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Considerations for lighting scale models Options
darbyvet
#1 Posted : 15 November 2020 02:19:02

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So this section is aobut adding electronic effects to the models your build.Many Deagostini models comes with lights and sound effects already. However, most static models dont and adding lights and/or sound to models can really bring them to life. There are aftermarket companies that make bespoke lighting kits for many sci fi modesl,especially Star trek kits.Some of these kits are very simple to install and others require soldering and modification of kit parts and a basic knowledge of electronics.

What do you do if there is no aftermarket lighting kit for your model? The goal of this section is to discuss some basic techniques and demonstrate how to build your own custom lighting and sound effects for you model.


The key to success in adding electronics is good planning.The last thing you want to do is glue parts of your model together and then discover you cant fit an LED where you need it because your construction has blocked access to where you need to place your LED. So a good starting point is to map out exactly where you want your lighting effect and make sure there will be a clear path from where you place the LEd or fiber optic and the power supply or control board.


LEDS VS fiber optics.
So how are you going to light the model.That depends on how much room you have and how much light you need.For a small naviagtion light (like you see on the USS enterprise saucer) a fiber optic or 3mm LED will work fine.IF you need a lot of light (say for example to illuminate all of the windows on the main hull of the USS Enterprise) you may need several LEDS or a LED strip.

Power supply
There are several options for powering your LEDS.LEDS are great because they use very little current and operate at low voltages and they dont hot like the old style grain of wheat lights.We will talk more about power sources in more detail later on.You can either use batteries that can be stored inside the model or a DC power supply that plugs into the mains.If you use a battery you will need to create a way to access the battery to change it when it is drained and a switch to turn the lights on.IF you use a DC power supply you will need a place to put the socket that the power supply plugs into.


Lighting effects
If you have a simple lighting scheme where the lights are on all of the time you just need LEDs and a power supply.IF you want more realism, however, and you want the lights to flash or flicker or turn off and on in sequence you will need some form of circuitry to control your LEDS. You can make some simple circuit boards and I will post some examples of these later on or you can use a microcontroller like an Arduino to control the LEDS. If you decide to use a circuit board you will need to figure out if you can fit it inside the model or make a base and put the circuit board in the base.


Sound effects
There are several sound effects board that can be used to add sound effects to your models.These often come with smnall speakers.The small speakers usually need a sound box to amplify their sound so you may need to make one in the base



Final thoughts

A couple of other things to remember.
It is always a good idea to let LEDs burn in before you install them on a model.Burining in means leaving them powered on for 24 hours.Occasionally you will get a bad LEd and it is really frustrating to install a LED and then have it fail.IF it is still working after 24 hours it should be good.
It is important that you secure your LEDS and wires.Solder joints are quite fragile and if the wires or LEDs juggle around the solder joint can fail and the LED wont light up.
IF you use a battery to power your model it is always a good idea to remove the battery so it doesnt leak inside your model.

Next up we will talk about power supplies.

Carl











kpnuts
#2 Posted : 15 November 2020 09:50:48

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This sounds like a very useful section. I will be looking in here regularly.
Thanks for posting.
Ken's the name modeling's the game.
Gandale
#3 Posted : 15 November 2020 13:05:08

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Another great contribution to this subject Carl and am sure it'll be very helpful to members. I know it will be helpful to me.... Thanks for contributing.....Drool Drool

Regards

Alan
delboy271155
#4 Posted : 15 November 2020 23:09:24

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Hi Carl,

Another nice article for the beginners in electronics.Cool


Regards
delboy271155
(Derek)
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Markwarren
#5 Posted : 15 November 2020 23:17:29

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Some very nice tips there Carl.Cool

Mark
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