Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Almost forgot to mention.  Last weekend Celebration VII (7) was announced to take place in Anaheim, CA April 16-19th 2015, coinciding with the release of Star Wars Episode VII (7).

I would very much like to go, but California is twice as far as Florida is and will also be a more expensive trip.  I have over two years to plan and save so I might be able to pull it off.  I might even be able to find some travel buddies this time.
I also find the timing perfect being the 7th celebration convention for the 7th movie.

In other news, it has also been confirmed that John Williams will once again compose and conduct the music for Episode VII.  It just wouldn't be a Star Wars movie without his musical touch.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Last minute building

Had trouble finding time to build R6 and update this blog due to being very busy at work this past month.  but now I'm on vacation this week for Droid-Con 2.  Let the games begin.

Version 2 foot drives are now complete, assembled, installed and tested.

 photo r6drivev2_007_zps341dca70.jpg  photo r6drivev2_008_zps883f9010.jpg  photo r6drivev2_009_zps00620b20.jpg  photo r6drivev2_010_zpsf7e21fc6.jpg  photo r6drivev2_011_zpsdea37c14.jpg  photo r6drivev2_012_zps2885eb76.jpg

It's a bit sluggish on the carpet, but I think I can fix that by tightening the drive belts a little more.

In addition, I've started working again on the Logic Displays.  My big road block of late has been securing the fibers in the bezels.  Recently it was suggested to me to try using a hot glue gun.  Amazingly that worked perfectly.  I now have both halves of the Front logic Display fibered up and ready for installing.
Front Logic Fiber Bundles photo FinishedFrontLogicFiberBundles07-30-13_zps6ea0321f.jpg

But before I do that, to give the logics more depth, I glued in another piece of styrene behind the logic cutouts in the head.  When dry, I'll cut out the holes, fill the seams and then install the Front Logics.

To fill in all the gaps and seams on the head, I'll be using a product used for minor automobile body repair, Bondo.  I've never used this stuff before but I'm told it's the best stuff to use for this purpose.

This weekend is the 2nd annual Droid-Con!  If you're coming, see you there.  Of course I'll be taking some video and pictures.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Foot Drive Remake part 2

So the Sunday following my last post I caught a bad cold, but the shop wasn't available to me that day anyways.  The next Sunday was of course Father's Day so no time to work in the shop again.

Finally I was able to get into the shop last Sunday.  The new foot drive brackets are 95% done.  I just need to drill the mounting holes and then I can test them out.

 photo r6drivev2_003_zps71b45ed2.jpg  photo r6drivev2_004_zpsb451c51c.jpg  photo r6drivev2_005_zpsaccd9420.jpg  photo r6drivev2_006_zpsd9a3baef.jpg

Next Sunday I also hope to start work on the new legs.  Any ones guess if I can get them made in time for Droid-Con 2.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Foot Drive Remake

Today I went to my arranged temporary work shop and started making new Foot Drive brackets.

The new brackets will be 2 inches longer than the originals to accommodate the swivel caster wheel I'm adding to the design.  I'm also lowering the drive wheel axle by a quarter inch for better ground clearance of the foot shell.  Otherwise, the design is the same.
Alu brackets ready for cutting photo r6drivev2_001_zps2ec3a2ba.jpg

Thus far I've drilled most of the holes needed and, using my Dremal, cut out the drive wheel axle slots on the left bracket.
Half-way finished photo r6drivev2_002_zps1fb716e1.jpg

Next week I hope to finish cutting and drilling the brackets so I can get started on the center foot caster and then the new legs.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Coming Up.....

I just realized I haven't mentioned anything about a couple of upcoming events me and R6 will be at later this year.

First up, DROID-CON II!!!!  That's right.  Once again the convention by the builders, for the builders is coming to Indianapolis August 2nd - 4th at the same Hotel as last time.  Should be a lot more builders this time around.  Here's the link,

 Second, I will be bring R6 to another local convention I didn't even know about called Star Base Indy.  It will take place the weekend after Thanksgiving at a Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.  I was contacted by a member of the local Star Wars fan club, the Indy Knights.  They asked if I could bring my droid to their table this year and talk to people about building droids and the Builders Club.  Of course I accepted.  Should be fun.

Well, with these two cons around the bend, I need to get R6 back in shape.  And so this weekend I'll be borrowing my brother's garage so I can make only the most crucial repairs.  The two things that need the most refinement are the Foot Drives and the legs/ankles.  The foot drives only have the one wheel and as such the feet aren't well balanced.  This has caused extra stress on the outer ankles resulting in the ankle locking bolts becoming loose because the holes in the wood are becoming bigger.  To fix this I'll be adding a small swivel caster to the foot drives so they're balanced and have support on both ends of the foot.  In addition, I'll be building new legs with built in ankle locks to avoid future problems.  Unfortunately I can't add the new caster wheel to the current foot drive bracket so I'll be making a modified version with new aluminum (already ordered).  It seems more and more pieces of R6 are being redone.  First the body, then the head, and now the legs and foot drives.  Oh well.  As I've said in the past, I'll always be making improvements to this droid.

