Mutara Nebula DeBoers E and R Build

jwood314

Active Member
I like to write, A LOT, so read at your own peril. I do this, because it is a great way for me to work through my issues, and get some feedback from all of the extremely knowledgeable people on these forums. I am posting this in The RPF and Sci Fi Model Action forums.

Some of you may or may not know me. I finished a 1/350 Enterprise a few years ago and sold it. I started work on a 1/72 Falcon and a TOS Bridge build. Both of those projects are sitting on my shelf in various stages of completion. For the Falcon build, I plan on keeping that model in my own collection, so not at the top of my list to work, and, I stepped on the cockpit canopy, crushing it, and that sort of crushed my will to work on the model. She will get finished, just not now. For my TOS Bridge build, I am on the lookout for a new display that will act as my forward viewer for the bridge. I am also thinking of leaving this model in my collection, so not as much enthusiasm to work on it. So, going to work on my two DeBoers kits.
I have the Enterprise with shuttle bay, and the Reliant kits. I plan on building them concurrently. If you have seen my older posts, I try to post EVERYTHING about what I am doing. I will post all of the money it takes me to build it, all of the code work and hardware it takes, of course the modeling ‘stuff’ and anything else needed to complete these guys. Like just about everyone else on these forums, most of my work is derivative, not original. Of course there are some original ideas in here, but a lot of it I learned/gleaned from people waaaay more knowledgeable than I am. Here is a short list:

Simon Mercs – I have his whole video log on his DeBoers Enterprise
Orbital Drydock – he made the 5 color mask kits and has some videos on prep work for these models, I got my material listing for the fiberglass work off of those videos, I don’t know anything about fiberglass, lol.
Boyd at TrekWorks/The Model Shop – I have watched a ton of his videos, and obviously post on his forums J
Steve Neill – love his shows and videos, still sad that many of his vids were taken down, a while ago.
Too many people on this forum have assisted me on my 1/350 refit, looking forward to more awesome suggestions and help!

Where to start these discussions…..ok, let’s start with what is in the pictures. The kits are in great shape, here are some of the items I need to do:
1) Windows need to be drilled and filed out.
2) Structural reinforcement
3) Metal mounting structure – probably use some sort of copper pipe and hand make them, not sure
4) Extra surface area needs to be added to all of the major parts that are getting glued together, nacelles and saucers, especially.
5) Need to build some jigs so I can aim the spotlight effects that go from the nacelles to the saucer section. I REALLY don’t want to have to paint the whole models at the same time, I don’t have a large enough booth to air brush in
6) Take a look and see if how I did the nacelle warp engine effects will work at this slightly larger scale
7) Scratch build an arboretum - Enterprise
8) Scratch build some sort of Office thingy – Enterprise
9) Scratch build two shuttle bays – Reliant – might look for some sort of loading dock model kit in Z scale I think is the scale.
10) Upgrade the Enterprise’s shuttle bay
11) Investigate the possibility of doing a motorized shuttle bay doors on the E, I talked to a mechanical engineer friend, she laughed at me when she saw the size of the area to work with!
12) Light blocking, I used aluminum tape on my 1/350, WON’T be doing that again, adds to much weight. I will test of a couple of different ideas, using different types of paint.
13) Print light boxes – my wife and I want to buy a 3D printer, great use to print out a bunch of light boxes. I don’t like the idea of just using a strip of LEDs to light whole sections. If they are all individual, I can do some really cool effects via my Arduino.
14) Main dish on the E – I want to transition colors on it
15) RCS thrusters - will be on both models during station keeping or impulse movement
16) For the Reliant, I want to do an Evil and Good version. Basically, they used some Red lights to highlight differences on the ship when Khan was in charge, want to make that a switch.
17) Need to go back over my lighting plan, it is attached to this post.
18) I am going to do a 5 color paint scheme on these models. I will be taking another popular 5 color masking set, up scaling it for the E and modifying it for the R and making them. My wife has a computer controlled cutting tool that will allow me to do this, forgot the name of it though. Silhouette I think.
19) The bases for both models will be based off of the movie. I really want to be able to play the movie on a display built into the base and have a bunch of cool effects in there. Will draw something up and take some pics of what I want in there.
20) EVERY resistor that is in a model, will have a resistor in series. I will not change this, WAAAY to easy to blow up an LED without this. Also, I used very high output LED lights that will be run in low power to increase their life span, I want over 20,000 MTBF on this guys. I am thinking if I could somehow make them replaceable, not sure if that is possible though.
21) I need photo etch for both of these models. I know that Elliot Brown makes it for the E and has even sold some of these kits. However, he never answers any of my emails, not sure if I am being blocked or he doesn’t like me :O
22) I will be using the McKenzie Polytranspar Super Hide white as my base coat and their iridescent paints
23) I will be using Vallejo acrylics for pretty much everything else. Ease of use and they don’t kill my brain cells is a definite plus on their use!
24) Trek Modeler’s painting guide, a great reference on how to paint this model, and worth the $s to purchase. I really like the green, so probably will do a green on the secondary hull instead of blue. Arguments will now commence, lol.
25) There will be some acrylic work, I have used Laser Fire Creations on multiple projects, great guy and great support.
26) I want to revisit the clear material I used in my port holes. I can go with the resin I used before, but not sure. The holes are a bit bigger this time, so might be easier to do. It was a PAIN to get all of the air bubbles out of the resin last time. I have to go find the name of the stuff, but it can be purchased at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. ClearCast I think.
27) I bought some new air brushes, I was using cheapo ones before, and they always had troubles working. I now own some nice ones, fingers crossed on them working well!
28) Panel lines and sensor lines on the saucer? Not sure on this, I SUCK at scribing. L
29) OH, LASERS, I am putting LASERS in these, not sure how many, how much wattage etc, but LASERS.
30) I am sure there is more!
As I purchase stuff, I usually link where I bought it, so you can hopefully either save time or let me know of a better place to go get it!

