These past few weeks I’ve been tweaking the controller for my K2 head. This is a test to make sure I’m heading in the right direction. I even added sound files.
I’ve completed the build of my Wall-e about 5-6 years ago and had the desire to do some upgrades awhile now. Since last year I’ve really come to grips with 3d printing printing minor parts for R2 and other smaller projects but now have been giving Wall-e an “extreme makeover”. All the major parts of my Wall-e needed some TLC. So since June until September I’ve been letting my printers run 24/7 printing new CAD designed and fabricated parts in the hundreds. Specifically, the new treads are the biggest change. My original treads were made of foam rubber which I weren’t the best solution as they gripped the ground too well, waering out both the motors and motor controllers. These new ones glide a lot better and still have good traction where needed. The short list of new parts is:
Next year the Wall-e film is 10 years old and I thought I’d have him in prime condition for the coming year of scheduled and surprise events (more to follow). So here are a few pictures of newly fabricated parts.
This year marks the 10 year since I started building my very first R2. I have always keep him looking like he just rolled off the factory line, white and very clean. As I mentioned in an earlier post I just gave him a whole new paint job/makeover. After doing the Finland event I felt it was time to give him the “real”, been there and back look. The term is called weathering. I’ve put it off for the longest time because it felt wrong in some way. But now I’ve changed my mine. He now looks as if he’s telling a story. I stuck with episode 4 look “A New Hope”. He’s been across Tatooine with the sand, dirt, mud and oil look that follows. Weathering is a very hard thing to master but because I’ve weathered my Wall-e and BB-8 in the past I felt I was up for this challenge. Here’s the result!
It was an intensive weekend but so exciting! First the trip to get there took 18 hour on a ferry (Viking Line) which was fine. Then directly to the event. It never ceases to amaze me the affect R2 has on so many people. I was “just” the driver but they treated R2 like royalty. I should also add that my R2 is the first and only R2 to ever visit Finland as well as the first and only one to sail the Baltic Sea. The Museum curators are already in talks about my next visit.
My R2 has been thru a lot of events over the years. And as with anything over time it gets damaged in all kinds of ways. Parts break off, cracked, dented and so forth. So earlier this month I gave him a complete new paint job. R2 and I were invited to attend a Toy and art Museum weekend in Finland and as they went thru the effort of arranging all the logistics I felt a slight facelift was in order. I even printed out some newer details for R2 that are lighter and better detailed. The average person won’t see a difference but at a closer look it’s perfect.
Painted and installed the head lighting. It looks pretty accurate but these pictures don’t do the eyes justice. I’ll have to take a better picture in the daylight later. I guess because I worked with this during the day that it’s always dark before I think about to taking pictures. Anyway progress is as I wish and steady. I want to get everything right (as humanly possible) only the one time. I used 3mm fiber optics and one LED for the ear bud. Some minor detail painting is still to do on the head but now I get to finally focus on the chest.
I’ve been pretty busy try to figure out how to make K-2S0’s head turn and nod but I think I figured it out. For some reason every droid builder makes the head first. I guess it gives life to the project. The head is 3d printed of course but also has a mixture of polystyrene sheets to on the inside for stability and shelves for the internal electronics. I have also designed eyes that move as well. The plan is to have sensors that make both the head and eyes turn towards passers by. Anyway, this was just a proof of concept recording regarding just the head. I used an App controlled RC controller to test life-like movements. It looks pretty convincing. Next will be to bondo the imperfections before painting.