Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dome Ring Test Fit

Looks like two layers of 1mm styrene will work for the dome to fit snugly. I need to trim 3/8" off the height of the dome ring. I initially was going to have the dome overlap 1/2" but upon further consideration, I think that will interfere with getting some of the electronics in place.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dome Ring and Bearing

Got some time today to work on R2. I finished the interior dome ring whose completion was delayed when the motor on my Dremel tool died. At first I thought the burning smell was the plywood I was cutting, but when the Dremel tool seized up I quickly deduced it was the motor. The warranty must have expired LOL!

I had some scrap 1/2" plywood that I used for the ring since I wanted something thick to which to attach the lower dome rings. The plywood is really quite light. I doubt it is much heavier than the same thickness of styrene. I will use some contact cement to glue the styrene dome rings to the plywood.

My plan is to put two layers of 1mm styrene around the wood ring. That should provide a snug fit inside the dome. I will then glue the dome in place and I will finish dome ring detail with some strips of 1mm styrene.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trimming Barnard's Dome

I finally got the chance to trim the flange off of the 18" dome that I got from Barnards in Chicago. I used the flush-cut attachment on my Dremel MultiMax and it made a nice even cut around the flange. There were some plastic goobers from cutting stuck to the dome edge, but they came away easily.

I was going to mount it to a 1/2" plywood dome ring, but the motor burnt out on my Dremel rotary tool. I'll have to finish that up later with a jig saw.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Outer Skin Progress

I got the outer skins set up with the 3M VHB tape and I tell ya, it works like a charm. I put strips of it onto the backside of the outer skins and burnished it down. The backer peeled off easily and the tape is just tacky enough to hold but not too strong so you can reposition it.

I started with the back right side, got that in place and then worked my way around. Then I repeated the process for the front. I overlapped the front skin over the seam for the inner skins and things joined together nicely. A little filler later will hide any seams.

I then super-glued along the edges. I initially tried using the thin super glue from Hobby Lobby but it was too thin and came out too quickly. I wound up using Crazy Glue that I had on hand. It was thin enough to wick into the gaps but thick enough not to run all over the place.

Then I sanded the inset panels for the back and super glued then on. I positioned them in place with a piece of painter's tape, hinging it along on edge. Then I put some CA on the back, flipped it into place and smoothed it in down. Worked like a charm!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Domes and Bearing!

UPS brought lots of treats today! The 60 gauge domes from Barnards in Chicago arrived as well as the replacement bearing from VXB!

The dome is the perfect diameter. It overhangs the dome by about 1/16" all the way around. The dome ring should overhang the body nicely once it is attached. I could not be happier!

The 60 gauge dome has a little give to it if you press in firmly, but I don't think that will be an issue. Now, how best cut off that pesky flange?

I bought a 394mm bearing since I wanted a little clearance and was uncomfortable with a 17-3/4" bearing. As you can see from the pictures, the 394mm bearing fits nicely on the top body ring.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Slow Going

Work on my R2 has been delayed lately due to the fact that both boys are in middle school and need a lot of help at night with homework.

Also, I strained my elbow cutting out the styrene skins 3 weeks ago and now I officially have "tennis elbow." I saw the doctor last week and he suggested icing it, taking ibuprofen, wearing a brace, and resting it by trying not to use it.

Makes it hard to work when gripping something causes shooting pains down your arm.

I did use my Dremel MultiMax to sand the inner and outer skins today. I would have attached the outer skins if I had not left the VHB tape at work. Doh!

Hopefully the 60 gauge dome from Barnards in Chicago will be delivered tomorrow, along with the replacement lazy susan bearing from VXB. Then things are really gonna start happening!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Resin Vents

Got the resin vents that I ordered from Don's Place Ebay Store. A very nice chap in England who sells a few cast resin parts. Very fast turnaround!

This is the first pre-made part I have purchased. I just did not feel up to fabricating these babies by hand. I will probably splurge for some other tricky parts like the radar eye and the holoprojectors, and of course, the dome.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Outer Skin Test Fit

I got the inner skins glued in place and today at lunch I did a test fit of the inner skins.

It took a little effort to get the skins to fit up to the shoulder hubs, but I am very happy with the results.