Slide1.JPGSlide20.JPG
 

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jwood314

Active Member
Update #1
Was able to work on the kit for many hours today, mainly just sanded and order material. Oh, in the above post, you see some of the lighting plan for each model, this is about 10 pages for each model, and the numbers are there for me to hook into a my Mega Arduino control board. Enough on that.

Some help I am looking for.
1) Does anyone know where I can get some shuttles and worker bees in rough scale to this model? I have been looking and no luck.
2) I have seen that Elliot Brown has released a photo etch kit for the Enterprise, anyone know for sure, and also how the heck to buy one, I would love to throw some money at him to get a set!
3)

Ordered a bunch of material, here is a listing. I am new to working in fiberglass, so, I took my BOM from Orbital Drydock’s videos he did for the Reliant on YouTube.
From Amazon.com
West Systems 105 Epoxy
West Systems 205 Hardner
West System pump set
Evercoat Metal Glaze

From fiberglasssupplydepot.com
6 oz Cloth
2mm CoreMAt
Peel Ply

A 300mW red laser
A passel of high light output OLEDS in various colors.
So, mainly did the first pass of sanding on all of the pieces. I have not gotten through them all, but cranking away. I concentrated on the nacelles for both kits. Will start building out the lightbox that will backlight the warp engines and trying out several methods to get a really uniform blue throughout the nacelle. A couple of ideas to get the blue I want. More to come on that as the boxes are built and tested.

Not sure how the pics are going to be in order or not, but I think you can decipher from them. One pic shows all of the kits and pieces laid out. Two pics have a 12 inch ruler on them to show scale. A good shot of the wiring harness that Denis cast into the pylon/nacelle supports on the Reliant. Good work there, unfortunately not enough wires to handle the photon torpedo launchers on the Reliant, will need to do some work to get the wires up there. One pic shows the gaps on the impulse engine on the Reliant, not sure the best way to approach this to get everything lined up. I plan on magnetize the impulse portion. One pic shows how the impulse cryustal lines up with the restr of the cast hull, some work here to get it lined up a tad better. Also, this is the part that will be magnetized. One pic shows the issue with the clear warp engine insert and the cast nacelle, some putty work is going to be required to get this gap closed, this is on all 4 nacelles. One of the cast pieces was 0.030 short of the rest, so I added a shim to get the thickness to match the others. A couple of pics of the nacellels sanded and cut up. Waiting for the LEDS to come in and press forward with them.

I plan on starting all of the drilling the 500 window holes on both models. Purchased some brand new 3/32 drill bits. I am struggling to do these all by hand, I like everything to line up perfectly, not sure if I can get there by hand. Also, starting to think on how to put the sensor bands back into the saucers on both models.

Having a blast, glad to be building models again.

Cheers,
James
 

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jwood314

Active Member
Update #2

I am all over the place, trying to identify areas that need me to go order something to continue making progress on the model.

Shot an email to Dennis to see if I could get a part in clear, no problem. I want to get the impulse engines cast in clear. That way, all I will need is the photo etch to overlay, save some serious time, and my scratch skills are not the greatest.

I spoke with Stan at Starling tech. I plan on using some of his board for some of the effects on the model. I REALLY like his deflector dish effect and he has the torpedoes with sound effect. Both of these will save me a ton of time. Also, Stan has given me great customer support. I can’t recommend him enough.

I have been speaking with Lou D. He has been super responsive to my questions. I look forward to ordering the mask sets from him. More details to come on that. MUCH better to buy from him than recreate ALL of that work.

So on to the random things I am working on concurrently.

Doing some experimentation on the LEDs. One of my 15K MCD LEDs shinning directly into the nacelle you can barely see anything. If you move the LED around the inside of the nacelle you can see the thin areas, possibly a cool little thickness detector? I tried this to see if I wanted to light the nacelle from the inside for the spot effect on the back of the nacelles. If I want to do this, will require me to cut out and replace the nacelle with some ultra-thin styrene. Possibly even do a clear styrene piece with just the paint on the outside, this would create a nice spot effect. So need to think on this, if I want to light the nacelles this way. Don’t know yet.

I built 2 10 blue LED wide light sources, also painted up some clear styrene with some frost on it, will assemble something tomorrow. Ordered super glue accelerator, lost mine, some masking material to work on in my wife’s cutter and a new clear resin that has UV protection built in. When I get the resin, will do some testing with it.

I did some rudimentary tests on this warp engine prototype. I had a hard time getting a uniform blue throughout the engine and there are some pics on this. So, I ordered some different blue LEDS and I ordered some strip LEDs. Will work some more on the warp effect when the parts come in. I don’t want to do much else on the nacelles until I get this put to rest. I don’t know how to route all of the wires, and what impact if any the light box will have on the rest of the nacelle, so on hold for a bit.

Started poking holes in parts. Always super stressful! Very happy with the results on the torpedo launchers. Also, I ordered a new clear resin to try, looking forward to seeing the results.

So, tried a couple of different methods to drill holes in the hull. I am really unhappy with the results. I don’t care so much if the hole is left or right of the markings on the model, but darn it, they all need to be in the same horizontal plane, and of course they are not. SO, not sure what to do here. Going to do some more research. I prefer jigs and mechanical systems to achieve accuracy. I don’t have the mad skills that some folks on this board have. L

I am happy with how the RCS thrusters came out for the nacelles. They are all m mostly square, and when they get masked up and painted, will be nicely square looking.

Started working on the torpedo thingy for the Reliant. Coming along nicely.

Waiting for the reinforcement material for the main saucers for both models, that is holding that up.
I am going to start working with LEDs to achieve the spotlight effect on the top and bottom of the saucers. I have both some SMD and through hole LEDs. I am willing to raise up the bridge dome to get a nice spot light effect or move it more forward than what was in the movie to get the lighting effect. I think this is more important and definitely more visually striking than having a balls accurate location/size of the bridge piece.

