Sunday, October 2, 2011

R2: Frame, Legs, Center Vents

I got a surprising amount of work done today, and I'm pretty happy about it. It was one of those "lots to show" kind of days, which is always gratifying.

I unclamped the second leg, and they both look great together. Definitely a lot of edge clean up and sanding to do, but the overall shape is just beautiful. I'm very happy with the Henricks kit, and glad I went in on it.

I sanded flat the backs of all of my resin pieces. There's a few that I can start painting and getting ready for attachment, independent of anything else. That's always a good thing.

But the real magic of the day comes in the form of the frame. I did a mock up build of the frame just the other day, only to realize that a major piece was missing. The top ring. I purchased the kit from Matt more than four years ago, so I was a little worried. I wasn't sure if Matt was still making the kits, if he had left over parts, if the kit had undergone revisions, or whatever. I put an email out to Matt, and he had bad news. The router was no longer available, so he would not be able to immediately put together a new part. But the next day, he emailed again to say he had miraculously found the part I needed! whoohoo! EVEN better, Matt was going to be in my neck of the woods on Saturday for a car show, and he was going to bring the part with him. I met with Matt, got the part, and was back in business.

Folks, THAT is customer service.

That said, it was also really great to chat with Matt, catch up, see what he's been up to, and talk some shop. I felt a little guilty for interrupting his time with his son, but the lil' feller seemed really distracted by all the cars and the award ceremony, so I soldiered through my guilt. Matt had some good advice for me, and told me a few things I already knew. We talked a bit about the direction I am going with my droid, namely that I'm going with styrene skins. He confirmed what I already believed: that there are two parts on the droid you REALLY need to have as metal. The dome and the skins. I always knew this, BUT I figured for the sake of getting him completed in a reasonable time, I would go with styrene. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of beautiful styrene builds out there, and I'm not knocking it. It's ENTIRELY personal preference, based on a million factors, including budget, tools, available materials, skill set, comfort level, etc. But for me, I always knew in my heart that what I wanted was aluminum skins.

The problem is, there are none available. I've asked a few friends if they had an extra set, and nobody does. I don't know when the next run is happening, so I figured I'd just go with styrene.

I will finish this story up in my next post.

I did a mock up assembly of the frame tonight. No glue or screws, I just wanted to make sure I knew how the whole thing went together, and that there were no MORE missing pieces!! :) After about ten minutes, I arrived at this:

I still have some pending questions about assembly, though I suspect reading the instructions will answer many of them.

Lastly, I began assembly on the vents. I didn't even know I had an aluminum kit, but I do. I think I may have gotten this from Mike Senna. Thank you Mikey! I am using that glue from Evercoat, "Maxim", which is just amazing. It's way better than JB weld, though a tube of it is about 40 bucks. It's the same size as a tube of caulk, so you get TONS of it. Ounce for ounce, I'm sure it's cheaper than JB, but you have to buy a ton of it. Still, the stuff is amazing, and I recommend it to anyone gluing metal parts.

That's all for today. My plan for tomorrow is to glue together the body.

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