The next step in the arduous process of creating an Astromech droid is to get some detail onto its chassis. Again, to the internet, and with the digging up of blueprints. I managed to find a nice wraparound graphic of the panel locations on R2D2's torso and back, and scaled them appropriately to be able to stick them around my piece of PVC pipe.
To create the raised texture of panels, I used a sheet of 0.5mm styrene, cut to size, to which I adhered the wraparound print with spray adhesive. After cutting out all of the little panels, I had a lacy mesh of plastic to glue to the front of the droid. For the most part, this was pretty successful.
You can see by this point I've also added additional detail to the leg pieces, including some styrene strips to add panels and shape to the top of the shoulder and hub, and some pieces of Chupa-Chup stick for the pistons.
The vent at the bottom was made from the top of the lid of a gel pen, which happened to have a nice four-pointed configuration. I wish I'd created the rear vent first, as my second attempt at plastic welding the cap in place ended up straighter and with a far superior finish.
The battery boxes and cables are in place, now, also. The batteries are made from a couple of lids from USB sticks, and the cables are just audio cable from a car stereo.
Next up: Dome details, and lets start painting!