Merry Christmas gifts 2019

Being a Dad, Christmas gifts are usually simple stuff, unless specifically requested by me lol. This year I got boxer shorts, socks and a cool tie.....all STAR WARS of course lol

Best part tho was when putting them away, I realised that one pair of boxers matched up with the tie lol.
.........No I won’t be posting picks of me in this combo :D lol.

The Rise of Skywalker - Visual Directory

Treated myself to an early Christmas gift, ordered via Prime, it arrived Monday before Christmas.

Another great book, most interested in the droids section, specifically the Astromechs lol.


Another mini project 1.5 - TCD - almost complete

Last week I printed of a set of parts that I thought was the final design.....

.....it wasn't lol.

So over the weekend I did some more thinking and have done so me more changes, which I hope will be the final design.....and work.

I added some guide tabs, these are more for location of pieces when gluing together:

Next up was a clearance edge for a clip:

I needed a retaining clip for a plate:

And so as to not restrict movement of the plate, I needed to add a recess for clearance:
The angle below the recess is to prevent the retaining clip on the plate from catching.

I'll print a set off today and hopefully get it working tomorrow.
This set is being printed at 0.15 layer height, at a print speed of 50mm/s.
Just over 11 hours, so they will be ready for my return to work in the morning.


Film: The Rise of Skywalker [no spoilers]

Hi everyone,

(Spoiler Free post)
The Rise of Skywalker, Vue Cinema

I took the family along to watch the new film last night (no midnight viewing lol). We went to our 'local' Vue Cinema, was disappointed tho with the lack of merch, cup's with toppers was all they had!
Cup toppers, The Rise of Skywalker, Vue Cinema

About the film tho......what can I say........

From start to finish........
non-stop action, adventure = Star Wars!!

I loved it, the kids thought it was great!!
Will be going again to watch it soon lol!


Another Mini project 1.4 - TCD - micro motor

Been working on some more redesign’s for this project. Been working, learning how to creating catches, the mini magnets didn’t have enough force to work effectively.

Did draw up a new ‘axle’ for a rubber wheel, which comes off a tape deck (available off eBay). Only took two attempts to get the part to fit on the mini micro motor lol.
gear motor, 3D printing

3D printing,

This worked great so it's on to the next idea was adding an extension to this to add a second rubber wheel.
And here's the components in 3D view.
gear motor, 3D printing
The green part is the axle extension.


Baby Yoda - The Mandalorion

My youngest daughter is loving the ‘Baby Yoda’ as seen in The Mandalorion, and decided to have a go at drawing him. She created a video of her working.

Here’s a pic tho of her finished work.
She used charcoal pencils.

Pinewood Studios drive-by visit 2019

Monday we were in the area so decided I’d show the kids where some of his friends work lol.

We didn’t have access to the lot or anything, just drove past and stopped so I could point out where everything was.
Pinewood studios


Christmas Card 2019 - Lee Towersey

Received this cool Christmas card from Lee. As I wasn’t able to attend the group’s Xmas event on Saturday, he kindly popped it in the post.

The card was designed by Topps artist, Marsha Parkins and features a number of droids Lee has worked with over the last few years on the films.
The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Solo a Star Wars story to name drop just three lol.

Marsha has a few socials, Facebook etc, but checkout her gallery over on Deviant Art:


Event - The Rise of Skywalker, 'MIND' charity day

The Rise of Skywalker

This event was to celebrate the new film's upcoming release & also in aid of the charity MIND.

The R2 Club had been invited along by the Central Legion costume group, myself with R5 and Martin with his R2-D2.
Central Legion, The Rise of Skywalker

Early cold start to head up to Birmingham, arrived 8:30am. Martin arrived not long after.
We were met by Mel who organised the event today.

Set up....
The Rise of Skywalker promo event, R5-D4, R2-D2

Central Legion & MIND

As with all cinema events, you do find that there are quiet times between the films. The morning did have this, but the afternoon was non stop busy!
R2 with Princess Leia & the Death Star plans
This Princess had dressed up especially to come down to see all the Star Wars characters!! She was definitely the star of the show. And even joined in the group photos!

