Dec 20, 2012, 2:40 PM - Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 Uber Build - COMPLETED!
Hey all.. I started this project awhile back but recently decided to bring it out of the box and finish it up. What I plan to do is create the classic R2/3PO standing poses mounted to a piece of wood, but I also want them to be lit up. So here goes... First up, C-3PO
When you get this kit there's alot of little things wrong but the shape is pretty good. Here is my todo list:
- Fabricate new translucent eyes so that they can be lit from behind.
- Instead of painting, cover entire piece with gold leaf or bare metal foil to
get the shiny look of him out.
- Fix the rear head bump to be more movie accurate.
- Fix the provided hands so the fingers are separated to look more
realistic. Add pistons to hands.
- Fix and fabricate new antenna.
- Silver leg or no silver leg... that is the question!
Not alot to do, but it is. First I started off by finding a way to fabricate the eyes. They provide a dark red plastic single piece for both eyes. Not a very good likeness at all. So I used that piece to create press mold in some clay and using hot glue, I fabricated my own eye peice. Behind each of the sockets I painted the back of them black and scraped away three areas on each socket to allow light to pass thru. The look is pretty close to the orignal.
I want this thing to shine. I looked into several different methods, even thought about having the parts professionally vacuum metallized in a gold color, but I ending up foiling it myself. The plastic is alredy moulded in a gold color but it just looks soooooooooooo nasty. So, after foiling for awhile here's my first test. Looks soooooo much better then the original plastic
After getting everything foiled, I began to look at the hands. The ones provided in the kit look like mittens. Not very realistic at all. So, I made a mold of each hand separately. I used some resin and before the resin cured completely, I took it out of the mold and cut the fingers apart. I foiled each one and painted the inside palms to match the screen and they came out looking AWESOME!
I placed a bulb behind his eyes and ran the wire down thru his body and out thru his left leg. I haven't glued him all together yet because I want to make sure I position him properly with R2 before securing him down for good. But all in all he's completed as far as I can go with him right now.
I dipped everything in clear acrylic to seal all the foil onto the pieces. I'm still debating on whether I should do the silver leg or not. I like it better in gold. What do you think?
Now onto R2-D2...
Last edited by LrdSatyr8; Mar 14, 2013 at 11:53 AM.
Dec 20, 2012, 3:21 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Looks fantastic. Wish I had the patience to foil my Kaiyodo C-3PO.
Dec 20, 2012, 4:48 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Took forever to foil... about 2 months. But the result is pretty good.
Dec 20, 2012, 4:59 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Ok... now the R2-D2 build... Here's a list of all the things I have to do to this thing to get it to be completely accurate:
R2-D2 Todo List:
- Computer Interface Arm (Step 1 - Part #111) - Modify end piece to be more accurate to movie, perhaps make several different versions that can be interchangeable. Possibly add another arm/compartment on opposite side.
- Front Vents (Part #113) - Paint outside edge Blue with the 8 interior slots openings black
- Front Power Coupling (Part #116) - Paint outer area blue and inner flat areas blue, raised flat area black and front round ring blue
- Octoganals (Part #109) - Outer edge painted blue - Inner rim has black line details surrounding circumference
- Front and Back Large Vent - Gray
- Front/Rear Grills (Part #26F/R) - Silver with Blue verical slots. Horizontal slot unpainted silver
- Both sides under leg mounts - Fabricate grill part #26 only a bit larger without the horizontal section. Just under those need to etch in a new panel line.
- Front leg - Fabricate canisters on both sides of center leg mount, similiar to Part #103, may have to carve slots to fit them indented into leg mount itself. Perhaps use #103 parts from spare kit.
- Foot Hoses - Paint Red/Orange
- Leg Details - on Part #3R/L just above bottom square on side, fabricate a small blue rectangle box.
- Leg Details - When legs parts are together (Parts #3/4) under joint angle, fabricate a small gray/silver box on front and back of both legs.
- Front Swing Arms - Either dremal out and fabricate all new arms or cut out sections where current arms are and make more accurate details (concave section in middle and curved in section near ends)
- Eye Box (Part #28) - Paint Blue to match with rest of body detail.
- Leg Battery Boxes Details (Part #104) - Center indented sections painted black
- Logic Panel Lights Front and Rear - On the clear dome section are 3 areas that will need to be dremaled out. Two small sections on the front, and a larger thin section on the back to house the fiber optic program lights. Surrounding the lights, a small box must be built up/made to contain them. The box should be painted silver/gray. The small panels contain a grid of lights 4 high by 9 wide, and the back panel contains a grid of lights 4 high by 27 wide. Small holes will need to be drilled in a grid pattern precisely to hold fibers. May not be able to get total amount of lights at this scale, but close.
