Return to the BUILD

“Now the upper skeleton is complete, you can begin to assemble the light-up deck panels that will gradually encase it.




Materials: The Deck Panel and Battle Section Panel A are metal, but the rest of these parts are plastic.


Fitting a Bank of Saucer Windows

Step A

Carefully remove the ten (10) Clear Windows and ten (10) Dark Windows from their sprues and fit them into the back of Deck Panel U1-05, as shown.

When removing parts from sprues, I recommend using sprue cutters or sharp hobby knife here to have as clean a cut as possible. These windows are not secured yet, so be careful handling this panel so they don’t go flying everywhere.

It is also worth mentioning here that I sanded all of these windows down already. See The Windows page for more details:

And, as I have done before, I used pieces of black electrical tape behind the Dark Windows to reduce light leak. After I took this picture, I also colored the two bottom center Clear Windows with my Yellow Brush Sharpie to add some color variety:

Installing Reflectors and Lights

Step B

Fit Reflector Panel U1-05-A and Reflector Panel U1-05-A1 over the windows, aligning the screw holes to the matching posts, as shown:

Secure the middle holes of these reflectors with four (4) DM screws as shown, but do not tighten them all the way yet.

This is your friendly reminder to try using 3-in-One Oil on all screws going into metal:

Fit the two LEDs on the ends of each Deck Panel Light cable into the notches on the sides of the reflectors. Each cable should feed one side:

When inserting the LEDs, you will likely need to lift the reflector away from the deck panel a little bit. Like most LEDs on this model, these LEDs should be fully seated so these pins capture each LED in place:

Then, finish tightening the first four (4) DM screws and add four (4) more DM screws at these other locations:

Testing the Lights

Step C

Retrieve your Battery Box and PCB assembly. Connect the plugs of these two Deck Panel Lights to any of the matching 4-pin sockets:

My studio lights are too bright to see these panel lights easily, so I took a picture in the dark with my phone. Everything is working as expected:

With that, this stage is complete. However, I wanted to take a moment to appreciate the detail and quality of the paintwork on the unused Battle Section Panel A we received in this stage. As the top of the ‘cobra head’ for the battle section, it is all metal and quite heavy:


We are going to have to make so many of these deck panels to cover the entire saucer section, so I hope you are doing your dexterity exercises! Coming up in the next issue, we will be building more panels, attaching them, and running A LOT of wiring. Prepare yourself!

Next Up

Stage 19 – Deck Panel U3-11, Windows/Reflector/Lights, Escape Pod Covers, Dorsal Phaser Array I, Battle Section Skeleton 2

2 thoughts on “STAGE 18”

  1. I’ve been following your mods, and they are all working great. One question I have though. Looking at other future mods, I see others have blinking lights. I’m only at stage 18, and I wonder if they are factory. Do I have to purchase something to create this effect. I know for sure the beacon behind the bridge is extra. Are you planning on a video or two to show how to do it? Again, thanks you know your stuff!!! Oh and for the nacelles will there be a different light configuration for the side blue lights?

    1. Thanks for the feedback! If you mean the two nav lights at the back of the neck, the model does include blinking lights for these. As for the nacelles, I am trying out some different options to light them better. I will post what I come up with once I get the final parts of the nacelle.

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