R4-D4 Dome work progress 3.0

Finished off the last grooving to the curved panel.
Lightly sanded it and applied a PVA wash over it.

Next up was some silver detailing on the radar eye. I sprayed some into an empty can cap and then using a file paint brush, hand painted the slots on the eye.

Then I used the brush to 'dry brush' over some of the edges.
This helps create the chipped paint effect.
Still a work in progress as need to add darker colour's to add 'dirt' effect.

Next up was to position and glue into place the Radar lens. I used fiber glass resin, marked the position and fixed it in place. I then screwed it back onto the dome so that any resin would be shaped by the dome, before it dried and that would of meant more work.

As I'm not sure about the final colour scheme for the dome, I did decide that regardless, the dome will need a white coat of paint. So I started on the lid.
A few coats and wow, what a finish!
The waves in the reflection near the middle, is the extractor filter, not the surface finish lol


R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.9

Friday, I fitted everything onto the Dome. Used temporary screws to hold the circuit panels in place & wired up the LED's to mini 12v battery. Ready for Saturday at Leamington Spa Wars event, see event report coming soon.
The radar eye still needs work on it, to get the edge fitting nice and tight. And still one last half panel to groove.

See Event Report Blog for Spa Wars at Leamington Spa.

Sunday afternoon, I test fitted the lower location ring onto the domes spacer blocks.

After aligning it up centrally, I measured the height, and yep, in my infinite wisdom, I'd not taken into account the thickness of the location ring....in my defense I have had a lot going on lol.

So next up was to trim the blocks down.

Once this was done, it was a case of screwing the location ring on.

Next up is the bearing location pin blocks.

Marked there rough position on the location ring. Then marked and drilled a slightly over size 5mm hole in them. Once this was done, I then used PVA wood glue to secure them in position & left to dry overnight.
You can see them circled in red in picture above.

Once dried I then drilled holes and countersunk them for clearance, and screwed the blocks in place.


Been also working on smoothing out the Radar Eye more.
Primer sprayed it (and the lid) the other day.

And sprayed it up metallic Red.
Wasn't impressed with the usual mat black finish.
I still need to work out a paint scheme for the dome tho....


Event Report - Leamington Spa Wars 2017

Friday night was loading up the car night. Got this down to about 15-20mins now lol. All ready for the off Saturday morning.

Saturday morning, early start. Met up with Paul Felski (& his R2-D2) and he followed me up in his transporter.

Just over an hour and a half drive up, we arrived at All Saints' Parish Church, Leamington Spa. And knew we were at the right place as Lee's van is unmissable lol. Glynn arrived at the same time, so we all unloaded and set up the droids.

We were all set ready for early birds opening at 10am, when we were asked if we could move our transports to a more convenient parking area......? 20mins round trip later, we had found free parking and had walked back to the Church. Thankfully Emma was able to keep an eye on the droids etc. Tho we did then miss the local paper interview.

Link to the papers website.

The guest list was impressive, Actors to prop makers from the original films, including film makers from 'Elstree 1976'. The new release from Helix stationary were on display as well as loads of vendors.

Lee got asked to attend the 'Force Awakens' Q&A panel, when someone mentioned he was there & had worked on it.

Banners set up.
One of the two tables, this one had my R4 dome with a few other items on.

Paul & Lee answering questions.

R5, R2-D2 & R2-PHT

 Lee's R2, Glynn's R2-PHT & Lee's other R2

Paul, chatted with Natalie Cuzner, who amongst over acting rolls,
played PZ-4CO in 'The Force Awakens'

We had a good day, chatting with visitors, explaining about the droids & how they were built. Talking about the Club & how to join. www.astromech.info for the UK, www.astromech.net for the world wide group. There are some great pictures up on Instagram #spawars, #spawars17 (just two examples) so check these out as well.

The event finshed around 5pm, and we packed up the droids and display. There was a film showing afterwards, so the hall had to be cleared away and seating re-arranged for the screen.

