Night Sky idea, yea or nay?

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Active Member
As I have been building models and they accumulate my plan is by next fall to have my game room in my basement finished. I also plan on having a lot more models/projects completed as well. I like to look at the completed models but lets face it having a diorama or place to display the model has got to be about as cool as the model it self, lighting and all.
I have several ideas as far as dioramas or displays and one of them I wanted to get some opinions on before I burn through materials, time and realize what a stupid idea I had, or maybe it is not so much the idea but it just won't look right.

Well my idea was a closed in shelf maybe with plexiglass running in the front and top with wooden trim like sides.. The round sort of star wars shape..with some starwars ships. Taking black foamboard for the back wall and drill like a thousand holes in the foam board and run fiber through attached to a light source to represent stars in the sky.. Yea that might work look cool or nay? I understand that a shelf lets say 3' long 2' high would need a lot of tedious drilling, gluing and then cutting of the fiber. I also realize that the foam board will need to have a light behind it that would need to be hidden. Just one of my idea's I had for some of my builds if you have a better way of getting to the effect I am trying for please let me know or any opinions or advice will be great.. thanks.. I guess LED would not be the best light source or what would you do?
Maybe something would work better than foam board like drywall?

Any thoughts?

Thanks again,


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Well-Known Member
Hey Mike,

first of all there is really no stupid idea (only stupid advice :lol), in the end you are the one who has to like the finished product. I think a shelf with a starfield sounds great (unless of course if you are going to hang a submarine in there), but you hit it right on the head, drilling and lighting hundreds of holes with fiberoptics is going to be a long tedious work. Then you might want to take it a step further and have some of the fiberoptics on LEDs that fade in and out. I am not familiar with foamboard, and although I have never tried it I do not think drywall will work very good as all the small holes would weaken it substancially. Depending on how big of an area you are talking about you might be better off just doing the backing with plexiglass as well, paint it black or such (might have problems with light reflecting off of it though, like watching TV with a window behind you). If you don't want to go the fiberoptics route, you could do the same with holes in plexiglass and just put a light behind it.

Hope that helps you,


Active Member
Thanks Jason,

The idea of having lights that fade in and out would be a must for a project like this and it is something that I did not think of.. I am skeptical of my own idea and how it would look.. I guess I could always try on a small section. Foamboard is just posterboard, I bought a few sheets at michael's its light and would be easy to drill through and comes in different colors. I will keep this idea on the back burner the way back burner and maybe give it a shot... Someone has had to try and make a star sky and display ships in front of.

Thanks Jason for responding.. as you were the only so far to resopond to this thread!!



Active Member
I've worked with fiber optics on a large scale display for a night club.
We installed blue up lighting at the base of the display and fiber optic stars closer to the top
creating a star field. It looked great and was not that hard to do. The pinpoint fibers cast an amazing amount of light. We used a tiny drill bit and hot glue to install the fibers.
the back wall was fiberboard or MDF.
The light source was critical but this was a commercial installation. Ultra bright LEDs will likely work fine for your needs.


Master Member
You do know that an opaque background with the illuminated stars will catch light and in doing so shadows of the space ships that hang in front of it?

That can be prevented by having an illuminated background like the backdrop of the cabinet of a pinball machine. Take two glass plates, get yourself a good and interesting space image, have the image printed out, use a needle to make tiny holes into the print, put it between the glass plates, put either EL sheet or even better led´s in places behind the glass that match with the look of the image and you should have a great looking background.

I don´t dare to suggest to get a cheap but large LCD screen to show some animated space graphics on it ;)

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Well-Known Member
You may try a small scale version of this. This company called Wiedamark makes star ceiling kits with a pretty cool twinkling star effect. The complete kit would run you about USD265.00, but again it looks very cool!


Sr Member
I like ManfromNaboo's idea of using a space image, such as a galaxy far, far away......
Someone just posted some pix of their props with space ships in front of such an image.....
can't find it, but I don't think it was illuminated.

On the other hand, using pinholes in the dark can be quite effective if the ships are also lighted.....
Check out Trekcollector's thread and linked video......some cool ideas there!

I know there's been more displays posted, but it's late and I'm sleepy and not
having the greatest of luck with the search, just TMI on here!



Active Member
Thank you all for the great information.. At this point now that I realize how many options there are I think I will wait and ponder this until I am finally ready to build..
Again thanks you guys have shown that there is many ways to do this.

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