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Author Topic: Model Lighting  (Read 258 times)

Offline Rusty_S85

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Model Lighting
« on: November 24, 2017, 07:59:42 pm »
I have never done lighting for models before.  The first real model I had planned from the start for lighting was my NX-01 in 1:350 scale.  But I am curious for Starships what is the actual smallest scale one can use for lighting?  I don't think I will ever have the kind of room Id like to have for all my models I want to build let alone all the starships I want to build all in 1:350 scale.  I'm looking at some 1:1000 scale but not sure if its worth the effort to try and light such a small scale model.

I did some searching online and really didn't find much online about lighting the 1:1000 scale kits seems everyone go for the 1:350 scale for the larger size.

Offline Mstowell

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 08:31:28 pm »
It is absolutely possible to light 1/1000 starship.  It comes down to using small LEDs or SMDs.
You won
Matt

Offline Rusty_S85

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2017, 08:54:23 pm »
It is absolutely possible to light 1/1000 starship.  It comes down to using small LEDs or SMDs.
You won

Thanks for the reply.  I just wasn't sure if one could get the same detail as with the larger starships.  I have a 1:350 NX-01 that I am going to do one of two things with.  I already glued the nacelles together before I figured out how to light the model from scratch for my idea.  So I am contemplating kit bashing this one into a NX refit like was planned if Enterprise had stayed on the air a bit longer.  Then find me a Round2 1:350 NX-01 to start from scratch with.  Just have to find one that isn't almost $300 like all the ones I found on amazon and ebay.

Aside from that I might do a TOS enterprise in 1:350 just to be same scale as the NX but the other ships I am leaning towards 1:1000 just to take up less room.  But if I light the smaller scale ships up Id like to have all lights like I planned on doing with the 1:350 scale such as strobe, nav lights, etc.

For my NX-01 my plan was to build her in such a way to mimic her in different episodes.  So I would want at least two different circuits.  one that would power the ship up and one that would power up just the warp engine nacelles.  I remember one episode where the NX-01 lost power and her warp nacelles were just colorless.  The bussard collectors were just a grey color and the chillers were the same grey color.  So my nacelles I assembled with no color on the clear plastic as I had planned on using colored LED bulbs to obtain the color and thus would allow me to switch them off for the colorless grey look.  But I made a major screw up when I glued the warp nacelles together before I even attempted to light the nacelles then that forced me to put the model up in its box and fast forward ten years and I find some little dishes from some of the saucer wall pieces some how are missing from the partially assembled hull.

So I don't know what to do on this model I just think I am going to just start over and maybe kit bash this one or use this one for spare parts.

Offline Mstowell

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 05:35:59 pm »
You could try separating the nacelle halves.
This saw has a very thin blade.   

http://umm-usa.com/onlinestore/product_info.php?cPath=21_28&products_id=35

Go slow! Right along the seam.
I had to do this on a Star Trek K7 Space Station.  No one will ever know.
Matt

Offline Rusty_S85

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 06:21:54 pm »
You could try separating the nacelle halves.
This saw has a very thin blade.   

http://umm-usa.com/onlinestore/product_info.php?cPath=21_28&products_id=35

Go slow! Right along the seam.
I had to do this on a Star Trek K7 Space Station.  No one will ever know.

Might give that a try.  The only problem I am left with if I can get the nacelles separated is just the missing saucers from the saucer wall junctions.  I am missing I think 4 of them that some how came unglued and got lost while in the box when in storage.  I found a Round 2 1:350 NX01 kit for $70 I might just go ahead and order it and use the kit I have here for spare parts.  Or I could kit bash this one and make a NX01 refit.

But as of now I am just going slow.  I got lots of money going out right now between health insurance and dental surgery that is going to start being paid in December.  Then I just found out today my dental and vision supplement that I thought was canceled was not so they got me for $85.60 for the last two months.  If they give my money back I can use $80 of that refund to pay for this Round 2 kit and be done.

Offline Cpt-Spekkie

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 08:04:00 am »
Hi Rusty,

Just to jump in in the lighting of 1/1000 scale starships. I am currently working on the Enterprise Refit in this scale and i was able to light a whole lot of the stuff.
Nav lights, strobes, interior windows, deflector dish, Torpedo tubes, impuls engines and warp nacelles. Even the floodlight on the top of the sauces to light up the registry and name was possible.

With a little more work i could have gotten the the bottom 3 floodlights on the saucer, but one of my led's was damaged, and didn't want to buy new ones. And i would have needed the photoetch part to make that part look nice. As for the floodlights in the nacelles and in the hull to light up the pylons they could be done, but was to difficult for me, so did not bother to try that part.

