New Blog cover picture 2016

Decided to update the title page picture with one of my actual R5.

Celebration Europe 2016

The original one was a classic, but thought one of my R5 was overdue for his own
build blog.This one was taken by fellow (European) builder, Felix Beyer.
He took loads of pictures at Celebration Europe & this is one of a few of R5.


Feel The Force Day - Peterborough 2016

October 1st see's Feel the Force Day return

What is Feel the Force Day?
Feel the Force Day events are film and TV conventions with a difference. We design our events around disabled people and make them as accessible as possible. We understand access does not just mean a disabled loo and a ramp, it’s about attitude, contact and all the subtle things that make things easier.


Loads of costuming groups will be attending & I'm able again to attend this year with R5.
Check out their website for loads more about what's happen.

R5's list of repairs, not just a Bad Motivator!

R5 is pretty dependable, I know that everything is reliable, won't break and will run/work every time.

He still get's a regular once over, nut's checked, battery's charged, wire connections checked etc every few weeks, even though he doesn't get out much lol. And of course, he gets all this done pre an event.

So I was a bit lost when:

  • The dome rotation would 'catch' on something now and then??
  • The smoke system wouldn't produce any smoke, tho the pump was working??
  • Sound 3 (sad sound) stopped working, but the other sounds were OK??
So once home, I started to look into the above issues.

The first one was one of the three dome mounting bolts, had unscrewed and dropped down, so catching on the rotation rings mounting screws. Phew! A drop of thread lock and this was sorted.

As for the sound issue.....?
It worked once on testing, but then failed to repeat, So this will require me taking out the whole sound board to be able to test with my PC. And due to limited time due to family and attending next event in a weeks time, I didn't want to take it all out to then not be able to fix, to then have to re-fit it again. Just a waste of time!

And finally, the smoke.....or lack of it lol.
The pump's fixing (sticky pad) had come loose, handy, so I disconnected the power, and removed the system. On testing it, the pump was OK, just no smoke. On removing the tube from the e-cig, I found that the positive contact wire had come loose from it's solder point. Therefore, no connection = no smoke.

Lucky for me tho I had a new unit already made up (made last year). I wanted to make an easy to work on unit, for removing etc. So I mounted the pump & e-cig onto a new mini board and screwed this to the inside frame. This way there will be less strain on the e-cig contacts, due to bending when filling it up each time.
bad motivator
New smoke system unit
bad motivator
New smoke system unit installed
 All fixed and ready for his next trip out,
Feel the Force Day, Peterborough, October 1st 2016


Chippenham Sc-Fi Day 2016 - Event Report

R5 was loaded up into the car and my Son was attending with me again, in his Han Solo costume. Also, Karen was a volunteer helper for the actual event.

The drive from Bristol to Chippenham is not a long one & we arrived earlier than I had planned, due to there being no traffic.

The short distance from car park to the Hall, R5 attracted a few stares and 'oooh look, R2' lol :D. Inside people were set up & setting up still, I missed Paul Felski with his awesome B9 Robot from the Original 'Lost In Space' tv show, along with other film classic Robots.
Lost the photo of Paul with his B9 robot...but there are pics on the Chippenham FB page.

The event is spread out over a wide'ish area, to include not just indoor, but outdoor too. There was Jedi training in the Emery Gate shopping centre, with Andrew Lawden, and fellow Astromech builder Mark Enright with his Batmobile Steamer, along with other prop cars.

The event opened at 10am and was busy straight away. The Milton Keynes Garrison, Southern Troopers were just a two of the groups attending. Marvel characters as well as Predators & Dalek's roamed the halls.

R5 had lots of fun with kids big and small lol. And entertained all day, even with his 'bad motivator' (more on this in another Blog post).

Chippenham sci-fi 2016
R5 with some fan's of his lol
Chippenham sci-fi 2016
what are the chance's of R5 meeting BB8...?

Chippenham sci-fi 2016

Chippenham sci-fi 2016
R5 entertaining two new friends (just in front of him)
Late afternoon, Pam & Clem had a walk around and posed graciously for pictures with guests and Cosplay'rs alike.
Pam Rose & R5
A Wookie, Han JJ Solo, R5D4 & Clem So
Pam Rose & Clem So with the MK Garrison
Imperial Officer - Pinup style
Karen told me she wanted another outfit that was a bit informal for events, yet hopefully instantly recognisable.

She had seen a 50's 'pin-up' style outfit that she was able to create without it costing the earth. So after buying the recognisable Imperial belt & buckle, teamed up with a grey pencil length skirt, black body & the hardest item to find.....a short length, plain, grey cardigan she was happy with the look. Black stockings & black heels.

She also found the insignia badge, that she sowed onto the cardigan.
3D printed Imperial insignia
3D printed Imperial insignia
Her outfit for the day drew quite a few admires & lots of positive comments.

She wasn't to happy with one pic I took, but was defo smiling when Andrew Lawden commented on her outfit and happily posed for a pic with her lol.

We had to leave early, due to pre-arranged family commitments. But we had a great time & got to meet up with friends. Roll on next year.


R5D4 gets some screen time.....

 .......on 'Sky's Star Wars Greatest moments'

I was away at the time, but my friend Karen, recorded the program for me. She had already watched and posted up on FB about seeing R5 on the program lol.

