Monday, November 16, 2015

So it's been over a year since this blog was updated. R2 is at 99% with only 3 remaining parts - and beautiful weathering! Here's a photo....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How about an update?!

So what's new?! It's been awhile since I have posted, and I apologize for that! There actually has been quite a lot going on in the background, and i've kept you all in the dark! For starters, this blog reached over 10 THOUSAND views! That's quite a lot and I appreciate each and every one of them!! Now, whats new????? Well, for starters. I did NOT like how the skin snaps worked. Removing the skins time and time again became frustrating and eventually started causing panels to fall off. So I found a new set of skins, and purchased a set of skin blocks from Com-8 ( These skin blocks will allow the skins to be permanent, or at least very difficult to remove. So, if the skins can't come off, how do I access the inside? Well simply put, you make some modifications to the frame. I added a 3/4 rear door. This was quite a obstacle because the JAG frame isn't designed for a rear door. So I had to drill for door 'frame'.
Unfortunately, because of the frame of the door, I had to relocate the drive for the dome. I had to move it to the OPPOSITE side. What a bummer, so the frame had to come a part again, and then I had to drill/countersink holes for the drive. I tried to reverse the direction of the door, but for some reason, it didn't fit the frame well when I did. So removing and relocating the drive was the best choice. It was easier than I thought.
Okay, so now we move to the work shop. While I had R2 in pieces, I figured this was the best time to fix a lot of the errors. The paint had really taken a beating from having to take parts on and off (and repeat). So I went ahead and sanded a LOT of the original parts to prepare for a repaint.
The rest of the parts (and dome) are in these tool boxes. I nearly have EVERYTHING to complete R2. With the exception of 3 parts. 1. Ankle Details 2. Ankle Cylinder/Wedges 3. Outer Shoulder Hubs. Once we have those - he'll be done!
And finally, my wife asked me to share an updated photo of her Black/Pink droid! Follow her build at

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Planet Comicon - 2014!

This past weekend was Planet Comicon!! One of the premier conventions in the midwest. This was a very special occasion for me as it marked the FIRST time R2 has ever driven on his own!! I'm going to show some pictures and pretty much leave it at that! Here was the setup of our booth on Friday.
Here is Brian's R2-66 (A tribute to his 66' Mustang convertible)
Here's a picture of the rear of my R2. Notice how he's using scooter motors? The motors (Even at 12V) were plenty strong enough to move my all aluminum droid.
Here's my R2 displayed in front of the table.
A picture of R2 and Vader.
Here's a picture of our point of view!
Here is a very short (6 second) clip of my R2 driving! Next on the list is to install my battery boxes and harnesses and hoses! If you're in the St. Louis Area, Wizard World ( is coming up April 4-5-6, please stop by and see us there!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The best day of droid building yet.

Wow - what a day. For starters, R2 needed a new droid sled. I was taking some trash out one day and saw this pallet at the dumpster. Looking at it, it was in great shape, and the perfect size for R2. The pallet was built out of 1x4's so it was very light.
So next, we had to make it better. Needed to add some wood, and make a few adjustments so that it was perfect. I picked up a few boards at Home Depot, and a short time later, we were done with the frame.
But it wasn't done. I wanted something that was a little more personal. So I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some stencils. Something many of you (all of you) don't know is that I own - There is nothing there now, but I have big plans for it. Due to that reason I opted to put Astro Droid on the outside. After all, C3PO is quoted as saying "That little Astro Droid"......
So after the stenciling, this is what we ended up with....
Finally, that was to work on R2. For starters, it was time to add ankle locks. R2 needs ankle locks because he sits on a 36 degree ankle. No locks, legs don't hold position, and R2 face plants. No bueno. You need to make sure they're lined up well, and I (after the fact) HIGHLY recommend you test them with the legs bolted on before drilling. I wish I would have.
While I was doing the ankle locks, I was also adding the bushings for the ankles. These allow shoulder screws to pass through.
Here is a picture of me tapping the center ankle.
Finally, here is a photo of the ankles all done.
Now for the fun part, attaching the ankles to the feet was somewhat simplistic. File out the holes on the shells until the bolt passes through. It will be a snug fit, but very doable and should only take a few minutes. After thats done, you should have something like this....
Next, I had to adjust my satellite motors. My frame can do 2-3-2.....however I don't want to do it. My satellite motors were stuck in the 90 degree (or two leg) position. I needed to get them to rotate backwards. This was quite complicated as the brake was activated and I had no way to power them. I need to through a HUGE shout out to Jason M and Jerry Greene for helping me. Jason provided a lot of pictures and Jerry talked to me through chat and made sure everything was perfect. I can't thank both of them enough.
And finally.....after almost 3 LONG years (June makes 3 years), I can finally say that my R2-D2 is standing on all 3 legs. This is a HUGE milestone for me. As an added bonus, another builder (George W.) has loaned me his DDR-2 feet drives. With these, I can likely have R2 driving around by the end of the next weekend. This has been a fantastic weekend, and next weekend will hopefully be even better. We're having a build-day in Lenexa, KS. If you read this and you're from the area and want to attend, message me. Here's the last picture, ENJOY!!!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

And here we go!

My legs arrived awhile back - shortly after Christmas. Since then, i've moved and been planning my wedding. Kristen's R2 has also taken a backseat due to the wedding (May 30th!). Anyway, with a comic convention coming up, I decided it was time to get cracking and get him standing by then. I commissioned a set of aluminum feet drives from a well known R2 builder, so hopefully they arrive rather soon. So let's start with Kristen and I's droid in their current state - here's a great picture showing them together!
Next, here is a shot of my JAG aluminum legs mounted with my JAG aluminum ankles.
Next, I just HAD to see what it looked like with some accessories attached.
Next, here's a photo of the what the leg/ankle will look like when it's attached to a foot.
And finally - here is a photo of the whole family. Kristen's droid and my droid and the legs. I am well on track to have him standing on all 3 in the next 2 weeks. Let's hope everything goes smoothly!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Steel Feet - All painted up! Finally!!

I have had my steel feet for awhile, but have never got around to painting them. Now that I have an ETA for my aluminum legs, I figure I need to get busy on getting the final touches done to attach everything properly once they arrive. For some reason, the feet were a pain in the ass for me to paint. I had to re-sand and re-paint 3 times to get these things nearly perfect. There isn't much else to say about them, but now that they are done. I need to get to painting the aluminum ankles and order the hardware to attach the ankles to the feet. I also got the horseshoes painted, but at the moment have no photos of them. I will soon......promise!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Been awhile since I have posted, I believe sometime in April!! A lot has changed in that time! I got engaged in May, and have started taking flying lessons!! A lot of R2 events have happened since April as well, we did Maker's Faire and Planet Comicon. However, I want to show some pictures of what we have now. Here is the outer feet, center foot, and outer ankles. I also have the center ankle but its not pictured.
Here is some photos from our spot on Fox 4 News.
Here is my aluminum horseshoes that now have a coat of primer on them. It'll probably be another few weeks before they receive paint.