2018 Pinewood Pin badge

My Pinewood 2018, patch & pin arrived, thanks Lee.
I can add it to the others.
Pinewood, pin badge, R2D2
Pin badges, from 2014 upto 2018

Bad motivator actuation upgrade 1.1 (2019)

Drew up a holder in AutoCAD Inventor and printed off a sample.
This was slightly tighter than it should of been, on the inside faces,
so increased some of the dimensions to allow for a better fit.

Here's the CAD model images.
bad motivator, r5d4, 3D
 New magnetic actuator holder
bad motivator, r5d4, 3D

This new holder, is designed to fit onto the exsisting bracket.

If this works, then I may look at 3D printing this all as one piece.
But for testing and speed, it's just an add on for now.

New Book - ILM presents 'Making Solo' by Rob Bredow

Book came and jumped right in. Amazing behind the scenes photos! Stories of how shots where set up. Locations & scenes are broken down into chapters.

There’s a great black and white picture of R2-SB
(Book came next day, just forgot to click post on this for the Blog)

Instagram - James_R5D4

It's been a few months since I was last on Instagram. A lot has/had been going on and I just didn't have the time. Missed posting up about two attended events, MCM Birmingham & Bristol Comic Con, both last month. Since then tho I've got back into things and have stuff to post up, so if you don't already, click the link to follow.
Click the link below
or search ‘james_r5d4’
or the hashtag #r4d4 for above post picture
which will take you to my account.


Bad motivator actuation upgrade 1.0 (2019)

With the electronics being worked on, another thing that needed replacing due to issues, was the door actuator that makes the ‘Bad Motivator’ pop up.

I bought ages ago a magnetic activated piston, as something to try. In testing it works great, but I still need to actually connect it up to the motivator movement arm.
So am back in CAD drawing up things in 3D, to then be printed.
Am looking at the idea of an attachement to this original arm.

12 Channel remote - upgrade.....possibly???

I was never happy with the two 12 channel remotes that I have had. Both have not fully worked properly regarding their relay connections.

I'm not an electronics person, only knowing the basics, so am not able to 'fix' components.

I found and ordered what I thought would be a better working 12 channel controller.

Compared to the original board.

But the new board I'm having connect up issues. I'm not 'technical' with electronics, though I can follow instructions, if there WHERE comprehensible instructions supplied 😒.......more soon, hopefully.


Dome Bag 2.0

Ordered some more foam, just need to buy another sheet of material.
dome bag, r5-d4, r4-d4

.......and before I do ANY cutting of material though, I'll be measuring twice!


Event - Techniquest in Cardiff - May 4th 2019

Signed up R5 to attend this event to celebrate
Star Wars Day on May 4th


 click logo for link


Also attending will be Paul F with his R2-D2

Something to look forward to as the Legoland Star Wars weekends
were cancelled as of 2018


Droids & Animatronic Creatures - live panel Celebration 2019

Missed being able to watch this at the weekend,
so was greatfull that I could eventually watch
via the You Tube channel.

Listening to Neil, Brad & Josh talk about the CFX's used in the films is amazing!

I don't usually post up links, but whilst watching this, I saw someone who I had met & knew had appeared in the film(s), but had recently passed away. He can be seen in the video at 5min 51sec & again at 6mins 48sec. And I thought it would be nice to share as a reminder.

His name was
Derek Campbell.
He is the actor who can be seen in the picture below of the unamed 'tall robot' in
Solo a Star Wars story.

In addition, Steve Wright was mentioned by Neil,
who also passed away earlier this year.


New Book ordered - ILM presents 'Making Solo' by Rob Bredow

Looking forward to reading this one,
it's on order from Amazon (the cheapest available online) in the UK.
(I'm not affiliated with amazon, just attached link for help.)

Solo the making of - by Rob Bredow

Solo the making of - by Rob Bredow

Solo the making of - by Rob Bredow
Ron Howard & Rob Bredow.... (MP)


Next project...... Dome Bag 1.2

This is a work in progress, though it will be used as it is being built for my domes.

Step 2: The Side - continued. As mentioned in my previous blog, the base wasn't cut to be over size. This required some modification. The outer dome padding would now sit flush with the base padding, instead of sat on it. This required so stitching, which had to be done by hand.

