Sunday, September 26, 2010

Build A Bear - Star Wars Event

Oh my goodness this was our first non convention event with R2 and it was so much fun. My jaw and sides hurt from laughing so hard. The kids and the Storm Troopers from the 501st Legion were so funny.

Oddest moment of the day was being stopped by Mall Security as soon as we entered the Mall. Apparently they were not informed of the event. Did you know you have to have a 3 million insurance policy? I don't know if this is with all malls but I'm sure it is with all Simon Malls. So we were instructed that we were not allowed to drive the droid out side of the store. Luckily it wasn't a big ordeal. Although we did feel bad telling the Apple Store Employees that we couldn't bring him over there before we left. 

Cutest moment of the day.... Well, that's so hard to choose. Kids showing there new bears to the Storm Troopers as well as R2. Kids standing on their tippy toes to see who is inside R2. The little girls asking Todd a million questions about R2. Or the little girl who wanted a hug from the Storm Trooper. I've learned from some fellow builders, Syrena & Brad that sometimes the troopers get pinched and so that's why they do the high 5. 

Funniest moment is when people dance to any of the various songs R2 plays. So far we had a mother and daughter dancing together for part of the Cantina song. But nothing tops a Storm Trooper holding a C3P0 Bear and dancing. Although I do have to share one conversation I over heard between a father and his son. 

The kid asked,  "What is R2 saying?".
The father replied, "I don't know. We need C3P0 to tell us and he's not here."

The saddest moment of the day well there really is 2 saddest moments. As it gets later in the day kids get rowdier & rough and start smacking R2. Not to hard but I wasn't to pleased with it. The other sad moment was when we were leaving R2 scared this girl who had to be 8 or 9. She was so scared that she was hiding behind her father crying. 

All in all I have to say it was a blast and I got a bear for my niece who is due in December. If you ever want to do something fun with your kids or for a birthday party I highly recommend this place. I'd also like to take a moment to send a special Thanks to the Orlando 501st for letting us join them and look forward to accompanying them at the Verizon R2 Droid phone release on Wednesday. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

In the news....

I know haven't updated the blog in a long time. Now that Celebration V is over it's time to take a break and catch up. I did have a lot of fun as it was our first time going to one. I really enjoyed the costumes and how well the different groups designed their sets. It's amazing how diverse the backgrounds of the other fan groups mirror the R2 builders group. You have costume makers, programmers, technician, mechanics & more. I think the best part of a convention is getting to know some of the people you bumped into at the convention. Many I have to admit found me.

One thing I like to do is look at the pictures posted on the facebook groups. It's a blast. So I hope more folks add their pictures to Star Wars Celebration.

Don't use facebook? Don't want to go Pro on Flickr? It's ok. There are sites setup by several papers wanting Star Wars Celebration pictures. Here are a few of them. (I've also added my best clear pictures to them)
The 2nd thing I like doing is searching the news articles for pictures of the event. I get to see stuff I missed. So this time I thought I'd post articles in which our droids picture is in. I know with R2 it's hard to tell them apart.

With kids, the future of 'Star Wars' is rosy | Geek Gestalt - CNET News

'Star Wars' fever invades Orlando (photos) and Tech Republic 'Star Wars' Fever invades Orlando
  • 3 is our droid used in previous article listed. 
  • 18 is Jessica at the droid races on Friday.
When droids break their huddle - Todd and both droids are in the shot. Unfortunatly they cropped me out but that's ok.

My Orlando Fox Star Wars Celebration V (Todd's R2 at the very end there)

So many Slave Leia Costumes! Pics from Star Wars Celebration V Image 216 out of 325
Star Wars Celebration V - Day Two (
  • About 2/3rds down the entire page. Click here to avoid scrolling.
Star Wars Celebration V - Day Three (
  • About 2/3rds down the entire page. Click here to avoid scrolling.
Homemade R2 Units at Star Wars Celebration: From Almost-Best to Best
  • R7's picture is half way through the page. 
Star Wars Celebration V – Day 1 Coverage (8/12/10)
  • There are 2 pictures of R7 in a row not far down 
Star Wars Celebration 5 CV Coverage by and GGC » R2 Builders
This is more of a posting of all their photos from the Droid room. Their pictures are also on face book as well.