Emma dropped us back to our cars and then we headed back to the Church to load everything up. We said our goodbyes and headed off our separate ways.

For there next event in 2018,
check out their website, via link at top of Blog Post.



R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.8

3D printed parts.
There is seen in some screen grabs that some of the R4's have electronic panels, two off, one either side. There are lots of different version, probably linked to different 'models'. So I thought I'd create my own.

I wasn't sure whether to just recess these component's into the panel, or recess the whole panel, to the depth of the groove, and fix these on then. The upper panel, in the picture below is the one in question.
Well.....that undecidedness didn't last long. I drew up a full components panel in Inventor

..........and 3D printed it off, twice.

I then recessed the whole panel, using a stanley knife blade to 'scrape' off the layers.

and then I test fitted the new 3D printed one.

Am still a bit unsure with how proud the panel is, but I can't recess it any more, due to the wood only being 3mm thick. So I may reduce the height of components on it.....but then they'll become less defined.....

I'm looking into LED's and or fiber optic cable that I have left over from the R0-D4 dome build.

Other work..... I almost finished grooving out all the panels last night.
I just have one last curved panel to do.


R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.7

This weekend has been all about the 70's lol......grooving! 😂

Friday night I carried on grooving the dome lid.
The grooving tool I used, all done by hand, just like on R5-D4's dome and body.

And then I applied PVA wash over the grooves to help seal. Once dried, I lightly sanded.

Saturday I had some free time so was able to make a start on scoring and grooving the panels I had previously marked up.
 First panel above started.

Marking up the curved panels curved recesses.
I used a tape to mark the drop from the top to the lines. I then followed a line from side to side.

The scoring with the blade along the lines.....free hand! 

Quick wash with PVA glue, so that by time I've finished grooving, I can start sanding

And this was the final effort.
I'll be starting on the other panels, marking out etc this week.


R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.6

Some good news and some not so good news.

My 4 pack of fake CCTV dome camera's arrived yesterday. And spent no time stripping two of them apart lol. That was all I could do as the Radar Eye was in work. The other plus is the on/off loop relay unit arrived as well.

The not so good part of the night, was spending hours figuring out how to and the best way to wire up what I had to operate the holo projector circuit 😒
What I have won't do what I want.....so onto plan 'B'......


To not get distracted with this disappointing evening, tho some bits were actually fun when bits worked, today's efferts are working on the Radar Eye & it's lens.

I taped a piece of paper onto the dome as to where the Radar Eye will go. This was to stop it messing up my nice clean surface lol. I then mixed up some glass fiber and applied it to one side of the eye's cardboard'd edge.

Lunchtime, I got on with cutting the radar eye's lens. I marked in position and then using a saw, cut to size.
After this I applied glass fiber resin to the other side edge of the radar eye, as the first side had set, as seen in the above pic.


Marking and grooving out the panels....
There are a few different 'styles' for the panels on an R4. The paint/colour design is another thing too. So I'm going with a standard'ish design.

I started with the 'lid' panel.
Drew on the groove details and then scored and scrapped out the groove detail.

I gave the groove a PVA wash to seal, and then once dried I lightly sanded them.
As the hardboard is only 3mm thick, the grooves are only about a 1mm deep. They are just for effect.

I drew up some templates in cardboard and cut them out. I then started to mark up the panels at the top of the dome.

I'll be taking the dome home again for the weekend, hopefully get some more work done on it then.

Looking forward to Sunday tho as a few members of the UK Builders are coming round to my house.....more info next week.


R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.5

So yesterday I re-designed the servo panel and sent it to the printer. Four hours plus later, it finished....just in time for me to leave work.

Once home, I removed the raft & supports. There wasn't much cleaning up needed.

Later I then test fitted the components & whilst I had some free time, connected up what I could.

It may look complicated, but I don't do complicated lol, all 'plug-n-play' here.....with a bit of splicing of the digital volt meter to be soldered to the output pin connectors of the voltage regulator unit. The bottom two red wires are to the momentary switch I used for testing. This you can see in the picture below.

Here's a quick video.