Thanks guys, My wife asked me yesterday why I was building it, I looked at her like "Why wouldn't you build it!" She then said was it going to do anything, I said yeah, its gonna look freaking cool!. I am thinking of maybe trying to make it remote controlled At least so it can move around. So far in foam it has cost me $15 dollars to build. I am estimating another $15 of foam should have the body and legs all finished. Not bad for $30.00!.
I am using whatever designs I can find, Mainly going form the plans on the astromech site and the yahoo builders group, I am also using any ref pics I can find, The legs especialy are where I am going by overall dimensions and look rather then following any plans, because I need to use the foam in as big a pieces as possible to make sure the thing stays stable. As for the dome, Yeah I mist admit I have been losing sleep over that!. I was thinking of cheating and making an R4 style head, Because no way am I buying the ones people make, They are great, But I can not afford it. I know some people use those squirrel guards for bird feeders, and some have used huge bowls. I have done a few smaller domes with foam and so far nothing looks right. I am thinking maybe for the main top half of the dome using a bowl and then for the lower part using foam. Huge bowls should be easy to find around now becuase of halloween treats.
I've got an idea for the dome... when I'm building stuff I have trouble changing materials mid-way when everything should "look" the same - I'm always afraid that when it's all painted and done, you'll "see" the difference and then it's going to look awful.
So when I couldn't easily replicate a specific form in foam... I would do the form in something else and then cover it with foam. In this case, you could easily buy a plastic bowl big enough for your need and then cover the bowl in foam. All you need is a big enough foam sheet, a heat gun and some spray-on adhesive.
I usually spray both foam and form with the spray-on adhesive... then stick the foam to the highest point in the form and then heat the foam so it matches the form perfectly... sticking and un-sticking when needed.
I've been using Super77 from 3M as the adhesive and it works very well... and you can stick and unstick a couple of time before it doesn't stick anymore.
After that, you clean it up a bit and you can easily include that in your foam build and it will have the same texture as the rest of the build!
Now I have to this as well... I think it's a wonderful idea (a foam R2-D2) and it should be pretty easy to put together (well as soon as you have that dome and body figured out )
The only tools I have are a scalpel set, metal ruler, pencil, glue gun and a empty ball point pen.
To get the seems nice I carefully cut the foam at about a 45 degree angle and then glue the pieces together. To get the lines on the panels all I did was first make a template on card, then cut the panels out, layed the template on the foam and drew around all the panels, then using the empty ball point pen and the ruler I just redrew the lines scoring them into the foam. For the panels that are sunk in. I just cut them out layed the foam on the table and a made a piece exactly the same size out of cardboard, layed the cardboard in the whole and then layed the foam panel ontop and glued it. Once it had dried I lifted it up and popped the cardboard out.
Here is a picture of the back (or inside) As you can see the panels are all raised up a little, because they have the cardboard underneath them in the holes. I could of just cut the panels out and glued a piece of foam right behind them but that would of made the panels sink far to far inside I wanted them to only be sunk in a little.