Fujimi Blade Runner Police Spinner (yes, another one!). Pic heavy!

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mluder

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well... I think I'm going to put mu Fujimi Spinner kit in storage... I will never do it this kind of justice LOL.
Top work... Just amazing.
Cheers
Steve
 

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wayouteast

Sr Member
Well... I think I'm going to put mu Fujimi Spinner kit in storage... I will never do it this kind of justice LOL.
Top work... Just amazing.
Cheers
Steve

Nooooo!! Embrace the fear! It worked (a bit) for me! :D The key is just to concentrate on a little bit of it at a time, I think, rather than the whole thing at once. :cry:
 

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banistersmind

New Member
I finally got around to building that most iconic of movie vehicles, the Blade Runner Police Spinner. I've wanted to build this for years but have always held off as I really wanted to do it justice; Blade Runner is my favourite film, and the Spinner is such an amazing piece of design. I knew I wanted to light it and to add Gaff and Deckard, and the incredible builds that have been posted here and elsewhere over the years have always slightly terrified me if I was honest!

Anyway, I finally acquired the 1/24 Fujimi kit and conquered my trepidation. Whether I did it justice I'll leave up to other people, but I had a great time building this, though not without some scary and frustrating moments! As well as the Fujimi base kit I also used the wonderful Paragrafix photoetch detailing set.

View attachment 1307090

I started by working out how I was going to do the lighting, which for me was definitely going to be the hardest and most complicated part of the build, given the small scale and the sheer number of lights. The roofracks were a particular worry as they are so tiny and contain so many individual lights. I was planning on approximating the pattern of flashes the real vehicle had rather than imitating it exactly, but even so it would need each lamp to be wired individually to three separate flasher units (it would probably have been easier to have used a programmable unit like an Arduino, but I'm afraid my skills weren't up to that! Instead I bought a couple of standard variable-speed 'zig-zag' circuit boards off eBay and another small 5-channel circuit board from a company in Germany which simulated emergency vehicle patterns with 2x single flash outputs, 2x double flash and a single 'turn signal' blink. I thought the combination of those three boards would give me all the timings that I'd need to get the effect I was after, not just for the roofroacks but also the under-car flashers and the other beacons on the vehicle.

Then I started drilling and carefully wiring in the required white, blue, red and amber nano-SMDs before adding the various coloured lenses. I decided to use the kit's red lenses, even though I think one or more of the actual lights are amber. There's one white lamp, though, which I made a lens for from clear styrene sheet. For the roofrack lights, after I'd carefully labelled all the wires so that I knew which ones needed to connect to which output on the circuit boards, I twisted them together into a single strand, one on each side. This was intended to eventually travel along the underside of each roof bar and down into the back of the car through a small hole drilled into the roof on each side. I elected to keep the kit's roofracks rather than the more accurate Paragrafix ones, as this would make hiding the wires much easier.

View attachment 1307091 View attachment 1307092 View attachment 1307093 View attachment 1307094

After a considerable amount of swearing and eye-strain, and the addition of the 'dome' lights, which had to have their own 'stalks' made out of thin styrene tube, a a quick 'twist-test' (no solder yet!) reassured me that the effect I wanted was possible (the dome lights in this video haven't got their final, more random pattern).

View attachment 1307097

I was almost done. All that remained was to make a section of Los Angeles tarmac for the Spinner to park on and dress it with some scratchbuilt accessories. I used styrene tubing, sheet and bits from the spares box to create a Blade Runner style street lamp, which has an SMD mounted in the lamp running off the same power supply as the Spinner itself. Some replicas of Deckard's newspaper were scaled down and printed on tissue paper to get the right look and then scattered on the street, along with some trash bags, empty bottles and drinks cans I couldn't resist adding a Futurama easter egg for those who can spot it!).

