Battlestar Galactica Pegasus (first attempt at fiber optics, WIP)

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skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
First, I just wanted to say I realize this probably does not look anything like the one in the TV series, and for me that's okay. Not trying to replicate the exact look but I am doing some fiber optic lighting for this kit, which is my first attempt. I have some larger model projects (although this one is actually taking me a lot more time than I thought) so this is my testbed for running optics.

I am far from done but I have already learned several valuable lessons, 1) need to spend more time planning next time, 2) it's very easy to drill too many holes, and much harder to actually run optics to all those holes, and 3) they melt so, so easy...

Even though it has a lot of lights, I hope the final product will still be awesome. I am not going to light the engines on this, but I am going to put red 'landing' lights on all of the engine housings and along the top with 2Hz flashing LED's.

Below is my test circuit. Trying to 'burn' in some of the lights for a few days to ensure they actually work, along with the circuit. It does step down the voltage to 3.3 volts which for these particular LED's is exactly what they need.

First test:
1.jpg


Not looking too bad, but those are super bright, here is a second test with a small resistor in play:
2.jpg
 
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skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Again, this is my first attempt at running optics, I really wish I had run less or even filled in some of the holes but I figured what the heck, it should look pretty cool with all the lights on.

Here are some great examples of how to not cleanly run optic cables:

3.jpg


I decided to hot glue them in place so that when I cut them they would not move around, no idea if this is the best way or not:
6.jpg
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Last few shots for tonight, here you can see the number of cables I have already run, and this does not count the flashing lights or the lights on top of the landing bays... I have my first two LED's installed. There is no real light leak so the foil is probably overkill but it does help to keep some things in place.

8.jpg


Here I decided to take shave a bit off the landing bay structure parts to ensure that when the model was closed up, I was not putting too much pressure on the fiber optic cables:

9.jpg
 

INVAR

Sr Member
Great job man. Don't sweat it on the fiber. I wish I knew how to do lighting back when I built my Pegasus about 4 years ago. It would have really added gravitas to the model. I have been cutting my teeth on fiber lighting the Zvezda Star Destroyer - and as you can see - you do not need to beat yourself up. Your WIP is FAAAAAAR neater and tidy than this birds nest I got going on.
Wires From Hell2.jpg
 

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Analyzer

Sr Member
Looking forward to your build

Below is my test circuit. Trying to 'burn' in some of the lights for a few days to ensure they actually work, along with the circuit. It does step down the voltage to 3.3 volts which for these particular LED's is exactly what they need.

Out of curiosity, what are you using to step down the voltage?
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great job man. Don't sweat it on the fiber. I wish I knew how to do lighting back when I built my Pegasus about 4 years ago. It would have really added gravitas to the model. I have been cutting my teeth on fiber lighting the Zvezda Star Destroyer - and as you can see - you do not need to beat yourself up. Your WIP is FAAAAAAR neater and tidy than this birds nest I got going on.

That is a lot of fiber! Bet it will look sweet when it's done. My first build of that I did not light, I have really been thinking about getting another one to put optics into. I think it's a fun model to build and a great size.
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looking forward to your build

Out of curiosity, what are you using to step down the voltage?

Thanks, I really struggled with this as I had all kinds of ideas on how to power it, how to run all the cables, etc. I decided I wanted something that I could use a USB charger as a power source as it's easy to find and I figure if the base has a USB port, I can light up a bunch of models on the same charger.

I ended up using something I happen to already have, it is from a kit my son and I use for robotics. It is super flexible as you can switch between 5v, 3.3, or run one side 3.3 and the other 5. It added the heat sink just to ensure it stays cool, but it has been running for 4 days now without any issues. When I am ready to mount it in the base I will just de-solder the pins on the bottom it uses to connect to the breadboard and then use those jumpers in the middle to run the 3.3 Volts. I do still use a resister for each LED to limit the current a bit.

Part number on the back is Elegoo Power MB V2.

20200504_212315.jpg
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, I guess the good news is that I get to re-imagine this model and learn from all my mistakes, the bad part is that it's going in the trash. Originally when I started building this model 2 weeks ago I used the wrong primer, it's a Rustoleum that works amazing on wood and metal, but terrible (apparently on plastic). I had planned to use a really cool (I think) metalized Lacquer on this, it's a metallic dark gray.

However, I have been waiting for the entire two weeks and the primer coat is still tacky... not a good sign at all. I attempted to put a little of the lacquer on last night just to test an area and the primer coat immediately dissolved and turned gooey. I also tried an acrylic metallic Tamiya I have and initially it seemed okay but as I was messing with it today I can just scrape it right off, including the primer with almost no effort.

You can see that middle one is the lacquer, hard to tell from the pic but it's pretty messy. That metallic on the right is the one I can just scrape off. Top of the image is me trying to get the primer off, it's not going to happen.

20200504_221033.jpg


However, I did paint the base, on its own with the lacquer (no primmer) and it turned out amazing, dried like I expect a lacquer too, I can't even scrape it off with my nail no matter how hard I try it dried so hard.

So, just ordered a new one from Amazon, it will be here next week on the 12th and I will get to work on it right away. Modeling is always a learning process!

It's also the first model I used filler on so there are a lot of lessons learned on this build.

Some changes I am going to make on the next one:

1) Not painting the inside black, makes it too hard to assemble (having to scrape all the paint off for the glue to stick, I will use the aluminum tape to help light block).
2) Reducing the number of optics, I still want a lot on there, but not nearly as many.
3) Stepping down to a .75 MM optic cable instead of the 1MM I was using, I think it's a better size for this scale.
4) Probably come up with a few more.
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
Well, I guess the good news is that I get to re-imagine this model and learn from all my mistakes, the bad part is that it's going in the trash. Originally when I started building this model 2 weeks ago I used the wrong primer, it's a Rustoleum that works amazing on wood and metal, but terrible (apparently on plastic). I had planned to use a really cool (I think) metalized Lacquer on this, it's a metallic dark gray.

However, I have been waiting for the entire two weeks and the primer coat is still tacky... not a good sign at all. I attempted to put a little of the lacquer on last night just to test an area and the primer coat immediately dissolved and turned gooey. I also tried an acrylic metallic Tamiya I have and initially it seemed okay but as I was messing with it today I can just scrape it right off, including the primer with almost no effort.

You can see that middle one is the lacquer, hard to tell from the pic but it's pretty messy. That metallic on the right is the one I can just scrape off. Top of the image is me trying to get the primer off, it's not going to happen.

View attachment 1295131

However, I did paint the base, on its own with the lacquer (no primmer) and it turned out amazing, dried like I expect a lacquer too, I can't even scrape it off with my nail no matter how hard I try it dried so hard.

So, just ordered a new one from Amazon, it will be here next week on the 12th and I will get to work on it right away. Modeling is always a learning process!

It's also the first model I used filler on so there are a lot of lessons learned on this build.

Some changes I am going to make on the next one:

1) Not painting the inside black, makes it too hard to assemble (having to scrape all the paint off for the glue to stick, I will use the aluminum tape to help light block).
2) Reducing the number of optics, I still want a lot on there, but not nearly as many.
3) Stepping down to a .75 MM optic cable instead of the 1MM I was using, I think it's a better size for this scale.
4) Probably come up with a few more.

For light blocking I use aluminum foil tape (the kind used for HVAC systems etc...) It sticks great and no light comes through

Also, for painting parts that have to be glued, you can use some blue tac, or silly putty or similar to quickly and easily mask off connectors pins/glue points etc..

I might suggest .25 mm would look even better for that scale as well as other things like Star Destroyers etc..
 

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