Return to the BUILD
“By the end of this stage, the saucer section’s fore hull plating stretches all the way from deck three to deck eight.“
Materials: Everything non-electrical in this stage is plastic.
Assembling and Lighting a Further Deck Panel
Carefully remove two (2) Escape Pod Covers, eighteen (18) Clear Windows, and seventeen (17) Dark Windows from their sprues and fit them to the back of Deck Panel U3-12, as shown.
In my Stage 20, the Escape Pod Covers were in their own little bag and not on a sprue. 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 Escape Pod Covers and Dark Windows to reduce light leak. I also colored one of the Clear Windows with my Turquoise Brush Sharpie just to add some color variety:
Fit the Reflector Panel U3-12-A over the back of this deck panel, as shown:
Slot the LEDs of one of the Deck Panel Light cables into these two notches on the side of the reflector panel and secure them in place with one (1) BP screw, as shown:
Slot one LED from the remaining Deck Panel Light cable into this other side notch, then secure the rest of the reflector panel to the deck panel with two (2) more BP screws:
Take a moment to connect both Deck Panel Light cables to our PCB and Battery Box to test that all of the lights are working:
Here is another shot with the studio lights turned off. This picture really shows how sanding the windows down is working out well – they no longer cast any shadows across the hull:
Fitting Deck Panel U3-12
Retrieve your Upper Skeleton assembly from the previous stage. Bring this panel to the skeleton and feed the two Deck Panel Light cables through the skeleton at these locations:
Place this Deck Panel U3-12 onto the Upper Skeleton assembly, aligning it to the adjacent panel.
First, I needed to bend the leads of these two LED to allow them to pass through the skeleton better:
Next, I realized I needed to temporarily remove this LED from the reflector panel by loosening the BP screws holding the panel together:
I ran this removed LED down through the small slot next to the nearby panel’s side LED, seen here:
I then reinserted and secured the removed LED to the deck panel assembly and gently bent the leads vertical, as shown:
I could then fit the deck panel to the skeleton and the wiring was not being pinched or causing the panels to be misaligned:
Secure this Deck Panel U3-12 to the Upper Skeleton assembly using three (3) DP screws:
Here is our latest deck panel installed. It may seem that the front edge of the panel is not aligned with the others, but I have a feeling that the saucer rim parts we will eventually receive will bring all of these panels together:
Fitting Deck Panel U1-05
Retrieve your Deck Panel U1-05 assembly from Stage 18. Thread the lighting wires from this panel through the Upper Skeleton.
Before we do this, I needed to gently bend all of the leads of the LEDs up perpendicular to the panel, as shown:
Next, I removed these two lower LEDs from the reflector panels by loosening a few of the screws:
Then, we can feed the Deck Panel Light cables down through the forward section of the skeleton at these locations:
I ran the two removed LEDs back up through the skeleton through these lower openings, as shown:
And finally, I re-inserted and secured the removed LEDs back into the reflector panel. I just used a napkin here to protect the panel while I tightened the screws:
Position this deck panel to the Upper Skeleton assembly.
When placing this panel, take note of this tab that needs to slide under and into the matching slot of the lower deck panel we have already installed:
Secure Deck Panel U1-05 to the skeleton from below with two (2) BM screws, as shown.
Here, we can see how I routed the LED wiring to not interfere with any of the panel-to-skeleton contact points. This is also your friendly reminder to try using 3-in-One Oil on all screws going into metal.
After the lengthy previous stage, this one was quite quick! We now have deck panels reaching from Deck 3 to the saucer rim. As we add more to this skeleton frame, the better it looks! Keep the unused Battery Box nearby as we will need it in the next stage.
Stage 21 – Deck Panel U2-06, Transporter Emitter, Dorsal Phaser Array II, Escape Pod Covers, Windows/Light , Battery Box Nut/Cover