Return to the BUILD
“This wide-ranging stage takes in the creation of another deck panel, the addition of a second saucer PCB, and new parts for your starboard warp engine nacelle.“
The description of this stage in the magazine is incorrect as we will be adding parts to our PORT (left side) warp engine nacelle.
Materials: All of the non-electrical parts in this stage are plastic.
Stage 45 Addendum
Before we get started on this stage, you should find a loose addendum sheet included with this shipment. You should also find two additional parts (and replacement AM and BM screws) in your parts bag that are not mentioned in the magazine:
Back in Stage 2, I called out that the Bussard EM Field Projector and the Formation Light on the port warp nacelle were incorrect. Well, they tried to fix their mistake and included replacement parts in this stage. I still feel like the colors are wrong as the Field Projector should be more of a goldenrod and the Formation Light should be clear, but either way, these are an improvement over what we had before. While I already corrected these parts on my model, here are the provided steps to replace them on your warp nacelle if you want to:
With this fix out of the way, we can now start the stage proper.
Assembling and Installing Deck Panel U3-17
Carefully remove sixteen (16) Clear Windows and fifteen (15) Dark Windows from their sprues and fit them into the back of Deck Panel U3-17, as shown.
Reminder: I sanded all of these windows down already. See The Windows page for more details:
Remove the backing from two Stickers and place them over the Dark Windows along the top of the panel to hold them in place.
Instead, as before, I used pieces of black electrical tape behind the Dark Windows to reduce light leak:
Fit Reflector Panel U3-17-A onto the back of Deck Panel U3-17, as shown:
Slide the two LEDs of the Deck Panel Lights cable into these notches of this Reflector Panel, as shown:
Carefully bend the leads of both LEDs to a 90° angle (vertical) from the panel, as shown:
Secure this Reflector Panel to the Deck Panel with three (3) BP screws:
We can test these new window lights by connecting the new Deck Panel Lights cable to the PCB and Battery Box:
NOTE: I tested these lights before bending the LED leads, so they were not bent yet in this picture:
Retrieve your Upper Skeleton assembly from the previous stage and thread the Deck Panel Light cable of this new panel through this opening next to Deck Panel U3-16, as shown.
While test fitting this panel, I noticed that the black/red wires of the LED on the nearby Deck Panel U3-16 should be re-routed. I loosened the BP screws of the Deck Panel Reflector U3-16-A, slid out the LED and moved it so the wires could come up through this circular gap of the skeleton. If you haven’t noticed, I find it easier to fit the Deck Panels with everything upside down:
Then, I routed the wires of our new Deck Panel U3-17 through the skeleton as shown:
Position this Deck Panel onto the Upper Skeleton…
… and secure it into place with two (2) CP screws:
You can see here how both of my red/black cables (from this panel and Deck Panel U3-16) now fit up through the circular gap in the skeleton:
From above, our new Deck Panel U3-17 is sitting quite nicely. The outer (rim) edge is left a bit high, but it should be compressed back down when we start installing the rim edge pieces later on:
Installing the Second Saucer PCB
Remove the short Saucer PCB Cable from the ‘IN1’ socket of the existing Saucer PCB 1. Then, connect one end of it to the ‘IN/OUT’ socket of the new Saucer PCB 2, as shown:
Fit the Saucer PCB 2 to the underside of the Upper Skeleton assembly as shown:
You may notice that I applied a small square of electrical tape near this screw hole. I did not like how the screw came into contact with the trace on the circuit board. Even with the insulating coating on top of the trace, I wanted to make sure it would not cause a short down the road:
Secure the Saucer PCB 2 into place with two (2) FM screws at opposite corners, as shown.
We only use two screws here as this Saucer PCB 2 has to come back out to attach the Deck Two assembly to the saucer in Stage 55. Then, it will be secured at all four corners. This also is your friendly reminder to try using 3-in-One Oil on all screws going into metal:
Plugging in the Lights
Connect the free end of the short Saucer PCB Cable to the ‘OUT1’ socket of the first Saucer PCB 1, linking the PCBs together as shown:
Then, connect the five Deck Panel Light cables from stages 29, 30, 32, 39, and 45 to these sockets marked ‘A’ on the Saucer PCB 2:
- Deck Panel Lights 29J is the one connected to Deck Panel U3-15
- Deck Panel Lights 30D is the one connected to Deck Panel U3-16
- Deck Panel Lights 32C is the one connected to Deck Panel U1-07
- Deck Panel Lights 39F is the one connected to Deck Panel U2-08
- Deck Panel Lights 45D is the one we just added to Deck Panel U3-17 in Step A
NOTE: You do not have to plug these in exactly per the instructions. These 4-pin Deck Panel Lights cables can be connected to any of the 4-pin sockets marked ‘A’, so you can route the wiring as needed:
Use a Cable Tie to tidy up the wiring by securing these cables to the Upper Skeleton.
As in Stage 31, I used my own 4″ black zip ties to bundle these cables neatly together and secure them to the Upper Skeleton, as shown:
Connect the six Deck Panel Light cables from stages 34, 35, 41, 42, 43, and 44 to these sockets marked ‘A’ on the Saucer PCB 2:
- Deck Panel Lights 34G is the one connected to Deck Panel U3-03
- Deck Panel Lights 35F is the one connected to Deck Panel U2-01
- Deck Panel Lights 41H is the one connected to Deck Panel U3-04
- Deck Panel Lights 42C is the one connected to Deck Panel U3-05
- Deck Panel Lights 43K is the one connected to Deck Panel U2-02
- Deck Panel Lights 44D is the one connected to Deck Panel U1-02
Identify the Deck Panel Lights 33C (from Deck Panel U3-02) and gather it up with all of the cables we just plugged in (except Deck Panel Lights 44D). Then, use a Cable Tie to secure this bundle to the Upper Skeleton.
Per the instructions, Deck Panel Lights 33C should remain unplugged (arrow below). I secured these wires with my 4″ black zip ties:
The reason I am not exactly following the instructions regarding the Cable Tie locations is that I wanted to route the wires as cleanly as possible and keep them at a very low profile inside the skeleton. I have a feeling when we start adding the lower saucer panels soon, interior spaces are going to be tight:
Testing the Lights
We can test lighting the entire saucer at once by connecting the Battery Box to the ‘IN/OUT’ socket of Saucer PCB 2.
As the first time lighting the entire upper saucer, I feel it looks amazing! We have really managed to minimize the light leak so far:
Assembling the First Field Grill Reflector
Simply slide raised long edge of the Warp Field Grill Left Reflector 2 into the Warp Field Grill Left Reflector 1, as shown.
On my model, these reflectors were already fitted together in the parts bag, so check your parts to be sure:
In order to help diffuse the warp nacelle LEDs, I lightly airbrushed the widest surface of this reflector with Tamiya XF-2 Flat White acrylic paint. The widest surface was the side where we slid the two parts together:
I have to admit I was very excited to see the entire saucer lit up! It is also nice to see they are trying to update the model during the run to correct inaccuracies. Keep the Warp Field Grill Reflectors nearby as we will need them in the next stage.
Stage 46 – Deck Panel U3-18, Windows/Reflectors/Lights, Escape Pod Covers, Nacelle Light Strip