Return to the BUILD
“Add a photon torpedo launcher to your battle section and say goodbye to the neck skeleton as the last large neck panel covers it completely.“
Materials: All of the non-electrical parts in this stage are plastic.
Assembling and Installing Deck Panel U3-04
Carefully remove three (3) Escape Pod Covers, fifteen (15) Clear Windows and seventeen (17) Dark Windows from their sprues and fit them into the back of Deck Panel U3-04, as shown.
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 U3-04-A onto the back of Deck Panel U3-04, as shown:
Slide the LED on the yellow/black wires of the Deck Panel Lights cable into this notch of the Reflector Panel, as shown:
Secure this Reflector Panel to the Deck Panel with three (3) BP screws:
In preparation for fitting this panel to the skeleton, I gently bent the leads of this LED vertically into the notch cut into the reflector. While not mentioned in the instructions, this notch is important. It not only provides space for the wiring for this LED, but also the wiring of the LED on the adjacent panel we will install in the next stage:
Retrieve your Upper Skeleton assembly from the previous stage and thread the Deck Panel Light cable of this new panel up through this opening, as shown.
If you haven’t noticed, I find it easier to fit the Deck Panels with everything upside down:
Thread the LED on the red/black wires of the Deck Panel Lights back down through this other opening of the Upper Skeleton, as shown:
Slide the LED on the red/black wires of the Deck Panel Lights into this notch of the Reflector Panel.
You might need to temporarily loosen the BP screws holding the reflector to the panel in order to fit this LED correctly. Also, to fit better into the skeleton, I gently bent the leads of this LED vertically away from the panel, as shown:
Position the Deck Panel onto the Upper Skeleton as shown:
Secure Deck Panel U3-04 into place with two (2) CP screws:
With this panel now installed, we can see how the black/yellow LED wires fit nicely through this circular opening on the skeleton:
We can test these new window lights by connecting the two new Deck Panel Lights cables to the PCB and Battery Box:
Use a Cable Tie to tidy up the wiring.
On my model, I will wait to add any Cable Ties until more wiring is installed so it can all be routed together. However, you can secure the wiring down to the skeleton with the Cable Ties as you see fit.
Fitting the Right Neck Rear Lights
Retrieve your Right Neck Panel/Windows assembly from the previous stage. Fit the Right Neck Rear Reflector over the windows, as shown:
Fit the two remaining LEDs on the yellow/black wires of the Right Neck Panel Lights into these notches of the Right Neck Rear Reflector.
Note how the upper and lower wires are routed to the appropriate reflector notches here:
With the LEDs in place, secure the Reflector to the Panel (capturing the Windows in between) with three (3) CP screws:
Installing the Photon Torpedo Launcher
Fit the Photon Torpedo Launcher into this slot at the front of the Battle Section Neck assembly.
One side of this Photon Torpedo Launcher has two small ridges on it – this is the side that is inserted into the slot between the Left Ventral Neck Panel and the black Battle Section Neck Brackets, as shown.
NOTE: I chose NOT to install this part on my model for two reasons: First, I don’t like how it sticks out of the hull – without it, I feel the launcher look more accurate to the deep hole it should be. Second, I already painted the LED behind it red and installing this part would make that light visible from the sides of the starship:
Fitting the Right Neck Panel
NOTE: I deviated from the printed instructions here to make this step a little easier to understand.
Fit the Right Neck Panel into position as shown, making sure not to trap any cables between the panel and the skeleton.
While test fitting these parts, I found it is easier to first remove the Battle Section Floor:
Then, 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 Right Neck Panel, as shown:
Next, as you fit this Right 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 Right Neck Panel needs to fit underneath the Right Ventral Neck panel, as shown:
Another thing to look out for here is this long tab along the front edge of the Right Neck Panel. It needs to slide behind the edge of the Left Neck Panel:
Finally, make sure this front screw post of the Right Neck Panel fits onto the matching screw post of the Right Neck Bracket. This may require a bit of squeezing the neck panel down towards the ‘top’ of the Battle Section Neck to pop it into place:
With all of these parts aligned, we should have no significant gaps – especially at the front of the Battle Section Neck. This is important to prevent light from leaking out between the panels:
Secure the Right Neck Panel to the skeleton with three (3) BM screws.
This is your friendly reminder to try using 3-in-One Oil on all screws going into metal:
We can now re-install the Battle Section Floor and secure all five screws:
Slide the Battle Section Neck power switch to the ON position to test the new lights.
If you look closely here, you can just barely make out the red glow of the LED of the photon torpedo launcher without that clear plastic bit installed. This is exactly what I was hoping for. Just FYI, I will likely change the lighting inside this neck to be more accurate to the ‘real’ ship at a later time (this photon torpedo launcher should not be a steady light and only lit while firing):
Excellent, the lighting looks great and we do not have any crazy light leaks!
With the end of this stage, we have completed our Battle Section Neck assembly! There are still a few detail parts and two trim panels that are left to install, but they will arrive in later stages.
Stage 42 – Deck Panel U3-05, Windows/Reflectors/Lights, Transporter Pad, Screw Covers, Secondary Tractor Beam Emitters