Saturday, November 5, 2016

Discovery World Sci-Fi Day

Well I completely flaked out and forgot to post about the Sci-Fi Day at the Milwaukee Discovery World Museum! While there were not as many costumed characters as last year, because politics, but there were still a great number of people in attendance and a nice showing of R2 Builders. Thanks everyone for all of your hard work!

It was especially fun to see the kid's reactions and to see some really excellent costumes!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Milwaukee MakerFaire

It was time again for the Milwaukee MakerFaire and the R2 Builder's Club was out in full force! Besides myself, we had Craig with his awesome menagerie of droids and creatures, Steve with his beautiful wood and aluminum work-in-progress R2, and the other Steve (there's two of them!), the Usian Bolt of droid builders who has his beautiful R2 there which he completed in 8 months!

I was able to put the new dome and the scooter motorist the test. I took R2 for several trips around the MakerFaire, meeting fans and making new friends. It was great to see excited the kids got, and R2 was feeling the love!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Radar Eye Redo

At long last I 3D-printed a new radar eye. The first I printed had a flat back on it and would not sit flush against the dome. Doh! This second one I reengineered to be hollow and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will fit adequately. I will install it tomorrow in time to finish up the dome for the Milwaukee MakerFaire on Saturday.

Monday, August 8, 2016

New Radar Eye Lens

I 3D-printed a new radar eye lens for the new dome. It turned out great, up until I left the primed lens out in the sun and the heat caused it to shrink and dimple.

Attempts to smooth out the lens with putty failed, so I printed a new one. I added a larger flange around the the base and it fit beautifully.

A little sanding, some priming and several light coats of gloss black and BOOM! Shiny new lens!

I love doing everything twice. Makes me feel like I am at work.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Blue Clear Coat

I got some DupliColor Clear coat for the blue dome parts and I have to say that the results were very impressive. The clear coat evened out anything that looked a little mottled and did not diminish the color at all. It gave them the subtle, glossy finish that I was hoping for!

I plan on redoing the chrome on the dome with DupliColor Metallic Silver and then clear coating that, with the hopes of recruiting the same results that I had with the blue pieces.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Painting the Blue Dome Parts

I started painting the blue dome parts using the Dupli-Color Sonic Blue Pearl paint that was recommended by the Builders Club. If the weather cooperates this weekend, I may be able to get all the blue parts painted, including repainting the booster covers so they match the dome.

I am very happy with the color. It is a nice purply blue, with subtle metallic highlights.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chrome Dome Painting

After some filling and much sanding, I finally got the dome ready for chrome painting. I used Krylon Aluminum/Metallic Cover Maxx from Wal-Mart, which was recommended by the R2 Builder's group. My first coat turned out dull and splotchy, which I discovered was due to the fact that it was too cold outside when I painted it. Fortunately, the next weekend was warm and sunny, and I let the dome sit in the sun for a while before I started painting. That, along with shaking the crap out of the can of paint helped the next coats turn out quite well. I may do another coat to get a few spots that need a little touchup.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dome Prep and Prime

Well, it has been a busy month but I was able to glue the two parts of the new dome together and to fashion a dome ring from the floral MDF rings from Michaels.

I then cut out the holes for the holoprojectors, the psis and the front and rear logics.

I primed it today and later in the in the week I will do another pass of fine sanding and then a little more primer.

I have front and rear logics on order from Hyperdyne and am super excited!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Laser Cut Styrene Dome

I was able to procure one of the fine laser-cut styrene dome from before Christmas.  Even with the laser cutting, it required a fair amount of cleanup and sanding.

The dome has three parts. A whole inner dome, the laser-cut outer dome and the bottom dome ring. I used Brian Munger's excellent website that detailed his styrene dome build as a guide for assembling mine. You can check his build at

After the initial trimming of pieces and sanding, I used Weld-On to glue the inner and outer dome together.

I bought some 18" MDF floral rings from Michaels to use as the inner support for the dome. I am going to attach that to the bottom dome ring with bolts and then glue the floral rings to the inside of the inner dome. I used 3M tape to put some temporary foam board blocks inside the dome to help me find the correct placement of the MDF ring.

I want to cut out the holes for the holoprojectors before I mount the dome to the floral ring so that I have more room to work. So far I am really happy with how everything has come together!

Friday, January 8, 2016

3D Printed Radar Eye and Logic Display Bezels

There has been an increasing number of files available on for 3D printing R2 parts, and since I am building a new dome I decided to 3D print the radar eye and logic display bezels.

The 3D-printed pieces really turned out nicely the Dremel Ideabuilder printer. They were printed at highest quality, with 3 shells and a 35% infill. I started sanding the radar eye last night and the PLA sands beautifully. I am using a 120 grit sandpaper on my Dremel Multimax tool.

I plan on printing the holoprojectors as well since I found Vickers Viscount 3D print files that someone had posted online. Thank you inter webs!