A few questions about lighting a Zvezda Star Destroyer

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TooOld4This
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A few questions about lighting a Zvezda Star Destroyer

Post by TooOld4This » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:31 pm

I bought a lighting kit from Russia, consisted of a batery pack, huge (15mm) switch, a series of leds...and a spool of fibre.
The instructions were a joke, suggesting I leave off the dome from teh underside to allow access to the battery pack...gee thanks genius...waht holds that in place in the meantime? Chewing gum?

Not only are there no resistors etc, the whole thing is hard wired, which means that if one led dies, like XMAS tree lights, thh whole thing fails.

Guess what?

The whole thing died, I wanted to test the engine lights to see how they looked, and nothing happened.

*Sigh

So I guess I need a new one, can I ask some questions?
1. What is a good lighting kit to buy that's not heart-stoppingly expensive. (I consider $84 USD plus shipping to be in that category)
2. How do you get to the battery pack after installation? At this stage I'm contemplating leaving the nose section seperate and using magnets to hold it in place, as I really can't see a better alternative. What did you guys do?
3. What about using rechargeable batteries? can you hide a small plug somewhere, and simnply recharge the batteries rather than leave a hole in the kit to access the battery pack?
4. What micro-switches are suitable, and where is a good place to hide one?

Thanks guys!!

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TurkeyVolumeGuessingMan
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Re: A few questions about lighting a Zvezda Star Destroyer

Post by TurkeyVolumeGuessingMan » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:29 pm

It sounds like you really got ripped off. At least you can still use the battery pack and fiber optics. Considering that a Star Destroyer does not have flashing nav lights and such, you could buy your own LEDs and resistors to light up this kit on your own. Assuming you have a soldering iron, you could light the kit up yourself for under $20, if you need to buy wires and such.

For the longest time, I was intimidated at the idea of lighting up model kits. But after I started learning how to do it, I'm becoming more comfortable about it. I've started with simple projects and a few months ago I successfully completed a lighted Revell Cylon Raider. I'm not at all clever with electronics, so if I can do this, I'm sure you could too. I can see the merit of wanting to buy a lighting kit for the Millennium Falcon for all of the intricate, colored lights inside the cockpit, but a Star Destroyer should be pretty straightforward (albeit time-consuming). It's challenging and an excuse to learn something new.

To answer your other questions, I think it would be better to have the power source outside of the kit. I don't own it, but I think having it external would be better than using chewing gum.

I've seen one guy use a rechargeable battery pack. It can be charged through a plastic surface just by placing a power source to it. However, I'm not familiar with such stuff and don't know how long that would last.

You could use a DC power connector. Here is the male connector and here is the female connector.

If you have an external power source, you needn't have the switch on the actual model. However if you really want to get fancy, I understand that there are magnetic switches in which you would have something small and magnetized and when placed onto the surface of the model, the receptor attached to the inside surface will turn everything on. Again, I do not have experience with this, and I think your best bet is just to have the switch located externally.
Greg
Plastic modeling and other nerd stuff in Japan on my YouTube channel
My WIP modeling page on Tumblr.
We're gonna stab your daughter at the mall. Ah aaah aaah! We're gonna stab your wife, your son. Oooooh!

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TooOld4This
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Re: A few questions about lighting a Zvezda Star Destroyer

Post by TooOld4This » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:19 am

Thanks, that's good advice.
I have drilled a fair few holes already, and noticed that just shining a light behind them looks OK.
I may try a led strip behind the holes, using clear glue to fill the holes instead of running fibres.
At least in some locations this would work well I believe (Like the main sidewalls.

Guess I'll visit the local electronics shop and have a look.

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TurkeyVolumeGuessingMan
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Re: A few questions about lighting a Zvezda Star Destroyer

Post by TurkeyVolumeGuessingMan » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:11 am

TooOld4This wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:19 am
Thanks, that's good advice.
I have drilled a fair few holes already, and noticed that just shining a light behind them looks OK.
I may try a led strip behind the holes, using clear glue to fill the holes instead of running fibres.
At least in some locations this would work well I believe (Like the main sidewalls.

Guess I'll visit the local electronics shop and have a look.
I think you have a good idea about using LED tape. Not only do you not have to worry about resistors (resistors are built into the tape itself), but you don't have to worry about the fibers. There is a guy on YouTube who has been building this same kit and he is running LED tape throughout it and bypassing the fiber optics. I've been following one guy's Zvezda Star Destroyer build on the SFMA forum and seeing the insane amount of fibers he is using makes me wonder if there is a better way. Boyd/Trekworks built the old Monogram Battlestar Galactica kit and he did not use fiber optics, but instead used LED tape inside and filled the holes with Micro Krystal Klear to help diffuse the light to prevent bright spots.

I have the Revell Build&PLay Star Destroyer and while it has its faults, it does have its advantages over the old MPC/AMT kit. I plan to use LED tape and just have it lit from within and use the Micro Krystal Klear in the holes.

Something else to possibly consider if you are wanting the Star Destroyer to be independent from its base is to get something like these power connectors. I used this for my Cylon Raider. I just needed to cut out a small rectangular hole and secure the female socket with plenty of epoxy putty on the inside. The result is rather discreet and you'd just have a wire attached to the underside of the ship. These are jumper wires for a bread board but you could cut the wires in half. At least they are a nice idea for smaller projects.
Greg
Plastic modeling and other nerd stuff in Japan on my YouTube channel
My WIP modeling page on Tumblr.
We're gonna stab your daughter at the mall. Ah aaah aaah! We're gonna stab your wife, your son. Oooooh!

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