Monday, April 25, 2005

Toledo Blade newspaper coverage of C3 mentions me!

From "For every negative story, there was a positive: Chris Lee, 39, spent $8,000 building a working replica of R2-D2, and was graced with a visit from Mr. Lucas. 'He was in awe, I think. I can die now.'"

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Meeting George Lucas

OK. I can die now. I met George Lucas. And Rick McCallum. And they complimented my droid. I can't say it any better than Jason Smith, US president of the R2 Builders Group:

" Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 03:05:16 -0500
From: "Jason Smith"
Subject: C3 Update - Todays Events Part One...George!

Well...If operating the real R2 yesterday was not enough, the events of
today just pushed everything COMPLETELY over the edge...

We were not supposed to open the builders room this morning until the
3rd Lucas show was seated (around 10:30)...However, many of us had
gotten there early enough to get the room set up just in case we had any
special unexpected visitors...It was a long shot that we were hoping
for, but we wanted to be ready...

At around 9:30 Don pops his head into the room and pulls me into the
corridor outside..."They're going to try to bring George through on his
next break" he tells me...So immediately I very casually start preparing
people for what might indeed become an opportunity of a lifetime...IF
George was going to come by the room, we wanted to be absolutely ready...
(we even practiced the photo op placement)...

So as the second show emptied and the last show began being seated I
started feeling like our window of opportunity was getting smaller and
smaller...When Mary Franklin came around with badges to the last show, I
encouraged the builders to go ahead and go, because I didnt want them to
miss the opportunity to see George in person...And I had already slipped
in to the first show earlier this morning...

At this point Don and his family stopped by the room and he tells me to
keep the room closed to the public because they are going to try to
bring George through after his last show on his way out...He also tells
me that George is scheduled to leave around 11:30...

It's now about 10:45ish...And the waiting game begins...

11:00.....11:10.....11:18.....Still no sign...

Then I see Don come out of our room heading for the backstage area to
the Sagamore Ballroom where George is at...He gives me a look that
said "pay attention"...And that's what I did...

The next 10 minutes seemed like hours...Knowing full well that George is
supposed to be leaving around 11:30, and it's now 11:28, I had all but
given up...I called Don's cell to ask him if I should go ahead and open
up the room to the public (by now we had a line forming to get in)...

He responds..."NO...Standy...GET READY!"

Suddenly the door opens up and out walks Rick McCallum...I signal to
Terry Alexander the get the press out of our room...(which he
does)...And before I could really catch my breath, out walks George with
his kids Jett and Katie, Don on one side, and security all around
him...Heading straight for our room!!!!!

As they approached, Don signaled for me to come over and he introduced
me to George...I welcomed him to the R2 Builders Room as he walked
through the door...

The next 10 minutes were simply a dream come true...Here's just a few

When I told him that we had about 3500 members worldwide, George
literally stopped in him tracks, turned around and said "How many???"
I said..."About 3500"...He responded "Where were you guys when I started
all this???"

When Rick began reading the bio boards for the droids, he took special
notice of the estimated cost line that we had on each one...He
said, "Well NOW we know who to talk to for the TV series"

They loved the droids...

They loved Chris Lee's projected Leia message...

They loved Craig's mini-mech...

Katie Lucas named Alex Kung's mini-R5 "Hubert"...

Jim Shima got an AWESOME photo by himself with George beside his gold
plated 3P0 in the Death Star hallway set...

George liked Richard Cross's lifesized Jar-Jar in carbonite so much that
he had his picture atken with it using his PERSONAL camera...(To my
knowledge the only pic that was taken with his own camera)

George told us that R2 "kicks butt" in the new film...

He shook hands...Listened...Took time to take several group
pictures...And was AMAZINGLY cordial to all of us...

Then as he was about to be whisked away by his entourage, he was
presented with a personal copy of Cory Pacione's fanfilm..."R.2. The
Extra Special Astromech"

As he left the room and the door closed behind him...The room erupted in
applause and cheers, along with shouts of "Don, Don, Don, Don!"

It was simply amazing...

In fact, it's my understanding that our room is THE ONLY thing that
George saw at C3...From our room he went straight to his car, and
straight to the airport...

Oh...I almost forgot...Don also told George that he used some of our
parts in the new film...One of our R&J Domes made it's way onto the
screen in the opening space battle sequence of Revenge of the Sith...So
it's now screen accurate...But we'll tell you more about that later :)

So...Once again I find myself publicly thanking Don for another amazing
day of fanboy dreams being fulfilled...

Now George Lucas knows who we are...And he was impressed...

Jason Smith"

Thursday, April 21, 2005

more droid yard qualifying

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 17

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 18

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 1

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 16

more droid yard

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 12

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 13

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 14

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 15

chris lee
Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 11

more droid yard

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 8

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 9

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 10

chris lee
Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 7

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying Rounds

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 3

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 4

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 5

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 6

Droid Yard 500 Qualifying - 2

Setting up the R2 Builders room

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Me and Captain Typho

I was setting up R2-G4 and I looked up and holy crap there is Jay Laga'aia standing there taking pictures of the R2s in the room. He was very cool and let me get a picture with him.

Set up and ready to go

Jason Smith gave me a special spot in the center rear of the room so I can project on a white wall for all to see.

Setting up at Celebration 3

Some pics of the set up Wednesday afternoon and night.

Putting R2-G4 together:

Demonstrating the holoprojector to other builders:

Other droids in the room:

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Booster covers

Excellent aluminum booster covers arrived Tuesday afternoon. No time to paint or mount them. But they are so sweet.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Much to do

I still have much to do before I leave Wednesday morning for Indianapolis. New thinner JAG stops arrived today, but I think I'll wait until after C3 to install them. Aluminum booster covers should be here any day. I'll need to prime and paint them and drill/file the keyhole mounts.

I've given up on the whole 2-3-2 thing for C3. No way is that going to happen. And I can't find a good radio anyway right now, so he's gonna be static (plus the replacement FETs have not arrived from Mark).

But he'll still have the G4 inside and lights/sound and the special surprise which is gonna freak everyone out.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

C3 coming very soon

I've been working nearly every day and night getting R2 together for C3. Right now I'm attaching the body panels and other detail parts. Here are some progress pics:

Vent surrounds and restraining bolt:

Coin slots and a homemade coin return:

And a shot of everything from the front so far: