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dmk0210

MPC R2D2 Build

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I remember building this kit back in the day. Of course I have nothing like your excellent skills. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished model. Excellent work!

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Last weekend I did some weathering. I only just got around to posting it now. :whistle:

I'm using artists oil paints. I don't use these a lot. Usually I use regular Testors/Model Master enamels for weathering, but I found these in my supplies and decided to try these again. One of the problems with artists oils is they can take a very long time to cure.

I had used white enamel to paint the body and after letting that cure about a week, I overcoated that with Testors, Glosscote lacquer to provide a barrier coat to keep the oil paints from disolving into the enamel paint and to give me a slick surface to allow the wash to run smoothly. The head was painted with Alclad and blue lacquers, so the glosscote was not necessary.

Here I've picked some browns, yellow and black. Usually I use mineral spririts as a thinner, but this time I'm going to try Turpenoid instead and see if that improves things.

2012-10-28114556.jpg

The first thing I did was mix up some grayish color, fairly thick and dabbed some round the head. Notice that I'm using some makeup sponges to do this (dollar store finds). I set this aside to dry a while.

2012-10-28121541.jpg

Next, I mixed up some brownish color. This was thinned more. I used a small brush to dab this into the panel lines, corners and low areas. Let it run into the crevices by capillary action. I also used the makeup sponge to dab some around the body in random places, making it dirtier at the feet and lower areas. I set this aside to dry a while.

2012-10-28135550.jpg

After making a cup of coffee, come back and we'll get the excess nastiness off.

Here I took a cap from a water bottle and put some Turpenoid in it. I used a large soft brush and wiped some on a small area. When the area was wet, I used a large makeup sponge to dab at it, removing some excess paint. You'll probably need to go back and do this a few times until you have the desired effect.

Be careful not to soak the area too much or you will eat through the lacquer and start dissolving the enamel paint underneath. Do a small area and move on to another area. Let the first area dry before going at it again. I got a little heavy with the thinner in one area and noticed it attacking the underlying enamel. Luckily I was able to hide the damage with the weathering.

Notice how the grime is left to look more built up in the corners, and the excess wiped off more on the high points and in the open areas.

Also notice how you will go through a lot of sponges. Throw them out when they get really grimy or you will just be pushing the grime around instead of removing it.

2012-10-28141955.jpg

One of the problems with artists oils is they take a long time to dry. When I was done weathering, I set this aside for a week. There is still some tackiness in some areas. I'm going to have to let it cure another week before I can handle it without risking fingerprints and damage to the paint surface.

I think I'm going to start looking into acrylics for this type of weathering. They have their own issues (they don't flow smoothly for one), but they cure rapidly and won't damage the underlying layers of paint.

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Fantastic work on the weathering! :thumbsup: Thanks for the nice description of the technique you are using.

However I am curious why you didn't use lacquer for the body instead of enamel? You wouldn't have had to use the Glosscoat lacquer before weathering. I've also found that enamels tend to 'yellow' over time, especially whites. Although it has been a long time since I've used enamels so maybe they don't 'yellow' anymore, but I figured I'd ask.

Edited by crowe-t

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...I am curious why you didn't use lacquer for the body instead of enamel? You wouldn't have had to use the Glosscoat lacquer before weathering.
You are right, I should have. It would have made things easier. It would have cured quicker and would have been more durable for the oil wash. However, I didn't have any white lacquer on hand, so I used what I had.

I've also found that enamels tend to 'yellow' over time, especially whites. Although it has been a long time since I've used enamels so maybe they don't 'yellow' anymore, but I figured I'd ask.

That may be true. However, I have not had any issues with white yellowing (I just threw a Revell A-6 that I built in the mid 90s in a Purple Power bath to strip it and its belly wasn't yellowing). I use Testors/Model master flat white enamel almost exclusively though and my models never get direct sunlight.

An interesting thing is I have some closeup pictures of one of the original R2D2 props and the white on it is very clearly yellowing.

Edited by dmk0210

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I had a feeling you might have used the enamel because it was on hand. We've all been there a few times. :lol:

It has been a long time since I've used enamels and I'm sure I wasn't using the best paint back then, mostly the cheapest stuff I could find.

That's funny what you said about the R2D2 props yellowing. Sometimes a certain paint might not go on cleanly or change color and will add to the effect of the model.

Not long ago I was painting an External Tank for a space shuttle stack and my compressor was not working properly. The paint was sort of spitting out and it actually gave me the bumpy effect I was looking for.

Edited by crowe-t

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If I could do it over, I'd buy some white lacquer. :)

As far as cheap paint. I've always had pretty good luck with the Testors enamels. I've always used it since I was a kid.

In the last few years I've sometimes used Krylon spray cans decanted to airbrush. It's nice paint and cheap, but I can never tell if I'm getting lacquer or enamel in those cans. So I always treat it like enamel as far as cure time and over-coating precaution, but clean it up with lacquer thinner.

