June, 12th 2009
Im terribly sorry that I have not made any posts for so long. I have been keeping busy and have been putting off posting an update. I have been improving my coding skills a little and I hope do a little work on this site to make it a little easier to post, perhaps even add some nifty features like adding the option to organize posts by category.
And I'll try to post more often!
For those curious, C-3PO has been done for a few months now. Ive been having a blast 'being' 3PO at various events. Here are a few pictures of the finished product:
Vacuum Metalizing Co. Inc. (Rancho Cucamonga)
Chris Bartlett - Fiberglass Parts
MonCal - Brass Head Greeblies, Eyes
Russ - Leg Pistons, Chest Greeblie
Jerry C - Brass Arm Pistons
Fenixprops - Arm Greeblies
JŲrg S - Chest Pistons
Jim (starbuckcylon) - Shoes, Arm Greeblies
Special Thanks to:
RBJ, John S, Mike S, SoCal Garrison for you continued help and support!
February, 14th 2009
Done! And ready to Metalize, Taking it down on Monday. Its all dismantled now, but I was able to get some pictures last night:
February, 2nd 2009
Got a lot done this weekend! All fiberglass parts (except the hand lates/fingers) are fully prepped for plating. Still have to finish trimming and prepping the shoes as well. I'm tempted to widen the shoes.. but they are made of very thin ABS, and I'm not sure how I could do it properly..
I am also still waiting on a couple metal parts.
If all goes well, Ill be driving it down to the VM place on the 16th on this month!
January, 28th 2009
I'm very happy with the way the back mod turned out. The magnets are embedded and working well! The torso is nearly complete, just need to do a bit more sanding.
One of the shoulder rings is not fitting properly at the moment... I'm trying to figure out how to fix it... hopefully I wont need to do anything major.
The forearm mod also seems to have turned out nicely, although I still have a little work to do on one of them.
I'm also waiting for a few machined parts.. Some of them will be brass, and I think I can get away with not plating them. Another aluminum part I am waiting for, I'm hoping to have this weekend.
The shorts and legs are finally complete! Just have a little bit of work to do on one of the thighs.
Other then that, I just need to wet sand a few parts, and do some work on the feet!
January, 12th 2009
I went crazy and decided to do a rather large modification to the back plate. I'm going to try and make the back 'box' removable so I can put my electronics in there and my handlers can access them. Here's what it looks like at the moment:
I ordered some strong magnets to attach it with, they have yet to arrive. I'm rather excited to see how it turns out.
January, 5th 2009
Tons of progress has been made, I'm sorry that I have not been posting updates. I have almost finished my torso, the widening was very successful and it cleaned up very nice. I think it is as good as new, and it is very difficult to tell that it was so drastically modified. Here are some pictures:
I also added a nifty system for bolting the neck ring. The back portion slips down over some pegs and then bolt down, which makes for a much more stable system. The previous system used a very long screw (with metric threads) that screwed into a bolt that was embedded in the fiberglass. The original screws arrived in very poor condition and I could not find replacement screws ANYWHERE that matched the length and threading. They also took a very long time to screw into the neck because of their tiny threads. The new system allows for shorter, wider, easier to buy screws :) Here are some pictures:
I also added a tiny hinge to the shoulder bells, this allows the bells to move when I lift my arms and whatnot. I felt comfortable doing this because the movie suit seemed to use a very similar system:
After successfully widening the chest, I felt confident enough to try widening some other parts that needed it. The thigh parts fit very tight around the fiberglass shorts and would occasionally get small cracks around the tops because of this. I widened each thigh about a half inch in the back. I am still working on cleaning these up so that the modification is not noticeable. Here are some pictures, the first illustrates how much they were widened, and the second is them in their current state:
I also widened the upper arms, they were very tight, and would not slide up onto my shoulders. This modification seems to have worked very well. The one on the left is still being worked on, while the one on the right has already been modified and finished!
Another modification I am working on is reworking the detail on the wrists. I was rather unhappy with the way they looked and wanted to make them look more like the ones in the movie. Using a large ziptie I think It looks a lot better. I hate to show it in its current state.. but here is the wrist I am working on, no where near finished, but you get the idea. The arm on the far right is how both arms arrived originally::
The shorts have continued to be a huge amount of work... As I mentioned before I had to make some rather large modifications to them. They left little room to move, they were in two halves and since they only screwed shut at the top, it was very easy for them to "pinch" near the legs and groin. They were also badly warped and did not fit together well. I did A LOT of heating with a head gun to get them to line up to each other. I had to cut down a large portion of the bottom (5-8 inches). I also cut quite a bit off each side to get them to fit into the thighs. I fiber-glassed the two half's together, so now they slip on and are one piece. I am slowly patching up the seam from the fiberglass, but I'm confident they will look good when I'm done.
Sadly, I cut off too much on the inner thigh and my leg would show when I put them on.