New post this weekend,


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Delays, Delays...

So much for keeping up building momentum.

Right now I have a problem.  Since the start of the year, I no longer have access to a work shop where I can use heavy power tools or make a big mess.  I live in an apartment and no one I know nearby has a space I can freely use to do any loud and messy tool work.  It's a problem I can solve by buying my own house with a suitable workshop space (garage or unfinished basement), but I'm not certain when I can pursue that.  In the mean time, I'll do what I can but I'm starting to run out of things to work on without doing other things that require a workshop first.

That said, there a space I can use, but only in a limited way and not at will.  Still, I should be able rebuild the legs in time for Droid-Con II.

I'll keep you posted as I'm able to get stuff done.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Holoprojectors and Bucket 'O Resin

This past week I got around to fixing the holoprojector holes in the head.  When I originally cut the holes, I made them too small.  So to fix this, I wrapped a piece of 200grit sandpaper to a cone-shaped plastic cup and slowly sanded the hole bigger.  Using a cone-shaped cup (or similar round object) is key because as you turn the cup in the hole, the sandpaper makes it bigger, thus the cup needs to get bigger so the sandpaper keeps contact with the edges.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Once I got the hole just right, the holoprojectors fit perfectly.  Once I get the head painted, I'll be able to permanently install them.

Something I forgot to mention that happened at Celebration VI.  After the room was all torn down on the last day, we held a prize drawing for various droid parts.  Everyone who volunteered in the room got a ticket-per-2 hours of volunteer work.  I got several.  In the end, I actually won something.  And that something is...........a Bucket 'O Resin!  No, it's not a bucket of raw resin.  It's a bucket filled with resin droid parts.  Almost every droid part that's made in resin by the Builders Club.  Some of the parts I don't need or already have.  But most I will be making use of.


Cool, isn't it?

And in Star Wars Episode VII news, J.J. Abrams in confirmed as the director.  Not a bad choice.  Thus far I'm feeling good about this new movie.  I hope they do the behind-the-scenes webisodes like they did for the prequels on



Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year Catchup

I'm sorry I haven't kept this blog up-to-date for the past six months.  2012 was somewhat crazy for with starting a new job at the beginning of the year, the Midwest Builders Gathering in the spring, Celebration VI in the summer and a lot of RL issues that kept popping up.  As such, I haven't made a lot of progress since C-VI, but I intend to make up for it this year.  So without further ado, let's build!

To start, some catching up.
Star Wars Celebration VI, August 23rd-26th, 2012, Orlando, Florida.

I didn't take as many pictures as I did last time.  This time around i wanted to focus more on enjoying the event than just documenting it.
I did participate in the Droid Races this time and had a blast.  Of course it would be this time around that they revise the course and make it more difficult.  Instead of just running around through a maze of turns, they added obstacles to avoid and 3 small cones that need to be pushed by your droid's foot into a small square before making for the finish line.  First droid to do all this wins.  I won the first round, but was beaten in the second round.  Oh well.  I did learn a lot about how well R6-C9 handles and will need make a few adjustments.  I discovered he's very quick on the throttle so will need to adjust my controller for a smoother speed adjustment.  Also there was some wobble in the feet that I'll have to find a way to tighten up.  I think I'll have to revise and replace the legs/center ankle so they'll attach to the feet more securely to eliminate the wobble.
Look around on YouTube and you'll find plenty of videos of the droid races.  You'll see me there somewhere.

GL sells LucasFilm with rights to Star Wars to the Walt Disney company.
I was in shock for a good two days I think when i heard the news about this.  As first I thought the world had ended.  But after thinking about it and reading other people's perspectives plus watching the videos on explaining all this, I felt better about it and am hopeful about the future of Star Wars.  So now the long awaited Episode VII is coming at last.  My only fear all the years of expanded universe story and plot development might not be honored.  I'm a big fan of the novels and I hope the story told thus far in them will be maintained and built upon in the coming movies.
I think what Yoda said to Luke sums thus up well, "Pass on what you have learned."  I think in a sense that is what GL is doing.  He's told his story, now it's time for  someone to get some play time is the Star Wars sandbox.  The next chapter awaits.

The past six months...
Now for the progress I've made since returning from Florida.
I haven't done much, but the progress I have made is on the skins.  The paint on the skin panels I painted a long time ago had faded some so I resprayed them and then clear coated them to help preserve the color as I have done with the foot shells.  Then I started to attached the panels one by one.


I haven't finished yet.  But it's a start.

This year in early August will be the second annual DroidCon and it is being held at the same hotel as before.  My goal is to have the head finished by then (3rd times the charm right?) so wish me luck.

I'll try to keep up with posting my progress this time.