Vintage Futaba 'Ripmax' M4 & M6 for R5-D4 - 1.0

......photo from the set, R5 operator with transmitter....

On my searching and discovery of R5 pictures over the years for references for his build etc, I found the above pic of R5, [astromech.net], we'll call them his 'technical operator crew'.
It show's the original electronics of these Droid(s), in the open space where his dome/head would be. For me tho was the remote control transmitter being held by the operator.

I thought it would be a nice addition to have and at show's, could help people travel back in time to when the film would have been made. So I started my search for info related to this type of controller.

The controller is a Futaba.
From the image, there is a black 'knob' on the right hand side top & a switch on the left.
From my searching, I have found that this could either be an M3, M4 or M6 unit.
(the number represents the number of channels)
I say either as there are two versions (that I have found) but these are slightly different
(the top panel switches & black buttons seen in above pic) I've settled on this being an M4 version (until convinced otherwise lol).

Also the versions that were imported into the UK, where I believe, done so under the name 'Ripmax'. So USA versions are logo'd as just Futaba, but UK ones as Ripmax/Futaba (see pic's below).

Ebay searches through up a few of these on a semi-frequent basis and at not to extreme prices. So the internet history info search was on to find the correct version that I wanted.

Then last week, I found not one.....but two for sale!
Not only that, but the two were being sold as a pair for only £22!!
An M4 & M6 version.
Futaba M4 transmitter
Futaba M6 transmitter
There's always a catch tho lol.....no antenna's.
UPDATE: Thanks to Alan, a fellow R2 club member, for helping source a link to antennas.

I have also found that modeller's have converted these to 2.4Ghz's in order to fly their vintage plan's which have also been converted to the new frequency.
UPDATE: Thanks also goes to Brad and his knowledge, this can quite easily be done.
So this could be something for the future as well.

The units should be arriving the end of this week, but they arrived Tuesday.
They power up, do need some TLC and a clean, but for they're age, are not to bad.


Han Solo costume for my Son....... Vest 1.9

Managed to get back on with working on Jay's costume for Celebration Europe [Sunday 17th July].....thanks Karen.

First off was cutting out the three remaining loops and these along with the rear pocket, were hemmed.

I next added the stitch lines to the upper chest and across the rear, along with the stitch line around the lower waist line.

Next was then machine sewing on the pocket. flap & loops.

A stitch was added to the opening edges of the pocket to help the flap sit flat

Next for the Vest is the lining.....

'R0 dome build - 4.3 - 'electrical - LED's'

I bought an LED 'breathing' effects kit, practical self soldering. But its effects were less than I wanted. So I dug out the fibre optic wire I'd bought ages ago for something else and linked them up to some multi colour LED'S. These were also bought for use with the fibre optics.
I then cut lengths and carefully heat shrank them over the multi LED's, and then drilled multiple holes and randomly super glued them into place. The two main Blue LED's were also just in my box. Not sure if I should use one or both sets, as the Blue LED's are bright...

Here's a short video of the light's in action.....


**Celebration Europe 2016**, less than a month to go!

These ARE the droids your looking for.

'R0 dome build - 4.2 - 'neck painting'

Oh..... I forgot to include the work i did for the neck ring.....

I used detail pin striping to create my design for R0's neck details. I used this technique on R5 for his top stripes.
It's good because it's tacky enough to stick but not enough to pull paint off, lol. Also it stops the dreaded 'paint bleed'!

Next was to cover the rest of the dome, with A3 sheets of paper. Masking tape was applied to it and then onto the pin stripe edge.

And then it was spray time.

Removing paper and pin stripes.......paper/pin stripes rubbish.

And the finished detail...


'R0' dome build - 4.1 - 'final spray painting'

Another busy weekend but managed to finish everything off ready for Monday.

I cut out and applied silver tape to lid's 'groove'.

Next I masked off dome......
And cut out for the squares........

I missed (in the ref pics & also on Sigge's plan's) that the recess box are colour matched, so cut these out and masked them off too. 
I decided not to spray the two rear panels blue. Decided to go with the R5 'only red' style (which then matches R5's body).

