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Re-lighting (and eventually re-painting) the PM Enterprise-D


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#1 Destructor!!!

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 07:08 AM

I started this project in the Playmates forum, but I think it really belongs in Custom Ships, and since no moderator has moved the original topic, I figured I'd start a new one and link from one to the other.

To see the start of this project, click here.

I finally got the impetus under me to start working on this again. First thing I did was solder a few of the wires that had previously only been twisted together. Then I drilled a hole through the upper surface of the secondary hull, into the compartment behind the Impulse engine. I lined the compartment with red tape (it's accessible when the neck is detached from the secondary hull), and popped a red LED into the compartment.



I then soldered wires to the positive and negative terminals on opposite warp nacelle pylons, and soldered the other ends to the corresponding stalks of the LED.



Then I posed a blue LED and taped it to the front of the battery compartment, within the secondary hull, aiming the LED directly forward. I soldered them to the Impulse LED's terminals, in parallel.
I insulated all the solders and drilled out a little of the interior of the Nacelle pylon flat part, to accomodate the new wires. Then I sealed her up and pressed some buttons!



The port nacelle here still has the old Playmates lighting scheme, the starboard one has two LEDs in it now. As you can see, there's a lot of light bleed from the deflector LED, I'll put a foil cupola or something in around the LED to direct more light at the deflector. I cut a pice of brown electrical tape to shape in the centre of the deflector. I'll be cutting the appropriate patterns into it soon.



I'm particularly happy with how the main impulse engine turned out. It just looks perfect!



In ordinary lighting, the Deflector light bleed isn't such a huge issue, but a cupola would still help push a bit more blue through the red plastic.

Thoughts?

#2 Alex

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 01:10 AM

Wow! biggrin.gif That's pretty much the route I want to take with E-D #2 after I finish the "space lift" of E-D #1. Unfortunately, my soldering iron seems to be MIA, and the project has been in a holding pattern while I try to scrape enough money together to pay for the materials I need.

E-D #1 is simply being "restored" to the condition it was in when I first received it in 1992. LEDs will replace the rice bulbs for obvious reasons, and I'll be using your guide to separating the nacelles. E-D #2 is the one I intend to go all-out with, which will not only receive the same repro labels/LED treatment as E-D #1, but also the deflector dish/impulse engine treatment, the "krazy-glued nacelle" treatment, and maybe other minor tweaks. Unfortunately, I need a second set of nacelles for E-D #2 since it didn't come with any when I grabbed it off eBay, and as much as I'd like to put the ship on a stand, I'd have to find someone who was selling a stand with nothing else, or a stand and nacelles and no ship, or a non-functional ship that I could pull the nacelles from and a stand that originally went with the GEN E-D.

Destructor, my only suggestion for the deflector dish would be to add some copper paint to it, since I believe that's the color that it was in the show. If I had experience with vaccuforming, I'd mold a "clear" deflector for E-D #2, paint part of it gold, and let the LEDs work their magic. Unfortunately, I'll probably have to settle for red with paint, at least at present.

#3 Destructor!!!

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 07:07 PM

My painting skills need to mature a little before I touch the deflector with anything. So far, anything I've painted ends up a gloopy mess. In addition, I think I used too strong a paint thinner solvent, and my cheap-as-chips airbrush's nozzle disintegrated.

Couldn't get a refund either, the site I bought it from conveniently shut down. €45 down the watering hole...

I shall have to get my courage up and buy a decent airbrush.

And get my patience up and read/watch a decent model painting tutorial.

I have a Polar Lights D7 in progress, which, while not a total disaster, I know I could be doing better with.



#4 TheHSBR

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 10:43 PM

I dont think you need an airbrush really. Try dry brushing or wet brushing. I know both are good for ship details

#5 Destructor!!!

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 02:38 PM

This is what I mean when I say my painting skills need to mature...

I don't really know what dry-brushing or wet-brushing is (though I can hazard a guess), and I only ever think of primer after several coats fail to stick.

When I do think of it, the thought usually takes the form of "I wonder what primer is...?".

#6 TheHSBR

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:35 PM

Well I stopped using all types of oil based paints long ago. Yes they last longer but for diplay pieces or light wear pieces theres no much of a difference especially with a sealer. Drybrushing and wet brushing is easier done with acrylic water based craft paint. Dry brushing you take a bit of paint onto the brush, dab it on a pice of paper towel a few times and then lightly brush the surface of the object. This usually bring out the raised details. Wet brushing, you take a bit of paint, run it under some water, and then put it to the object. I add more water or more paint based on the desired effect I want. This will bring out the cut lines in whatever and is uasually best with a darker paint to accent you main color. I used to like the way airbrushing looked but recently I think these two methods look far superior.

#7 Destructor!!!

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 05:03 PM

Update time!

I've spent the last few weeks making the cupola (or as I'm now calling it, The Deflector Reflector!).

I made it out of cardboard, with tinfoil glued to one side, cut to fit snugly around the top and bottom of the deflector, and taped together at the sides and back.
In the back, there is a small hole to admit the LED (which I removed from the battery compartment because that made disassembly annoying and was an illogical place to put it once the DefRef was in place.)


I mounted the deflector in it and punched holes through for the struts that hold the deflector in the ship.


Then I mounted it, added a little cosmetic brown tape around the edges of the deflector, touched up my "dish" tape, and re-assembled the ship. I pressed a button, and:


I'm not sure if I took a picture of this before, but here's how I wired up the saucer impulse engine.

Yes, it's stupid, I have it wired to the speaker with crappy ceramic-insulation wire from an old electronics kit. It will be re-wired, to the lighting circuit, this was just convenient proof-of-concept work a few months back.