Edited by dmk0210

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If I could do it over, I'd buy some white lacquer. :)

No need, it looks beautiful! :worship:

Edited by crowe-t

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No need, it looks beautiful! :worship:

Thank you. :)

Whenever I get to this point, after a few months of work I have a fear of screwing it up with some stupid mistake.

:pray: :o

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Did some work on the lights and projectors today.

In the front we have the "mood light" that changes colors. To simulate this, I took a piece of clear acrylic rod, polished one end and cut a section off. I painted one half read and the other blue using Tamiya clear acrylics. I will glue this with Testors clear parts cement into a hole I drilled previously at the front of the dome. I'll back it with some aluminum foil.

I created a similar piece for the rear, but painted that one opaque white on the inside.

2012-10-28162116.jpg

There are some multi-color data lights at the front are rear. I simulated these using some craft glitter carefully sprinkled over wet Future using a tweezer. I covered with more Future to set it. It took a few layers to build it up and get the colors to look OK.

I used my Touch N Flow to apply the Future. Quickly afterwards I flushed it out with Windex and then lacquer thinner to ensure I didn't clog it up for good.

It actually looks better that the picture shows. The flash reflected off the Future.

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The holoprojectors were assembled using polished acrylic rod for the lense and backed with aluminum foil.

2012-11-10114429.jpg

Here is R2 with a fresh new face.

2012-11-10170014.jpg

Edited by dmk0210

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The Data lights and the mood lights look perfect! :thumbsup:

R2 looks real nice looking up at the camera. ;)

I'm sure you are aware, there is a blue stripe that goes around the base of the dome. Is this something you will be adding? I only asked since you already painted all the other blue areas. I assume you may not be done with the dome yet.

Edited by crowe-t

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I'm sure you are aware, there is a blue stripe that goes around the base of the dome.

:doh: I completely forgot about that stripe on there.

Thanks for reminding me!

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OK, so fixing the blue stripe...

I clamped a pencil in my small vice and set it on a book to draw the stripe on the dome. That gave me a line all the way around the dome to get my tape aligned correctly,

2012-11-11100043.jpg

Once I got a line of Tamiya tape all the way around, I used a plastic bag and standard masking tape to cover the rest of the surface to prevent over spray.

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R2 now looks a lot better with the stripe on there. Thanks for pointing that out crowe-t!

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To simulate the braided power cord on the feet, I used some elastic gold metallic cord. I sliced off sections of aluminum tubing to make the end connectors. Got both the metallic cord and the aluminum tubing from Hobby Lobby.

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To get a nice clean edge on the cord, cut it with a sharp exacto knife or razor blade, dip the end in some super glue, then wipe off the excess. The cord will soak up the glue and make a stiff end that won't fray while you are trying to insert it into the ends.

I used a couple different size drill bits to clean up the burrs and to slightly bevel the edges to make the cord slide through the tubing easier.

Slide the ends on the cord, and leave a little cord sticking out so you can glue it into a holes you drill on the feet and power pack.

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Then it was a simple matter of drilling the holes in the feet and the power pack, super gluing the end of the cord into the hole and sliding the piece of tubing up against the surface to finish it off. I used some CA accelerator to flash cure the superglue and hold it in place rather than trying to hold the cord in place with a tweezer while the CA cured.

The cord looks a little too shiny so I need to weather it a bit with some black and brown paint.

2012-11-11162131.jpg

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Holy smokes, this is looking awesome. It will be a show stopper for sure.

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It's absolutely beautiful! :thumbsup: Definitely the most accurate MPC R2D2 I've ever seen. The added details, colors chosen and modifications all came out perfect. :worship:

It was a pleasure following this build.

Mike.

Edited by crowe-t

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Thanks for the compliments guys! :)

I never thought about doing the C3PO kit. Maybe sometime in the future. That kit is far worse as far as inaccuracies from what I've read though. This kit wasn't too bad. At least it gave me a very good starting point.

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that looks great!

Now you have to scratch build a scale X-wing for him to sit in...

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Thanks guys!

Now you have to scratch build a scale X-wing for him to sit in...

A 1/6 scale X-wing be way cool! B) Edited by dmk0210

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Most people probably wouldn't notice (or care about, for that matter) the extra work you put into this piece to make it more accurate, but a real Star Wars lunatic like me sure can appreciate the extra attention to detail! I think this is as good as it gets with the MPC kit. Seriously nice work!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Al

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Thank you Zombie!

You're right about the details. When I first opened the box and looked at the kit I didn't even notice all the little inaccuracies until I started comparing it to screenshots from the movie. Even then I missed a few things until you guys following the thread pointed them out to me. It really was fun though to devise ways to correct the little things here and there.

This was actually my first build thread on any forum. I really enjoyed it.

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You removed and re-attached the top of the dome in the correct position and made the bottom of the dome flush with the body. These always seemed like the most glaring issues with the MPC kit. Yours is the first MPC R2 with those two issues fixed. :thumbsup: You did a terrific job on this and made more then the needed amount of fixes for this small scale.

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Excellent work! That is R2 the way he is supposed to look. Did you leave the panel doors functional on the front or are they permanently closed?

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