Monthly Archives: September 2013

Arm boxes

Followed the plans on the actual arm boxes, but not on the frame/structure to hold them in.  I just didn’t understand how they went together, and when I tried the arms didn’t line up.  So I made another minor modification.

IMG_2492 IMG_2490 IMG_2493

Hopefully you can see from this photo of the frame that I build using the same pieces as the plan just spaced differently.  I glued the middle pieces together and then the outer pieces I held tightly with the actual arm boxes.  My arm boxes just sit in between the frame, but between pressure and a back piece that is screwed in they don’t move.


Details, details and details

Didn’t someone say the last 10% takes 90% of the time, that’s how I feel as I am now working on the details.

IMG_2659Izzy ordered a skirt for me as the styrene plans were awfully intimidating. I didn’t like the hollow feel of the skirt so I put in the door/window expandable foam (it doesn’t exert pressure when expanding). It worked great, but it sucks up water. So if you wash your R2 body, like I did before painting it, make sure you don’t get water in skirt or it will take days to dry – trust me — days!


My resin parts camIMG_2661e in from Brenda/Calvin and I’ve been cleaning, sanding and painting them over the past few weeks. Here is the cylinder details on the center ankle. Looks great, although when I masked off the silver to paint the blue, the silver painted dulled a bit. I ‘polished’ it with fine steel wool and really like the look. The grooves on the cylinders are still the shiny silver and the rest is more like a brushed finish.

Skirt: $

Horseshoes, shims and hubs

As stated earlier, the horseshoes didn’t sit flat on the legs so I needed to sand them down.  I also decided to glue them on the legs instead of using screws or other fasteners.  I installed my horseshoes as seen in ROTJ, shoulder buttons to the rear.

One issue I did encounter when gluing on the shim, somehow it rode up and was almost even with the horseshoe edge.  So I ended up applying another layer of 0.5MM skin on top of the horseshoe and sanded down the edges.  You wouldn’t even notice unless you measured, that’s what is nice about working with styrene.  The glue actually fuses the parts together and when you sand it down the seam disappears.  Now I have the right gap for the shim.  The other one glued on fine, so not sure what happened with the first one.

I used Con-Tact brand Metal FX Stainless Steel self-adhesive for both the shoulder hubs and the shims.  Bought it at Lowes for $12.  I was skeptical but it turned out great.


I installed the wires that run from the top of the leg down to the foot motors.  I’m using Anderson connectors from to make the connections between wires.


Shelf liner: $12

Holder for R2

Once I got the skins on I realized I needed something to hold R2 horizontally so I could work on the various pieces and parts that I had to attach.  Someone on one of the boards had a pvc holder that they build so I headed to the local hardware store.

Using 3/4″ PVC, elbows and 3/4″ foam pipe insulation I build my own rig to hold R2.  I built my at 11″ wide and 25″ long which worked out well.

IMG_0146 IMG_0148

These photos were taken after I finished R2, but it demonstrates how the rig sits on R2 without any of the body components like the center vents sticking out past the holder.  You can lay R2 flat without working about scratching the body parts.

IMG_0143 holder

PVC pipe, elbows and insulation: $

PVC pipe: $
PVC elbows: $
Insulation: $

Glues of the trade

I used several glues, adhesives and putties on R2, not counting the Weld-On IPS 3.  Here is a description of where I used each type


E6000 – found at Walmart, the nozzle on the one from Michaels was too large, the Walmart one in my opinion is better.  I used this to attach any of the resin parts to each other or to the styrene.

Tamiya Putty White – found at my local hobby shop,  Used this to patch and repair the styrene.  Works really well, but I recommend using gloves as its hard to get off your finger.  It bonds extremely well to the styrene and can be sanded down.  Great for those accidental gouges or gaps that need filled.  I probably went through five tubes of this stuff.    Do not use on resin, it won’t stick.

Bondo Glazing & Spot Putty – used this on the resin pieces to fill in any air bubbles or gaps.  Sands easily and sticks really well to the resin pieces I bought from Calvin.  I didn’t need to use a lot, only on a few small ‘bubbles’.

Loctite Tube & Tile Sealant – used this for the gap between the skirt and the body.  I used the E6000 to attach the skirt to the body, but its a thick glue which left about a 1/32″ gap that was visible at the bottom of the body.  I used this to fill in that gap.  It worked well and cleaned up easily.

Liquid Nail Adhesive Clear Silicone (not pictured) – I used this to attach any part that I wanted to remove in the future.  My pie panel #1 (future lightsaber upgrade), charging bay door, center vents, and a few other odds and ends.  This holds strong but will release with enough pressure.

E6000: $
Tamiya Putty: $
Bondo: $
Loctite Sealant: $
Liquid Nail Silicone: $


It’s Alive – part 2

Couldn’t wait to get working on the dome gear after picking it up, finally had some time today.  Here is video of the result.  I’m driving the dome motor with the sabertooth, which accounts for some of the extra noise.

Without dome

With dome taped on, looks great!


IMG_2917If you get nothing else out of this blog, save yourself some trouble and follow my paint advice.  I read so many other builders logs and tried numerous colors, types, etc and make the following suggestion after much trial and error.

Primer – use the Rustoleum Automobile Primer Ultimate Finish (gray cap), can be found at Lowes or Home Depot.  I had used some other plastic primers and settled on a clear one based off other suggestions, but I used the gray auto primer for the dome and for everything afterwards.  Its a very good primer that sticks to the styrene and the resin, plus with it being gray you’ll be able to tell where you’ve applied to the white styrene, and where you’ve missed with the white paint.   Price is $4/can.

White – use the Rustomelum Universal Satin White paint.  The best part about this paint is the nozzle, I had ZERO runs.  It comes out in such a fine mist its really hard to mess up and put on too much.  It covers well, is durable and looks really good in my opinion.  Price is $6/can.

Blue – Based on other recommendations I tried several combinations, but in my opinion and even Izzy likes the blue, I’d stick with the Dupli-Color Sonic Blue Pearl (BFM0378).  You can find it at Autozone or Advanced Autoparts, each had about 1 or 2 cans.  There is a trick when using this paint.  First, shake it well then keep shaking it, and continue to shake it between passes.  There is a metallic part to this paint that looks the best when constantly shaken.  Also, only paint parts vertically, do not tip the can one way or the other hold it upright.  If not, your parts may get a grayish color to them, trust me I had to repaint all my dome pieces because of this.  But once I figured that out all the pieces look amazing.  Price is $8/can.

Silver – I used rub-n-buff for the dome and recommend that, but for the other silver pieces I went with Valspar Metallic Silver (shiny silver cap), another builder recommend this.  I was afraid based off the cap it wouldn’t look right.  But it is not that shiny.  Its actually a very good match to the rub-n-buff, plus you can give it a ‘brushed metal’ look with fine steel wool.  Prices is $6/can.

Clear Coat – I didn’t use any, all my tests the clear coats yellowed the pieces/parts or gave an unacceptable finish.  I tried all the ones recommend by others.  All the paints above should be UV safe, and they’ve cleaned up well.  I haven’t weather my R2 yet, but plan on doing that so that if it gets kids finger prints or such on it, not a big deal and  you won’t hardly notice.

Paint: $48 (2 cans of each)