- Dome Details - Front under "eye" and rear under two dots, need to be drileld out in a round hole the same size and backed with a transparent sheet of thin translucent plastic for lighting.
- Rear of dome - Two Dots painted blue with a silver dot in middle. Should find them on the dome above a panel.
- Larger Back Dome Panel - Remove left side support to widen the panel. May need to use another piece from 2nd R2 blue plastic dome for this
- Optics - Drill hole thru front optic for placement of LED after its been glued in place.
- Dome - Sand down chromed dome with steel wool to give a dull finish.
- Dome Panel - Under the main Eye, drill hole for red/blue led, also, the panel is actually two panels
- Arms - Fix front arm details by either drilling out and fabricating new pieces or carving into existing plastic to make more accurate.
That's the list so far... alot more needs to be done to this one than with 3PO but, that's what makes a good model. I've been working on this R2 model and it's been driving me crazy for the past couple of days. I have to figure out a way to putting these logic circut lights in the head dome. First I figured well, maybe if I lay out the fibers in a box formation that would work but no, they end up looking like those stupid fiber optic dolls you get from Walmart. So I have to figure out a way of spacing them far enough apart to look like a grid, and each look separate. So that mean, I have to drill out these tiny holes for fiber optics in a grid pattern 4 high by several wide at 4mm by 15mm... and then 2 more grids at 4mm by 9mm. I've attempted several different techniques and nothing seemed to be working. Since I don't have a collet for my tiny hair width drill bit I ended up having to make my own out of a spare piece of sprue plastic. I cut a piece of sprue plastic and drilled a hole in one end that attaches to a tiny RC Car motor I had laying around. Then with a couple of batteries, I hooked up the motor with the plastic on the end, and I melted down one end with a lighter while I had the motor running. Then I shoved the bit into the melted plastic at the end and centered it up while it spun. Seems to be working. Well... first thing I did is I tried to drill thru the clear blue plastic of the model kit. That didn't work, the plastic is too hard and I broke 2 bits trying. So, next, I decided to use an old plastic id card I had. I did a couple of test drills thru it and it seems to work very well. Next I attempted to draw out on the card a grid and manually drill out each hole that way, that didn't work. Holes were too uneven and irratic to even try. Next I made a sliding guide that I could use to help, but that didn't work. Same problem as before at that scale. So I figured I needed to create some guide indentions in the plastic first. Using a needle, I attempted to do it manually. Same problems I had before... too irratic. Then, it dawned on me. Why not just print up a guide and use it as a template for the needle to make the guide indents. I smacked myself in the head for not thinking of it sooner. Getting older my eyes aren't what they used to be. After several print jobs, I was able to come up with a couple of good hole guide templates. But I still had a problem. I couldn't see close enough to use the needle to make the indents. I don't have a magnifying glass or anything, so, that's when I broke out my old camcorder. Using the macro feature and zooming in close to the subject I was able to make the indents and I just finished drilling about half the holes. They still aren't perfect but at this scale I don't think that anyone will notice it too bad when the fibers are in place and lit up. The left side shows my failed attempts, the middle is my latest attempt... now mind you, this took me about an hour for just this many holes. Needless to say, it's gonna take me a little while to get em all drilled out but seems to be working pretty well... lemme know what you think
I'm still trying to decide on whether or not I'm gonna scuff up the shiny chrome on the dome to make it look more realistic or not. I may just do that. I still have to cut out the holes on the clear plastic where the logic lights are gonna go. That's gonna be a pain in the butt because this plastic is almost 30 years old and getting pretty brittle. The clear plastic tends to get very brittle after awhile. Good thing I've got two of these models. That way I have one to mess up and test with and the other will be the final.
Last edited by LrdSatyr8; Dec 20, 2012 at 5:36 PM.
Dec 22, 2012, 3:15 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Wow! and I thought building a full-size was hard. That is some amazing detail!
Dec 22, 2012, 3:55 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Thanks! I got all the holes drilled, now I just gotta thread the fibers. I'm figuring about 112 fibers total just for the logic circuit panels. The problem I'm having now is getting these scavenged LED flasher boards to work. It appears as if the red leds are blown on both boards and I can't get them to light up. If anyone has any of these stupid little toy color changing orbs that they wish to donate to this project, please let me know. I could use em and they'll go to a good cause.
Droids inc said:
Dec 22, 2012, 3:56 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Had to pick up a new ac adapter to test out these light circuits. They aren't working. One of the LEDs on each of the boards aren't working, I'm hoping that i can just replace the bad LED with a working one and it will work again. I'm hoping I don't end up having to buy another cooze ball to scavenge another board. If anyone has one to donate, please let me know!
