Category Archives: Droids

R2 Updates

I’ve noticed that I haven’t been posting the updates to R2 on here for a while.

Well I got the foot drives done. They’re absolutely gorgeous.


Foot Drive


Foot Drive

I also got both legs completed, and got the shoulders attached. I then went on to glaze the seems. Still need to paint them.





I finished painting the skins and all the blue parts. Rob then came over and we attached them. At this point, it really started looking like R2 🙂

Center Foot Skirting

Center Foot Skirting

Then this past weekend, I started assembling the skirting for the center foot. I should be able to attach them to the foot this week and then finish off the outer feet.
Hopefully I won’t forget to post more as I go 🙂

Painting is underway

After getting home from a long day at work, I needed something to decompress. I continued work on R2.

After having sanded some of the parts I applied the first coat of primer.

Since these parts are 3d printed and you can see a lot of the lines from the extruder, I decided to use a filler primer.

After adding the first coat, you can already notice the lines disappearing. I’ll need to sand these down and add at least an other coat.

Primed Cylinder Holders

Primed Cylinder Holders


Primed Radar Eye

Primed Radar Eye

I’ve also started permanently assembling the battery boxes. I’ll add pics and more details on this later.

Battery boxes… free of “charge”

After all the fun with the con, and mandos, who could stop there?

Get some work done on R2! Ange wanted to help with building R2 so we started work on the battery boxes.

Cutting the pieces

Cutting the pieces

She started cutting all the pieces out of the CNC’d sheets and trimming the tabs.

Dry fitting

Dry fitting

Then she dry fitted the pieces together.

Complete Dry Fit

Complete Dry Fit

And we ended up with this. Still alot of work to do.. sand the 3d printed parts, glaze them, sand them again. Then start gluing pieces together. But it’s looking great and Ange can proudly say she built them.

Once this was done, I assembled the ankle cylinders.



After the cylinders were glued, I started adding glazing putty to help with some of the bigger gaps.



Cylinders all glazed

Cylinders all glazed

Once I glazed it all and it was dry enough, I started sanding.


Sanded Cylinders

Sanded Cylinders

Now if the weather could just cooperate, I could start priming these pices.

Eye can see clearly now!

Forgot to mention that I also started work on the painting. Ange was worried on the color, she’s so hard set on R2-D2 accuracy, so I started off with a test piece. I used an old damaged Radar Eye (that I might end up using on R4). The method I’m going to describe is what the club refers to as Krider Blue

This Radar Eye has been sanded and glazed and sanded in the past (you can see the pics of that in older posts)

So I primed it with a grey filler primer just to make sure there’s no more little imperfections. Once dry I used a Rostoleum Metallic Purple rattle can on it. This is a purple that the astromech club has been using but seems to be discontinued in the US. Well Home Depot here seems to still carry it.

Purple Base

Purple Base

This purple lays on the base we need and adds the sparkles and shine that we’re used to seeing on R2-D2.

Once this is dry (unfortunately I touched the upper right hand corner before it was dry, which caused a divet) I apply a coat of Duplicolor Iodized Blue. This blue is actually hard to hard to find here. The only place I’ve seen it is Part Source. I’ll have to snag more cans in case they actually sell out.

Blue Overcoat

Blue Overcoat

While the paint was still wet, I started worrying. This paint is supposed to be see through and I couldn’t see any of the sparkles anymore.

Dried Blue

Dried Blue

But as you can see once dry, the sparkle comes out. I submitted this piece to Ange for her approval and now I can start painting as needed. Think the Ankle Details and possibly the Large Data Port are next.

Baby Steps

Didn’t get as much done this weekend as I would of liked. But had a great weekend none the less. Ended up doing more planning for our Disney Star Wars Cruise in January. Participated in a Golf tournament and just had fun.

Any ways. I did get a few more parts in. The springs needed for the foot drives as well as the delrin rod for the foot drives as well.

Delrin Rod and Springs

Delrin Rod and Springs

I was having a hard time finding these exact parts as most of the sites that carried them only shipped to the US. And the thought of driving across the border to pick up a 4$ order… meh.

Finally found them from a Canadian site. Well funny thing is, the next day, I got an other package from the same company. This one contained 5 laparoscopic surgery tools!


