Just a small update. I’ve been waiting on some key parts to become available, namely the 3 Holoprojectors with mounts and control mechanisms. They should be here in the next 2 weeks. In the meantime I’ve been cleaning up the slag from both the inner and outer domes, using the awesome tool I mentioned earlier for deburring. Today I did some more paint tests. I sprayed some Dykem on my sample aluminum in various thicknesses, with different amounts of Metallic Blue and clear coat. I think I got the sequence down, but just to be safe, I’m going to order a nice hobby airbrush instead of using a auto body spray gun like I did on the sample. A light coat of Dykem, followed by 2 light coats of metallic blue, followed by 2 medium coats of clear coat.
I’ve removed all the panels from the outer dome and cleaned them with the deburring tool. Next will be to hit them with a polishing wheel and a dab of Mothers polish, then clean them with rubbing alcohol and prep for paint.
Here is a picture of the HP kit I’ll be receiving from Bob C on Astromech.net, and some plastic HP lenses I picked up from TP Plastics.
I started out with the idea of using a scotch-brite pad on the dome while on some kind of ‘Lazy Susan’ rotating platter. Turns out there was one in the house that fit perfectly. If you need a rotating platter for working on your dome, I highly recommend this one.
Soon after using a the light abrasive pad on my freshly polished dome, I realized it was a mistake. I was hoping to add some horizontal lines to the dome to make it look a little more anisotropic that it did. Guess I’ll have to do one more application of Mothers Billet Polish and call it good. Live and learn.
After that, I numbered and cut out all the dome panels of the outer dome. I used a small hand saw, and highly recommend it. I favored the piece being removed when it comes to the excess stubs. Having the pie and other panels cut flush will allow me to trim the tabs with more stability on the dome itself, less hand work piece by piece.
Finally took my test panel of aluminum and applied the trifecta of R2 blue. First the Dykem (no airbrush, just hand-applied), then the Duplicolor Blue, then the clear coat. I think the combination is dead on, but my test application completely sucked. I’ll be using a precision auto-spray gun for the paint application on the actual panels.
I’ve been very interested in 3d printing lately. The R2 Radar Eye is on the top of my list as a 3d printed part candidate. I sent the file to Jason Hillman, a coworker’s brother who built his own delta 3d printer. He graciously accepted the challenge and set up a web cam that I could check on the progress of the 14 hour print. The curvature of the dome fits the print curvature exactly. Thank you, Jason! Next steps for the Radar Eye are bondo, lots of sanding, a base primer for metallics, and the secret sauce blue dome paint.