Monday, May 30, 2011

Phoenix Comicon Day 4 (Sunday)

 Only half the amount of people on Sunday than we had on Saturday. But there was still a full day of ahead of us.
 R2 took a trip over to the AZ Ghost Busters for a photo op.
If somebody asks for  photos we never turn them down.

Phoenix Comicon Day 3 (Saturday)

 Yesterday she was working for the Empire and today she's loading the Death Star plans into R2?

 I asked Andy to give me one of his best looks!
 Kids just love the droids and some of them love them too much.
 Rob showed up with his custom droid he built from scratch. It does the 2-3-2 and has a projector that can show you the Death Star plans. Very impressive to say the least.
 Xenos' Whistler droid is coming along fine considering she recently just joined the builders club.

 Some people made really awesome costumes, others just worn cardboard.

 On Saturday we had 4 finished droids, 1 about 50% done and 5 others in the process of being built.

 This frozen Han Solo must have been photographed well over 1,000 times. On Sunday some woman stepped on Han's feet trying to get high enuff for his hands to grab her breasts. While funny she don't know what its made out of. She could of broken off his feet. Some people don't show any respect to other peoples' props.
 Time for a decent shot of R5 without cats in the background.
 I was thrilled to have Lord Vader stop over and make sure his droid was functioning well.
 I got a look into Rob's R4-G9 droid.

This photo is of his slide out electronics panel. Not too many R2 builders have something like this. It looks very clean.

I took R5-D4 for a drive around part of the con for people who don't know we have a bunch of droids in the back section. The con was HUGE! There was miles and miles of things to walk around and look it. Its pretty hard to see everything there.
We also did a panel at 6:00 on how to build droids.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Phoenix Comicon Day 2 (Friday)

I noticed I didn't take many photos and only 1 video yesterday so I made an effort to make some rounds today and take more pics. Not too much goes on the first day anyway.
 I brought both of my droids today. The black one just needs a skirt and feet and its basically done. I'll drive this one around by the end of the year.
 Then I saw this zombie walking around. There were a few here and there. There always is.
Then more and more droids started showing up. It was way busier today in the number of people. You never know what is going to happen throughout the day. It was easy to miss something cool. Every other hour some character showed up.
 Earlier in the day C-3PO showed up. At first when they wheeled him in I thought he was a mannequin! Then he started moving and his eyes lit up and I thought. You punked me, I thought nobody was in that thing.
For some reason Andy is trying to kill me by looking at me in this photo.
 So 3P0 took photos in this area for a few minutes and them moved on to other photo ops.
R2, 3P0 and Vader are celebrities who draw a crowd and only seem to be around for maybe an hour. Then they seem to disappear, hell maybe its the same guy in chewbacca, 3P0, and vader for all I know.

When I was walking around I ran into Darth Maul. I didn't see him at the Star Wars area, we seem to be always tucked in the back, next to the bathroom and most people never walk around that part. We might need to do a droids gone wild! And storm the front where people walk in, a parade perhaps.
Later the kids decided not to walk and just jump on the droids battery boxes and get there own rides. At one point Tiny had 3 kids on his droid, must have pulled 300 something pounds around. His droid flys around compared to my R5 and I have diet parts on my droid.
 Of course, Vader shows up and starts choking people. Then calls for the arrest of some punk KT named Twisten or something and put him in jail. For real!
 At the same time these self terminators walked by. The leader how spike implants while the T-886 with the the mohawk was sporting eye damage. The other robot behind them is unknown.
 Supreme being was there with multipass!
 This costume was outstanding!
And it walked around with this! Which is also and awesome piece of work and artwork.
 So then I decided since I have these backdrops around. I need to start taking cool pics of my droids. So I finally have some area that don't  have.
  • A cat in the photo
  • couch, carpet, or TV set in the background
  • some mundane house, non Star Wars setting, kitchen, garage, backyard look.
 I think this is my favorite trooper outfit I've seen. It was just mind blowing, the paint is perfect and and the attention to detail really stands out.

Phoenix Comicon Day 1

I didn't take too many photos as not too much happens the first day but here's what I took.

 This was R5's first major con so it was fun to see how people react to the droid.
The local Star Wars people in AZ set up a photo booth were you could take pics with different characters.
 This is Tiny's mouse droid he's making. Trust me it cost a fortune.
Here is Tiny's display off all the different items that might pop out of R2-D2. I believe 3 of them are scratch built. Very impressive, the shocker arm actually works!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Working on R2-AZ' s Brains!

Today I finished up what I could on my custom R2-AZ droid and put in brand new batteries and wired up his brains. This is just temporary until I get a few more parts to finish him.
Its not too often you see a JAG plate painted black!

I really didn't have much time to put this together. Too many other things came first. Anyway, I'm working on his brains. Basically what I did is add 2 of Dan's power distribution boards so the LEDs are added. Then I hacked 3 UV blacklights and wired them up to the power board. That's pretty much it. I'll add more stuff like EL wire later and LED lights and probably ditch the black lights.

 After testing it its clear this system is a failure. 1 of the 3 UV lights isn't coming on, crap. No wait! The back story is that sector of the brain worked fine until it got in a crossfire during the Clone Wars and was hit and burnt out by a blaster. Ya, that's the ticket!

I doubt I can fix that light because I super glued it shut, probably break it opening it to debug would totally wreck it. Oh well. You can't really see the lights very well. When I put the tinted dome on that cancels out what little light these blacklights put out anyway. Nice try I guess.
Now he's ready for Phoenix Comicon 2011. I'd say not bad considering I stated this droid just over 3 months ago. This droid will be something fun to keep upgrading through out the year. I'll probably add a gyroscope and put it in the center to of the brain. What do readers suggest I put in that dome?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Painting Inner Skins


Your reading this thinking, painting your inner skins that must be a typo. Nope, I have the outside of my black droids skin painted and now I'm painting the inside too! If your a droid builder you're now shaking your head asking why, for the love god why?

Because my dome is tinted and you can see inside of the droid. This is what you would see next week at the Comicon.
So mister evil droid that's all bad ass is just made out of thin aluminum and JB weld, that's what you see!. That just kinda of blows the fantasy of the droid and I wanted to make it seem like this droid with built on an assembly line inside the Death Star.
The inside of most black droids, or most in general look something like this without electronics.
I have 3-4 black spray paint cans with only a tenth of the paint left in them. This is a good time to use that up and paint the inside so this droid never lets its guard down. From inside and out it seems to be made by the Empire.
Now with the skins on, the legs on and all the details minus the head. My droid is solid black except for the coin returns on the inside. I like the improvement, it didn't cost me anything. I got rid of the bottom of a few black spray paint cans.
Here I just washed the dome in the pool to get rid of electrostatic debris that were sticking inside and outside the tinted dome. I'm also testing the black radar eye with sticky tape.
Now this droid is on 2 wheels so you can just barely push him around if you are careful. I just bought today 2 new 12 volt 18 amp batteries for him. They fit right into the battery area. I also bought a set of octoports and a pittman motor drive with a wheel to turn the dome. I also put in an order of ankle details and got in on a steel feet run. I plan to put the steel feet on R5-D4 and later paint its feet it has now black and put them on this droid.
Another update I haven't mentioned is I added a wood Large Data Port (LPD) for the black droid and installed it. I've also been working on the MGA waterset gripper claw for the past few days for R5 and might have an update on that soon.