As well as a Dalek Collection, I also maintain a collection of Star Wars Astromech Droids, and although this collection is significantly smaller than my Dalek collection, it still warrants its own four-part series. For the final part, I will be showcasing my custom Astromech Droids, many of which I painted using existing figures as a base and replicating colour schemes and designs from the movies.
For this custom figure I used an R2-B1 figure as a base and a combination of black paint, black detailing fine liner, white paint and white paint pen to represent R2-X2, the droid seen sat behind Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles (played by a different actor) in the tactical meeting that takes place before the Death Star attack. This droid design has always been one of my favourites, and it proved quite a challenge to get looking right – the stripes on the head required particular precision.
For this custom I used yellow humbrol paint and white paint pen with Sharpee for the detailing, in an attempt to create R5-A2, the droid that passes by right in front of the camera in A New Hope before Obi-Wan Kenobi mind-tricks the Stormtroopers. Unfortunately, due to the Humbrol paint’s finish, the end result appears quite scratchy, but that does fit in with the aesthetic of a droid trundling around a desert town.
I had to create a custom of this droid to complete the trio seen on promotional material for The Phantom Menance, of R2-D2, R2-M9 and R2-C4. This droid is essentially R2-D2 in yellow, and is one of the few astromech droids to actually survive The Phantom Menace, seen it is seen as one of the droids of the pilots escaping the destroyed Droid Control ship. For this custom I sued similar yellow Humbrol paint and white paint pen that I did for R5-A2.
A made this custom using a reject R4-P17 figure, it is a clearly inferior mold with no middle foot and was going cheap on eBay. With just a bit of blue Citadel paint, bronze Humbrol and white paint pen this droid now resembles R3-T2, a droid that appears briefly in A New Hope. It may seem hypocritical of me to paint an astromech droid design that barely appears in the film when I’ve spent this entire series complaining about the huge amount of figures out there, but I’d much prefer to make them myself rather than buy them as figures in the same way that I buy more common Daleks and paint them to look unique.
This custom is probably the best of my Astromech Droid customs, as I used more matte Citadel than glossy Humbrol and so the final effect is less scratchy. Unfortunately the silver Humbrol on the body is a bit messy, and perhaps more work with a white paint pen is required. Nonetheless, the figure is decent as it is. For the base I used a newer R5-D4 figure that lacks the motivator feature, but does include the ability to take the droid apart.
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