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K’tinga from Polar Lights: Still More Light Tests

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  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Thursday, March 07, 2019 11:25 PM

Behave Armornut, or else the Klingons will be showing up for dinner at your place!  They will bring lots of spicy, greasy food, and you know they will want to use your bathroom afterwards!

The Romulans have much better table manners, but they are stingy with the Ale and make boring conversation.  And they keep taking peeks around the house when they think you aren’t looking.  Darned sneaky Romulans.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, March 08, 2019 7:44 AM

Tom Skerritt lookalike contest ROTFL!!! 

Now I want a cross-over with his character from 'Alien' and Trek! 

Actually it's from a role-playing game made by FASA. Operation Dixie was an intel operation where a couple of freighters operated by Starfleet Intelligence working with the Orions would enter Klingon territory to gather information on fleet deployment, ship types, etc. The crews were intended to look the opposite of Starfleet spit-and-polish hence the scruffy (aka bearded) look and civilian clothes. Think the freighter crew that gets blown up at the beginning of 'The Search For Spock'.

The operation was a disaster with all three ships vanishing shortly after entering Klingon territory. It was believed that either there was a Klingon mole buried in Starfleet intel or one of the bought Orions didn't stay bought. When one of the ships turns up later in new hands the players are sent to investigate.  

 

I'm curious how the white will work for the lighting, I've always used silver myself. If you don't have room for a reflector cone for the rear torpedo could you maybe just squeeze some alumium foil in there? 

 

BTW: Don't invite Jem'Hadar either. They don't eat. Just stand there and stare at you. 

Me: 'So do you have any war stories?'

Jem'Hadar: 'Well once I hit a Klingon with his own bat'leth so hard he literally exploded all over a bulkhead. A glorious collage of pink blood, grey brain material, and black bile!!!'

Me: (pushing plate away and turning green) 'I think I'm finished...'

 

Or Borg: You might leave the room for a few moments and come back to find one drone assimilating the roast and another doing something obscene with the microwave. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Friday, March 08, 2019 10:34 PM

I’m loving it, keep the silliness coming!

Gamera, white may distribute light more evenly and with less loss of brightness.  A theory anyway, which I will try.  I can always wash off either paint with Purple Power or something.

The rear torpedo LED will have a cap over it instead of in front of it, to save space.

After rerewatching the opening scene in ST: TMP, the impulse engines are kind of close enough for me, with a little tweaking and better diffusion.

I’ll have to get much better diffusion for the forward “grille”.  I have a crazy idea I want to try; I’ll mock it up over the weekend and see if it works.

I am still mulling the window lights in the forward command pod/cobra.  Again, more theory to put into practice.

Once all that nonsense is resolved, it will be time for construction!  The panelling paintwork looks dizzying!  I’ll try masking things myself first to see how bad it gets.

And NO Ferrengi!  In my best Quark voice “Oh sho now the Hu-mon is being rashist!”  Serve them root beer to make them go away.  It’s so... bubbly.  Just like the Federation.

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Saturday, March 09, 2019 12:36 AM

   Ease up on Quark, he is gonna have his vacuum dessicated body sold in the Grand Bizzare, on the Ferrengi home world....wouldn't want to mess up his grill. Don't Ferrengi eat who-mons too? Alittle friccace, a splash of blood wine, served tartare with a side of Bejouron.

      I'd bet Odo would be like a bowl of pudding.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Saturday, March 09, 2019 3:58 AM

Ferrengis have cooties!  No dinner invites for them, and that is final!

I did a little experiment tonight with the “barbecue grill” on the front of the dorsal block.  The clear red insert does not hide hot spots from the LEDs, and my painting the LEDs reduced their brightness.  I fitted some white folder paper to the top and bottom of the insides of the grille light box and ran some comparative tests.  There is a marked improvement in light distribution.  So the plan will be to paint the insides flat white.

Gamera, as I found, white does a better job diffusing light compared to chrome silver.  Plus the lighter color bumps up the intensity of the color of the LEDs.

So the lighting trials continue to proceed.  Refinements to the impulse engine lighting will be followed by the bridge window lights.  I believe that will conclude tweaks to the lighting system.  Pics will follow when I get to a real computer.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Saturday, March 09, 2019 9:25 AM

Hmmm, I'd never thought about using white. Thanks, I've going to give it a go next time I try lighting something. 

 

Armornut: I don't know about Ferengi eating people, I think they just hang the dessicated relative on the wall or set them on their desk like a portrait or keepsake. 

And doubt Quark minds you being a racist Hew-mon as long as you spend money in his bar. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Saturday, March 09, 2019 7:15 PM

    No truer words have been written Gamera, money was about the only thing that made Quark tingle. Like all good space epics we seemed to have found our way to the Gamma Quadrant, how do we get back to Alfa? Real G that battle cruiser of yours know of any worm holes we can cloak up and sneek through...you know to bring havoc back to the poor Federation?

