Large Data Port [L.D.P.] upgrade

After saturday's event, there are a list of things I need to sort out/change/complete.

Firstly is the Large Data Port. I followed the plans, but probably didn't work out the off set. So mine appeared to 'stick out' to far. Easily sorted. I pulled it off [as it's not permanently fixed yet] and marked about 5mm to come off the front. Then I used my coping saw to trim it down.

Today in work I used the belt sander to smooth the cut edge.

Then applied primer. And finally blue paint.


The Corsham Sci-fi family fun day 2013

Last month I mentioned that R5 would be making his first debut lol, even though he's not 100% complete. Well, a request for droids was made on the UK R2D2 Builders, Facebook page and so I offered R5's services, in his unfinished state.  :D

So we (and later on, the family) attended
The Corsham Sci-fi family fun day, Saturday  27th April.

With having to be in Corsham for 7:45am, I pre-loaded R5 into the boot the night before and strapped him in good. I then fussed over last minute things I was happy about on him :D lol. So didn't get to bed till midnight.......again.
This was obviously taken the morning before departing :)

The next morning, I was obviously excited, as was awake at 6:15am even before my alarm was due to go off hahaha. After getting ready and putting on my Official R2 Builders Club shirt [chuffed ;)] I set off.

Ian helped wheel R5 in and showed me my new temporary dome, a clear R3 type.
R5 sporting an R3 type dome, just to confuse everyone :)
I fitted the last remaining pieces to R5 before wheeling him into position along side three other quality build Astromechs Arther Astromech Emy & Zoe Astromech. Also a hybrid Dalek Caan & T3:E1,

After the offical opening ceremony, performed by Anthony Stewart Head, R5 was moved onto the platform next to K9.

A fitting tribute was paid to the Charity Sci-Fi's group president, Richard LeParmentier, a force choke by Darth Vader on all the guests, in honour of him. This little piece had become the norm for him at many events and also copied by fans around the world.

Vader uses the Force at the opening of the event :)
Dr Who K9
K9 looking puzzeled at R5 :D
Whilst Arther, Emy, Zoe, T3 & Caan, got to roll around the floor and interect with the guests :)
Zoe Astromech
Arther Astromech [R4]
The day finished for the guest around 4pm. Time fly's when your having fun.
Total raised was over £6,800.
This was devided between thress charities & the Actors Benevolent Fund.

For more pictures, please see my Facebook page: James R5-D4
Thanks for reading


Battlestations!!! ;)

What with R5 being on display this Saturday, am a little nervous, to say the least!!

Been trying to get as much done and finished before the big day, so yesterday, I sprayed up Leg No.2 white. I gave it a few coats, but as the can was running out, decided to concentrate on the outside/front. I won't clear coat it till the whole leg has been sprayed, but it still looks good.

I also sprayed silver the second Hub, that didn't turn out great the first time. And the rear strip for the Ankle Bracelet.

Then last night I started to assemble all the components I had for it. I first screwed into place the main Ankle Bracelet. It's screw although countersunk, is also covered when the Booster Cover is in place. Next on was the Booster Strut, which sits in the hole of the Bracelet and an angle bracket secures the top block to the leg. The Booster Cover then is just a push fit with the dowels, into the leg. The Ankle Cylinder [with wedge & holder pre-attached] are push fitted into place, along with the two Ankle Details. The Hub is also just pushed into place for now. And lastly the Horseshoe goes on.

Lastly, I started to dirty up the whole leg.

I've now fitted the Large Data Port, touched up the Octagon Ports edges with metallic blue, fitted the lower vent pocket mesh screen.

Outer Foot No.2 - UPDATE
Been working on the crescent detail, to finish off the top section of the shell. Also drilled out the knurled hose fitting holes and added the top strip detail. Only going to be able to primer it up for the show tomorrow.


I give you........R5-D4

So, this morning, the kids were out doing 'activities' and the wife was out too, and to top it all the SUN was out shining and the wind was still.

Didn't take two seconds to realise, now was my chance to 'do' some work on R5.

So I assembled R5, legs, feet, 'aluminium' strip to feet channels, battery box on to check for clearance etc.

Whilst assembling, a gentlman walking his dog, by himself, said [to himself or his dog], 'Look, it's R2-D2!' So I was chuffed it was recognisable, then a bit miffed he got it wrong! hahaha :D.

Outer foot R5D4
Test fitting of outer foot internal to leg

Then on with the rest of the legs and feet.

And the pictures you and I have been waiting for............

R5-D4 standing on his own three feet.
This shot show's Foot No.2 is still a W.I.P.
I didn't fit the booster cover etc or the horseshoe.
This shot shows R5-D4's rear, rear hatch, opening into his outer foot
And back round to the side.
Close up of the Battery box fitted.

I also fitted the fake aluminium strips to the channels of the feet. They are screwed in place and these will need a spot of paint on them.

And here is the 'trimming' I had to do so the legs would fit into the channel of the internal foot channel.