(I do understand that I just posted an image of a red arrow pointing in the general direction of my crotch... but I felt that I needed to illustrate my point, haha)
I think I have since corrected this by adding a couple more inches of fiberglass to that area (I have yet to try them on though):
I also have correctly mounted the 'antenna' on the top of the head. While I was drilling the hole for it to slip in to, the drill bit grabbed on to the fiberglass and created some large chips and 3 big cracks.. It took me a little while to repair, but it seems fine now.. I still have some work to do on it though.
Someone was getting rid of a C-3PO cardboard cutout at our local 501st Christmas party.. It has been a ton of help and has acted as a great reference tool!:
Sadly the only image I have of 3PO all together on my mannequin was taken on my cellphone a week or two ago. So it doesn't look that great, But here it is anyway:
Still quite a bit of work to be done, but I'm still confident I can have to ready to vacuum metalize by the end of this month!
December, 10th 2008
I received my head greeblies/eyes today, Incredible works by MonCal. These parts will make this costume that much more believable. I worked on the head a couple hours last night, dry sanding and wet sanding to try and smooth out the surface. The new bolts are also now functional. Ill let the pictures do the rest of the talking (I do know that the head antenna is not mounted as far in as it should be, I'll be correcting it):
December, 5th 2008
Did some work on the hands today:
December, 4th 2008
Chest pistons arrived yesterday from Germany! I think they look awesome:
It's pretty nifty how all my parts have come from all over the world:
Arm Pistons: Texas, US
Fiberglass parts: Philipines
Leg Pistons: England
Chest Pistons: Germany
Arm Detail Pieces: Argentina
December, 1st 2008
Tons of progress had been made the past few weeks! I began the process of widening my chest, my dad showed me how to work with the fiberglass and Ive been confidently making All kinds of modifications now. Here's some pictures of the chest mod:
The first shot shows the cuts we made, the second picture is after its been sanded and we have widened it our desirerd amount, and the last picture is after the first layer of fiberglass. I am still working on it quite a bit, and wont be happy with it until it looks like we never touched it.I got my legs and shorts this month as well, The legs are fantastic. I installed hinges with removable pins on the shins (Just like they used in the movie suit), as well as hooks and bungee cord to keep the shins attached to the thighs. Here is a picture of one of the hinges (Ill try and get one of the bungee system later), as well as the chest in its current state:
I was not happy with the shorts. They did not fit into the thigh pieces.. So I had to modify them like crazy. They were in two parts (front/back) so I cut them up and fiber-glassed the two half's together to make them more accurate. They fit now! I just have to step into them and shimmy them up.. They are tight... but they look good! I'm still cleaning up the seam where I modified them though.
I got to try the whole thing on (minus the shoes and the gloves/fingers) yesterday! It really is incredibly hard to move, and very painful in places, but it sure is fun! Here is a picture of me suited up:
November, 1st 2008
I've been working on my Belly Wires while I have been waiting for my parts, I finally finished them this weekend. They are ROTS style wires, I tried to find all the proper materials, silver ribbon, sparkly vinyl cord, shrink tubing, metal zipper, etc. I sewed all the wires to the rubber with black thread, just like the movie shots seem to show, and used a little crazy glue to hold stuff in place. I tried to keep the wire colors and location as close to the movie wires as I could. Here is it complete with some comparison shots:
Still no new parts :( looks like Ill be working on this till at least Jan/Feb.
June, 29th 2008
Well this project is going slowly, I figured it would though. Most of it has been paid for, but It all wont be arriving for quite some time. There have been a few small updates though!
I made a mannequin out of PVC and it seems to be working nicely :D
I received my brass arm pistons as well as my bicep greeblies (they are beautiful!):
I added the chest greeblies by drilling holes and using earing backs :)
I have ordered my shorts and my legs but I wont be expecting them for 2 months or so. I hope to be getting my brass eyes, head pieces, and leg pistons some time this upcoming month. And I'm hoping to finish my belly-wires/midsection by the end of July.
The guy that made my bicep pieces says he can provide me with hand pistons/greeblies as well as some forearm parts, so I'm waiting for him to get those in stock.
I'm am still missing some vital pieces however, and I think I might need to get someone to machine them for me. If anyone feels they are up to the challenge and would be able to do it for a price, I would be more than willing to pay for the following parts (I can provide measurements and whatnot):
In the meantime, Ill be keeping my eyes/ears peeled. Thanks for watching!
April, 30th 2008
I received my C-3PO arms and feet a couple weeks ago, they are beautiful! The pistons on the arms will probably need to be replaced with brass ones, just putting them on and bending the arms caused a few hairline cracks. I think I've got them working smoothly now, but they are not very strong. I can see one of them breaking or snapping off if I just tap my elbow against something accidentally. Here are some pictures of the arms, the pistons are only shown attached on the last photo:
March, 31st 2008
The first parts of my new project (C3PO) came today! The head and the torso. They both fit tight... so incredibly tight. Iím not sure it's possible to fit this "Comfortably", but I'm able fit in it!
With the helmet on, there is no such thing as visibility. Just two straw holes with lines going down the middle, and they donít really line up with my eyes. It's just the first couple parts, and it already looks stunning.