I made a start on my ROTJ drinks tray, it’s based on the A&A plastic kit.
I still need to add some detail, finish filling/sanding and apply the final gold paint, but it’s almost done. There was a lot of Bondo work to hide the layer lines on the glued parts.
We used it on Matt’s R2 at the BarBot event the other night. We had problems with glasses flying off while driving around, so I’ll may need to find some small glasses to bring along next time that will fit in the recesses.
I also made a start on a drinks dispenser, I was being overly ambitious trying to get something done for the event, but got a lot of the detail sketched out on how I’ll build it.
Plan right now is to use a sucker cup thing to hold it on the dome, instead of opening the top hatch, which would be hard for me to re-work and open on the current dome. I may make a fake hatch to attach somehow.
Another problem with the drinks dispenser is that on a 3 legged droid the whole dome tips back the assembly, compared to on the original that was on a 2 legged vertical R2. So some adjusting will be needed to get the setup to work w/o leaning too much into the drinks tray.
BarBot 2010 – DNA Lounge SF
Just got back from the TRU Midnight Madness – and was it madness. Over 100 people were in line when I arrived at 11pm. People had been camping out since noon today.
Unfortunately, I didn’t plan ahead so I was on my own. – Alas all my buddy’s in the RL/501st are down in Comic Con this weekend, but I had a blast anyway and everyone loved Artoo.
My embarrassing moment from tonite was when someone in the line heckled “2-3-2, do 2-3-2, I bet it doesn’t do 2-3-2″. I came back with “Well, where’s your droid?”, and he answered “It’s at home, I’m the guy who bought Jerry Green’s R9!”. Too funny.
At 11:50 they were still assembling the display and people in line were getting mad, especially as there were only going to be 60 of the special General Grievous.
This is Bobby who bought Jerry’s R9.
More photos here
I was able to snag the new artoo as well as some new figures with the “1st Day of Issue” sticker that may help pay for the gas tonite via ebay
Believe it or not I am still alive and working on Artoo. I’ve had an incredibly hectic couple of weeks, but I’ve still been able to fit in some building here and there. Unfortunately, I’ve not had time to blog the progress, the good news is I have been taking photos so hopefully I can go back and post what I’ve missed later. WonderCon is also coming up in two weeks and I’m rushing to get Artoo back together and presentable.
Most of the work this last week has been working on the electronics and finishing the skins, like attaching the small detail pieces, doors, panels etc. I’ve only got a few more bits to go and he’s looking really good.
The panels and inserts I simply attached with silicon. Nothing fancy, just held in place with tape while it dried over night.
Some people use epoxy to fix the rear panels just in case they decide to collect signatures, but I really don’t care for signatures (nor epoxy) and this is a much cleaner/quicker method for me at least.
I did get one door hinged, the one I’ll be using to access the on/off switch and charging port. Like a lot of builders, I had a lot trouble getting the Robart to work correctly. In the end I left the hinge in the default setup as suggested by the manufacturer, but ended up using some spacers to lift the hinge away from the skin/door slightly. I’ll try and take some better pictures and detail how I add hinges to the remaining doors.
To secure the door closed I attached a magnet and metal stop for it to hold on to.
I also added a small warning sign to the inside of the door. It’s my interpretation of the one seen in ROTJ where Artoo helps free Leia from the chains.
One of the issues I’ve had is that the back door doesn’t fit well. I’ve been avoiding it, but I would like to have it attached for WonderCon. The problem is the skins don’t quite wrap around the frame snuggly, which leaves the back opening wider than it should be and the door has more of a gap around it than I’d like. I’ve still going some tweaking but I think I may have to live with it for now.
This is the correct gap at the top of the door
I now need to remove the skirt and bottom ring to drill and tap some holes to attach the octagon ports and power couplers. Hopefully this will be the last time I have to disassemble the frame for a while.
It’s been a slow Artoo week. In the last few days we’ve had big storms come through, loosing power for almost a day, 100mph winds and 8 inches of rain. There’s a break in the rain right now so I jumped at the chance to get some painting done this afternoon.
I’ve included some photos, but they”re all starting to look the same to me.
I went back and sanded down the rear skins to clean up the big run I made last time and gave them another coat.
I added an extra coat of white to the skirt and lower frame ring – but they’ll need several more, plus I goofed and put a run on the skirt
I rubbed down the long doors and the smaller panels and gave them another coat while I was at it. They would have probably been okay, but another coat of paint is always good.
I’ve also been busy work on the new astromech.net website with Wayne and PixelFiend. Stay tuned for some great new features.
I decided to get over how cold it’s been and just start re-painting the skins. Temperature in the garage was around 59 degrees by mid day and the recommended temperature on the Rustoleum Satin White is 70, but there was a little caveat at the end that said “lower temperatures may increase dry time.”, which to me means go ahead and use at any temperature
Things started off really good and the horseshoes came out great, in fact so good once they’d dried they’re putting everything else to shame. I have no idea what I different to get them this way. They really do have a satin finish with little to no blemishes. What’s funny is when I started to paint them they almost orange pealed on me, or it looked at way on the first pass.
