Building one item at the time...

Building one item at the time.../

R2 2.0 – First real build day

Most of what has been going on in the background with the R2 2.0 has only been collecting parts, doing some CAD work, and well.. procrastinating to an extreme level.

The energy to build a second one went out of me like a deflated balloon when my old one got stolen. I was supposed to reuse some of the parts from that one!

However, Emma has stated that she really miss R2, so rebuild I must and will do as fast as I can.

I started with the dome. I already had a Hydro Dome since a few years back and most of the panels in the inner dome has been cut out, so going from there to attaching panels was relatively easy.

I made a teaser a few days ago with a panel servo that I had attached. To the wrong pie panel. I can always defend this with “It is better to fail an articulated hatch where none is needed”…

I had also done the electronics for the logics.

But now it was time for the first actual build day.

I started with the servo holders and inside for the pie panels. First step is taping the hatch in to place in the opening. It needs to be orientated as close to the top of the dome as possible to allow clearance for the actual panels to open.

Next up is going on the inside of the dome and use my spring loaded punch to mark where the holes are going. The hinge and panel inside is still securely taped, to allow the holes to be aligned properly.

Drill and tap… and as there is some minor differences, I am also marking the hinges where they should go in order to not do the same mistake I did when I did the test, to mount things in the wrong place 😉

Since some of the holes are a bit tight, I have filed away some on the corners of the hinge insides to make them fit and hinge properly.

The hinge is screwed in to place with nuts from the inside and locking flat-head screws on the outside to ensure nothing will interfere with the outer dome that’s going to sit on top.

As you can see, it opens without issues =)

Then it is just a matter of rinse and repeat. The middle round panel did give me some issues, as it had to be more to the side in order to open properly. That in turn made me need to enlarge the holes close to the top to reposition the hinge somewhat. As a result, I ended up using countersunk philips head screws as they are larger, and sanded the screw heads so they are flat against the inner dome.

Once this was done, I was also working with aligning the outer dome properly. I did so using the panels surrounding the logic surrounds as a guide for what the position should be about the other dome.

I also found a rattle can of “r2 blue” at the work shop, and decided to paint the blue panels that goes on the dome as well as the radar eye, after some pinstripe masking.

Finally, it was time to place it all back on the droid body and the touch of blue really makes it feel like an R2 on the way again!

There is still a lot to do to get him done. Tons of parts missing, but thanks to a wonderful R2-building community, I’ve managed to source some of the parts that are already on their way, but I have also received several messages from people that want to donate parts to this R2 for Emma.

I am beyond thankful for this and will update on this when the parts arrive.

Finally, I called home while I was in the workshop and did a short facetime session with Emma, and showed her R2 with the dome in place. She more or less shrieked of joy “R2!!!!” and was all smiles. She was REALLY happy to see this.

That’s why it’s all worth doing.

Stay tuned!

By |2019-06-02T13:30:22+02:00June 2nd, 2019|Building, R2-D2|Comments Off on R2 2.0 – First real build day

Disaster and a new beginning

I have not updated this page in a while.
There are some reasons for it.

Firstly, there is this thing called energy, or stamina. Given the situation we’re in with my daughter slowly fading away due to a particularly nasty kind of brain tumour, of which there is no known cure or relapse, but also, right before Christmas, my R2-D2, the very thing I build that started this blog, was stolen.

I had my R2 at my temporary work shop for some TLC, and the week before Christmas I was planning to move it to a better location, but in my life, plans can change more often than the weather, and I spent the entire week before Christmas with Emma in the hospital instead.

It was during that period that the workshop was burgled, and my R2 along with a few other things got stolen.–strax-fore-jul

Needless to say, it was a blow, it really did not improve my mood and situation. However, given the situation we were in, we could have had a much worse Christmas. After all, it is only a material item.

Sure, an item I loved and spent 2000+ hours on, but still, just an item.

As if things were not bad enough, Emma broke her leg on New Year’s eve, and it made her pretty much immobile for a while, which sent me spiralling to a place where I started to have panic attacks on where things were going.

So, I had to pick up myself and get back to building. One of the things I’ve been pouring a lot of time and creativity in is this Voight Kampff Machine replica.

It is based on a resin kit from Chaucer44, a great kit, but as always, I always find some things I want to improve on, so I rebuilt the entire arm and eye from scratch to something I think is even more screen accurate, not to mention very light weight and incorporates room for some very specific servos to make it animated.

But, in addition to this, and some small scale models that I’ve been working on, I have started to put my focus back into rebuilding. A new R2-D2.

I loved my old R2, and I know I made a lot of difference taking him to the hospital to meet kids, even more so now that I am spending a lot of time there myself with Emma. I want to be able to bring him to the cancer ward and cheer up the kids laying in there. They really, REALLY need it.

Second: Emma has expressively said several times that she misses R2-D2. If making a new one can bring a smile to her face, that alone is worth going back into a big project like that again.

Third: I have found that building things is my main outlet to cope with this situation. It is oddly therapeutic sitting sanding a thing for two hours without anything else to do. Especially when your mind has tons of things it needs to process.

So, here is where I am at. This is some of the parts I have….

… and this is what I’ve done so far…

I’m looking forward to documenting this second build, in materials I am not used to working, and I hope to really make this as good as I possibly can, with a vast improvement on more panels opening and more versatility!

