Thursday, July 05, 2018

JB Welded Servo Rod for Top Utility Arm for R5-D4

Today I corrected the mis-drilled hole for the servo rod for the top utility arm for R5-D4.

First, I sanded off the excess JB Weld that I applied to fill the hole yesterday.



I drilled the new hole in the proper location and at the proper angle, slightly offset from the previous hole.



I did a loose fit of the rod to confirm the location was good. It overlays perfectly with the servo rod on the existing blue arm.



Time to JB Weld it in permanently.




At this point I think the arms are ready for their first coat of primer, and I'll see what further filling and sanding may be required. And after that, I'll finally be able to paint the arms red and call them done.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Started Working on Servo Rods for Utility Arms for R5-D4

Today I worked on cutting and installing the segments of rod that allow a servo motor to control the utility arms on R5-D4.

I am using the blue arms as a guide as to where to locate these rods for the new arms that will be painted red.



I stacked the new resin arm on top of the blue arm and made an alignment mark showing where and what angle at which to drill.



Next I cut segments of 1/8" steel rod to length.



I beat a flat spot on one of the ends with a hammer, to make it easier to drill the hole I'm going to add.



I used a punch to mark a divot at the point I wanted to drill, to prevent the drill bit from wandering.



Time to drill! I went with a 1/16" drill bit.



Next it was time to drill a hole at the end of the arms to install the rod segments. I used blue tape to mark how deep the bit should go.




And then I JB Welded the segment in place on the bottom arm.




I did a test-fit in the body, including opening and closing the arm under servo control. (A paper clip hooks from an arm on the servo motor to the hole at the end of the rod.)



I started to repeat the process for the top arm, but I found that while it mostly worked, I had somehow managed to drill the hole at the end of the arm off-angle. I was trying to be careful about this since I made a similar mistake on droid #2, but I still managed to botch it.



So I did what I did last time, fill the hole with JB Weld.



Soon I will redrill this (hopefully in the proper location), and wrap up work on the servo rods. After that it will be time for primer, more filling and sanding, and finally painting.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

JB Welded Pivot Rods for R5-D4 Utility Arms

Today I worked on getting the pivot rods installed in R5-D4's utility arms.

I decided I wanted to widen the hole for the pivot rod in the top utility arm a little more. I had widened it 3/1000" earlier, and I went back and added another 8/1000", for a diameter of 0.136". This gives me the wiggle room I want/need to make sure the rod is straight up-and-down when I JB Weld it in place, and fit it into the frame (as you'll see shortly).




And now time for the JB Weld. I used a toothpick to apply it to the inside of the hole in the arm.





And finally, in goes the rod.



The next step is to take this to the droid, and install it before the JB Weld starts to set. I used quarters to prop up the arm to the right height, so that it won't bump into the skins when it opens and closes.



I repeated the process for the top arm.



I'll let this dry overnight and then I can work on installing the rods that go onto the end of the arms for the servo motors to pull on.

Monday, July 02, 2018

More Filling, Sanding and Drilling for R5-D4 Utility Arms

Today I put in a little more work on R5-D4's utility arms.

I had accidentally knocked out some material I had filled last night, so I redid the application and sanding.




I also needed to address another problem. Evidently my drill press table wasn't perfectly level, so the holes I drilled for the pivot points are just slightly off from being perpendicular through the arms. It is very slight, but it's enough that the arms don't want to swing in and out of the skins perfectly level.



I decided to re-level the drill press table and drill the hole just slightly larger.




This allows the rod to sit perpendicular to the arm.



Although this allows for some wiggle room with the rod in hole, I will soon use JB Weld to affix the rod in the arm. When I do so, I will have the arm mounted level in the body, so that the JB Weld will harden with the rod straight up and down in the body, and the arm level with the skins.

I wrapped up today's work with a little more spot-filling.



I'm sure once I hit the arms with primer I'll find a few more small areas that will need some work, but I think I'm ready to JB Weld the pivot rods in place next.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Filed, Filled and Sanded R5-D4 Utility Arms

Today I worked on filing material from the utility arms I plan to use for R5-D4 so that they don't bump into the skins when they swivel open and closed. I also did some filling and sanding work.

I used one of the blue arms as a reminder/guide on where I need to file material from the resin utility arms.



Time to get to work!



One side of one arm is done.