Doing this helped make the side protection foam, curve into shape with the base. I then stitched the ends of them together. Again, hand stitched....so not the best looking.
dome bag, R5D4, R4D4
joined side protection.

Now, I also said that I hadn't accounted for the top part of the dome, just the vertical height. So I needed to 'add' more material. Thanksfully, there's more than enough left over of the sheet.

Step 3: The Top. So I fitted R5's dome into the bag, and then worked on the top section of material.
dome bag, R5D4, R4D4
top of dome material

Step 4: The Draw String.
Before I stitched this piece onto the side section, I needed to first add the draw string cord.The top of the material had its edge folded over and stitched.
dome bag, R5D4, R4D4 dome bag, R5D4, R4D4
I then threaded the cord through the hole and fitted a toggle on the end. The two string ends were then folded over and stitched together.
dome bag, R5D4, R4D4

Step 5: The Handle(s).
This is one single piece which loops around and under the dome bag. This is what takes the weight of the dome. The webbing is stitch fixed at the top of the side padding and bottom of it. It's then stitched at it's crossover point. The two ends are also stitched together.

And the completed first dome bag, test fitted with both R5 & R4's dome.....
Dome bag, R4D4, R5D4dome bag, r5d4, astromech dome

And the bag, closed, with handles raised.
dome bag, r5d4

Now I have upgraded my dimension and corrected my previous errors with dimensions.
I know where I need to make alterations for dome bag no2.
It will be a lot neater with the stitching lol as I now know where/how best to assemble all the panels. I only need to re-order the foam & buy another bed sheet as I have more than enough strap webbing, draw string and a spare toggle.

I'll also draw/dimension this up so I don't forget lol.


Next project...... Dome Bag 1.1

Going to event's with two domes can be a bit tricky, and also my garage seems to attrack dust. So I came up with this idea to protect (from dust) and be able to carry a dome easily.

And the 'Dome Bag' idea was created.

I did have a plan....but this first attempt was basically a test/WIP as I will eventually need another bag for the other R4 dome. Oh and maybe another for my R0 dome, but that's still being upgraded, so no rush to take that to any events.

Step 1: The Base.
I wanted there to be a padded surface as the dome connect with the body and this edge could get damaged. Now, this wouldn't stop damage if the dome where to be dropped, but a slight knock or bump would be ok.

I drew around the base of the dome, with the intention of cutting an extra bit larger for the side foam padding to sit on.......but due to distractions & thinking two steps ahead.....I forgot. So the foam diameter is the same size as the dome's outer edge.....that it's supposed to protect.
Dome bag, R5D4

Next I drew around this foam base & cut out the material to cover it, like a cushion. The material is just a single fitted bed sheet, costing about £6. Remember, this is just to offer some protection from dust, the actual structural strength comes later on in this build.
Dome bag, R5-D4
I pinned and using the sowing machine, stitched the two panels together, inside out, then turned them the right way and squeezed the foam panel inside.

Step 2: The Side. The next step was the side protection. I measured a height that would protect the upper edge of R5's dome, above the holographic, engine turned tape panels.
The material's was cut long enough to wrap around the faom to hold it in place.
Dome bag, R5D4
The second smaller piece was used as a guide for the turned over piece of material. I almost messed up again, by not allowing extra material for the fold.

I did however, mess up on the actual height of the material needed to cover the side height of the dome and also the top section......more about that 'upgrade' later.
Dome bag, R5D4
Using my daughters sowing machine, and re-learning on the go, lol, I managed to stitch a half decent straight line along the edge of the panel. I didn't want it to be loose, allowing the padding to move, so I got this right and it fits nice and tight.

So far this is all going as planned.....hahahaha......


Sci-Fi Scarborough - April 2019

The club will be attending this weekend!

Not able to attend myself, one day tho....

New Page - R4-D4 Dome build **COMING SOON**

This new page is being written up showing
the full build, in one place, for the R4-D4 dome.
And will appear at the top (or for mobile apps) in a drop down options tab.
R4-D4, R5-D4, astromech, droid

It will show the step by step photos of how I built up the dome,
including the curved panels, creating the grooves,
the holoprojector, radar eye, painting and more.

