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Revell 1/2256 Venator Class Star Destroyer

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I've decided that before I get started on my Polar Lights 1701 refit Enterprise, I've decided to try my hand at a new kind of lighting: fiber optics!

assembled01.jpg

Kuat Drive Yards Venator Class Star Destroyer was the pinnacle of capital ship development during the clone wars, a massive 1130 metres in length, capable of carrying over 400 fighters of various classes and over 2000 troops into combat, the Venator class could bring an enormous force of arms against the enemies of the Republic.

th_upperhull01.jpg th_parts01.jpg

4 large runners of parts, plus the upper and lower hull halves, it's a pretty big model! Once assembled, it'll measure out at around 50cm from bow plate to engine ports, according to sources, it's around 1/2256 scale

th_sidewall01.jpg th_dock.jpg

To accommodate the optical fibers, I've drilled somewhere in the neighbourhood of 400 tiny little holes into nearly every single part of the model, through which I will thread individual strands of optical fiber... it took me the better part of 6 hours and 15 broken drill bits to drill all those holes

th_assembled02.jpg th_assembled06.jpg

Parts fit is awesome, and taking a hint from bandai, nearly all parts join on natural panel lines, or are covered by additional detail parts. As you can see in the last pic, there's plenty of room inside the hull to fit all the lights and wires, so it should assemble really easily.

th_base01.jpg th_base02.jpg th_base05.jpg

originally an old 2x6, I borrowed my dad's chopsaw to cut it into a Star Destroyer-esque shape and drilled three 1/4" holes so I could insert some acrylic tube which will fit into holes drilled into the lower hull to support the model. An added bonus of using this mounting technique is that because the acrylic tube is flexible, the ship's position on the base can be adjusted somewhat, particularly the pitch of the bow... though I will have to fashion some kind of stoppers to keep them from slipping out of their mounting holes. Power will be supplied via a hole drilled in the back end to accommodate the power plug and wires which will feed into the model through the bow support rod.

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You've picked a great subject for lighting I would say as a Star Destroyer lends itself well to the fiber optic treatment. AMT did issue the MPC Star Destroyer with their fiber optic kit many years ago, but at least with the Revell kit you have much better fit to deal with so you can spend all your time working on the lighting system.

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You've picked a great subject for lighting I would say as a Star Destroyer lends itself well to the fiber optic treatment. AMT did issue the MPC Star Destroyer with their fiber optic kit many years ago, but at least with the Revell kit you have much better fit to deal with so you can spend all your time working on the lighting system.

thanks man, it's really a great kit and I'm having a lot of fun with it! Assembly of the basic kit is pretty much complete, and nearly all modifications to accommodate the lights have been completed

th_engines03.jpg th_engines02.jpg th_engines01.jpg

Now that's a lot of engines... 4 large primary engines, 4 medium secondary engines and 2 small engines... the 4 large engines will be lit with high brightness 5mm blue LEDs, the mediums will be lit with 3mm blue LEDs, while the small ones I'm still brainstorming how to light...

th_bridge01.jpg th_bridge02.jpg th_bridge03.jpg

I've inserted all the fibers for the twin bridges and conning towers, I plan to light them with a single high brightness white LED in the centre of the tower. One of the best things about fibre optics is that no masking is required! The 'whiskers', can simply be trimmed after painting to let the light out. How convenient! The windows of the primary hull of the ship will be lit using 4, maybe 5 white LEDs, while a few key locations will be lit blue, feeding off the LEDs from the engines. I may install a few red lights as well, but I haven't decided yet

more coming soon, keep watching this space

Edited by Face

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This is a beautiful kit indeed! Too bad RoG won't bring us the Star Destroyer, I wonder what another great kit that will be too!

Anyhoo, this ship is begging to be lighted and I hope to see your progress and finish. One of my favourite prequel ships this is!

B

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Ah very nice, indeedy do! It's living up to the pre-visualisations I've heard at the local hobby shop!

Alvis 3.1

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Ah very nice, indeedy do! It's living up to the pre-visualisations I've heard at the local hobby shop!

Alvis 3.1

Thanks a lot Al, I appreciate it!

