UK R2 Buidlers Club - New Logo for 2017

The UK R2 Builders Club has been running for 6 years now
and it was time to upgrade the logo.

So I've now added and updated my Blog picture to include it.

New Club logo, added top right
If your interested in building your own R2 or any of the other Astromech's, have a flick back over my R5 build history,
see the column on the right (if viewing via a PC),
for short cuts to specific parts of my R5 build.
Or you can click on the links below to take you
to the world wide club forum & the UK R2 Builders page,
where you can join up and follow thousands of other builders
in re-creating their own Astromech Droid.

R2 Builders Club @ www.astromech.net

UK R2 Builders Club @ www.astromech.info

Both groups also have FaceBook public & builder pages.


Star Wars 'T-Shirt' Holiday Special (2017)


Well, with only a week left before the family holiday to Mickey Land, Florida.
I thought I'd post up a quick update.
I've ironed my mini collection of Star Wars T-shirts to wear once out there lol.

I'm also planning on taking some of my trading cards with me

(with plastic sleeves).
So find me on Instagram and if your in the parks same time as me, look out for the T-shirt of the Day post. And grab a card & a selfie lol.

Looking forward to wearing my Bristol/Star Wars top from uchiclothing

You-Tube link to their two, Star Wars inspired, T-shirt's. 
This one is my No1 top, out of all the t-shirts I'll be taking, lol,
tho I do have a VERY special 'green' one too ;)


Disney D23 Expo 2017 - R5D4 pin badge!!

Whilst searching up on eBay,
I found that these's!

A droid set of pin badges!

These pics are gleaned from internet searching...
(credit where possible has been given)

This group pic, posted by Jeremy Konrad.

These others are off eBay, no links, just search them up.

My fist thoughts were....fantastic!!
And then sadness at probably not being able to own one, well, not anytime soon lol

Then I noticed that this R5 has the 'round skirt' design, nothing new as this style of image appears on most of the trading cards, as I've mentioned in previous posts.

Then I noticed that this one tho had been given the 'film version', centre leg!
He has an 'outer leg' as his centre leg, therefore only having the ONE ankle cylinder!!
Check the first group pic to compare with R2.

Top marks to the person who didn't just copy an R2D2 body
and change his body panels to red lol

Well, I'm off to watch eBay for more Droids lol.


Throw back Thursday - 1

Just posted this up on Instagram, so thought I'd share.

Throw back to my first event attended with R5's.
He was still a work in progress and didn't even have a dome lol.

Dome was brought along and borrowed for R5 by my new fried Ian,
with his R4-1J droid.
The end R6 droid was Mark's from PodPadStudios.

Above grab from 'james_r5d4' account

Shout out to Jedi News!


R0-D4 dome upgrade 2017 - 1.4 - LED panel

I installed a second diffuser panel (plastic cut out of a large Milk bottle) to help reduce the LED's hot-spots. After testing the LED's in the last post R0-D4 dome upgrade 2017 - 1.3, I still wasn't sure if I liked the amount of flashing. It looked a bit too much.

So I removed all the 3mm ones and wired up just the five tri-colour LED's. I then hot glued them around the outside of the screen to help distribute their light. Having them face on was no good as these are clear type ones.

This seams to give a more subtle, subdued light display.

And here they are viewed from the inside.

click pic link below to a short You Tube clip showing them flashing.


Smugglers Bounty......R5-D4!!!

Being an R5 fan.....obviously, lol, it always bug's me that the little guy
get's over looked by toy people, clothing etc.
And one (and only one I'll be buying) that I wanted
was an R5-D4 Funko Pop figure.

Then a few weeks ago I saw on twitter a feed about Episode 1 C3-P0..... but that wasn't important to be lol, the back of the box was what people had spied.....could it be????

YES it was.....R5-D4.

Well here's the link to the Smugglers Bounty You Tube video
click pic to You Tube link

I don't subscribe to these sort's of things, my lose I guess,
but at least I now know that R5-D4 is out there....somewhere lol.

R5's transport sledge 'upgrade work' pt 7

Had time at the weekend to finish off cutting out more wood from the sledge.

Time and thought has to go into where to and where not to cut!
As you need to think about any potential weak points. Hence the rounded hole edges etc.

Once all were cut out and edges taken off with a file and then sanding.
The frame top section was re-attached.

The frame is now no effort to lift, I don't have to tense up my body/arm to lift it by itself.

