Over the break, I was happy to get time to work on my own personal R2-D1 dome. I had already removed all of the panels and begun polishing out the spin lines. When I got home, I painted the panels, having time in between coats to polish the dome some more. Its still not perfect, but looks much better than when I started.
To polish the dome, I purchased a number of packages of sandpaper from McMaster Carr: 300, 400, 600, and 1200. Start with the heavy grit to take out the spin lines, then use the medium grades to polish it up. Then, wet sand with the 1200 to get a shine. When hand sanding, be sure to get the edges too!
The picture above has a few of the red panels sitting on the dome. They have not been attached, and the holes in the inner dome are still rough. They all need to be filed down significantly.