Return to the BUILD
“Assemble another aft section of the upper saucer, and then complete installation of the sweeping left neck panel.“
Materials: Everything non-electrical in this stage is plastic.
Assembling Deck Panel U3-03
Carefully remove five (5) Escape Pod Covers, nineteen (19) Clear Windows and nine (9) Dark Windows from their sprues and fit them into the back of Deck Panel U3-02, as shown.
NOTE: The window layout image in the instructions depicts twenty (20) Clear Windows and eight (8) Dark Windows so it does not match the text. Therefore, just for fun, I swapped out some of the windows just to break up the big area of lit windows.
Reminder: I sanded all of these windows down already. See The Windows page for more details:
As before, I used pieces of black electrical tape behind the Escape Pod Covers and Dark Windows to reduce light leak:
Fit Reflector Panel U3-03-A to the back of this panel, capturing the windows and pod covers. At the same time, slide the LED on the red/blue wires of the Deck Panel Light cable into this slot of the Reflector Panel, as shown:
Secure the Reflector Panel into place with two (2) BP screws:
We can test these new window lights by connecting this Deck Panel Lights cable to the PCB and Battery Box:
Fitting Rear Windows and Lights to the Left Neck Panel
Retrieve your Battle Section Neck assembly from Stage 32 and turn it upside down. Retrieve your Left Neck Rear Windows from the previous stage and fit them to the Left Neck Panel as shown:
Fit the Left Neck Rear Reflector over the Left Neck Rear Windows. At the same time, slide the LED on the red/blue wires of the lower Left Neck Panel Lights cable (29I) into this notch of the Left Neck Rear Reflector, as shown.
To keep this LED in place, I drove one (1) CP screw into the corner of the reflector:
Next, slide the LED on the red/blue wires of the other Left Neck Panel Lights cable (29I) into this notch of the Left Neck Rear Reflector, as shown:
Finally, secure the Left Neck Rear Reflector to the Left Neck Panel with three (3) CP screws.
I already installed one of these CP screws earlier, so I only needed to add two more. This completes the assembly of our Left Neck Panel, but we need to add some right-side wiring before we can attach it to the skeleton:
Feed the plugs of the two Right Neck Panel Lights cables through these openings of the Right Neck Bracket, as shown.
I highlighted only the wires we are adding here, I hope this picture makes sense:
Connect the plugs of the Right Neck Panel Lights cables to these sockets on the PCB:.
CAUTION: This is important, so I removed the existing ventral panel to show it. Be sure to leave this socket open (marked with the ‘X’) and connect these two plugs into the sockets closer to the center of the PCB. This open socket will be needed for the Right Ventral Neck Panel lights coming up soon:
Installing the Left Neck Panel
Loosen the BM screws holding the Battle Section Floor in place.
While test fitting these parts, I found it is just easier to completely remove this Battle Section Floor:
Fit the Left Neck Panel into position as shown, making sure not to trap any cables between the panel and the skeleton.
To make a bit more room for the LEDs near the ‘bottom’ of the neck, I gently bent them up and towards the center of the Left Neck Panel, as shown:
As you fit this Left Neck Panel to the skeleton, feed the LED wiring into the skeleton and make sure this tab of the reflector goes inside the neck:
At the same time, this tiny tab at the forward end of the Left Neck Panel needs to fit underneath the Left Ventral Neck panel, as shown:
Secure the Left Neck Panel to the skeleton with three (3) BM screws.
I took this picture later in the build, but it is important to be sure this front screw post is seated over the matching post of the neck skeleton, as shown. It may take some squeezing of the panel towards the ‘top’ of the neck section to get it into position:
This also is your friendly reminder to try using 3-in-One Oil on all screws going into metal:
You can re-install the Battle Section Floor if you so choose, but it will need to come back off when we install the Right Neck Panel:
Slide the Battle Section Neck power switch to the ON position to test the new lights:
This ‘Cobra Head’ is looking better and better as we go! We will start working on the other side of the neck in the next issue, but the Deck Panel will need to wait before we attach it to the saucer. Keep everything safe until then!
Stage 35 – Deck Panel U2-01, Windows/Lights, Escape Pod Covers, Right Ventral Neck Panel