Fantha Tracks @ MCM Birmingham Comic con - March 18th 2018

Sunday afternoon, after the parade,
we bumped into Matt & Martin from Fantha Tracks.

Always good catching up with the guys as they are very informative
and up on what's in the news of Star Wars.

Here's a link to Sunday's You Tube video they posted up yesterday.

Check out their website for all their other social media links.


MCM Birmingham Comic Con - Event Report 2018

Sunday March 18th 2018
Day 2 of event

Up 5am, out the door 6am. R5 was already loaded up Saturday night.

Now.....I don't have a problem with driving in snow.....
.....but cars on ungritted roads do lol

UK R2D2 Builders Club

It was a longer than usual drive up from Bristol to Birmingham, due to the weather conditions on the roads. And after driving to three different car park points I eventually got my unloading pass and where I had to go to unload R5 lol.

Today's group of droids.
UK R2D2 Builders Club
One R2 is missing.......Darren!?!?! lol

The R2 members were now on day 2 at the stand, which were were sharing with the Rebel Legion, 501st & Jedi News stand. Our corner wasn't very big, but this was due to the layout. We had one 'work in progress' R2 that belonged to Chris, who was on the 'Steampunk' stand with his R2 Steampunk droid.
UK R2D2 Builders Club

The day was good, chatting to the public and catching up with friends who were attending either in or out of costumes. There was a large gathering of public and it actually seemed to get more busy as the day went on. Perhaps due to people braving the weather as the snow was abating perhaps.

Emma took these great pics of the stand area & I'll be able to post up more once George uploads his photos.
UK R2D2 Builders Club
 Emma with her droids

UK R2D2 Builders Club

 Our small display area, with R5's vintage controller,
trading cards and leaflets

Lee's R2 & Colin's work in progress droid

The afternoon came around quick, and it was time 2pm, for the parade, which is led by the 501st, joined by The Rebel Legion & a few other costume groups. So we headed from Hall 4 of the NEC, around and down the ramp to the Hall 1. Unfortunately Ian's droid was unable to attend, so it was just three of us.
There was a group photo, before they 501st and others, lined up in order for the parade.

We would be bringing up the rear.
Emma took this picture of us.
UK R2D2 Builders Club, R5D4, R2D2, Lee Towersey, Darren Poulson

The parade went across into Hall 2, which had a camera exhibition going on, lol, so PLENTY of photo's were being taken on our tour lol. We drove the droids as seen in the above picture, at some points having to drive single file. Myself and Lee have had experience with driving our droids together and as it's part of the Clubs 'driving' process, we knew how and when to slow down etc without bumping into each other. Darren led the way.

A friend of Darren's was there and caught a nice picture of the three of us, looking serious lol, the concentration on our faces lol.
UK R2D2 Builders Club, R2D2, R5D4, Lee Towersey

There are a few pictures & videos on Instagram that's I found. More hopefully to come with some searching lol.

The parade winded it's way through Hall 2....eventually, leaving the crowds and camera flashes, and headed back up the ramp. Around the upper concourse, back to Hall 4. There were more people taking photos, and calling out R2's name as we finally made it back to Hall 4. Once back inside, we broke ranks and headed back to our stand, as the costumer's went for a rest and de-lid, break.

Whilst we were away, Ian was holding the stand and getting lots of photos taken with the public.
This is Ian's R2

The day ended at 5pm but before we started packing up the droids and display stands we had one last group photo.

I only have the picture of the droids....
UK R2D2 Builders Club
.................I'll post up photo with the droids and us when I get them.

Outside was starting to go cold again, but at least the roads were clear. After a pit-stop on the way home for food.....I'd forgotten to eat during the day lol, I was home & unloaded by 8pm.

Another great day entertaining the public and bringing a little bit of Star Wars to life.

for how to join up
if your interested in building your own droid.


R5-D4 - Bad Motivator system upgrade 1.5

So it was back to re-designing the pivot arm and linkage points.

I first used a piece of cardboard to gauge the distance after I took photos of the gaps that the pivot arm would need to be extended by.

I then redrew these up in work on Inventor. I countersunk the nut so that it looked good lol, no other reason other than the length of the bolt. Both parts seen in picture one were then reprinted in 3D PLA filament.

Recessing the nut, just makes fitting easier. It's a push fit into the recess, so is help tight.

Next up is the electronics, electrical & the smoke system to be re-installed. This will be next week as this weekend I'll be at the NEC Birmingham.