Couldn't wait till Monday to spray, so back to basics and sprayed up the dome lid at home, outside. No wind which was a plus too.


removal of masking tape.
No paint bleed (hardly lol)
And once all the masking was removed.....

Think this was more paper saturated with paint rather than bleeding under the tape.
Later once dried, I trimmed down a paint brush suitable for painting the square grooves and upper two rear panel grooves. I sprayed silver into a small container and applied it with the brush. Whilst this was drying, I cut out more silver tape for the main lower edge groove as I wanted this to match the top lid groove.
Silver neck groove tape
Silver painted grooves
The silver paint is silver, which match's R5's grooves, but the tape is more 'chrome' than silver.

This morning I brought the lid & dome back into work, as wanted to get the clear coat on.
Clear coat on.

Next is:- the light panel & weathering the dome.


'R0' dome build - 4.0 'white gloss spraying of Dome'

This afternoon's work was spraying up the dome with gloss white paint :)

Utilising works spray booth again, I sprayed up the dome and lid.

The lid is now finished so this can be clear coated and then the silver strip can be applied.
The dome still has a bit more work to be done, red & blue spraying and also silver detailing.

This is what I'm planning for the Dome to match up with R5's body.

'R0' dome build - 3.9 'Radar Eye - silver detail'

Was in two minds about how best to apply the 'silver' detailing to the radar eye. I found that my small paint brushes had seen better days......so painting was out the window lol. So I got out my silver tape that I had used on R5's lower neck ring. I measured and cut it to width.

I applied the two side grooves first then applied the full length groove.

I decided not to spray the radar eye, as only have gloss clear and I want matt clear.

Test fitting on the dome.

Next is white spray paint.....



'R0' dome build - 3.7 'Primer spraying of Dome'

Dome lid - shaping the angle
Once the fibre glass had hardened, I used my block plane to remove any high spots etc. I want the surface to be below the angle so that the top coat of filler requires less sanding and shaping. Then I applied filler to the holes and uneven places and once dried, sanded it smooth.

This morning I took the dome, lid & radar eye into work to spray them up in primer, using my works spray booth/extractor fan unit with rotary table.

Next was the lid.....
I sprayed the underside edge first before turning over to spray the top
The primer shows up area's I've missed and need to touch up. Mainly around the square's where I've smoothed the edges to blend as a radius, and then forgot to PVA seal. Not the end of the world. Also the dome lid, still needs some filler.

Lastly was the radar eye.....

And a group shot lol......
Once dried and area's that need sorting are finished, some lite sanding and then I'll apply some more primer.


'R0' dome build - 3.6 'Skin'

Small update:

I made a start on cleaning up the lower edge filler. Now it has a flat angled face, I can apply filler to the inside under-face channel area.

 Lowe edge filler work, cleaned up and edge made 'sharp'.

Also finished and applied the last square panel.
Rear was grooved again to help the material to flex and bend to the shape of the dome.

'R0' dome build - 3.5 'Radar Eye - side gaps'

There was a slight gap around the outer edges of the radar eye as it doesn't still sit flush to the dome skin. So as I'd seen this done before, I used masking tape to protect the wood dome skin & located the fixing holes.

Next I mixed up some filler (not fibre glass) and liberally applied it to the edges of the radar eye. I then screwed it into place, so that the excess filler would ooze out.

Before the filler dried fully, I scraped away the excess (no picture of this), to make life easier later. Once dried I removed the radar eye and cleaned up the edges.

'R0' dome build - 3.4 'Skin - recessed box no.3'

Did some smooth sanding on the dome skin etc. Now silky smooth, ready for painting.

But first I still need to work on the last rear recessed box.

So I cut out the recessed pieces and started to glue them in place.

This time I cut the recessed pieces as two parts, not four. This was a LOT easier to glue in place.
There's a packing piece of wood to spread the load of the clamps, and this also helped the skin to shape more curved at the opening. I didn't take a pic of the other side, but it looks the same lol.