Next was to apply the first touch-up coat of paint to the cut areas & to give the whole frame a fresh coat.

R0-D4 dome upgrade 2017 - 1.3

After working on the sledge, I needed to give my bench a tidy up. I was going to re-install R5's smoke system, more on that in the other post. The other box of bits was the new set of flashing LED's I had planned on using for R0's dome light PSi style panel.
Two types of LED's, blinking ones & tri-coloured LED's (x4 off)
This piece of cardboard was a test card to display the LED's to get an idea of the random layout required. And to see how they looked through the frosted piece of plastic, that can be seen at the bottom of the picture. There is already a frosted piece fitted in the dome, but this second piece helps to diffuse the light more.

Link to last attempts at dome lights.

Version 1

Version 2

I took some short videos, so will post this up once I've edited it together.


R5's transport sledge 'upgrade work' pt6

This was something I had had planned since building the sledge to get its weight down. It was a strain to lift it by itself when I first made it, thinking it had to be to support R5's weight.

So I marked out areas that could have material removed, not near corners or stress points, used a large wood bit for radius and drilled and jigsaw'd out some material.

I've not done anything to the top area......yet.....as it was getting late. But am looking at the 'double' layed section that extends to support the top of R5.

It is now a lot less effort to lift it, just by itself. More to come......

FLASHBACK - A year ago today Star Wars Celebration 2016

A year ago today I had arrived at the Excel Centre in London and was unloading R5 along with the other guys and girls of the R2 Builders club. Once what we could help with was done, myself Ian & Matt, newly acquainted, went off for a pre-opening walk to check out the event.

Whilst exploring we were amazed to see THE Steve Sansweet!

I waited till he had finished chatting to others and asked if I could have my picture taken with him. It was early, but he graciously agreed.
Myself & Mr Steve Sansweet

I was star struck lol, and didn't even think to give him one of my freshly printed Trading Cards.


'R5-D4 - Events page 2017'

I didn't think I would have many events to attend this year,
but I do have two more penciled in.

These have been added to my new

R5-D4 - Events page 2017

page tab at the top of my Blog page.


Click on the logo's below to take you to these sites for news and more info.

Feel the Force Day - Peterborough
September 2017


Leamington Spa Wars
December 2017

Both events will be attended by the UK R2D2 Builders Club

R5's transport sledge 'upgrade work' pt5

The small caster wheels on the skid where not up to the job and became a pain whilst loading into rear of car. But they needed to be small to keep the sledge at a height to fit in the rear of the car, so I'm not mad at them :D.

I looked at collapsible sack truck's but reports I've read recon that unless your droid is light, then they can't handle the weight. And I'm not up for spending loads of money on a solid fixed one. Plus the fact of then having to load for transport to events with already limited space, were also negative points.

I read on www.astromech.net that one builder had done a similar thing to my way of thinking. But instead of lifting brackets, he's used large threaded hand wheels. But how R5 is, foot heavy, I didn't want to be struggling holding the overhang of the sledge up with one hand, whilst trying to unscrew the locking hand wheels.

So my idea was to build a removable set of wheels, but sack truck style.
I cut up a piece of 18mm thick Plywood, attached two old, large, rubber'ish wheels and made up two brackets that hook underneath the transport sledge. The brackets were something I had keep from something that would of needed fixing brackets lol. Always good to keep stuff. One of the brackets I bent and is a little bit snug fitting on the bent edge, but it goes on and stays put, so not the end of the world.

The wheel brackets have T-nuts on the rear face, countersunk. I only had hex bolts the right length, two of which needed to be cut to a more suitable length.

Tried it out last night and it didn't break :D
 Wheels fitted, next was to mark out the bracket position.

 Countersunk T-nuts, as this is the face that will be up against the sledge.

And here it is test fitted, before I then gave it a mini test run, lol.

The metal brackets are very strong, and should last.
But if they don't I can fabricate some new ones.

Next up is to fit some sliding strips to the rear of the sledge.
Less resistance, point contact etc.


R5-D4 Trading cards collection 2017 **UPDATE Pt2**

Few posts back I said about the cards I had seen to add to my
R5-D4 trading card collection.

Found two more (affordable ones) and now I have them.

First one was this one on the right...

This card version is the 'blue' one, there is another version of this one but it is the 'red' version. These though are selling for a LOT more than I'll be paying for at the moment. But it's on my list.