Anyway, just a quick update for now, I've managed to get around half the fibres inserted... it's very tedious work, threading one fibre at a time, bundling to make sure I don't lose any, then gluing with epoxy... I've got maybe 150-200 done and that much has taken me around 4 hours so far

th_fibres01.jpg th_fibres04.jpg th_fibres05.jpg

these pics were taken after threading the first large bundle, when I was still working out how best to go about it... this much alone took me well over an hour. After I paint the sidewalls, I'll trim the 'whiskers' flush with the hull, but for the moment I'm leaving them as is so I don't have to mask anything. In the middle pic, you can see more or less how they'll appear when lit, while in the last pic they're unlit

more coming soon

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It's really coming along nicely now, since I'm not working tomorrow, I decided to stay up late, watch a movie and sort all the hundreds of fibre optic strands...

sorted01.jpg

I had initially used masking tape to keep the fibres sorted, but wanted a more permanent solution when I finally attached them to the LEDs... my solution was heatshrink tubing. I first bundled all the fibres together with a thin tube, roughly 1/8" then trimmed the fibres all flat, and slid a larger tube over the end and inserted an LED. The forward half of the ship is lit with 4 extremely high brightness 5mm white LEDs, while the aft is lit with a pair of 3mm white LEDs.

th_sorted02.jpg th_sorted03.jpg th_sorted04.jpg

I still haven't quite worked out how to take pics in low light, but I think I'm getting better... in the first pic, you may notice a few strands are feeding into the aft section of the ship, these strands will be lit using the blue LEDs I'll be using for the main engines, mostly the side docking ports and a few running lights on the ventral side of the ship. I'm completely out of epoxy at the moment, so I still have a few last fibres to thread, and I have to install the LEDs in the conning tower and engines, but the sidewall trenches are basically finished

...

finally

whatever possessed me to use this kit to learn how to use fibre optics? I seem to remember thinking it would be easy... I must have been on some really good drugs or something

Edited by Face

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Demn that´ll be so cool when it´s finished!!!!! You´re doing great! :whistle:

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Cant wait to see it done... I love that model, still working on mine, though I am making an Imperial color one, from the end of the Movie.

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I'm actually going the same route with mine, I just don't care for the red stripes on such an iconically Imperial ship...

Anyway, I finally finished threading all the fibre optics, took me the better part of a week to get it all done... ran out in the process too... fortunately I have a small novelty artificial christmas tree that lights using fiber optics, so I chopped off a couple branches and unwrapped the strands of FO to supplement my waning supply of fibres

now all I have to do is paint the hull and engines, install the LEDs for them and the conning tower, route power into the circuit board and out to the LEDs and glue the upper and lower hulls together. So, depending on my work schedule over the next few days, I should have it finished withing a week or 10 days!

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Great progress so far...watching with interest! :popcorn:

Edited by wakko807

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I broke the needle for my airbrush earlier today... fortunately I had a backup, or I wouldn't have this update to present you

I've painted the sidewall trenches, and finished rigging the lights and fibre optics, now I need to paint the upper and lower hulls, light the engines and conning tower, then mount it to the base and power supply, and I'm done

th_painted01.jpg th_painted02.jpg th_painted04.jpg

th_painted03.jpg th_painted05.jpg th_painted07.jpg

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Well, it's all painted and weathered, and I couldn't be much happier! I gotta finish the wiring yet, but almost all the LEDs are installed, I just need to buy some more epoxy... again... that stuff runs out too fast

Behold!

painted08.jpg

I prefer the uniform grey of the Imperial fleet over the red stripes on grey of the Republic fleet, so I decided to forgo masking half the ship in favour of leaving it grey

th_painted09.jpg th_painted11.jpg th_painted15.jpg th_painted16.jpg

th_painted17.jpg th_painted12.jpg th_painted13.jpg th_painted18.jpg

I painted the ship using the same Tamiya XF-02 flat white with FX-01 flat black as I did the side trenches, then highlighted the panel lines with a flat black wash thinned with water... lots of water... The engines were painted with a dark grey mixed using roughly 50% flat black and XF-80 royal light grey. I then weathered the ship using Tamiya's weathering master sets, mostly just some light scorchmarks on the hull, and highlighting the raised features on the engines.