Central Legion, MIND, charity event

The event was attended by two photographers Donald Manning photography & Pete Bates  (cosplybypedro)! Check out their sites.
R5-D4 photo by Donald Manning
R5 picture taken by Donald Manning.

And these great one's of us two with the Manager of the cinema, by Pete Bates.
R2-D2, R5-D4, Central Legion, Odeon cinema

R2-D2, R5-D4, Central Legion, Odeon cinema

The end of the day came for us at 5pm. Central are a great bunch of people with a common interest. We we're welcomed by all and had a great day. Checkout the group for more photo's from this and other events they have attended.

Central Legion, costume group, star wars

Facebook,    Twitter,    Instagram


Another mini project 1.3 - TCD

So I have now named this project 'TCD' lol.

Monday I started to design up a 'box' to put the electronics in for ease. This was drawn up in AutoCAD Inventor. In my last post regarding switch relays, it had given me an idea on how this could also apply to this project.

'switch' - update:
I printed a lower plate that the switch could fit into. I wired a switch to activate an LED when the pressure was released.But the pressure required to keep the switch down wasn't achievable, so I'll have to think of another position to locate a switch.
TCD project

Back to the electronics box:
After a few redesigns and only a few actual test 3D prints, I'm really happy with the finished box. Here's my instagram post picture.
TCD project, electronics box, 3d printed
Really please that the two clips I designed actually work [on my second test print lol]. It's the fine tuning of the sizes, plus here, minus there so that the tolerances fit when they come together.

Ultimaker Cura image on the printer plate
TCD project - Ultimaker Cura

And here's the soldering up of the components that will fit inside it.
TCD projects, electronics
This version is for my first attempt, but this could be customised to by controlled by other methods. In the above picture, you have the 'remote control' [bottom left], a 'timer relay' [top orange box] and a 'micro voltage regulator' [right]. Not shown in this picture will be an LED to indicate power. At some point I want to fit another [probably a remote LED] to indicate via the micro switch.


Sounds for Droids - 2019 upgrade 1.0

How to build a sound module that can be triggered by a remote control transmitter.

The 12 channel remotes for controlling my R5’s sounds have, to my knowledge, never worked properly.
Think I’ve had three over the years plus the circuit board version that wasn’t what I thought it was, so was never used.

Holding the controller and the transmitter at the same time whilst trying to not draw attention to ones self at events (for the kids benefit of keeping the experience real) can be a bit of a handful.

I was all ready to bit the bullet and buy another one as my current sound setup has died. When Lee Towersey posted up a way to trigger sound directly from your transmitter switches using a relay!

I only have one three way switch available although I could possibly upgrade an ‘on/off’ switch to be able to operate more sounds as mentioned in Lee’s video.

So I’ve ordered one duel relay to test out. Checkout Lee's channel for the links also to the relay.

Next is to get a new sound board.


Another mini project 1.2

So to date I have printed of a few different component versions, trying to iron out bits and pieces. As I typed this yesterday afternoon, the 3D printer is printing three new upgrade parts after another weekend of testing, thoughts and ideas.

Pack 1 of o'rings came yesterday and the results looked promising when tested.
Pack 2 of o'ring should be here this weekend (though I think it’s the wrong size) along with the mini magnets and hopefully anything else I've ordered lol.

Mini magnets & a spare servo arrived. Can’t get over how small these magnets are!

I had the idea of adding a micro switch and LED for indication purposes, so this went into the upgrades that are being printed. Results: worked in principle but not enough force to activate it, so a reposition will be needed.

Due to testing and time, these prints are only at 0.2 layer height, so save on print time and so I can take them home to work on them lol.


Another mini project 1.1

Been revising and improving this project on CAD and 3D test printing components for fit.
I’ve already moved on from gear motors to a modified micro servo. Am still waiting on components to arrive from China etc these should hopefully arrive in the next week or so.

Found these micro magnets on eBay that I just had to get them to try out. 1mm diameter x 1mm length!!

Been working on the electronics and have this almost sorted. Found out a few things and am waiting on delivery of some replacement valve pots for one of the boards.

