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Karl

MPC / ERTL - R2-D2 (Denys Fisher 1978)

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Posted (edited)

Hi chaps,

 

I've been trawling eBay for Star Wars model kits (mostly MPC / ERTL ) kits that I used to have years ago (or I never managed to get hold of back then) and managed to come across two of my favourites - the MPC / ERTL kits of R2-D2 and C3-P0.

 

46503266182_c4aee0ab98_o.jpg

 

The kit's I picked up are both part started, with the C3-P0 box actually containing two complete kits. I decided to go with part started models as a way of keeping the price down to something reasonable - untouched kits were going for prices I really wasn't willing to pay.

 

46555154601_e7f64a87f4_o.jpg

 

They are both in reasonable condition; The R2-D2 was partly assembled, but with lots of tube glue smeared all over the place that will require cleaning up. The dome is untouched, however one half of the centre (retracting) leg is missing and will have to be scratch built. C3-P0's had one fully assembled and one partly assembled. Glue joints were fairly neat. 

 

I'm starting with the R2-D2 kit; it's in a 'Denys-Fisher' box and is stamped with 'Fundimensions' 1978 on some of the internal parts. I'm going to attempt to make it a bit more screen accurate if I can without going over board.

 

The first thing I'm doing is to completely disassemble the model to it's component parts and then try and clean up the joints and areas where the tube glue has been smeared about. This was just a process of sanding the joints back to clean material and rubbing down any flat surfaces that were marred by glue and filling any surface damage using filler.

 

46503266002_d85c8dfa61_o.jpg

 

46555154471_678a8e8155_o.jpg

 

Thanks for looking, I'll post more shortly.

 

Cheers and Happy new year!!

 

Karl

Edited by Karl

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Pack your bags, we're going on a trip down memory lane! :wub: I had both these kits as a kid, and still have most of Threepio.  Artoo was a bit more delicate, and his parts got a bit damaged over the years, sadly :(

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Posted (edited)

Blimey, I owned the R2 back in the day and vividly remember messing up the centre leg mechanism, put it together correctly, misread the instructions and thought I’d made a mistake, then stripped it apart whilst the glue was still wet and rebuilt it upside down - the middle leg used to lock in the up position and it would not stand on 3 legs properly next to the 3po!

Edited by The Chief Smeg

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Been working on the glue damage to the parts and panels.

 

It looks like old style tube glue, just smeared all over the place; this has marred some of the surfaces and damaged the panel lines a bit. I'm going to sand the yellowing glue  back as far as I can and then fill any damage if necessary and then re-scribe the panel lines.

 

This is the rear inspection panel before:

 

46538517882_644839056e_o.jpg

 

And then after working on it:

 

45676143655_7624f9d16b_o.jpg

 

Karl 

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That was a LOT of glue!  What the hell had the previous owner been thinking!

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, The Chief Smeg said:

That was a LOT of glue!  What the hell had the previous owner been thinking!

 

I've no idea, but it was on or over quite a lot of parts; the feet, internal structure and the rear panel were worst affected. Cleaned up OK though.

 

The main body, legs and dome and transparencies were all clear fortunately.

 

Could have been a leaky tube of the old Britfix77 left in the box!!

 

Karl

Edited by Karl

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Progress on the main body of "R2".

 

After cleaning up the parts and mating faces I glued the two main body parts together and, finding that the joining surfaces appears a bit weak, I added some strengthening tabs to the inside of the body tube. Note that the tube appears a bit squashed or oval due to warpage over the years. Fortunately when the base is installed it goes back to being circular again.

 

46503265902_8ab7680bc6_o.jpg

 

As I'm trying to make it a little more accurate, I'm adding some shoulders to the area where the legs attach to the body. These are just small disks glued to the body and then blended to the body tube with car body filler.

 

46555154381_d6133b5b79_o.jpg

 

After looking at some screen shots of R2, I realised that there were some extra panel's on the side of the body not at all represented in the kit, so these had to be added retrospectively by marking and cutting the body tube and adding a square of plastic to the inside. This had the added benefit of adding some more strength to the structure.

 

46677649172_1cbe6f489f_o.jpg

 

I don't want to attach the rotating head disc at this time as it will be a pain when trying to paint and detail (I just want to be able to put the head dome on last thing) so I have added a tube protruding from the top of the body and I have also modified the head disc to give it a bit more stability, using some square stock and some of the kit parts to make some sort of dual bearing - you won't see any of this when complete as it will be under the dome.

 

46555154271_54a17e6af8_o.jpg

 

The internal structure as seen in picture four, has been glued together and it is rotated in to place and glued. I have boxed in the rear computer access panel area to make it look a bit more complete. The chrome detail parts have also been added (these have been roughed up a bit and some of the chrome removed) and will be painted over with the body and detail painted in silver later. The chrome plating is very fragile.

 

32681894188_69b0f32a80_o.jpg

 

Karl

 

Edited by Karl

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Moving on a bit more with R2-D2.

 

The axel where the legs mount on to is quite fragile in the supplied kit part and the joint to the legs looks to be quite weak. so, I have made a replacement part from thicker styrene tube and square rod. This meant I had to modify the shoulders of the leg where it joins on to the axel. This joint is a lot more robust than the kit intended but does the same job and has the same movement.

 

46503265812_152a2682ca_o.jpg

 

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Looking at some reference pictures, the feet don't look very accurate as supplied in the kit. I modified these by cutting the top of the foot and inserting a box section 'U' shape and then cutting out a hole for the leg to join the foot. I have replaced the original plastic pins that join the feet with some short lengths of brass rod.

 

46503265592_53ea9a9b52_o.jpg

 

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With the body, internal parts and legs complete it was time for a little primer to see where I needed to do some more filler. Therefore a temporary assembly was required....

 

Astromech in grey:

 

47029839231_4f944384d1_o.jpg

 

Moving on to the dome, this was a simple process of installing the blue transparencies into the dome and securing it. Or so I thought....

 

Checking on the Internet at some colour references I accidentally discovered that the circular arrangement of top windows on the dome, the radial arms between the windows were in the wrong position as supplied in the kit! Aargh! I looked at it and though "I can live with that.....I can live with that.......... NO, I can't live with that!!!!"

 

So using a circular razor saw, I separated the blue windows and the the radial frame at the top of the dome. It was then a very simple process of rotation the radial arm part slightly so that one arm was aligned directly with R2's main 'eye'. This did look much better.

 

Before modification:

 

47029839071_b0d147b703_o.jpg

 

After modification and with the glass reinstalled:

 

40065139203_764b60ca1c_o.jpg

 

The dome should really be silver painted rather than chrome, but I really like the chrome so I'm  going to keep it like that; My R2 unit had the optional bling dome upgrade from the Astromech factory!

 

Thanks again for looking, more to follow soon.

 

Karl

 

Edited by Karl

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Was at a Star Wars Exhibition a few years ago and got some pictures of one of the studio models.

2019-02-09_08-24-46

 

2019-02-09_08-25-03

 

May be of use.

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