This leg still needed trimming, but this time along the thick part of it. As it was touching the shell. Found this out when the leg and foot were assembled and the wheels weren't sitting flat on the floor.


It's the little things that are sent to try us.......

Yesterday I cut some lengths of thin hardboard to be fitted into the channel of the outer feet [internal]. All good. Angled edges, then primered & silver sprayed them up, nice. These will be screwed into place eventually, as they would need to be removed to get the feet off.

So, whilst waiting, I thought I'd test fit the inner feet & outer feet shells, plus the battery box 8).....only to find they they didn't fit!?!?!?! They were a snug fit before, but didn't think anything wrong as it ment no 'play' between the leg and channel when clamped together with the leg/foot bolt! But the extra paint on the foot internal channel walls, was enough to make the snug fit an interferance fit!!  :(

There wasn't anything I could do about the internal channel walls........so out came the junior hacksaw and started on slicing off the inside face of the leg ankle [bolt area]. Got so far, then had to swap over saw as then had to try to cut through the brass bush I'd fitted. This wasn't any good as the amount needed was the same width as the blade which just slid off. So out came the drill on it's slowest speed [so as not to make any noise, as it was midnight in my garage lol] and fitted with a countersunk bit, slowly drilled/grinded the bush down. I could then finish sawing the wood down.

This was just enough for the internal foot channel to fit over the leg, bolt section. Phew. Of course, this means I need to re-spray this area, but with not so many coats this time, as you won't see this area once assembled.

I then had to repeat this operation on Leg No.2. Not so bad as this one wasn't fitted to R5's body!!! hahaha.

Determind to reassure myself all was OK, I fitted his centre leg, and fitted his outer foot. And am please to report that it all fitting and looks........ fantastic :D
Put a bit smile back on my face I can tell you hahaha.

I'll post up pictures at weekend :)


Richard LeParmentier (Admiral Motti) - RIP

Richard LeParmentier
Admiral Motti - AKA Richard LeParmentier RIP
I was fortunate to meet Mr LeParmentier last year at Corsham's Charity Sci-Fi. We had a family photo with him after getting his signed autograph. He was a friendly and engaged with us and took the time to ask my children questions about Star Wars etc. He then, let the kids have an extra signed photo of him for free!

Another icon from Star Wars has joined the Force, RIP.

Richard LeParmentier - Admiral Motti - RIP

Work update 2 - Outer Foot No.2 & Battery Harness Straps & Leg No.2

Leg No.2
Cut out ankle slot.
Finished sanding all over. But work still needed doing on the curve to get it smoother.
Then applied primer spray all over.
Then applied satin white, in stages, front/side faces then once dried, rear face.

Re-test fitted the 2nd outer foot internal assembly, and found that the leg end was to long for the channel. Basically, either the leg's hole was to high or the foot internal assembly hole was drilled to low or both lol. So I had to mark and cut off some material from the leg end and file smooth. This will need to be primed and sprayed again, not the end of the world as the slot & curved ankle area also need re-doing. Wasn't happy with how either looked so did some more work on them. Next re-sanding, primer, white.

Outer Foot shell No.2
What with R5 going to be on display, and whilst spraying up the leg. I decided to apply a few light coats of primer.
R2D2 R5D4 feet foot
Outer Shell No.2 WIP still
I also sprayed up the centre channel of the internal foot, visable when assembled.

Outer feet internals:
Applied primer to channel areas of the internal wheeled feet.
R2D2 wheels feet
Not the best shot, but this shows the internal side supports to stop the shell tipping
Then applied satin white. These are not perfect, but will do for now. When these are converted to the motorised version, they will be redone to a higher standard!
Started working on a 'strip' to cover the channel that will be sprayed 'aluminium'.

Battery Harness straps.
Hot glued on the blue details onto the two straps.
Then applied wood filler to the visable gaps.
Once dried, they were wiped clean of excess filler and will be touched up with blue.
Then I hot glued the straps into place on the battery box :)
R2D2 Feet
A before and after picture
R2D2 Feet
The Outer Foot Assembly No1....almost complete


Work update - Outer Foot No.2 & Battery Harness Straps & Leg No.2

Outer Foot No.2 work:
Internal Work:
Cut, screwed, drilled & fitted centre piece to clamp sides together. Made some spacers as the internal frame was a bit slack. Made up some side supports, to keep the shell level and square.

External Work:
Cut out the front and rear 'channels'.
Glued on the front plate where the knurled hose fittings go.
And also the rear plate.
Bonded on the last top piece of the shell.
Drilled and screwed side panel detail on, for hole ref at the moment. Still need to create the curve and top strip detail.
Started adding internal supports to stop the shell from 'wobbeling' on the frame. [two added so far].

Outer Foot No.1 work:
Silver sprayed up the front and rear strip details.
Started applying black paint and smudging it to look oily and dirty - W.I.P.

Battery Box Harness Straps:
Silver sprayed these two up.
Metalic Blue sprayed up all four details, these's will be glued on and additional filler added under 'blue' parts [and painted blue] once all dried.
R2D2 R5D4

Leg No.2
Applied wood filler over the back face of leg no.2 to cover the grain.
Started Sanding curved area, then applied some primer. This showed up where more filler was needed and which was then applied.

