December 20, 2007

Mounting the Radar Eye

One of the last few steps left to complete on a dome is mounting the radar eye.  There are a number of ways to do this, but I had to find the best way to install my resin eye I purchased from  
As with most of my parts, I want them to be removable in the future.  You never know when you might need to take it off for whatever reason.  I therefore needed a way to screw the eye on and off easily, preferable without any tools.  

I most simple solution I came up with is to place three small screws backward on the eye.  They will be secured on the inside of the dome.  

First, I painted the eye red to match the rest of R2-D1.  Then, I placed the eye up to the front of the dome and positioned it where I wanted.  Don't worry about being too precise:  the p
osition varies greatly in all of the Star Wars films.  I then marked some of the corners so I knew roughly where the eye would be placed.  I then pulled the eye back and marked 3 dots on  the dome where I would drill.  I only want to drill in some of the "beefy" parts of the eye.  The right edge is significantly thinner than most parts of the eye, so I made sure to mark a hole away from that edge.  
Once the three holes were marked, I drilled small holes only large enough to fit 4-40 screws (the same screws I used on the HPs and rear logic).
For the next part, I needed a friend to help hold the eye perfectly in place.  Once the resin radar eye was placed exactly where I wanted it, I looked in the inside of the dome and poked a
 pencil through the small holes.  These markings are where I plan to mount the screws.  
Next, I drilled shallow holes on the markings.  These holes need to be just big enough that the 4-40 screw head can sit in them.  I then sat the screws pointing out and glued them down with some super glue.  Once the glue had set up a bit, I placed the eye up to the dome and tested the
 fit.  If the screws don't perfectly align with the holes that have been drilled in the dome, you should still
 be able to move them slightly before the glue sets up.  Let the glue dry, and then attach the eye on the inside of the dome.