I opened the door, the captain told the kids, "Now, our next door we have....R2-D2!!!" uhhhh, what!? Really!? Haha, Now, I have not told anyone what I'm working on at home so it was a VERY strange experience, OF COURSE, it would be ME that got that door! Well, it turned out that behind the door was the turbo vac that they use to suck up flooded water from homes...and yes, it did in a strange why resemble R2. I kept my mouth shut about my little project but perhaps someday in the future, I'll introduce them to the REAL R2!

I hope everyone is doing well and progressing on whatever stage of the build you're on.