Stay tuned!

By |2019-05-31T12:24:06+02:00May 29th, 2019|Building, R2-D2|Comments Off on Disaster and a new beginning

200 posts! Time to launch the Robocop Project!

If someone had told me I’d write 200 blog posts about building a few years back, I would never have guessed it, but here we are. This is published post #200!

To celebrate the meaning of this, I am introducing my second build for the year that will run in parallell with Dark Helmet. It is the one and only, the iconic hero from Chicago and Delta City… Robocop!

(render with stock armour on my 3d scanned bust done in Maxwell Render)

After looking around, it was difficult to find some good resources for Robocop. I also tried sculpting the helmet myself in Rhino, but my skills are noat at speed with making more organic shapes, so I gave up on making it myself.

However, I did manage to find a decent looking Robocop costume for 3d printing by do3d.

Sure, the costume will need a lot of work, and has several details missing, but it is a very good base to start building a Robocop costume from.

My goal is, as usual, to make it as screen accurate as I can, and this mean, in addition to the normal sanding bondo sanding putty sanding cycle, I also need to add quite a bit of building to the project.

I might scratch build some things, other things I might be able to fix in 3d.

The biggest issue is that to change an .stl file, consisting of tens of thousands small triangles is extremely resource heavy and is almost crashing my computer when trying, so if I need to remake some parts (and I already have) I can really only use the existing files as a base and take measurements from in order to make a more screen accurate model.

First off, I simply HAD to print the helmet!

This was the first print I did on my new CR-10, and also the first print done in PETG. I split the helmet in half and the seam line is visible right above the text on the helmet. Did it fit? On with a balaclava and see what it would look like, just to get an idea…

To be honest, it looked a bit dodgy. This helmet really needs the jaw! Once the jaw was printed, more test fit, and it looked better already!

From looking at the movie, I would guess that the jaw is made from silicone or other soft rubber. I have some ideas to cover the 3d printed model with the same fabric used for my Dark Helmet cape and shorts. It is shiny and has a plastic coating. Another idea is to make the jaw piece out of EVA foam to make it more flexible.

The helmet needed a bit of TLC, and after glueing it together, and welding as much as I could with my 3d pen (Seems PETG can’t be welded with PLA, and my 3d pen is not hot enough to melt PETG properly) and a long loop of sanding to get the rough edges off, a layer of spray filler that also serves as a primer, sand most of that off, some Tamaiya putty to fix up some problem areas, more sanding, followed by “why don’t I cover the entire helmet in bondo”, sanded almost all of that off, another layer of spray filler, sanded that off…

During this process i used a needle file to clean up the lettering inbetween every spray filler/bondo/sanding round.

I finished off the base by painting the helmet black.

and then another turn of sanding before painting it in a metallic grey. This colour turned out to be a little too dark for the look, but it was a paint test after all. Once painted and clear coated it looked pretty sweet, but wrong.

So, I have a helmet that is working. Next up was the neck piece. The neck piece modelled by do3d is ok, but lacks some details and have some things that are wrong. Since this was a rather small piece, I tried my hand at 3d modelling this from scratch, and came up with a version I am much more happy with that has more details and even functional neck vents. In the process of doing this, I also remodelled the ears of the helmet for more screen accurate versions.

My first attempt at printing the chest piece did not work out too well. I printed it to about 75% before I realised that I had scaled it slightly wrong. It would have been too large and made it impossible to move my arms. My bad. I had scaled it up 5% since I thought it was too small and made an error in measuring the piece.

A lot of prints have gone into the scrap pile so far.

But I’ve managed to get a chest piece done. I also removed the existing vent and scratch built a more accurate one from some scrap styrene I had laying around.

It was glued together with superglue to hold it in place, and welded with my 3d print pen.

It is holding together really well using this technique. A little bit of bondo and the chest is done.

The feet are also printed, but needs modifications. The screen used feet have a half circle cut out in the top of both parts laying on top of the foot, making it a lot easier and comfier to wear. So far, I have not cut that out.

The legs is another chapter. Not only are some details wrong, some details missing, but they will also need major modifications to be able to wear them!

For starters, my legs, my calves have muscles. I can not wear them around my ankles as they are without expanding them. In addition, there is detail that needs to be added, and I fear the legs will be a lot of work to make wearable.


For starters, the knee plate should be a lot larger and stick out outside the knee. I made a mockup in Rhino where I modelled a new, larger knee plate that matches up the screen shots better and just placed it outside the original to get a feel for it. Looks pretty good, I think.

Next thing to print and scale was the gloves. Turns out the gloves were about 60% of the scale they should be. After printing out the first forearm and seeing how tiny it was, it was time to scale up the prints.

I still think the glove is a bit too large, and I may need to print it in flexible filaments, but that is something I will experiment with.

This pretty much brings the build up to speed. I have printed a few more pieces, but not to the point of having anything to show. Next thing will be to digitally fix the upper arms, if I can. It will certainly be a challenge…

“Thank you for your cooperation. Good night.”

By |2018-02-24T08:08:14+01:00February 24th, 2018|Costuming, Robocop|Comments Off on 200 posts! Time to launch the Robocop Project!