On The Bench 57: Enterprise B/Excelsior Project part 5 by Don Matthys

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LightSheet is used to illuminate the inside of AMTs USS Enterprise “B” and USS Excelsior Warp Nacelles and the Navigational Deflector. The components of LightSheet for this project is two 8.5 x .5 inch strips, one .5x.5 inch strip and a lighting module LDX10 wired in parallel to the rest of my LED flashers and lamps components.

The first step prior to installation of LightSheet is to opaque the inside of the Warp Nacelles. Spray paint the inside of the, Warp Nacelles black. Insure the sprayed areas to be opaque by holding the part up to a bright light, allow to dry.

Clear kit parts #100 and #101 insides are painted black to opaque for the light leaks. Notches were trimmed form the parts to allow the four strands of wires to run up the pylons and into the Warp Engine.

The LightSheet will be secured in the kits clear plastic radiator grills in the inside grove. The LightSheet fits fairly snugly in between kit clear parts #100 and #101 . A little strip of 1/16 inch was trimmed away from the LightSheet to let it fit in a little better.

Worth their “weight in gold” in this project is Scale Shops, Gold Connectors. It is an electrical connector that will allow the Warp Engines and Primary Hull to connect and disconnect form the Engineering Hull assembly for testing and painting separately the main three assemblies. Painting the “positive” red wire to the LEDs helps keep track of the wire routes.

Ribbon cable wires will route the power and operating light features through out the ship model. 4 wires will run up through each of the two Warp Nacelle Pylons to power the LightSheet, LEDs for Navigation strobes LEDs.

4 wires also run up through the connecting dorsal to power the Navigation Strobe Light located aft of the bridge dome and the lamp power for the model interior.

On the Enterprise “B” model it is necessary to file material away from the clear kit pieces #100 and 101 Warp Drive Radiators to allow fit of the new DLM clear blue resin Bussard parts. File enough away to the notch to allow an easy fit of the Bussard Shield with DLM resin Bussard part in place. Then the clear pieces are painted black to opaque all of the part except the front to allow light form the LightSheet through the Bussards shine through.

The second Enterprise “B” lighting modification involves the Navigational Strobe Light in the back of kit Vertical Fin parts #212. I cut the fin at the area I wanted the Fiber Optic to run through.

This break in the part will allow a .030 fiber optic run up from a white LED from the inside. Thin sheet styrene .010 is glued on the outside of the fin part to make it a little thicker and trimmed to size.

A hole is drilled on kit part #15 Rear Shroud corresponding to the fins gap for the Fiber Optic.

The white LED is prepared by drilling a hole partially into the LED from the top of the LED. Wire insulation and heat shrink tube provides a light proof tunnel up and out to the top of the fin.

Navigational Strobe Lights for the Excelsior is a much simpler method. But first the LEDs are too big to have show though the kit plastic. This tip is how to get them more narrow.

Secure the LED into a drill chuck and turn the top of it down with a file at a slow speed to about .040 dia.

.040 holes are drilled into kit part # __ to fit the top of the LED. With a larger diameter drill in a pin vise countersink form the inside to a point where the wider part of the LED goes into the part and still have the tip poke though the smaller hole.

This completes the wiring and assembly of the warp engines up to the point of painting. The components where temporarily hooked up, tested under power and parts are dry fitted for fit. They are now set aside for painting later.

on to part 6

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