Next, I am going to sand and prime and paint some test pieces of styrene to see how much I need to sand the skins. I want everything to be sanded properly before I attached the outer skins.

I am using the 3M VHB tape for Uline to attach the skins. Testing showed that it holds really well and I am looking forward to using something other than super glue!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Inner Skin Test Fitting

Trimming around the shoulder hubs for the inner skins. Really taking my time to get this right. I think I'll deviate from the club specs and put a rubber gasket around the hole to hide any irregularity. Plus, it will make that transition look a little more industrial. Thanks Greg for that suggestion!

I think I'll track down that industrial tape for putting on the outer skins. I think super glue would be too messy. Besides, I like the idea of peeling off a little bit at a time and getting it into position.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Details, details!

I got the skins trimmed out and I brought the body frame and skins to work to get some help wrapping them.

I went to Douglas Hardware and bought some strap clamps that I plan on using to assist in the wrap.

Today I used the drill press to drill the inside round corners of the door detail pieces of the outer skin. For some reason some of the pieces had center marks for the corners and others didn't. I used duct tape to make a jigon the drill press to do the pieces without marks. Worked like a charm! A few straight cuts and I'll be in business!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back Outer Skin

Trimmed out the back outer skin. Thank you to whomever set up the files. Initially I thought they had been laid out in reverse, then I realized that they were made to be trimmed on the back side. It only took a couple of knife slips to appreciate the importance of that strategy!

I hope to get the front out skin trimmed at lunch time, that is if my trimming finger can handle it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Inner Skin Test Fit

Trimmed out the front and back inner skins and did a test fitting. Amazingly, everything seems to be lining up! I need to put some reinforcements on the sides under the shoulders to give the side seams something to glue onto. I am thinking that four 3mm sheets glued together would provide more than enough purchase. I also noticed that even though I am not going to have the arm boxes, I do need some support behind there. I must have missed that step on Dave's plans!

I anticipate that the outer skins will be much more time consuming to trim, but I am going to go slowly because I do not want to do this twice!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ankles Aweigh!

I think I am just about done with all three ankles, hallelujah! While they were a time-consuming pain in the arse, I really feel a lot more comfortable with glueing, filling and sanding now. I can take this knowledge and use it to finish skinning the legs, which I have been avoiding.

The ankles definitely need some more smooth sanding before I prime them, but for now, I am moving on to greener pastures!

Skirt Progress

I fishished the main body of the skirt and now am working on putting on the angled pieces. I added more supports since I was having a tough time getting the end and side pieces to play nicely. I have yet to do any filling or sanding but it is coming along nicely.

I used my Dremel MultiMax with grinding and sanding pads to bevel the edges. That worked like a charm. I scored the bevel lines first and it made it very easy to see what needed more sanding/grinding. My thanks again to Mike Brainerd from Bosch for the tool!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Trade Show Booth Model

My droid-building skills came in handy this week at work when we got an unusual request. Our client wanted a scale model of their Vegas booth, with the capability to slide different graphic panels in and out of it. The booth is 40' long by 20' wide by 18' high. I built the model with a scale of 1/2" = 1' so my model is 20" long by 10" wide by 9" tall.

I bought some Evergreen styrene parts from Gary's Hobby Center here in town and was able to get a handle on how to build it. Unfortunately, Gary's did not have enough stock material and I wound up buying more online from Tower Hobby. They had a bewildering array of styrene tubes, panels, sheets, trusses, you name it! All reasonably priced as well. All said, the cost of materials was about $60.

The majority of the model was built with square tube styrene, with deep channel U-shaped pieces glued along side to create the track for the sliding graphic panels. I used Testor's liquid plastic cement along with Hobby Lobby's Extreme Power Thick super glue. Two days of work and one fairly substantial flesh wound from the X-acto and I was done!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ankle Filling and Sanding

Filling the cracks on the first ankle. I did a first pass of the primer last week to discover spots that needed sanding and filling. I am cutting my teeth on this first ankle, getting the hang of sanding and filling. I hope successive parts go more smoothly!

More Skirt Work

After a vacation hiatus I was able to get a few minutes in today to work on the skirt. I found the support pieces and glued them in, along with the top piece. I'll have to cut the pieces that wrap when I get back to work on Monday.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Center Ankle and Skirt

Glued up some of the pieces for the center ankle and will finish it up on my lunch hour this week since I have the 1mm styrene there to do the skinning.

