have a local non-Shack mega-electronics store, they have them loose / in bulk, only about $1.75ea.
As for fiber, the supplied segment had a surprisingly huge number of strands, something like 50. I only used ~20' of thicker fiber to light the sidewalls of the main docking bay. The supplied bay was way too shallow, so I scratchbuilt taller sides and some inner detailing, then bored the fiber in from the top and at an outward / downward angle. The light that comes out of them shines on the side walls of the docking bay like key lighting
thanks, both of you.
cobbling together the engines / lighting module now. The bridge/upper hull, and the lower hull/sidewalls are two seperate lighting layouts, with the fiber bundles gathered to central points.
The engine section will have two bright white LEDs on projecting sprue 'wands' that will aim the light right at the fiber ends in both lower and upper setups. Using ping-pong ball halves as light-traps / reflectors / fiber mounting points.
Have strung the bridge and upper decks, except for two flanking superstructure portions whose lack of fit is giving me a fit.
Should have more pics to post on Sunday.
got hung up on a wiring mystery, more on that later.
Here's some poor shots of the lower hull lighting (too late and too tired to dick with setting room lighting)
The first is the lower hull sidewall, bow towards the left -
The second is a shot of the hangar bay. very rough. the fiber is looped right now, will be cut flush later, so the series of lights will be much more regularly spaced. and once painting is done, the light bleed-through will be gone -
Last is a shot looking down into the lower hull. Used half a pingpong ball (as mentioned earlier, the inner face is painted with ALCLAD chrome, both for light blocking and reflectivity) as both a mounting for the fiber, a light concentrator, and a light blocker. The white LED is hanging loose, will be attached to a projecting sprue rod later so that it's rigid and aimed perfectly at the fiber ends. There'll be an identical configuration for the upper hull as well.
The light is too blue-white, I'll probably up the resistor to dim it down a bit - windows that tiny shouldn't be so bright.
Some words on wiring - Tip O' the Propeller Beanie to Hyperdyne, he helped me correct a glitch.
I'm using a submini SPDT (Single Pole, Double Throw) switch, throw the switch one way, one circuit operates, flip it the other, another does.
What I wanted was window lights in one position, and window lights AND engines in the other.
I basically have two separate light circuits, and the engine circuit jumpered to also feed the window circuit. I'd thought that Resistors were one-directional, but both circuits would light in either switch position. Went to the 'Electron Oracle' (Hyperdyne) with my dilemma, and he edumacated me. Needed to use a Diode to bridge the circuits. Diodes ARE one-directional.
SO, now we have this (note the sw in the lower left) -
Camera 1 -
Camera 2 -
Not totally happy with the switch placement, hope to hide it better with a bit of added detailing and paint. It's the only spot on the removable engine module that worked with the way I laid things out.
And about that removable module - as noted earlier, I used nesting brass tubes, the inner set mounted in the hull, the engine set sliding over them, to hold the engine module in place, and keep it easily removable.
Problem was after a bit of PCB & epoxy work, my engine tubes were pulled a wee bit out of alignment. You could get the module mounted easily, but getting it off was a bitch, and THAT was with the hull open and being able to touch the interior. With nothing but the engine bells to pull on later, no way.
So I made several longitudinal cuts on the inner tubes, turning them into semi-rigid springy fingers, instead of a solid tube.
Now, the module mounts easy, and comes off almost as easy, but is still fairly snug.
yah, there was one, don't see them often. They also released a version sans fiber (which I have). Get one of those instead, wait for the after-XMas sales to score a deeply discounted fiber-optic XMas tree, and scrounge the fiber from it - as long as the price works out to less than $.01 / strand inch, you're beating the cost of packaged fiber from a hobby store.
And don't forget there are several / scores of fiber strands in each bundle.
I can't wait for Dec 26th.
Got some more work done today.
Having trouble using epoxy on the fibers inside the upper decks. I cut an access hole through the main fuselage (the kit has this solid) both to gain access for lighting to those decks and to make more room for the lighting hardware.
I left the hole about 1/2" smaller than the footprint of the upper structures. Problem with this after drilling / running fiber - the place where glue needs to go is too recessesed / almost inaccessible. Probably will wind up reverting to white glue as I can pour that in and slosh it around without affecting the fiber. Too much epoxy or gap-filling cyanoacrylate, and the extremely thin fiber will just MELT.
Stuck waiting for the postman to bring some more fiber, too. Didn't have enough for the two flanking upper decks, so kinda stuck waiting for the fiber, can't proceed to close the hull or paint, etc.
Am able to work on the base though.
The kit comes with a cheesy clear 'scaffold' thingy made from flat pieces. Fugly.
Thought of the asteroid belt scenes in ESB, and decided to go with some sort of 'rock' base.
Since the lighting is all self contained, still wanted some sort of non-attached 'cradle' to hold the SD up, that way the owner can whoosh! it around the room (
Probably accomplish this with some 1/4" clear rods projecting up from the rock base. 3 fingers / prongs for the SD to rest on.
On to the 'rock'. Should of used a pumice or lava landscaping rock, but too heavy, expensive to ship. Sharp. and a pain in the ass to cut flat as a base.
Opted to use bondo.
Had done something similar long ago with plaster.
Trick is to create your 'blob' of a base, then impregnate its surface with dirt clods to create the indentations. Once cured, you flush off the dirt, and you have a cratered surface.
Was working on my PVC chainmail today, messing around with the digicam, so I photo-documented the whole mess. Enjoy.
First we start off with our good friends, polyvinyl mixing boards and tools, and bondo. I've taped the boards together, and to the counter so I don't have to mess with holding things down as I mix.
Garden variety planter dirt clods.
Roughed out the shape I wanted, SD for comparison.
Glorp. Always a mess, sticks to everything. That's WAY too much catalyst (and I was ALREADY worried about fooling with the camera while working on this). Mixed.
Applying the clods, then a covering of dirt. Press and pat and using a ping pong ball to force larger 'crater' indentations.
Finally, all that, to wind up with fake dog vomit. Surprised to find that a bunch of my 'clods' were actually dirt-covered rocks. Dug a few out.
Can't really make out the pits in the photo. Tomorrow after things are dry, I'll shoot some primer and browns on it, and start working up a nice 'carbonaceous chondrite' -looking asteroid.