Friday, July 29, 2005

Where to Start...

So . . . here I am now . . . I have just seen a VERY cool thing and wanted to get started. I surfed the web until I came upon the R2 Builders group. I joined immediately . . . without thinking, and found myself among others who had done the same thing . . . . like baseball fans showing up to a field of dreams somewhere in Iowa . . . . or a handful of people making their way to the Devil's Tower to see the mother ship . . . . it had that kind of feel . . . that kind of pull.

I started reading posts from members on their yahoo group, downloading pictures, schematics, blueprints...anything I could get my hands on, and then I saw the announcement for the first parts run...aluminum holoprojectors . . . the little protruding, moveable lenses on R2's in front, one on the back top left, and one in the rear. My father agreed to buy a set of 3 for me as my Christmas gift....I eagerly accepted. I watched as pictures were posted to the group of hunks of raw aluminum were machined into the finished pieces you see here...absolutely fantastic...dead-on reproductions of the overhead light fixture from the Vickers Viscount airplane. That is what the prop-builders used for the original droid in 1977. They were finally finished and shipped to me, and it was so COOL opening the package and seeing these robot parts in my hands...I was on my way.

The next part to come along, was the dome for the head. There had been several variations of the dome over the years, but the run being offered promised to be the crowning pinnacle achievement of trial and error. It was a double-layered dome, custom spun out of aluminum, and then each of the intricate panels making up the familiar head and "face" of R2 was cut by a laser, leaving only small tabs to be cut by the owner once received. It truly was a thing of beauty.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Catching the bug...

OK, somewhere in the back of my mind, I had always wanted to own a full-sized R2-D2. The closest I had ever come to realizing that dream was a chrome trashcan with a domed top.

All that changed when I happened to meet someone who was already started on his droid construction. I saw the laser-cut dome with all the knock-out panels and the laser-cut skins for the body, all in gleaming aluminum and I was incurably hooked.

I had to do this