Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Picture Day (Where I Stand)

Here's a few pics showing where I stand at the moment.

Phase I: The Dome

This shot shows the dome with the neck tape ripped off, most of the greeblies off and the tape for the neck ladder area and the bottom ring. The horseshoes are in the shot mostly because I store them in the head for now.
Here you can see the top of the head, and what I was talking about with the vinyl stickers bubbling. I'm going to pull them all off, mask it off and paint these panels.

Here's the neck ladder tape, close up. It, along with the brushed steel for the neck ring, is from Tape Brothers ( I believe they are located in Florida.

This is a large eye greeblie and the peephole sticking up through it. I'm going to repaint the greeblie and probably handpaint the edge of the peephole bezel to match. The only option Lowes had for those was satin nickel, which won't look right with the more silver tone I'm going to paint all these details.

I also decided to grab the smaller peephole style to replace one of the small greeblies on the bottom right.

Phase II: Body

 Sorry it's upside down, but  FIXED PICTURE you can see where I taped off the panels to remain red and ripped/cut out the incorrect flat panel. Upon further inspection I realized I'll need to add material to the LDP area as it was cut too wide. I'm still trying to figure out how the LDP will fit into that space otherwise. I might need to print out the front

 Here's a shot of the back (right side up). The large panel at the top suffered some damage when I was ripping off the magnet system used to keep it in place. It was rather loose, and I don't want that panel to open anyhow. I'm going to fabricate a whole new panel for that location.

I need to take a few minutes and study what goes where for all the details (resin or otherwise) that go in all the now vacant holes. The side vents are still in place because I'm hoping to get them out in one piece. The pocket vents got pretty screwed up when I was taking them out.

I noted that I have one octagon and one power coupling that survived the extraction. The other octagon crumbled and the other power coupling got wrecked along the outer edges.

Here's a shot of the center vents. They're solid resin. They look a bit sloppy to me, so I'm hoping I can clean them up with a good sanding and a repaint.

Here are the base legs that I have. I have to go through the plans to see what stage they are in. I don't really want to start over on these, but I will if I can't figure these out.

You can see the Rockler bearing under there too.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Major Life Update, Game Plan Laid Out

Since the last post I've had a major life change - my first child was born February 19th! This has stopped all project work for the last 3 months.

Even at my last posting I knew it was too ambitious for me to meet the rather small goal I had set of finishing the head. In order to complete this droid, I need to make a checklist of everything that needs to get done, break it down into what I can do in the smallest amount of time and go from there. "What does that mean exactly?" you may ask. Well it's quite simple:


I need to work on R5's head. All the detail needs to be redone.

  • Step 1 is complete - I've ripped off all the incorrect neck tape. 
  • Step 2 will be to apply the correct neck tape.
  • Step 3 is to apply the brushed metal tape to the bottom ring.
  • Step 4 is to pop off all the greeblies. This is already 75% done since two of the three large eyes popped off on their own.
  • Step 5 is to install the peephole lenses into the large eyes. This one will take a while since I have to figure out how to center them.
  • Step 6 is to repaint them all uniformly. The paint job on them looks a tad sloppy.
  • Step 7 is to rip off the red stickers on the pie plates and repaint them with red paint. The stickers are bubbly and look like garbage.
  • Step 8 is to reapply the red pinstriping, especially around the top of the dome. It's very wavy. The pieces around the breadboxes are fine/good enough for me.
  • Step 9 is to reattach the greeblies.
  • Step 10 is to wire up the eye lights with blue LEDs and a small battery pack.


The body. I've acquired a partially built body from someone in the R2 Builder's Club (and a rockler bearing!) It was painted in a reverse red pattern much like the one seen here:

I don't know the letter/number designation of this droid but I've seen this configuration before.

  • Step 1 - Tape off areas to remain red. Chances are I'm going to repaint the red areas anyway, but for now I'm going to just tape off these areas to save on white paint. This is already done.
  • Step 2 - I ripped off/cut out the incorrect unframed panel on the front left. I'm working to create a replacement panel out of styrene. I'm also including any frame modifications I need to make in this step. The LDP doesn't sit correctly, so I'll have to beef up the shelf it sits on and check the clearance for the head.
  • Step 3a - Replace all busted panels. Aside from the non-framed panel above, I have a couple of panels I need to replace because I ripped them apart while trying to get at the resin pieces. Mainly the large panel between the "shoulders" on the back and the pieces that go behind the utility arm boxes.
  • Step 3b - Get a skirt. I'm not going to screw around with trying to make one when even Bob Ross recommends buying a specific one. (In fact, I'll place that order soon so I don't forget.)
  • Step 4a - Paint the body white.
  • Step 4b - Paint the detail panels red. Same red I'm using for the dome panels. (I'll also paint the utility arms at this point since I have the paint flowing.)
  • Step 5 - replace all broken resin pieces. In trying to take out the resin parts so I could have a relatively clean shell to paint, some of the parts cracked (others shattered completely). I need new side & pocket vents, a new set of octagon ports and I think a new pair of power couplers. I may also want to replace the center vents if the ones I have don't clean up nice. The resin ones I have just look cheap and I might just get the surrounds and cut out the center fins myself.
  • Step 6 - Paint all those detail pieces and install them.


Attach Head to Body

This should be a relatively easy phase but it's EXTREMELY important to take as much time as I need. I have a Tom Servo with a small Lazy Susan bearing for his head movement. The head isn't centered on the bearing so I can see it slightly wobbling if I whip his head back and forth. I do not want that to happen to R5! This phase may be something I revisit over and over.


Legs. I acquired a partially built pair of legs but I may start over.
  • Step 1 - Use (or rebuild) the main leg pieces and shoulder hubs.
  • Step 2 - Paint main leg pieces white.
  • Step 3a - Acquire leg resin detail pieces.
  • Step 3b - Acquire beefy ankle kit.
  • Step 4 - Paint resin details.
  • Step 5 - Assemble.
  • Step 6 - Attach to Body. 


Right now it's all about research. I know roughly what I need, but getting this refined is paramount. Time is something I can't afford to waste.


I have a 3rd party PS2 controller. I'm going to study the living hell out of that KISS method that R2 Club Member Asok has laid out. I met him in person at the first DroidCon and was thoroughly impressed with his styrene droid's simplicity. It's what gave me the desire to make my own.