More fun with fiberoptics - lighting a Star Destroyer - FIN!

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rayra

Well-Known Member
building a kit for a boardmember, gonna miss this one.

Just a quick test -



Fiber is jutting out a bit, will be trimmed flush after painting.

Just the sides of the main hull, this forward portion, and the bridge is over 200 holes / strands so far, guessing about another 180-200 to go.

Replacing the stock kit micro-bulbs with a couple of white LEDs, undervolted, and lighting the engines with some superbright blue LEDs.
Rigging the engine backplane to slide out with the PCB, battery and LEDs all mounted on it, for easy servicing.

Coincidentally, all the lighting fiber is being routed to the 'reactor' bulge on the underside of the SD. Using the partial shell of a ping-pong ball to hold the fiber bundles / orient them towards the lights.

Several weeks off and on of work remaining, will post some progress pics
 

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Biskit

New Member
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rayra wrote:
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building a kit for a boardmember, gonna miss this one.

Just a quick test -



Fiber is jutting out a bit, will be trimmed flush after painting.

Just the sides of the main hull, this forward portion, and the bridge is over 200 holes / strands so far, guessing about another 180-200 to go.

Replacing the stock kit micro-bulbs with a couple of white LEDs, undervolted, and lighting the engines with some superbright blue LEDs.
Rigging the engine backplane to slide out with the PCB, battery and LEDs all mounted on it, for easy servicing.

Coincidentally, all the lighting fiber is being routed to the 'reactor' bulge on the underside of the SD. Using the partial shell of a ping-pong ball to hold the fiber bundles / orient them towards the lights.

Several weeks off and on of work remaining, will post some progress pics



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That's looking great!!!

Tom
 

hydin

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
is that the kb kit? or the whatever kit thats on clearance at a lot of kb's? ive got one in my laundry room on an upper shelf.

after seeing that, i might take a whack at it. it looks cooler than i thought it would.

great job man!

chris
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
(posted it just to tease you, Biskit
)

yeah, the AMT/Ertl kit. They show up on ebay occasionally, too.
Comes with ~180' of ultra-fine fiber - this stuff is somewhere around .008" in dia. The drill bits needed are ridiculously tiny, and quite fragile.

I'll have some pics shortly of the engine/electronics mounting kludge I've whipped up - epoxy, brass tubes, sculpy,...
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
here's the fugly mounting setup -



The PCB, battery, LEDs will be mounted between the two brass tubes mounted to the engine panel.

Used sculpy to surround and fix the other set of brass tubes, which the engine panel tubes slide over.
It's messy and ugly, but it works real nice, and can't be seen from outside the ship.
 

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rayra

Well-Known Member
hah, good timing, was just about to post this - last night I applied and epoxied the fiber in the lower hull -



One fiber technique I stumbled across while doing this -

When I did the TIE fighter bases, I was sticking the fiber an inch or so through the holes, and temp-taping the protruding strand in place, while I glued the backside. Occasionaly troublesome / annoying, as the strands would simeties slip out of place while moving things around.

On the Star Destroyer kit, the supplied fiber was in a 3' length, and while starting to insert the strands, I at one point had them draped half through the hole, half out. Light bulb went on (over my head), and I threaded the loose end through the next hole in line. Basically stitching the holes with fiber. Eliminated the loose ends / taping issue, strands are nice and snug with all the loose ends trailing into the inner side. Relatively easy matter to wire up the 120+ holes in the lower hull, gather the loose ends, and epoxy everything in one pass.

Just have the upper hull superstructure drilling to do, production got held up a bit by my breaking all the microscopic drill bits I had on hand. Picked up another dozen on Monday, but it will be next Mon-Tues before I can get back to work on this. It's gonna be cool.

And another random thought / technique -
Been reading up lately about scale painting techniques, looking for anything new, and refreshing on paint lightening (for 'scale effect') and looking for any new techniques.
Especially digging into 'Aztec-ing' (usually applied to Star Trek Federation starships to simulate the myriad tiny body panels.
Picked up some aluminum mesh for another project (see my new Dremel / Home Renovation thread in the OT forum), and while dumping my purchases on my hobby bench I laid the mesh next to the Star Destroyer. Gave me the idea to use the mesh as a template/mask. I'm thinking if I airbrush through it with a subtly different shade of paint, I can achieve some fine detailing in the SD paint job. Going to have to try some tests.
 

TridCloudwalker

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
One painting technique you may want to try is one I did on my Star Destroyer (never finished it though). I put on a base coat of flat grey. Before it dries i stand a goot two or three feet over the kit and let a mist of black and white settle onto it (darker and ligher shades of grey work too). What you end up with is a richly colored and texured surface. Then go making tape crazy, creating smallish panels, and using the same misting technique, lay down some slightly different shades of grey. After the weathering, the finished result should be quite pleasing...especially with the FOs.
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
Seen another very similar technique, using an L-shaped mask- blow the different shades at the inner corner of the 'L' and keep randomly moving the mask. Think I saw it on someone's scratchbuilt Mon Cal cruiser.
 

Great_Bizarro

Sr Member
Back in the 60's we used lace on "chopper" gas tanks to make a custom job. Paint a base coat let it dry, hit it with a light coat of clear and set the "lace" or "screen" in it and let it dry, then spray the foreground color and let it almost dry then pull the lace off. You should practice on some scrap to see how much clear you need to use to hold the material in place. I would try the screening used in tents as it is flexible. This needs to be done on something that is not a compound curve, or you will have to cut the screen into sections.

On the fiber optics, you can get a neat effect by heating the end lightly with a candle(it is flammable to an extent so don't torch the house) and then press it straight onto a file. It will create a cross hair effect on the fiber and give a different effect.
 

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rayra

Well-Known Member
I've been a baaad boy. Let my enthhusiasm for a Halloween prop-costume get in the way, AND out of town twice to work on a vacation home.
Got back tonight, kits/workbench out there waiting for me

I should have some new shots very very soon (Engine lighting
).
 
I can't wiat to see the engine lighting!! Are you going to use a pale blue LED at the ends of your copper tubes Or a clear LED with some sort of color screening?
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
super-bright blue. soldering iron is heating up riiight now.

Using ALCLAD chrome to airbrush the inside of the engine bells. Ought to give a nice actinic eye-hurting blast of light, a little like this:




EDIT - and the brass tubes are just there as a mechanical means of mounting the engine backplane and electronics, that will let those parts be removeable later. Not directly involved in the lighting.
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
Another breadboard-test.
too stron a resistor on the LEDs, have to pick up a slightly weaker one. Plus the wires are crimped on the switch, not soldered.
The black gloss in the engine bells is there as a basecoat for alclad chrome. Once engines painted and lit, will plug'em up with tissue while I spray the rest of the kit.
I also expect much more light scatter from the LEDs on the inside of the cones, once the LEDs are mounted correctly. I have the panel-mount LED ring collars embedded in the throat of the engine cones, and the LED collar press-fits into that. The LEDs will be easily replaceable.

 

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So you're gonna make those brighter? Man that's gonna be sweet!
One otehr question for ya. When you paint the kit will it affect the fiber optics? Can't they get filled in by the paint?
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
can't make it out in my pics, but what you do is leave the fiber sticking out like beard stubble, paint everything, then go back and trim the fiber flush without marring the paintjob. Pain In The Ass. But it looks coool.
 

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