Zvezda Avenger-Class ISD-II - WIP

INVAR

Sr Member
I see you have added height to the side walls, but I am wondering how that all works out when it comes to joining the 2 hull halves together with the rear end - particularly the engine block. I would have thought you would have to add some extra bulk around the edges of the block so as to match the height. Is that right?

Thanks for the kind words Mr. Hatter.

Yes, I raised the trench height .060" or 1.5MM across the whole length which at that scale put it more in line with the ILM 8 footer in terms of look. Not thick and stocky like the old AMT model and not as razor thin as the ILM digital assets show the SDII. Yes, when it came time to fit the engine block I was left with a dilemma. Initially I thought to halve the .060" and distribute the fill gap evenly top and bottom, but that was going to be near- impossible due to not finding .030" styrene strips and giving up on the idea of gluing several layers of .010 sheet together and then trimming it down to strips to glue top and bottom of the engine block.

I ended up simply adding the .060" strip to the bottom engine block where it meets with the hull, flush and then glued .010" piston pulleys for the engine slats at an angle to create the illusion it's fitted flush to the hull flooring. The top engine block sits in flush with the kit top as designed. Not perfect, but it works.

I also read with dismay that 500 feet is not enough fiber. I won't say how much I have because it would be woefully inadequate for the job but lets just say I am a few hundred feet shy.
Your going to have an interesting job trimming all the fibers in those tight spaces once the paint goes on. Personally, I'm looking at doing the painting first then adding the fibers afterwards to avoid having to do that. I may live to regret that decision.

I did not want to live to regret priming and painting first before fiber - because I used .30mm drill bits for .25mm fiber and running the fiber through those holes is already tight with no wiggle room. Priming and painting first would render those holes impossible to thread - and there is no way a .30mm micro bit is going to get through primer, paint and the plastic of that kit. I have already gone through 75 bits just drilling through the kit plastic - some of which I had to attempt by hand turning the bits to prevent busting them - which often happened anyway. I am anticipating another nightmare of trimming the fibers down and I have everything from micro scissors to Xacto blades on standby for the final tedium the model will require before displaying. Hopefully all of these two and a half years of nightmarish tedium will pay itself off in satisfaction when the kit is painted, lit and hanging proudly from the ceiling in my office.
 

Madhatter

Well-Known Member
It'll be show stopper once your done for sure! I've been using a Dremel for the holes with a carbide bit attached. I have a few packs of them because they're relatively cheap. Quicker that way and no, it hasn't melted or deformed the plastic in any way. Although I am not looking forward to threading all that fiber
 

INVAR

Sr Member
Wow. Yes. Months. And months. And more months have passed. And miles, and miles (1100 feet actually) of .25mm fiber threading through approximately 2200 .30mm holes. FINALLY Threading fiber DONE! FINI! YAY!

Fiber Upper Hull fin.jpg Fiber Upper Hull fin2.jpg Fiber Upper Hull fin3.jpg

And now, comes the electronics - wiring, soldering and affixing the 28 various LEDs into positions throughout the inside hull and wiring to the internal battery pack. Then the after market engine bells will be primed and painted, the 5mm bulbs affixed. After that - the masking of the glue edges of the top and bottom hull and airbrushing the internal acrylic light blocker and fiber protective coat.

Maybe by Christmas 2020 - I might get this beast finally done.
 

Madhatter

Well-Known Member
That looks insane! Great work on the fibers - very tidy. It must feel so satisfying to get that all done. Can't say that I'm looking forward to doing the same though.
 

gedmac66

Sr Member
WOW !!!o_O

Congrats on finishing this ‘ stage ‘ Invar ! - guessing that patience, striving towards perfection really does take dedication & time ..... WOW !:D
 

gt350pony66

Sr Member
Spectacular! Impressive work my friend(y) the inside of mine was more like a plate of angel hair pasta...but it works :lol:
Happy to se you post some progress after what seems like forever;)
 

INVAR

Sr Member
Life has unfortunately gotten in the way of my being able to spend dedicated blocks of time on her. So a little bit each day or every other day finally got me to this point. I will admit I grew very tired of the tedium of threading fiber and pulling it through various tubes to create the open space I will need for the internal battery pack, so my enthusiasm was very tempered in tackling this beast through this stage of the build. There have been other kit sidetracks as well, spending about a month on the 1/5000 Bandai Star Destroyer, a few of the mini model kits such as the SSD, Falcon and Rebel blockade runner took their weekend tolls on time dedicated to the Zvezda.

But... onto the next phase. LEDs and solder. The latter of which I have had ZERO experience in doing. Ever.
 

gt350pony66

Sr Member
Life has unfortunately gotten in the way of my being able to spend dedicated blocks of time on her. So a little bit each day or every other day finally got me to this point. I will admit I grew very tired of the tedium of threading fiber and pulling it through various tubes to create the open space I will need for the internal battery pack, so my enthusiasm was very tempered in tackling this beast through this stage of the build. There have been other kit sidetracks as well, spending about a month on the 1/5000 Bandai Star Destroyer, a few of the mini model kits such as the SSD, Falcon and Rebel blockade runner took their weekend tolls on time dedicated to the Zvezda.

