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“Install deck panels on two sides of your saucer module, and continue to fit reflectors in your portside warp nacelle.“
Materials: The Deck Panel U1-08 is metal, but all of the non-electrical parts in this stage are plastic.
Assembling and Installing Deck Panel U1-08
Carefully remove two (2) Escape Pod Covers, five (5) Clear Windows and nine (9) Dark Windows from their sprues and fit them into the back of Deck Panel U1-08, as shown.
Reminder: I sanded all of these windows down already. See The Windows page for more details:
On my model, the Dark Window on the lower left of the panel was catching on a piece of the Deck Panel, so I cut the corner off with my sprue cutters:
As before, I used pieces of black electrical tape behind the Escape Pod Covers and Dark Windows to reduce light leak:
Just for fun, I also colored the backs of a few Clear Windows with my Yellow Brush Sharpie to add a little color variety:
Fit Reflector Panel U-08-A onto the back of Deck Panel U1-08, as shown:
Slide one LED of the Deck Panel Lights cable into the notch of this Reflector Panel:
Secure this Reflector Panel to the Deck Panel with three (3) DM screws.
This is your friendly reminder to try using 3-in-One Oil on all screws going into metal:
Fit Reflector Panel U1-08-A onto the back of Deck Panel U1-08, as shown:
Slide the other LED of the Deck Panel Lights cable into the notch of this Reflector Panel.
I needed to gently bend the leads of this LED up a bit so it would clear the first Reflector Panel:
Secure this Reflector Panel to the Deck Panel with three (3) more DM screws:
We can test these new window lights by connecting the new Deck Panel Lights cable to the PCB and Battery Box.
Before I tested these lights, I gently adjusted the position of the LED wiring. Since this panel will fit like the matching Deck Panel U1-02 on the other side of the saucer, I figured I would just take care of it now. I tucked the leads of the LED on the red/blue wires down towards the panel between the reflectors. Next, I lifted the leads of the LED on the yellow/black wires up away from the panel, as shown:
Then, I plugged the cable in and tested the lights. All good!
Retrieve your Upper Skeleton assembly from the previous stage and thread the Deck Panel Light cable of this new panel down through this opening, as shown.
Position this Deck Panel onto the Upper Skeleton next to Deck Panel U1-07.
Back in Stage 28 when we installed Deck Panel U1-03 on the starboard (right) side of the saucer, we were instructed to route the LED wiring tightly along the edge of the panel and then through a gap along the lower edge of the panel. Well, we also need to do that here with the wiring from Deck Panel U1-07 or our new panel will never fit right:
I gently bend the leads of this LED from Deck Panel U1-07 tightly along the edge of the reflector. At the same time, I pulled any slack in the wiring along the base of the same panel, as shown:
The goal here is to not have any of this LED wiring obstructing the opening for our new Deck Panel U1-08:
OK, with that out of the way we can proceed with threading the wiring and positioning our Deck Panel U1-08 onto the skeleton:
Be sure these two tabs along the lower edge of this panel slide underneath the outer panels first, as shown:
While holding this Deck Panel against the skeleton, secure the panel into place from below with two (2) BM screws.
Like the same panel on the other side, this Deck Panel was a bit tricky to fit. I needed to temporarily loosen the outer/lower Deck Panels so the tabs would slide under them easier. Be sure to tighten everything back up once this panel is installed:
On my model, I had a pretty nasty gap where this panel joined the next one. It seemed like something was pushing up on the panel from below:
This needed to be fixed. I started looking around and noticed was this screw hitting the skeleton frame:
So first, I swapped this EM screw out with one of the new EM screws with the smaller flange:
This smaller screw helped, but it seemed that the Reflector Panel U1-08-A itself was now pressing on the skeleton. I grabbed my sprue cutters and snipped off the edge of the raised circular section near the new EM screw, like this:
Removing this small part of the Reflector Panel helped a lot, but there was still a strange bend in the panel. I traced it down to this DM screw holding the reflector panel on. I removed this screw as the other two hold the reflector in place just fine:
After making these small modifications to Deck Panel U1-08, I reinstalled the panel and it fit perfectly fine. It actually dropped in so nicely, I went back to Stage 44 and modified Deck Panel U1-02 as well:
Finally, connect the plug of the Deck Panel Lights cable to this socket (marked ‘A’) of the Saucer PCB 2:
Installing Deck Panel U1-08
Retrieve your Deck Panel U1-01 assembly from Stage 36. Thread the Deck Panel Light cable down through this opening of the Upper Skeleton.
I test fit this panel and decided to gently bend the leads of the two Deck Panel Light LEDs vertically away from the panel first, as shown:
The LED on the yellow/green wires did not ‘need’ to be bent, but since this panel is right next to where the Battle Section will attach to the saucer, I wanted to keep any cables clear of that entire area. I even temporarily removed two of the DM screws and slid this LED out so I could route it through the skeleton in a better way:
Then, I threaded the plug of the Deck Panel Lights cable down through this opening of the skeleton frame:
Next, I pulled the loose LED on the yellow/green wires back up through this other opening, as shown:
Finally, I inserted the LED back into the reflector panel and reinstalled the two DM screws, as shown:
Position this Deck Panel onto the Upper Skeleton.
As with the previous panel, make sure these two tabs along the lower edge of this panel slide underneath the outer panels first, as shown. You may find it easier to start with the tab closest to the next panel first:
Secure this panel into place from below with three (3) BM screws.
As I pressed this Deck Panel down into place to secure it, it would not sit flush no matter what I tried:
Like the earlier panel, a quick examination of the panel-to-skeleton contact of this panel showed that two of the reflector panel DM screws were in the way. Since the skeleton will hold the reflector panel against the skeleton on this side, I simply removed these two screws entirely:
BOOM, no more weird gap!
Happy with the fitment now, I secure this panel to the skeleton as instructed:
Fitting Field Grill Reflectors
Slide the raised long edge of the Warp Field Grill Right Reflector 2 into the Warp Field Grill Right Reflector 1, as shown.
On my model, these reflectors were already fitted together in the parts bag, so check your parts to be sure:
As before, I lightly airbrushed the wider surface of this reflector with Tamiya XF-2 Flat White acrylic paint to help diffuse the warp nacelle LEDs:
Position this assembly between the Warp Engine Field Grill Right and the Nacelle Upper Frame, as shown.
These reflectors will fit loosely at this point. When the lower frame of the nacelle is attached later on, they will be better secured:
This issue was interesting to say the least. It took me a few hours to finish this one due to solving the panel gap problems. I honestly do not blame the model for this one though as it could just be how the skeleton frame was painted that creates a tolerance issue. Still, the solutions were easy enough and the ‘fixed’ panels look so much better now!
Stage 49 – Deck Panel U3-19, Windows/Reflector/Lights, Escape Pod Covers, Warp Field Grill Reflectors