I mentioned in my post 'Celebration Europe 3 2016 event-report PT3' about the mini film crew & Alex Zane and was a little thrown when he was stood next to R5. I did get a very quick picture and video. Mark Cox took this great pic of the filming.
Alex Zane, R2D2, R5D4
Filming for Star Wars Greatest Moments 2016
Also in the shot is R2 & Mike's yellow R2

Here are my screen grabs, lol...
Star Wars Greatest moments

Star Wars Greatest moments

Star Wars Greatest moments
This takes me back, I was just rolling R5 around and these guys asked if they could have R5 in their pictures. Then R4 & BB8 roll past and join the now growing photo opportunity for the first wave of attending visitors as the doors opened in the morning.

Star Wars Greatest moments
If you watched the programe, you'll also see R2-M80 (Matey, yellow) roll in front of us.


Chippenham Sci-Fi 2016

Only two weeks to go!!
Chippenham Sci-Fi 2016

Check out their page for all that's going on.

R5 will be attending & hopefully a few other members
of the R2 Builders group will be there as well.

This will be mine & R5's third year attending this event
since it started three years ago.

Click here for the Ticket's link

Famous guests who have apperared in
Dr Who, Red Dwarf as well as Star Wars

So that's September 17th, all details are on their website, link above.
Follow them on Twitter and then tweet your pics from the event :)


Jess Testor Pava - helmet - 1.2

I finished covering the outside of the helmet with resin to harden up the paper.
This make's handling of it a lot easier, without deforming the (paper) shape so easily.

Next was to start applying fibreglass to the inside of the helmet.

I started on the 'cheek' area first, as this is structurally not very strong, hence the cardboard supports, and with the weight of the fibreglass going in I didn't want additional strain being put onto them.

TFA X-wing Helmet
Fibreglass being applied to 'cheek pad' area
TFA X-wing Helmet

TFA X-wing Helmet
Work so far
Although this is only the first layer of fibreglass matt, it has already strengthened the helmet.
As there is a lot of external curvature work to be done, another layer of fibreglass matt will need to be applied in case smoothing the outer area breaks through.

I bought this kit for when I made R5's cone shape on his dome, and the resin is coming to the bottom of the tin, so will need to get some more soon.

Jess Testor Pava - helmet - 1.1

In part 1.0, I was getting used to the gluing together of the pieces of cut paper. One thing I discovered was that this design was actually for use with foam matting. Not a big deal I thought, until parts of the print were missing, as it assumes the thickness of the foam will replace the need for 'wall' sections. Never mind, I just got on with improvising lol.

Here is some of the missing pieces, the red highlighted sections.

TFA - Pepakura design
TFA - Pepakura design
TFA - Pepakura design
TFA - Pepakura design
Once I was happy with the basic shape, I started to reinforce the inside surfaces with more strips of paper to help with retaining the shape. I also added some pieces of cardboard for support and to help fix the front 'cheek' sections in place.
TFA - Pepakura design
Side/front view
TFA - Pepakura design
view from below, showing the support cardboard I added
TFA - Pepakura design
front/side view
I then mixed up a small amount of resin and started to apply it to the paper.
I had prev read up on this and using small amounts helps in a few ways.

  • The resin can go off quickly, so glooping can happen as your trying to paste it on.
  • As the resin soaks into the paper, the paper can sag and loose it's shape [hence why I went for applying more layers of paper.
Here is the start of applying the resin.
X-wing helmet TFA
Resin applied to helmet
X-wing helmet TFA
As resin goes off quite quickly, I made small batches to paint it on.
X-wing helmet TFA
Making my way all over the helmet
X-wing helmet TFA
I left this to dry, going back to checking it, lol.


Next project - Jess Testor Pava - outfit for my daughter - 1.0

The Force Awakens, Jess Pava

My youngest has always liked Star Wars and was supper excited that the new films have strong female characters to inspire and aspire too. Phasma, Rey, Jyn, and then when I told her about an actress who was a Stormtrooper in TFA & there is also a female rebel pilot (had to pause and rewind the DVD to show her Jess) she wanted to be all of them lol.

She was happy to have a dress up Rey costume for Christmas. But since making my Son's Han Solo costume, she since asked if I could make a Jess Pava Rebel Pilot outfit.

So my quest for info began days after returning from CE3.

The Rebel Forum has a large resource of information. This has & will come in handy, tho just like my Son's, the outfit will be a close representation of the outfit, due to a tight budget. But it will be the best as it possibly can be.

A friend from the UK Builders group, Colin A, is also on the path for his Son lol, tho he wants an Original Trilogy Rebel Pilot outfit. So, Colin had already done some research on jumpsuits, straps etc and kindly passed these on to me.

He also put onto pepakura. I've seen this type of work before, but it was an area I had no real need for with any of my previous projects. But this could be how I could make Jess' helmet. So I followed the sent link, printed off the 'plans' and got to cutting and sticking.

Work up to before my holiday....
pepakura - TFA Rebel helmet
pepakura - TFA Rebel helmet
pepakura - TFA Rebel helmet
pepakura - TFA Rebel helmet
I've done a bit more work on this since returning home, so will update soon.