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“This is a key [issue] in the assembly! Although you only have one new panel to fit to the dome – the hinged flap that hides the lightsaber – you are now ready to fit the metal shell on top of the head frame and then start installing the electronics. Note that the fixings include two different lengths of screw (6mm and 4mm) that have a wide flange on the head. Be sure to use these in the positions shown [below].”

This is another issue without a Understanding Robotics section, which means there is going to be a lot to do!




TypeQuantitySizeColorHead TypeFor
Screw21.6x11 mmSilverPanMetal
Screw112.5x6 mmSilverPanMetal
Screw162.3x6 mmBlackPanPlastic
Screw62x6 mmSilverFlangedMetal
Screw22x4 mmSilverFlangedMetal


  • Allen Key (Wrench)


  • Building The Galaxy – Model-Making Part 3: The 2nd Death Star
  • Droid Directory – LR-57 Combat/Retail Droid
  • Build R2-D2: Model Instructions


Collecting the Parts

We are going to need a lot of parts from different issues for these steps, so gather them up:

  • Processor State Indicator red/blue LED assembly and lens (from Issue 1)
  • LCD Screen assembly (from Issue 6)
  • Projector Lens assembly (from Issue 9)
  • Microphone assembly (from Issue 18)
  • Dome chassis assembly (from Issue 33)
  • Dome packing (styrofoam bowl included with the casing in Issue 51) – optional
  • Logic Function Display assembly (from Issue 60)
  • Dome Casing, Dome Top Disc assembly, Dome Fixing Spacers (from previous issue)
  • Hinged Dome Panel (this issue)

The Styrofoam packing material supplied with the Dome Casing has flats on top that can be inverted and used as a bowl to set the casing into while these steps are completed. If the packing is no longer available, you can use a soft cushion instead:

Fitting the Hinged Panel

This is the only dome panel that does not attach to the casing. Since it opens outward, it will be attached to the dome chassis frame.

Steps 1-4

Slot the Hinge into the Hinged Dome Panel, as shown, and secure with one (1) 1.6x11mm silver screw in the direction shown. Do not overtighten as the hinge should be able to move freely:

Steps 4-9

Fit this Hinge into the gap in the black plastic frame at the top of the head frame as shown. Secure into place with two (2) 2.5×4 mm silver screws. Make sure the flap opens and closes easily. When it is closed, it should sit flush into the shallow recess in the black plastic frame

Fitting the Dome

NOTE: I did these steps a little out of order from the instructions. This made it easier to complete by myself:

Steps 3-4

Guide the wire of the Microphone assembly through the large hole in the dome frame and seat it into place:

Steps 5-7

Guide the Dome Casing assembly over the frame, fitting the Microphone through the upper circular hole, and align the key on the top of the frame through the keyhole in the casing as well as the Hinged Dome Panel into the opening next to the Microphone:

Steps 8-9

Fit the Dome Top Disc assembly into the top of the Dome Casing (it will only fit correctly if the post on the disc marked with the arrow fits into the shallowest hole circled below):

This is a great time to ensure that your Hinged Dome Panel opens/closes smoothly and does not get caught on the Dome Casing:

In my case, this hinged panel was rubbing on the casing. So, I removed the Dome Casing/Top Disc, flattened down the bottom of the panel a bit with a needle file, then replaced the Dome Casing/Top Disc. I did this a couple of times until the panel opened/closed without any issues:

Once you are happy with the operation of the Hinged Dome Panel with the Dome Casing/Top Disc in place, I recommend taping it closed so it will not open up on you during the next steps:

Step 14

While holding the Dome Top Disc in place, turn the dome over, and secure the disc in place at the small post (circled below) with one (1) of the shorter 2×4 mm flanged screws. This locks the casing to the frame:

Steps 1-2

Remove the five (5) Dome Fixing Spacers from the sprue.

I always use a sprue cutter or hobby knife in these situations:

Steps 10-12

Place the Dome Fixing Spacers over the remaining posts poking through the central disc, as shown:

Step 13

Secure the spacers to the disc using five (5) of the longer 2×6 mm flanged silver screws:

Step 15

Turn the dome back upright and make sure the Hinged Dome Panel still opens smoothly:

Step 16

Carefully remove the six (6) Allen Screws from the sprue:

Steps 17-18

Turn the dome upside down again. Then, using the long end of the supplied Allen Key (Wrench), drive the six (6) Allen Screws through the black frame in the locations shown. The job of these screws is to apply light pressure to the Dome Panels to keep them permanently in place.

I am only going to show this first screw’s location as I am about to use different screws. See my Mod Zone below:

The supplied Allen Screws are plastic and sometimes are not long enough to reach the Dome Panels. How are they supposed to hold them in place?

This is actually a fairly common problem in this R2-D2 build. To fix it, I ordered a 50 pack of Hex Head M3 x 8-50 Stainless Screws. These are long enough to reach the Dome Panels and, being metal, feel much more solid in securing them down:

NOTE: These Allen Screws (either the plastic or metal ones) should just barely touch the Dome Panels. If you drive them in too far, they can distort the Dome Casing, causing a gap like this:

If this happens, back your Allen Screws out a bit until the Dome Casing is back flush with the Dome Frames, like this:

Installing the Electronics

Steps 1-3

Find the Dome Frame with two holes in it and insert the Processor State Indicator Lens flush into the smaller hole, aligning the notch to the matching lug on the frame:

Steps 4-5

Secure the Processor State Indicator assembly over the two lugs on the frame using two (2) 2.3×6 mm black screws, as shown.

At this point in the build, you should have two Processor State Indicators. Only one of them will fit correctly here (the red/blue LED one):

Steps 6-8

Slide the Logic Function Display assembly down in this slot next to the part we just installed and align the holes on either side, as shown:

Steps 9-10

Secure the Logic Function Display assembly into place with two (2) 2.3×6 mm black screws, as shown:

Step 11

From the outside, it should look like this:

Steps 12-14

Find the large opening in the framework with the long slot in the middle. Fit the LCD Screen assembly into this slot as shown:

Step 15

Secure this LCD Screen assembly into place with two (2) 2.5×4 mm silver screws:

Step 16

From the outside, it should look like this:

Step 17-19

In the large hole next to the LCD Screen assembly, insert the Projector Lens assembly into the hole (with the arrowed tab at the top as shown) and secure with two (2) 2.3×6 mm black screws:

Step 20

From the outside, it should look like this:


Holy crap, this was a BIG issue! We really did a lot of work on R2-D2’s head and it looks fantastic! I want to see it all powered up and in action already, but we still have a long way to go. We will be adding more details to the dome in the next issue. As for materials, the Hinged Dome Panel and Hinge are metal, but the Allen Screws are plastic.

Next Up

 Issue 65 – Projector Shell/Pivot/Mount, Lens, Dome Details, Cable Clips, Allen Screws

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Building the 1:2 scale Star Wars R2-D2 from DeAgostini