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Sunday, March 10, 2019 1:09 AM

armornut

    No truer words have been written Gamera, money was about the only thing that made Quark tingle. Like all good space epics we seemed to have found our way to the Gamma Quadrant, how do we get back to Alfa? Real G that battle cruiser of yours know of any worm holes we can cloak up and sneek through...you know to bring havoc back to the poor Federation?

 

With the quality of Federation starship kits, all I need to do is finish my model.  We will then crush their vile root beer bottles and bathe in their blood.  We do not need help from the Gamma Quadrant.

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Sunday, March 10, 2019 11:00 AM

  OoohRaaa, or however ya pronounce heck ya in Klingon.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Sunday, March 10, 2019 11:47 AM

armornut

  OoohRaaa, or however ya pronounce heck ya in Klingon.

 

Qapla'! aka (Success!)

 

 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Sunday, March 10, 2019 7:16 PM

  ROFLMAO, now that is funny,.

 Qapla!

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, March 11, 2019 5:54 PM

Ha ha, oh you crazy kids!  Big Smile

OK so here are the results of the light diffusion test for the dorsal "barbecue grille".

My first try was typical of me - overly complex and ineffective.  I made up a light tube from a clear plastic straw, inserted two LEDs in the ends, made a back reflector from aluminum foil, then added a paper light diffuser in front.  The result was very weak light and it still did not eliminate the hot spots.  No photos, as I was just cobbling this junk together while sitting on my bedroom floor in the dark.  Embarrassed  But I may revisit this idea on a future project, as I think it would work with "big bamboocha" extra bright LEDs.

Okay, I dialed the complexity back and went low-tech for the second round.

Before - cool white LEDs behind the red tinted clear part:

https://flic.kr/p/24uXsiD] [/url]K’tinga-25 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

The cool white light lends a bluish tint, resulting in a purple overall color.

Middle - LEDs painted Tamiya clear red:

https://flic.kr/p/24uwqK8] [/url]K’tinga-20 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

The purple color is now gone, but the grille is not lit well and the light needs to be diffused.

Some ordinary folder paper was cut and tacked to the bottom of the light box and the insides of the clear red part:

https://flic.kr/p/2f71pYR] [/url]K’tinga-21 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

After - now the light is diffused, not perfectly, but a LOT better than what comes in the box:

https://flic.kr/p/24uwvvk] [/url]K’tinga-23 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/24uwtgF] [/url]K’tinga-22 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

So the inner surfaces of the dorsal box are now painted flat white.  A variety of materials were tested behind the clear area behing the grille.  White paint, wax paper, and parchment paper were tried, but all proved less than satisfactory.  The white paint reduced brightness too much, and the papers had noticeable grain.  I used the stock kit's clear (untinted) parts for the white paint test, but I used acrylic paint so it can be washed off with Windex or similar.  I'll look around for some kind of thick plastic film that is milky white, which I think would work best.  The hot spots from the impulse engine LEDs are proving harder to eliminate.

Now excuse me while I listen to Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" while thinking my next move.

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 10:32 AM

The last photos look really good! I'm filing all this away for when I get my copy.

Have you tried maybe spraying some clear plastic with a coat of something like Dullcote so it will fog and using use that to diffuse the light?

 

BTW: Throw a couple Tribbles on the BBQ grate for me!!!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 1:45 PM

Gamera

The last photos look really good! I'm filing all this away for when I get my copy.

Have you tried maybe spraying some clear plastic with a coat of something like Dullcote so it will fog and using use that to diffuse the light?

 

BTW: Throw a couple Tribbles on the BBQ grate for me!!!

 

 

Gamera,

I tried sanding with fine grit paper, but it wasn’t near enough to hide the LED hot spots.  Dullcote might work better - I’ll try it out on the unused clear parts.  Someone used polyfill to act as a diffuser, so I’ll try that too.  I also want to try a reflector disk attached to the front of the LEDs.  All kinds of experimentation going on here, since I have no idea what I’m doing!  Stick out tongue

Klingon-style barbecued tribble?  Now THAT sounds awesome!!!  I like them with Texas BBQ sauce!  Space meatballs, so good!

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Friday, March 22, 2019 6:33 PM

There are others on other forums also trying to get the best out of lighting the kit, so my plans may deviate as I crib notes!  I tried using polyfill as a diffuser, but I think it reduces the LED brightness too much.  I'm going to try spotting the tips of the LEDs with solid paint next, which will hopefully kill the hot spots while not diminishing the brightness.

Next up will be the bridge window lighting, of which so far I have not seen a satifactory fix.  The windows on the "bulb" section are partially flashed over, so they are being cleaned out with a 0.5mm drill bit.

https://flic.kr/p/T94cj9] [/url]K’tinga-26 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

The plan is still to create a light box with a diffuser right behind the windows to get even lighting.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 8:23 PM

Oh very cool! I wonder at those non-round port-holes. Running fiber optic cables to them never really looks right. Looking forward to seeing how you solve this.