Finished of the second recess for the under shoulder stabiliers the other day, needs cleaning up round the edges with some wood filler.

Marked the ankle slot position, but this showed that the curve of the ankle was flatter on one side. This i wasn't happy with, so mixed up some car body resin & applied to area that needs building up more.

Transferred fixing points onto leg, ready to be drilled, these can just be seen in above picture.


Booster Cover No2 - complete

I've also been using the silver paint [pot] & brush to do the grooves on the booster cover. I wasn't to happy at first as it wasn't going on to thick, was used to the model paint I'd used before which did it in one coat. But after a few coats, it's not looking to bad.
R2D2 Astromech Booster Cover

mark position on back face of booster cover for drilling and fitting of dowels.


Outer Feet No1 & No2 - internals = wheels

Machine mart bought two swivel casters for the front of the outer feet. Worked out how much needed to be cut out of the internal foot for the wheels to sit level with each other.
Fitted a pad then the wheel to it.
This was because the screw holes where to close to the edge of the internal sides

The four screws holding the caster on, had to be shortened, so as not to split the wood of the side panels.

Started working on the internal's for Foot No2. Drilled holes & cut corners lol.


Corsham sci-fi family fun day 2013

Corshams sci-fi family fun day

R5, along with a few other Astromechs, will be on display. Plus all the usual Sci-Fi regulars :)
Facebook Event page

Hope to see you all there!


Braided Hose - the SAGA continues

Wasn't 100% happy with the fit of my first attempt with the 'real copper' braided hose. As the gap around the hose and the hole in the knurled fitting was to large for my liking.

So saw these the other day and thought I'd try them, (sprayed up, of course).
R2D2 Braided hose
R2D2 Braided Hose
Well, I wasn't to happy with the colour, 'Brass', it was the only colour they had in the shop, less so of the fact the paint leaked out all over the can & my hand!
First i had to cut off the ends. Then trimmed the plastic tube inside. Although this didn't work, so I drilled out the Knurled fittings so the hose would fit properly inside.

Drilled out the second set of Knurled hose fittings to accept the braided hose. Used a drill bit to line them up in the small vice, before counter drilling them with a drill bit suitable to accept the hose. I'll fix the hose into the knurled fittings later.

Finished spraying the first pipe with brass spray, although it does look more gold than brass lol, this will get weathered down......a lot!

For the second hose I crushed the ends in the vice, this time, to release the hose end fittings.
Taped them up to prevent the braid from fraying and then started spraying them up in erm....brass.

Outer Foot No1 & Battery Box No1 - now in white

Finished Sanding the battery box.
Then on test fitting the braided hose & Knurled fittings, I found that the flex in hose (the rubber hose inside the braid) was causing the box to tip away from the outer foot shell at the bottom. The pivot point was the two catches at the top!
So drilled a pilot hole, then through into the battery box, then hammered a spiral pin through into place in the Outer Foot. The hole in the battery box was made slightly bigger for clearance. The battery box now slides over the two catches and locates onto the pin.
R2D2 outer foot, location pin for battery box
The spiral pin can just be seen sticking out of the curved section.
This is not a new idea, has been used in similar forms before.

Then this morning, out came the white spray can and got to spraying up the outer foot shell & battery box.
R2D2 Outer Foot & Battery Box, Braided hoseR2D2 Outer Foot & Battery Box, Braided hose

Also sprayed up the knurled hose fittings and battery harness straps with primer.


Outer Feet & wheels

My two youngest have upgraded their push scooters, so find myself with four scooter wheels ;-)
They could fit in temp feet, with just a little shaving off of some wood, to make them fit and to make R5 movable???

Well, that was the plan, but the wife 'reminded' me that the youngest's was NOT to be used lmao :D. So went back to the drawing board, will need to get some small caster style wheels.

Well I got to work on trimming the innereds to allow clearance of the wheels :)
Marked the position, drilled and countersunk the hole to allow the original fixing bolt to be used. Had to add a few washers for clearance to stop the wheel sliding side to side and then rubbing.

Just need to sort out some front wheels, to balance it all out.

Outer Foot No.2 - 1.2

Bonded on 2nd end panel, inside face panel and one of the top panels to outer foot shell.
Cut out crescent and new side detail, as realised i'd previously cut two the same, instead of mirror view [pic below]. PVA sealed them. Wood filler in the joins and gaps and sanded.

Cut out side plate [above pic] & glued the two side details in place. Applied wood filler around edges of these two detail

Cut pipe to length & width for curve & bonded into place. The extra pieces are to hold the inside face flush with the pipe.

Leg No.2

Sanding filler on 2nd leg. Marked ankle hole position & drilled it. Then pressed in my brass insert. Have to do some more filler work on the side as some of the wood joins are showing through, might even have to use resin!
 Well I opened up the join areas and filler with wood filler. So will see how this goes.

Ankle Bush