Once I finished filing, it was time for filling, with my good friend Evercoat Polyester Glazing Putty. There was a large bubble near the pivot point of one of the arms, and each arm had a small divot on a corner at the claw.




And then... I accidentally knocked one of the arms off the bench/dryer, and onto the garage floor. :(



Luckily, CA glue loves resin, and in no time it was pretty much good as new.



There's still just a bit more filling and sanding to do, and maybe an adjustment on the pivot rods. That can all wait for tomorrow.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

New Utility Arms for R5-D4

Whoa, building activity!

Back at a recent R2LA build day, David Annetta was kind enough to give me some unused resin utility arms. I've been wanting to get a second set of utility arms, so I could paint them red to match R5-D4's color scheme. Currently, I just use red skin cutouts as overlays that are attached with putty to the blue arms, and I wanted something that looked better.

Time to rip out the blue arms so that I can start working on fitting the new ones in. (The blue arms will go back in once I'm done.)




One of the first things to do is cut a segment of rod that acts as the pivot point for the arm. On droid #1, I used 1/8" diameter rod for this. On droid #2, I used 3/16" diameter rod. Since I'm planning on fitting the arms on droid #1, I will go with 1/8" stock. It might be possible to fit some caps on the rod to expand the diameter to 3/8" if I ever need to use them on droid #2.

I measured the length of rod on each of the exiting arms and cut some segments to size.




I did a test fit of the rod in the frame, and both segments looked good.



The next step is to drill a 1/8" hole in the pivot point of both arms. The resin was cast from a part that used a larger diameter hole, but I was able to center the drill bit and drill the 1/8" hole.




Next up, a test fit. There is the age-old problem of the arms hitting the skins, and this was expected. Nevertheless, I wanted to see how much material needs to go.



The usual amount. I'll get to filing and filling next.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Star Wars Night at Dodger Stadium - 2018

Tonight was Star Wars Night at Dodger Stadium, and R2 was there to celebrate the occasion, along with many members of the 501st and Rebel Legions.




I arrived around 3:30pm and unloaded near the stadium entrance.



While the rest of the characters changed into their costumes, R2 hung out in the hallway outside the Hall of Fame conference room, entertaining employees and visitors.




There were 20 characters split into four groups to greet fans around the stadium. R2 was with the group that was to start off in the right field plaza, and then move onto the field for some of the pregame festivities.

We took the elevator down to the field level concourse entrance, where we awaited the throngs of early arriving fans, who each got a Kenley Calrissian bobblehead doll. (Sadly, I was supposed to get one too, but I failed to do so.)





Around 5:15pm, they opened the gates and hundreds of fans quickly lined up to get pictures with the characters.




At 6:15pm we headed for the field. That means stairs for most of the characters, but chair lifts and wheelchair elevators for R2.




This year we were limited to the warning track area behind the plate, except when we were taking part in some of the pregame programming.



We were soon joined by Billie Lourd (Carrie Fisher's daughter, and the actress who plays Lieutenant Connix in the sequel trilogy), who was warming up to throw out the first pitch.





The characters participated in the Star Wars trivia contest near the third base coaching box, which was shown on the scoreboards. (Pictures and video always come out messy due to refresh rates and such, but the boards look great in person.)




Next, we helped escort Billie to the field for the first pitch. She got it over to catcher Kyle Farmer on the fly, so that's good.




Our last activity was helping with the, "It's time for Dodger baseball!" announcement, behind home plate.




And that's a wrap on the field. We hurried off, as fans stopped the characters for selfies and such.



Back up the chair lift he goes!



We always walk by dozens of amazing trophies - World Series, Silver Sluggers, Cy Youngs, MVPs, Gold Gloves.



Ad in this case, that of my favorite player of all time, Davey Lopes.



Game-worn uniforms from the 2017 World Series were also on display.



We stored R2 in the changing room, and it was time to watch the game in the seats the Dodgers kindly provided.



In between innings they showed hash-tagged pictures that fans had taken with the characters.



And the Dodgers won, 3-2!



After the game, it was fireworks set to Star Wars music.



One the fireworks show ended, we waited for the crowd to thin out before attempting to get R2 back to the Droidmobile. One last pic!



R2's record is now 8-2 with the Dodgers. They needed him for the post-season last year!

The full photoset is here. Thanks to my friend Ralph for helping with pics.