Khyros

Lighting and Repaints

115 posts in this topic

Finished up the lighting portion of my Shadow Caster.  The plan is to paint it in Asajj's purple Banshee scheme (though without the physical modifications).  The center engines were a b(*&@#.

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And for anyone interested, here she is right before I put her back together.

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Just a short write up of the interesting parts.  Tear down is pretty basic - the engines come off first, and then its just splitting it into two halves.  I managed to break a bit of the ship off with one of the engines, which ended up being very valuable.  Once I dremmeled out the hole for the LEDs, there was no way to realign it back onto the ship for the one that broke off evenly.  The one that took a bit of the ship with it was much easier to reassemble.

 

The center engine was quite obnoxious.  The horizontal plasticard separator was one of the first things I knew I needed.  As it turned out, I had to over exaggerate everything there in order to get it to look right, so there was quite a bit of playing around with the physical model to begin with.  But no matter how I tried to diffuse the light (hot glue from the front, hot glue from the rear, milk carton from the rear, no diffuser at all), I couldn't get it to light up right, with the biggest issue coming from the top section just not lighting up at all (and the bottom section blending together to look like 1 instead of 4).  I ended up solving the bottom section issue by using .7mm FO cables, and the soldering tip to melt 3 (middle two) or 4 (outer two sections) together.  This provided a nice horizontal, and very segregated appearance.  The middle ones are just a TAD too wide, thus why they're not entirely horizontal, but from table top distance, you can't tell.  I was dreading doing that to the top though as it is actually rather difficult to get 4 together in a straight line, and the same distance, and not over melt them - I was not looking forward to having to do that for almost 20 in a row.  So I tried some side glow FOs, and that actually seemed to work, but it required me to double up and place two LEDs behind it to prevent the bright spots (actually, you still get two bright spots, but they follow you around on the curved side glow FO and you can't tell that it's actually a bright spot, it looks more like a feature).

 

With a solution identified for the center engine, the rest of it was relatively easy - except the FOs ended up taking up the space that I was planning on placing the battery, so I had to knock out the forward posts and reroute some wiring in order to make room for everything, which also meant scrubbing the idea of having some red lights up front.

 

The pictures I have above show it with a Gozanti turret on the top, and that's because I haven't finished up the Shadow Caster's (er, I mean, Banshee's) turret.  It is magnetized so it can rotate to represent the mobile firing arc.  In order to provide that functionality, there's a metal plate right below its mounting point for the magnet to attach itself to.  Furthermore, it is the on/off switch, activated by a magnetic read switch placed directly below the metal plate.  

 

And per what has become my standard, I'm using the same drone batteries that I've become accustomed to, and drilled out two holes, with metal plate backings for the recharge locations.  These are located on the bottom of the ship - they're not particularly hidden, but no one looks at the bottom anyways.  If I was a more thorough modeler, I probably would have removed the landing pads (or whatever those are, and attached magnets behind them so you could remove them and access the charging ports, or leave them in place for a 100% sealed ship.

Edited by Khyros

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Always very Impressed when I see work like this.

 

Lighting up the models is that extra jump in Awesomeness !

 

Great work.

All the best,

Barry.

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Great work!

Maybe I missed it, but did you do the lower Engines of the GR-75 with LEDs or with fiber optics?

Where did you get the fiber optics?

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Great work!

Maybe I missed it, but did you do the lower Engines of the GR-75 with LEDs or with fiber optics?

Where did you get the fiber optics?

 

Yeah, I did the GR-75 back when they took away our painting sub-forum.  I used 3 .75mm FOs for each and melted the ends a bit via a soldering pen, though it didn't come out as well as I would have liked.  Those are the "primary engines," and yet they're no where near as bright as the "secondary engines" on the top of it.  Here's the writeup on it:

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/183353-rookie-repaints-by-khyros/?p=2162441

 

I get most of my FO cables from http://thefiberopticstore.com/as I can't find them on Amazon :(

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I get most of my FO cables from http://thefiberopticstore.com/as I can't find them on Amazon :(

 

I'll have to remember this.  I got a pack from Amazon, Plastruct brand, but I'm not really sure the wires will be nearly long enough.  The prices were all over the place too, and half in metric and half Imperial.