MCM Birmingham Comic con - March 17th - 18th 2018

So this weekend members of the UK R2-D2 Builders Club,
will be attending.....

MCM Birmingham Comic con - March 17th - 18th 2018

Well be joining up with the UK Garrison 501st, along with The Rebel Legion
on STAND 6100
next to the Comic Village

Some droids will be there for both days, others, like myself only for one of the two days.
I'll be attending with R5-D4 & bringing along my R4 dome on the Sunday.

There is so far about 13 dorid's attanding over the weekend!

Here's some from the last time I attended way back in 2015

Don't forget if you have your picture taken, and post on social, Instagram, to add at least one of these hashtags. And share your experience with others, big thanks

#R5D4 ......etc


R5-D4 - Bad Motivator system upgrade 1.4

After printing out the actuator bracket re-design, I found out that I actually had less space than I thought and that the rear of the actuator was interfering with the inside of the dome, so not allowing it to sit in it's needed position.

Next problem was that in order to achieve clearance, I needed extra height (see pic above). Unfortunately tho, the longer version was TOO long (or high) for my mini desktop 3D printer.

So I had a thought and swapped the actuator bracket's location to the other side of the motivator opening. This meant a re-design, again, of the 'bell crank' component.

Am getting the hang of the clearances needed to make things a nice fit. I countersunk the hex hole for the lock nut into the component.

Well, the new position for the actuator fits, but is now at an angle that won't work.....

So looks like it's back to the drawing board (CAD) to look at another way to activate the motivator.


Next idea was to just mount the actuator directly below the IGUS slide to push/pull the motivator unit. But where to fix it tho. Idea was to mount the bracket to on of the internal wood frame supports.
So I drew up this bracket.
The next thing once this is fitted is to design up the linkage from the actuator to the IGUS slide.


R5-D4 - Bad Motivator system upgrade 1.3

Ive had to do a few more re-designs on the motivator's activator bracket & pivot pieces. This is all new to me and although I sort of know the basics, a linear piston movement connected to a pivoting 'bell crank', didn't go the way I thought it would lol.

I decided to change the bracket for the pivoting bell crank, by making it a separate item. This means the actuator bracket can now be placed independently, maybe until I know where it should actual go lol

Downloaded the IGUS slide an assembled it onto the bracket. Along with nut, bolt and washer. Re-designed bell crank as well.

I found a supplier for the IGUS t-track and the price wasn't bad. I just now need to sort out the location bracket for the actuator.


R5-D4 - Bad Motivator system upgrade 1.2

One of the thngs that bugged me was trying to solder the wires up inside the e-cig unit. It was never 100% successful with weak joints, dry joints etc.

So I looked into somehow modifying a pre-assembled unit and figuring how to get the air to flow though the unit. I found this unit on eBay (last year, for about £6) as part of my testing atomizer units.

I had been using these types of atomizers....
.....and I may still come back to these,
as they are easier to refill in the upright position.

But for this testing I'm using one of these.
I enlarged one of the holes in the base to allow are flow into the atomizer.
Then in AutoCAD Inventor, I drew up a collar for the plastic tubing to attach too.

And here it all is assembled. I tested it by blowing through the tube myself. It works, though I still need to fine tune it a bit more. The air flow felt restricted compared to original idea (see above picture No.2) But this may be because of the battery packs restrictively small cross cut out slots.

The battery pack (black plastic part) is not intended to be used, it's just for testing purposes.

R5-D4 - Bad Motivator system upgrade 1.1

More redesign work has been done on getting the bracket into the right place, to allow the Motivator to sit low enough in the dome and also for the sliding track to be able to fit and slide as well.

I've also flipped the bracket's location to the other side of the pie hole.
Waaaaaaay back when I first made and fitted my motivator, the installation was just bolted onto an aluminium plate, with two M8 bolts holding the plate to the inside of the dome, via T-nuts.
 This was a test fit, before cutting out the rest of the Pie hole.

 The view of the aluminium plate from the inside of the dome.

The Motivator pop-up system was installed on one side so that there was room for the actuator bracket movement to have enough reach.
The plan is to do away with all this aluminium and make things simpler.

So after a few design and re-design ideas, length changes etc. I think I've now got the bracket right.... still a work in progress, but getting there.
Next is to re-design the actuator bracket and then the motivator adapter to connect it to the rail.