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.


Fathers Day 2017

This year, this day, like every other year, I am just grateful for my kids being healthy & happy. I don't need cards etc to know that they love me, their smiles, hugs and kisses tell me this. They're asking me questions about life, Star Wars & me as a kid, show me this.

So when your youngest makes you a card at Brownies and really put thought into what I call her lol, that's something special. At first I thought, cool, collar and tie design......

Then I opened it up to read these words from her.....my little Padawan.....

Posted up on my Instagram feed too.

I'm not the easiest person to 'buy' stuff for lol, so this year I helped out by getting the wife a t-shirt I'd found on etsy for me, from the kids....
WOW......this version must now be classed as a limited edition lol, as colours available are only now 'white' & 'cream' options.... Check out 'uchiclothing' for these and more stuff.

(as with other links, I would just like to say that I'm not affiliated with the links I post, I just like giving them the respect, and helping to spread the word of work they do)


Jessika 'Testor' Pava - helmet - 2.3

With my daughters timely reminders that I've not done any work on her costume lol, I got back on to working on her helmet.

I've been reading but mostly watching since I started this project, You Tube videos of how to cast helmets and this multi-part tutorial has been invaluable source of info for a first timer, budget build attempt at casting a helmet.
Click on the picture to take you to his You Tube Channel
He stopped posting due to work commitments but as his viewing numbers show, he has been useful to others.


Here's the start of me applying cardboard around the edges.
the force awakens rebel pilotthe force awakens rebel pilot

I've also ordered some clay, and next will be to buy silicone tubes.
Am looking forward to this with each little step lol.


R5-D4 Trading cards 2017

Since my first post on my mini collection of R5-D4 trading cards,
I've found a few more.

This was my collection back on my first post back in 2014.

I wanted to find and collect (finances permitting) all the available trading cards which feature (and there aren't many) R5-D4, just as a fun thing to do.

I made up a stand, at the time as my collection was small.

But with the addition of a few more cards,
I'll need to think of a way to display them better.

Here are the new cards added to the collection:
Interesting to note that both views of R5 show him with a round skirt.
Some of the body's did actually have round skirts,
but the 'standardised' flat sided skirts is usually the one
seen and even drawn up.
This can also be seen in the card red boarder card below.
(on my 'to get' list)

