Been fretting on what to do for the dome finish. I’ve read several build logs which talk about painting the styrene, some used other finishing methods, and some used Rub-n-Buff. The latter is what Izzy recommended from the start, but a few trial pieces didn’t turn out too great for me.
Izzy had done his Jango Fett costume with it, and he send me the tutorial video on Youtube
I followed it exactly. I sanded and cleaned the dome with degreaser like all the other parts. I then painted it with the Rustoleum Automobile Primer Ultimate Finish as shown in the tutorial. Once it was dry, I wet sanded the entire dome with 400, 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper. I re-applied another coat of primer and re-sanded it. It was freakin smooth!
I then applied the rub-n-buff with my bare hands. I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed and rubbed. It took a few minutes to figure out how to get a real good consistent shiny but it worked. It looks awesome.
My advice is to start at the top and do the parts around the pie wedges, only go about 1/2″ down from the pie wedges. You’ll need to buff up enough along the inner skin that will show when the outer parts are installed. I used cotton balls to get in these tight spaces where the inner and outer skins met.
I then did the lower part of the dome where all the other panels/parts are. I found it was easy to shiny up the small pieces but in doing so it would affect the area above or below it.
Once you have the top part and the lower part shiny up, now hit the middle piece which is a large and wide open. Feather into the upper and lower parts you buffed previously, and keep rubbing.
Part of my previous apprehension was about the silver getting on kids when they touched the dome, if done correctly you will not get any silver on your hands when you touch it. Of course I mean after you are done rubbing. You will look like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz while you are doing it!
Rub-n-buff cleans up with any good hand cleaner soap you’d find for car repairs. I had read you needed Mineral Spirits but in reality I didn’t.
Tip: Since the dome rings are MDF they don’t like water. I recommend sealing them with paint prior to installing them. I didn’t do this with mine and they started to fuzz up where there were openings (holo projectors, PSIs, etc.).
Rub-n-Buff: $4/tube, $8 total