Friday, January 30, 2009

R2 gets put on the backburner...

Due to a family challenge, my R2 project is temporarily on hold. I can't say for sure how long, but I'm hoping not more than a month or two. Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So..."What's with this crazy obsession?"

That seems to be a question a lot of people have asked me lately. First off, let me just say it's not an obsession, it's a hobby. Just like collecting stamps, coins, drawing cartoons, painting, playing cards, video games, reading books, or anything else people do for enjoyment. Think of it this way:
1) I get to work with my hands
2) I'm building something
3) I've got a goal in mind
4) I'm teaching myself some new skills working with unfamiliar materials

In the end, what am I going to do with the thing? Well, to be honest, I plan on making a LOT of people smile!!!!! You should see the faces of people who get around an R2-D2 at an event or gathering. Everyone knows who he is and everyone loves him! Especially the children. And...that brings me to why I wanted to post this entry.

Here's a link to a very special independent film that talks about this very unique hobby of Star Wars Costuming and showing up as characters from a movie. Watch the previews...

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot...what got me started in this whole thing to begin with. I just completely finished my Darth Vader suit (an exact movie replica as seen in the latest installment of the Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith). It took almost 2 1/2 years to complete and includes:
-a custom made leather suit
-custom black robe
-huge flowing capes
-over 22 pounds of fiberglass armor and helmet
-leather gloves
-electronic lights
-a custom electronic voice system, which alters my voice and produces LIVE breathing sounds
-an intensely bright lightsaber replica made of polished stainless steel and modern electronics

So, that's just a summary of my "crazy obsession". What's after R2? We'll see...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

First part has arrived!

Well, the parts box begins! Just got my Rockler Bearing at my front door this morning! Wrapped up all safe and sound. Man this is gonna be fun!!!! (I HOPE!!!) LOL

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Aluminum or Resin

Welp, after talking it over with the gang, and looking at the cost differences, I think I'll be detailing R2 with a lot of resin parts. They are club approved and will cut expense and weight. Toughest part will be getting resin to look as close to brushed aluminum as possible.

I'll keep ya posted!!!

My Favorite Movie Quote of All Time

I know this doesn't have anything to do with my R2 build, but, I was just laughing with one of my co-workers regarding my favorite movie quote of all time. Contrary to popular belief, it's not from Star Wars! It's actually from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

Chevy Chase's character Clark Griswold:

Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one! I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight! I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane, with all the other rich people, and I want him brought right here! With a big ribbon on his head...and I want to look him straight in the eye... and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, fore-fleshing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, d!@kless, hopeless, heartless, fat-@ss, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey s@!t he is!! Hallelujah! Holy @$*$!! Where's the Tylenol!?”

Of course, substitute Frank Shirley with your preferred favorite person, make some modifications and you can use this year round! Now don't forget to memorize it!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

My first promotion!!!!

Ed just sent me an e-mail! I've been promoted from JAFO to Parts Collector! Whoo hoo!!!!! I'm now on the hunt for a good Radar Eye. Wish me luck!

The 1st BIG decision

So, how am I going to go about doing this? Well, I've thought about it for quite some time. Probably the best way is to just jump in and get started. On the 1st of January, 2009, I had the honor of meeting up with four other builders here in my area (Greater Sacramento Region) who were all in various stages of completing their droids. (As I'm already learning, your droid is NEVER finished)

Ed, Ryan, Gerard and Matt, thanks so much! You guys were kind, helpful and patient! I'm really looking forward to learning from all of you.

At first, before meeting everyone, I was thinking of tackling the wooden frame. But, after some thought and conversation with the guys, I've come to the understanding it may be better to start with the dome. Instead of trying to find a dome to fit the exact dimensions of a wooden frame I build, I'll now be able to build the frame to fit the dimensions of the dome. Plus, the dome is WAAAY cool sitting on a workbench!

Right now, there is a parts run with the R2 Builder's Club on the Aluminum Laser Cut Dome. So, I've managed to get my name on the next run and should have a dome in the next couple of months. I also ordered my Rockler Bearings for the dome. For those who don't know, the bearing is what turns the dome. (Here's a shot of both the raw aluminum dome and the Rockler bearing)

Besides the aluminum dome, which seems expensive, what other alternatives did I have? Well, plastic. And honestly, with a bit of work, the plastic can look pretty, scratch that...damn good! Ed's droid had a plastic dome on it when I saw it for the first time on 1 January, and I forgot it was plastic until he said something. The picture at the top of this blog entry is a shot of his R2, seconds after I first saw him...

...see, not too bad at all, eh?! Well, then I saw Ryan's work on his aluminum dome (below), along with discussing it with Ed (Ed is in the process of upgrading his plastic to aluminum as well). I decided to go with aluminum. So, that's where I am as of 5 January,2009. Stay tuned! This should be an interesting ride!