 

BTW: Make sure you lock down the dampers on the Graf Units (Klingon warp drive).

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Sunday, March 31, 2019 3:47 AM

Gamera,

No crew of mine will be allowed to show any hint of incompetence!  If they do, the Schwartz Ring goes on and you know what happens!  Now where is my cup of coffee, as you all know I always have a coffee before I watch Youtube!

On a more serious note, I made a test light box for the “cobra” section of the bridge to try to solve the lousy and weak light distribution through the forward windows.  By tapering the rear section of the box to the two LEDs, light was focused to the front, thereby more evenly lighting them.  I also placed a strip of paper behind the window openings to diffuse the light and eliminate hot spots.  I’m happy with the results, so will post piccies when I get to a proper computer.

Next up will be the “bulb” windows, more challenging as they encircle the structure.

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, April 01, 2019 2:49 PM

So here are the results of the successful light box test for the "cobra" portion of the bridge.

First off, the lower half of the light box, which was made from glossy cardstock sourced from my junk mail pile.  I traced the "cobra" onto the card to get a rough shape, and then added sidewalls angled inwards where the LEDs are to go.  This was to channel as much of the light forward.

https://flic.kr/p/2fi9sES] [/url]K’tinga-27 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

After attaching the top, the plastic window band and clear insert were taped to the front.

https://flic.kr/p/24LfFez] [/url]K’tinga-30 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

The appearance of the lit windows definitely improved, but the LEDs made noticeable hot spots.

https://flic.kr/p/2fi9sWd] [/url]K’tinga-31 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

A paper strip was cut and inserted behind the window band, which eliminated the hot spots, plus it improved the eveness of the light.

https://flic.kr/p/2fibsaj] [/url]K’tinga-32 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

I then switched the room lights off to see what it looked like in the dark.

https://flic.kr/p/TeB3RJ] [/url]K’tinga-33 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

No "JJ Abrams Effect" laser beam disco room, so I think it's good.

Here are some comparison pics of the unmodified lighting system.

https://flic.kr/p/2egVCPb] [/url]K’tinga-34 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/RBLwRM] [/url]K’tinga-35 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/2ehd6dG] [/url]K’tinga-36 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

The last photo may not look bad, but the lighting through the windows is much more uneven than the photo would lead you to believe.

Next up is the lower "bulb" section, which will require considerably more ingenuity to distribute light over a 270 degree arc using only two LEDs.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, April 01, 2019 8:53 PM

Looks awesome to me!

Looking forward to seeing how you do the lower part of the bulb, command pod or whatever you call it.

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Friday, April 05, 2019 2:06 PM

Gamera,

I took another look at the light box and realized I was doing things the hard way - again.  For the permanent fix, I think all I have to do is blank off the openings in the roof and floor of the "cobra", add the side and middle reflector boards to the kit part, then paint everything inside white.

For the lower "bulb", top & bottom blanking panels cut to match the hull contours above and below the window belt should do it.  I may have to play with the aiming of the LEDs to deliver maximum light to the windows.

Looking over the kit last night I realized there were several small additional lights in both sections that will need to be addressed as well.  Hope to stay awake this weekend long enough to carry out more tests.  I'll post pics of any progress made.

I keep tellng myself that solving the lighting in the forward hull is the last thing before proper construction can start.  I got my spray cans of Klingon grey-green ready.  Stick out tongue  And before anyone demands where I got spray cans of "Klingon Grey-Green", it's just the darker green that Gunze makes for Bandai's Zaku.  I feel the kit color guide is too bright, and the greens should look darker and greyer, as seen in the movie.  It's gonna be a doozie masking the many, many panels - but so worth it in the end.  I have a plan that does not involve a commercial masking set; it's going to be all DIY, but with the aim to be easier, not harder.

And regards to DIY, time and again experience teaches me that one should try do things oneself.  I wasted a lot of $$ on aftermarket working on the Tamiya Tyrrell P34 and ended up scratching most of it because the A/M was not very good, impractical to install, or just plain wrong.  To a lesser extent the K'tinga lighting kit was also disappointing, but at least it can be used with some simple mods, and I believe it will look good in the end.

I chatted with some Czech guys at a model contest once and mentioned that they were fortunate to be from one of the top countries that produced model aftermarket detail sets.  They laughed and said a lot of them don't use the stuff.  They said while under communist rule, model kits were expensive and hard to come by and the Russian kits were garbage.  So they spent their time being creative making their own parts.  They told me the reason their country produces so much aftermarket is that the west is lazy and thus provides them with a vast, eager market.  I did not take that statement as insulting, but rather as a revelation.  While I cannot machine Luftwaffe night fighter antennae or gun barrels with cooling slots from brass rod, nor make my own tires (and I will continue to buy such items), I think a DIY mentality is a good one - because my next lighting project will be Moebius' 2001 EVA pod. That thing has a gazillion internal lights, and to not light that kit is like throwing half of the model away.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Saturday, April 06, 2019 7:16 PM

Sounds cool! Looking forward to seeing her lighted up.

