PDA

View Full Version : customizing astromechs...suggestions?



Old Fossil
08-28-2003, 12:07 PM
I'm not big into customizing, beyond swapping cloaks around on figures, but with the cheap availability of the Sneak Preview R3-T7 figure, I can't help but think it would be fun to buy up a few and paint 'em -- an easy way to get the numerous astromech droids I want, but that Hasbro is either not making or are including with figure multipacks (i.e., the Hoth set). I not only want to make some of the astromechs from the movies, but droids with my own color schemes, like hot pink (j/k).

Any advice, primarily on what kind of paint to use, would be most appreciated! I am particularly curious about how to paint R3's clear dome the silvery-white color seen on R2-B1. Thanks in advance!

JediBoulton
08-28-2003, 12:40 PM
I'm not big into customizing, beyond swapping cloaks around on figures, but with the cheap availability of the Sneak Preview R3-T7 figure, I can't help but think it would be fun to buy up a few and paint 'em -- an easy way to get the numerous astromech droids I want, but that Hasbro is either not making or are including with figure multipacks (i.e., the Hoth set). I not only want to make some of the astromechs from the movies, but droids with my own color schemes, like hot pink (j/k).

Any advice, primarily on what kind of paint to use, would be most appreciated! I am particularly curious about how to paint R3's clear dome the silvery-white color seen on R2-B1. Thanks in advance!

I used to paint model cars -- Ferrari's and such :) I would recommend TESTORS paint -- it works great on plastic -- and there are many colors to choose from. You can fing testors at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Also -- get a "real fine" brush to paint some of the details -- they work great also.

As far as getting a cool effect on R3's head -- try seperating the "insides" of the head from the dome. Choose a bright color (hot pink in your case -- haha :) ) and paint the dome from the inside -- then add the silver details to the eye piece and the panals on the outside -- this might give it a cool effect. Now you got me wanting to go try it -- have fun and post us a pic when you get done !!!

Old Fossil
09-02-2003, 10:37 AM
Thanks, JediBoulton!

Val Da Car
09-06-2003, 05:03 PM
use Acrylic based paints....they clean up easier too

OC47150
09-12-2003, 04:16 PM
Don't use enamel paints. It's still sticky on the surface.

I picked up several POTJ R2s when they were $2 at KB and customized them. Really just dirtied it up to appear as if R2 was on Tatooine.

Old Fossil
09-17-2003, 11:26 AM
Thanks for the sound advice, Val & OC. Now I just have to pick up a few extra R3 units and decide on some color schemes.

Val Da Car
09-17-2003, 06:43 PM
Yestertoys R3-T7 $3 non mint.....go crazy...freight is always $5.80....worth the price...

OC47150
09-18-2003, 07:21 AM
Can't beat that price!

Old Fossil
09-18-2003, 04:21 PM
All right, all right! I had my eye on those at Yestertoys for a while, but I was holding out until I could visit an out-of-the-way Wal-Mart I know of that often has older figures marked down. I HATE paying shipping! But I went ahead and ordered 4 of the R3's today. Works out to about $4.50/figure, including shipping. Not bad, like you guys said.

Now I just have to wait a couple of weeks for them to come in. Yestertoys usually gives sterling service, but they are almost painfully slow at shipping the product out.

Val Da Car
09-18-2003, 06:10 PM
Plus..you will beat the EP III rush for the new colored clear headed R2 or R3 droids

OC47150
09-19-2003, 07:23 AM
If you paid with a credit card you should have it within a couple of days. Even with a money order or check, the droids should be here in a little more than a week.

Yestertoys has a pretty good turnaround time.

jeddah
09-19-2003, 09:07 AM
Hi, I used to customise astromechs a few years ago until I joined the R2builders 2 years ago and am now making a 1:1 scale aluminium one :) :cool: . I used to focus on the 6" ones though as these were easier to paint and deconstruct.

After the EP1 rush had died down, I found a lot of R2-A6's on the shelves so I bought up about 6 and put them in a bowl with some just-under-boiling water. This softened the glue and make the legs and holoprojectors come off easily. That was a great help in making them easier to paint.

I used a very fine matt white spray to coat the body and legs and reduce the shininess of the droid. Another benefit of a (slightly rough) matt coat is that this gives the weathering something to key into - if you plan to weather the droids. I was then free to paint the rest of the doid in the colour scheme I wanted and the good thing about plastic paints is that when they dry, you can use a pin or art knife to carefully score away any mistakes. This can give you a really sharp finish and edge to all the details.

The silly chromed mirror effect on the 6" R2-A6 dome can be removed easily with white spirit or paint thinner. You can then spray paint the dome with a matt or frosted silver spray which will - when viewed at this small scale - look a lot more realistic than the shiny domes.

I think it is better to apply many fine coats when working at this scale because a heavier coat will look sloppy but also will begin to obliterate sculpted details.

A tool that was invaluable to me was a pair of "free arms" - those are the multi-articulated arms with crocodile clips on the end which you can use to hold the model in different ways to get a good angle for painting.

