R2D2 is all skin and bones

I recently got a nice parcel turn up at my door; my COM8B R2D2 frame. COM8 frames are one of the standard frames that are used by the R2 Builders club, with a number of different variations. I got the B, or budget, frame which is just a bare bones with nothing fancy to it.

A parcel is here Mmmm, packing peanuts! Shiny Aluminium






The frame is really easy to assemble, as it is well machined and comes with some easy to follow instructions. It took less than an hour to put it all together, and at the end of it I had a nice looking frame. It also comes with handy mounting points for electronics. Some of the other features include a nice bracket for the dome motor, spring loaded to ensure a decent connection between the drive wheel or cog, and the dome. I’m just waiting for the charge bay panel to come through.

Assembled R2D2 frame

The next step was to work on the skins. I got these at the same time as I got the dome, and its been sitting gathering dust all this time. So far I’ve removed a few of the panels from the inner skins, but still have a lot more to cut out. Some of the seams are very thin, too thin for a hacksaw, so I have to be very careful with the cutting out. I may have to resort to the dremel to do these parts, but I’m loathe to do that as it could end up being very messy. There are some panels to remove from the front inner skin that aren’t pre-scored much like some of the inner dome was, so these need to be marked out and cut.

Skin test fit

For now I have drilled some of the mounting holes to attach the inner skin to the frame to give it a test fit. There are small 2mm gaps where the skins don’t meet, but from looking at other photos this is fairly standard and once the legs are on they hopefully won’t be noticed. I may end up filling them in a bit.

Test fit of front skins, both layers. Lots to cut out on both layers.

Test fit of inner rear skin. Need to cut out the rear door.

I’m just waiting for a nice day one weekend to finish the dome and do some cutting on the skins. Just a couple of holes to cut in dome, and a whole load of filing and sanding to make things fit properly. I have the hinges now so can start glueing those in and making the flaps work.

Slow progress, but it is at least progress

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Alex (aka MrBongoClown on Astromech.net)

    Great pics and I’m making an R2 as well right now. I need to update my blog for the last month, but it is at http://www.r2m5.blogspot.com if you want to see it.

    I have a question for you about the Com-8 budget frame. I have one as well and I now have my dome drive. I used your pic to put the bracket on because my instructions did not tell me how to do it 🙂 Now I’m worried that my dome drive is too large. It won’t fit in the hole milled into the bracket. I’m not sure how to keep it attached in the bracket, thus making e bracket pretty useless if I can’t figure it out. Have you found any problems or do you even have your drive yet? Thanks for any ideas. Good luck building. It looks good so far.


    1. Darren Poulson


      I’ve not done my drive yet, still need a dome ring and to figure it all out. Also, the bracket is just in a place I thought it might likely go as I too couldn’t find instructions. I just put it where it looked logical! 🙂 What drive do you have? I think the holes are designed for a specific type of motor, which I don’t actually have. I am luck tho in that the motor I’m currently thinking of using does have two mounting holes that line up with two of the drilled holes.

      Still waiting for some parts at the moment and have been too busy to do much work on him, but hoping to make some progress over the next few weeks, which will include working on the dome drive! I’ll be blogging about what happens, I’m sure! 🙂


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