Self-contained Nacelle Lighting (Spinning) PL Enterprise


New Member
I picked up a Polar Lights TOS Enterprise kit the other day, and I love it! I like the small size, but it makes lighting the kit difficult. My favorite version is the production version, with the spinning lights in the Bussard Collectors, and I really want to replicate that.

My first thought was to have them pulsate with a mix of flashing and steady LEDs, mostly red with some tiny yellows thrown in. But I really wanted the LEDs to spin. So I grabbed a trinket that I picked up in Chinatown here in NYC that has spinning lights in red and green, and popped it onto the front of a nacelle. To my surprise, it turned out to be just about the exact diameter of the nacelle!

The beautiful part is that the flasher gadget has a self-contained power source, with two button batteries (AG3 size). The other great thing is that these are CHEAP! Like 3 to 5 bucks!

Spinning things are difficult to photograph (due to frame rates and all that), but I shot some movies with my Sony Clié of the effect:

First you can see the model with one nacelle lit (look ma, no external wiring!), then you can see the nacelle with the dome off, and finally you can see the spinner-light in the palm of my hand to show its overall size.

I put some tape over the clear dome to diffuse the lights a bit, and I'll frost them when the time comes. I might also add a small lucite "crystal" to defract the light a little more.

The LEDs in the spinner are red/green, but the reds are much brighter and they dominate the overall color. The other nice thing is that the green actually looks yellowish, and the red looks fairly orange (red+green=yellow in lighting), so the look is pretty cool IMHO.

The final thing I have to do is see if I can file this down so that it fits a little better inside the tube. If not, I might cheat and make the nacelle 1/16th" longer than it's supposed to be. The only real drawback to using this method is that domes will both spin in the same direction, but the effect looks so good to the naked eye that this can be overlooked.

It's 5 AM so I hope that this post is coherent. I'll add some stills to this in case the .MOV doesn't work for everyone.

EDIT: (stills)






Well-Known Member
Killdozer wrote:
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OMG! I bought ... fashion jewellery for 13 year old girls...
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OK KD.... anything ELSE you'd like to share?!



E Williams

Sr Member
Wow, that's a great idea! Are you going to wire a switch in there, or just attach the nacelle dome onto the top of the light so you can turn it on by twisting it?

I've seen some regular red/green strobe-like lights with that case, but not one that spins like that... I can think of a few other prop applications as well! Is there an online source for these? A search on google gave me some "rave light" results, but they didn't have any of the spinning kind- just the regular strobe ones...



Sr Member
Very cool. My biggest question is how to wire them up so you can turn them on and off easily -- and without having a masters degree in electronics.

If you plan to pick some more up, please count me in for a couple sets.

I wonder how long before someone actually makes a complete lighting kit that is easy to install. Hyperdyne, are you listening?
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