Something I need to do... Fix the front arm sections. The model is completely wrong. I need to shorten the mid section up and make the undetations in them. Not sure if I'm going to cut them out yet or Fill them in and fake it. But you can see the differences between the original R2 and the model.
Dec 24, 2012, 4:42 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Spent the last few days in a quandry. Even thou the parts I made so far don't look too bad, they are still not up to my standards, so I found a thicker sheet of styrene I had laying around, and began carving out the pieces again. This time the claw is a bit beefier. But, what was really puzzling me was how I was going to get those pistons on the side to look even halfway decent. Those gold stretched plastic sprue just wasn't cutting it for me. So I pulled a piece of spare sprue off the R2 parts, and began carving away by hand to no avail. Looked way too chunky and just couldn't get the thickness right, That's when it s dawned on me. Why not just use my dremal? And that spawned a whole new surge of creativity! So here's what I ended up doing...
I took a piece of sprue and stuck it in the end of my dremal like a drill bit.
Then using my trusty exacto blade I began carving and boy what a blast that was. I had bits and pieces flying all over the place just getting used to doing it like this. I found it doesn't take much pressure and as long as you got a steady hand you can get very good results. Like this:
Sorry it was kinda outta focus.
BUT... viola... I was making bits and pieces at a tiny scale and just loving every minute of it. Of course if you press too hard, the piece goes flying off into the obilivion of the carpet. However, after many trials and pieces hitting me in the face, I think I finally got some good pistons... they aren't perfect, but hey, they look a whole lot better then just those straight rods I had before. I was having so much fun I decided to make a computer jack in fitting and a saber hilt. You can see in the pic below a few of the almost there pieces as well. Now all I gotta do is glue these all together and paint em up. Dont' think I'll be making them actually work, at this scale, the logistics of working pistons is phenominal.
More to come as I keep progressing... whatcha guys think so far?
Dec 25, 2012, 6:13 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Merry Christmas everyone... hope everyone got something good to build this year! Me, I did a little work on the grabber today. I created a 3D model and thought that maybe I might get the grabber printed at Shapeways. At least then I know I would be able to get the perfect look and feel of it. But, after completing the 3D model I looked at the two pistons I carved yesterday, and noticed they were just too big. So I carved a couple of smaller ones that even thou are still a bit too big, seem to look alot better. I got everything glued and painted today so now I can move onto the next fix. I might still get the grabber printed to see how it will come out. Here's a photo of the Grabber and the CPU Interface... I also thought about making the saw. That might look kind cool. But here's the pic... hope you all are enjoying this!
Dec 25, 2012, 6:44 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Nice work on the astromech tools. I use the same technique, but I utilize a dremel and the drill press stand that is available.
Dec 25, 2012, 9:03 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
I used to have that drill press but have lost it in my many moves since I got it. It would have come in handy that's for sure.
Dec 25, 2012, 10:59 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Well I did a test fitting of the grabber and cpu arms. First thing first, I stretched out a piece of sprue over a candle to get a correct thickness for the support rod. The nice thing about having two kits is that you can play around with one and know what to keep in mind for when building the other to make sure it's perfect. The two kits I got off eBay several years ago. The first kit was mint sealed in the box, was never opened. The second, looked like it was missing a couple of small pieces (I think one of the foot rollers was missing), nothing was on a sprue and several parts were already glued together (very badly I might add) so I use that one for all my test fittings and messing around with. I was actually thinking of scratch building a R5-D4 out of it. Since most of the pieces I've used are from the head, shouldn't be much of a problem. We'll see.
Anyway, after stretching the sprue and cutting off two pieces, I glued the support rods to the attachments and test fitted them in the badly prebuilt body cavity. They look awesome when they are pulled out straight.
But there's a slight problem when you attempt to fold it up into the body to store. The attachments make the arms too big to fold into the cavity.
So I have two options here. I can attempt to cut the piston holder from the kit down to give it room. Or, I can leave it alone, and make the attachments separate so that they can be inserted whenever its desired. Either way, since I have two attachments, I was actually thinking of using the other and opening the other side of the body cavity and use the part from the second kit to do so. Not sure if I want to do that yet or not. Would mean flipping the cavity part around and cutting out a new hole in the back of it, filling in the old hole and cutting the panel off the front. I don't know... what do you guys think?
Dec 27, 2012, 6:32 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Gotta say i love what you are doing I loved these kits when I had them all those years ago, the gold on 3po looks amazing, the latest part you put on his head does look a shade too large and might distract from what you have done so far...I enlarged the comparison pic you posted:
Dec 27, 2012, 11:13 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
I'm not sure you read the last post just before the pics. I know its a little big... I'll try to scale it down a bit more.
Dec 28, 2012, 12:09 AM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Looks like you may have to build up the back half of Threepios head with some putty, directly behind the antenna. I would go with a combination brass and turning plastic with the Dremel for the antenna.
