R2-D2’s new dome!

After a long wait, I finally acquired a laser-cut styrene dome for R2. These domes are awesome. They consist of an inner and outer dome and a base. All of the panels are laser-cut out of the outer dome, making it very easy to paint the dome, and making the details very sharp.

The dome arrived this week. In my excitement, I didn’t take any photos of it out-of-the-box. After removing the panels, I did a test-fit of the two dome layers together:

Then I painted the two domes silver:

Here are the two domes separated:

Painting all of the dome panels:

After gluing the domes together, I glued the panels in place. I also made a new light diffuser for the front PSI (the red/blue blinking light) from a milk jug. Here’s a pic with most of the panels and the new diffuser installed:

I also installed the new resin-cast holo-projectors. I hacked Dollar Store flashlights for the lights:

I also built the last part of the radar eye, and transplanted the radar eye from the old dome to the new dome. Here’s a photo of a test-fitting of the dome on R2:

I then scratch-built surrounds for the front and rear logic displays. These displays are suppose to have blinking LEDs or Fiber Optic cable in them, and I’ll eventually do that. But for now, I’ve opted to print decals on clear decal paper and stick them onto plexiglass installed in the surrounds, then light them from behind. The effect works pretty well for budget. Again, I used Dollar Store LED flashlights to light them:

In order to eliminate any wires from the dome to the body (and allow full rotation of the dome) The dome has a separate 9v and 4.5v batteries to power the dome electronics. I installed push-button switches to control them in the top holo projector:

And a photo of the now near-complete R2!

Just in time too! R2’s first event as a remote-controlled droid was yesterday! He made his premiere at the 9th annual Kiwanis Teen Film Festival here in Idaho Falls:


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