Droids Custom R5-D4 - The figures and coins!

by Bill Cable
on 2020-05-27, 07:52:46

When we last got together, I had finished spray-painting all my R5-D4 parts. So 30 white domes, 30 white bodies, 30 gray necks, and 60 white legs. All sparkly and ready for painting and assembly. First up, applying the body stickers. This was fairly straightforward. The big challenge was positioning the stickers perfectly straight. If they were even a smidge off, they would go all wonky as you worked around the tube. After some trial and error, I figured out it was best to start at the center front, line it up top and bottom, and then work my way around the back. So all-in-all not too tricky, and I was successful.

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CreatureCantina.com Image

Next up was paint. I decided to use acrylic paint rather than model paint, as I could fix it with water if i screwed up. Given that the figures would forever be sealed in a bubble, I didn't think there'd be much risk of it ever getting rubbed off.

I bought some tiny little swab things from Testors that are used for models to paint them. The legs were easy... just a smear up the sides. The eyes were more challenging. It took a while, but I eventually figured out the best way was to get a dob of paint right on the side of the swab, and then hope it made a circle when I touched each eye. The eyes aren't perfect, but they're mostly decent. The last challenge was to paint the sections on the top of the dome. This task made me very uncomfortable. Even these tiny swabs were sloppy. I didn't know how I'd manage to paint in the sections. Then I remembered I had some detail striping for auto paint, and decided I'd try masking off the white areas and painting the rest.

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CreatureCantina.com Image

That failed catastrophically. I ended up having to wash off the entire dome because it just didn't work. Totally sloppy. Looked awful. After weighing my two bad options, painting it horribly or leaving it unpainted, I resolved myself to not trying. I knew my skill level on painting this stuff. I wasn't up to the task. And besides, the white domes looked pretty ok. It's not the perfect solution, but it was the best one. Time to move on to coins.

You've seen this a dozen times before. Mounted. Primered. Painted. I'm still not super happy with this spray paint. The manufacturer told me it's the same stuff I used to use, but it doesn't go on nearly as nicely. It's like they went overboard with the metal flakes that make it metallic, and it all kinda pools in the deep areas. Anyway, I'm pretty sure the 30 best from the batch will be fine, and we're good to go.

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CreatureCantina.com Image

CreatureCantina.com Image

CreatureCantina.com Image

So I was all done with all the stuff I needed to attach to my Droids cards. Very productive weekend! On Sunday afternoon I decided to clean up some of the junk on my desk. I came across some of the early body stickers I made for R5, and was struck by a wave of inspiration. "You know what... these vinyl stickers might work for the dome sections. I can just make little red pieces. They'd match the color of the body. It could work..."

I did a little measuring. Printed out a sample wedge. Tried it. Resized it. Then put a bunch of them on a file and printed it on a vinyl sticker sheet. Some cutting, some placing, and some pushing until it was lined up. It worked! And it looked AMAZING! But it was sooooooo tedious and time-consuming. Did I really want to do this for 29 more figures? But after seeing the results, there really was no other choice. I had my course set, but when I put the first one into the box after it was done, the time and effort I was looking at was daunting.

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CreatureCantina.com Image

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Sunday after dinner, I sat down with a glass of whiskey, launched Netflix, and worked for four and a half hours straight until I finished every single figure. Mission accomplished!

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Here are the finished figures in all their glory. I gotta say I'm pretty happy with myself. The domes make all the difference. It was all worth it.

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CreatureCantina.com Image

With all this going on, I didn't have any chance to work on the art at all. We'll see if I get a chance before next week.





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