Written by 1:21 pm Movie Props, Star Wars

Fixing R2-D2, Part 2

Today we finish the cosmetic changes to R2-D2 including:

  1. Fixing the dome pie panels
  2. Attaching the front and back doors
  3. Running wires through the legs
  4. Fixing the shoulder flashing
  5. Adding in the gas pipe lock bar

Let the games begin!

Adjusting the Dome Pie Panels

This was probably one of the easier tasks on my lists of things to R2-DO (get it?).

The hinges were printed in PLA, which gets soft at around 160 degrees so I used my heat gun on its lowest setting, making quick sweeping motions to avoid melting the whole thing.

Once the PLA was soft enough I took my pie panel and pressed it against the hinge. I used my other hand to get in under the dome to push against the other side clamping the pieces together in essence.

I let the PLA cool for about 30 seconds and then proceeded to reattach the pie panel with .8 mm VHB tape. I had a hard time finding the right thickness of tape to attach all the metal pieces and found this to work the best for me, I’ll put a link to it the description below so you can pick some up. 

I repeated this for the other five panels and gave them all the “tap test”.

Materials used:

Attaching the Doors

I first needed to file the openings to make sure I got as tight a fit as possible, I didn’t want any gaps on my doors.

Once fitted properly, I put a bead of E6000 along the inside edge of the door panels, and then duct taped them in place. This made putting the strap clamp on much easier.

Once the strap clamp was in place I put another bead around the inside seam for some extra stability. You know me. I’m all about stability.

Materials used:

Shoulder Flashing

To remove the shoulders I needed to remove two screws, and then gently pull off the aluminum flashing.

The flashing was hot glued down to help hold it down to the wood so I needed to clean up the dried glue in preparation for fitting the new shoulders.

Back in the shop, I laid out my aluminum flashing, and cut to the same length, however I made the width a little wider at about 2 and a half inches, my original width was 1 and 3/4″ inches so hopefully this will give me the amount I need to hide the gap!

Once my flashing was cut to size I put them back in place following my same method as before.

Hot glue, lay down the flashing, then screw everything in at the bottom.

I had a small gap between the ends so I used some aluminum tape to help close that up. Since it’s facing the bottom, and won’t get a lot of eyes on it, I thought this was a good solution.

Materials used:

  • Flashing (HomeDepot.com)

Running Wires

The legs are hollow so figuring out how to get the wires in wasn’t an issue, it was how to push them through that proved to be a challenge.

I was able to get the wires partially in, however needed some assistance to pull them through all the way.

I had a hook handy, so I just screwed it to the top of a ½ inch wood dowel and used that to grab the wires and pull them through.

Center Vents

Finally it’s time to fix the center vents.

The way I currently have it installed, there’s not a lot of support which makes it easy to push in, and also uneven. This will require a little bit of surgery to fix.

Due to the tight space, I only had enough room for one 1/16” thickness aluminum L brace so I needed to find a way to make more space.

I didn’t want to cut the frame, so the next best thing was to shave off some of the center vent itself.

This was just a 3d print in ABS, so I put it to the belt sander and knocked off about 1/16 of an inch to accommodate a second brace.

I then took my cut L-brace, added some screw holes, bent to match the curvature of the frame, and popped it back into place.

Now with two braces holding it, we are now even, and very solid. The kids won’t be pushing this in any time soon.

L Bracket to Hold Legs in Place

After I got my measurement, I went to the shop to cut the aluminum bracket down to size.

I learned on Astromech.com that if you notch the U-bolt it helps create a grip around the gas-pipe, so I figured I’d give that a go since I have the saw out.

Now’s time for the install. Unfortunately, my camera is only getting my head now so I can’t show you how I bolted into the bottom. When you get to this part it’ll make sense though.

On the top, I just bolted in the U-bolt as tight as I could get it. It feels pretty solid, however the true test will happen when I get R2 on his wheels. That’s R2 2.0 though.


***** Intro Music; Straight Through by Groove Bakery | https://groovebakery.com Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

Clip from So I Married an Ax Murderer (1993), TriStar Pictures, Fried/Woods Films