Monday, August 20, 2012

Fasionbly Late

Wow.  Three months, no posting.  That happened.

Sorry I haven't made any new updates until now.  My job got busy and other things so I kept putting off posting any kind of progress.  So now it's catching up time.

I'll start with the Midwest Builders Gathering in early June.

Good food and good friends.  Two things of note happened that day.  One, I installed the lens into the rear HP but when I tried to test fit it into the head, the hole I had cut for it was a little too small.  So now I have to make it bigger some how.
Photobucket Photobucket

Two, while driving R6 around, the threads on the U-Bolt got stripped somehow (too much stress?) so the leg pipes wouldn't stay secured.  Replaced it when I got back home but might need to find a more secure alternative.
Stripped U-bolt Stripped U-bolt, Close up showing the stripped threads.

Fast forward to one week from today.  The good news is I was able to save enough money for Celebration VI!  The bad news is, I didn't get everything done on the head like I wanted to by now.  Oh well.  I still got a lot done.  In addition I decided to finally mount the aluminum skins to the body, and of course I decide to do this one week before I leave for Florida.  But the results are awesome!  I even decided to paint them.
Rear-inner panel #4 flat-head wood screw Front-inner/outer panels Rear-inner/outer panels Priming outer panels

I used #4 wood screws to secure the skins to the body.  You'll notice how the screw heads are flush with the skins.  I used a special tool for that, the name of which escapes me at the moment.  I'll tell you when i remember.

So currently I'm in Georgia at a Hotel.  Tomorrow I finish the trip to Florida and Wednesday is setup day in the Droid room.  Now I must say good night.  I drove for 9 hours today and I want to sleep.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Painting HP's, Logic Woes

Today I sprayed on a third coat of paint onto the body skin panels and a first coat of aluminum paint onto the Holoprojectors.  Very happy with the results.
Photobucket First Aluminum coat

I'm having trouble getting the fiber optic strands to stay put in the templates.  The silicone idea didn't work out so I'll need to do a little brain scrubbing for a better idea.  Maybe you have one?


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Logic Display Templates

Yesterday I finally made the Logic Templates, the little boards with holes cutout of them for the fiber optic strands to stick through.  I used a piece of Acrylic.  It has paper on each side to protect the surface since the surface is very smooth and glossy.  This worked to my advantage as the paper gave me a surface to easily draw the templates onto.
Logic Templates, Before cutout

After cutting out each piece, I used my Dremel Drill Press to make the holes.  Here's some math for you.  the front logics are made up of 2 5x9 grids for 45 points of light each, or 90 all together.  The rear logic is one 4x27 grid for 108 points of light.  All together I drilled out 198 3/32" holes.  Lots of fun!
Logic Templates, After cutout

Now for the fun part.  Threading each little hole with a strand of fiber optic cable.  I tried to start it last night but as I went along some of them kept falling out.  To solve this, I'm going to try to secure a few at a time.  I'll start with the front logics since I already have the fiber optics cut for them.  I ordered more fiber for the rear logics which should arrive in a few days....I hope.

Started painting the last two body panels.  Also did an aluminum color test on a piece of styrene.  Want to make sure I get the desired results for the HP's.

Another Midwest Builders Gathering is coming on June 2nd.  I hope to have the logics and PSI's temporarily mounted for it plus having the Radar Eye mounted.  Also, Celebration VI only 4 months away!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Holes and Paint

Yesterday I accomplished drilling the holes for the PSI's and the Holographic Projectors (HP's), and started priming the HP's and the two remaining skin panels.

Drilling Holes Drilling Holes Holes Drilled - Front Holes Drilled - Back Priming

I'm using a different primer than before.  This time I decided to try using an automotive wet-sandable primer.  It's also very fast drying so I can sand and prime it after only 4 hours where before I had to wait 48 hours.  Today I'll give the parts one more layer of primer then when dry, a first coat of paint.

Other work I did yesterday was sand down the PSI LED caps to fit the inside curvature of the head.  To do this I taped 150 grit sandpaper inside the head and then started rubbing the PSI LED cap against it.  It took a while, but I finished both caps.  Then I cemented the PSI lenses to the caps.  The PSI lens material is from a gallon milk jug.  The MacGyver way to built a droid, hehe.

Sanding Parts PSI Lenses Glued PSI Lenses Test

The resin Radar Eye was designed to fit an R2 shaped dome.  My R6 head, however, is shaped a little differently.  Do to this, I have to modify the Radar Eye to fit my R6 head's curvature using the same method I used for the PSI's.

Sanding Parts\

I spent over an hour last night rubbing the Eye and it's close, but I realized I still need to fit the lens for the eye behind it.  Will be examining the fit of these pieces to ensure proper look and fit.  Work in progress.

More updates to come.  May not post them until next weekend.  Stay tuned.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Begin Head Detailing

Last night I took the wooden sticks off. Thankfully, the second layer stayed on and the edges didn't peel up. Below are the Front, Right Side, Back, Left Side and mounted pictures.
Photobucket Right side Back Left side Photobucket

Later today I intend to take the head to my Dad's shop and drill out the PSI and HP holes. While I'm at it, I'm going to start painting the resin head parts I acquired years ago. In this picture are (left to right) 1 fixed-position holographic projector (will go on the back), 1 movable holographic projector (front, 3 pieces) and the iconic radar eye.
Holo Projectors and Radar Eye

The lenses for the radar eye is a separate piece which I will install once the radar is modified to fit and painted.

