It has taken nearly two days of solid work to get the Droid looking like it did in its early days.
The first task was removing two decades of stains and dirt. After about eight buckets of water and so fairly horrid etching liquids the GRP is looking nice and shinny, as good as new. I am not going to respray the droid at all as I want to retain the original colour and finish. It is chipped in places and paint missing but this simply adds to its character and most important, it originality.
Shinny after about three coats of car wax.
All the perspex has been cleaned inside and out and the stop sign is now looking good.
All the front lights initially worked but one by one they started to fail so instead of replacing them with LED's I have rebuilt each light adding new filaments to each removed from similar lamp holders. It would have been much easier to replace them with LED's however, this way the original look is kept.
The front panel was always going to be a challenge as it was completely trashed due to the fact that it is made from plastic and card board. Most of the original material had fallen of or simply rotted away. I am going to replace the original panels using the same material that the original used, card.
What was left stuck on looked like it was dark grey or black so I have gone with black.
You can see in the image above some of the original backing still stuck on.
I have added a bit of relief to the panels by using 3mm card as opposed to 1mm, I think it looks better and it is much closer to the original, or at least what I guess, based on what fragments of the original were left.
I love the eighties Audioline speaker grill, Now polished up with most of the rust removed. The speaker is still fitted behind, not tested as yet. It is a card cone on the speaker so we will see if it still works.
All nicely finished.
The top rings were completely missing but i new they are meant to be there due to the research I have done. They also look very chunky in all the videos of the original 1982 Droid, so I decided to try and copy them as close as I could. They look like they were made from hardboard as they have a rough cut look, so I copied this and made the replacements out of 2mm hardboard.
Coloured vinyl overlays, just like the original.
We have eyebrows
In all the videos and pictures i have for reference the eyebrows look red so I made them red.
Complete top light. Unfortunately this unit does not light up as it is made from solid wood. I would love to replace this with a real light that flashed but that would not make it authentic, so instead I will just refurbish the original. It has a yellow vinyl wrap with charcoal grey pin stripe. I have added some chrome highlights to give it a shinny look.
Cosmetically he is nearly complete. I managed to find the original enamel green paint so have been able to touch up any green areas which have been chipped. The white is looking much better now due to the multiple coats of car wax.
I have done the best I can with regards to the look as I have had real trouble finding reference ,material for this particular Droid. There were clearly multiple versions of this Droid used in the TV adds and this one does not seem to appear in any of then bar one which is an early and very blurry one.
I am assuming that this Droid was used as part of the school road safety campaign, that is why it was fitted with a sound system and has fixed STOP panels and non working ears and top light.
All the internal lights are now working as are all the motors.
The next phase will be the internal electronics and getting the Droid to move.