And want to see how the grey-green looks. Back when I built the AMT K'tinga back in the late '80s I studied a copy of TMP I taped off the TV over and over. It looked like a metallic paint scheme to me, I painted mine with if I remember correctly Testor's Metal Master aluminum with bronze accents. 

 

And funny about the Czech guys. I just get burnt out on adding detail stuff and generally avoid it these days. When I buy my big K'tinga I might pick up some of the sets, I'll have to look them over.

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Saturday, April 06, 2019 8:08 PM

Gamera,

Large areas on the K’tinga are covered with a metallic looking tan color, and the paneled green areas enhance the effect I think.

I also get burned out with the detailing.  I only have limited energy these days, so I have to choose what kit gets the “full boogie”.

All crew, this is the captain - report to the Disco Room.  Dance, you Klingons, dance.  Stick out tongue

When you get the K'tinga, if you don’t light it, I don’t think you need to get anything.  As a non-lit model it is already very nice.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Sunday, April 07, 2019 4:11 PM

Thanks as always for the advice G!

I'd probably try to light her myself. That much I can manage- it's electronic stuff like the spinning Bussard collectors on the fore ends of the nacelles on the original Enterprise that I can't build on my own. Just wiring up lights I can I can pull off.

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Sunday, April 07, 2019 4:58 PM

Gamera

Thanks as always for the advice G!

I'd probably try to light her myself. That much I can manage- it's electronic stuff like the spinning Bussard collectors on the fore ends of the nacelles on the original Enterprise that I can't build on my own. Just wiring up lights I can I can pull off.

 

You will be better off with a superior lighting system I think.  And you will have saved money in the process.  Just guessing here, but I imagine if you were to source the components individually, they would not total the lighting kit’s MSRP.

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, April 22, 2019 4:55 AM

I finally got around to doing a light test on the lower command “bulb”!  I used some junk mail cardstock to make top and bottom plates to focus as much of the feeble LED light to the +270 degrees of windows.  I cut a strip of folder paper to act as a diffuser right behind the window openings.

I think it works - the lit windows are visible with the room lights on, but not JJ Abrams bright.  With the lights low, the windows have a nice bluish glow, again not Xenon strobe bright.

I think I am finally done with the light tests.  Proper sheet plastic plates will be made and installed.  Now where do I get some Klingon makeup and an outfit?

Oh sorry no pics; I’m using my phone and still have wacky Flickr compatibility issues.  Tomorrow.  Pinkie promise.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, April 22, 2019 11:16 AM

Ohhhh sounds glorious! Looking forward to the photos! 

Qapla' 

 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, April 22, 2019 5:12 PM

Here are some piccies as promised.

https://flic.kr/p/2eeaG74] [/url]K’tinga-37 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/TtNeMf] [/url]K’tinga-38 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/2eeaYXt] [/url]K’tinga-40 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/RREu8P] [/url]K’tinga-39 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

I drilled out the windows on the starboard foward belt and port rear belt, so I was not able to show the full effect in one shot.  I will do so once the permanent blanking plates are in place.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, April 22, 2019 5:37 PM

Looks pretty darn good from here!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, April 29, 2019 5:21 PM

The permanent sheet plastic blanking plates for the "cobra" section have been installed.

https://flic.kr/p/RW2eYv] [/url]K’tinga-42 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/RW2gyp] [/url]K’tinga-44 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/TykJDs] [/url]K’tinga-48 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/2fBQ5MA] [/url]K’tinga-46 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

The kit's clear window band was painted gloss white to diffuse the LED hot spots.  Flat white was found to block too much light.  The resulting brightness is not all that great, but once all the interior surfaces are painted white, it should be adequate.

The dome atop the rear bridge tower posed another little challenge - the LED is seated below the window line and is pointing straight up.  Left as is, the windows do not look uniformly lit, i.e. the ones on either side are dim when viewed head-on.

The outside lower half of the clear red window disk was painted flat white to create a broad diffuse reflective surface, while the plastic kit dome's underside was painted with the Molotow chrome pen in an attempt to reflect as much light back onto the window disk as possible.

https://flic.kr/p/2fCb1FE] [/url]K’tinga-49 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/p/2fGR2Bp] [/url]K’tinga-50 by N.T. Izumi, on Flickr

It seems to work!

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, April 29, 2019 9:02 PM

Ohhhhhhhhhhh, it looks great to me!!!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

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