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Bandai R2-D2 and R5-D4

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  • Member since
    April 2015
Bandai R2-D2 and R5-D4
Posted by Mark Lookabaugh on Sunday, April 26, 2020 9:00 AM

Hi All,

This was one of the most fun builds I've ever done.  Bandai kits are always well-built, but this one just takes the engineering off the charts.  I really have to give credit to the people that designed this.  It's simply amazing.  The fits are snug without being hard to place.  The instructions are fantastic.  The level of detail is just crazy.

The thing that makes a robot like this "realistic" to me is the exact and clear definition of the different panels and "greeblies".  A lesser kit would probably have a simple hollow 2-piece "barrel" for the droid, with most of the details done in decals.  This one has bits that fit into the back of the barrel which make the detail on the front look completely amazing.  It is seriously easy to build a nice looking kit with quality like this. 

Didn't have any notable issues with the build, other than deciding whether to paint or decal certain parts.  Some of the decals are really tiny, and since many of the areas are well-defined by plastic, it was easier to go that way.  The only place I needed to use filler was where R2-D2's dome comes together.  There were some other tiny spots where it could have been used, but IMHO they looked O.K. without it, especially given the squared-off look of the entire droid and their panels.

The first thing many Star Wars fans will notice is that these guys aren't weathered.  In keeping with the glossy black base, I envision these droids as being just off the assembly line, or working in a clean, military-style environment.  Given that these are likely fairly expensive items for the average person, I think it would be the exception rather than the rule that they'd be rolling around in the desert looking filthy.  I just couldn't bring myself to swab dirt all over them.  Plus I suck at weathering, so there's that too.  ;-)

I get what Lucas was going for in the original films, but I think that the weathering was taken to the extreme in some cases.  Especially in the context of rebel ships.  The alliance seems a bit too well organized and disciplined to let their ships go to the point that we see some of them portrayed.  Cleaning and painting equipment in the military is grounded in discipline and attention to detail.  It has a purpose beyond just making the ships "pretty". 

Picture everything you've ever seen come out of one of R2's panels... the "periscope", the extension arm, etc, etc.  The kit includes parts for those.  The panels that house those items are built so they can be opened or shut after the kit is complete to display those items without having to glue them in place.  The droids are quite similar to the other Bandai figure kits in that way.  They're really "action figures" in that they can be posed in different ways with various equipment after completion.  Even the middle leg used when the droids move around can be extended or pulled up into the midsection.  On some of the humanoid figures that movement ability can make the joints look a bit awkward, but on these droids it integrates perfectly.

The most difficult part of the build were the decals.  as I mentioned some of them are really quite tiny and took a lot of jiggering to get in place correctly.  R5-D4's neck has some shiny silver textured panel decals that are just a *tiny* bit bigger than the space they need to go it.  After placement, it took several rounds of Micro-Sol to get them to flatten out and remove the bubbles on the edges.

This was a really fun build.  I opened an AMT kit after finishing this one and let out a big "sigh" as I saw how much filling and sanding was going to be necessary.  ;-)

Thanks for looking!



  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Sunday, April 26, 2020 9:38 AM

   Nice looking droids. I like Bandai kits too, I can build one in about a day, there is plenty of built in detail to be visually appealing, and I really don't have to fuss with paint to get a good looking finished kit. AND it's just fun!.

   I built K2SO, he was my fiirst and I'm hooked.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, April 26, 2020 9:48 AM

Very nice clean builds! Dirty them up a bit and they’ll be ready for a Jawa auction Wink


F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton



  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, May 1, 2020 10:06 AM

Oh wow how did I miss this!?! 

Great job there on the droids! They look like they just came off the showroom floor. I keep expecting Harvey Corman to pop up and try to sell them to me!*


*Okay he was sorta a computer salesman in the Christmas Special. 

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


  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, May 1, 2020 10:42 AM

Looks great! I bought this same set at Hobby Lobby. R2-D2 was my first Star Wars model kit I bought back in the 1970s and the Bandai kit is so many light years above it.

I still think fondly of the old MPC kit with peel and stick blue markings!

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Friday, May 1, 2020 11:37 AM

Nice work, Mark. They look great!


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