Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CVI photos

Me with my droid during Wednesday setup

More droids

Packed Sunday evening, Aug. 19, 2012

View of loading docks on setup day after unloading my own car, parking it and walking back into the convention center. Wednesday, Aug. 22.

Clay Cardwell's set piece of Jabba's Palace Door, made of blue industrial insulation styrofoam. Midwest Robots. I'm a member of the group but couldn't help with the build many hours away in Omaha. I helped during setup by checking for areas that needed touchup and by placing sand on and around the door.

Clay touching up the door:

R5 head

Vader's droid

The stand is an original floor grate from the Millennium Falcon, purchased by a collector:

Wednesday setup:

Todd Bixby's DVD case:

Blake Mann sits and talks about his droid:

501st's room:

R2 Express on main exhibit floor:

Bob Ross conducts a session about one of his droids:

Yearbook signed for Kenny Baker's birthday on Friday:

Muppet Troopers

In the convention hall:

Millennium Falcon set piece by Belgian prop making group:

Exhibit hall:

Ewok-on-a-stick. From the Wisconsin State Fair?

Droid race setup:

Michael Erwin prepares to race:

Surprise for Kenny Baker's birthday:

R2 Builders room:

Wolfpack, R2 and my R2

Standing behind George Lucas for group photo in R2 Builders room

I spent most of my volunteer hours helping visitors take photos in our photo opp areas or talking droids with them. During a lull, I step into a photo area:

Chris Reiff and a Jawa from Mexico.

Alec, a visitor to the room, demonstrates his work on a scratch-built lightsaber that uses an original Graflex 3-flash as a base. He told me he plans to move from lightsaber prop-making to droid building. He's going to college soon and will major in mechanical engineering.

John Flack, left, looks over the bucket of resin parts he won in the group raffle after tear-down Sunday, Aug. 26

Max Cervantes' droid for the Jabba's Palace Door set, taken Sunday after tear-down. Max is a professional prop builder and a member of the R2 group:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Wednesday was setup day for CVI. The R2-D2 Builders Club used Dock 11. Each vehicle had 20 minutes to unload, so from 9 a.m. through early afternoon builders drove in, parked at the dock and hauled complete droids and piles of parts into the convention center, across the main exhibit floor and into Room 215. Unpacking droids is an exciting time at a "Star Wars" convention. People who haven't met in a year or two years or ever suddenly recognize each other, and early in the day people greet each other even under the pressure of honoring the 20-minute rule. One of the room organizers, Guy Vardaman, joked at one point that the room needed less greeting and more signing in so the room volunteers could get their early access passes and "staff" lanyards. I had met many of the people in the room at CV in 2010 and at DroidCon in 2011, so I had a chance to see their progress. One man from Indianapolis, John Flack, has been working on his R6 droid for seven years. At Celebration V, it consisted of a wooden frame, legs and not much else. At DroidCon, John had his droid walking, a feat he had achieved only a day or two before the gathering. Here at CVI, his droid has the beginnings of a head and skins he had put on in the past week. There was less to do overall than at CV and more for me to do personally because of my own progress in two years. My droid is far closer to completion than it was two years ago, so I spent -- an hour? half an hour? -- attaching the legs to the frame, installing the two 12-volt batteries, connecting the motor wires to the Sabertooth 2 x 25 speed controller, connecting the servo wires and attaching the skins before dropping the dome into place. After finishing my own droid, I helped detail the Midwest Robots club's replica of Jabba's palace door with sand. I'm a member of the group, but most of its builders are in Omaha, so I had to just watch the set piece come together through Internet posts. Today I picked up a small bag of sand and spread the sand along the piece's ledges to represent the blown sand on Tatooine. That's enough for now. I'm on the first shift in the room Thursday morning.

My droid ready for CVI to start

Room 205 in the convention center this afternoon:

More CVI setup