Monday, March 31, 2008

Test fit Holo eyes

I got some inch and a half inner ring clips today while I was out and test fitted them in the Holo eyes so I knew they would fit right before I primed and painted the resin.
They fit perfectly along with the acrylic half circles.
Today would have also been primer day for my center foot but the wind and rain won't let up.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My custom AT-AT in a battle

This has nothing to do with R2 but here are some photos of an AT-AT battle that I threw a few weeks ago for some friends. The Game lasted 5 hours and I gave away a lot of cool prizes.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Got my center foot today!

It was very well packaged as you can see above. I also took a photo of the inside for those that have not seen it.
I also got some bronze inserts for my wood feet and installed the center foot one. I may have to drill a hole in the side of the steel foot to get the bolt in.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Painted frame

Well with the rain I could not do much today so I finished painting the frame.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Well today I took the "L" channel that I cut last week for the center foot and drilled 3/8 inch holes on the ends of each of them. Next I centered the center leg on it's side inside the frame and got ready to drill the holes the rest of the way threw into the frame.As I drilled the holes I stuck bolts threw them to keep the "L" channel from shifting.Next I leveled out the frame and took a step bit and widened out the holes to install T-nuts.Next I bolted everything up and measured out where the center of the "L" channel was in relation to the square hole in the frame. Then I centered the leg on that center mark and marked where the threw holes would go.
I took the two pieces back out and clamped them together center on center then drilled the threw holes. After that I bolted them back into the frame. I wont mount the center leg into the frame till I get some outer feet motor holders.

Monday, March 24, 2008

T-nut bliss!

Last night I woke up at 3am and could not go back to sleep so I decided to chisel and drill out some of the inside material that was in the way of installing some of the T-nuts. I also cheated a little bit and chopped off a little of the rounded edge on one side. By the time I got done it was time to get ready for work. LOL
After work today I cut all the pipes to roughly the right length and put these scrap pieces in my scrap metal bin.
Finally I cleaned up all the saw dust from the night before and took my R2 outside for some fresh air. I decided to take some progress pictures while I was at it. It is a nice illusion that these photos make it look like I got a lot done. LOL
I am thinking of painting the frame white for now so it does not look like an over sized toothpick.

The JAG man also posted today that he is shipping out the metal center foot today! Maybe this weekend I can go shopping for casters that will work with it! YA!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

You know the drill?

Well after all the Easter festivities I got a little work done today and some help from family members that came over.
I got a few items I needed from Menard's in the morning like the connecting pipe that will go over the leg pipes to secure them together. ( I still need to cut them to size later.)A hole cutting bit to cut the circle on the back side of the legs.

Plus I put in a few of the T-nuts that fit in. The others will have to wait till the interior side walls are shaved back so they won't be getting in the way.I also drilled the holes that will hold the legs for now. If they are slightly off when I finally get to the skins I will attach another piece of wood in front of the current holes and redo them again. No big sweat.

Now I just need to clean up all the saw dust! LOL

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Backstory part 16

Patches whistled loudly to get Esoom’s attention that the air taxi was coming towards them in the distance. Esoom turned around to look then looked back in the direction where he felt the dark presence but it was gone.
The air taxi came down to the landing pad and the driver parked it in front of the two of them. Patches deployed his leg hover pads that he still had not tested out since his accident. Patches slowly lifted himself off the ground and hovered until he felt they would not give out on him then floated over to the taxi and planted himself in the middle of the back seat. Patches chirped happily to himself on a job well done while Esoom hoisted himself over the side and got into the seat next to him. Without so much as a word the driver took off heading to the Jedi temple in the distance. The temple glimmered in the sun as they approached. The driver dropped them off at one of the main entrances at the top of a long flight of stairs. They were greeted by a human Jedi male with short blond hair who said he would show the way to meet with one of the Jedi Masters. They walked down a grand hallway with grand marble pillars and vaulted ceilings, aliens from many different worlds roamed the halls each giving a slight bow in respect as they past them and each other.
“Are all Jedi this polite?” Esoom asked their Jedi guide.
“Most are yes.” The human said and then cracked a smile; “Some are more aggressive than others though but in a good way.” They came to a door and it slid open. It was dimly lit with horizontal blinds on the window to let the sunlight in but not overpower the room. In the center were two cylindrical padded raised platforms with which to sit on. Other than that, the room was empty and quiet.
The Jedi’s communication device beeped and he went off to the side to have a short conversation with whoever was calling, after a moment he came back, “Master Yoda will be here within the hour, he is tending to other matters and has asked me to ask you to wait in this room but that your astromech would have to wait outside.”
Patches whistled softly in disappointment and looked to the floor.
“Patches, maybe this is for the best,” Esoom said gently, “This might take a while anyway so why don’t you call for an air taxi to take you back to our ship. You can help keep Lihp out of trouble.”
“I am sorry for the inconvenience, I will send a message to have another taxi come back and pick up your droid.” The blond haired Jedi said. “I will take him back to the entrance you two came in at.”
“Are you sure you will be ok by yourself?” Patches asked Esoom.
“Yes I will be fine, I am in good hands. Just make sure Lihp stays in the ship till I get back.”
The Jedi asked Patches to follow him and he grudgingly obeyed all the while turning his dome around every few feet to see if Esoom was still watching from the doorway. After the two of them rounded the corner Esoom went and sat on one of the raised cushions in the room and the door slid shut. With the door now closed the room was even darker and deafly quite to the point that Esoom could hear his own breathing plain as day. He had not been this alone scene he had left Ithor and felt a little uneasy. He decided he would take this chance to meditate until the Jedi master came to see him.


The Jedi radioed Patches a taxi then called The Tree Hugger to let them know he would be returning. Once they got back to the entrance at the top of the stairs the Jedi said goodbye and went off to do other things. Patches waited there and grew frustrated as time went on and no taxi showed up. Just as the droid was about to go back inside and check on the status of the taxi he seen a vehicle approach in the distance. The craft jerked and switched as one of the side engines was smoking from not being tuned right. Patches groaned to himself when he realized it was Lihp in the beat up Landspeeder he brought aboard the ship. The green speeder came to a halt in front of the astromech, as the smoke from the engine became a small cloud around them.
“Lihp cancel taxi, come get you myself!” the Jawa said eagerly.
“You are supposed to stay on the ship!” Patches blatted back.
“Lihp no get in trouble, Lihp fix speeder, need to take on test run anyway, not good to do that on ship yes?”
“Let’s get back to the ship before you get a ticket for toxic emitions.” Patches scorned.
Patched hovered himself into the passenger seat and the pair of them took off. Even though the speeder was not pieced back together properly it did soar higher than it was originally designed for due to some modifications Lihp must have done to the repulsors. They flew with ease over the tops of buildings as the engines made weird sounding noises every once in a while. When they were but three buildings away from the C-9979 Lihp took a sharp right and headed downward.
Patches screamed in terror as he had a flash back of his fears of flying. He screamed at Lihp to stop the craft and head back to the ship.
“Lihp hungry, want real food for a change, we go eat at diner I hear of in local directory.”
“You have no credits Jawa! How are you going to pay?” Patches yelled.
“Lihp sell my scrap metal while you were gone, got plenty credits!”
“Esoom put me second in command, you follow my orders! We can call for something to be delivered to the ship!”
“Lihp in driving seat, astro droid has to come with!” Lihp said as he laughed.
Patches shot out a gripper arm and tried to grab the steering wheel to turn them around with no avail; every time he would grab a hold of the wheel Lihp would bat the gripper away.
Still heading in a down direction the ground rushed towards them. Patches let go of the wheel at the last second and Lihp turned the speeder to a hard left and drifted sideways to a stop just centimeters from the front wall of a small retro looking building.

The repulsors smoked from the extra strain that had been put on them and they clunked to a stop dropping the speeder the last foot directly onto the ground with a thunk. The people inside the building looked as if they just had a heart attack as they looked threw the window at the speeder right next to them.
“Engines overheat! Need to let cool now anyway! I hungry go eat!” Lihp said jumping out of the craft standing taller than normal. The Jawa had strapped long metal blocks to his feet so he could reach the foot controls of the speeder. Lihp tried to cover them with his robes as he waited for Patches to get over being droid napped and join him by the entrance.
“Once you have eaten we are going back to the ship even if I have to zap you and drive the speeder myself!” Patches whistled warningly.
“You have Jawa’s word”
The sign on the door of the small eating establishment said Didi’s Diner; Lihp balanced himself on his stilts and opened the door.
A female came up to them and said, “Greetings traveler, my name is Astri Oddo and I will be your waitress tonight. Follow me and I will show you to a booth.”


Esoom chanted softly in stereo to himself as he meditated. He pictured himself flying over Ithor looking down at the Bafforr trees of Cathor Hills. Then he was flying over Naboo watching his Ithorian brothers finishing their work on the forests below. Suddenly a dark robed humanoid appeared in front of him, his face obscured with a cowl. The figure oozed of darkness as he cackled viciously growing bigger and bigger.