The more I think about it, the sooner I am going to need to build some support jigs for both of these models. That will be a trip up to Dallas, where all of my woodworking stuff is, to build some adjustable support jigs. I can’t close up the nacelles until I can line everything up so I can aim the spot lights coming out of the effectively.

Still owe a drawing for the base.

Attached a shot of my 500 LEDs I added leads to, next time will order them that way!

Super happy to be modeling again!!
 

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jwood314

Active Member
Update #3
Spoke with Lou D, the masks are on order. The mask set is missing a few details, I have a Silhouette, and I am going to put the wife to work creating the masks that I am missing. I am one lucky guy.
Spoke with Eliot B, the photo etch for the E is on order, plus some really cool parts he made for this kit. Looking forward to being able to share them with everyone. Still working on the R’s photo etch.
Spoke with Stan at Starling tech, looks like I am going to order his Gen 3 Liberator Weapons board for the Enterprise and the deflector control board for the deflector dish. I used his deflector control board on my previous E and LOVED IT. His new sound board does both phasers and photons, with sound effects. This will save me a ton of time and they are well priced. Also, easily controlled by my Arduino. Also going to order a Gen 3 for my Reliant, it is able to control all 4 torpedo tubes, which is amazing. I am going to fiddle with the LEDs some, since these models are bigger than the 350s, I can get bigger and more LEDs into the torpedo tubes, so to speak. More to come on that.
Spoke with Matt at Laserfire Creations. Just to let him know that some bases are coming his way. He has made all of the bases for my models. I can’t wait to share what I have in my mind for the bases! He has also contemplated creating some accurate warp engine nacelle grills. The studio model had a concave shape to them, instead of flat. Would love to get these in, not sure though.
Working to schedule some shop time with my Dad. All of my woodworking stuff is up in Dallas, I am in San Antonio. Going to build a cradle for both of the ships. The cradle will be adjustable so we can set all of the component locations. Need this to set the LED spot effects in the nacelles on both ships, and for the final glue ups on both ships. Also, will be cool to have hanging on the table as I build the ships. The best part, I love making sawdust with the Dad.
Ordering more parts. I ordered some West system epoxy, I can also use on the wood working side, and all that came in was the pumps, which made me chuckle.
So actually did modeling, I am working on the light boxes for the saucer section on both ships. The three pics show what I built. Most people use light tape these days. I am using these light boxes for a really cool reason, which I can’t show until I take a video of it. Something I have not seen someone else do. It is HARD to come up with unique ideas to build on these ships. So many awesome people out there making amazing models, hard not to pilfer. If this works, I have 12 more of these to build, and that is just for the saucer section, LOLOL. Oi, should stick with snap tight kits!!

Cheers,
James
 

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jwood314

Active Member
Update #4

Masking set has been ordered, woohoo! Figured out how to get the windows drilled to a level of horizontalness that I can deal with. I don’t think I will get to perfect, but pretty darn close. However, my hand got tired fast, I will need to take some Alieve before I start a major hole drilling effort. I want to thank Boyd for a video he did on this. I can’t do much work inside the hull, since I am waiting on the epoxy and cloth so I can reinforce the hull, but I can start working on all of the light boxes that are going into there. Got a lot of the light boxes done along with starting the wiring for those LEDs. Some soldering and hole drilling tomorrow. I am going to have to break up the hole drilling into chunks to not break my hands! imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-LEsshIG85LA.jpgimgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-chSDXaSE42DZ4.jpgimgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-Bxber1tRE9ODD.jpgimgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-5CXBJR9X0B8IJ.jpg

Cheers,
 

jwood314

Active Member
Update #5
While it doesn’t look like a lot of effort has happened, those windows, which I still have to finish up all of the wide ones, took FOREVER. WOW, many hours to get them all in. Had to take some Vitamin A or better known as Alieve, to keep working on these windows. Hopefully, will get the windows to a 98% cut out state tomorrow. I am also hoping to do some nacelle work and try my new window casting resin. The blue LED tape came in so going to see how it looks behind some diffusing styrene. Enjoying this, also, do to the government shut down, will probably head up to Dallas to make the alignment stands so I can align everything, lol.

Cheers,
Jamesimgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-tLd1dWRMSvGyN.jpgimgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-PlRZVDRqk1EX9BJu.jpgimgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-MpKF4mk5RggRP7J.jpgimgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-hLf1TgTUADAwyRa.jpg
 

Pixelworks

New Member
Hi James,

your build is coming along nicely. can't wait to see it shaping up.

If memory serves me correctly, this is 1:260 scale? I know you can find a ton of shuttles, workbees, etc for the 1:350 scale but finding them 260 might prove to be difficult... my only suggestion is to contact someone on Shapeways who is making them and ask if they can give you an upscaled version.

Regarding light blocker... no do not use tape, it is a pain. Many people use black spray paint, which I also would NOT recommend.. it works, but is not always uniform, meaning you need a couple coats usually. I always use a cheap can of Aluminum spray paint (one coat and you are good to go), but any spray paint with metal particals in it will do. I like the aluminumn one, because I also use it for an undercoat if I am doing a model and I want that "banged-up" look, being that the undercoat already looks like bare metal.

Nice to hear you are using arduino, no better way to get some nice effects. Are you putting the entire board in your model? or just the chip?

Why do you have 6 LEDs for each light box? I would think that even 2 would be sufficient... aside from the fact that it will raise the total current needed dramatically, it seems like a bit overkill to me, unless of course it is necessary for the special effect that you mentioned.

One other question, I assume you mean a laser pointer, one of those you use during presentations or to bug the heck out of your pet cat with. :) If that is the case, you will only see a red dot where the laser ends and not a laser beam as we are accustomed to in the movies... at any rate, what exactly are you planing on doing with the lasers?