Tomorrow I'm gonna buy more epoxy, install the last few LEDs and finish the wiring, then close it up and give it a clear coat

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Well, it's all but finished now! The lights are installed, the top is glued down, I've sprayed a coat of Future and tomorrow I'll hit it with a last coat of flat clear to finish it off

but since I'd never leave you without a quick tease of what's to come...

bridge04.jpg

keep watching tomorrow for the final update

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:woo: Wow! :worship:

Good thinking to trim the excess after painting! :)

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Looking good! Is it going to make the meeting next week?

Alvis 3.1

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Looking good! Is it going to make the meeting next week?

Alvis 3.1

yup! That is, if the rest of me can make it... my work schedule has been really erratic so I may have to ask for monday night off so I can come

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The guys down at the local hobby shop tell me I'm giving them a bad name, since I just keep finishing projects one after another... I can't help but get a laugh at that

So, with that out of the way...

finished04.jpg

Damn that looks good!

th_guts01.jpg th_guts03.jpg

That's what she looks like opened up... I barely managed to avert a major disaster with a bottle of flat black paint, hence the black all over the inside of the ship in the second pic. I was painting over the back sides of the blue LEDs to block light leaks into the forward compartment, and promptly spilled half a bottle inside, causing the clear acrylic support rods to crack and shatter, and forcing me to replace them, and subsequently rewire the entire base... all because of simple carelessness

th_finished01.jpg th_finished02.jpg

The assembled ship required some tape to hold the upper and lower halves together while the glue set, as the whole thing felt like it wanted to spring apart at any moment! The whole ship, when lit and viewed from the front is a pretty impressive sight, though I can't decide if the bow lights are supposed to represent cannons or running lights or what exactly... regardless, they look pretty cool.

th_guns04.jpg th_guns01.jpg

The side cannons were drilled out using the same sized bit as all the windows, I had considered lighting them and the main turbolaser cannons using a blinking circuit to simulate the cannons firing, but decided against it.

th_windows01.jpg th_windows02.jpg

The various windows look fantastic, these photos really don't do them justice. To really appreciate the ship, you really need to see it in a dark room.

th_engines08.jpg

And at last, we come to my favourite part of the ship, 8 LEDs driving a total of 10 engines, the 2 really small ones which you can probably barely see were lit with 1mm strands of fibre optic, driven by the smaller upper engines. Various other locations around the ship were lit using the blue engine LEDs as well, though for some reason many of them just didn't come out all that well... which is a real shame since I put a lot of effort into them.

It seems that every new project I do these days turns into my new favourite, but this one was just a fun build! Aside from nearly wearing my fingers to the bone by drilling around 400 windows, building this ship was a great experience and I'd definitely use fibre optics again in a future kit, should the opportunity arise!

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Damn that looks good!

I second that! Great work.

Cheers,

Andre

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Incredible work, I'm kinda new here and the quality of this blows me away, lighting aside (engines are unbelievable) the weathering and overall finish are top drawer too.

Can't wait for your next project!

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Hi

IS there a tutorial somewhere on how to power/wire the LEDs and how to connect fibre optic cable to them?

I'd like to try my hand at this later, so any help into how you wired and did the techical stuff would be appreciated.

Superb job by the way!

P.S. WOuld the bright LEDs in the engines provide a lot of light in a kids rom at night? Too much to sleep?

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Hi

IS there a tutorial somewhere on how to power/wire the LEDs and how to connect fibre optic cable to them?

I'd like to try my hand at this later, so any help into how you wired and did the techical stuff would be appreciated.

Superb job by the way!

P.S. WOuld the bright LEDs in the engines provide a lot of light in a kids rom at night? Too much to sleep?

I have been asking this question around for several weeks now. Finally, somebody suggested that I look here:

http://www.starshipmodeler.net/talk/viewfo...9f7e61504c43a72

If you find any additional newbie info on how to light up models, please keep me in mind as I am in your same situation.

Regards,

Jose

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<...> Damn that looks good! <...>

It does!

Just wow! :thumbsup:

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