STAGE 53

 Return to the BUILD


“Cap your first warp nacelle with a distinctive red bussard collector and then turn your attention to the biggest saucer deck panel so far!

 

Contents


Parts

Materials: The Deck Panel U3-01 is metal, but the other non-electronic parts in this stage are plastic.

Build


Fitting the Port Bussard Collector

Step A

I recently had the opportunity to take pictures of the original ILM 6-Foot Studio Model. After my trip, I knew I wanted to see if I could make my own Bussard Collectors look close to the real thing as seen here:

Therefore, I first soaked my outer Bussard Collector from Stage 2 in 70% Isopropyl Alcohol for a few minutes to remove the red paint. After rinsing and drying, I coated the inside and outside surfaces with a few coats of Krylon Frosted Glass Finish spray paint. This is the result I achieved:

Retrieve your Bussard Collector from Stage 2. The three Bussard Collector Reflectors from this stage nest inside each other, and then into the Bussard Collector.

After seeing how this assembly looked, I decided to additionally remove the red paint from my middle Bussard Collector Reflector:

My modified Bussard Collector assembly looks like this. Just enough red to give it some color, but will appear mostly white when not lit:

Retrieve your port Nacelle Upper assembly last worked on in Stage 50. Fit the round red LED at the front of the Nacelle Light Strip into the matching hole at the rear of the Bussard Collector Reflector 3, as shown:

Fit the Bussard Collector assembly onto the Nacelle Front, as shown. This will remain loose until secured in the next stage:

Assembling Deck Panel U3-01

Step B

Carefully remove six (6) Escape Pod Covers, two (2) Clear Windows, and three (3) Dark Windows from their sprues and fit them into the back of Deck Panel U1-09. Then, fit the Arboretum into its matching location at the center, as shown.

Eaglemoss has the windows of the Arboretum blacked out and dark. However, the higher detailed 4-foot studio model used later in the series frequently showed these windows lit with a cool blue light as seen here from Season 4, Episode 23 ‘The Host’:

I love this lighted look and wanted to replicate it. So, I soaked my Arboretum in 91% Isopropyl Alcohol until the black paint had come off (an old toothbrush helps remove any stubborn paint).

UPDATE: After I completed this stage, I came back and added paint to block out the center ‘windows’ of the Arboretum to more resemble the rectangle lit window pattern of the original model. See the bottom of this page for details.

NOTE: I did not sand the raised windows of this part. They will already sit slightly recessed in the Deck Panel once fitted:

Once the Arboretum was clear and dry, I airbrushed the flat back surface with Tamiya X-23 Clear Blue acrylic paint:

I could then move on to installing all of the parts as per the instructions.

Reminder: I sanded these Clear Windows and Dark Windows down already. See The Windows page for more details.

NOTE: You may find that the tiny top ‘tabs’ of these lower Escape Pod Covers interfere with the Arboretum and keep it from sitting flush. If you encounter this, gently sand or cut the top tabs off the offending Escape Pod Covers:

As before, I used pieces of black electrical tape behind the Escape Pod Covers and Dark Windows to reduce light leak:

Fit the Reflector Panel U3-01-A1 onto the back of Deck Panel U3-01, as shown:

Slide the LED of the Deck Panel Lights cable into this notch of the Reflector Panel:

Secure the 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. On my model, the bottom screw would not grab into the Deck Panel. I think the hole in the casting was slightly too big. I ended up using a thicker screw from another build of mine (a leftover KM from the DeLorean).

We can test this new window light by connecting the Deck Panel Lights cable to the PCB and Battery Box:

Step C

In the same way as before, carefully remove six (6) Escape Pod Covers and five (5) Dark Windows from their sprues and fit them into the back of Deck Panel U1-09, as shown.

Since I will be lighting this side of the Deck Panel so my Arboretum looks correct, I decided to mirror the opposite side window layout using two (2) Clear Windows and three (3) Dark Windows. Also, on this side, I did encounter interference between the tiny tabs on the top of the lower Escape Pod Covers and my Arboretum (circled below). I had to sand down the upper tabs of these Escape Pod Covers to make some space:

As before, I used pieces of black electrical tape behind the Escape Pod Covers and Dark Windows to reduce light leak:

Fit the Reflector Panel U3-01-A2 onto the back of Deck Panel U3-01 as shown:

Eaglemoss intended this entire section of Deck Panel U1-09 not to be lighted. However, I wanted my Arboretum to be lit on both sides. Therefore, I needed to find a way to light this Reflector Panel U3-01-A2. This requires both a spare LED and place to attach it. To first create a place to attach it, I used my hobby knife to mark an ‘LED-sized’ notch in the back of this Reflector Panel. I placed it in the same, but opposite, location as the first reflector:

Next, I used a Razor Saw to carefully cut down the long sides of the notch, and deeply scored the short end of the notch with my hobby knife:

Then, I carefully snapped off the notch with some needle-nose pliers. To make the light from a LED pass into the reflector better, I sanded inside the short end of the notch until the edge of the plastic was clear and smooth (arrow below):

I could now fit my modified Reflector Panel to the Deck Panel:

Secure the Reflector Panel to the Deck Panel with three (3) DM screws.

Again, the lower screw would not grab the metal and I had to use a thicker screw from a different build (another leftover KM from the DeLorean):

This modification hardly changes the outside appearance of this Deck Panel (other than the slight blue tint to the Arboretum windows):

To light this modified Reflector, I grabbed my unused Deck Lights cable (marked ‘B’) from Stage 1. Since I painted my Emergency Flush Vents back in that stage, this cable was not needed and I put it in storage. It is noteworthy to mention the second LED on this cable is supposed to be used later in the build. To test how my Arboretum lighting mod looks, I temporarily taped one of these LEDs into the notch I made earlier:

Connecting the LEDs of both of these Reflectors to the PCB and Battery Box, we have nice even light across both panels and the Arboretum!

UPDATE: After I completed this stage, I came back and added paint to block out the center ‘windows’ of the Arboretum to more resemble the rectangle lit window pattern of the original model. First, I masked off the center windows with some Fineline Masking Tape. Then, using a fine tip paintbrush and some Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black acrylic paint, I covered the center windows until no light leaked through:

While this achieved the effect I wanted when the panel was lit, it does not look so good from the outside:

Therefore, I took the Arboretum out again and added a couple layers of Citadel Administratum Grey acrylic paint to the top surfaces of the windows I darkened earlier:

This is what I was going for. I think it looks much better now, both lit and unlit:

Thoughts


I had no idea how my Arboretum lighting modifications in this stage would turn out, but I am more than happy with the results! The pale blue color of the Arboretum windows is perfect to me. A bonus benefit of adding this light is we were able to add a few lit Clear Windows on that side of the Deck Panel as well. I feel it is small touches like this that make the build even more enjoyable!

Next Up


Stage 54 – Windows/Reflectors/Lights, Escape Pod Covers, Bussard Collector Reflector Cover

3 thoughts on “STAGE 53”

    1. It did cross my mind, but since the windows are one piece of plastic, you would have a heck of a time trying to darken a few of them only. The light would transmit through the flat base.

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