R2 Army

I helped build a robot army!

This photo is from last years Bay Area  Maker Faire. When Gerard and I started attending in 2008, there was only two of us. Now there must be at least 15 replica R2’s in the SF Bay Area, with new people joining all the time. It may look easy, but it’s typically a multi-year commitment to build one of these, and there is no kit. Some of these are all metal, many are wood or plastic but you wouldn’t know it by looking at them. All are awesome.

Make Faire is May 18th and 19th this year, at the usual place – San Mateo Fair Grounds.


Posted by Chris on February 20th, 2014 in Events, General | 1 Comment

Golden R2 Drink Tray

It’s been almost two three years to the day since I last worked on my drinks tray. This may have something to do with BarBot happening this time of year. In fact it’s this Friday and Saturday in San Francisco, and Grant and I will be there with Artoo. Last time we made do with grey primer but I couldn’t let another year go by without doing it more justice.

I finally added some gold paint to finish it off. Well, as finished as it’s ever going to be. I got tired of filling and sanding all the layers that it’s made up from. The outer one’s are pretty smooth but the inner groves aren’t perfect.

Paint is Rustoleum Metallic Gold on top of white primer. I was hoping to get a more red-ish gold color, but selection at Home Depot is limited. It has a hint of red in it and is more yellow in person – which is what I wanted. This metallic has a tendency to sputter and drip, so be careful.



Should be pretty easy to get it reassembled and I may throw on some weathering to bring out the detail.


Posted by Chris on February 26th, 2013 in General | No Comments

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Bad Droid


New T from RIPT Apparel


Posted by Chris on February 14th, 2013 in General | 2 Comments


Hobby Expo

Some photos from this last weekends Hobby Expo in Petaluma, CA. It’s a relatively small show, focused on model builders. Fon Davis from Fonco Creative organizes a display room with larger models, some screen used. We were asked to participate with our replica droids.

Highlight of the show was the Model Maker Panel Discussion with local ILM Model Shop Alumni (incl. Don Bies, Nelson Hall, Kim Smith, Grant Imahara, John Goodson, Larry Tan, Charlie Bailey, Lorne Peterson.)

[Full Gallery]









Charlie Bailey brought along one of the original Howard the Duck animatronic heads and we all got to see it up close.


Posted by Chris on February 11th, 2013 in Events, General | No Comments


Johnathan’s First Drive

Over the weekend I helped Johnathan wire up his JEDI Control system in his droid ready for Maker Faire this coming weekend. You can’t tell because of his beard, but he has a huge grin on his face.

Johnathan's first drive

Posted by Chris on May 15th, 2012 in General | No Comments

COM8 Budget Frame Center Ankle Fix

Last week I helped Johnathan fix his COM8 Budget frame. Due to a misunderstanding of club measurements the frame had to be tweaked to allow the center ankle to recess into the body.

I’m sure a lot of people are going to be doing this, so I thought I’d share how Johnathan did his. The thinking behind keeping the hole as small as possible (vs matching the larger skirt opening) was to keep as much material and strength as possible in the lower “ring”.

We marked out where the ankle needed to go (and added a little wiggle room), and simply cut out the hole using jigsaw with a medium tooth blade. We finished off the edges with a file and Dremel. Johnathan later drilled some holes for the new additional ankle mounting plate.





Posted by Chris on August 29th, 2011 in General | No Comments

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Maker Faire 2010

Sadly Maker Faire is over for another year, but we had an awesome time and I think this is our best showing to date. We had 8 builders in attendance with their droids (and family), and we presented a builders panel for the first time at the faire.

Group Shot (Steve, Gerard, Johnathan, Chris, Matt, Grant)

Between Tammy and I we took over 500 photos/videos, so it was hard to pair it down to a handful to post here, but here goes.

As usual there are many more photos in the gallery.

Saturday started off hectic with booth setup, we had a nice big space with some new banners I had made, parts, plans and a slide show on the table.

Saturday Setup

For the faire open in earnest, I had big surprise for the builders. I’ve always liked the award tradition that Mike Senna started for R2LA, so I decided to start our tradition. Our first recipient of the Bay Area Builder of the Year went to Matt McCormick who has done an excellent job of helping fellow builders, hosting events and completing his droid. It’ll be up to him to make next year’s award and pick the recipient.

Matt - Bay Area Builder of the Year

Bay Area Builder of the Year Award

Not to leave everyone else out, I had Dana Powers make special medals say thank you to everyone else for being there this year. Thanks Dana!

Everyone got a commemorative medal

Everyone got a commemorative medal - include R2

One of the children from Friday’s Young Maker Day dropped of this thank you note.

Thank you letter from Friday's Young Maker Day

We jacked some of the sign posts with our own addition, and it even made some of the blogs and local papers.

R2 trying to find his way

There were a number of Star Wars related craft events, including Bonnie Burton and her friend Terri Hodges, who are there every year with a fun SW project. Matt, John and I took our droids over to say hi and to give Bonnie one of our commemorative medals. Here’s a link to some of Bonnie’s photos from Saturday.

Bonnie and Captain Akbar

Bonnie got a Builders Award too

Jackie Nuag also presented a workshop on how to make your own felt R2d2, and we were there to support the effort



There were a lot of cool things to see and were able to stop by some of them


One of the funniest things was that the Maker folks put up signs around Expo Hall to keep the droids out (they think our 2.4GHz radios kills their WiFi). Only a true web geek will get the joke I think


/robots.txt sign

Throughout the weekend we were inundated with people at the booth, it was pretty much like this the entire weekend.


I’m so glad we had stanchions again this year to keep the crowd at bay.


Some people were more obviously SW fans than others. The lights even worked on this home made beanie hat.


This guy had a little R2 he wanted to share


Most children who came by and asked all sorts of great questions, and some took notes


Matt did a great job of getting up close and explaining things


It was very dark in the room, which was a concern at first during Friday’s Young Maker Day, but on Saturday Gerard brought in an awesome lighting rig and the mood created was perfect



We were so busy people were taking photos in parallel at times


Our panel was at the end of Sunday afternoon, but the faire was still going strong and we had a good showing. Matt did a great job of leading the discussion again.

Buildes Panel

Buildes Panel

After the panel was done, we hung out to chat further with some future builders

Buildes Panel

So that’s it for another year – each time we do the faire we get at least one new builder, so next year I can see we could have an even bigger presence.

Johnathan took some awesome pictures of the event too, here’s his blog post and I’ve copied them to my gallery here.

I’ll try and post some additional photos and video in the next week.


Posted by Chris on May 28th, 2010 in General | 4 Comments

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Maker Faire Bay Area 2010

The Bay Area Maker Faire is almost upon us, and we’ll be there in force with more droids and builders than ever before. Look for us in the Fiesta Hall. We’ll also be participating in Young Makers Day on the Friday, and hosting a builders panel at 4PM on Sunday on the main stage in the Expo Hall.

Posted by Chris on May 14th, 2010 in Events, General | No Comments

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