Cheers,
Jason
 
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jwood314

Active Member
Jason,

Thanks! They are coming along, first large scale resin models, and there is a learning curve, especially when I try and estimate the amount of time needed to do a specific thing. Things take longer than on a plastic model.
I am going to go ahead with the 1:350 scale models, hopefully, they look pretty good. Fingers crossed. Will show the results regardless of how they look. I looked for quite a while on Shapeways and didn’t come up with much. Look forward to sharing my results.
I did my 1:350 Enterprise with aluminum tape as a light blocker. I am using paint to block light on this model. I am doing 2 coats of black with two coats of white on top. Since I am doing light boxes everywhere though, do to future effects, this so far is working out quite well. When I get to the installation of the stuff, will share some pics on my installation. More to come. Another thing on the tape, I don’t mind the work, but it added a LOT of weight, paint helps to mitigate that.

No electronics will be in the model. There are going to be 6 or 7 micro controllers in the base. Sounds like a lot, but it is much easier to use a $3 micro Arduino to do the flashing lights than to try and mash up code to run all of the flashing thingies without stepping on other parts of code. So $3 per micro board to save effort in the code. Good trade off to me. Also, will build the base where it will be relatively easy to swap control boards, and will include a few extra with the model. Also, one of the boards, not an Arduino, does sound effects, the speakers will go in the base.

The main reason why on the # of LEDs per light box, 50% of the LEDs in the light box could quit working, and there really wouldn’t be an effect on the model. I am building in some redundancy into the lighting system. I can’t do that for every light, but I am where I can. I also don’t run the LEDs at 20mA, they will be run much lower, which also increase MTBF.

I want the lasers to be a phaser effect. I received a higher power laser pointer, not happy with it. So, I am looking at components to get more of a beam effect. However, this drives the potential for damaging someone’s retina if they look into the beam. There is a trade off there. There will be a button you press on the base, which will activate a torpedo light/sound show, and another button that activates a phaser light/sound show. There is also a battle mode that will randomly fire phasers and torpedoes. The base will also have some other effects built into it. The drawing of the bases are in my head, need to put them on paper, at some point.

Cheers,
James

- - - Updated - - -

Update #6
More tons of effort, and it sure doesn’t look like it L Good news first, I received in the Lou Ds masking set for the E and the R. They look amazing!!! I can’t wait to paint, but a whole lot of stuff has to happen first, lol. I have been working with Stan on the effects board for the Reliant, more to come on that. Been talking to Matt at Laser Fire Creations, and hopefully will get a set of more accurate nacelle engine clear parts for the nacelles, these are being CNC’d from a block of acrylic, so they are AMAZING!! I can’t wait to share some pics of them.

So, not bad news but wow, painfully slow. There is a pic below of the 8 square windows on the saucer section that was almost 2 hours of filing away, and still not square enough for me. I am getting better with my files, and depending on where on the file you file, you can get more or less square. A defect of the manufacturing process. I would pay good money to get a set of small files that are actually square and flat.

Lots of work on reinforcing the main saucer for, on the E, where it connects to the secondary hull. I need to make a metal plate that will be epoxied into the saucer and that the screws will tighten down on. I hope that makes sense. I want to maximize the area that the screws apply pressure when I connect the saucer and secondary hull together. Lots of work on the R hull where the nacelles connect to the hull and where the mounting pole will enter into the hull. These model might weigh 20 pounds when complete, but spread that over 16 square inches or so, no issue with joint failure. The hard part is determining where to drill the hull, hard to figure out the center point of the model when it isn’t done.

The windows are 98% done. I have ordered the resin I will use to fill the holes, and that is the next big step on these models, so can’t do much on the main hulls until that material arrives, which is poor planning on my part.

Taking 2 days of leave, and heading up to Dallas to build the assembly jigs for the models. You might think this is a little early, but I need the assembly jig so I can aim the spot light LED effects that go from the nacelles on to the main and secondary hulls.

Starting to rough in the torpedo housing for the R. WOW, lots of work, and still a lot to go. Everything sort of lines up, but going to be painful to get it looking perfect.

One cool thing, working my way, chronologically, through all of the James Bond movies. Has been quite a while since I have seen them. They help pass the time as I sand and file away.

This is my first large scale resin model effort. Huge props to those who have finished these, and huge props to those who put their work online and allow for us to learn from!

Random photo of the new LEGO UCS Falcon, amazing kit.

Cheers,
James

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Pixelworks

New Member
Hi James,

I hope it works with the 350 Shuttles and WorkBees, however I think the scale difference will be noticable. I mean the 350 Enterprise is 32" and the Deboers is 46"... that is quite a difference in size. I did notice that there are quite a few People figures in 260 scale at shapeways that you might be interested in.

No electronics will be in the model. There are going to be 6 or 7 micro controllers in the base. Sounds like a lot, but it is much easier to use a $3 micro Arduino to do the flashing lights than to try and mash up code to run all of the flashing thingies without stepping on other parts of code. So $3 per micro board to save effort in the code. Good trade off to me. Also, will build the base where it will be relatively easy to swap control boards, and will include a few extra with the model. Also, one of the boards, not an Arduino, does sound effects, the speakers will go in the base.
well it is not really a problem regarding one code snippet interfering with another... as long as you avoid using Delay(). The main advantage is that instead of stepping on one another each snippet can be tuned to coincide with the rest of the program. Kinda like one brain to watch over all the functions as oposed to one brain for the feet, one for the hands, and another one for remembering the wife's birthday (which, at least in my case, is incidentally the brain that occasionally has a short circuit in it) :)

If it is the amount of channels that is a problem, look into a Texas Instrument TLC5940. it is a chip the same size as the arduino chip and when you connect it to your arduino you have 16 additional outputs... and if that is not enough you can daisy-chain up to 32 TLC chips and realize (in theory) something like 500 outputs. There are also tutorials and Arduino libraries for it in the Arduino forum.