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Posted (edited)

Alright, after a bit of a hiatus, I finally got some time to work on my Phantom.  Of course I don't finish it until after I've decided to retire Kanan/Biggs, but whatever.  I do still need to paint them at some point, but no matter how many ships I paint, I'm still quite the amateur at painting, so I'd rather stick with what I've gotten "good" at.

 

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I used a new tool in Surface Mounted Device LEDs that are only .5mm wide (though the board itself is slightly larger).  The good news, they work, the bad news - I had to cut out some of the ship (if you look at the piece on the left in the above picture, you can see that the top center of the ship is longer than the rest - that was to give it room for the lights) so I have some white putty filling in the area I had to cut, and of course it's bleeding through that quite handily.  Just one more reason to move forward with the repaint!

 

Edited by Khyros

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1 minute ago, Force Majeure said:

Shhh!! If you hadn't said anything, we wouldn't know any better. As when talking to the ladies: less history, more mystery.

Perhaps, but this entire thread is all about the process on how I do what I do.  Three years ago I'd never painted anything or torn anything apart to light it up, and if it weren't for some encouragement, I probably never would have.  I'm glad I have because I have a lot of fun with it, and there are always people who stop by my games asking for pictures which makes me feel good about my work.  But I like to throw it out there that I'm still messing it up as I go, I'm just fixing it so no one else can notice it.  

 

The point is, I still screw up but it turns out looking good anyways.  Others should feel the same motivation to try something they otherwise would not have because it'll all work itself out in the end. :) 

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Posted (edited)

And here is Biggs a T-65 (that I had previously painted as Wedge's Red 2).  

 

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I didn't do a write up on how I did this for the Phantom, but I'll do one here for the T-65, and between that and the previous write ups I've done, it's pretty self-explanatory for the Phantom.  For starters, I used .5mm SMD LEDs (https://www.amazon.com/Assorted-Lighting-Electronics-Components-Emitting/dp/B01CUGA380/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495031610&sr=8-1&keywords=SMD+LED) for this project.  Obviously there's 4 on the T-65, but I went through 6 - one I screwed up by failing at soldering it and one I just plain lost because these things are too small.  After I lost it, I cleared off my desk and grabbed a sheet of florescent orange construction paper, which helped provide contrast to find it when I dropped them.  

If you look closely at the engines in the third picture, you can see that I actually had to cut out a bit from the sides.  Theoretically you could have gotten away with just cutting one side, but I did both in order to keep the light centered.  The LED was just SLIGHTLY too large to fit inside of the engine.  But at least since I had to notch the engines, I didn't drive myself crazy trying to get it to fit in there with the wires on the edges making it slightly wider.  

After I notched the engines and soldered the wires, it was time to install it all.  I used regular white glue for this projected.  It doesn't really need to hold anything securely (the LEDs are .03oz, and since they're inside the engine, they're not going to get knocked off), and it dries clear, which is a huge bonus since I don't have to worry about where it goes.  The obvious downside is that it takes a while to dry, so I had to move very slowly with the actual installation.  The positive lead is facing outboard in all four engines.  I chose this so I could make the positive side of the peg the front to match the Phantom and establish consistency throughout the rest of them that I'll be doing.  

Once the LEDs were in place, I did the initial routing of the wires, trying to get them to go straight along the engines, and then take a sharp 90 degree turn to be flush with the rear of the wing (pic 4).  I used some white glue to tack the wires in place here.  The positive wires then routed between the wings, I tried to tuck them in the negative part of the wing, and for the most part was successful (pic 6).  The top engine negative wires ran down along the fuselage and then joined the bottom engine negative wires running along the interior edge of the wing (pic 5).  I tacked these all in place with white glue again before routing the wires to the front/back of the post.  The front ones aren't nearly as visible as the picture makes them out to be, but I intentionally snapped it zoomed in and focused on the wires to show the routing.

