Friday, November 16, 2012

Aluminum half moons and dome panels ready!

Today the aluminum half moons arrived, which are the large details pieces that fit on the feet.

In an effort to reduce weight, I was going to use resin ones but had some concerns how well they would hold up in the center foot.  In there, the half moons are how the caster mounting plate stays attached.  Drilling and tapping resin pieces isn't nearly as solid as aluminum.

As it turns out, one of the R2 Builders had just done a part rum of the aluminum half moons and had extras available.  Even better, these are the "diet" version, where additional material has been cut away to lighten the part.

Note the back of the piece has had a lot of excess material removed to reduce weight
The temperature in my part of Maine was 29F so the days of painting outside are long gone.  So, I turned on the heater and then set up some proper ventilation to prime and paint them...

Once the paint fumes had been vented outside, I was able to jump back to work on the dome panels which all needed some polishing.

Despite taking a LOT of pictures, the shininess made for a lot of out of focus pics! 

Tomorrow I'll work on testing out the new airbrush and if that goes well, prep and work on getting the panels that get blue paint done!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More dome panel work and CPU Arm arrives!

Tonight I did some more sanding on the dome panels, finishing up using 1000 grit and 1500 grit.  Now we're starting to see if I should polish with the Mother's polish or not.
These haven't been polished yet and I'm awful tempted to leave them as is....naaah

These I used the Mother's aluminum polish and drill-power buffer
Also, today the CPU Arm arrived, this one being made entirely of aluminum.  Its going to be a bit of a challenge to motorize and actuate in and out of R2's panel opening....but I'm sure I can sort something out.

The previous R2-D2 has a resin-version of the CPU arm.  This metal one mimics the one seen in the various scenes of the the original Star Wars:  A New Hope film.

Screen capture from R2-D2 plugging into a Death Star computer terminal

I'll have to slow-motion a few scenes to be sire of what gets painted where....but it looks promising!

Monday, November 12, 2012

We have Side Vents

Over the weekend, my machinist friend was able to make me some aluminum side vents for my R2-D2s.  These came out awesome, all I need to do is polish up the outer piece and paint the back piece blue.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dome panel sanding continues

Well its slow work but I am still working on the dome panels

The mouse sander paper only goes up to 220 grit, so the rest is all by hand.

After sanding by hand with the 320 grit

Over Sunday I went from 320 grit, 400 grit, 600 grit and then 800 grit   The pieces look really good.  Next up is 1000, 1500 and 2000.  I haven't been wet sanding this time around, less mess.

I'm really looking forward to see how the Dykem Blue looks on these very polished pieces.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Prepping dome panels and removing spin lines

Tonight I dedicated some time to work on the dome panels again.

Earlier I had experimented on how much work it would take to get the panels to a fine polished finish.  Since the Dykem Blue dye that will be airbrushed on is transparent, the spin lines would show thru otherwise.

Several of the panels had spin lines that 120 grit sandpaper couldn't tame down.  So, I decided to do all of the panels with 60 grit sandpaper tonight.  Over the next few days, I will work on bringing them closer to that shiny finish with increasing grit level sandpaper....120, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000 and then the Mother's aluminum polish applied with the drill-mounted polishing ball.

Here's how the pieces look now...

Today I also replaced the used airbrush with a new one, a Testors model that should work just fine for spraying the Dykem blue!