Friday, April 9, 2010

Painting Skins & Weathering

Today I finished painting the front skins and most of the back. I didn't want to wait too long before weathering, partially because I didn't want to get used to him clean and partially because I needed something else to do.

I approached this new step the only way I know how. As a miniature painter. I got out the Citadel Paints from my cabinet and proceeded to mix inks until I had an acceptable color (at least IMO). Then I got out a small brush and started to work, edging various areas and wiping excess off with a wet rag.

I was surprisingly excited to go through this process and was having a great time at it until my youngest daughter told me that I ruined R2 and it looked terrible. After that, every stroke of paint weighed heavy on my heart and I considered returning to the garage to start spraying white all over again.

There's the picture of the finished product (click for larger version). You can see that in some areas, even though the parts are not sticking through the skins, I tried to paint as if they were and get the proper drips.

Any feedback on this paint job would be welcome. Tell me it sucks so I can go back and fix it now, or tell me you like it so I don't continue to second guess myself.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

WonderCon 2010 Day 2

Today we started off the day with our Droid Builders Panel at 1:30. I had an interesting time getting R2 loaded and unloaded because of the rain. I had to put a trash bag on him to keep him dry.

Despite it being Easter Sunday we still had a full room and the presentation went well. Thanks go to Matt McCormick for doing the slide presentation and MCing the event.

Droid Panelists, Matt, Chris and myself.

As usual, R2 had his share of fans come out. This little guy was in awe, but he was afraid to stand beside R2 for a picture. The next little girl was R2's greatest fan. She frolicked around him, touched his dome a lot and even rolled around on the floor behind him. After following us for quite a while he parents decided it was time to head another direction.

Because the Sunday crowd was a little more sparse than Saturday, I was able to take R2 through the main exhibit hall and run him up and down the isles. He stopped at several booths and took pictures with people.

The Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal guys were the best and drew this robot for R2.

Finally, what would convention be like without Star Trek? R2 and I stopped off for a little cross over blasphemy. Warp Speed Mr. Sulu!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

WonderCon 2010 Day 1

Well, R2-XS made it through day one with no major problems. At the beginning of the day his dome wasn't responding well and he had a short in the dome lights but I got him up and running quickly.

There were some new builders that stopped in this year. Matt McCormic was the newest to bring a droid. If you haven't seen his wood and styrene droid, you should. Its a weathered work of art.

Here are a few pics from my flickr:

R2-XS is Back!

We did a few interviews including this one with Fox news and one with Verizon's Droid team.

Mutual awe. The kids love R2 and can't believe their eyes when he rolls up. Equally R2 can't imagine the craftsmanship that goes into each little child.

Its a trap! Your mouth can't repel taste of that magnitude! I couldn't resist this pic when one of the guys showed up as Admiral Ackbar with the cereal in his hand.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Getting Ready for WonderCon

So much has happened in the last few weeks that has enabled me to do WonderCon with XS. Here is the simple breakdown:

After a year of electrical frustrations and XS being renamed "Twitch" I had all but given up on getting him fixed. I even replaced everything and still had the problem. I took him in his humbled state to the R2 Builders gathering in Davis and let the guys take a look at him, but most were baffled by the issue. Gerard tried his hand at debugging to no avail, but after we reconstructed all the wiring from square one he just suddenly worked again. Thanks "Droid Whisperer"!

Since that day I have been working hard to get my skins on and install all the various bits that were laying around. I suffered a lot of setbacks including holes that were stripped and screws breaking off in them. Also, due to all the bad weather, I wasn't able to paint everything. Either way I did get him together and we are ready to roll.

I have to finish up this post with thanks to a few people who helped me in my time of need.

First to my neighbor who let me use his Dremel tool. Mine went missing after working on sets for theatre.

Second, thanks my friend Justin from K-119 in San Bruno for hooking me up with some great tools (one I didn't even know existed) and saving me a lot of money.

Also to my friend Ron from Revive Customs auto shop for letting me borrow stuff from his shop. This is my second big thanks to him. He was the one who volunteered to bondo my crappy legs.

I would have posted pictures but I don't want to put out any spoilers before tomorrow's con. See you there.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wired Magazine Interview

This weekend the R2 Builders group had a great presence at Maker Faire. The usual suspects from the Bay Area builders added a new droid made by Grant Mckinney and were joined by Guy Vardaman, Chris Ellerby from SoCal.

On Saturday our members were interviewed for G4TV's Attack of the Show, and for Wired Magazine. There was also a photo shoot for Make Magazine's upcoming robot issue.

Here is the Wired Interview.

Chris has a lot of pics on Flickr.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Afternoon at the Ranch

Yesterday afternoon Gerard and I took his R2 up to the Ranch where the Clone Wars cartoon is created. Dave Filoni was being given honors from his Alma Mater via video conference and wanted to add a little Star Wars magic to his acceptance speech.

Dave Filoni Video Cast

The site was beautiful with a large lake and rolling hills. The interior walls were decorated with George's classic movie poster collection and original art from the star wars universe. It was an amazing place to visit and seemed more of a mountain vacation spot than an office.

While we were there, Dave also decided to use R2 to announce the season finale ratings in the Friday staff meeting. We stashed the droid behind a curtain until Dave went up to make his presentation. R2 drove out and surprised everyone, had some dialogue with Dave which he announced to the group. Clone Wars beat out Battle Star Galactica by a wide margin which means that it also beat everything else on TV that night.

When all of the events were done, we went down to the building entrance and had a photo op with the show's production crew.

Clone Wars Crew

Naturally R2 got lots of love while he was there.

The Ranch

Big thanks to Megan for taking care of us while we were on site and thanks to Dave Filoni and the team for being a very laid back welcoming group.

Dave Filoni

Additional pictures can be found on my flickr page.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Covered on the Make Blog

XS was featured on the Make Blog after they saw Bonnie's post on Star Wars blog.

R2-XS on Make Blog