The HP's will be painted aluminum and the radar eye painted white in keeping with my chosen color scheme. In addition, I might also tackle the skin panels. Two need to be redone and the rest need clear coated. The results of all this tonight or tomorrow morning.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Face On

Second Layer Glued On Second layer is glued on! The wooden sticks are being used as clamps along each panel line to ensure it lays flat. For glue I used the Gem-Tac again. I'll keep the clamps on for 2 or more days to ensure the styrene will stay on and lay right. Once The clamps come off, I can take the head back to my Dad's shop to drill out the PSI and Holoprojector holes. After that I need to cut out the side boxes. I'll wait on painting the head for when I get the top on and I can't do that until I install the fiber optics for the Logic Displays.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cutting Out the Panels Update

Done! The panels are out! Observe....

Cutting Out Panels Cutting Out Panels

Next step is sanding the front and back of the main piece and cutouts, then gluing the main piece onto the head. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.


Cutting Out the Panels

Just started cutting out the panels for the head. Got three done so far. I'll continue working on this today, but I wanted to share the excitement as I do it. Another update soon.

Painters tape is sticky enough to hold the ruler and styrene down so they don't move but not sticky enough as to smudge the pencil lines.
Cutting Out Panels Cutting Out Panels

Front Processor State Indicator panel is now loose.
Cutting Out Panels

Two more done, including the Front Logic Display panel.
Cutting Out Panels


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


At last. The moment we've all been waiting for. Well, maybe not THE moment, but one of them. These past few days I started drawing, measuring and cutting the second layer face piece for the head. Took me about 3-4 revisions before I got the spacing and everything right, but I did it. The panel layout is complete.

Using the same alignment method for cutting the pieces of styrene out, I measured and drew the panels. The main challenge was getting every detail spaced out to fit all the way around the head and be aligned where they need to be.
Drawing panels Drawing panels

When I had finished the first attempt, I cutout the second layer and test fit it on the head. These pictures are of the final test.
Test Fit - Front Test Fit - Back

Here's what it looks like when laid flat. For kicks, I positioned the resin Radar Eye I've had in storage since 2006 or 2007.
Panel Layout Final Radar Eye Test Fit

Next up is cutting out the panels. When I get the nerve.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Time Flys

I just noticed I haven't posted anything since January. Please pardon my absence. I've been busy getting up to speed with a new job I started in January.

Sadly I haven't done anything new since my last post. I'm planning to real soon. Just dealing with a lot of work and little money to spare.

Speaking of money, my "Funds for Celebration VI" progress is $0.00. Though I've been trying to save money since last August, stuff keeps happening requiring money. At this point it's not looking promising I'll be able to put aside enough money. But there is still a chance. As long as nothing happens within the next five months, I should be able to put aside just enough money for the trip. Fingers crossed.

Coming up soon (I hope): I still have two body skin panels to repaint plus painting the main skin panels themselves. Also finishing the head. Just one more main piece of styrene (plus the two top pieces), paint and lights and it's done.

Spring time is building time.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Second Layer Started

Second Neck Layer
Today I glued on the second layer to the neck area. Used the painter's tape to hold it on.

I also rough-cut the second layer piece for the face. Once I take the tape off, I'll test fit it. I made it 1/8" wider so it would line up with the neck more seamlessly.
Still working on how to measure and cut out the panels. I decided to cut out the panels as separate pieces so I can try to line them up on the head and space them out before I cut into the second face layer.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Glued Main Styrene Piece

Glue is dry and holding. After doing a test fit, I decided to go ahead and glue it on....before something goes wrong. As you can also see, I have more than enough room on top to install the fiber optics so I don't have to wait.

Face Piece Face Piece Glued Onto Head Face Piece Glued Onto Head

To glue it onto the head, I'm using the Jem-Tac I used before as I fear the Gorilla Glue might expand in undesirable ways.

Next will be adding the 2nd layers of Styrene. The trick here will be cutting out the panel details. Still working the thinking cap on that part.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baby Steps to Finished Head

I'm getting there. Little by little, I'm getting there.

Face Piece Face Piece
This is the piece of styrene that will wrap around the main "face" area of the head. In the second pic you see how I have glued a strip of styrene onto one edge. This is so I can bend the other end around and glue it together, making a cone shape with the tip missing.

Face Piece Glued Face Piece Glued
Here's the "face" piece clamped down while it drys. Will be done by Sunday evening.

The glue I'm using for this is the Gorilla Glue. I'm using it because I need the extra strength it has. I also sanded the surface so the glue would have a rough surface to bond to. This is actually the my second attempt at this piece. The first time I used a different glue and it didn't hold very long. Remember when using Gorilla Glue that it expands as it drys, so make sure you place a lot of weight on it with a clamp or a heavy object so the joints don't separate as the glue expands.

Broken Head Rib
While I've been messing around test fitting and such, I accidentally broke off one of the top support ribs. No easy way to fix it, though I might not need to. I'm going to try to fit the top styrene piece without it and see how it feels.

Speaking of messing around, I wanted to play a little bit by connecting the PSI's and approximately placing them and rotating the head. Of course I recorded it so you could join in the fun.

I recently started a new job which means I'll be busy learning it for the next few months, but it also means better money down the road, which means the ability to purchase everything else I need to finish R6-C9 faster. I hope.

Also coming up on Feb. 4th is another Mid-West Droid Builders Gathering. Note the date is one day before the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl just so happens to be in my home city of Indianapolis Indiana. Traffic is going to be like many choice words. If you know what I mean.