The R4 Dome

dsc02828Ok, this dome has been a challenge for me. This is a flat pack dome kit from Cole and Daren. There wasnt any instructions or any tutorial with this flat pack unlike that which Cole did for the 300mm dome. That was unfortunate as I feel it would of helped a great deal. The first line on the instruction sheet¬† should read (if they existed) YOU CANT MAKE THIS DOME BY YOURSELF!!!! The forum on Astromech.net is helpful on some aspects of making the dome but not all. I could not make the cone following the instructions on the website. It just wouldn’t stay or align correctly. The most important part of the assembly is how you assemble the cone. That is what was so difficult for me. The styrene is so thick and stiff that you can not adequately bend, tape and glue the cone yourself. I tried multiple times and simply couldn’t do it correctly. Daren was very¬† nice with sending me 2 additional cones for the cost of shipping for me to try again. That was so nice. I came to the conclusion that you need at least 2, preferably 3 people to ensure that you align the upper and lower edges of the cone so it doesn’t bow in the middle and that the edge lign up properly. You then need to tape the cone heavily with blue painters tape all the way around the cone tightly to keep the arc of the curve tight and to keep the edges approximated tightly. I would then strongly recommend you would use a wood vise clamp and glue the edges together with a good quality styrene glue. I used a thick gap filling CA superglue. I used several coats. After I was sure it was cured. I then got fiberglass cloth and cut strips along the seam and saturated it with a brush with the superglue. The end result was a unbreakable, insuperable reinforced seam without any melting of the styrene that might occur from epoxy that cures too fast. The dome wring construction was very simple to make. Just make sure you pay attention to the styrene strips you get with the kit. There are 2 different lengths for a reason. Use the shortest one first. Once that is applied then use the longer one on the outside after you have applied the cone to the base ring. It makes a big difference in getting a very tight seal if you do it that way. Now I just need to design and cut out the decals so I can use this dome with either of the R2 or R5 bodies and have them match the color scheme.

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