Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Droid!

Last night I decided to just put the head back together as it was, with the plastic/resin details, with one minor difference: Eyes.

All three eyes are in!

R5-D4's lenses are door peepholes. It was something I took from Chris R's R5 conversion. Since the peephole hardware is significantly longer than the thickness of the fiberglass head, I have used 5 1/2" washers per eye as shims. I'll try to get a pic of that uploaded later.

Close up of the center eye.
I also managed to squeeze the side details back into the bread pans, securing them with a wire sticking through the top and bottom. It wasn't an easy task, and honestly I don't feel like pulling them back out anytime soon. If I get metal ones, great. Until then, he's going to work just fine.

I did have an issue where the thin fiberglass panel inside the indent for the antenna nearly shattered apart, but it'll hold for now. I'll probably have to epoxy some sort of plate in there to hold it up properly. Anyway - This just means that the head is 95% done, and I'm going to work my guerrilla tactics build method on the body next. "Get it done" is the motto.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Minor But Effective Face Lift (Part 1)

I never have a good, solid amount of time to work on R5 (or my Sandtrooper Costume) but I made due with whatever time I have. This weekend I finally got to put in the neck tape into the ladder.

I also put a ring of brushed stainless steel tape around the bottom ring. I hope to mount the head on the body in the next week or so. I have to look up the technique on how to do that because the R5 head isn't made in a way to do it easily. I have to cut (router) out a portion of the bottom to get it to sit flush.

Part 2 should be done tonight or tomorrow for the face lift. It involves putting all the head greeblies back on. I'm not going to wait for the metal ones. I'm just sticking with the plastic until I can get the metal.

Part 3 will be a combination of redoing the red stripes and installing electronics, which will be just the eye lights.

Monday, June 15, 2015

::Crackling Electricity:: Something's Moving...

After a very long hiatus - which I can only attribute to having three children in 2 years and all the craziness that goes into that - this project is rolling again.

A while ago I acquired a styrene astromech body painted in the R2-R9 scheme. Think R2-D2, but the white parts are red and the blue parts are white.

R2-D2 and R2-R9

It came loaded with resin pieces and a handful of other parts (half-finished legs, a rockler bearing, various things I haven't looked at to see what they are). At first I was rather dismayed with how much work I'd have to put into it to make it function. I decided to give it a shot anyway and masked off the panels that I wanted to keep red.

This is how he sat for the last couple of years. I would see him in my basement and think of doing something with it, but time wasn't kind to me. I had thought that it was too screwed up and I would just salvage what I could and build new, then get overwhelmed. About the same time I acquired an already-assembled stormtrooper costume. It was beat to hell, and by the time I was done ripping out all the mistakes from the build (so many rivets instead of glue!) I resigned to the fact that it wouldn't ever be a TK (Stormtrooper) and I should make it a TD (Sandtrooper). I got kind of overwhelmed with working on that as well (again, no free time) and everything went into a box on the porch.

Fast forward almost two years. My oldest kid started to recognize some Star Wars things, and even calls any/every Tusken Raider or Scout Trooper "daddy" with much enthusiasm. I also lost about 60 pounds, beat down a crippling depression and sparked a new interest in props/costuming. Then I started working on my Sandtrooper armor and the parallels to R5 were astounding: They were both a salvage job, where the product I received was in bad shape and needed some serious work.

I made some serious headway on the TD kit by gluing everything that needed it, fixed up the backpack and finished off my large rifle. This past weekend I decided I needed to give the R5 another go, so I pulled the beat up body out of the basement and gave it a few coats of paint.

2 Coats of Spray Paint
Back shot after painting

I didn't think he'd look even half as good as this. I'm not concerned about the overall quality because he's going to be dirty, but I was very, VERY pleased with how he turned out. Now to continue the salvage job and just MAKE THIS THING HAPPEN. For now he'll hang out in my shed, and I hope to make some pieces and add them on.