Fueled by colder weather and the signed Kenny Baker panel in my droid, I decided it was lobotomy time!

This is yet another of those posts where the build has not really progressed… visually, but functionally!

Inspired by Edwardo, I decided to cut open the area behind my unpainted dome panel, for easier access to hooking and unhooking my slip ring connector board. Prior to doing this, I had to balance the dome halfway on its side while inserting the dable that gives the dome power. Nore than once I have been close to dropping or scratching my dome, and even though it would be considered “genuine weathering“, I strongly opted against this!

Step one was to pry loose the unpainted panel. As I’ve only fastened my panels with some tesa carpet tape (works fine, by the way) this was relatively easy…

I used a plastic butterknife to do so, to avoid scratching…

Second: Using the old and tested pen-and-washer method, I outlined the area I needed to cut…

Then, I taped along the lines where I was going to cut with painters tape and took out my trusty dremel…

First cut is always the scariest… after this there was no turning back!

I had planned to only cut through with my dremel, and then use the same saw I used when cutting the dome to cut open the panel, but I felt like taking a walk on the wild side, so I dremeled out the entire panel!

One small slip, made a small mark that I managed to sand over, so no biggie…

When using a dremel, I strongly recommend a facemask. Earplus ang protective goggles is a MUST when dremeling through the dome! Noisy and tiny metal splinters everywhere! Also, I recommend using the thicker cutting wheels with quick release. These do not shatter like the thin standard wheels and are much more suited for cutting through say.. a dome!

(I also like the way the quick release edge sort of looks like the bat signal…)

Once cut all the straight edges, I finished up by cutting the edges with a metal saw blade.

The inner dome panel is gently removed, as I will use this when hinging the door, and we can get a nice look at R2’s brain…

Then, time to file and sand. Make all the edges smooth…. time to pop off the head and add some hinges!

I’m using a JAG hinge for the panel, and at this moment, it is only superglued into place. After the first time it breaks off, I will replace the superglue with milliput, which should hold it in place forever! =)

Turn the head around, and tape the small insert from the inner dome that I cut out previously, and superglued that one as well. (no pic here, sorry)

lastly, I put on new, fresh strips of the carpet tape on the outer panel and taped that in to position, (with protective paper on one side still), turned the dome around and removed the paper and pressed the inner dome panel down to the outer dome panel from the inside.

It sounds more complicated than it was, trust me!

R2 got his head returned, and the final result looks … well just like before!

.. only this time, I can open up the panel..

… and easily reach in to do whatever I need to do in there!

I may need to add a magnet to close this up properly, but I’ll have to see it in action properly first, with R2 on his 3 legs and moving the head about, but that should be no problems! =)

Not bad for a monday morning!