Thursday, April 29, 2010

Small but important progress!

I was surprised at how difficult it was to get my temporary adhesive -- is everyone in the San Fernando Valley suddenly building droids? Hahahahah. Okay, I laugh, but I'm just silly enough to actually wonder...

Anyway, finally found it -- well hidden -- at Michael's Crafts. Whew! This adhesive is needed to temporarily stick the patterns I've printed out onto the styrene. So I can cut it out.

Tomorrow I'll finish cutting the patterns down and taping where needed. Also, I'll be organizing them by size styrene needed. I was able to get .125, .040, and .020. I'm sure I have too much of the thinner stuff (but am hoping it's thin enough), and I hope I have too much of the thicker stuff.

Still need to get all the pics off my camera as well! ETA: Done! The horrible pics are now up. I really need to get my Canon back in commission...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Getting Parts in the Field

Today I ventured out-of-doors. There was a sinister burning light that filled the air with a yellow hue, and which warmed my skin in an unnatural fashion. For what would I brave such obvious and immediate danger? Only droid parts, my dears, only droid parts (okay, and the occasional groceries).

I'd found a local supplier of plastic (who knew?) -- Gavrieli -- and I drove over and bought the styrene, weld-on (only #4804 was available and I have no idea what that means), and the applicator bottle. Only spent $85! Somehow this seemed thrilling. But -- my supplier only sold the styrene in 4X8' sheets! I convinced them to roll the sheets (they didn't want to) and managed to fit them into the back of my Xterra. Whew! When I got it home I cut each sheet in half so it would somehow fit into the apartment. I think I have more than enough for one droid!

I apologize for the lack of pictures to date, but my camera is malfunctioning. I've been taking pics with my phone, and will eventually get my posts upgraded with images. ETA -- I've updated my posts with my terrible camera-phone pictures...Hey -- check out the geeky license plate!

I've had no luck finding temporary adhesive for my patterns -- but I did find some double-sided tape. Hopefully I can begin cutting soon!

I Guess I Need to Turn in My Girl Card...

...because hubby offered to buy me a nice pair of boots, and I told him I'd rather spend the money on droid parts!

So over the weekend we went tool shopping: bought a Dremel Router and Drill Press. I have two Dremels, so even if I blow one out (as Dave Everett says he did) I'll still be good to go -- and I really couldn't justify buying a regular router (hubby has an old one if I must use a router) or drill press for just this project. Hopefully this will work out.

I was lucky to get a JEDI Control System and to get in on the Display System run. Those are fancy names for some of the electronics kits the club has made available to those of us who might be "technically challenged." More bits will be needed (along with genius Uncle help) but I'm liking crossing stuff off my "to order" list.

While out tool shopping I actually bought my first droid part: the braided "battery cables" for his feet -- whoooo! Yes, I'm easily thrilled. Yesterday I ordered his arms, too, as I'll be needing those to build part of his body. Plus, he might want arms. I would. Just sayin'.

Finally, my tabloid paper arrived so I spent today printing out the plans: wow -- glad I ordered 100 sheets! Nearly used them all up! But they are all printed out and organized now...

I need to do some data entry* on my spreadsheets to track my spending before it gets out of hand. At least my only other planned immediate expense is the actual styrene -- hopefully tomorrow!

I want to fix up this blog too -- it's pretty ugly! Maybe this weekend...

*again...don't laugh.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

To Build a Droid: the Project Ultimate!

Oh! Hello, and welcome to the first blog I expect to actually utilise! I'm Bith (a username I adopted ages ago so I'm stuck with it) and I woke up one day recently thinking I needed a droid around the house. Doesn't everyone?

Yep, I've belonged to the R2 Builder's club for just a few weeks, but, as luck would have it, at this past weekend's Wizard World Anaheim Comic-Con, my hubby's booth was right across from theirs! Droid heaven! I pretty much spent every free moment hanging with the R2 guys and their adorable R2s -- asking questions, studying them, taking notes.

A couple of days ago I moved forward...I finally came to a decision about the basic build: he'll be a styrene droid (with aluminum dome, and skins, hopefully). I need a lighter-weight droid, as I'll often attend events without my sainted hubby, and the styrene build can be built in an apartment. Finally: the build was designed by the founder of the R2 Builders Group (Dave Everett), and I feel confident due to that. Very awesome builds based on the Senna frame are done locally, and I still hope to get a lot of information from those amazing builders.

Anyway, I extracted all the styrene build pdf blueprints, and began the laborious process of adjusting them for accurate size and printing them pieces that need to be taped together of course! Partway through, I remembered my tabloid printer...d'oh! Will start again when my large-stock paper arrives. At least I verified that my printer was producing accurate blueprints.

I also started my formal research notebook. Stop laughing - don't we all use formal research notebooks everyday? Sheesh! Anyway, I'm still trying to get a good organizing system down, so a lot of notes are being jotted on loose paper until that time. (In other words "looseleaf" is the operational term here).

At least I've settled down from some initial crazy ideas (a steampunk R2 with...well lots of crazy steam!), and am just going to do a standard R2 with one of the color variations (probably the yellow, as they are less common, but still have screen cred.). I can always swap stuff out later if I want to make him steampunk. I figure, as with costuming, I want something recognizable for the kids. I'd do the standard blue R2, but there are several of those guys locally, done REALLY well, so I figure why compete?

I've also begun a parts list -- just for the body. I took a look at the motor and sound and lights areas and my eyes started to blur (I'm understating that) I'm just going to focus on the basic R2 for now...he'll get moving and stuff later. Plus, that's the stuff that is readily available over-the-counter, unlike droid parts!

Next I'll finish printing out my blueprints, and organizing my notebook. Plus, kind of generally plotting the build. I need to buy a few (not many! whew) tools, and set up a building table.* Hubby will help me with that, as I'll need to mount a router to some plywood and drill some guide-holes. Next week I expect to buy some styrene and start cutting parts out! Woooo!

Okay, back to my research.**

*Actually, we bought several parts for the project table tonight! Almost ready to begin!

**Again: stop laughing!