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.
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.
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!