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roberr22
04-09-2010, 01:31 PM
I recently came across a beautiful, nearly perfect, vintage R2-D2 with a gold dome. I've seen some sporadic references to a gold dome R2-D2, but I'm wondering if this is a true variant. Any ideas or opinions? Thanks!

Bel-Cam Jos
04-10-2010, 09:26 AM
To be honest, I've never heard of one. Is that the only difference from the "regular" one? (same sticker on body? white color of body? clicking sound when dome turns?)

Snowtrooper
04-10-2010, 09:54 AM
Could it be yellowing from age?

LusiferSam
04-10-2010, 12:04 PM
I know a little bit about this. I've tried to find a picture to post so every can see what we're talking about, but keep coming up empty. Any way it looks just like the regular R2, but the dome has a gold tint to it. I've only seen this on the original R2, not the sensorscope or pop-up lightsaber versions.

My feeling is this is not a true variation. But rather a discoloration. It's a bit like the 'green limb' Chewbacca. I see not reason to believe it's a true variation. In terms of what happening, there should be a layer of clear varnish over the metallic paint on the dome. Metallic paints chip and flake very easily. As the varnish ages it yellows and now you have a clear yellow hue over a silver background. The result is a gold tint.

roberr22
04-10-2010, 03:53 PM
Thanks for all of your input! It could be yellowing from age, but there is almost no wear on the dome at all and everything else (sticker and plastic) is perfectly white and the limbs are as tight as I've ever seen on an original R2. It's like it just came off of the card. I've posted some photos next to another R2 that I have (the gold dome R2 is the one on the left), but the color difference isn't very noticieable. Like Lucifer Sam said, it just has a gold tint to it.

JediTricks
04-10-2010, 04:00 PM
http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2696115000048389672FzbzQZ

It's the one on the right, you can see the gold hue on the chrome. I don't believe vac-metalizing ages, so it's likely to be something else.

roberr22
04-10-2010, 06:14 PM
(http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2696115000048389672FzbzQZ)http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...48389672FzbzQZ (http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2696115000048389672FzbzQZ)

It's the one on the right, you can see the gold hue on the chrome. I don't believe vac-metalizing ages, so it's likely to be something else.
(http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2696115000048389672FzbzQZ)

Thanks for the additional pics! That's exactly how my R2's dome looks and compares with other R2s. My camera just doesn't show it very well.

JediTricks
04-10-2010, 10:17 PM
Sure thing. I wish I had an answer for what the story is with these, but I don't know what's up, I just know they exist. I've seen them at trade shows before, it looks like standard vac-metal with a thin gold-hued clear material over that, like a sealant with an antique tone.

LusiferSam
04-11-2010, 12:02 PM
Ok I found a thread at RS (http://threads.rebelscum.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB1&Number=3702252&Forum=f1&Words=Gold%20dome&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&Main=3702252&Search=true&where=bodysub&Name=&daterange=1&newerval=1&newertype=y&olderval=&oldertype=&bodyprev=#Post3702252) that talks about this and has photos. There's a couple of really good photos clearly showing the gold tint. Also the a prototype looking gold plastic dome, which is not what we're talking about.

I'd agree with JT about the vac metal itself shouldn't age. The clear coat the protects the vac metal could age however. What's bother me is why. Most of the gold dome R2 I have seen are super clear and very white. If it's aging only why is it only the dome? What is the COO of you're R2s roberr22?

JediTricks
04-11-2010, 02:47 PM
Ok, those photos add to what I suspected, that it's a sealant or some other type of topcoat that is this color. You can see areas where it doesn't show on out-bent curves where it'd be the thinnest, and you can see areas where it's concentrated on inward-bent curves where it would have pooled. My guess is this is due to multiple factories running these, and one of them ran a different material than the others which had different properties. Even if it's a sign of aging, it's also still a sign of true variant.

roberr22
04-11-2010, 03:55 PM
My gold dome R2's COO is the standard GMFGI 1977 Hong Kong. I wonder if AFA recognizes a gold dome R2 as a true variant.

roberr22
04-11-2010, 09:57 PM
Found this reference on Ebay. It sold for a decent price. Unfortunately, no pics are available. http://cgi.ebay.com.my/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370317908604

Stormshadow
11-27-2010, 03:39 PM
Just a quick note I am an R2-D2 Focus collector,the gold dome R2-D2 is an interesting one, I actually un/screwed a standard one and the gold one to see if there was any difference and there is the standard ones tend to be all sprayed silver the same as the outside of the dome, now 1 of my gold domes is totally different underneath there is hardly any spray just the plastic molding I havent checked my other solid domes as I dont like to mess around with my vintage stuff but I would hazard a guess that it is the same for my other Gold tinted ones.
Also I recently purchased an early bird set with the original R2 in which has the gold tint to it too.
So I reckon it's a variant :razz:

roberr22
05-13-2011, 03:44 PM
Cool...thanks!

Darth Awgmon
05-13-2011, 08:13 PM
I have my original R2, which I think I got in 1978 (I was 4; that and 3PO were my first figs). It has a gold tint that developed over time. It was not gold when I got it, but by the time I quit playing with Star Wars as a kid (1985), it was starting to turn. I have seen many vintage R2's with a gold tint, so if it is a true variation I don't think it's rare.