Front Vent Surrounds Surround

It’s funny, I’ve been working on the new astromech.net website and DroidWiki all week and today used it myself for the first time to look something up.

Sadly I came up blank, but I don’t think it’s the fault of the wiki, but our part naming standards. I don’t think the blue surround that goes around the front vent surrounds has an official name. It’s kinda weird calling it the surrounds surround, but that’s what it is 🙂

My droids skins are removable, and the vents are attached to the inner-frame somewhat permanently. Getting the skins on and off with the blue surround permanently attached to the skins would be tricky, so I decided to kept the blue piece separate and use some magnets to hold it in place. I’m sure I saw the idea on someone else’s website, so I can’t take credit for it.

I carefully marked the optimum spot and glued the magnets on with epoxy

Using some tin snips I put some thin steel and made little tabs that would attached to the skins and allow the magnets to hold on

I attached them to the skins using CA glue

Here you can see the tabs just poking around the vent

And the blue surround in place

It’s not a perfect solution, and I’m a little worried it may pull off to easy. The tabs are also made from pretty thin steel, so the magnets don’t have a lot to attract to. At some point I’ll probably go back and add some thicker steel behind each to help the magnets grip better.

I could trim the surround a little and glue it permanently to the skins, but getting the skins on is hard enough and I’m not sure I want to take too remove that much material and like the tight fit.

Posted by Chris on April 5th, 2008 in Body | 5 Comments

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Re-painting Skins Part 4

I think I’m done painting the skins. No really, I’m done! Why don’t you believe me?

I even started to peel away the masking tape, so there’s no going back – Okay, okay. I know I’ve done this before but I mean it this time.

But seriously, I’m much happier with the finish now and can’t see me going back to do this again anytime soon.

There’s a few spot on the inner skin I need to clean up but it should be easy. It’s mostly the green undercoat that’s super thin and leaks under the masking tape easily.

Some bad news though – the top corner of the back door started to de-laminate once I’d removed the masking tape. The surface area for the glue isn’t very wide in this spot and I guess the epoxy was thin or non-existent. Once I get the panel inserts in place and epoxied, it should be an easy fix it without marking the paint.

I couldn’t resist laying some of the panelssee how things would look. Hopefully this week I’ll get some hinges working, and the permantent panels/inserts epoxied in to the skins.

I do need to clean up the epoxy on some inside edges of the panels as they’re not sitting exactly square, but overall I’m happy how things came out

I also went back and started to remove the tape and latex on the horse shoes. I scored the perimeter with a knife to help get a cleaner line

Next up, gluing all those panels in place and fitting the back door.

Posted by Chris on January 13th, 2008 in General | No Comments

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Re-painting Skins Part 3

It’s been a slow Artoo week. In the last few days we’ve had big storms come through, loosing power for almost a day, 100mph winds and 8 inches of rain. There’s a break in the rain right now so I jumped at the chance to get some painting done this afternoon.

I’ve included some photos, but they”re all starting to look the same to me.

I went back and sanded down the rear skins to clean up the big run I made last time and gave them another coat.

I added an extra coat of white to the skirt and lower frame ring – but they’ll need several more, plus I goofed and put a run on the skirt 🙁

I rubbed down the long doors and the smaller panels and gave them another coat while I was at it. They would have probably been okay, but another coat of paint is always good.

I’ve also been busy work on the new astromech.net website with Wayne and PixelFiend. Stay tuned for some great new features.

Posted by Chris on January 6th, 2008 in Finish/Paint | 1 Comment

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Re-painting Skins Part 2

I decided to get over how cold it’s been and just start re-painting the skins. Temperature in the garage was around 59 degrees by mid day and the recommended temperature on the Rustoleum Satin White is 70, but there was a little caveat at the end that said “lower temperatures may increase dry time.”, which to me means go ahead and use at any temperature 🙂

Things started off really good and the horseshoes came out great, in fact so good once they’d dried they’re putting everything else to shame. I have no idea what I different to get them this way. They really do have a satin finish with little to no blemishes. What’s funny is when I started to paint them they almost orange pealed on me, or it looked at way on the first pass.

Not so good news on the skins though that prompted this whole repaint job. As soon as I started I got a big run on the back skin. My heart sank but I continued on with the other pieces, residing myself to having wait for it to dry, then sand and repaint tomorrow or the next day.

I think I’ve also figured out my dusty/rough paint problem I tried to describe a few days ago. I’m pretty sure it’s because I tried to paint everything together and got over-spray onto pieces – i.e. Dust. This time I took each piece in turn set it outside, painted then brought it back inside to dry. Makes sense right? At the time I thought I was saving time – big mistake. Do yourself a favor and paint everything separate.

The skirt and lower frame ring also turned out well, but will require several more coats. I’d forgotten to prime the ring last night, but quickly did it this morning.

Here’s the skirt. The paint is okay, but I’m not crazy about the ribs/strips and how they meet the base (I guess top in this photo) of the skirt.

By tonight they’d dried and I could see how they looked together – not bad and I’m sure once it’s the other way up I’ll forget all about the ribs.

Coming back to the big paint run I got on the skins. I decided late in the afternoon to try and fix it. It had been a few hours and things had dried a lot. But the run was so thick that it would have taken days to dry, so I took a soft paper towel with some acetone on it and lightly rubbed the run away. This is almost certainly a big no-no, but I really didn’t want to wait. I then sprayed over the area again thinking I may get lucky with the finish. I’m almost certainly going to sand it down, but at least I can do this tomorrow instead of waiting days for the run to dry through.

Now after seeing how well the horseshoes came out and figuring out the dusty-paint problem. I may go back and redo the skin panels.

Posted by Chris on December 30th, 2007 in Finish/Paint | No Comments

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