An Evening with R2 

While the Claymore collaboration helped to spawn Mantium Industries, our builders group was building things far before we all crossed paths. One of those things united fellow Mantium members Michael, Zack, and Kristine through a mutual adoration of Star Wars. For the past few years, the trio has been actively aiding R2 groups by manufacturing parts for fellow enthusiasts. In fact, the three were so busy helping others that they only just finished their first (fully functional) R2 in time for Mantium’s collective debut at WonderCon.

Rewinding to our cosplay capers, deliriously long nights spent assembling our Claymore costumes resulted in musings about photo shoots staring R2 in an assortment of strange scenarios. When our little droid went over swimmingly during his first convention appearance, we decided to move forward with the concept.

Linda scouted and styled our first shoot, opting for a “hillbilly” theme in the outskirts of San Jose. She also took care of our makeup and hair. The team (about 10 of us were there at various points in time) drove out for an evening with the uber-talented Andy Blake. Over a handful of hours, he shot Linda and I standing all imposing-like on a dilapidated porch, enjoying a family picnic in the setting sun, and attempting to catch a ride on a dirt road.

The photos are ridiculous, and that’s how we like them. I expect they’ll get even more bizarre as we think up new scenarios for our soon-to-be socialite.

Enjoy the photos!

Mantium Industries lives!!!

Remember that collaborative builders group I told you about recently? The one spawned from beautiful friendships formed while building Claymore costumes together? It liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiives!

This past weekend the Mantium crew made our way to Wondercon to celebrate the launch of our new initative. Key crew members - Zach, Kris, and Michael especially - have roots in an R2-D2 builders group, and as such created an amazing stop motion video of their bot build for the show. The R2 was fully functional at our booth, and sat alongside my Claymore costume for company.

You can find more out about our crew at, although the website is a tad baren at the moment. Hopefully I’ll have my Claymore writeup finished soon, with lots of WIP photos and construction insights.

For now, enjoy the video!