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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.

https://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/a/wEBB71/nagon-stal-cancersjuka-emmas-favoritrobot–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.

https://youtu.be/W7xIABB2YGg

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…

https://youtu.be/GLX69XWyaAM

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!
//Micke

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

Ghostbusters Project: Final installation

Due to us having to go to Mexico for 6 months on very short notice in order to treat our daughters brain tumour, building was at a standstill for many months!

Finally, we came back and in January, I started building again.

One of the first things done was to install the electronics in my proton pack and mark this pack finished!

I managed to cram all the electronics down into the lovely metal thrower, but it was a tight squeeze.

I managed to fix the acrylic tube of my thrower partly myself, and partly with the help of a friend with a lathe. I got the edges done on the lathe, and fixed the frosty parts of the acrylic tube by masking the clear tube and running sand paper around the tube until it became properly frosty.

 

 

Once the thrower was done, it was time to turn my attention to the pack itself.

I started by marking the areas on the back plate where I could route cables and mount electronics to not interfere with the shell itself. Then I routed the cables for my two Pyle speakers that provides the sound in my pack.

Next up, I 3d printed housings for my LED reflectors and glued them in place on the shell with e6000 glue.

Some cable ties for cable management…

In a perfect world I would build a rig where the reflectors are mounted on the back plate, but as I was in a bit of a hurry at the moment, I decided to glue them in place for now.

More cable ties are placed for the electronics and cables on the motherboard itself. I also routed cables from the battery to the external board on the back that I will use for recharging my battery and turn on and off the main power of the pack. On the blue battery pack is an extra 120W amp that I am considering using. My electronics kit has a built in 40W amplifier, and it might work, but as I haven’t tried out the pack yet in a convention, it is something the future will have to decide.

The blue battery pack is little on the small scale, but it will work for now.

Once everything was routed, it was just a matter of assembling everything, do a bit of weathering with a chrome pen and some sand paper, and all done!

By |2018-02-18T21:38:59+02:00February 18th, 2018|Building, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters Proton Pack|Comments Off on Ghostbusters Project: Final installation

Ghostbusters Project: Finalising the pack

Over the weekend, I’ve managed to get quite a lot done.
Building is an outlet for me. It is a perfect way to relieve stress and think of other things, so particularly after an intense week with lots of ups and downs, like this one has been, really diving head first in to building is the best way to clear my head!

One of the things I don’t like as much, is painting. I don’t have a proper place to paint, and I’m not very good at spray cans, but still, I make do with what I have.

First off, it was time to spray the motherboard to get rid of that raw metal feel.

As always, a few thin layers is key here…

.. to build up more thin fast drying layers, until it is all covered and the clear coat goes on.

I’ve painted both the inside and outside of my motherboard, I figured it would be the neatest way, really.

Next up, I spent more time attaching things to the shell itself, like this painted v-hook to hang the thrower on. I cut off the bolts with a hand saw and sanded them flush by hand.

Some of the things that are screwed on from the outside, I’ve made it easier to remove, if needed. For the shock mount, I used wing nuts. It is also a good way to stop this from being overly tight and damaging the resin.

In the picture you also clearly see the mouse-hole cut out for the loom holder I made a while back. This holder will be superglued to the motherboard for now. It seems to be holding up very well so far.

I also adjusted the length of the cable, and finally took the decision to cut it off with my hand saw. I screwed in a bolt from the inside to press against the cable tiles and make it even sturdier, but this baby is not going anywhere.

I used the same idea on my copper foot wires on my R2-D2, where I used a rubber hose inside it, and had a screw inside a plug that forced it shut.

Since I started running out of things to do on the basic pack for now, I started dressing the pack. A few cables here…

… and a few cables there…

… and some more over here…

… and don’t forget around the Ion arm …

… and things are starting to look good.

As the more observant of you may have realized, I’ve flipped my ribbon cable. Some screen shot references from Ghostbuster (the Original movie from 1984) revealed that some of these ribbon cables were mounted just like mine was first, but on some packs, it was not orientated in the same way. That’s the beauty of prop building. Finding these little irregularities.

As I’ve modeled mine after the “Spengler” pack, ie the pack that was used by the late Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler in the movie, I twisted mine another half lap to get the rainbow coloured cables facing the outside of the pack. One of these details only a true nerd would ever see.

Here’s finally the pack in all its glory.

.. and here it is with some labels I had laying about attached at random places.

Of course there are still things to do on the pack itself. Normally there is an ugly weld between the Ion arm and the Booster tube, and the Booster tube should be welded on to the pack. Mine is just pressed against it for now. I may or may not fix this, depending on what look I want to go for. It is not a difficult thing to add, it all just depends on if I want to replace the resin parts with metal parts in the future or not.

Another thing that is still on the “to do” list is weathering. Once the entire pack (with thrower) is complete, I will sit down in some sessions and do some proper weathering. It looks too brand new at this point.

Last but not least, electronics. I have still not done anything when it comes to electronics. There is also the nice power panel I made a while back that needs to be mounted, but the base pack is mostly done at this point, and that feels just great!

Next week, I’ll start working on electronics and/or the thrower. Since the thrower has all the controls for the sounds and lights inside, it sort of can’t be done one without the other.

By |2017-06-11T22:35:16+02:00June 11th, 2017|Building, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters Proton Pack|Comments Off on Ghostbusters Project: Finalising the pack