Return to the BUILD
“Power up the battle section ‘cobra head’ for the first time – after hiding its batteries beneath the magnetized battle bridge assembly.“
Materials: While the Docking Latches are metal, the rest of the non-electrical parts in this stage are plastic.
Assembling Deck Panel U3-08
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 here to seal off the Escape Pod Covers and Dark Windows and reduce light leak:
Take the two Deck Panel Light cables and insert one LED from each cable into these side notches of the Reflector Panel U3-08, as shown:
Carefully flip this Reflector Panel U3-08 over and fit it to the back of the deck panel, as shown. Secure these parts together with two (2) BP screws.
Note that we do not put a screw in the bottom hole here yet:
Fitting Deck Panel U3-08
Retrieve your Upper Skeleton assembly from the previous stage. Thread these two Deck Panel Light cables through the skeleton, as shown.
I chose to do this a different way. This is how the instructions say to run these wires:
Instead, I threaded the wire on the right (as seen below) through this opening of the Upper Skeleton assembly. This is because I noticed there are recesses in the skeleton sections for these top two LEDs to fit into:
Fit Deck Panel U3-08 to the Upper Skeleton assembly.
As I was bringing this panel into position, I realized I needed to gently bend the leads of the adjacent panel LED down into the skeleton:
With Deck Panel U3-08 in the correct place, you can see how these top LED wires fit down into the matching recesses of the skeleton:
Secure this panel into place from below with two (2) DP screws:
Here is our newly installed deck panel. The lower edge may look misaligned, but it is actually lifted up compared the next panel. This will be resolved when we install the saucer rim parts down the road:
Fitting Battle Section Panel 2
Retrieve your Battle Section Panel 2 (top of the ‘cobra head’) from Stage 18. Fit the four Docking Latches into the matching openings on the underside of the Battle Section Panel 2.
Note the position of the notches in the rear Docking Latches and the angled corners of the front Docking Latches are correct, as shown:
Retrieve your Battle Section Skeleton assembly from the previous stage and place it down onto the Battle Section Panel 2, over the Docking Latches and aligning the screw holes, as shown.
Make sure we do not not trap the Battery Box wiring between the skeleton and the panel:
Secure the skeleton to the Battle Section Panel 2 with six (6) BM screws.
This is your friendly reminder to try using 3-in-One Oil on all screws going into metal. There are four screws at the front…
… and two more screws at the rear:
Fitting the Second PCB
Place the PCB included with this stage into this location of the Battle Section Skeleton, align the screw holes, and secure the forward edge of the PCB into place with two (2) BM screws, as shown.
Do not over-tighten these screws as you can damage the circuit board:
Secure the rear edge of this PCB using two (2) FM screws:
Connect the plug of the Battle Section Lights cable to this socket of the PCB.
Ensure these plugs are correctly installed to avoid damaging the pins of the sockets:
Feed the LEDs on the red/black wires (connected to the heat-shrinked component) through the back of the Battle Section Skeleton through these upper center openings, as shown:
Turn the Battle Section assembly upright and continue to feed these two LEDs back into and out of the skeleton via these openings.
Note the slight divot in the skeleton rib on the right in the picture below, this is where this wire will need to remain as we finish assembling this stage:
Here, we have both wires run through the skeleton as expected. It is worth noting here that this is not the final placement of these wires – it is just to keep them out of the way for now:
Combining Your Battle Section Builds
- Retrieve your Battle Section Rear Neck assembly from Stage 16.
- Identify the cables of the Left Windows Light (09E) and Right Windows Light (10F) and thread them through the Battle Section Skeleton assembly.
- Thread the Rear Window Light I (11D), Rear Window Light II (11E), and the Impulse Engine Light (14D) cables through the skeleton.
As I was test-fitting this, I saw that I needed to deviate from the instructions and try to do this step better myself. There is a known issue with a gap appearing along the top edge of these two assemblies and I wanted to see if I could minimize it. I will try to explain my process as best I can.
First, I moved the four LEDs around for the Rear Window Lights of the Battle Section Rear Neck. I loosened all eight screws holding the reflectors in place, popped out all the LEDs, then reinstalled one LED from each cable into the notches near the Main Impulse Engine. I left the two other LEDs loose for right now:
I also loosened/removed the screws of the upper reflector panels and pulled out these two edge LEDs:
Next, I ran the Impulse Engine Light cable through this rear opening of the Battle Section Skeleton assembly:
Then, I fed the two cables from the Rear Window Lights through these openings of the skeleton:
As this wiring can be complicated, I thought this would be a good opportunity to try something new on my build sites. To better depict the specific wires we are handling at this point in the stage, here is the same picture edited to highlight just those wires. Let me know if you think this is helpful in the comments section at the end of this page!