The beautiful images that had just had played in Esoom’s mind replayed again, this time the dark man shot blue lightning from his fingertips setting everything and everyone ablaze. Esoom tried to stop him but he could not move, reaching out he felt something in his hand; it was a Lightsaber. Esoom flicked it on and a red beam of light shot out. The light sword moved Esoom’s arm all by itself and it struck down his family and friends. Esoom tried to drop the Lightsaber but it would not let go, he wrestled with it and fought hard as tears ran down his eyes. After everyone was dead, the Lightsaber flew out of the Ithorians grasp and plunged itself deep into Esoom’s heart. Esoom screamed in pain as a reflection of himself appeared before him. The reflection was different, the Lightsaber blade color was green and he was now wearing the dark mans robes.
“Fear is the path to the dark side.” Came a voice that shook Esoom from his nightmare.
The Ithorian confused about what was happening lost his balance and fell over backwards off the cushion and onto the floor flailing his arms as he went. A happy and childlike laugh came from someone else in the room and Esoom peered over the top of the platform he was sitting on expecting to see a young child. To his surprise an old wrinkled green alien sat on the other raised cushion wearing the robes of a Jedi master.

“For an Ithorian not graceful in movement are you.” The pointed eared creature said. “Troubling visions have you?”
“Yes master Jedi, as of late they have been getting darker and more disturbing.” Esoom said as he tried to regain his composure and sit back on his cushion.
“Much fear and anger I sense in you.” Said the unknown alien as he poked Esoom with a short stick. “Great care you must take when sensing the future.”
“The Future!” Esoom exclaimed, “How can I see the future!”
“Threw your connection to the force.” The green Jedi said while opening up his arms as to point to some invisible entity. “Though your connection to the force is unlike any I have seen in hundreds of years.”
Esoom now more inquisitive than disoriented asked, “What connection do I have? How come it has never been noticed before?”
“Strange that your connection was not noticed when younger you were, there seems to be a dark force trying to suppress my awareness it is.”
The creature’s face went from playful to serious so fast that Esoom flinched.
“I am Master Yoda; very disturbing is the dark side’s interest in clouding your powers. If we had known of your connection to the force when younger you were a Jedi now you might be.”
“Ever cense I left Ithor my anger has slowly got out of my control, the closer I got to this planet the stronger I feel a dark presence watching me.” Esoom said feeling ashamed and lowering his head as not to look into Yoda’s eyes. “So far I have kept it relatively under control but I am afraid that one day I might not be able to. Am I becoming evil?”
“Hard to see your future is Esoom, but evil in you I do not cense. Knowing you are having trouble and admitting it, first steep to staying on the light path it is.”
Esoom looked back up into Yoda’s eyes as streams of tears began to fall. “Can you help me?”
“To old you are to become a Jedi, but help to teach you to control your anger we can. Come tell me of your visions….”


Lihp shoved his food under his black facemask with his hands with no concern of where the scraps landed.
The other patrons looked on in disgust as the Jawa signaled their waitress Astri to bring more.
Patched moaned as he stood next to the booth watching along with everyone else.
“No more food! Let’s go!" Patches blurted out.
“Lihp not full! Lihp can eat more!” The Jawa said as he started to eat and drink his third helping. Halfway threw the course Lihp started to swoon back and forth.
“I not feel so good. Feel like I filled with sand.”
“Ok that is it! Let’s go! I command you to take us back to the ship! This is an order now not a request!” Patches whistled for all in the dinner to hear.
“Me thinks astro droid is right, We should get back before giant friend finds out we gone.” Lihp said as he stumbled out of the booth and held on to Patches for support. Once outside Lihp leaned against the speeder until he was not so woozy.