But... onto the next phase. LEDs and solder. The latter of which I have had ZERO experience in doing. Ever.
You'll pick it up quickly, I did. Once you get the feel for the iron you'll move right along. I was terrified of it but once I got rolling, it's a hell of a lot of fun. The only real difficulty I had was getting the right resistors with the right LED's and power source for what I was doing
 

INVAR

Sr Member
Been awhile - and isolation helped me to find time to work on this one again. I am getting nearer to final wiring. It's messy and I had to cut my teeth on soldering and the wiring both. Almost overlooked the bridge section and fibered that up, ran wire and LEDs and added some more greeblies to the bottom of it, as I added lighting to the underside to mimic some of what we saw in Empire. Beginning to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel in terms of completing the lighting portion. Then I have the arduous task of masking so I can begin priming both the inside for light blocking and the first coat of primer sometime hopefully in the next few weeks.

Wires From Hell2.jpg Underside Bridge 3.jpg Underside Bridge 2.jpg Underside Bridge 1.jpg Underside Bridge lit 1.jpg Underside Bridge lit 2.jpg Underside Bridge lit 3.jpg
 

gedmac66

Sr Member
Fastidiously epic work as always mate , and still so very inspiring !
Out of curiosity , if you could approximate the number of hours it’s taken just to get to this stage ( the finish line is just over there !:p ) - could / would you share please ?

Ged
 

gt350pony66

Sr Member
Been awhile - and isolation helped me to find time to work on this one again. I am getting nearer to final wiring. It's messy and I had to cut my teeth on soldering and the wiring both. Almost overlooked the bridge section and fibered that up, ran wire and LEDs and added some more greeblies to the bottom of it, as I added lighting to the underside to mimic some of what we saw in Empire. Beginning to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel in terms of completing the lighting portion. Then I have the arduous task of masking so I can begin priming both the inside for light blocking and the first coat of primer sometime hopefully in the next few weeks.

View attachment 1298314 View attachment 1298315 View attachment 1298316 View attachment 1298317 View attachment 1298318 View attachment 1298319 View attachment 1298320
Absolutely stunning and amazing work and dedication to every detail! We done my friend, very well done (y)
 

INVAR

Sr Member
Fastidiously epic work as always mate , and still so very inspiring !
Out of curiosity , if you could approximate the number of hours it’s taken just to get to this stage ( the finish line is just over there !:p ) - could / would you share please ?

Ged

I have easily more than 400 hours in on this build since I first opened the box.

Then again, I am not exactly a fast builder to begin with. Some folks were able to get the Bandai 1/5000 Star Destroyer built and painted inside a weekend, and I took two weeks to get her 'done'. That was an out-of-the-box build with no added greeblies or custom fiber or lighting done. The only addition to that build was using Elmer's glue inside all the window holes to mitigate 'hot spots' from the LEDs.

For this build, custom carving all the greeblies I added in reference to the ILM 8-footer took the largest amount of time and I spent over two years doing that. It took two months to get the engine section detailed and greeblied up. Tedious, but I enjoyed that part of the build and sometimes it would take me a week to get about 1 inch of trench done. Necessary because I raised up the trench height 3.2mm (1/8") all the way around and had empty space to fill up. Approximating the ILM build is what really took it's toll in time, but I like how it looks and I have not even primed it yet.

Of course work on this was not constant or steady. I worked on it initially every day when doing the greeblies for at least a few minutes. Once I got to drilling holes and running fiber, I was busy with other projects and builds too - and would set aside a little time each week to run more fiber. But because that aspect was so tedious and not like model-building at all - I was not as enthusiastic about getting into threading fiber every day - so it would go several days to a week without being touched. I have had to undo sections because I had to move LEDs to other locations and then re-thread fiber because my initial engineering was flawed. Same is true when I got to installing all the LEDs and doing the wiring - although that was more out of fear, and I took more time to contemplate my actions before I joined wires and soldered because I never did custom electronics before.

I always considered this build my 'grail kit' and I guess I am treating it as such. Most folks could probably do this in a fraction of the time I spent - but my nervousness in screwing this up royally has made me take a lot more time than I normally would.
 

INVAR

Sr Member
Fiber is done. Wiring and LED placement with remote is mostly done. I still have to create an umbilical to attach the top and bottom halves to the remote sensor which then goes to the internal battery pack, which is not shown on this shot because I accidentally destroyed the first 3 volt pack in a near total disaster a couple of weeks ago. It melted when a positive and negative wire were touching that I did not notice when moving stuff around to solder other connections. I noticed wisps of smoke coming up out of the model after I shut off my iron - and promptly investigated what it was that could be smoking. Hot wires led to a melting battery pack and I had remove it from the inside of the model out of fear the batteries themselves would explode. It was so hot I had to use a pair of long tweezers to get it out. No damage to the plastic on the model thankfully - just the battery pack was destroyed. A near disaster averted. Ordered another AA battery pack with switch. The learning curve is not one I am relishing.

