This page is part of my Model Remodel series of articles.
DISCLAIMER: If you choose to attempt any of these modifications, you assume all risks thereof. I just wanted to share my experiences here. Neither Fanhome, nor myself, are responsible for any damages that may occur.
A Quick Detour
Based on a suggestion from Wayne Green of World of Wayne, I took all my reflectors off again and used electrical tape to cover the areas I already painted black, but with extra tape sticking out the sides. The idea was to help seal the gaps between panels and reduce light leakage:
I expanded on his idea by painting the sides of each reflector black:
I even went as far as sanding the upper edge of each reflector. This was to allow the highest amount of ‘desired’ light into the panel:
After assembly, my first thought was that the saucer looked really good!
However, with the studio lights off and a temporary LED strip mounted inside the saucer, the panel gaps were bleeding light all over the place:
Reassembling the Upper Saucer a Second Time (and blocking light leaks)
We needed a different angle of attack here, and after trying a few solutions, I think we found it. First, I laid all of the sections out as they should be attached to help keep them organized:
Each of these panels has a lip on one or more sides that fits over the panel next to it. By looking at all of the panels, we can determine that Deck Panel U1-05 (Part 18A) is a really good place to start as it has the same lips on both sides:
To completely eliminate the panel gap light leak, we decided on UHU Tac PROPower Adhesive Putty. This product is very much like Blu Tack that many model builders are familiar with, but this stuff is black. We rolled thin ‘rods’ of the putty and applied it to the edges of this panel:
We then mounted this Deck Panel to the Upper Skeleton normally:
The two adjoining panels were then also attached normally:
Make sure the putty does not get between the ‘lips’ of two neighboring panels – this can cause panel misalignment.
Using a set of plastic modeling tools normally used for clay, we next pushed the ‘rods’ of putty down onto the seams between the panels:
The various shaped modeling tools allowed us to get everywhere around the skeleton, but it did take time and patience:
TIP: If you forget to pre-apply the putty before attaching the next panel, you can also easily insert it with the next panel in place:
Here are some examples of where we applied putty before attaching various panels:
When we reached the point in reassembly where the outer Deck Panel clusters were to be installed, we had to make sure to keep the putty clear of the tab slots at the inner edge of each metal ‘U2’ panel:
Also, with these Deck Panel clusters, you can push putty into the spaces between panels in advance to save time:
Once all the Deck Panels and the Bridge/Deck Two assembly were reattached, we inspected the top surface for any putty that may have squeezed up between the panels. Luckily, we did not have any. If we did, the putty can be pulled up away from the panel gap and it will tear off.
NOTE: You may notice the electronics I have been working on have been temporarily attached to the saucer in this picture. This was so I could light up the LED strip inside the saucer for the following two pictures:
Our idea worked – our panel gap light leaks have disappeared!
WARP NACELLES – Putting power in the engines