Replica Movie Props

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Project is not Dead!

I am still building R2. My free time has been reduced to 1.5 hours a night after the baby has gone to bed, and that time I usually spend doing chores or resting! Weekends are better.

More will come, do not despair.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Best wife ever

This weekend is both my 31st birthday and my 6th anniversary. We spent yesterday just doing stuff together ending the day with a trip to a small town west of us called Mooresville, with my sister and her husband. He has family there. There is an apple orchard we wanted to visit. Anyways, we decided to eat down there and while waiting for our reservations we wandered around the small old fashioned main street.

We went into a game store and visited with some friends of my bro-in-law's. While I was in the back room talking with some of the gamers my wife was poking around the shelves of the shop up front and found this little gem and bought it for me. as a birthday/anniversary gift. God I love her so much!

The little 1977 model has all it's original pieces, assembly instuctions and the original box. The decals will have to be recreated, which shouldn't be too hard. I am actually impressed with the detail, despite the innacuracies. It's designed with a rotating dome, extendable computer arm in the long right side panel, 2-3-2 leg configuration with rollers in the feet and a removable rear panel with some made up inner machinery exposed when opened.

Frame Uprights

I got the uprigts on the frame cut out and attached. They are made from two layers of 3/4" birch plywood screwed and glued. I had to notch one of them to fit an octagon port. The top ring is also drilled and ready for attachment, but before I do any assembly I have some work to do with the rockler bearing, center leg mounting, shoulder prepping, and bracketing of the uprights with some steel L brackets.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Paint, Skins, Body, Frame, oh my!

Ok, finally some updates, but fiirst here's what I am not going to tell you about yet. Not yet pictured but needing to be posted about. In other words, these are upcoming: R2’s voice sound system, leg skinning.

I found my color. Hard to show in a picture, but the cup on the right has a base coat of very fine primer, an even coat of metallic gold, and topped with a Testors green auto model paint.

What I do have to show. Got some frame and body work done. I got the top and bottom frame disks done. Here’s the top:

To get the A&A skins to fit (they were a little big) I had to figure out the sizing and trim the sides. My thanks to David L. for the detailed instructions to do this properly. I had to trim the edges then trace the untrimmed shoulder circle onto the trimmed skin to get the right size and vice versa.

Once I got the skins to fit, I traced out all the things I need to cut out of the PVC body tube. Then I used my drill and saw to cut out all the bits from the base of the tube. I left these cut outs pretty rough for now. Then I marked up the bottom frame ring where the power couplers and octagon ports will interfere with it. These areas will have to be routed to make room for the resin parts I have to go in there.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Did Some Inner Dome Work

First I drilled out a bunch of holes, close together, around the perimeter of the cut-outs.

Then I finished the cuts with some small dremmel cutting bits.

Then I smoothed them out with various sizes of dremmel sanding wheels. I followed this up with filing and sanding.

Here’s the panels and logic frames fit so far.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Laser Cut Dome Work

Here’s the outer laser cut C&D Dome. It is a beautiful thing to see in person. The light weight and lower cost of styrene is great for ‘budget droid building,’ but add laser cut panels and you have one of the best domes available for the price.

One thing I noticed right off is that the club-spec resin logic surrounds don’t quite fit. A little work will take care of that.

After numbering all the panels for putting them back together, I began sanding the laser cut plastic ‘slag’ from all the cuts. I did this with the panels in place for getting a tight fit of outer to inner domes before removing them.

After sanding off most of the slag, I taped some of the weaker panels in place for fitting the inner and outer domes together for a final tracing.

I traced all the logics and holo eyes for cutting on the inner dome. I also traced a few panels and the lower edge of the outer dome onto the inner dome to help in re-fitting later.

Until now, I have left off the ring around the bottom of the dome (not the dome ring that you mount to a rockler, the blue strip that runs along under R2D2’s panels, or green one on my R2A6.) Now I put it in place and trace its location on the inner dome. This will tell me where to trim the inner dome along the bottom and to insure that I have an even fit between the ring and the rest of the outer dome. Note also that I have previously trimmed a lot of the extra off the inner dome, leaving only a ¼” to ½” of extra at the bottom.
I also left the laser cut tabs between the upper part and the ring to ensure the correct distance between the two.

Once that’s done, I cut the extra material off the bottom of the inner dome using a pair of strong scissors.

One I am satisfied with the fit of everything I cut the panels out with a hobby say and an X-Acto knife. This leaves the little laser cutting ‘tabs’ which I clean up with files and sandpaper.

Finally , I have cleaned up the laser cutting ‘tabs’ on the panels too. Some of the panels have an uneven laser cut edge which needed to be evened out with files and sandpaper.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More Leg Skinning

I am off work today. Even though I am sick, I still decided to hit the workshop and breathe some dangerous fumes. Just what a medicated sinus infection needs, eh?

Got the sides of the middle leg all cemented up and clamped in place. I thought about cutting a strip that would wrap all the way around from the top of one side to the top of the other bending over the foot pivot point, but I decided to do those parts separately for simplicities sake. This will create a tiny bit of re-work at the end sealing and sanding the seams, but that’s acceptable to me.

On to the bigger legs while the middle one sets. I decided to start with the front of one of the side legs. I went ahead and bonded up the peg holes. I didn’t really need to, but in the interest of completeness, I figured it couldn’t hurt.

I cut the plastic out (trimming a small rough hole for the shoulder hub-it will be finished up after everything is glued tight,) and test fit it before gluing.

Then I painted on the water based contact cement using a gray-foam brush. You can see the difference between the brushed wood surface and the bare wood surface (after curing for about 30 minutes per instructions on the can.)

Then I clamped it up and so it shall sit in the workshop over night. You can see in the up-close shot that I trimmed the styrene so that there was some overhanging the edge of the leg. I will do this on all my plastic pieces. This way I can trim it up after it sets so I don’t have to be too perfect when cutting the pieces out and fitting them to the legs; a nice time saver producing only a little waste.