The main reason why on the # of LEDs per light box, 50% of the LEDs in the light box could quit working, and there really wouldn’t be an effect on the model. I am building in some redundancy into the lighting system. I can’t do that for every light, but I am where I can. I also don’t run the LEDs at 20mA, they will be run much lower, which also increase MTBF
Not sure if that is the best idea, aside from the fact that your power requirements will be raised artificially (which incidentally will no longer be correct once LEDs start to fail), if all the LEDs are on the same duration, it stands to reason that when one burns out, the other LEDs in the same redundancy pool will not be far behind. You may win a month or perhaps a year, but probably not worth the additional components, heat, power consumption, etc.

your average LED has a life of about 50,000 hours... some even 100,000. If you translate that to days, 50,000 hours would imply 5.7 years if the light is operated for 24 hours in a day at full brightness... 7.6 years if the lights are on 18 hours per day and 11.4 years for 12 hours a day. Realistically, I would probably turn it on a couple days of the week when I come home from work, perhaps a bit more on the weekends, and most certainly whenever we have guests... but as a pesimistic average over a decade, I would likely be around 4 to 6 hours a day.

The life of an LED is extended even further if you do not run the max Voltage through it. Amperage will always be 20 mA it is the voltage that you can reduce... I find half the voltage usually sufficient for a model, sometimes even less. Furthermore, as opposed to normal lights that do not like it if you continually turn them off and on... an LED's life-reduction is restricted to only when it is on... meaning if you have a LED that is one second on, and one second off (or even 1 millisec on and 1 millisec off, which looks like it is constant on) Its lifespan in years is doubled yet again. So in all reality in a worst case senario, you should not have to worry about your LEDs burning out for the next 40 to 60 years.

Just a word of warning on that last millisec thing, the human eye will not see a difference, but if you film it with any decent camera, you will most likely see a slight flimmering due to the high capture rate. So if you do decide to go that route, and filming is important to you, do a test video before sealing her up.

I want the lasers to be a phaser effect [...]
Let me know how this works out. I did quite a bit of searching for the same, and eventually gave up after being unable to reproduce a decent phaser effect.

At any rate, keep up the excellent work, I think when you are finished you will have one mighty fine showcase.

Cheers,
Jason
 
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jwood314

Active Member
Update #7

I received in the 1:350 shuttles, still do not know if I am going to use them. I am going to do a test build out of the shuttle bay with some of the Z scale minis I got on ebay and see how it looks. The Travel pod actually works pretty well, I plan on attaching one on the side of the secondary hull at some point. Recreate when Kirk first lands on the new Enterprise.

Working on the RCS thrusters on the top of the E and R, only the E is pictured. The resin I am using is called Art Resin, bought it on Amazon. It has some built in UV protection and wow, it is really clear, gives me hope that the RCS thrusters are going to turn out well. The only issue, it needs 12 hours or so to set, and 72 to completely harden. So can not touch the saucer tops until tomorrow.

Cheers,
James

Hi James,

I hope it works with the 350 Shuttles and WorkBees, however I think the scale difference will be noticable. I mean the 350 Enterprise is 32" and the Deboers is 46"... that is quite a difference in size. I did notice that there are quite a few People figures in 260 scale at shapeways that you might be interested in.

--Well, the shuttles are in, will post what the pics look like with the shuttle bay taped up. Fingers crossed. If it does not look good, there will be some shuttles for sale!

well it is not really a problem regarding one code snippet interfering with another... as long as you avoid using Delay(). The main advantage is that instead of stepping on one another each snippet can be tuned to coincide with the rest of the program. Kinda like one brain to watch over all the functions as oposed to one brain for the feet, one for the hands, and another one for remembering the wife's birthday (which, at least in my case, is incidentally the brain that occasionally has a short circuit in it)

If it is the amount of channels that is a problem, look into a Texas Instrument TLC5940. it is a chip the same size as the arduino chip and when you connect it to your arduino you have 16 additional outputs... and if that is not enough you can daisy-chain up to 32 TLC chips and realize (in theory) something like 500 outputs. There are also tutorials and Arduino libraries for it in the Arduino forum.

--I have a lot of plans for the main controller on the board, and there will be timing issues, more to come on that. Moving the blinking over to another board will save me a lot of effort. The Arduino MEGA has a crap load of outputs, enough to control everything. I had not thought about the TI chip, thanks for the info!


Not sure if that is the best idea, aside from the fact that your power requirements will be raised artificially (which incidentally will no longer be correct once LEDs start to fail), if all the LEDs are on the same duration, it stands to reason that when one burns out, the other LEDs in the same redundancy pool will not be far behind. You may win a month or perhaps a year, but probably not worth the additional components, heat, power consumption, etc.

your average LED has a life of about 50,000 hours... some even 100,000. If you translate that to days, 50,000 hours would imply 5.7 years if the light is operated for 24 hours in a day at full brightness... 7.6 years if the lights are on 18 hours per day and 11.4 years for 12 hours a day. Realistically, I would probably turn it on a couple days of the week when I come home from work, perhaps a bit more on the weekends, and most certainly whenever we have guests... but as a pesimistic average over a decade, I would likely be around 4 to 6 hours a day.

The life of an LED is extended even further if you do not run the max Voltage through it. Amperage will always be 20 mA it is the voltage that you can reduce... I find half the voltage usually sufficient for a model, sometimes even less. Furthermore, as opposed to normal lights that do not like it if you continually turn them off and on... an LED's life-reduction is restricted to only when it is on... meaning if you have a LED that is one second on, and one second off (or even 1 millisec on and 1 millisec off, which looks like it is constant on) Its lifespan in years is doubled yet again. So in all reality in a worst case senario, you should not have to worry about your LEDs burning out for the next 40 to 60 years.

-- That isn’t quite how the MTBF equates. I did a bunch of MTBF work in a previous life. To make the #s smaller, if I have 10000 hours MTBF, and I have 100 LEDs, I should expect an LED to drop out every 100 hours of constant use. The MTBF on these is higher, they will be run at a lower current, and they won’t be on all the time. Just want to minimize impact since I won’t be using an LED strip for the main cabin lighting. I am also not concerned about the amount of current, it will still be relatively small, a few amps at most.


