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R2D2 the Astromech

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  • Member since
    February, 2015
R2D2 the Astromech
Posted by Modelerinthemitten on Thursday, June 07, 2018 5:27 PM

I came across a type of model kit that fits nicely into my limited personal time and even more limited willingness to put big purchases on credit card. You pay a monthly fee for part of the kit and build them over the course of months/years. The bonus is the kits are typically higher quality and more akin to props or studio models so what would have been $XXXX on the CC becomes ~24 payments of $XX. The brits call them partworks but in the States we'd probably call them "like a Lootbox but with models?" This will be my second such kit and while it takes patience I'm enjoying it thus far (no problems with either company at this point.)

This is a cute little 1/2 scale R2D2. Sure, there are plenty of replicas of Artoo but I was attracted to the fact this one has a fair amount of electronics in it and what appears to be a one-piece aluminum dome. My thinking is this prop will be something I'm not as embarrassed to show off to friends (everyone loves Artoo) and it will be fun to scare the hell out of cats with.

I started with his dome skeleton since the construction method was strange and alien to me. Almost like he was from another world.
(click to enlarge)


You basically start with a solid metal disc that has a spot in the center for a ball-bearing. You then attach the first row of black plastic "ribs" using tricky-to-handle nuts and screws. Once you figure out a method this task goes quickly.
(click to enlarge)


You'll notice some panels have unique cut-outs for future parts.
(click to enlarge)


I was a bit worried when I first saw that the ribs were plastic, but once the reinforcement plates are sandwiched in between it's a very solid frame.
(click to enlarge)


The kit comes with a cheapo plastic base for the solid steel tube to fit into. I'll admit when I was putting the stand together I was thinking "well isn't this an unnecessary waste of parts?"
(click to enlarge)


As it turns out once the dome is attached to it and spun the real value of the temporary stand becomes obvious (to spin it around and make R2D2 beeps.) It probably helps the dome from getting busted during assembly too.

Tags: Star Wars
  • Member since
    June, 2010
  • From: Australia
Posted by OctaneOrange on Sunday, June 10, 2018 8:42 PM
wow, what an interesting way to build the head. So how long until you get all the parts? I actually bought a full-size astromech dome to one day build my own replica.
  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Sunday, June 10, 2018 9:25 PM

OctaneOrange
So how long until you get all the parts?

It's one of those monthly magazine things and there's 100 issues required to complete, so it'll be just shy of 2 years and $2k (@ $20 per issue) to complete.

Apparently you can also opt to buy the whole kit and kaboodle in one hit.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, June 11, 2018 7:27 AM

Those are a little pricely for me but it looks like good solid metal parts and not the flimsy stuff. Reminds me of my old Erector set I had as kid. 

Nice work!  

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February, 2015
Posted by Modelerinthemitten on Monday, June 11, 2018 10:07 PM

Gamera

Those are a little pricely for me but it looks like good solid metal parts and not the flimsy stuff. Reminds me of my old Erector set I had as kid. 

Nice work!  

 

 

Definitely an investment Big Smile It's definitely reminisent of an erector set! I thought it'd feel a bit flimsy before assembling all the dome rings. It's actually very sturdy once everything is tightened down.

  • Member since
    February, 2015
Posted by Modelerinthemitten on Monday, June 11, 2018 10:10 PM

Phil_H

 

Apparently you can also opt to buy the whole kit and kaboodle in one hit.

 

 

Yeah one nice feature of Deagostini kits is they seem to release full kits after the inital run is complete. I thought about doing that for the Falcon but after thinking about it I decided Artoo would be something I'd like to have. I believe this kit is not yet offered as a full kit but they do have a 12/24 month subscription option.

  • Member since
    February, 2015
Posted by Modelerinthemitten on Monday, June 11, 2018 10:11 PM

OctaneOrange
I actually bought a full-size astromech dome to one day build my own replica.
 

Very cool! Well I hope my build encourages you to start yours!! Your Artoo can be a "big brother" to my half scale replica.

  • Member since
    February, 2015
Posted by Modelerinthemitten on Friday, June 29, 2018 7:44 PM

I got some Tamiya weathering chalks to help add some character to R2D2's leg. I think they've definitely helped make the parts a bit more realistic looking.
Before:
(click picture to enlarge)

After
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Rusted up the silver parts a bit. The blue parts look great with a little silver applied to the edges to make them look worn. The silver powder also leaves behind a slight metallic sheen when polished (wiped off) the part so some areas got a little shine without changing color. A dab of soot in the nooks and crannies to help some of the detail pop.
(click picture to enlarge)

After seeing the results I'm feeling very optimistic that the finish kit will look amazing!

Tags: weathering
  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by Davja on Sunday, August 12, 2018 7:58 PM

I thought about getting that.  Ended up settling for the Sphero R2-D2, lol.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, September 20, 2018 8:18 PM

Oh wow that looks awesome!!! And the weathering and wear make him look even better.

 

You just need a 1/2nd X-Wing to mount him in when you're done! Wink

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February, 2015
Posted by Modelerinthemitten on Friday, September 21, 2018 10:56 AM

Gamera

Oh wow that looks awesome!!! And the weathering and wear make him look even better.

 

You just need a 1/2nd X-Wing to mount him in when you're done! Wink

 

 

Haha, can you imagine getting the parts delivered for that! They did just release a studio scale X-Wing kit that looks awesome and has a bunch of bells and whistles.

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Friday, September 21, 2018 2:12 PM

The quality looks outstanding and that would be a fun build. Thanks for sharing your project with us. Keep us updated.

 

  • Member since
    October, 2018
Posted by MFNotes on Monday, October 01, 2018 2:52 PM

 

 Howdy! It's a pretty fun kit, though it definitely has its pros and cons. :) I also subscribed to it, and I've written up a pretty detailed review if it's of interest. Lists what's good and bad about it, and I'm working on documenting ways of improving its accuracy.

 https://sites.google.com/site/millenniumfalconnotes/r2-d2

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