View attachment 1307200 View attachment 1307201 View attachment 1307194 View attachment 1307195

And it was done. I think, despite the almost calamity of having to break it apart and re-glue it, it looks pretty cool, particularly with the lights on, and it was worth the quite considerable time and effort that went into it. Thanks for reading this far! Here are some pics (and a quick movie) of the final result! :)

View attachment 1307196 View attachment 1307197 View attachment 1307198 View attachment 1307199 View attachment 1307202 View attachment 1307203 View attachment 1307204 View attachment 1307206 View attachment 1307207 View attachment 1307211


This is truly an amazing build. I'm so impressed. I'm about to embark on my own build of this iconic vehicle and there's plenty of great tips here for me to keep an eye on. I'm planning on lighting my kit with a lighting rig from Light My Bricks here in Australia. They manufacture plug and play lighting solutions for Lego kits and I've used them on a recent Bandai build to great effect.
 

wayouteast

Sr Member
This is truly an amazing build. I'm so impressed. I'm about to embark on my own build of this iconic vehicle and there's plenty of great tips here for me to keep an eye on. I'm planning on lighting my kit with a lighting rig from Light My Bricks here in Australia. They manufacture plug and play lighting solutions for Lego kits and I've used them on a recent Bandai build to great effect.
Thanks so much! Good luck with yours! (y)
 

wayouteast

Sr Member
Great bit of work there. Mind if I ask where your flasher boards came from ?
Thanks. :cry:

I used two off-the-shelf 'zig-zag' alternating flashers with an onboard variable resister to control the on/off timing for each output (like this one - although this isn't the exact product I used):

Kemo B092 LED Alternating Flasher LED Electronic Project Kit 4024028010922 | eBay

These were 'tuned' with slightly different on/off rates for the four outputs to give me effectively 4 rates of 'flash'. Some of the dome lights and underside flashers and a couple of roof-rack flashers were connected to these.

The third board was this one:

6 Kanal NFM Modul für Moba Einsatzfahrzeuge 10,3x23,4x2,9mm Muster 041

which has 5 output channels; 2 double flash, 2 single flash and one 'hazard flash'. This gave me even more flash rates to use and the rest of the dome lights, underside lights and roof-rack lights were connected to these.

Along with the static output which ran all the 'always on' lighting (interior consoles, headlight bar, wheel-covers, sidebars and rear lights etc.) these were all run from a single 9v power supply.

As for the timings of the flashers etc, to be honest it was pretty much trial and error. I wired all the nano-LEDs, attached as many of them as possible to their final attachment points (the rook-rack especially) and then set them up in helping hands' clamps in roughly the position they'd eventually have on the car (you can see this in the video in my first post). I set up short wires from each of the outputs on the three boards. Then I literally took the wires form the LEDs and swapped them around the outputs by temporarily twisting them together untill I had something that looked like the effect I was after. It was as crude as that! When I was happy with the placement of the various flash rates I labelled the wires so that when I can to do the final soldering I could replicate the patterns I had created.

There're two main learnings I can offer.

One is to use the fast 'double flash' output of the 5-channel board sparingly - I think it's on 2 or 3 of the roof rack lights and maybe 2 or 3 of the underside lights. It's a huge part of getting the 'random' final effect, but overused it will start to synchonise too much. Definitely have the single 'white' flasher on the roof-rack as a double flasher.

The second is to beware of accidentally placing two flashers/domes with the same rate too close together on the car. Again it spoils the random effect you\re after. On my final Spinner there are two 'domes' which - if you look for it - are flashing at the same rate and are quite close to each other so that you can see them doing it. And once you've seen it you can never unsee it! :lol:

The effect you should be after (and which I think is the closest you can get to what the actual vehicle looks like without actually re-creating the exact patterm of the movie car, where the domes were actually rotating beacons) is a seemingly random set of flashing lights from quite slow to quite fast, with the 'double flash' as an 'accent' on the roof-rack and the underside.

Hope this helps!
 

Neo-uk

Well-Known Member
Thanks. :cry:

I used two off-the-shelf 'zig-zag' alternating flashers with an onboard variable resister to control the on/off timing for each output (like this one - although this isn't the exact product I used):

Kemo B092 LED Alternating Flasher LED Electronic Project Kit 4024028010922 | eBay

These were 'tuned' with slightly different on/off rates for the four outputs to give me effectively 4 rates of 'flash'. Some of the dome lights and underside flashers and a couple of roof-rack flashers were connected to these.

The third board was this one:

6 Kanal NFM Modul für Moba Einsatzfahrzeuge 10,3x23,4x2,9mm Muster 041

which has 5 output channels; 2 double flash, 2 single flash and one 'hazard flash'. This gave me even more flash rates to use and the rest of the dome lights, underside lights and roof-rack lights were connected to these.

Along with the static output which ran all the 'always on' lighting (interior consoles, headlight bar, wheel-covers, sidebars and rear lights etc.) these were all run from a single 9v power supply.