Just a word of warning on that last millisec thing, the human eye will not see a difference, but if you film it with any decent camera, you will most likely see a slight flimmering due to the high capture rate. So if you do decide to go that route, and filming is important to you, do a test video before sealing her up.

--filming is not a consideration for me on these models. I will also be using a PWM to dim various lights across the model – more on my thoughts on the effects in the models to come later.

Let me know how this works out. I did quite a bit of searching for the same, and eventually gave up after being unable to reproduce a decent phaser effect.

--Go check out Starling Tech, https://www.starling-tech.com/index1.php?id=gen3-liberator there is a video here of his phaser effect. I don’t mind paying Stan for his work so I don’t have to try and recreate it. I have done sound, light and movement effects on my 1:72 Falcon, but it was a pain, and would rather spend my time doing other stuff. I think Stan has nailed it.

At any rate, keep up the excellent work, I think when you are finished you will have one mighty fine showcase.

-- Jason, thanks for the feedback and interest in my project. I really enjoy sharing and hearing lots of cool ideas. I will keep posting away on this. To give you an idea, when I did my 1:350 Polar Lights E, I think my blog hit over 140 pages of typed stuff, lots of writing and lots of great feed back!

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Pixelworks

New Member
Go check out Starling Tech, https://www.starling-tech.com/index1.php?id=gen3-liberator there is a video here of his phaser effect.
I haven't done any trek stuff in quite a while, so I am not up to date on Stan's new toys. That is pretty cool.To bad he didn't have that back in the day... Would have saved myself a lot of time and effort with my last Big E. :)


I received in the 1:350 shuttles, still do not know if I am going to use them. [...]
Just in case you are interested, I lit up a 350 travel pod back then to go with the Enterprise.It was mounted to the hull of the Enterprise on a brass tube as if it was doing an inspection. It had blinking Green/Red Nav lights on the sides and a white strobe on the top/bottom. I replaced the front window with clear resin and covered it with the same window darkener that you use on car windows. I even had a couple 350 scale figures in it. You couldnt really see them unless it was lit up and then only their silouettes but the finished pod looked pretty convincing. I did the shuttles and bees too, but I don't have any pictures of them anymore.

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This is the SMD LED that is lighting up the inside of the pod (608 if I am not mistaken), the blinking Nav lights were connected through the brass tube with fiber optics to LEDs that were in the Enterprise. It is on the styrene rod so that the light is more centered in the pod. My first attempt was on the back wall, but it wasn't lighting up the blue areas as well as I wanted. I also used resin to "glue" it to the styrene rod, normal glues just did not provide the stability that i wanted... after all that work, I did not want the LED popping off after everything was sealed up.

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That isn’t quite how the MTBF equates. I did a bunch of MTBF work in a previous life. To make the #s smaller, if I have 10000 hours MTBF, and I have 100 LEDs, I should expect an LED to drop out every 100 hours of constant use. The MTBF on these is higher, they will be run at a lower current, and they won’t be on all the time. Just want to minimize impact since I won’t be using an LED strip for the main cabin lighting. I am also not concerned about the amount of current, it will still be relatively small, a few amps at most.
I am not quite sure I understand your reasoning or your math, but in the end MTBF or MTTF and L50,L70 and L90 do not matter. It boils down to whether or not you have a model that you are proud of... And I am quite certain that you will. I will be looking forward to watching it grow.
 
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jwood314

Active Member
Update #8

Lots of work getting done on the light boxes and other LEDs that need installation. I am not installing them yet. Since the models are getting driven long distances and the windows are not in yet, just building the light boxes that are going everywhere. Will install them after the windows go in.

One item I noticed is that the lasers will need to laze through a light box, will figure that out when I get there. Also, you ca not buy a high power laser, I guess they are regulated to keep idiots from shining them at planes, which I guess is a good thing. So, I am buying parts and see if I ca not build my own.

Stan has the custom load of software done on the effects boards. Should see those at some point. The effects allow for 2 LEDs per torpedo tube on the Reliant, both front and rear. Basically, all 4 will now have the white and red LED effect, which I think is the best out there. Also, both models should have a laser effect.

I have the RCS thrusters poured for the Enterprise, still need to do the Reliant, however, need to file out the holes for the bottom half of the saucer. I have done some work on the secondary hull for the Enterprise. Instead of using the crystal clear Art Resin, which is amazing stuff, but takes basically 2 days to cure, I am going to use the Lang dental material for the RCS thrusters on the secondary hull.

I have the RCS thrusters on the nacelles drilled/formed out, but still not sure on which filler material I am going to use. The Art Resin is too viscous, and I do not think I can pack the Lang dental material in there. So, I might be stuck having to go get a third L filler material just for the RCS thrusters, which makes me have a L again.

You can also see the reinforcement on the saucer sections for the E and the R. The Reliant hull is WAAAAAYYYY more rigid now with the added resin in the back portion. I left an area un painted to allow for additional material to be installed. When I put the mount in, I plan on fiber glassing/resining over the mount to give it tremendous strength, would hate for the mount to break that would be a REALLY bad day.

You can also see that I have taped together assemblies and done some rough part putting together to get ready to build the assembly jigs later this week.

I need to find a better picture compressor L

Back to work!

Cheers,
James



Pixel,

Love the Travel Pod! Tiny fibers are a pain in the rear end, but make things POP! I buy SMD LEDs pre wired from China, I can solder, but I don’t have the right tools to do the super tiny stuff. Let them, the price is usually pretty good.

Thanks for the encouragement!!

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jwood314

Active Member
Update #9

Not a lot of progress, even with a lot of hours tonight. I did my first re-work. I was pulling the molds off of the RCS thrusters on the Es saucer, and noticed that I did not square out two of the holes. Soooo, got to remove all of the resin, square out the holes, and I need to recast that thruster, will have to wait until after the jig construction.

