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lighting up a model

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  • Member since
    February, 2018
  • From: Va, USA
lighting up a model
Posted by JJFlyer on Monday, May 14, 2018 11:49 AM

hey,

does anyone know of the best way to add nav lights to a 1/48 fighter that I'm going to hang from the ceiling? I would want to not have to replace the lights also. if the previous is not possible any ideas on how to make them removable? another thing is I need some tips on how to install them and hide the wire exit points.

Thanks,

JJFlyer

current projects:

1/48 revell stuka tankbuster

1/48 tamiya F4U-1D

 

on deck:

1/48 revell bf109g10

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, May 14, 2018 2:31 PM

I would think that the more you can incorporate fiber optics, the better.

  • Member since
    February, 2018
  • From: Va, USA
Posted by JJFlyer on Monday, May 14, 2018 2:45 PM

can you elaborate?

current projects:

1/48 revell stuka tankbuster

1/48 tamiya F4U-1D

 

on deck:

1/48 revell bf109g10

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Monday, May 14, 2018 4:57 PM

JJFlyer

I would want to not have to replace the lights also. if the previous is not possible any ideas on how to make them removable? another thing is I need some tips on how to install them and hide the wire exit points.

JJ - if you use LEDs and install them properly, the bulbs will burn for a very long time. Some are rated to go as long as 35,000 hours and that equates to literally years of use. No need to replace them.

The problem at the heart of hanging the model from the ceiling is the power source. Depending on how elaborate a set-up you build or how many LEDs you drive, you can go as small as watch batteries (3V) or all the way up to 9V batteries, but you'll have to do the math on amperage and resistors. Finding a place to install the batteries where it is hidden, but accessible for maintenance, is the first step.

As already suggested, fiber optic strands may be an easy solution for steady on position and nav lights. The strand would run from a single bulb to the light's position on the airplane (wing tips, tail, etc) and provide a scaled pinpoint of light. Clear green, red, or yellow paint can be used to tint the end of the fiber for accuracy. A lot easier that using multiple colored bulbs.

It would help a great deal if we knew which plane you were planning on lighting and its scale, as well as the effects you're aiming for, because "animated" effects like flashing or strobing require a different approach. 

  • Member since
    February, 2018
  • From: Va, USA
Posted by JJFlyer on Monday, May 14, 2018 7:01 PM

it's a 1/48 bf-109g10 and I plan on running a wire from the model to the ceiling to a 12v transformer and outlet. I just want the steady red and green wingtip lights.

Thanks,

JJflyer

current projects:

1/48 revell stuka tankbuster

1/48 tamiya F4U-1D

 

on deck:

1/48 revell bf109g10

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Monday, May 14, 2018 8:02 PM

Honestly, JJ, 12v may be serious overkill for something this size. To give you an example, I have a 1/350 Enterprise starship project going that uses a 12v power supply and that drives four effects circuit boards, several clusters of individual LEDs, and nearly 10 full yards of LED strip lights. But, that's not a deal breaker by any means.

If all that you want is just two points of light, only a single white LED would be necessary, probably around 3mm in diameter. This is a great source which includes resistors for 12v systems:

http://hdamodelworx.com/3mm-Round-Top-Clear_c_24.html

Mount it in the fuselage just aft of the cockpit pointing towards the tail so that you're not illuminating wing root gaps or the cockpit itself. Run fiber optic to either wingtip, drilling holes where hidden for the optic strands to pass through the wing to the wingtip light. Since there are only two runs involved, you can drill directly into the plastic end of the LED and glue the ends of the fibers in place. Connect the bulb to your pigtail or connector and test things before you seal up the model.

Don't use CA on fiber optic - it messes things up terribly. Elmer's transparent glue or white school glue works well without damaging the fibers. 

  • Member since
    February, 2018
  • From: Va, USA
Posted by JJFlyer on Monday, May 14, 2018 8:24 PM

3 more questions:

how exactly would I drill the hole in the led(angle, depth, location, etc.) and attach the fiber optics?

how would I get the color that I am looking for?

Where can I get fiber optics by the foot?

Many thanks,

JJflyer

 

current projects:

1/48 revell stuka tankbuster

1/48 tamiya F4U-1D

 

on deck:

1/48 revell bf109g10

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Monday, May 14, 2018 9:51 PM

The brightest part of the bulb is at the tip. Try to drill your holes there straight down the middle at 90 degrees towards the filament. Depth is a judgement call, but you want just enough to allow the fiber to seat. 

If you use the white bulb, simply tint the end of the fiber the appropriate colors with a drop of Tamiya clear green or red. Behind the little clear part most kits give for wingtip lights, it can be pretty convincing.

Fiber optic is available through: 

http://thefiberopticstore.com/hscp/

The Hobby packs this company offers are great for experimenting around. I've had good service from them.

  • Member since
    February, 2018
  • From: Va, USA
Posted by JJFlyer on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:17 AM

thank you so much for your help! will be lighting up a model soon. (-:

Thanks again,

JJflyer

current projects:

1/48 revell stuka tankbuster

1/48 tamiya F4U-1D

 

on deck:

1/48 revell bf109g10

 

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