I finally got up the courage to tackle the other nacelle. Using the knowledge I accrued over weeks of nervously cracking open the other one, I had this one apart in about 10 minutes. No sweat - well... not much. It even was so kind as to come apart more symetrically than the last one.


I quickly got to work unsoldering the old wiring, and soldered in my new wiring. This makes this nacelle more advanced than the other one, which is still at dry-run phase. I put a few dabs of glue in and foiled-up the non-black parts of the innards, this is also new for this nacelle.


I added a bussard LED (I've now settled on white LED with brown tape for the best color mix with the red plastic), though I failed to photograph this. I'll get a snap of it soon. It's at dry-run stage, so I'll do a before and after when I solder it. This'll be useful for you guys to see the posing that works best for the LEDs.

#8 Destructor!!!

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 05:05 PM

Pic limit exceeded in the previous post...

Now... PICS!
(see how the DefRef cupola solves 99% of the lightbleed issues?)


See if you can tell, at a glance, which one is the DST ship tongue.gif...






There's still more to do, plus I think I'll have to trim down the DefRef and redirect some of the secondary hull wiring, as the casing is strained a little with all the extra crunk in it's badunkadunk.

#9 TheHSBR

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 07:16 PM

pretty sweet!

#10 Commodore Kor'Tar

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 08:19 PM

Nicely done!

#11 Destructor!!!

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:42 AM

I'm a complete beginner, and this is SO FREAKIN' EASY! (well...) I'm just amazed that noone has done it before, particularly with the number of DST Enterprise E's I've seen with modified lighting rigs!

#12 Prometheus

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:38 PM

QUOTE (Destructor!!! @ Aug 2 2011, 05:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm a complete beginner, and this is SO FREAKIN' EASY! (well...) I'm just amazed that noone has done it before, particularly with the number of DST Enterprise E's I've seen with modified lighting rigs!

Looks frickin awesome Destructor !!

I'm terrible with electronics of any sort.... I can barely change a light bulb LOL ....but Im pretty handy when it comes to painting and model building.... Have even taken home a few honorable mentions at some shows.



#13 Destructor!!!

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:29 PM

The electronics are pretty simple, just use the existing solder points, and touch your LEDs to the contacts to make sure they're working before you solder them. And even then, you just melt the solder again to undo it.

#14 stardestroyer001

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 06:07 PM

I tried to perform these changes, and have now irreparably damaged my Enterprise. :(
 
For some reason, pressing a button no longer triggers any kind of reaction. The solder melted the plastic and deformed the shape of the ship in certain areas. Wires connected to the speaker have simply fallen off, and I don't know where they are supposed to connect. Nacelle disassembly failed and there are now numerous scratch marks on the nacelle. The toy no longer functions.

Just... great.

#15 Destructor!!!

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 07:06 PM

Oh, dude, I'm really sorry to hear that!

 

I know that, at times, I start into this stuff, and just nothing goes right. I tried to disassemble my DST Enterprise-E and ended up damaging the screw covers, and then at the end of the day, the damn thing wouldn't pop!

 

I really regret that my attempt at a guide-book for these modifications has ruined your ship.

 

The buttons might be non-functional because the circuit to the speaker is broken. Perhaps this photo from my project will help you with the connections?

5aejGh.jpg



#16 stardestroyer001

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:57 PM

Oh, dude, I'm really sorry to hear that!

 

I know that, at times, I start into this stuff, and just nothing goes right. I tried to disassemble my DST Enterprise-E and ended up damaging the screw covers, and then at the end of the day, the damn thing wouldn't pop!

 

I really regret that my attempt at a guide-book for these modifications has ruined your ship.

 

The buttons might be non-functional because the circuit to the speaker is broken. Perhaps this photo from my project will help you with the connections?

5aejGh.jpg

 

Don't worry, it's my fault I broke it, not yours.

 

I believe I found where the connection is supposed to be made. Unfortunately the wire snapped with a tiny bit still soddered into the circuit board. I have no clue how I'm going to replace that, but I'll find a way.

 

For some reason, only when I rebuild the ship do the lights go on. Strange... and of course the sound can't be heard because the speaker detached. I haven't worked on the nacelles, I'm afraid to damage them any further. I suppose I'll leave them where they are and just work on the rest.



#17 Destructor!!!

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 03:38 PM

The best of luck to you. I see a lot of the photos from the earlier thread have expired - I'll see what I can do to restore them.

EDIT: Ok, the pictures in the older thread are back up. Hopefully they'll help you somehow.

#18 Kmagz

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:01 AM

Hi there.

 

Sorry to bust in on your thread, but I wanted to thank you for putting this up as it was a big help when I decided to tear apart my Playmates D. The Nacelles and pylons are the trickiest to take apart without causing some damage. So hats off for making a clean job of yours. It looks great.

 

I had intended to leave my Enterprise as a clean refurbish also, but I ended up getting carried away lighting up the whole saucer and painting aztecs etc.

 

Sorry to hear about your ship Stardestroyer001. Im sure you will get it working. I will be re-wiring my circuit board as I have completely removed it from my ship. If it will help anyone, I can take pictures of the connections etc?

 

Thanks again Destructor for posting this thread.



#19 Destructor!!!

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:42 PM

Oh wow, no problem! Your project sounds much more complete than mine!

 

Please, may we see some photos?

 

Unfortunately, I had some paint disasters with another ship, and lost the nerve to continue with any of them. Everything's been in a holding pattern for 2+ years now...



#20 Kmagz

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:04 PM

 

Oh sorry to hear that. Sometimes its hard to get motivated again. Im attempting to start on the Polar lights Enterprise refit soon. It will be a few years of pain to get that thing finished.

 

I am not too sure how to upload to the thread as I am very new to this but I have uploaded some images to the members gallery.






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