If you would like to see the progress, then you can use the shortcut in my signature.

Oh but be sure to take a look at all the models before deciding, because not all model is lighting friendly. Some don't have molded windows in the plastic, what increases difficulty in drilling them in the right spots, and some don't have clear parts for the nacelles and such.

Offline Rusty_S85

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 12:12:48 pm »
Hi Rusty,

Just to jump in in the lighting of 1/1000 scale starships. I am currently working on the Enterprise Refit in this scale and i was able to light a whole lot of the stuff.
Nav lights, strobes, interior windows, deflector dish, Torpedo tubes, impuls engines and warp nacelles. Even the floodlight on the top of the sauces to light up the registry and name was possible.

With a little more work i could have gotten the the bottom 3 floodlights on the saucer, but one of my led's was damaged, and didn't want to buy new ones. And i would have needed the photoetch part to make that part look nice. As for the floodlights in the nacelles and in the hull to light up the pylons they could be done, but was to difficult for me, so did not bother to try that part.

If you would like to see the progress, then you can use the shortcut in my signature.

Oh but be sure to take a look at all the models before deciding, because not all model is lighting friendly. Some don't have molded windows in the plastic, what increases difficulty in drilling them in the right spots, and some don't have clear parts for the nacelles and such.

Thanks for the reply.  Looks great.  I took a look and it seems like with time and planning can do quite a bit.  I don't think I would have put the circuits inside on my builds but rather in the base in case the circuit board needs to be replaced.  All I would need is just the wiring running from the switches in the base to the LED lights themselves.

Offline Cpt-Spekkie

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 04:12:24 pm »
Thanks and I completely agree with you at wanting the boards externally. For my 2 builds i chose a full self contained ship, but if you have the room go for a external board setup.
Especially if you want things as firing torpedo's and or other effects.

Offline Rusty_S85

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 06:51:14 pm »
Thanks and I completely agree with you at wanting the boards externally. For my 2 builds i chose a full self contained ship, but if you have the room go for a external board setup.
Especially if you want things as firing torpedo's and or other effects.

Not too crazy about firing torpedos.  Just would like to be able to switch the warp nacelles on and off separate from the rest of the ship.  My NX01 in 1:350 I am going to build and light up I planned on having the warp nacelles on a separate circuit from the general lighting.  I also am looking at maybe doing the torpedos or maybe the phase cannons since she is big enough.

I also saw someone on here printed on clear sheets mock interiors for their TOS Refit.  Thinking I might do that for my NX01 to emulate interior spaces since the windows are kinda large.

Offline RADIATION_STORM

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 09:02:54 am »
Here is an article  from Don's Light and Magic

1000 scale might help you 

https://culttvman.com/main/don-matthys-enterprise-bexcelsior-project/

Offline greg

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 01:08:35 am »
I have never done lighting for models before.  The first real model I had planned from the start for lighting was my NX-01 in 1:350 scale.  But I am curious for Starships what is the actual smallest scale one can use for lighting?
You're only talking about Star Trek ships? Speaking as a modeler who is just now getting into model lighting, my advice would be to not try to kill yourself over a Trek ship but instead try something simpler. My very first lighting project was the old MPC Star Wars Rebel Transport that comes included in the Hoth Rebel Base diorama set. For its engines, there are three on the bottom and four on top. Seven blue LEDs, wired in parallel.

The next I did was a Revell Cylon Raider. Two amber LEDs in front, four blue LEDs in back for the engine. If you have never soldered stuff before and translated test lighting from breadboard to soldered wires, I'd recommend getting your feet wet. Both of these lighting projects were on simple models that are essentially clamshells with spacious insides. That's how I've done it, and I am now getting into making strobing circuits. I'm still not comfortable with attempting a Trek ship, so I will just stick to some simpler projects and work my way up to such things.

1:1000 ships have rather narrow innards to run wires through. If you're wanting to jump straight into that sort of stuff, then knock yourself out. I've just read lots of horror stories from modelers online who have built elaborately lighted models only to have the lights fail soon after they get it put together.

Offline Decoman

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 01:55:24 am »
I have invested in a multimeter and a variable power supply and an additional thingy (uCurrent Gold, afaik good for 0-1250 mA but not higher) to improve the accuracy of the multimeter (lowering burden voltage, product does NOT have fuse protection, for better accuracy), to try better control how my lighting works. Unless I misunderstood something I should be able to accurately measure a current down to less than 1mA with my special setup, which might be overkill so to speak.

And similar to what was pointed out by 'greg' just above, the horror would be to have the LED's failing shortly after completing the build, though I would also consider anything less than 5 years a fail as well.