Dec 28, 2012, 2:34 AM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
I was thinking about that... I'll see what I can come up with.
Dec 29, 2012, 1:04 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Today I fixed 3P0's antenna... you guys were right... it was too big and bulky... I lathed out another antenna and after 5 attempts (and flying sprue bits) later, I think I got something a bit more accurate. Its not easy, but it looks alot better.
I also realized I forgot to fix the stupid bump on the back of his head. In the kit you have this stupid little bump that has no detail whatsoever. That just won't do. So, I got out my poolymer clay and began to sculpt the detail on the back of his head (after cutting the bump off of course) and came up with something that looks close (its not perfect but it looks alot better then a bump on his head). I then got out my molding supplies and began to cast a mold of the detail I had made. I plan to then use that mold to cast some resin which I can replicate and create a more accurate part for the back of his head.
I mixed up some of my old resin that I've had for the past 3/4 years, and poured it in the mold and let it sit overnight. The next morning I tried getting the resin out to discover that gypsum cement and resin don't react together very well and the entire casting was ruined... So, thinking on my feet, I found my old cans of polymer clay called Magic Sculpt and began laborisly sculpting the piece again. I love this stuff. Its a 2 part 1:1 clay tht when mixed together gives you a rock hard piece in about 3/4 hours. After which you can sand it, paint it, or drill it. Working time is about 30-45 minutes. You can smooth and clean it up with water. When it hardens it has the hardness of a pair of plastic dice. Very solid. It is great stuff to work with, I recommend it for everyone! As soon as it hardens (usually about 3 hours) I'll sand it up and start foiling it. I haven't done any real measuring so far. Everything I've done is by eye. So I'm sure it's not exactly down to the millimeter perfect, but it should be close enough to pass for the real thing. Once the foil is on it, you won't see many flaws at all.
Dec 30, 2012, 3:00 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Some time ago, I seen a set of images of the 1/48 Fine Molds TIE Fighter. The builder assembled this kit and depicted it as it was on an assembly line, in the state of manufacture. When he painted this, he sprayed it with silver paint, followed up with Tamiya Clear Blue on some of the parts. This dual painting technique really made the metallic blue stand out.
If you're not too far along with the build of Threepio, you could paint the entire model silver, then spray some Tamiya Clear Yellow X-24 (you could experiment with a touch of Tamiya Clear Orange X-26 - just a touch with the yellow)
If there is anyone that's reading this, could you be kind enough to post a link to the TIE Fighter build, if you have it.
Dec 30, 2012, 8:22 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Well as you can see from the pics above 3PO is pretty much finished. However, if I do him again, I'm probably going to have him professionally chromed in gold.
Dec 31, 2012, 9:31 AM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Sounds like you have done a lot of work to modify these kits! But for some reason the pics aren't loading on my computer. I'll have to check them out again when I get home. I have both of these kits and have intended on building them up when I have more space available, but I think I'm just going to sell them soon. If anybody is interested, please PM or just check the JY soon for my unbuilt kits.
Dec 31, 2012, 1:53 PM - Re: Classic MPC C-3PO and R2-D2 build
Well after doing a little research and talking to some pros, I finally got a descision on which leg of C-3PO's is silver. There's been alot of debate on this subject, simply because its never the same throughout the entire saga. But, here's a good guide for anyone that want's to build 3PO more accurately for themselves.
Each movie was never consistant in this matter because in some scenes you see a silver leg in the other its all gold (look at ESB when he's getting his legs put back on by R2 in the Falcon both legs are gold, however, on Hoth in some scenes, he has a silver calf). In any event, it's always the right leg and you can spot the various versions of the "Silver Leg" in the follow manner:
- ANH - Right lower leg below knee joint silver, including foot.
- ESB - Right lower leg below joint with both feet gold
- ROTJ - Right lower leg silver with joint, both feet gold
- TPM - Not counted as most was wire and sub frame (duh)
- AOTC - Entire leg was rusted silver look all over
- ROTS - Complete leg entirely gold
With that new information I came up with this:
So... depending on which version you ae talking about and which movie and specific scene you're talking about will greatly determine the color of the leg itself. However, for this incarnation, I think I'm going to go with the ESB version.
So, with him completed... I figured I would take a few pics... now mind you, the base and the arms aren't glued on, and are only there to help him stand on his own at this time.
As you can see, his eyes do light up.
And of course I went with the silver leg... decided to go with the ESB version... I can't believe how difficult it is to show that it's actually silver when taking pics. I think i took 20-30 pics to show that his leg is silver and each time it appeared gold except for these two pics. The reflection of the gold from the other leg just makes it look gold, even thou its silver. Weird...
Hope you all enjoy this... more to come soon.
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