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.
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.
Last weekend was ComicCon in stockholm where for the firsttime all 3 of my droids attended. R2, the oldest preformed as well as always. Wall*E, with all the upgrades was a champ. He was very popular. Bt more than BB-8 even. With all the latest upgrades it ready made a difference. He appeared very life like. I only wish I could have recorded a video but can’t drive and film at the same time. More upgrades are coming. BB-8, well performed OK but he’ll require a lot of tweaking before all the bugs are ironed out. I guess that’s why its called a hobby, lol. Ive be asked what will I do next and I actually have a project in mind but that I’ll save for a later post. In the mean time enjoy the snapshots for the weekend. As an added bonus I R2 Builders arranged to have Oliver Steeples ( R2 builder from the force awakens) and Matt Denton (BB-8 builder from the force awakens) there for the entire weekend as our guests, participate in panels and so forth. It was a real treat and got all the insider info about TFA and episode VIII 😉
Today I was invited to the local public library that had a themed weekend about recycling. Of course my Wall-e is the perfect symbol (ambassador) for recycling. It was more of a meet and greet day, get the chance to selfies with Wall-e and learn a little bit about the importance of recycling. The public wasn’t as large as typical visits I’ve done in the past but was still a lot of fun a it was for a good cause. The library also offered to donate some funds to my charity of choice which is a double bonus. I didn’t get a chance to take many pictures of the visitors interacting with my Wall-e but here’s a few, enjoy 🙂
While waiting for some extra wiring on order for the RC electronics I decided to work on the body lighting. Its not as straight forward as a thought but coming along nicely. 2 down and four panels to go. I’m using 3mm LEDs that are just small enough to squeeze between the very thin shell and at the same time not get in the way of the rotating wheels, spinning weights and gyro.