Started the skirt to discover that I didn't cut out a bunch of skirt support pieces. Doh! And my frankenstein Dremel cutting attachment could not be adjusted to cut the rounded parts of the skirt. I had to cut those by hand. SIGH! I did have enough pieces to get started on the skirt and so far so good. I have to skin that at work as well.

Thought I'd get more done this weekend but we had an unexpected trip to Six Flags with my brother and his wife to celebrate our birthdays. More flags! More fun! Needless to say, I'm beat!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rough Fit of Legs

Got the ankles (mostly) done as well as the legs and I could not wait any longer to attach them to the body frame. Had to do some hole enlargement to get the bolts onto the body, but it is a nice, snug fit. Now it's looking like a droid!

I hope to finish the outer part of the ankles and skin the legs this weekend. And if Fate is smiling on me, the skirt as well!

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Ankle … continues

Snuck in 30 minutes of R2 time tonight. Glued some more bits of the ankle and did a lot of sanding to smooth out the side. Funny how things go faster with fresh sandpaper! Don't mind the rough edges, that's just some of template peeling off. I still need it to round off the end of the ankle.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

First Ankle

Started assembling the first ankle from the pieces I trimmed out earlier. Sandwiched the pieces together with Krazy Glue. Lots of fussing with the angled pieces at the bottom of the ankle. The ones I cut from the plans didn't fit so I made ones from scratch. Hopefully, the next ankle should go more smoothly.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weld-On Problems

While checking the outer layer of the leg, I noticed the Weld-On 16 is not creating a permanent bond. With just a little force I can pry the pieces apart, so I went back and reglued some spots with Krazy Glue. I checked a test piece I had glued together a few weeks ago and that came apart easily. Kind of a drag since the Weld-On was easier to work with.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

One Leg Done!

Finally got to assemble the rest of the first leg. There are some parts that need sanding to make them flush then I can put the 1mm skin around the edge. I have all the parts cut out for the second leg and hope to get started on it tomorrow.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Shoulder Hubs

Finally got the hardware to assemble the shoulder hubs. Gotta love Douglas Hardware! They have a whole aisle of bins of nuts and bolts in a bewildering assortment of sizes.

Note to self: Pay more attention when using the drill press. One of the hubs got stuck on the bit and it chewed the hell out of one side of the hole. That side snugs up to R2's body, so no one will see it.

Tried a test fit to the body and discovered that the body holes are a little snug. May be a good thing, though.

Bonus Tube for Battery Boxes

Got a scrap plastic tube from a used-up roll of Xyron adhesive at work. A few well-placed cuts and viola! Perfect rounded tops for the battery boxes. I'll save these for later!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

First Leg

The boys were behaving nicely tonight after dinner so I was able to get cracking on the first of the legs. Using the Weld-On 16 worked quite well, though it has a tendency to come pouring out once you get started, so be careful! I discovered accidentally that it good for glueing Sintra to cardboard, too. I went to move my piece only to discover some excess glue had adhered it to the cardboard protector on my workbench! A little trim work with the Xacto and some sandpaper and I was back in business!

Body Frame Complete

I have to reinforce the top shoulder panels and add some more glue to a few uprights, but overall the body frame is complete.

I was using Krazy Glue with a brush-on applicator for assembly, but now I have switched to Weld-On 16 (in a tube). It bonds quite well and sets up fairly quickly while giving you some time to adjust things before they set up. And a 5 oz. tube is reasonably priced at $6.75 from Tap plastics ( I bought some Weld-On 4 and have had no luck with it working on the Sintra.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Body Work Continues

Got some more of the uprights glued in place along with the shoulder plates. Started to glue the top ring in place.

I used the drill press to get pieces ready for the legs. I hope to finish the body and start on the legs this weekend.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Styrene Body Assembly

I started assembling the body frame last night and made some good progress. I am hoping to finish the frame this weekend. Used the cutting attachment of the Dremel MultiMax to cut out the coin slot notch. On the fastest speed to cut throught the styrene like butter, but left the edges kinds blobby. A little sandpaper took care of that.