With the bit of time I had to work on R2, I glued on the panels on the skin that are never actually going to open.

Glued Panels

Glued Panels

I also decided to tape some of the doors there as well as placed the coin slots, just to see how it would look. I also fixed a bit of the alignment issue… think I might still have a bit to do on that.

I noticed, that the slots for the utility arms are off… that or my arms are off. I’ll definitely need to look into that as I do plan on powering them. If you take a close look at the charging bay, I also added the LEDs and the board to it. If you’re REALLY nice, you might get a video tonight with the blinky blinky lights.

Big R2 Weekend, big post

So I got alot of time this weekend to work on R2.

Started off by getting some new parts in and picking up some new parts.

Friday I got home to my shiny new Sabertooth speed controller for R2’s feet. I then went out and picked up some steal rods to build the shafts for the feet with, I also picked up more bits here and there.


Miscellaneous parts


More chain and the clasps to attach them

Cutting steal with a dremmel… not so great. So I had to go back out and bought some jig blades for cutting steal. Remember kids… don’t touch steal you’ve been cutting with your bare hands… it’s hot!


Steal Rods cut to size


I then continued work on the skins. I glued the inner and outer skins for the front together using e6000 and many clamps. Before gluing though, I sanded the inner skin and made sure no burrs were left.


Front skins glued together


While this set, I went back out to the garage and sanded the new radar eye. Once nice and smooth (well as smooth as you can get a 3D printed part), I applied a thin coat of glazing putty. The thing with glazing putty is that you don’t want to apply it too thick. So I’d put a thin coat, smooth it out, let it dry, then sand it, then rinse wash and repeat.


Glazed and confused


Eventually I got to this. You can still see some of the lines from the printing, but that’s why I got myself some filler primer. Once we’re at the painting stage, I’ll prime it and this special primer will fill in the rest of the gaps. Then I get to sand it some more and continue the fun.


Glazed and Sanded


Next up! More skins… Now one of the parts I’ve been dreading since I got the skins (probably why they’ve been laying around the living room for a few years now) is cutting the back skins to make an access hatch. Some builders access the inside of their astromechs by just removing the dome. Mine has too much stuff inside it, so I need a removable panel in the back to get in there. Unfortunately, the skins I have don’t have this hatch laser cut. Well not the inside skin at least. I removed the outside one, then attached the inside and outside skins together using tape. Now that everything was at the right places, I placed the outside hatch and placed tape to show where it lined up.


Lining up the hatch


Now carefully using my Dremmel and a metal cutting wheel, I started to cut… Now, safety first, I had a respirator, in order now to breath in any little bits of metal and safety goggles… yet some metal still ended up go under the goggles.
While working on this, my neighbour came by to see what I was working on. He knows I work on Star Wars costuming as he’s come by during my armor building parties. But a fully functional, life size R2? His mind was blown.


Cut Hatch


After several cutting wheels, I got the hatch out. Sanded it to remove the burrs and any sharp edges. Now I need to take all the panels out.


Assembling panels.


Now I started gluing the insides and outsides of the panels. More e6000 and more clamps. These will need to be glued onto the hatch as they won’t be opening up.


Completed hatch panel doors


Now the inside and outside parts of the hatch are being glued.


Gluing the hatch

At this point it was getting late on the last day of my r2 building long weekend. I decided to place the front skins on just to see how it fit. I haven’t attached them yet, as I need to make a trip to Ottawa Fastners to get some screws to attach the mounting blocks and some Set Screws to tap where I’ll need to drill.


Dry fit of the skins


Close up



It’s not a skirt, it’s a kilt!

I’m still fighting this nasty summer cold and barely have any energy. However, this afternoon I cut out the main pieces for R2’s skirt. 


dry fitting the ribs in the skirt

aligning the ribs with the bottom

aligning the ribs with the bottom

Once I did this though, I was done and ready for a nap :p 

I typically don’t get this knocked down by a cold but I swear this one could incapacitate a Rancor. 

Later this evening I was feeling a bit better and decided to glue the skirt. 

 Since clamps wouldn’t reach. I decided to use the good old heavy cookbooks to weigh everything down while it dried. 