This sparkly version is a newer of the plain standard 'grey background' card.
The back is also updated compared to the 'grey' pic version below

~~~~~~~~~~~ This one below, is still on my 'to get' list.


As mentioned in the previous post, another style of trading cards that have become more prominent, is the 'sketch card'. These are artist drawn ones that relate to the films characters. They're rare and hard to find tho, especially here in the UK!

Whilst searching this artist caught my attention, Marsha Parkins.
She created these cards for Topps for Rogue One.
These pics were from an eBay sale (not her's) that I was watching.....$125.00 US Dollars!!
Plus postage to the UK..... 

It's not R5-D4, but R5-SK1 who is red & white
and there aren't to many with this colour scheme,
so it's a nice connection
I'd like to add this one at some point......if possible.


Centre Leg - Film version **UPDATE 1.4**

So i got home from work Friday 26th and gave the components a lite sanding over the primer paint.

I then set up my hi tech spray booth........My cardboard box......and set up the components for spraying. After a few coats, I left them to dry. It has been very hot here in the UK the last few days, so it wouldn't take long to dry.
new all white components
Saturday again the weather was fair, after a massive thunder storm early hours of the morning.
Out came my spray booth and i got on with clear coating the components. Again, these didn't take long to dry. A few hours later, I started to fit the components onto R5's centre leg and foot shell. They all fitted.
r5d4 centre leg

I dug out a tube of silicone sealant, but it had gone off at the ends. I cut it open to find the inside middle was still okay, so I scooped the good stuff out and used some to fix the front and rear ankle details onto the centre leg. Applied some masking tape to secure in place till it had set.
r5d4 centre leg
silicon applied to fix ankle details in place
r5d4 centre leg
ankle details taped into place till silicone set

r5d4 centre leg

r5d4 centre leg
The new centre leg & foot shell, pre-weathering

r5d4 centre leg
Rear ankle detail taped into place
Just back from a weeks mini-break..... Next up was to weather the new components to better blend in.


Centre Leg - Film version **UPDATE - 1.2 - centre foot shell**

With all the other work going on, the part that would need some real thought was the new side foot shell panels.

The original ones I made, were screwed onto the main shell, so these new ones will be too.
Centre foot shell with side panel removed.
Semi-circle at top of opening
is there to help remove the centre leg securing bolt.

First panel cut out, next was to apply watered down PVA glue.
This helps seal the wood for spraying, strengthens it as well.
Once done and dried, a light sanding of the edges & faces was carried out.

I marked out the second panel,

And then primer sprayed up the lot.

Next will be to spray up the lot in white.


Centre Leg - Film version **UPDATE - 1.1 - ankle details**

I already had the plans for the ankle details, which are available via www.astromech.net forum, so it was just a case of marking up some wood and cutting them out and shaping them.

detail pics:
Drew up a template and marked out on the wood the 'detail'.
Notice that only one of them has the upper 'tab' marked on it.

Next up was gluing the two pieces together.........then cutting out the details...

And here's the first on.

I sanded the edges and faces, before applying wood filler to the cut sides & faces.
Had to stop for food, then I was back out in the garage, marking up the second 'ankle detail'.

And here they both are, cut out and wood filler applied.
Left to dry over night, before sanding and extra wood filler where needed.

.....these versions as with the ankle cylinders, don't have any blue (that can be seen in the photos), so will be just white. Which is fine as they are going to be weathered to blend in with the centre leg.

The top 'tab' would normally be blue (or dependent on your choice of droid colour) and also there's a small rectangle recess, which would also be coloured accordingly. 

** I uses normal everyday tools, the hand saw as can be seen in the pic .
The most 'hi-tech' tool I have is a borrowed jigsaw,
meaning these projects are not beyond anyone's abilities to try **

Centre Leg - Film version **UPDATE - 1.0 - ankle cylinder**

A long time  ago.......... ;-) I realised that my nagging conscious wasn't going to let me sleep anymore lol.

This (zoomed in) image of R5 rolling away from the droid lineup, shows R5's alternate centre leg/foot shell.

The obvious things you can see is that there are:

  • no side crescents on the foot shells.
  • the ankle cylinder & wedge, are white (no silver or blue, like the outer leg)
But when you look even closer, you can just make out that the 'centre leg' is actually fitted with 'ankle details'. Well it would do wouldn't it, as it was an outer ankle unit.

For more on this, check back on my first blog via this link below:

So, as I already had a spare ankle cylinder.....as my original centre leg was built to the club plans (based on R2 and all Astromech's having a 'standard' build) & before I fully knew about R5's centre leg incident during filming (see the link above for more). I thought I'd do a little bit of upgrade work.

So I dug out the spare cylinder/wedge and checked it would fit the centre leg fixings I already had installed. Yep, me and the plans in perfect synic lol.

Next I sanded the cylinder and then primer sprayed it ready for the next stage.

Next I'll spray it up with Satin white from Plasti-Kote, once I've finished the other parts.
This and the primer I bought from The Range (shop in the UK).


** LEGO Land Star Wars weekend event **

Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May

Lego lands annual Star Wars weekend.

Members of the UK R2 Builders joined 'Joker Squad', 'Sentinel Squad', 'UK Rebel Legion' & the 'Mandolorian Mercs uk' to celebrate May the 4th be with you.

Lego Land Windsor 2017

Due to the early start on the mornings setting up, we were accommodated in one of the two conference rooms in the hotels. Due to the distance, myself & Emma, traveled up the night before. Emma had saved me a spot to set up my camp bed :).

Because of the nature of this event, there are no pictures of the droids
with children or adults!

Saturday 29th
The Droids were split up into two groups, our group were at the far end by Heart Lake City. We drove around to a side gate entrance and unloaded. Our spotters, kept watch whilst we moved the cars back to a close by parking area.

R2-D2 Peckam
Jason's R2D2 unloaded, set up & ready to go
R5-D4; Dome: Astromech Droid
Me installing R5's dome with Chris looking on.

The surface is very large cobble stones, it's also layed out to flow water into drains to stop areas flooding. This means that there wasn't anywhere to really drive the Droids around. So we found a spot to 'park' them and let the crowds come to them lol.

R5 with Sam's R2-Q5 & a guest BB8
This BB8 was a child who wanted to re-wear his costume (before it got to small). Last time was at Celebration Europe 2016 in London.

 R5 wasn't happy with all the Jawa attention!
................Brought back 'Bad Motivator' memories lol

Jason's R2 wanted to meet 'His maker' lol.
And attracted some unwanted Imperial attention!

The Rebels & Imperials received lots of attention from the visitors, lots of group photos which can be found on their respective websites/blogs/twitter etc.

The park wasn't to busy which I was surprised about, the possible reason for this was
that (here in the UK) Easter Bank Holiday weekend had only just happend the previous week or so, so kids etc would of been on half term. This was though a good thing, as it meant we got to have a breather between photo opportunities,
to give the static droids the once over,
and in Sam's case, to give his dome a quick polish lol

At 12:30pm our group stored the droids in a side room for us to be able to head off and find lunch, which had been supplied by LegoLand.

Then at 1pm, it was back to load up the droids in Lee Towersey's awesome R2 Van, and head to our afternoon staging area, which would be at the top/entrance to the park.
R2D2 Van,
Me & Paul

Three droids, and four 'adults' lol, loaded up into the back of the R2 van,
the faces tell you how much jokes we had :D
My R5, Sam's R2-Q5 & Jason's R2-D2

Whilst setting up the droids and giving them the once over before re-entering the park from a side gate. We bumped into Chewie, having a five minute breather.

R2-D2, Chewie & R5-X2

Nearing the end of the day the Sun made a guest appearance which meant we had to retreat into the shade for Chewie's sake lol
droid; astromech; uk r2d2 builders club

Droids lineup

This pic shows the ques for photographs with the visiting guest. We had got to do some limited driving around, but once we were parked up, that was it. Chewie's handler organised an orderly que so everyone was able to get their photo chance.

This pic you have have see on my Instagram profile.
Jason, Sam, myself & Oliver

We finished up about 6pm and loaded the droids back into Lee's van. He then dropped us off back at the car parks for us to unload and then load up our cars. Some tho were staying for the Sunday, and stored their droids in a secure location.

I headed back with Emma & Lee to have a sit down, rest, chat and eat some pizza.
Before I finished packing up and started on my journey home.

Another event under R5's belt and a sense of achievement in helping out with the other groups in raising £15K