Bandai 1/5000 Star Destroyer Lighting Plan

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Abaddon

New Member
Hi guys,

I bought the 1/5000 limited lighting edition Star Destroyer kit, but don't like the idea of opening up the model every time I want to turn the lights on and fiddling with the switches. So I'm thinking I'll ditch the Bandai lighting kit and go Arduino ESP32 (I started something similar for my PG Falcon) with Bluetooth Low Energy for the on/off/effects.

In the falcon I was going to throw in a 10000mAh power bank, but the Star Destroyer quite is a bit smaller :D

I was looking at putting in an 18650 battery for it, and found a few boards featuring an integrated ESP32 and 18650 charge/discharge circuit (essentially a 3000mAh micro-UPS) which should work nicely with some addressable RGB leds to light up my fibres. Might even try to hide a few pins in the engine section to charge the destroyer (so I'll only have to open it up every few years to change the battery.

Looking at something like this:
20t4rc.jpg

1586331114932.png


Only trouble is I'm not sure whether it'll fit down the guts of the destroyer, if anyone has their destroyer semi-assembled, could you please have a look at how much length/height there is to play with?

Also open for opinions/feedback if anyone has used a similar board in the past. My other concern would be whether this will get too hot in the model, not too worried about the ESP32 as I'll most likely underclock it to extend battery life, but the battery may warm up a bit during charging/use.
 

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Sindariel

Active Member
The original lightning module that comes with the kit measures 60,3 x 75,7 x 23,5 mm

IMG_20200408_180753.jpg


There is a bit of clearance to the front, but it will be a tight fit since the wires need some space, too.

IMG_20200408_180628.jpg
 

Abaddon

New Member
The original lightning module that comes with the kit measures 60,3 x 75,7 x 23,5 mm

View attachment 1284189

There is a bit of clearance to the front, but it will be a tight fit since the wires need some space, too.

View attachment 1284191

Thanks so much for that. It looks very promising, I'll buy the board and see how it goes. The wires shouldn't be a problem as I'm planning on not using the lighting kit leds, just 2x 8 NeoPixel LED module boards (one either side of the battery socket). Those would marry up to a number of Styrene tubes for the fibre runs. Something like this:

Destroyer Lighting Plan.png


The calipers in your image made that much easier to visualise (and scale all of those components), thanks again. Hopefully it comes together and I'm not over complicating things. But my thinking is by removing the internal light guides and the Bandai wires I can avoid the dreaded smile (while at the same time controlling everything via bluetooth).
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That's going to be super nice, I wish I had thought of it. I also don't like having to remove the top every time I turn it on. I just did a remote battery and switch and mounted it to a base and put the battery pack and switch on the base.

Excited to see how your's turns out.

Also, I did not get any of the 'smile' I keep hearing about. A bit of glue and pressure and I don't have any kind of warping and I was able to eliminate almost all light leaks by completely sealing it up.
 

Antsnest

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Two things to bare in mind - each of those neopixels will need each R, G & B led inside on to make white light. That's typically 20 mA per LED or 60 mA per pixel. For a total of 960mA for all pixels. Your battery is not going to last long at all supplying that amount of current!

Also, the "white" comes from the mixing of the light from the RGB components. But each of these is discrete and separate on the die inside the pixel. If you start pointing very narrow fibres at that too closely, many will only 'see' one of those components, so all your windows will be a variety of colours.

Unless you specifically want to put the ship into party disco mode, you would be far bar better using proper white LEDs. The colour will be constant, and with high efficiency types you could easily drive the whole ship with the 60mA one pixel would use.
 

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Abaddon

New Member
Two things to bare in mind - each of those neopixels will need each R, G & B led inside on to make white light. That's typically 20 mA per LED or 60 mA per pixel. For a total of 960mA for all pixels. Your battery is not going to last long at all supplying that amount of current!

Also, the "white" comes from the mixing of the light from the RGB components. But each of these is discrete and separate on the die inside the pixel. If you start pointing very narrow fibres at that too closely, many will only 'see' one of those components, so all your windows will be a variety of colours.

Unless you specifically want to put the ship into party disco mode, you would be far bar better using proper white LEDs. The colour will be constant, and with high efficiency types you could easily drive the whole ship with the 60mA one pixel would use.

Good point on the current draw. Might try fewer lights or just use the pixels for engine effects.

I did some testing of the pixels for my Falcon build, and found the RGB sub pixels aren't a problem as long as you keep a centimetre or so gap between the fibres and the pixel (colours mix sufficiently in the gap to remove the multi-colour problem). That said there is less of a need for this solution here than on the falcon (all the lights are essentially fixed in colour and not flashing/changing apart from turbolasers and engine pulsing etc).
 

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