In a similar way, I ran the Left Window Light and Right Window Light cables from the upper reflectors through these openings of the skeleton:
And, here is the same picture edited to highlight the wiring we are working with right now:
Next, I ran the loose LEDs of the Rear Window Light cables back through this opening of the skeleton. This should be done on both sides:
Again, the same picture edited for clarity:
I reinstalled these loose LEDs back behind the Rear Window reflector panels and secured the panels back down. This also should be done on both sides:
Finally, I fed the loose LEDs for the Left Window Light and Rear Window Light panels through these small openings (arrows below) of the Battle Section Skeleton, reinserted them behind the reflectors (circled below), and secured the reflectors back into place:
One more time with an edited version of the picture above for clarity:
Here is a closeup of where these wires were passed through the skeleton structure (the same location is used on both sides):
This is how my wiring ended up before bringing these two assemblies together. Looks intimidating for sure!
Bring the two Battle Section assemblies together and connect them with three (3) CP screws, making sure not to hinder or damage any wires.
As I brought these assemblies together and pulled the wire slack through the skeleton, I made sure the wiring of my four Rear Window Light LEDs was routed on either side of this center rib on the rear Battle Section Skeleton 1 (arrows below). Doing it this way ensured there were no wires running between the skeleton and the plastic hull. I also loosely installed the first CP screw (circled below) to temporarily hold the Battle Section Rear Neck in place while I worked on the next steps:
As I closed the assemblies up, the upper Left Window Light and Right Window Light LEDs fit right where I expected them (including the two I moved to a different opening in the skeleton – circled below). This is also where I made sure the two LEDs of the Battle Section Lights were coming out of the skeleton corners in the right place (arrows below):
These two Battle Section Lights LEDs will light up navigation lights, so they will eventually be fitted into these recesses. We don’t have to do this yet, but I wanted to show how the wires will be routed:
With everything in place, I finally secured the Battle Section Rear Neck assembly to the Battle Section Skeleton. I first used the three (3) CP screws as per the instructions, but I found that these screws do not seem to not bite into the plastic very well. I ended up swapping them out for some spare DP screws I had left over from previous stages. These larger diameter screws provided a much better hold:
Here is our Battle Section assembly so far:
I even managed to keep the top gap between these two assemblies to a bare minimum. Unfortunately, there appears to be some molding cavities just below the inner ends of both phaser banks. There is still more to attach here, so I will wait and see if I need to come back later and fix this or not:
Plug the lights of the Battle Section Rear Neck assembly into the PCB as shown, including the two-pin connector of the Impulse Engine Light.
I plugged the 4-pin plugs into the correct ports per the instructions, but I don’t think the order matters:
Fitting the Battle Section Batteries
Retrieve your Battery Box from Stage 3, disconnect the testing PCB (if necessary), and remove the Battery Box Cover, as shown:
Move the three batteries to the Battery Box installed in the Battle Section assembly, with the polarity of each battery as shown:
Fit the Battery Box Cover we removed over these batteries, sliding it to the rear and under the lip of the Battle Section Rear Neck, then tighten the Battery Box Screw:
Retrieve your Battle Bridge assembly from Stage 17. Slide the flat edge under the lip of the Battle Section Rear Neck and lower it into place. It will hold itself in place with the magnets:
Connect the 2-pin plug from this new Battery Box to this connector of the battle section PCB:
Sliding the Battery Box switch to the ON position (towards the end with the attached wires) should light up the entire assembly.
If it doesn’t, check you have fresh batteries, all the plugs are secure in their PCB sockets correctly, and no wires are pinched and possibly shorting out:
Here is another picture with the studio lights turned off:
The two LEDs of the Battle Section Lights are connected to a tiny component that makes them both flash on and off. Of course, if these are meant to be the navigation lights, they should be red and green and not blink at all. Even if they were position strobes, the frequency is too fast, but it is close to the television show (which was also too fast because I believe the model shots were sped up). I shot a quick video of this in action:
That was a heck of a stage with all the crazy wiring! While I did not follow the instructions exactly, I feel it all turned out for the better. You are by no means required to follow what I did, but I did want to share the outcome of my changes. Like I always say, build your Enterprise any way you like!
Stage 23 – Deck Panel, Escape Pod Covers, Battery Box Cover, Windows