Departure to Beijing

All right, everything is now packed together. Seems like all parts fit into two suitcases; one large hard shell, and a smaller softshell. Cylindrical shaped parts ended up in the softshell, since cylinders are of such a geometry that it takes external loading (such as pressure) much better than other shapes. The internal stress in a cylinder exposed to external pressure will be distributed as normal/membrane stress, and NOT bending stress like for instance a box. Stress concentrations such as in corners etc. is avoided. The result is that cylinderical shapes can take quite a beating, without the risk of cracking or damage. So there you go, today’s engineering/packing tip number one! Let’s cross our fingers on that theory works out in practice as well…

The two helmets go with me as hand luggage. Can’t risk ending up with a helmet of multiple pieces.

Let’s see if we can find any companies who are willing to metallize this protocol. As I am unsure whether I can access my blog in Beijing or not, I would like to wish all my visitors (in advance) with the following greetings:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”. See you hopefully very soon!

See-Threepio first costume screen test #Take 2

I almost choked my food when I stumbled across this video. The first screen tests of R2-D2 which is a quite rare footage from the LFL archives I’ve seen before, but the same test featuring C-3PO was quite a new discovery to me. A similar footage exists for the Stormtrooper as well, however I’ve only seen a few pictures of it, and have yet to see the full footage.

Anyways, @01:22 shows one of the earliest costume screen tests of C-3PO. It’s interesting to see how AD tries to walk normal, I bet it could’ve not been easy…or comfortable for that matter! Please note the shorts, it seems heavily modified, at least having a large portion of the bottom part trimmed off (ref: last picture below). Also notice the missing left hand plate.

Can you see the yet to be finished Landspeeder in the background?

Here are a few screencaps I grabbed from the video above:

Never tell me the odds!

All right, some rather bad news; it seems like the Vacuum Metallizing shop in Beijing isn’t interested in doing the job after all.

“We’re doomed..”

However, as I am slightly more optimistic than Threepio, I have located a new factory just outside Beijing. I will take the droid parts to Beijing nevertheless, but my new strategy will be to call them and arrange a meeting as to show them the parts and discuss the work load. It is more easier to make up a good deal and achieve a mutual degree of understanding when meeting people face to face instead of via mail. This factory also has more experience in working with fiberglass parts, which is just what I am looking after.

Well, on the building front, I can tell that I’ve spent the last 2 hours today working on the fingers. They are now cut out and trimmed such that they can be worn with a certain degree of finger mobility. The helmet still miss the last few layers of finishing primer, but that shouldn’t be too difficult. Still a bit of priming work also remains on the shorts.

Neck bolts and fastening hook completed.

Now the fastening hook is finally done, this technique together with the neck bolts safely secures the two helmet halves together. A bolt on the head entenna is screwed through the top of the fastening hook on the top. This is how they fastened the helmet in the movies as well.

The only uncomfortable place while wearing the helmet for an extended time is the ears, which are kind of squeezed in between plastic cards and the back halve. Due to the ears being pressed on to the helmet, it’s very uncomfortable to have people knock on the helmet due to the sound it makes. It feels like you put your ear on a table, and people start knocking on the table. I actually think it is one of the things one have to be extra aware of when wearing the costume. Extra caution should be made to avoid such situations at it may cause ear damage..seriously.

Please note that the head antenna and neck bolts are all resin. This is to save some extra weight.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Today, I was working late with some droid parts again, and here’s what happened. As I might have told before, I work in the basement which is shared among all flats in this building. Today I used the washing room due to the light conditions being much better there compared to the storage basement room, and while fiberglassing…guess what? For the first time, I see one of our neighbours coming down to do laundry. Unfortunately, the washing machine was occupied. Anyways, I take off my gas mask, and don’t quite know how to respond to the whole (rather ackward) situation. The See-Threepio head is around my arm. I look at him, and he looks at me. Then he muffles something I cannot comprehend, I assume he is trying to speak English to me (it was a very primitive dialect, as See-Threepio would’ve recalled). And as protocol dictates (I always do this as to avoid humiliation of both parts), I speak Norwegian back to him.

He seemed curious and asks me what I am making. To be on the safe side, I ask him back if he has seen “Star Wars”. He stops for a while, and started to muble something, again I had a hard time understanding him. From his facial expression, it looked like he was trying to figure out the character’s name. “C-3PO, it’s See-Threepio” I say. He nodded to confirm, and seemed very impressed. Silence, he looked at me, and I looked at him again. Then he left.