SEMA was a smash

by Jerry Chevalier


Looks like SEMA was a big hit. Everybody kept trying to climb all over C-3PO so much that they had to rope him off to keep people off of him.  From the photos it looks likes they didn’t assemble him correctly since his shoulder covers look like they are not on correctly and his arms are too angled but the comments were outstanding. The person standing next to C-3Po is Don who actually plated him. The 3 C-3PO head picture is interesting in that all 3 heads are from the same person. Dishman. The left one is plated from a standard electroplating process. The center one is the Coat of Chrome Process and the right one is how the head normally comes from Dishman. It is a striking difference in quality of finish.



Head & Neck Section

by Jerry Chevalier
Lighted Eyes
With that said, The first thing I worked on was the eyes. I tried to find some lighted eyes from Moncal but he wasn’t making any when I needed them so I decided to give it a go. I got a piece of round stock acrylic and drilled out a center hole that happened to fit some extra 1/4″ brass tubing I had from my B9 finger light build. The cross cuts to the acrylic stock eye pieces were done with a dremel tool with a cut off wheel. I found some rice lights on eBay and then I hot glued them to the brass outer ring and acrylic tube. I had to superglue them first so they would stay in place. Once that was done I put hot glue over the super glued lights. They should stay secure. The only thing I needed to get is some gold foil from Hobby Lobby to get that yellow gold light look. After I applied the foil the lights looked good. Look at the photo to the right. If you also look at the head closely you could see that I have opened up the mouth. I plan inserting the speaker behind that opening. Others have inserted speakers in the back torso vent area or in the front torso section.


If you will recall I also said that the head would move remotely. In order to accomplish this you first have to have a neck bracket made that can be affixed to a pan and tilt servo mechanism. I went to Home Depot in the fencing section and obtained a small piece of aluminum. The 2 main outer holes happen to fit the neck bolts perfectly after bending. I couldn’t of asked for an easier/cheaper solution.
The pan and tilt mechanism was obtained from ServoCity.com A very simple unit to put together. The servos I used were the standard robotic heavy duty robot servos from Hitec. They are the HSR-5995TG Ultra Torque servos. The head weighs a little over 2 lbs before plating and electronic placement which is the reason I decided to go with a heavy duty servo so it should work just fine. The trick will be to fashion a neck piece that will allow a free enough movement that can be “chromed”. Many have suggested getting a thick mylar “for sale” sign that can be obtained from Home Depot. I will have to experiment with that.
Once that aluminum bar is affixed to the pan and tilt support, the only thing that would need to occur next would be to build a neck support platform that would fit inside the torso. The easiest way I have seen is what Mardon did for his C3PO. He basically built a 2×4 box inside the torso that allowed to serve as the connecting points for the legs, arms and neck. Inside the head I will install (1) 2″ speaker that will affix behind the mouth opening so when C-3PO talks his voice will come out of his mouth instead of his back like some others have set up. However, I will put a speaker back there as well so when he “yells” I can really crank the volume up so he can be heard in a noisy environment like a convention.