Some pointers that hopefully will help me with my very first LED lighting project:
* Don't allow the variable power supply to ever fry the electronics/LEDs
* Do a lot of testing with the LEDs to see how they fare until they fail on purpose
* Never make use of stressed LEDs in the model, to have better longevity for the LEDs
* LEDs can be sanded to create diffuse lighting, some LEDs can also be sanded down, to change the lighting from being a spotlight, to being more wide and diffuse.
* Wire things, and light things, with lower power to try have better longevity
* Make sure the lighting power is the right level, not too bright, not too dim, for sake of aesthetics
* Ofc, do the math and calculate the volts, amps and resistances for components and the rigging.
* LEDs in parallel will fail gracefully, while LEDs in a series will have all lights in that series fail. There would be a limit to how long a series of LEDs can be voltage wise afaik. Exaggerated example: 200 x 2.5V LED's in a single series, would require at least a 500V power supply. :D 200 x 10mA LEDs in parallel would require a 2A power supply.
* Try not to kill myself working with electronics :|


I ordered a lot of small stuff off eBay and I am curious to see just how small individual SMDs are. I have yet to order any light strips, no hurry.

I also invested in isolated wiring, and also magnet wiring (26AWG) to try that out, a couple of small bread boards to test circuitry on, and other stuff, incl. a cheap small stand with two small clamps and a magnifying glass for easy soldering of wires. I also have a soldering iron with some stuff from before, but I have yet to use it, so this will be a first.

I have not been able to find many violet colored LEDs. I think there is an "option" with the Enterprise, to use violet or blue LEDs (or perhaps a mix).
I was happy to see that I found those bi-polar ("Bi-Polar Common Cathode") LEDs with two colors, blue & amber, on eBay. I NEVER found any with violet & amber on eBay.

I am not at all afraid of rigging a large 1:350 model. What will worry me is all the painting, and getting it all to look nice. :)

My plan is to rig a model with LEDs, and have some buttons on a custom stand, which introduces a couple of problems: How to wire the model from the stand, and is there enough space for the wiring.
I want to try out touch sensitive buttons, but I don't know if it will even work the way I imagine, I will have to test this. I imagined hiding the touch buttons under a layer of styrene to hide the buttons, ending up with a flush surface (must mark the area somehow, to know where to press with my finger tip). Alternatively, I could try contact buttons hidden under flexible sheet of styrene.

On youtube there's a guy that actually put low powered lasers (as I understood it) on his large Enterprise model, but I never figured out if that stuff could ever be safe so I will ignore that option. :)

Note: The EEVblog's Dave has designed and started selling a new digital multimeter with improved accuracy, and might be interesting for low powered electronics afaik:
"The Brymen 869 as an example, their best meter has 3.3mV/mA, so that's 1.65V on the 500mA range, insanely high. The 121GW is only about 10mV on the 500mA range,  165 times lower! | 50mA range, 121GW is 100mV vs 165mV. | 5mA range, 121GW is 10mV, vs 750mV!" (This comment is about burden voltage and inaccurate volt readings for measuring in the mA range.

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/announcement-121gw-multimeter-on-kickstarter/ (I am not quite sure what the price will be, I deleted my initial estimate here)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 04:37:50 am by Decoman »

Offline Quarky

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2017, 01:53:50 pm »
I'll raise you a 1/1400 teeny weeny Kazon raider:

http://scifimodelaction.com/sfmaforum/index.php?topic=7158.msg91637#msg91637

Definitely possible to light the smaller kits... Just remember to adjust the led brightness to compensate... I actually enjoy the challenge of the smaller kits!

Cheers
"We're made of star stuff"

Carl Sagan


Jamie

Offline Rusty_S85

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2017, 07:30:39 pm »
I have never done lighting for models before.  The first real model I had planned from the start for lighting was my NX-01 in 1:350 scale.  But I am curious for Starships what is the actual smallest scale one can use for lighting?
You're only talking about Star Trek ships? Speaking as a modeler who is just now getting into model lighting, my advice would be to not try to kill yourself over a Trek ship but instead try something simpler. My very first lighting project was the old MPC Star Wars Rebel Transport that comes included in the Hoth Rebel Base diorama set. For its engines, there are three on the bottom and four on top. Seven blue LEDs, wired in parallel.

The next I did was a Revell Cylon Raider. Two amber LEDs in front, four blue LEDs in back for the engine. If you have never soldered stuff before and translated test lighting from breadboard to soldered wires, I'd recommend getting your feet wet. Both of these lighting projects were on simple models that are essentially clamshells with spacious insides. That's how I've done it, and I am now getting into making strobing circuits. I'm still not comfortable with attempting a Trek ship, so I will just stick to some simpler projects and work my way up to such things.