This was my 3rd dome, and benefitted from the knowledged I gained from building the previous domes. It was the quickest build but is also the lightest one too.

James' R5-D4 - 130,000 Blog views

So this morning, this Blog hit.....

Thanks to everyone who's visited and found my Blog useful
I first started this Blog as just a way to track my progress with building R5, as a way to help others.

Since completing him, I've moved onto attending events with the addition of R5 upgrades, new domes and a few other projects, check some of these out at the top of the page (viewed via a PC or from a drop down menu if using a mobile).

Google+ has now closed, meaning that letting people know I've posted is reducedd to just Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, though there are still a lot of people who follow, this Blog for info and advice.

Again, thanks to everyone who's visited.


New Tool Box......stickers 1.0

Posted up a few pics of the stickers already added to the new tool box.

Saturday's event brought two more:
Menigitis NOW, UK R2D2 Builders Club, R5-D4UK R2D2 Builders Club, R5-D4, R2-XL

I then remembered I had another R5 sticker from left coast graphics. A vintage R5-D4 via their Etsy shop. Same sticker, but trying to not get a reflection on it.
Vintage R5-D4 sticker from left coast graphicsVintage R5-D4 sticker from left coast graphics
This version was a chrome one, not a white version. These I have stuck on my transport sledge.
Vintage R5-D4 sticker from left coast graphics

Two more stickers arrived with a patch I got from 'Half the Droid'. Checkout his Facebook page here. One was an artistic version of his R2-D2, and the other was the 'walk of shame'. A recent addition to the club after recent events lol, mechanical or electrical, where you've had to push your droid back to base. This stickers is just for laughs.
UK R2D2 Builders ClubUK R2D2 Builders Club

I also placed three very special stickers on the case.....
CFX Pinewood, stickers, Star Wars

Event Report - Bristol Comic Con & Gaming Festival - March 30th 2019

This event was a first for me & R5.

Whitchurch is in South Bristol, a place I used to know well when younger. Friends & my college where I did my apprentiship were located here, so I know the area well, though it has changed a lot over the years.

This event was being held at 'Action indoor Sports'. The building is a large former aircraft hanger from way back in the day. Later to become a sports facility.

Paul Felsk, has attended events run by the organisers before, and being from Bristol, knew the venue. But we didn’t realise the floor had been converted to Astro turf. He managed to get us a new spot with proper flooring lol, although we were now a bit out of view. Once the R2's started beeping though, the crowds soon found us.
uk r2d2 builders club
Unfortunately due to health issues, Andrew wasn't able to attend. Mike with his R2-XL, had to be positioned a bit further along from us, but that didn't stop him from getting plenty of attention too.
Back to the Future - Bristol
Whilst unloading the car & parking, look what 'landed',
Marty wasn't around tho lol

The droids were mostly static for the day, with only a bit of moving around, due to public and the limited space.
uk r2d2 builders club
Here Paul, Nik & Sam are getting to interact with the public.
The display stand had a few things for people to look at and of course, we had trading cards & stickers (two new ones kindly made by Mike).
uk r2d2 builders club

Mike with his R2-XL was also entertaining the kids, big and small and was collecting loads in the bucket, for Menigitis Now.
uk r2d2 builders club

uk r2d2 builders club
Me with droid fans & Paul talking to Mark from podpadstudios.
He was there with his Steampunk inspired Batmobile 'tumbler'

Mark is the person who's droid first got me into building R5.....and like his.....out of wood!

The event was very busy for nearly the whole day, only quieting down about 3pm'ish.
uk r2d2 builders club
 I didn't get a picture of R2-XL as when I went to, there were kids always around it lol

uk r2d2 builders club

Another great day with everyone from the group. And big thanks to Sam & Nik for traveling the distance down/up to join us. Got home at a resonable time lol for once, from an event. And stuck on my new stickers supplied by Mike.
uk r2d2 builders club
 And the Menigitis Now sticker (at bottom of the picture)
uk r2d2 builders club, Meningitis Now

Tool box outside is filling up thick'n'fast with stickers now lol

.....no dates confirmed yet for me for R5's next event.....I've  not been able to commit just yet,
due to personal reasons.