“Hey womp rat! Ya I’m talking to you you stinkin Jawa!” Came the voice of a Gotal who was also a patron of the diner. “What do you think you are doing in Coco Town? I have never seen a stinkin Jawa here before! And taking orders from a droid none the less!”
“Lihp no want trouble!” The Jawa said raising his hand in surrender.
“Watching you eat ruined my appetite and I think you should pay for my meal! All the credits you have and that junk speeder of yours will do nicely!” The Gotal said with a sneer as he pulled out a hidden holdout blaster from inside his boot.
Patches let out a wooing sound as he could not believe their luck at having another blaster pointed at them on a daily basis.
“Extra credits in speeder! Take all no shoot!” Lihp said and ran around to the other side of the building clunking on his stilts as he went leaving Patches by himself.
The Gotal laughed to himself as he pointed the gun at the droid, “You’re lucky I do not have the luxury of stealing an R2 unit like yourself. I must hurry and make my escape.” The gruff Gotal hopped into the speeder and fired it up; the repulsors slowly lifted the speeder up off the ground as they slowly powered back up.
Suddenly Lihp came from around the building shouting, “Utinni!” The Jawa pulled out a small black box and pushed one of the buttons on it. The seat in the speeder lift straight up with such a great force it propelled the Gotal up into the air that he landed on his back in the middle of the street several yards away.
“Astro droid think Lihp leaves him by himself” the Jawa said laughingly as he reset the seat and climbed in.
“Very funny, now let’s go!” Patches screeched.
The two of them argued for several minutes until Lihp felt the barrel of a blaster rest on the back of his head.
“You think your pretty funny do ya you womp rat scum!” The same Gotal said as he wiped blood from his mouth with his free hand. “Your dead now and no amount of creds will stop me from doing it!”
The Gotal slowly started to squeeze the trigger trying to savor the moment when suddenly a loud thud came from behind him and everything went black. Standing behind the Gotal was Astri the waitress with a cooking pan and a smile.
“You two should really learn to be more low key. Lucky for you you were a good tipper.” She said kneeling down to grab the Gotal’s blaster and chucked it to Lihp.
“You two should as least look like you can defend yourselves. Take his blaster and get out of here before he wakes up. I got to get back to work.” Astri then turned around as if nothing had happened and went back inside.
“Now can we go?” Patches beeped sarcastically.
“Yes we go now.” Lihp said in as low a voice as possible for a Jawa, as they headed back towards The Tree hugger.


After Esoom finished telling Yoda about his visions and anger in great detail. The Jedi master ran a hand over his brow while thinking to himself. “Confer with the council I must, tomorrow a decision we will make. For now we ask for you to be our guest. Contact your crew you can.”
“I understand.” Esoom said felling lighter already now that he had gotten his thoughts off his chest.
“Hungry you must be, eat you must. Dose your crew need anything to eat?” Yoda asked already knowing the answer.
“Yes I am hungry master Jedi, I do have a Jawa member on my crew right now, he could probably use something to eat.”
“A Jawa you say? How strange to have one as a crewmate. It will be done, now come let me walk you to the door. I will have another jedi come take you to get something to eat."

Next: Patches goes commando!

Let there be light!

Well I took some time to add another florescent light to my temp basement hallway work area because the other two lights were behind me and my shadow kept getting in my way. The new light I attached slightly forward but still above the work area.

Here are a few pictures of my cold weather work area in the basement with just the new light on.

Now I just need to clean up my mess and maybe put a new coat of paint on the walls in this hallway.

Here is a photo of how much brighter my photos are! LOL
Now I just need to break down and get a real digital camera!

Later when it gets warmer I will show you "The Barn" work area which has a lot more room and light. I would put a heater in "The Barn" but it is to big and uninsulated to heat efficiently.
All the money went into the security system anyway. LOL

