Friday, December 28, 2012

He's ALIVE!!!!

Well, it's been a LONG time since my last post. With the holiday season, a new girlfriend, work, lack of parts, and just being busy, R2 hasn't had much time for 'fun' fact, he's done a lot of sitting!

However, on the morning of 12/28/2012, R2 became alive! It took a lot longer than it should have due to a mis-wired diagram, however, we were able to fix it with the help of George Westwater(Engima516), a fellow R2 builder! 

Travis Macken(Tmacken), came by to help install the board/solder and everything in-between. Without a doubt, he's assistance was valuable!

 And last, but certainly not least....I have to give a LOUD shout to Mark Smith of Pensacola, FL. (Marks47, Mark spent the entire evening Skype chatting with me walking Travis and I through the process step-by-step, and I can assure you, without his help and direction, we never would have accomplished anything! Mark, I owe you a lot!

 Finally, let me just say that it's been a long road, and it's still a long road to go, but this is a HUGE milestone for R2! Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Skin work is almost done!

A brief update! Here are some photos of my recent skin progress!
All the skins are on, and now we're just awaiting some detail pieces. I have been currently building some center vents. I'd post a photo of both of them, but one is drying in clamps, so here's a photo of the other!
Thats the one that's drying.....they are truly a pain to put together! Tomorrow I will try to post a side by side shot of them both.

A special guest!

One of the fellow builders in the area stopped by for an evening! We shared tips, tricks, beers, and Monday night football! This post is coming a little late, but life sometimes gets in the way! So, for those of you who haven't been on the forums, let me introduce you to "Gru", otherwise known as Mike! Here is a few photos of his build. He uses a wood frame, styrene skins, Crash's Fiberglass Dome, various resin/aluminum parts, and let me say that without a doubt, it's one of the most quality builds you'll ever see!!


Well. While you always try to be as careful as you can, accidents still happening. While I was fixing the rear panel, for the 15th time, I accidentally broke it.
To fix this, I went to my bag of parts and got out my surgical repair kit.
And a short time later, the surgery was complete.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Update on skins!

As an update, I have been doing some research and it doesn't look like attaching the outers will cause any sort of problems. It seems as though most pieces can attach to the skins OR to the frame, so, I think the disaster is averted!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Skin part 2.

Some updated photos with the blue tape removed!


Well. So far, throughout this build, I have done a pretty good job of thinking ahead to prevent mistakes. However, I think I may have made one here, but I am certain there will be a way to fix it in the future. I went ahead and bonded the outer skins to the inner. Why I did this, I am not sure because it will eventually screw me over. I knew that parts had to be counter-sunk into the inner skins, but for some reason, it honestly never crossed my mind. With that said, I am sure I can find other ways to attach the few pieces left for the body. With all of that said, I am VERY happy with how things have turned out, and R2 is starting to look more like....well, R2 all the time! The outer skins are bonded with a combination of VHB tape and silicon. Don't ask why, it's proprietary!! Here are a few pictures of R2's current state! As with the dome, all doors are secured with silicon so that they can easily be removed in the future when I decide to hinge them!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Attaching the Skins!

After having these aluminum skins for a LONG time, and now having a newly renovated frame, it's time to really make R2 come alive and add his skins! For starters, I am using Daren Murrer's "Skin Snaps." The premise behind them is that one piece attaches to the skins, and the other is firmly attached to the frame, then the two pieces attach to one another and become one. Daren provides a tutorial to mount these, and as helpful as it is, I decided to do some of my own modifications and make this a little easier of a process. I will not go into details of everything, but you can look at the photos and see the modifications I made, and as always, you're welcome to ask questions! Here are some photos of the current progress. The rear skins have not been installed yet, just the front inner skin. Tomorrow, I hope to get the rear inner's attached, as well as getting both outer's VHB taped on.

It's been awhile for any updates, but for those of you not involved with Astromech, let me give you a nice update. Turns out, my frame rings on my JAG frame were 1/16" too big for the skins to fit properly all the way around. I was left with the choice of leaving the gap, splicing in some styrene, or finding a local shop to shave 1/16" off the rings. Every shop around here quoted me an astronomical amount to do this, which left me little options. Until....... James stepped in. The title of this post is and that's largely due to the fact that James stepped in and offered to to fix my frame for FREE! A frame he didn't even produce. James, otherwise known as Com8, is the current producer of fine aluminum frames for your R2 build. He offer's 3 versions of the frames, even one for the budget minded individual! James went ABOVE AND BEYOND the call of duty and accepted my frame as his own, and provided me with a frame that was now absolutely perfect, and truly, one of a kind. If you're wanting to start your own R2, I highly suggest considering one of his frames. The customer service he provides is truly amazing. Here are some photos of my new and improved frame! Check out the lightened holes on the top of the frame! Photobucket Here is another photo of the top looking across the brace! See that hole in the middle? Yeah, James added a hole for a slip ring! Photobucket Here is a photo of the frame assembled and the coin slot cut-out that James added! Photobucket Finally, here is just another shot of it all put together. It's truly unique and amazing. The frame is just drop-dead gorgeous. Photobucket

Monday, September 17, 2012

Con-X KC

This past weekend, September 14th-16th, I attended my first convention as a "guest" rather than just a normal con-goer. The convention was very tiring, and my R2 was a huge success, even though he wasn't finished. This con however, was very small....smaller than anyone was thinking. It was a Con that was held over 3 days, however it really only needed to be held on Saturday. Friday and Sunday were unbearably slow! It did give me a chance to meet the local 501 guys and learn more about them and how to join their organization! We all went to dinner Saturday night, and it was a fantastic time! This coming Saturday, I will be photographing the 501st at the Lego Store, in Overland Park, KS, so if you're reading this, and in the area, come on out!!! Lastly, here are a few photos of our booth from the convention. The man sitting at the table is a fellow droid builder named George, and the completed droid belongs to a 501 member named Gary!
And here is the only photo of me that I could find!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Eye" of the droid.

Risin' up, back on the street. Did my time, and took my chances. Went the distance. Now i'm back on my feet. Just a droid, and his will to survive. So many times it happens too fast (WWSD!). You trade your passion for glory. Don't lose your grip on Leia's dreams of the past. You must battle, to survive! It's the, eye of the droid. It's the thrill of the hunt. Risin' up to the challenge of our rival. And the last known survivor... Vader. So yes, I am excited. The dome is "El Fin" as it were, or done. Well, not completely, but it will receive NO work for a long period of time. In fact, I will not even attempt to hinge it until the rest of the droid is complete. For starters, here's a look at my new David Shaw Radar Eye.
The most important steps is making sure you mask the eye properly in the correct places. For me, I also masked the edges of the eye.
Finally, got some paint on there and let it dry.
And now...the big finale. Here is the dome, in all it's glory. I am MORE than happy with how it turned out, however, I do feel like I mounted the eye just a little high! So without further ado, here you go! Enjoy!!
Here is a close up shot of the side details. I am rather happy with how they turned out.
Now for some skin work. With some luck, my skins will be attached by Thursday! Cheers!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lights video!

FINALLY!! The lights are fixed!!

Those who know me, know I have been having an issue with my front PSI not working. After spending a LONG time talking with a good friend, he suddenly had a thought that maybe my aluminum PSI housing was causing a short on the front PSI. So, today, I finally removed the front PSI......removed it from the holder....plugged it in, and BOOM. Son of a gun worked! Every single light on that damn dome illuminated with all it's glory as I was declared victorious!!! Here are some photos to show the monumental occasion.