I spent most of the evening working on the planetary sensor on the bottom of the Es saucer. I need to figure out how to put some sort of putty, probably Apoxi sculpt in between the sensor and hull, pull the sensor down tight and allow to cure. This should get rid of the mold lines. Also, looking at the lighting plan, I am not sure on what surface I will need to mount the spot light LEDs for the bottom saucer. I plan on also doing the same exact thing on the Reliant. I do not recall seeing this in the STIIWoK, but, it is so COOL that it must be on the model. I will figure out how to get the red LEDs in there also.

The sensor will be removable and attached via magnet, so, this will make mounting the LEDs on the sensor itself more problematic, but doable. The LEDs at the rear of the sensor will be mounted in the sensor regardless. This will make painting this section WAAAAAAAYYYY easier to get super crisp lines. Having such a large model presents some challenges, but offers up different solutions from what I could do on the Polar Lights kit.

I could not find my 50,000 MCD LED lights, darn PCS, so had to order some more. I am using these ultra bright LEDs as the spotlight source on the bottom of the saucer.

Having a blast!

Cheers,
James

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Pixelworks

New Member
[...] I plan on also doing the same exact thing on the Reliant. I do not recall seeing this in the STIIWoK, but, it is so COOL that it must be on the model. I will figure out how to get the red LEDs in there also.
Are you talking about the spots that light up the saucer section on the enterprise? Below you can see the spot on Reliant's upper side, as well as barely see the spot on the under side.

Reliant.png
 
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jwood314

Active Member
Update #10

Spent the last few days travelling back and forth from Dallas. Was able to get all of the jigs 90% built for the models. I need to finish up some sanding and adding the last of the bottom braces on. The braces will increase the stability of the jigs, as the parts get heavier. See the models in a rough state is super motivating. I should get started on filling in the windows tomorrow. Might get that completed this weekend, not sure. After that, I can start installing electronics into the hulls. I am still stuck on assembly order. I need to start cutting to get the Es impulse engine on and see how that hole matches up with the screws needed to seat the saucer to the secondary hull. I think I will paint the completed saucer as a single assembly and the engines/secondary hull as an assembly. Not sure on that yet.

I got the deflector control circuit in today from Starling Tech. Looking great, can’t wait to get the code written on my Arduino to get it to work properly. Stan has been amazing at supporting this build.

Also, I got in my DC power supply, been wanting one for quite a while. Going to order a 4 channel oscilloscope, which is really needed when I start writing the code for the debug side. The debugger and external LEDs only get you so far. I have wanted an Oscope ever since I left my last hardware design gig,

I also received the machined acrylic nacelle warp grills. They are FANTASTIC and look VERY close to the studio models, so these fix one of the issues with the Deboers kits.

The jigs are better than what I expected. The Es secondary hull is set, but the engines are very adjustable, and I can adjust the front saucer support. On the R, the main hull is set, and I can adjust the engines quite well.

Oh, one last thing, the table is 8 foot long that the two models are sitting on, they are quite large.

Lots of good things happening, and the progress is cranking along.

Cheers,
James

Pixel,

Thanks for the screen capture. Yes, that is what will be on there. I am working on getting a bunch of STII screen caps done, but the wife has not gotten the first step done for me. Hopefully this weekend.


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jwood314

Active Member
Update #11

Just finished the Super Bowl, was exciting, sucked that the Cowboys couldn’t win it though. The pictures are not terribly exciting visually, but to me, they are AWESOME! I am working on getting all of the windows poured into the various hull pieces. I can only do 1 section a night, not including re-works. Although, night two has gone much better on getting the resin into the holes. I used my Dremel with a pyramid looking bit to hollow out the area behind the port hole. I added a cross section in the pics to show you what I am talking about. This is working REALLY well in getting the little bubbles out. Another bonus is that there is much more room in these holes than on the Polar Lights 1/350 version. So, another 8 nights or so of this. While the windows are going in, going to work on getting my custom made nacelle grills installed on the E. Can’t wait to show some pics of this, and how much more accurate they are compared to the base model.

Cheers,
James

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jwood314

Active Member
Update #12

Has been a while since the last update, but all I have been doing is installing the windows throughout the ship. I have the Reliant done and the Saucer for the E, still working on the secondary hull. I went ahead and drilled out the work I had done, I believe I can get them better. As part of the windowing, I did some experimenting. On one set of windows I sanded both sides, inside and out, to 600 grit, and on another set, I only sanded the exterior to 600 grit. I really could not tell a difference, so I do not think the extra work of sanding the inside will get done. Another problem I have is diffusing the light equally across the little port holes. I came up with a couple different diffusion ideas, I am going to go with a double layer. The pictures show a curve, which worked the best, however, I do not want to leave anything under a load. I would be basically taping a spring inside a box that I could not get to when it came undone, and under load, the tape, even the tape I use, will eventually fail so double straight pieces. I also played around with different voltages. My new DC power supply came in super handy for this and worked AWESOME to allow me to see what voltage I should use. I want to send the lowest amount of current to the LEDs as possible and still have a good looking light. Lower current should mean much longer life. Last picture shows some primer and the mask on the portholes. The masking and primer cleaned up and straightened out the windows super awesome. Worked better than I had hoped for. I made sure to elongate each window up or down to ensure that a straight line of windows is doable. I think this works as well as it does because there is no direct light on these windows. I have started doing body work on the models, sanding and cleaning. I do not want to start installing electronic stuff into the hulls until the large work is done on the bodies. Would probably just tear up everything I installed otherwise. My next post is about cleaning up those nits. I did not let the primer cure overnight, so it was a little soft that is ok. Also, the masks left some residue on the model, which is a little concerning. More work with the masks is needed. Also, my skill at picking masks off a painted model, and not scratching anything have degraded. However, the 5 color masking requirements will solve that issue, rather quickly.