 

As for the pegs, I've been using Aluminum tape as a conductive surface-wire.  So for the ship peg, I laid down two strips (front/back), with it overlapping on the bottom of the peg just a bit.  Then I just taped the wires onto the Aluminum tape to ensure contact.  The pegs themselves have the same two strips of Aluminum tape folded over on the top/bottom, and if you reference the Phantom's base, it has the same tape contacting the peg and wrapping around to the bottom of the base, where I have the battery and resistor.  The batteries I had in stock are CR-2032s, which are just SLIGHTLY too thick to fit flush under the base, so I had to dremel out a bit of the base on the Phantom, but for the T-65 I decided I would just buy the right battery, thus why it's just hooked up to my breadboard in the pictures.  

This system isn't quite robust enough for me to recommend though at this time.  The base is a very tight fit and likes to push the tape out of the way, so I'm thinking I might either need to create a contact system, or perhaps a detachable wire system.  I still maintain that I don't want these permanently connected, though that would make it much easier to accomplish.  I'm thinking perhaps of attaching 1/16'' magnets to wires on the base, allowing easy connection to the ship without any fiangling.  I'll have to keep working with it to figure out a better system.

Edited by Khyros

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1 hour ago, Khyros said:

 

That's incredible. I thought the A-Wing (somebody else), and the Phantom were incredible... that X-Wing is just stunning beyond belief. Wow. That is highly tempting to try (and likely fail) to replicate.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, LagJanson said:

That's incredible. I thought the A-Wing (somebody else), and the Phantom were incredible... that X-Wing is just stunning beyond belief. Wow. That is highly tempting to try (and likely fail) to replicate.

If you can successfully solder the wires onto the LED, there's not much modeling talent required to get the X Wing done, and it's hard to mess up too.  So really, there's no risk.  Go for it!

Edited by Khyros

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3 hours ago, Khyros said:

And here is Biggs a T-65 (that I had previously painted as Wedge's Red 2).  

 

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Oh for the love of... okay, you win the forum already. Here's all my unlit large models and a cashier's cheque. 

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2 hours ago, Khyros said:

If you can successfully solder the wires onto the LED, there's not much modeling talent required to get the X Wing done, and it's hard to mess up too.  So really, there's no risk.  Go for it!

Soldering I can probably pull off. Special gauge of wire at this size?

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26 minutes ago, LagJanson said:

Soldering I can probably pull off. Special gauge of wire at this size?

I just used a single strand from my 18 gauge, which has 7 strands in it.

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I am so jealous of anyone who can put engine lights in these ships and have it look so amazing. Truly in awe. You guys start attaching real lasers for guns and play with a light fog machine so you can see them and I'm done you just flat win at this game. 

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On 5/17/2017 at 5:39 PM, Khyros said:

I just used a single strand from my 18 gauge, which has 7 strands in it.

Have you considered using 30 gauge wire wrap wire? This stuff is used for wiring point to point when building prototype circuit boards. Covered with a plastic insulation called Kynar. Thin and very flexible.

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1 hour ago, Stoneface said:

Have you considered using 30 gauge wire wrap wire? This stuff is used for wiring point to point when building prototype circuit boards. Covered with a plastic insulation called Kynar. Thin and very flexible.

I have not.  I'll have to look into it.  I did just receive delivery of my 1/16'' magnets last night, so I'm going to try a new connect to base method.  I'm not satisfied with the robustness of the current one.

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Ha... I still need to take those Decimator pictures.  But it was on the table for a Store Championship on Sunday, and looked mighty fierce.  In the meantime, I've started working on another YT-1300 because I was never happy with my first one (go figure - it was the first ship I modified, and it wasn't done right).  But this time I decided instead of a write up, I'll record it and upload it to youtube.  Part 1 is already up, and Part 2 will probably be up later today.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

And for those of you not on FB or following me on instagram, here is the Decimator I promised.

And bonus - here's the finalized X Wing.  I think I'm still tinkering with the "how to remove it from the base" problem, but this current solution works well as is.  I played through 5 games in a tourney on Sunday with it and didn't have it turn off on me a single time, and was easy enough to assemble/disassemble before and after.  I'm just not too keen on the wires being so obvious, but I'm not sure what I can do about that.  The tape going around the side isn't required, it just made it easier to put the battery in place, but if someone was to give me a hard time about it, I could keep everything contained.

 

Edited by Khyros

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Looks great! I was thinking of doing the same thing to my Decimator, but was considering cutting back the fork so the panels would dominate. 

Wait a sec, what became of the Raider those panels came from? 

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