Happy painful tears.

I finally bought myself a dremel, and today I got to work on the ABS helmet, and I must say that I made quite a progress today.

As you all know, the ABS helmet has a lot of soft details compared to the fiberglass..this really bugged me, so I (together with some help from a professional sculptor, my mother) sculpted in new details for the nose and mouth area. The pictures below show the before and after results (it still needs some work), but it definitely looks a lot more sharper than the original unmodified ABS!

I also opened the back halve a bit, and now I can manage to squeeze my head in! AND NOW IT FITS! My ears barely fit within the opening, so I had to implement the credit card technique to squeeze my ears in. It’s a really really tight fit, and when I try to remove the credit cards, it feels like my ears are to fall off…so I just leave them together with the squeezed ears and put the front helmet halve on. Works just fine! But when I smile (sorry, I can’t hold it when I look at myself in the mirror) it hurts because somehow the skin on my face want to stretch in the wrong way which makes my ears want to follow. So there you go, some happy painful tears.

Here are some pictures my room mates tried to take of me having the helmet on. They took 7 pictures, and none of them were any good – but here are two of the pictures anyway:

I still have to make the registration keys for the neck bolts, and find a way to safely secure the two halves together. Everything’s a bit dispositioned at the moment, but I am looking forward to work more on the helmet! Stay tuned for future updates and more tears!

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Custom 2-ZH surgical droid by “Dark Fred”, French Garrison

While we wait (yes, I am still waiting unpatiently for the last Threepio parts to arrive; arms and legs), I thought I’d share an interesting droid build by a French 501st member.

“Fred” took the initiative to make a custom medical droid from scratch using PVC pipes, resin and fiberglass. The thing with a medical droid is that it cannot be made into a costume (due to its design), what “Fred” did was to merged the design of a CZ-3 droid with 2-1B, and the result speaks for itself!

Original 2-1B Prop from the Lucasfilm Archives:

Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept sketch of the medical droid:

CZ-3 (You can see “him” wander around the streets of Mos Eisley in the scene where Luke and Ben finishes the sale on the landspeeder) By the way, look at his shins and feet, they’re totally deformed – I think it gives the character a bit of charm.

CZ-3 was played by Anthony Daniels in the following short scene from ANH (@2:16-2:27)

Here is “Dark Fred”‘s custom medical droid!

Would you like to be surgically operated by such a droid? Yes please, sign me up for that surgery!

Shoulder bell to shoulder ring attachment

Today I spent some time dremeling and fixing the shoulder attachment system. This method was suggested by Mr.Tea to fasten the shoulder bell to the shoulder ring in a way that makes it possible to raise the arms.

The original system used for the screen-used Threepio is a bit more complicated, it consists of metal rings and hinges which allows for both rotation and bending, this system looks very complicated and if not impossible to make without the right materials and equipment. The image below shows the correct system used in the screen-used costume:

Here’s my method (as inspired by Mr.Tea):

These work like a charm, but I still need to borrow a drill to be able to make the holes for the two screws to fasten the hinge to the shoulder ring. The idea is to fasten the ring to the chest with velcro, and the bungee cord-hinge system will allow the shoulder bell to rotate if the arm is raised! Problem solved! Kudos to Mr.Tea everyone!

Gordon Tarpley’s Threepio Blog

Just wanted to share the blog of a fellow c3pobuilder’s club member. Let me present Gordon Tarpley’s Threepio blog “I am C3PO: Human Cyborg Relations“.

He has currently recieved the fiberglass helmet and styrene shoe shells from Jim, and looks like we’re both waiting for parts from TK409 to arrive. It’s going to be exciting to see how his build progresses, and I hope we’ll be able to exchange some ideas when we both get all the parts.