Cheers,
James


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jwood314

Active Member
Update #12.1

I am seeking some advice. When the Reliant was pulled from the mold, there was a lot of little air bubbles trapped throughout and I am trying to figure out the best way to repair them. I am working with Liquidtex Modeling Paste, new for me. Seems ok. I have also used a Evercoat Metal Glaze UJltra a bondo like material, which sands amazingly well. I use Apoxie sculpt and something called perfect plastic putty. The Liquidtex goes in decently and sands well, but WOW, an incredibly painful process. What have other people done? Am I better off just sanding the area flat and putting the detail back in? I don’t know, curious as to what some other folks have done on resin kits. Any thoughts greatly appreciated!

Cheers,
James

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jwood314

Active Member
Update #13

Lots and lots of work, but really boring looking. Lots of prep work on the parts, sanding, I am redoing the panel lines, so I do not lose them when I paint. My scribing skills are getting better, a lot of that has to do with having a sharp tool. :O Lots of work with Apoxie sculpt getting the pieces to fit together perfectly. There are several pieces that will be magnetically attached to the model, do to assembly issues and painting issues, and require a lot of work upfront to get the pieces to minimize joint lines. My sculpting skills are also improving. J I got the 4 CNC machined acrylic grills back from Laser Fire creations, and they are amazing. I modified all 4 nacelles to accept them and they are currently curing with some West Systems epoxy. The good thing is that all of the rigidity of the nacelle was gone, after they were modified to receive the part, so I am glad that they are gluing and that there is some strength there again. I have fiddle farted with the software for the cutting machine, pretty easy to use, I need to start working on all of the Reliant replacement pieces for the bottom. I have ordered a roll of Oramask 810S for the additional paint masks needed. I LOVE the work that Lou has done on his masks, but I want to do the refit, which will require a large number of new masks to be made. I am looking forward to that challenge. I have designed and made PCBs in the past, so not that hard to switch over to do some photo etch parts. I am pulling together the pieces/parts to make that happen. I am still hopeful to get the kit from Eliot, but regardless, I will need to develop some parts for the Reliant. I have also done a ton of paint research work. I have attached it all below. AK has made a new line of lacquer paints, I am going to try those out. I noticed in all of my previous work that lacquer has NEVER been damaged or pulled up from masking material, however, I have had several occasions where the water based acrylic paint has come up with the masks. So, hope this works out. I will not be able to do all of the colors in lacquer, but at least I am hoping I can get the Reliant aztecing done with a range of lacquer based greys. Fingers crossed. I also will need to get my air brush set up back and running soon. I need to go find some parts, too many PCSs, stuff disappears L I have also settled on the LEDs that are going to do the spotlight effect, when I get them made up, will take some pics. They are 15 degree 55K MCD LEDs, so I am sanding two of them down and gluing them together to get an approximately 30 degree cone of light. I like the look so far. More pics on that a bit later.

Enterprise Paint
Model Master Name # Acril # Vallejo Name # Model Air #
Flat Pale Green FS34227 4739 Green Sky 974 95
Neutral Gray FS36270 4757 Medium Sea Grey 870
White FS37875 4769 White 951 1
Off White 820
Gull Gray FS36440 4763 Deck Tan 986 45
Light Sea Gray FS36307 4759 Stone Grey*** 884
US Navy/Blue Gray M-485 4847 Dark Blue Grey 904
Euro 1 Gray FS36081 4750 Grey Green 866 55
Insignia Yellow FS33538 4721 Flat Yellow 953 2
Golden Yellow 948 2
Radome Tan FS33613 4722 Beige 917 74
Light Gray FS36495 4765 Pale Grey Blue 907
Clear Blue 4658 Transparent Blue 938
Clear Red 4630 Transparent Red 934
Testors Copper - 1151 4217 Copper 999
Tamiya Light Blue XF23 Light Green Blue 972 8
Grey Green 971
Model Master White Primer Surface Primer White 73600
Gray Primer Surface Primer Grey 73601



Need 4 Green/Grays for the Strong Back


Reliant Paint Colors From AMT Instructions
Duck Egg Blue FS35622 1722 ?????
Light Ghost Grey FS36375 1728 Sky Grey 989
Flat Black FS37038 1749 Black 950
British Crimson 99999 2009 Cavalry Brown 982
Insignia White FS17875 1745 Gloss White 842
Intermediate Blue FS35164 1720 Intermediate Blue 903
Aluminium 99999
Flat Yellow 99999
Gloss Black FS17038 1747 Black 950
Copper 99999
Green 99999 1734 Intermediate Green 891
Insignia Red FS31136 1705 Flat Red 957

From NemVia
Light Grey FS36495 1732 Pale Grey Blue 907
Underside Blue FS15200 2123
Intermediate Blue FS35164 1720 Intermediate Blue 903



Color Build Up
4 different shades of colors on the entire engine.

  1. Model Master Light Grey #1732 that was thinned out with paint thinner
  2. Dark off-white made with 2 parts MM #1732 Light gray, and 1 part MM #1768 Flat white.
  3. Light blueish color called Underside Blue MM#2123. This will be lightened with 2 parts Flat White MM#1732
  4. Off-White made with 2 parts Flat White MM#1732 and one part Light Gray MM#1768.
The darker colors are sprayed intermediate blue, the bridge dome is sprayed aluminum and the phaser turrets are deep yellow. These are allowed to dry for one day, then I applied 2 coats of Gloss Cote for the decals.

Look into using
White Grey 993
Sky Grey 989
Medium Sea Grey 870

Bluish - Light Sea Grey 973 mixed with white
Bluish - Sky Blue 961

AK Lacquers
White Grey
Flat White
Light Grey
NATO Black
Signal Red
Ochre
Pale Blue
Pale Grey
Egyptian Desert San
Clear Blue
Pale Sand
Maize Yellow
Libyan Army Desert Grey
Orange
Deck Tan

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