But the birdsnest of fiber and wires is not pretty on the inside - but it works, so I am happy.

Fiber wire nightmare.jpg It's Alive2!.jpg It's Alive!.jpg
 

gt350pony66

Sr Member
Fiber is done. Wiring and LED placement with remote is mostly done. I still have to create an umbilical to attach the top and bottom halves to the remote sensor which then goes to the internal battery pack, which is not shown on this shot because I accidentally destroyed the first 3 volt pack in a near total disaster a couple of weeks ago. It melted when a positive and negative wire were touching that I did not notice when moving stuff around to solder other connections. I noticed wisps of smoke coming up out of the model after I shut off my iron - and promptly investigated what it was that could be smoking. Hot wires led to a melting battery pack and I had remove it from the inside of the model out of fear the batteries themselves would explode. It was so hot I had to use a pair of long tweezers to get it out. No damage to the plastic on the model thankfully - just the battery pack was destroyed. A near disaster averted. Ordered another AA battery pack with switch. The learning curve is not one I am relishing.

But the birdsnest of fiber and wires is not pretty on the inside - but it works, so I am happy.

View attachment 1298486 View attachment 1298487 View attachment 1298488
it looks a hell of a lot better than the bowl of pasta that's inside mine!
 

INVAR

Sr Member
How many strands of FO did you end up with? Mine was just over 1400

I had drilled probably close to 2500 .030 mm holes and went through a little over 800 feet of .025 mm fiber. I have 48 LEDs total inside. I have multiple tubes for the fiber with .5 mm LEDs at the ends and 16 pico LEDs in warm white for trench floodlights and another 12 pico LEDs in cool white for the trench and underside landing bays.

Someone mentioned on another thread that using an IR remote to light the Bandai 1/5000 was how they wanted to set that build up. I am doing similarly with this one. Internally battery powered with an IR remote sensor stashed into the trench greeblies.

IR sensor.jpg Sensor Trench.jpg
 

Madhatter

Well-Known Member
Great to see this back on the bench again. Its looking awesome. The fibre work is intense and something I'm not looking forward to doing on mine when I get to it.
 

gt350pony66

Sr Member
I had drilled probably close to 2500 .030 mm holes and went through a little over 800 feet of .025 mm fiber. I have 48 LEDs total inside. I have multiple tubes for the fiber with .5 mm LEDs at the ends and 16 pico LEDs in warm white for trench floodlights and another 12 pico LEDs in cool white for the trench and underside landing bays.

Someone mentioned on another thread that using an IR remote to light the Bandai 1/5000 was how they wanted to set that build up. I am doing similarly with this one. Internally battery powered with an IR remote sensor stashed into the trench greeblies.

View attachment 1298738 View attachment 1298739
Good Lord! I thought I over-did it! That's absolutely awesome my friend (y) I think we first conversed when you were still doing the engine greeblies and that's been a while back. I did my best to mirror what you had done with that and the top main hull and I thought THAT was a ton of work. Hats off to you dude, truly impressive. Looking forward to seeing it all complete, it's been quite the journey and all of us have loved every minute of watching this clearly epic build!
 

INVAR

Sr Member
Finishing the fiber and wiring inside the Bridge Tower, I decided that the details on the underside are a bit sparse, so I added some FLIR and DRADIS spheres and some more greeblies to break up the smoothness of the bare kit. Given I had carved in a lit recessed bay underside as seen in Empire when Vader's fleet is first seen, I thought it needed a bit more details.

Underside Bridge Greebs.jpg Underside Bridge Greebs2.jpg

FINAL LIGHT TEST.

All fiber and wiring inside both halves top and bottom hulls are finished, and with the remote hooked up to test the 52 LEDs I have inside the vessel, I temp-hooked up the umbilicals from the top half to the bottom half power supply and fired up the remote - and WALA! I have all LEDs now functioning and lit.

Now... FINALLY - onto masking for her first coat of primer sometime next week. I have decided to prime the model in separate halves so I can properly airbrush primer so as not to opaque-out details in the trenches and bays. I'll then assemble the top to the bottom and add the Bridge Tower before I spray her first thin topcoat of base hull color.

After 3 years, I am finally seeing some light.... literally, at the end of the very long tunnel of tedium.

Final Light Test4.jpg Final Light Test3.jpg Final Light Test2.jpg Final Light Test1.jpg LitBays2.jpg LitBays1.jpg LitBays3.jpg LitChute.jpg
LitBays4b.jpg
LitBays4.jpg
 
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