Monday, May 31, 2010

Sending in Reinforcements

Today was reinforcement day for the foot shells for droid #2.

I started with the reinforcements where the curved part meets the flat part above it on the outer feet.

A scrap piece of a cross-section from droid #1 shows how two flat pieces of 1/8" PVC bond to the top of the 1/4"-thick curved part. Then, another 1/8" piece of PVC is glued behind the joint to help reinforce the bond. (As usual, Senna's idea, not mine.) This is what I wanted to work on first for droid #2 today.

I needed to pull out the table saw for the first time in ages, and I started cutting the reinforcement strips.

I cut one end to the proper angle, and then measured and marked where the other end should be cut by putting it up against the outside of the foot shell, and repeated the process for each strip. The strips that overlap the curved part and the flat part are cut slightly longer, since they sit lower.

The miter saw also got some work in.

Time to start gluing. Gloves? Who needs gloves? I prefer to spend 25 minutes scrubbing my hands raw when done.

On one of the outer foot shells, I needed to use a small clamp to lightly press the strip in place.

Next, the strip that overlaps the curved part and the flat part is glued down. It's not obvious, but it does get glued in on top of the seam.

Finally, time to put some more A&A foot shell scraps to work. These are for reinforcing interior corners.

Not pretty, but it seems to do the job.

I had a bunch of these scraps, but between the center foot shell and one of the two outer foot shells, I used almost all of them up! They are hard to see because they are camouflaged by PVC glue, but they are in the top and bottom corners.

I'll probably need to cut a few more reinforcements for the interior corners of the other outer foot shell later.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Star Wars in Concert - Ontario, California

Well, as if R2 didn't not get enough of Star Wars in Concert in San Diego two days ago, he made not one, but two pre-show appearances for the concert double-header at Citizens Business Bank Arena, in Ontario, California.

The first show was scheduled for 3:00pm, and around 1:45pm I maneuvered R2 into position at one of the photo backdrops. Watch out for that fireball!

A never-ending line of people took pictures with R2 and Victoria, as Princess Leia.

Newcomer to the R2 Builders club Norm Rapmund and his son jumped into a picture with me. I also saw fellow members Ken Stubbert and David Mallory in attendance today.

Where's that other hand, young Indiana Jones?

About 15 minutes before the show started, we closed down the line, and R2 went back to a proper dressing room with the other characters.

Looks like Yoda could use some resuscitation, but I'm not putting my mouth on that thing.

I got my ticket for the show, and we were provided nice seating for the concert. Oh wait, no photography allowed.

After the show, there was a break, and then we did it all over again! Some miscellaneous pictures between shows.

This time with Jon as our Rebel trooper, and Sonya as Princess Leia.

Oooh, and looky looky at what I got!

Yup, a new signature for my back door. Right under Don Bies... Anthony Daniels. :)

Another enjoyable concert experience, and I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to participate.

The full photoset (or at least, as many as I had time and patience to upload) is here. The timestamps are a bit messed up, so some pictures are out of order.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Star Wars in Concert - San Diego

Tonight R2 made an appearance at Star Wars in Concert at the San Diego Sports Arena, to help entertain the crowd. Driving on getaway day of a 3-day weekend is not necessarily ideal, it took me about 2.5 hours to drive the 82 miles down to San Diego.

When I arrived, the people with early entry VIP tickets had started to line up.

The changing room for the characters (and where R2 stayed during the show) was... the Men's room!

"Uh, a little privacy, please?" I'm going to burn those wheels.

The characters went to their stations, and it was pictures, pictures, pictures!

It was absolutely mobbed. Fortunately, Caitlin (our Princess Leia) did an outstanding job of directing picture taking, as well as posing.

A tattoo of R2's dome on her shoulder. More dedication than I'll ever have.

Once the show was about to start, the audience took their seats, R2 retreated back to the Men's room, and the characters dressed down and got to see the show.

The show in progress. Anthony Daniels is seated toward the left, as the music plays.

Some of us, including R2, came back out after the show for a few minutes so people could take more pictures on their way out.

All in all, an enjoyable night. I have a feeling this is just a prelude to the rest of the weekend, though. Stay tuned...

The full photoset is here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sanded Down Corner Reinforcements

Tonight I spent some time sanding down the outside corner reinforcements on the foot shells that I glued in last night.

Starting with 150 grit sand paper, I was able to get the surface pretty smooth.

400 grit sand paper finished the job nicely. The top seam is imperceptible.

I sanded down all eight corners that I glued in last night.

I'm happy with how this worked out. The reinforcements are holding tight, and they do seem to lend structural integrity to the corners. I need to identify other candidates for reinforcement, and the rest will be filled with Evercoat.

This is going to take a little while, but then, what part of the build doesn't?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More Reinforcements for Foot Shells

Tonight I worked on filling and reinforcing some of the voids where edges meet to form corners on the outside of the foot shells.

I'm using very small scrap pieces from the A&A foot shells for this work.

I used a toothpick to apply PVC glue into the corner where the piece will go.

And, in it goes.

Similar deal for the center foot shell, only the segments are smaller.

All done.

How well will this work? I don't know.

I know I need to sand them down, and I'm hoping they will both a) hold, and b) actually provide a little structural reinforcement. Because the channel of the drivetrain will fit up against inside of the foot shell, I didn't really have much room to reinforce the insides of these corners.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Started Gluing in Foot Shell Reinforcements

Today I worked on gluing in the reinforcements for the A&A foot shells on droid #2.

I dug into my cornucopia of PVC scraps left over from the scratch-built PVC foot shells on droid #1 to find some suitable candidates to act as reinforcement pieces.

Some of the smaller sticks act as reinforcements for inside corners of the center foot shell. They are already beveled to the proper angle, they just need to be cut to size.

Oatey PVC glue bonds them to the styrene.

Next, I worked on the reinforcements for the outer foot shells. In this case, I used the scraps from the channel cutouts. I had to cut them in half and trim them slightly to fit inside, since the inside of the footshell is smaller than the outside.

As with the center foot shell, I cut reinforcements for the inside corners of the outer foot shells as well.

I still want to add some reinforcement where the top of the curved PVC pipe meets the piece above it, but I'll probably have to wait until next weekend to cut those reinforcements to the size I need.