Fully chromed but not yet functional

Fresh out from the chroming work shop.

Came back from the chroming workshop with fellow 501st Chinese Outpost member “Lao-Pi”. One of the things which really keep me amazed is how incredible the suit looks after chroming. The previous dull untreated grey primer surface did look protocol-like, but with the gold on, it’s really something different.

The whole suit got this glow on it which really sets it apart. I am surprised over how good the results were. But here’s the bad news. Due to all parts expect the shoes and helmet front half being HIPS and ABS plastic, these parts got deformed a bit due to the temperature treatment during the painting process. The shoes are not really the problem, but the deformation on the helmet front half is quite extensive, but it may be fixable with a heatgun, some raw guts (a bit of luck) and lots of patience.

I’ll tell you more about the parts when these are all safely shipped back to Norway!

Goodness gracious me.

Spray Chroming work started

Just came back from the chroming factory and left Threepio there. In about 1-2 weeks time it will be spray chromed. The process used is very similar to the Spectrachrome system, which is a 3 step progress. First a base layer (primer) is applied, then an intermetidate coat is applied (this layer gives the actual silver-chrome like reflective finish). Finally, a top coat (protective layer) is applied, in which color can be added. This is basically a clear coat with some color tint to it to create the final “gold” effect. For silver, this top coat does not require any color to be added. As probably mentioned before, spray chroming ended up being almost twice the price as normal vacuum metallizing. However, the effect will be much better, actually, spray chroming is the best method to be chosen, and the finish is close to what you see used on automobiles. Compared to normal VM, spray chroming do not have any disadvantages at all, except the price of course. It’s much more durable, and one do not need to worry about ‘orange skin’ effects which tend to be a problem for vacuum metallization.

Spray chromed See-threepio (picture from the Spectrachrome website)

Spray chromed car.

At last, after over 1 year, it’s Threepio’s time to shine! I chose a slightly silverish golden tint for the right leg instead of the pure silver one. I am yet to see the results, so I cannot comment on this choice at this state.

Goodness gracious me, I am excited to pick him up! Hold on for updates folks!

It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.

So, it’s time for a slightly more serious blog post. I’ve just completed my 5 year Engineering Master’s degree education here at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), ending up with this so-called “Master of Science” title. Just delivered my thesis and returned my keys to the administration, said good-bye to a bunch of classmates. You know, the most ackward situation must be when you’ve said good-bye to someone, and I mean not only see you tomorrow good bye, but more something like it’s been really nice to meet you, we will probably never see each other again (physically)*, and then you stumble across the same person again 3 minutes later. I mean, what are you supposed to say. Good-bye again? My strategy is to sneak around avoiding this person after the first good-bye; the trick is to escape the first good-bye scene like a ninja.

I guess this situation belongs on the same embarassement-scale as running after the bus, but then it just drives away-situation. Anyhow, this was a slight digression.

5 years, it’s strange how time just flies. Imagine, high-school was *only* 3 years, truth is for me, it felt like forever…it was more like 8 years. This whole university experience has been something I will look back upon as a time where I probably learnt more about life than any period of my life. It was the first time I left home living in another city. When you leave high-school, you feel like being king of the world, so smart and all. But then comes the first lecture and you meet all those smart people. Suddenly, you’re reduced to average. It’s good to be average. It’s like being middle class.

Now after graduation, I don’t feel anything special, probably because I’m still in “thesis-writing-mode”. I mean, are you suppose to feel smarter or something? I don’t. I feel more stupid, there are so many things I’ve ought to learn. For instance about structure-fluid interaction, I want to learn more about dynamic finite element analysis. More about computational fluid dynamics! I remember back in first grade when I looked up at the graduate students, I thought they’d know everything about engineering. When I am there myself, I realize I might not know much at all. I guess university doesn’t teach you everything, it simply prepares you to further learn stuff by yourself. Oh, I feel so educated already!

I am now to step away from the so-called “student’s life” into “adult life“. I am yet to discover what that is. And I am doomed to make mistakes along the way. But that’s just a part of life. But, hey what is student’s life actually? Well, let me tell you (I can only speak for myself of course); To me, and I am sure all my class mates agree to this; being a student does not mean being a slacker. You will not finish engineering school without working (hard), however, as a student you are free to choose when and how to work. Having routines are alpha-omega, and for god’s sake, get enough sleep! These are experiences gained from 5 years! Hm..I sound like an adult.

Let’s talk about adulthood then, as we’ve almost touched into the subject already. What does it mean to step into the adult world? I know it is a maturing process, and I am sure it doesn’t happend over the day. According to wikipedia, adulthood is separated into two definitions: Biological adulthood and legal adulthood. However, the article does not go into specific practical examples. Does being an adult mean that I have to quit watching television shows, movies and listening to music that I liked since childhood? Then, sign me off adulthood. I am not qualified. Does it mean that I have to start drinking coffee, well then I am disqualified again. Why do I have a feeling that I am stuck in childhood?

I mean, stuck…being a good thing. I love to do the same stuff as I did when I was a child, and finally got the money to live out the dreams. I hope it stays that way, and good-bye to student’s life…whatever that is.

*thanks to Facebook and Linkedin, you can always keep stalking your schoolmates after graduation.

Tomorrow, I am heading to Beijing to hopefully finish the chroming work on Threepio. So stay tuned for very exciting updates in about 3 weeks!