Thursday, October 31, 2013

R2 Now Has Feet Shells!! He will be standing once more by tomorrow before Halloween night

R2 FINALLY let me put him shoes (foot shells) on. Grey because Rico gave them to me and his droid is black, I'll paint them soon. Big thanks to Rico for letting have these, they were cracked and broken in places but I fixed them up.
Still need to put on the center ankle one but that's easy. Waiting for the glue to dry isn't . Now all I need to do is put the shoulder disks back on with the pipes already attached and R2 will stand again after I put the center ankle back in. Then its just a matter of dropping in the nuts and bolts. Hot glued the small weak spots, works really well actually. The frame is all ready to have resin parts put in, shouldn't take more than an hour or so. Need to drill about 6 more holes for the pipes and center ankle bracket bolts and R2 will be event ready. I got some spray paint and will paint my resin parts before mounting them into the frame. Then putting the skins on. I've done way more in a day than that, this should take a few hours spread over 2-3 days at most. Also the foot shells seem to have closed in the channel on the ankle so R2's ankles don't wobble anymore. I had to remove and place Victor Franco's ankle blocks a bit higher and to the side because the extra centimeter made the legs not go down to the holes for the ankle bolts. R2 will be 95% complete (on details, no sound r/c or dome rotation) by Saturday!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Frame Build Day with Victor Franco & Wiliam Miyamoto

I took R2's new frame, skins, and other things down to Victor Franco's place with Will Miyamoto (Darth Will) for some frame work. Will was going to glue up his 4th frame for The Million Dollar R2 Project and I was going to have more experienced builders help me glue up and test fit my frame. The old frame had some flaws that I didn't want popping up again so I let the experts teach me how to assemble a Senna wood frame perfectly.

Will began test fitting his frame once more before gluing his up. Meanwhile, Victor checked my center ankle measurements on the bottom ring and made a neater cut than I could do. He also got those nuts and bolts off the pipe and rails with the right sized sprocket wrench.

 Will came over to look at the cut and seemed to have found an amusing mistake. Since Victor had flipped over the bottom ring to mark his own measurements, the cut was facing the wrong way. The whole process had to be repeated. This won't negatively impact my frame, just look funny with a "t" shaped cut.

Will's frame seemed to fit together great, and after some sanding on tight slots, we helped him glue up the frame and put the skins on with straps. Will filmed this whole thing and may posy it on YouTube. I only did 2 pieces since Will was super fast and my old frame had really loose slots so putting in vertical ribs was easier. Will's was snug and looked great.

We did my frame next with a few dumps in the road. The slots were very tight and the vertical pieces too thick so I sanded them down with Victor and Will's help.

Next came the skins, my inner ones were in bad shape since I wasn't careful enough and tore some delicate edges. I had also made a huge crooked curved slice after the blade slipped and sliced me. I was too busy cleaning up blood and bandaging my finger to see how bad it was. Lesson learned. No cutting styrene at midnight when tired and unable to be careful.
 The outer skins are still good so we used them to test the frame's dry and glued up fit.

A successful build day!

R2 Takes on C3PO's "Empire" Position ( time for the new frame)

 (I'm joking)

Remember when they pulled C3PO apart in "The Empire Strikes Back"?  My R2 had a chance to experience that feeling. R2 has a new frame but needs the stuff pulled out of the old one first. I planned to take the center ankle off first then pull the electrical and gas pipes apart....this wouldn't happen. To get to the pipes and get the center ankle out I had to rip R2's old frame apart with my jigsaw. My poor friend became a pile again.

R2 had most of his frame removed except for the wood attached to the rails. Having an airplane mechanic (Roy Powers did almost too good of a job) tighten the nuts and bolts on your R2 can be a double edged sword, they will never fall off but will be hard to get off. They came off eventually with help from Victor but my dad's old wrench couldn't get them.

So this is what remained of R2 except for to whole jumble in the pic before this. His dome is ok too.

Here's the pile of stuff and the new wood frame ready to be worked on.

Monday, September 23, 2013


I actually had a droid to bring to the 10th R2LA. This is my second R2LA and met even more cool builders. I arrived at 10am to help set up and also put on the badge Damien makes for R2 Builders at the pre-R2LA10 dinner at Lamppost Pizza.

When I arrived, a morning chat was going on. McMaster was advertising a Kohls sale

The early bird droids

More people came and more droids. I hot glued my Radar Eye on the night before (so Will would stop the blind jokes :P) and it's holding so far.

Ed Perello's droid was as awesome as ever.

Nikki Miyamoto's Million Dollar Dome looks awesome

Mike and Amy Senna were gifted with a award from Damien for putting up with us crazies for years.

Group photo

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Upgrade Begins: New Frame!!!

I was lucky enough to get a new frame from Thomas Clark and it arrived today! I knew I wouldn't have the new frame installed for R2LA 10 (YAY! IT'S FINALLY HERE!) this weekend due to college taking most of my time but I still did mark ups. I marked up the places to be cut on the "H" pieces and on the bottom ring where I would install the center ankle (see pics below text).
I'm not sure when I'll have time to pull out the jig saw and drill and go but it will be slower than last time.
I may or may not keep the "H" pieces I already have since they are strong and have things attached to them pretty good. I may just keep the new ones in case R2 takes another body slam.
I'm saving my energy for R2LA10 this Friday and Saturday and don't want R2 to be in around 3 pieces with less than a day to go. I may start cutting the new frame and gluing it but won't do any major surgery yet. R2's full system transplant will come soon enough...

The new frame still in the box

The pieces I have marked up, waiting to be cut.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

OC Public Library: Star Wars Day

Yesterday, I joined Victor Franco at the OC Public Library for their SW day.
I would call this R2's second outing but due to car troubles, only the dome and a few resin parts could make it. I also brought along my lush Vader and Yoda figures for decoration.

Victors R2 stood by
The event started off with Obi Shawn reading "Green Eggs and Ham" to the kids and their families.

Victor gave a small talk about The R2 Builders

Next, we had some Jedi knights visit and Vader (and some friends) crash the party.

Fortunately, the kids used The Force to help the Jedi fight off Vader. 
 Han Solo also made an appearance.

After this Victor had R2 pose for pictures and let some of the kids play with R2's sound.
 R2, Victor, and I made our way over to another part of the library to take picures with more people in SW costumes.