What to light on starships? And how?

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slookabill
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What to light on starships? And how?

Post by slookabill » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:06 pm

So, I got 2 new kits yesterday from Starcraft Models(2 Vulcan ring ships), that I'm wanting to light. I've figured out how to use fiber optics to do pinpoint lights, but a lot of the kits have oval/rectangular windows. How do you effectively light these? Light strips then cut the windows out... do you need to coat the inside reflective silver, and put clear resin n the windows, or how do you hide the lightstrips? Any suggestions for placement? What else do you light commonly? Nav lights? Or are they not really needed?

Colin
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Re: What to light on starships? And how?

Post by Colin » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:02 pm

If you paint the inside with a metallic paint, the metallic particles will make the model light tight
Scale Modellers do it with precision

EVApodman
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Re: What to light on starships? And how?

Post by EVApodman » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:57 pm

Fiber optics will give you a circular light. Unfortunately no one make a square or rectangular fiber. Does the kit have portals already cut into the model or are they simply recessed windows in a clear piece?

If the the latter then you may try lighting the whole clear piece with carefully placed sub-miniature LEDs. You then mask off the windows and then paint the piece to block out the light.

This is how the Enterprise on Next Gen was done. The model was cast in clear fiberglass with fluorescent tubing inside it for lighting. Then it was sealed up and the windows were masked off for painting. After painting the the tape was removed, allowing the interior light to show through.
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slookabill
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Re: What to light on starships? And how?

Post by slookabill » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:55 pm

EVApodman wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:57 pm
Fiber optics will give you a circular light. Unfortunately no one make a square or rectangular fiber. Does the kit have portals already cut into the model or are they simply recessed windows in a clear piece?

If the the latter then you may try lighting the whole clear piece with carefully placed sub-miniature LEDs. You then mask off the windows and then paint the piece to block out the light.

This is how the Enterprise on Next Gen was done. The model was cast in clear fiberglass with fluorescent tubing inside it for lighting. Then it was sealed up and the windows were masked off for painting. After painting the the tape was removed, allowing the interior light to show through.
Sadly the main body is cast in resin(doing the Starcraft D'kyr, with lighted ring). So I'm debating just putting light strips inside and cutting the recessed windows open... maybe adding some clear resin after cutting the windows to fog them a bit. I'm also trying to figure out if I can place any other lights besides just the windows and engine areas.

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naoto
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Re: What to light on starships? And how?

Post by naoto » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:32 pm

... and let's not forget the rather clever trick (some may call it a cheat) used on the Moonbase Alpha miniature from Space 1999 -- reflective safety tape.
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EVApodman
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Re: What to light on starships? And how?

Post by EVApodman » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:56 pm

slookabill wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:06 pm
So, I got 2 new kits yesterday from Starcraft Models(2 Vulcan ring ships), that I'm wanting to light. I've figured out how to use fiber optics to do pinpoint lights, but a lot of the kits have oval/rectangular windows. How do you effectively light these? Light strips then cut the windows out... do you need to coat the inside reflective silver, and put clear resin n the windows, or how do you hide the lightstrips? Any suggestions for placement? What else do you light commonly? Nav lights? Or are they not really needed?
I don't know the size of the model you have but trying to cut out rectangular windows can be extremely frustrating and difficult. One slip and you have an odd shaped window.

Light strips, that I know of, require a 115 ac power supply to illuminate them. This voltage is hazardous and should be handled only by someone experienced in these types of power supplies.

For Nav lights I would use either a single LED or a fiber optic lit by single LED, depending on the size of the model and the light's position.

If you post pics of the models with a ruler or something to show the sizes I may be able to suggest ideas on how to light it. But feel that trying to get rectangular windows may be a lost cause and you should stick with fiber optics. Possibly you could drill a few holes close together, each one with it's own fiber to give the impression of an oval window.
"Nothing to do now but drink a beer and watch the universe die."
"Basically what I do everyday."

I AM Spartacus!
I'm Batman.

Don't believe everything you see on the Internet!- Abraham Lincoln

Oh my God!! It's full of plastic peanuts!

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