As for the timings of the flashers etc, to be honest it was pretty much trial and error. I wired all the nano-LEDs, attached as many of them as possible to their final attachment points (the rook-rack especially) and then set them up in helping hands' clamps in roughly the position they'd eventually have on the car (you can see this in the video in my first post). I set up short wires from each of the outputs on the three boards. Then I literally took the wires form the LEDs and swapped them around the outputs by temporarily twisting them together untill I had something that looked like the effect I was after. It was as crude as that! When I was happy with the placement of the various flash rates I labelled the wires so that when I can to do the final soldering I could replicate the patterns I had created.

There're two main learnings I can offer.

One is to use the fast 'double flash' output of the 5-channel board sparingly - I think it's on 2 or 3 of the roof rack lights and maybe 2 or 3 of the underside lights. It's a huge part of getting the 'random' final effect, but overused it will start to synchonise too much. Definitely have the single 'white' flasher on the roof-rack as a double flasher.

The second is to beware of accidentally placing two flashers/domes with the same rate too close together on the car. Again it spoils the random effect you\re after. On my final Spinner there are two 'domes' which - if you look for it - are flashing at the same rate and are quite close to each other so that you can see them doing it. And once you've seen it you can never unsee it! :lol:

The effect you should be after (and which I think is the closest you can get to what the actual vehicle looks like without actually re-creating the exact patterm of the movie car, where the domes were actually rotating beacons) is a seemingly random set of flashing lights from quite slow to quite fast, with the 'double flash' as an 'accent' on the roof-rack and the underside.

Hope this helps!
Thanks for the reply. I'm going to get some of them for the big Anubis spinner I've got.
 

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wayouteast

Sr Member
Thank you sir. Just reviewing you post, you mentioned some sort of gel that you used to color in certain areas in the console panels so they'd light up in different colours. I wonder if you could clarify what it was you used.

Yeah, sure. I used tiny snippets off thin coloured gel sheets used for theatrical lighting. Like these (from eBay UK though I'm pretty sure the equivalent will be available wherever you're located if you're not in the UK).

Heat Resistant Colour Transparent Acetate Gel Sheet Crafts Plastic Film Lighting | eBay

I bought a few sheets of this some years ago in a variety of colours, and it's lasted me forever and been useful in loads of projects! It cuts really easily with scissors and clues with white glue or canopy glue - or onto double sided transparent tape for very small areas, which is what I did on the spinner consoles.
 

banistersmind

New Member
Yeah, sure. I used tiny snippets off thin coloured gel sheets used for theatrical lighting. Like these (from eBay UK though I'm pretty sure the equivalent will be available wherever you're located if you're not in the UK).

Heat Resistant Colour Transparent Acetate Gel Sheet Crafts Plastic Film Lighting | eBay

I bought a few sheets of this some years ago in a variety of colours, and it's lasted me forever and been useful in loads of projects! It cuts really easily with scissors and clues with white glue or canopy glue - or onto double sided transparent tape for very small areas, which is what I did on the spinner consoles.
Ah! Very good. I'm Australia but I'm sure there'll be something similar here somewhere. Thanks for that information!
 

banistersmind

New Member
wayouteast - I have another query with respect to the front light assembly over the front wheels. If I'm seeing this correctly, you cut through the plastic on the circular strips. Did you consider not cutting through them and back lighting the styrene?

I wonder if I could avoid cutting through them and back lighting the plastic effectively or would it not transmit enough light?

Screenshot_20210921-191825_Opera.jpg
 

wayouteast

Sr Member
wayouteast - I have another query with respect to the front light assembly over the front wheels. If I'm seeing this correctly, you cut through the plastic on the circular strips. Did you consider not cutting through them and back lighting the styrene?

I wonder if I could avoid cutting through them and back lighting the plastic effectively or would it not transmit enough light?

The reason I cut the existing styrene and replaced it was so that I got the same quality of illumination in all the 'translucent' lighted areas. I tried backlighting the white styrene but it looked really very different from the areas I inserted the diffusion sheet (having a heavily yellowish cast as I recall). Also, the provided clear inserts in those areas looked completely different from the other lit areas, even when the car was unilluminated (and leaving them out would lose the flush appearance of those areas. Having places that were supposedly 'the same'on the car looking so different triggered my OCD(!) so I decided that I'd treat all the lit areas in the same way for consistency. It would certainly have been easier to have backlit the white styrene, though, you're right! :D
 

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