Next up is a new ‘wheel’ to be designed, possibly one with an o'ring to fit on.

'Droid Builders UK' a new central builders hub

A new central builders site for Droids has just gone live!
It's for all droid builders from Mouse to the new D-O from the new film
The Rise of Skywalker

With a lot of builders who have now become cross over builders in similar groups, the site aims to link all up together as a central point for news and info. It has links to the Facebook pages for the droid groups and also events being attended.

There is also a Twitter & Instagram account



Event: Birmingham MCM Comic Con November 2019

The club attended again both days at Birmingham's NEC, with the usual great turnout of droids. I wasn’t able to attend this time unfortunately, due to family priorities.

Check out the social media’s for some of these hashtags: #ukr2d2buildersclub #r2builders #mcm2019
As well as the clubs Facebook page for pictures of the droids from the event.

There's also be a video on Comic Con News' You Tube channel, featuring the club....here.


Another mini project 1.0

This project is inspired my Mike F. originally from way back in 2016, when he brought this project he had made along to the screening of the Rogue One event at Milton Keynes cinema. I’ve always wanted to have a go at making one, but the ability and accessibility of a 3D printer was not an option at the time.

Recently I’ve seen these being offered for sale, but the price isn’t something I can justify, especially when I can design, print & build one myself lol. So decided now was the time to have a go.

I’m already on main body version no.2 lol and have been digging around in my storage boxes for items I have that may be of use. I’ve also ordered some springs which will be here in a few weeks.

I've also been on ebay looking for other components....more in a few weeks.


Page header image change - R5-D4 (2019)

Trying to simplify things for my accounts, by standardising the images used.
The previous page header was taken back in 2016 at Celebration Europe.
click link for part 1 of my event report....

Now going for this simpler design.

James' R5-D4 logo

Also updated Twitter, & Instagram & Facebook pages.

Will be changing this page title to James' R5-D4 at some point in the future,
as long as it doesn't mess links up etc lol


Littlebits - Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit - pt 8 (2019)

So the extra tinkering I thought would help with the lid fitting better, radius'd edge, didn't and made the gap bigger. The idea for the lip is just to locate it centrally for gluing to the head. So I went back to alter the lip edge a bit more, I'll test print it this week.
Littlebits R2-D2
This is the Littlebits droid in it's R2-D2 guise.

.......and below as R5-D4
Littlebits R2-D2, littlebits R5-D4, 3D printing

Whilst I was at it, I re-positioned the antenna to face forward, it was just a little thing but it was bugging me lol. I also added a version with a 'bad motivator'.
Littlebits R5-D4, 3d printing, bad motivator

Littlebits R5-D4, 3d printing, bad motivator

Littlebits R5-D4, 3d printing, bad motivator

Both 'lid' options will be available on
my Thingiverse account.

Littlebits - Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit - pt 7 (2019)

Last week my youngest daughter got out the Littlebits R2-D2. She had been doing some work in school and it re-ignited her imagination with electronics.
Littlebits R2-D2

So back in work I re-opened the 3D files I had drawn up for the R5-D4 dome and got back on tinkering with the final design from earlier this year. Click here for part 6.

With our new works 3D printer and my new design, I had more confidence that this would print/work second time around.
R5-D4, R5-D4 3D print, 3D printing
With the print time at just over 12 hours, and all the settings set to standard, due to my limited knowledge of them lol.
R5-D4, R5-D4 3D print, 3D printing

R5-D4, R5-D4 3D print, 3D printing
This picture shows the support structure.

Once happy with everything, I set the print to start just before I left work.
3D printing, Instagram, R5-D4, R5-D4 3D print

With my fingers crossed for a successful print come the morning......

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.......The morning came and YES, success! I've not felt this good about a 3D print in a long time lol, especially after the previous dome print fail. Here's the pictures before removing from the print bed.
R5-D4 3D printing scaled dome

R5-D4 3D printing scaled dome
The print quality is fantastic! Even when removing the supports, the finish is still great.
I just need to finish removing all the support material and see how well the 'lid' fits the dome.

Once everything is sorted, I'll post up this print on my Thingiverse account.

I'll post up more next week.......