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 existing 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.

And 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.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Star Wars Day at the Fullerton Library

Today R2 participated in Star Wars Day at the Fullerton Public Library, along with several other Star Wars characters.

I set up for a presentation I was to give at 12:30pm.

Right on time, we had a small stampede of families entering the room, and I gave my presentation, talking about how I built R2 and having volunteers help me with playing sounds and demonstrating R2's mist effect. I wrapped up with Q&A.

Afterward, the audience lined up for pics with R2 at the green screen backdrop.

It mostly worked.

Everyone enjoyed meeting R2, and it was a short, easy visit.