Custom Revell Build & Play Star Destroyer

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This has been a labor of love and some madness, involved adding fiber optics whilst preserving the sound element to this kit that the kid in me just couldn't resist. For this I used 0.5mm filament and 5mm leds. Small cable ties are useful for bundling the strands together. I used 10mm blue leds for the engines which fit snugly into the bell housing, in the stock kit the engine lights remain on only while the sound is activated which lasts for less than 10 seconds so I integrated them with the other lights to stay on. I opened the sound/light module for this kit which wasn't easy as this part is glued together but once inside it was a matter of integrating the new lights into this circuit. Opted to run this on DC power adapter equivalent to that supplied by the three LR44 batteries of approx 4.5V. This meant adding a 20 ohm resister to mimic the internal resistance of an LR44 battery to the sound card and 82 ohm resisters for the lights in parallel. There are excellent online calculators for this, http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz. I added a 5mm socket to the battery cover. I decided not to use a switch, I had installed one which in the end seemed pointless as I tend to turn off all my stuff at the wall when not home. Painted using Tamiya acrylics with washes and oils dry brushed. Used soda straws for the led cups. I included some details although not technically correct for this version but I love the nostalgia look of the ANH version and wanted to honor that a little so added fins to the bells using thin plastic card and wire. The stand is from displaystandsdirect and is good for Revell or Zvezda kits.

All this just as Bandai announce the release of their excellent led 1/5000 scale offering....typical. :rolleyes:

Enjoy!



 
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I've got the base set, just painted. And while the upcoming LED version looks swell, yours is a work of art! There's something to be said both quality, skill, and pride wise of doing it yourself! Aces all around.
 
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I've got the base set, just painted. And while the upcoming LED version looks swell, yours is a work of art! There's something to be said both quality, skill, and pride wise of doing it yourself! Aces all around.
Thanks for your kind words DarthPete, this is my first serious attempt at an optic lighting project and hats off to those who take on bigger craft. This one tested my patience at times and I had to make some changes along the way. End result was the product of many hours and yes I do feel mostly relieved it actually works but also a sense of accomplishment. :)
 

Utinniii

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Your amazing work is pretty inspiring. While I have no electrical skills, seeing this makes me want to tackle wiring for a diorama.
 
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Your amazing work is pretty inspiring. While I have no electrical skills, seeing this makes me want to tackle wiring for a diorama.
Boy my electrical skills are pretty average to Utinniii but I found using that calculator was a game changer. I've fried many an LED before now with poor understanding and using wrong formulas etc. I'm going to now redo my Bandai 144 scale Falcon also, by the time I get that functioning properly it will be a highly modified hunk of junk not unlike the movie thing, she'll have it where it counts though :grin:
 
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Boy my electrical skills are pretty average to Utinniii but I found using that calculator was a game changer. I've fried many an LED before now with poor understanding and using wrong formulas etc. I'm going to now redo my Bandai 144 scale Falcon also, by the time I get that functioning properly it will be a highly modified hunk of junk not unlike the movie thing, she'll have it where it counts though :grin:
Is there any particular source you referenced when you started working with LED's.
I really wish I had lighted my destroyer, but I'm thinking maybe starting with something like a Bandai R2 would be a better (simpler) first attempt. I assume restricted internal space would be tough, but a good learning experience.
Out of curiosity do you remember what paints you used? I'm still debating on picking up the Bandai Destroyer and if I do I am going to go with a different paint scheme and yours is a beauty. I went with more of a "white" look.
I was happy with the outcome but if I jump into another SD I want to go with a much darker "Empire" version.
Anyway, most impressive.
 
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Is there any particular source you referenced when you started working with LED's.
I really wish I had lighted my destroyer, but I'm thinking maybe starting with something like a Bandai R2 would be a better (simpler) first attempt. I assume restricted internal space would be tough, but a good learning experience.
Out of curiosity do you remember what paints you used? I'm still debating on picking up the Bandai Destroyer and if I do I am going to go with a different paint scheme and yours is a beauty. I went with more of a "white" look.
I was happy with the outcome but if I jump into another SD I want to go with a much darker "Empire" version.
Anyway, most impressive.
Hi Jimmer,

There wasn't any one particular source, just spent many hours trolling through the net studying photos and learning from what others have done. As this was my first fiber optic build I did learn the hard way what can and shouldn't be done. You basically have to consider what you want the finished model to do or look like in terms of what power source is used. Best to figure out what you need against the practical aspect of storing a battery pack for example. From there you can calculate how much juice you have to play with and how many lights that will feed. For me the led calculator was the best heads up. In this case it didn't matter how much current draw I had to consider as it is running on a DC adapter, this project used 16 leds but I could have added many more perish the thought. In the case of another build where a 9V battery is used the calculator provides the best circuit array for battery life. In that particular case I found the best battery life came where I could use no more than 8 leds. BTW I don't recommend using 9V batteries as in most cases as the storage capacity isn't up to heavy draw but I did manage to squeeze a good day out of this setup which is pretty impressive. If you look below there are a couple of relative constants but this a rough guide to get you going. In the field at the top there are entered values. In general most 3-5mm leds operate at 3 volts and don't even require a resistor if using a 3V source although it is recommended. Secondly these same leds draw a current of 20mA (milliamps). For most hobby projects these parameters hold pretty well. All you then need to do is start playing around with power supply and led quantity, it's fun and can eliminate a lot of guess work.

http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz



As for the paints, I used Tamiya acrylics. I didn't use a recipe as such just once again played around studying pictures but it really is up to you. Both white and grey ships are seen so I just mixed something that appealed. I wanted it to have a slight brown tint, so it's a soft pale warm grey. To this mix I added a little black for the panels and still more for the cannons. I then gave the whole thing a panel wash and then a white wash over spray to soften the effect. Hopefully Bandai will give us a good color guide, see.... I've already decided I'm getting it :sneaky: The main thing with the upcoming release is that hopefully you won't have to drill all those holes! That is a more tedious part of doing these ships. End result does make you very proud though.

Other stuff I learnt, always use wood or epoxy glue to secure the fiber optics. Cyanoacrylate or super glue will craze and degrade the filaments making them brittle. Hot glue will distort and melt fine strands like 0.25 and 0.5mm. Spend time making sure all your light sources within the model are blacked out, amazing how much light can sneak out and it intensifies the effect at termination. Space is a definite biggie, in most cases some modification will be required so your fiber bundles can be fed to their light sources. A good motor tool is a must, that and patience. Another pointer that in the end I largely ignored which is not a bad thing. Instead of using blue leds for the engines it was recommended by another modeller that a clear (white) led is used instead and painted with a softened clear blue paint to create subtlety and to also paint the main ship lighting with a light yellow clear to mimic the movie models incandescent effect but I just didn't go there folks. Maybe I will with the Bandai kit, always gotta start somewhere...
 
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Ahaaaa! Just had a look at my tiny boxed 001 Bandai SD and there's a paint recipe. I'll assume Tamiya will work. It's 75% white and 25% light gull gray which is indeed a pale warm grey. Got two of these little kits after I purchased the Revell set and never thought to look, D'oh! :whistling:
 
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I love the look of this and think you did a wonderful job on both the build and the lighting set up.

Thanks also for the lighting and painting tips. I still have a simpler kid-friendly Revell one lying around built not painted fully, and might use that for practice until the Bandai one comes out.
 
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