Like I said, I used 6" droids and you can still pick these up cheap. Why not try this larger scale. It is a little less fiddly and I loved my 6" collection of R2-B1, R2-D1, R2-D3, R2-R9. If I had been able to get hold of a lot of R5's I would have liked to have done some of them too :)

I have been looking on a seach engine for this guys custom site who focussed on droids and I can't find it. I will post if if I do. his Astros were the best I've seen (although he did use gloss paint which I personally thought detracted from them)

jeddah

Turbowars
09-28-2003, 12:22 PM
Hi, I used to customise astromechs a few years ago until I joined the R2builders 2 years ago and am now making a 1:1 scale aluminium one :) :cool: . I used to focus on the 6" ones though as these were easier to paint and deconstruct.

After the EP1 rush had died down, I found a lot of R2-A6's on the shelves so I bought up about 6 and put them in a bowl with some just-under-boiling water. This softened the glue and make the legs and holoprojectors come off easily. That was a great help in making them easier to paint.

I used a very fine matt white spray to coat the body and legs and reduce the shininess of the droid. Another benefit of a (slightly rough) matt coat is that this gives the weathering something to key into - if you plan to weather the droids. I was then free to paint the rest of the doid in the colour scheme I wanted and the good thing about plastic paints is that when they dry, you can use a pin or art knife to carefully score away any mistakes. This can give you a really sharp finish and edge to all the details.

The silly chromed mirror effect on the 6" R2-A6 dome can be removed easily with white spirit or paint thinner. You can then spray paint the dome with a matt or frosted silver spray which will - when viewed at this small scale - look a lot more realistic than the shiny domes.

I think it is better to apply many fine coats when working at this scale because a heavier coat will look sloppy but also will begin to obliterate sculpted details.

A tool that was invaluable to me was a pair of "free arms" - those are the multi-articulated arms with crocodile clips on the end which you can use to hold the model in different ways to get a good angle for painting.

Like I said, I used 6" droids and you can still pick these up cheap. Why not try this larger scale. It is a little less fiddly and I loved my 6" collection of R2-B1, R2-D1, R2-D3, R2-R9. If I had been able to get hold of a lot of R5's I would have liked to have done some of them too :)

I have been looking on a seach engine for this guys custom site who focussed on droids and I can't find it. I will post if if I do. his Astros were the best I've seen (although he did use gloss paint which I personally thought detracted from them)

jeddah How that full scale R2 coming jeddah? I decided I couldn't do it and the people on the list didn't want me there anyways.:cry:

jeddah
09-29-2003, 09:10 AM
Hi T,

That doesn;t sound at all like the R2 builders; we're a very friendly group. I guess It can be easy to misunderstand people on the internet without all the finer points of facial expressions and inflections :). Most of the members are engineers or some description or other and they can come across as short sometimes. But, I've never seen anyone run off the board apart from profiteers or people offering inferior parts. I'm sorry to hear you feel that way. If I had seen you post, I would certainly have said hello to welcome you :)

Anyway, my R2 is on sabbatical at the moment as I have moved to London and am on a tighter budget than I was before. I still have my aluminium legs in the US waiting to be shipped but can't afford to ship them yet, and am still buying up the various details as and when they are made, but my building has dropped a gear. You can see pics of other members droids which are at a similar stage to mine if you go to astromech.net (http://www.astromech.net) and look in the builders droids sectin in thegallery.

:D

jeddah

Turbowars
09-29-2003, 09:49 PM
Hi T,

That doesn;t sound at all like the R2 builders; we're a very friendly group. I guess It can be easy to misunderstand people on the internet without all the finer points of facial expressions and inflections :). Most of the members are engineers or some description or other and they can come across as short sometimes. But, I've never seen anyone run off the board apart from profiteers or people offering inferior parts. I'm sorry to hear you feel that way. If I had seen you post, I would certainly have said hello to welcome you :)

Anyway, my R2 is on sabbatical at the moment as I have moved to London and am on a tighter budget than I was before. I still have my aluminium legs in the US waiting to be shipped but can't afford to ship them yet, and am still buying up the various details as and when they are made, but my building has dropped a gear. You can see pics of other members droids which are at a similar stage to mine if you go to astromech.net (http://www.astromech.net/) and look in the builders droids sectin in thegallery.

:D

jeddah Thanks, but we did talk awhile back about this. I asked a few questions and I was passed by. All I wanted was to know where to start. That's OK, I don't need to try to talk to people that don't have the time of day for you. Good luck with the droid and you were the only person that welcomed me.:)

Old Fossil
10-03-2003, 06:36 PM
You all are very kind to reply and I really appreciate all the advice! Still haven't gotten my Yesterdroids yet, but I am distracted with Clone Wars value packs and dusting my shelves, anyway. Still figuring out color schemes and my own R-designations.

Jeddah, your 6" astros sound fabulous. Have you any images?

jeddah
10-06-2003, 04:53 AM
Jeddah, your 6" astros sound fabulous. Have you any images?

Thank you. No, unfortunately I have not, but I am still looking for the website I mentioned of the customiser who specialises in droids. As soon as I get it I'll post it - although his are much neater than mine were, he did use gloss paint which I think spoiled the effect a little.

jeddah