Not so good news on the skins though that prompted this whole repaint job. As soon as I started I got a big run on the back skin. My heart sank but I continued on with the other pieces, residing myself to having wait for it to dry, then sand and repaint tomorrow or the next day.
I think I’ve also figured out my dusty/rough paint problem I tried to describe a few days ago. I’m pretty sure it’s because I tried to paint everything together and got over-spray onto pieces – i.e. Dust. This time I took each piece in turn set it outside, painted then brought it back inside to dry. Makes sense right? At the time I thought I was saving time – big mistake. Do yourself a favor and paint everything separate.
The skirt and lower frame ring also turned out well, but will require several more coats. I’d forgotten to prime the ring last night, but quickly did it this morning.
Here’s the skirt. The paint is okay, but I’m not crazy about the ribs/strips and how they meet the base (I guess top in this photo) of the skirt.
By tonight they’d dried and I could see how they looked together – not bad and I’m sure once it’s the other way up I’ll forget all about the ribs.
Coming back to the big paint run I got on the skins. I decided late in the afternoon to try and fix it. It had been a few hours and things had dried a lot. But the run was so thick that it would have taken days to dry, so I took a soft paper towel with some acetone on it and lightly rubbed the run away. This is almost certainly a big no-no, but I really didn’t want to wait. I then sprayed over the area again thinking I may get lucky with the finish. I’m almost certainly going to sand it down, but at least I can do this tomorrow instead of waiting days for the run to dry through.
Now after seeing how well the horseshoes came out and figuring out the dusty-paint problem. I may go back and redo the skin panels.
Another busy evening working on R2, but not a lot to show for it. Started off with prepping some stuff for painting tomorrow.
Remember about a month ago I’d posted pictures of my skins all done. Well I decided that I wasn’t happy with the result. The problem was the paint’s thin in places and felt rough to the touch. It could have been what I’ve dubbed ‘dusty paint’, or maybe it was simply that the paint thinned/settled while drying and the aluminum was coming through. What I mean by ‘dusty paint’ is that sometimes I find that the Satin Rustoleum sprays out almost like a fine powder or dust with very little solvent and dries rough. It looks okay from a distance, but to the touch it’s not good and picks up marks really easy. I’d agonized for almost month if I was going to repaint. I knew I need to, but kept on telling myself it wasn’t that bad.
I lightly sanded down the problem areas and then had to re-mask all the bits I didn’t want paint on. Luckily I hadn’t removed all the mask-tape on the back skin.
I’m going to start tomorrow with a fresh can of paint and hopefully I’ll not have the ‘dusty paint’ problem or worse the dread orange peal.
The bad news is the weather is cold, well cold for Northern California. Its 45-50 overnight and not gets much over 60 during the day. The Rusoleum primer is good from 50 degrees, but I’m not sure how well the Satin White will dry overnight. The good news is the forecast is rain which means the temperature should be a little higher due to cloud coverage
I also tried to get the skirt ready tonight for the top coat as well. Finally finished up the Bondo work
The problem with Bondo, or for me at least, is that I end up putting on way to much while trying to fill the gaps, resulting in a lot of cleanup – and I’m tired of sanding the inside corners of all those strips, so I think it’s as good as it’s going to get for now.
I applied a coat of primer, sanded a little more followed by a final coat of primer (until I see what it looks like in the morning)
I also need to remember to hit the underside of the frame with primer/satin white too.
Lesson learned today – Don’t rush to remove masking tape until you’re 110% sure you’re happy with the finish.
I’m almost done with prepping the aluminum skirt.
With the olive paint and screws this pieces would looks more at home attached to the Nautilus or some Steampunk project don’t you think?
I’d bolted on the strips a few weeks ago and had given it a coat of primer, but I still needed to go back and file down down the strips a bit.
I’ve also filled some of the seams with Bondo. All that’s left is to give it another shot of primer then it’ll be ready for the white top coat.
I’ve started to peel away the masking on the skins over the weekend and mounting the various body detail pieces.
I even temporarily mounted a door to see how well the hinges work.
Overall, I’m very happy with the finish and how the aluminum shows through from the inner skin layer. The only real clean up I had to do was on some of the green self etching primer that had leaked underneath the tape, but it was easy to remove with some acetone and a q-tip. I did spot one place on the rear skin that I may sand down and give it one more coat.
I also started to mount the detail pieces to the skin and frame. For the octagon ports and power couplers I plan on permanently attaching them to the frame and have the skins press up against them.
I took some 1″ x 1/16″ alu stock bar and made some slotted L brackets. The aluminum is easily bent in a vice.
I ended up elongated the holes to make them adjustable.