1:1000 ships have rather narrow innards to run wires through. If you're wanting to jump straight into that sort of stuff, then knock yourself out. I've just read lots of horror stories from modelers online who have built elaborately lighted models only to have the lights fail soon after they get it put together.

Well for now Star Trek cause I just don't know if I would do Star Wars even though I like Star Wars.  I also like Star Gate but I doubt there are any starships from that series.  But I might bite the bullet and try my lighting on something simpler like say my 1:87 locomotive model that only requires a couple LEDs to light up.

Offline Rusty_S85

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Re: Model Lighting
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 07:44:27 pm »
I have invested in a multimeter and a variable power supply and an additional thingy (uCurrent Gold, afaik good for 0-1250 mA but not higher) to improve the accuracy of the multimeter (lowering burden voltage, product does NOT have fuse protection, for better accuracy), to try better control how my lighting works. Unless I misunderstood something I should be able to accurately measure a current down to less than 1mA with my special setup, which might be overkill so to speak.

And similar to what was pointed out by 'greg' just above, the horror would be to have the LED's failing shortly after completing the build, though I would also consider anything less than 5 years a fail as well.

Some pointers that hopefully will help me with my very first LED lighting project:
* Don't allow the variable power supply to ever fry the electronics/LEDs
* Do a lot of testing with the LEDs to see how they fare until they fail on purpose
* Never make use of stressed LEDs in the model, to have better longevity for the LEDs
* LEDs can be sanded to create diffuse lighting, some LEDs can also be sanded down, to change the lighting from being a spotlight, to being more wide and diffuse.
* Wire things, and light things, with lower power to try have better longevity
* Make sure the lighting power is the right level, not too bright, not too dim, for sake of aesthetics
* Ofc, do the math and calculate the volts, amps and resistances for components and the rigging.
* LEDs in parallel will fail gracefully, while LEDs in a series will have all lights in that series fail. There would be a limit to how long a series of LEDs can be voltage wise afaik. Exaggerated example: 200 x 2.5V LED's in a single series, would require at least a 500V power supply. :D 200 x 10mA LEDs in parallel would require a 2A power supply.
* Try not to kill myself working with electronics :|


I ordered a lot of small stuff off eBay and I am curious to see just how small individual SMDs are. I have yet to order any light strips, no hurry.

I also invested in isolated wiring, and also magnet wiring (26AWG) to try that out, a couple of small bread boards to test circuitry on, and other stuff, incl. a cheap small stand with two small clamps and a magnifying glass for easy soldering of wires. I also have a soldering iron with some stuff from before, but I have yet to use it, so this will be a first.

I have not been able to find many violet colored LEDs. I think there is an "option" with the Enterprise, to use violet or blue LEDs (or perhaps a mix).
I was happy to see that I found those bi-polar ("Bi-Polar Common Cathode") LEDs with two colors, blue & amber, on eBay. I NEVER found any with violet & amber on eBay.

I am not at all afraid of rigging a large 1:350 model. What will worry me is all the painting, and getting it all to look nice. :)

My plan is to rig a model with LEDs, and have some buttons on a custom stand, which introduces a couple of problems: How to wire the model from the stand, and is there enough space for the wiring.
I want to try out touch sensitive buttons, but I don't know if it will even work the way I imagine, I will have to test this. I imagined hiding the touch buttons under a layer of styrene to hide the buttons, ending up with a flush surface (must mark the area somehow, to know where to press with my finger tip). Alternatively, I could try contact buttons hidden under flexible sheet of styrene.

On youtube there's a guy that actually put low powered lasers (as I understood it) on his large Enterprise model, but I never figured out if that stuff could ever be safe so I will ignore that option. :)

Note: The EEVblog's Dave has designed and started selling a new digital multimeter with improved accuracy, and might be interesting for low powered electronics afaik:
"The Brymen 869 as an example, their best meter has 3.3mV/mA, so that's 1.65V on the 500mA range, insanely high. The 121GW is only about 10mV on the 500mA range,  165 times lower! | 50mA range, 121GW is 100mV vs 165mV. | 5mA range, 121GW is 10mV, vs 750mV!" (This comment is about burden voltage and inaccurate volt readings for measuring in the mA range.

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/announcement-121gw-multimeter-on-kickstarter/ (I am not quite sure what the price will be, I deleted my initial estimate here)

That's my thing I want to have switches on my NX-01 but that is 1:350 scale.  I want to be able to shut the blue warp nacelle grills off along with the bussard collectors but leave things like the lights on the rest of the model.  I also saw that they have phase cannons and photon torpedo circuits out now as well for this ship.

 




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