The octagon ports

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Located at the base of every astromech (well, almost every) are some ports shaped like an octagon. One in the front and one in the back. In the Star Wars universe they have some kind of function, but I don’t think anyone knows what.

So I had to get some for my build. Should they be styrene, or wait for the nicely machined metal ones, or go with resin versions?

I decided to go with resin. One- because they are pretty inexpensive, and two, because all I have to do is clean them and paint them which is enough work in and of itself.

Step 1. Primer

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Step 2. Silver paint for the metallic look.

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Step 3. Mask the inner back area.
The inside of the walls are blue, so I had to mask off where I didn’t want blue and a purple clear coat to go.

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Step 4. Paint walls.
R2D2’s blue is more of a bluish purple. So I laid down a metallic blue, followed by an anodized clear purple.

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Step 6. Paint the vents.
The inner vents are supposed to be see-through, and on the metal version that is machined in.

On the resin part I could have sanded it from the back to get to that point, but decided painting the vents black with some model paint would be easier and less chance of damaging the parts.

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Step 7. Glue in the round things.
In this case I used my trusty silicon glue.

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Step 8. Once both ports were done and the silicon cured enough, I used silicon glue to mount them inside R2’s body.

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Painting the utility arms

As I’ve been building R2, I realized right now that there may be a number of people who, although are Star Wars fans or geeks or nerds to some degree, they don’t know all the names of the characters or in the case of a droid, what certain parts are called or what they do.

Since I’m building R2D2, I’ll only cover the names of parts as I continue, and what they do on the movie version.

Yesterday I spent some time painting the utility arms. “What are those?” you might ask. Directly below R2’s dome and his large data port are some arms, which typically would be used to hold things as he does welding, or a communicator, or whatever George Lucas comes up with.

So without further ado:

The arms currently primered and ready for paint.

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The first blue coat using Rustoleum Cobalt Blue Metallic.

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Details Details

So now the body was done, I spent some time – mostly nights, some weekends, and so on making parts from scratch styrene vs. buying aluminum or resin cast parts.

Turned out to be a lot of fun and pretty rewarding when all was done.

Prepping the shoulder horseshoes for paint

Masking

Done!

The side vents

Drawing out the side vents

Cutting as R2 watches

Ready for the backing

Done and ready for paint!

 The pocket vents

One pocket vent

And painted

Coin returns

Using my LDP to get the right curve

Almost there

Almost...there....

And one of three done!

And there's one.

Two more to go and then paint.

Aren't they pretty?

Amazing what paint can do to cover up a lot of little mistakes.

And the Coin slots – my one only aluminum machined detail part.

Ahh...

Body Work 2

So, after spending a lot of time cutting out the pre-scored skins, mounting them, tearing them off, remounting them, and again and again til they fit good enough, I masked off the body where I was going to glue stuff on like vents, and then went to town on painting the body.

Masked and ready to go

The droid rotisserie

Anyone want some nicely done droid?

 

Body Work

This may not be completely in the order I’ve done things, and since my last LAST post a lot has been done. So, without further ado- the body, skins and all.

Frame painted

Dome motor mount

 

Large data port and bearing placement

Skin cutting

Cut skin..

So, one thing I learned – take your time when cutting styrene, make multiple passes, and watch your blade.

Skins mounted and glued

More to come!