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Backstory part 15

Patches’ new shiny chrome holo eye looked out of place on his dirty multicolored body, none the less he was happy to have a new one that worked. Just as Esoom was putting away the last of the tools he used to fix the astromech the head battle droid shouted out that they were ready to drop out of hyperspace. Patches went over to the nav computer and plugged in and dropped The Tree Hugger out into real space. Esoom went over to one of the droids and asked it to put up an outside view of the ship. On the screen the planet Coruscant was in the distance, Esoom had never seen a planet were the entire world was covered by buildings. He looked in awe and disgust at the same time, the lights from this far away were beautiful but Esoom also wondered what the planet used to look like before the entire native flora and fauna was destroyed.
They dropped out of hyperspace far away from the planet just incase the new transponder ship identification did not put the planets traffic control at ease; they were in a used Trade Federation ship and did not want to get shot out of the sky before they landed.
After a few minutes talking with traffic control and having them check with someone from Naboo about the new registry number they were given permission to land. Suddenly the ship was rocked by blaster fire; the ship was under attack.
“Who is shooting at us! We were just cleared to land!” Esoom shouted as Patches screamed out a similar question at the same time. Esoom pushed a few buttons and the view screen showed two craft circling the ship.
Esoom pushed a button on the communications station and tried to raise the ships. “Attention craft, we are not with the Trade Federation, we have no weapons!”
Another shot shook the ship. Over the COM system came a gruff mans voice, “We know you have no weapons Hammerhead. We scanned your ship and overheard your previous conversation. Surrender your ship or be destroyed in the name of The Black Sun!”
“I will not surrender our ship to the likes of you!” Esoom snapped back. Turning around to his droid crew he shouted out, “Ok boys give these tiny engines all they got and head straight for the planet!” The ship lurched hard as the engine went straight to full power but the other two ships were right on there heals. The two small craft shot repeatedly till they managed to disable the C-9979’s Radiant ion drive.
“That was a big mistake Hammerhead! If we can’t have your ship neither will you!” Came the grizzly voice over the speaker.
The ships shot again and again as alarms and lights started flashing everywhere. Sparks flew from one of the stations as it blew throwing the droid pilot stationed there to the floor. The console then caught fire and thick black smoke started to fill the bridge. Patches wheeled over as fast as could be, while opening up one of his dome plates and putting out the fire with his fire extinguisher.
Suddenly the firing slowed and a new voice crackled over the communications system. “Sorry to crash your party but I thought you could use some assistance Mr. Mendo. “
“Yes please help!” Esoom exclaimed pleading into the mike. “They say they are Black Sun! Be careful!”
“I doubt they are Black Sun sir, even they are not dumb enough to attack this close to the planet with us Jedi around.”
“Jedi! I came all this way to talk to the Jedi!” Esoom cheered.
“Well lets deal with one thing at a time shall we friend.” The Jedi said, “Just sit tight and let me take care of these unsavory characters.”
Esoom watched the view screen and Patches came and joined him after putting out the fire. The two of them watched a sleek fighter ship come swooping in. The other two craft turned their attention to it and started firing. The fighter danced back and forth threw the bolts without so much as a scratch then flew past the ships. The Jedi then turned around and with just one blast to each ship hit them dead on. The two Black Sun want-to-be ships hightailed it and shot into hyperspace.
“Well that takes care of that! So why do want to see the Jedi?” Came the calm voice of the Jedi.
“I am having trouble with my anger and am looking for some guidance.” Esoom came back.
“Well I can direct you to a great public councilor.” The Jedi said.
“Well that is all well and good but I have been told that I have force sensitivity also.” Esoom added.
With a little alarm in his voice now the Jedi replied, “Well that does pose a bit of a problem. Follow me in, your ship is to large to land at the temple itself but I know of a place nearby.”
“Oh thank you my Jedi friend, thank you.”
The bruised and battered Tree hugger slowly limped behind the Jedi’s fighter down into the atmosphere. They were directed to a building with a large and beefy landing platform on its roof. Esoom instructed Lihp to stay on the ship and get his droids working and to keep an eye on the pilot droids who were to do whatever repairs they knew how to do. The huge bay doors of the ship opened wide as Patches and Esoom Mendo took in the panorama of the city. Directly in front of them in the distance was the towering Jedi Temple. It’s huge spires reaching towards the sky. Patches let out a loud whistle of surprise. A familiar voice came from the left as the same Jedi jumped out from his fighter that landed next to them.
“Welcome my Ithorian friend to Coruscant. An air taxi will be here in a moment to pick you up and take you to the Jedi temple. Please be patient for your ride. I am sorry I can not stay and wait with you but I must get back on patrol.”
“Thank you for all your help.” Esoom said.
“May the Force be with you!” The Jedi said as he smiled and bowed. Then he turned to walk back to his small ship.
“Uh, thanks?” Esoom said back as the Jedi jumped into his ship's cockpit and took off.
“Never a boring minute huh.” Patches twittered.
“No my friend, lately the excitement never ends.”
The two of them stood there waiting while taking in the sights of the skyline. All the while Esoom felt a nagging dark sensation pulling at him from somewhere else on the planet.

The Daily Grind

Today I am spending most of my time cooking for tomorrows St. Patrick's day get together. I had some time while waiting for the corned beef and cabbage to simmer so I thought I would get some grinding done.
Before I begin let me quote a great and wise man; Norm from The new Yankee Workshop,
"Before you Begin any project, be sure to read understand and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. Also there is no better safety rule then to wear these, safety glasses."

First I started by grinding down the extra length of the inside shoulder hub bolts so they do not interfere with the exterior resin hub cap.
Here is the before... And here is the after!
I also took a piece of angle iron and cut two thirteen inch pieces out of it. These pieces will be used to hold the center leg to the frame. Using metal instead of wood will insure there is no unwanted movement of the leg.
After cutting these two pieces I ground down all the sharp edges and cleaned up any metal shards left on the concrete.
I test fitted the pieces in the frame and will drill the holes on each end later when I get the right drill bit.