This year marks the 10 year since I started building my very first R2. I have always keep him looking like he just rolled off the factory line, white and very clean. As I mentioned in an earlier post I just gave him a whole new paint job/makeover. After doing the Finland event I felt it was time to give him the “real”, been there and back look. The term is called weathering. I’ve put it off for the longest time because it felt wrong in some way. But now I’ve changed my mine. He now looks as if he’s telling a story. I stuck with episode 4 look “A New Hope”. He’s been across Tatooine with the sand, dirt, mud and oil look that follows. Weathering is a very hard thing to master but because I’ve weathered my Wall-e and BB-8 in the past I felt I was up for this challenge. Here’s the result!
My R2 has been thru a lot of events over the years. And as with anything over time it gets damaged in all kinds of ways. Parts break off, cracked, dented and so forth. So earlier this month I gave him a complete new paint job. R2 and I were invited to attend a Toy and art Museum weekend in Finland and as they went thru the effort of arranging all the logistics I felt a slight facelift was in order. I even printed out some newer details for R2 that are lighter and better detailed. The average person won’t see a difference but at a closer look it’s perfect.
I’ve been working a my 3d printed dome for BB8 for a while and I’ve been trying to find way to make it lighter. A few weekends ago I decided to try vacuum forming my printed dome and to my surprise it actually worked. I then tweaked my settings a few times to get the optimal look. The pictures below are versions 1.0 and 2.0 next to the original 3d version. I’m impressed not only that it worked but also by the amount of weight I’ve saved. It now only weighs about a 3rd of the original 3d version. At present I’m painting and installing the lights so I’m saving the final picture of the completed dome for a few more days. I’ve also stumbled over a way to save on lighting weight as well which I’ll show at a later date. My present dome I’m working on will do full revolutions meaning the entire dome and skirt will spin together. I’m also working on a 3rd dome version where the “skirt” doesn’t turn at all, just the dome itself will turn. This is the way the original BB-8 in the movie works. I should also note that the internal mechanisms are already installed and setup to work that way.
I’ve gotten a few questions about what kind of filler I’m using and is it durable. Well I’m using a chemical wood done by Plastic Padding. They make all kinds of fillings but this one has worked best for me, it’s very durable, adheres well to my HDPE plastic and makes perfect door panel seals. Once it’s all is painted and weathered it will look perfect! Here’s a closeup.