Books weighing down the skirt

Books weighing down the skirt

Glued skirt

Glued skirt

Skirt  standing upright

Skirt standing upright

Like with the legs. I still have to attach the skins, outer ribbing and paint it. But it looks good so far. 

Leg greeblies

So those 3D parts I ordered, arrived today.   

They came out great and fast. Once I shake this damn summer cold, I can continue work on R2. I need to get a move on if I want to paint him before the weather changes. 


New parts on the way


So I bought a few more parts from a club member that 3d prints them.

The parts I got are:

Shoulder Hydraulics: These are rods that go in the shoulder’s horse shoe
Shoulder Buttons: Small buttons that also go into the shoulder’s horse shoe
Under Shoulder Details: An odd shaped piece that goes in the legs, bellow the shoulder
Ankle Cylinders: Cylinders that fit on each side of the ankles
Cylinder Holders: The holders to hold the cylinders
Ankle Wedges: Small wedges that go bellow the cylinders
Radar Eye: I wasn’t happy with my old one, so I got a new one

Now I’m only missing a few pieces… the horse shoes, side vents and pocket vents and both the octagon ports and power couplers. I also noticed I’m missing the kick panels but I can make those myself with some aluminum sheets.

We’re getting there!!!

What sexy legs

The wife was planning on spending this past Saturday with her mom. So what a better chance to work on R2.

I brought all the CNC’d parts down the night before. The second she left, I turned the music up, grabbed my iPad with the assembly instructions and got to work.

Some of you might remember the flat packs I received a while back (See this post).

I carefully detached the parts for one of the legs.


Work set up

Once detached, I carefully removed any of the tabs left and sanded them down.

I then placed one of the sides of the leg down and dry fit all the ribs. Once I was happy with how they fit, I placed the other side of the leg on them to make sure everything aligned.


Ribs placed for dry fit


Other side added for dry fit

Now, everything fits… time to start gluing. I grabbed one of the tubes of Weld-On 16, it’s a gel solvent for acrylics. This stuff is interesting… first off, it free flows, so be careful. But if you do drop it on anything, it doesn’t seem to glue to anything. It simply dissolves this type of plastic. So if you get some anywhere else, you can just wipe it off. I placed a bead of it across every rib and placed them in their slots. I then put the top part of the leg back on and clamped it good. This made sure that they were on straight and wouldn’t tilt or warp.


Gluing the inner legs

After it was dry enough (only takes a few minutes for it to set, but 24 hours to fully cure). I removed the clamps and top plate. I then added a bead to the other side of the ribs and placed the top plate back on. And then more clamps.


Gluing the inner legs

Once the clamps were removed, I had a nice leg… unfortunately, there’s tons more work to do to it. If you look at the next two pictures, you’ll notice the slots… R2 didn’t have these slots in the movie… so neither can we.


Completed inner leg


Close up of completed inner leg

So we’re going to add some smoother plates on the inside and outside of the leg. Since this is such a big surface and we don’t want gaps or for it to slip or warp, we better make sure the surface is treated for it.


Getting rid of leg stubble

So I brought the leg outside and sanded the whole leg down. This gives enough texture to hold the leg skin on. Again, tons of clamps to hold these on


Gluing the outer shell

While the leg skins dry and set, I didn’t want to just stop. So I started work on the ankle. Again, I trimmed the parts down and dry fit them. I then glued them in place


Ankle ribs

I then glued on the bottom of the ankle in place and since I couldn’t clamp it, I ended up using painter’s tape


Taped up ankle

Once the ankle was dry, I brought it outside and sanded the ribs down in order for it to follow the angle of the curved parts for when I add the skin on it.

I then glued 2 of the square leg pieces that bulk up the ankle. Of course, this is where I ran into some confusion. Looking at the instructions, I couldn’t figure out how many layers are supposed to go together. This is mainly because the guy who made these parts has since changed the thickness of plastic he uses for these due to availability. But his instructions weren’t too clear about it. I’ve emailed him and got a response already, however I think I was too tired by the time I got them, since it still wasn’t too clear. I’m hoping that when I have time tonight after dinner that they make more sense to me.


Inner leg

Once all of this was done, I started the process again for the other leg…


Other inner leg

Once this is done, I need to finish the ankles and glue the side skins. Then I can move on to the next part.. probably the skirt.