My second card was again, another 'multi-colour' version. It's a 'Masterwork' R5-D4.
I wasn't expecting the card to be as thick as it was, it's 2mm thick! This version is the silver/black one, there is also a blue/black one too. The colour's relate to the inner picture boarder.

Whilst searching aroumd I found a fun box to store my R5 trading cards in. It's from the Rogue One series and I got this empty one off eBay for about £4 inc P&P.
Rogue One trading card case
May need to add some padding inside on the ends of the case.....
These cases usually come with cards and are on eBay for about £10.

R5-D4 Trading cards 2017 **UPDATE**

Big thanks to Lee Towersey for these, I received my new 'Blue' carded R5D4 trading cards (a few weeks back) and like the previous 'Red' carded set, they look fantastic!!

Check out Lee's page.

 Rear of card

So if your out at an event here in the UK, don't forget to ask if I have one to give away.

Future Project

Bought these two A4 size sheets of vinyl for colour sample matching....
'Dark red' (left) overlay-ed with 'red'
Doesn't show up to different in the pic, but it is noticeable.
The 'dark red' the preferred choice.


R0-D4 dome upgrade 2017 - 1.2

Finished off attaching the location blocks.

Glued and then screwed from the underside.

Once these were all done, I re-attached this new base ring to the Dome.

One thing I didn't get round to doing on R0's dome was his two side rear quarter panels. I wanted them to be blue, but didn't have time to do this before going to Celebration Europe 2016. Whilst there R5 was in much demand that I didn't get around to swapping over the domes and driving R0-D4 around. Then once home, he was put back on the shelf (dome) and I forgot about the panels.

So I decided to spray them up. Using a strong clear bag, I masked off the two sections.

Next up was spraying them with metallic blue.

And whilst I had time, I did some light weathering to the dome to better match-up with R5's body. Didn't want to go mad as this dome may not of seen sand lol, but still needed to be grubbed up a bit.
 The top has had the weathering toned back a bit since this photo.
I may put on my list of things to do, a set of correct dome rods.

Went and ordered the new metal strip that will be used to make up the new skin ring, which will replace the original wood one.
Ordered on Monday 26th from:

Metals4U (here in the UK),

they supply cut to length/thickness/width from a range of materials.
It arrived the next day!! WOW!!


R0-D4 dome upgrade 2017 - 1.1

Measured and cut out the ring yesterday. Then marked up where the bearing location studs will go, in relation to the domes skeleton frame work.
And here it & R0's dome, next to R5's dome, for ref work on how I did it etc. Next up was to mark out the recessed parts for the studs.
And then I drilled and countersunk the holes used to fix the new ring to the skeleton frame.


Next up was to make the stud location blocks. These are thicker than the base ring and help locate the dome securely onto the bearing. I marked the skeleton frame position onto the base ring and then cut out some blocks from 18mm thick plywood. Once I had the position of the stud marked, I drilled out a slightly larger hole so there is clearance allowing for misalignment with the studs. I then placed the ring on the bearing, and using the studs as a guide, I glued the blocks into place.
I did these one at a time. Once the glue was dried, I then drilled and screwed the blocks in place.

Here's the view from inside the dome.
Once these are all in, I then need to look at the new metal neck skin.....


R0-D4 dome upgrade 2017 - 1.0

Well, it needed to be done, so I started re-looking at how to convert the R0 dome fitting/connection set-up, to match R5's which now sits on a rockler style bearing.

Going back through my photo's, I needed to remove the lower outer neck skin, as it was secured into place with pin nails. These go into the main connection ring which needs to be replaced with a thinner piece of wood to allow space for the bearing to sit up inside it.

And so it begins....
It is heartbreaking to have to destroy work you've done, and if the 'wobble' issue wasn't such an issue, this work wouldn't have needed to of been done. But the new set up is better and more stable. As you can see the panel pins go into the lower base ring. Also started to undo the screws that hold the skeleton uprights to the base ring, just seen upper right of the picture.

And after five minutes of praising and removing of the pins, the outer skin ring is off.
The internal 'groove' part of the neck detail is still in place. This was fitted to the skeleton uprights and also has fiber glass on the inside. The 'damaged' area is where it had some PVA glue on it to help with the outer (removed) ring.

This you can see better in the last picture below.......

Next up is to mark up, and cut out a new base ring, like how I did for R5's. Then its re-fixing time lol.