Ok so I found one more article.....

Les R2-D2 Builder

One of the great things about Flickr is tagging, if the owner of the pics all it. To see more droid picture click here.

Oh and I have to say best complement ever from George Lucas to all the droid builders. See his comment by clicking here.

Other videos of the droids are added to the following playlist.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Update on R7 Status

Sorry it's taking so long to get these videos out so here's an update! Thanks! (Closed Caption note: English was auto-captioned so this was added for amusement purposes. I'll clean it up and you will see a 2nd English option for an accurate caption. Thanks for your patience.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Photos From 2010 Orlando Megacon | Movie Crematorium

Yay we made it into a news article. Will add more details....

Photos From 2010 Orlando Megacon | Movie Crematorium

This is the photo of our droid. He's so handsome.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Getting the show on the road.

It took me about a year to collect enough parts to really get going. The first R2 parts I got was the dome & frame. The dome is a Formosa generation II. I went with the wooden frame since it is what I'm use to working with the most. The frame was made out of plywood and didn't feel sturdy so to give it some reinforcement I added some fiberglass. Assembling the frame was probably about the easiest part by far.

No matter what you get you always have to make some adjustments. You would think that all the parts are universal & and are interchangeable.

The skins are not to terribly difficult all you do is punch out the pieces. As there are many reasons why I may need to remove my skins I attached them to the frame with small screws. I don't recommend gluing them on.

Not all skins came with the extra parts to build your own ports, vents & etc. With a little time & patience & a whole lot of glue and details done. Granted I didn't like how some of them came out after assembling and went with resin parts.

FYI, not all resin pieces are equal. Sometimes that have lots of bubbles in them. The easiest way to fix this is using body plastic to fill them in. Of course once it's dried & harden you'll have to sand it down.

Knowledge is power - How to get started on an R2D2 build.

You know the saying there is more than one way to skin a cat? Well, there is more than one way to build a droid. It's not an easy build and can try your patients at time but definitely a labor of love that's worth it. You have to remember you are the only one who limits yourself. Many think that because we have a life size replica that we are rich & have money to toss around. WRONG! We are average Joes just like you. Not all of us are mechanically inclined either. The plus side is even if you've never picked up a hand tool you can still build an R2. Just go with your strengths and don't be afraid to ask for help in the group. I happen to be lucky, as I said, "I'm no stranger to tools." I've been working with cars since I was a kid as well as been building large scale model airplanes for over 20 yrs.

Just like anyone else I looked online to see if there was information on how to build an R2D2. Did you know that if you do a search on Yahoo for "How to build an R2D2" you will get almost a million results. The best place to start looking for information is at The official website of the R2-D2 builder's club. There are other groups and forums out there and most of them tie back to this group as the main hub. From here you can find out if there are local builders groups in your area such as Southern R2 Builders.

Before you jump into anything weather it's starting a new hobby or building your droid you must alway do research & lots of reading. Many may be surprised at the thought that I don't post much in the forums but I've read almost every post. This first step is the most important. You get tips on what works & what doesn't. Also by doing the leg work you can come across some great deals. Life happens and sometimes fellow R2 builders for one reason or another decide to sell off parts of their droids. Getting second hand parts is a great way to keep your cost down.  You will also find in the group links to plans on how to build your own frame, skins as well as cut out the pie panels on the dome. There are also fellow builders who do runs on parts as well as manufacture parts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

R2D2 build by Todd & Jessica Bixby

Here is my little buddy, sporting new paint and just put back together, exterior is done except power couplers and letting him go play in the mud a bit like all young droids are known to do from time to time. i just need to remember to keep him away from Dagobah!