Gaijin Gunpla

I’m very familiar with these two astromech droids having played for hours with them starting when I was 5 or 6 years old and continuing until I was a teenager. (Thank you, Kenner!) So when I saw the 1/12 Star Wars R2-D2 & R5-D4 at the model show last year I was really looking forward to building my own R2 D2, and R5 D4 too of course, though I didn’t remember that R5 D4 had blue legs like R2.

I thought he was red everywhere R2 was blue. I guess I was wrong, though Bandai does have you putting a lot of red stickers (or decals) on this guy.

Here are the runners for the white parts. One is labeled simply R2.

And the other R5.

The A runners is shared between both droids but has runner designations in there as well.

The C runners are the silver parts.

C1 is for R2 and C2 is for R5.

But wait a second here! These runners were originally together!

The C1 runner (R2’s) ends at part # 37 and the C2 runner (R5’s) starts at # 38.

You get a stand runner though I’m not sure it’s necessary with a robot.

Water slide and stickers for markings depending on how you want to tackle that part of the build.

Interestingly, the manual has you build both droids at the same time with R2’s assembly being shown on the top half of the page and R5’s on the bottom.

Let’s do this thing!

Up to here both droids are built using the same parts but from this point there is some differentiation.

Both droids have this.

But R5 gets his first piece of red.

You stop here and then do the legs which are shown as being assembled the same way for both droids and listed as x 2.

You’ve got some small silver parts to fit on there properly. These ones aren’t too bad.

This turned out to be the centre leg so you put it inside each droid.

Now for the outside legs.

More small parts to fit in. That cylindrical grey part needs to go a certain way or you won’t get it in there.

There’s a leg!

Oh, but you’re not finished. You have some very small parts left to put into place.

I recommend tweezers for this.

Now to get those legs onto the droid.

Some gaps need to be covered with panels and some stickers need to go on here too.

R5 gets the same stickers here.

The same on the other side. (Droid bodies are round, do they have sides?)

The rectangular white panels don’t snap into place but instead rest there to be removed later if you want to use any of the droids’ tools.

This is where I stopped that night.

Two left-leaning Astromech Droids.

Rather than end the post here, I’ll continue on so everything about this kit can be found in one spot. What do you say, guys?

Just nod.

Or lean forward or whatever it is you can do right now to signal agreement.

The first head you assemble is R2’s.

Here be undergates.

When I first saw these kits at the hobby show I thought that assembly might be a case of inserting blue parts, for example, into white bodies but you actually build these guys from the inside out. Almost all parts are fit inside and then the droid is closed up.

R2’s round head is actually three parts.

Now parts are put in place on the outside.

The blue curved pieces are like the white panels on the body. They fit on there and are meant to be removed later if you wish to.

Looking like yourself, R2! It can’t describe the feeling I felt when I had the head assembled right in front of me but it felt the same when I was assembling Darth Vader’s head. A very memorable image from my youth with strong connections to certain feelings.

More undergates to be wary of.

Hell, yea!

I wonder if there are any modellers out there who would stop here and feel satisfied?

(I’m not one of them.)

The assembly is complete but if you think you’re done now you’re sorely wrong. You have stickers, and a lot of them, to apply.

You’re given two choices for many of the stickers. You can choose between on and off.

Stickers go everywhere. Like here.

And here.

Four go here.

If you’re not careful they will slide behind that grey part and are hard to get out.

Two here.

And even here!

R5 D4 has larger stickers that go all the way around its head.

And two of these long ones. Tricky to line up, these suckers.

R5 also has long rectangular red stickers for those long rectangular white panels. What I ended up doing is putting every sticker on R2 but only the large distinct stickers on R5.


Then I decided to take all the panels off of R2 and replace them with the ones in the open position so I could attach all his instruments.

Some require slight assembly.

These guys look pretty good together.

But I think I’ve been corrupted by a more recent version of everyone’s favourite Droid.

Categories: 1/12 R2D2 & R5D4, Builds, SW

3 Responses so far.

  1. beige says:

    R2’s looking slick. a shame you don’t get optional afro pieces XD

    R5 though… it seems kinda a shame that r2 got all his blue pieces intrnalized/moulded while r5 has to deal with stickers. I guess it makes sense though, sinc I’m guessing the R5 was added as more an afterthough of ‘its similar to r2’ than because of as much demand

    • Jason Reynolds says:

      I think R5 was added in so they could justify the price.

      As far as the color molding for R5 the only unique stickers are the red sections on the body and the pinstriping on the head. All the other stickers are the same on both.

      As far as the body the engineering is already cramped enough. Trying to add in a separate color wouldn’t have been possible.

      As far as the head it would be a pain in the butt to mold the pin stripes as separate pieces, and would be fragile, assuming they could even pull it off.

  2. R2 looks really nice IMO.

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