So, A long long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.. I had temporarily mounted one of the inside panels of R2 with duct tape.

The circuitboard was assembled, held in place behind the panel by duct tape, the panel was unpainted, looked flat, and .. you guess it .. held in place by duct tape.

Not to mention the arduino running the program for the blinky lights…

Anyway: I figured that if I wanted this panel to be in my droid, I had to do something proper with it. I have not had it inside my R2 for a long time, and I had an idea what to do with it:

From this:


To something like this:


I have 4 arduinos in the body of my R2-D2, and easy access to them is something that I have long sought after…

First step was to start cutting up the panel..


A while ago, I ordered a bunch of USB cables for panel mounting. I just needed to cut away some portruding things on the insides, and then I simply taped four of them together.


Test fit behind the panel..


It fits perfect!

However, I wanted to have something more, not just a long gaping hole with 4 USB’s, so I made a sort of bezel from 1mm styrene.


A test fit, to see if it works, and how it looks..


Just testing to see that the USB plug reaches in deep enough to sit properly. It does.

Next step was to drill up the holes where the connector should be properly, take the panel and bezel outside and paint the panel. Satin White, of course. The bezel, I decided to paint in R2 Blue. I needed to try something out.

I also designed and 3d printed a few distances for the circuitboard to go around the round LED’s at the bottom and to the right. Everything was hot glued in place and works like a charm.

For the LED’s up right, I cut up a piece of 1mm acrylics, drilled and riveted in place. The edges cracked when I did the riveting, but as I’m planning on weathering the panel, it really makes no difference.


Time to weather the panel! I used the same method I used for the rest of my droid, but made this one to be a little more cleaner, as it is on the inside of the droid. I filthied it down with the remains of my old Citadel Paints: Chaos Black and Flesh Wash. Once really soiled, I used cotton pads and a solvent to clean off just enough to make it look clean..ish.

I also took some sanding paper and dulled down the clear acrylic, and banged on the acrylic with the handle of a screwdriver until it cracked a little more. It looks just the part.


Something is still missing. The connector. It is just a slight engraving and some holes on this panel. I decided it needed something else. The research I’ve made suggests that it is a multi cable connector, and I drew one in Rhino3D and printed on my Makergear M2.


Once done, I gave it a quick acetone vapor bath…


… and finally hot glued it to the panel.


MUCH better!

I still need to do a bit of work on the body of the droid to mount this in place, but I was so happy that I had to do a quick pic with the panel in place:


Finally, a short youtube clip to show off what it looks like in action!

The inside of the panel is the next step with this part. I need to add ridges to mount the panel against, and also weather the inside of the hatch. That, however is work for another day! 😀