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Zvezda Star Destroyer

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The question was asked about adding fibre optics to the Zvezda Star Destroyer, I didn't wish to set off Madhatter's thread at a tangent, so I'm posting here. Anybody that's thinking of doing the kit, with or without the fibre optics might find this video of interest:



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And if your feeling adventurous, you could try something like this:

Whilst I don't agree with the tape on the bottom, I do like the effect he created with the pillow stuffing. I've seen a few builds with this explosion thing going on and it can be super effective.

This one is little bit better and again, gives you some cool ideas that you could incorporate into an SD build, like say the scene from Rogue 1 after the Hammerhead smashes into the side of the SD and pushes it into another one. If you wanted to create the explosion bit, these videos could help guide you

Edited by Madhatter Mk2
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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi again everyone

I had been asked on another forum for some lighting help and so I did up a very quick photo tutorial on how I use and install SMD's and fiber optics, so I thought I might as well post it here too for anybody to reference if they have never used them before.

The pictures aren't the best as I took them quickly and had crap light today but they will convey the message adequately enough.

First up are the Fibers. These are "Hobby Spools" which are available from here. They're cheap and there's more than enough there to light several models. You can make out the sizes on the labels.


Next are 64 strand fiber cables - these are the smallest you can get AFAIK. You can also get 32 strands as well. Pictured are 60 ft and15 ft lengths. These are also the ones I am using for the SD windows.

To use them, cut off the length you want - making sure you have more length than you need to allow for curves etc. You'd need to decide where on the kit you want the attach the light source before you cut.

Once at the length you want, very carefully run a sharp blade along the side of the sleeve from one end to the other. Then gently pry the split apart the sleeve and pull the fibers out - carefully. To roughly and you'll split or fracture the fiber rendering it useless.


Next up are the items you'll need to install onto your subject. In this example, a piece of scrap plastic card, some plastic tube - in this case a 1 cm section of 4.8mm diameter tube. The drill bit is a #80. These fibers are 0.25mm and the next sized fiber up would use a #78 drill bit. The SMD in the picture is 1mm in size.

Heat shrink tube and a lighter.



To install, drill out 2 holes close together on the scrap plastic and run the wires through the card. You can secure the wires on the back with a drop of CA or my preference is PVA as it's less likely to make the plastic coating on the wires brittle by providing some flexibility.


Then glue the tube section over the top of the SMD. Trim off the excess plastic.



Once that's dried, slide the heat shrink tube over the top leaving enough length at one end for crimping. It's where the fiber will go in. Gently heat the tube from below with the lighter until it's shrunk enough to hold everything in place. I usually also seal the ends where the wires exit with PVA and then go one step more and paint the dried seal black to light block it further.



Once that's done, heat and crimp the other end of the heat tube and insert the fibers - again, sealing and securing them with PVA. Again, once dried, paint them black.

Try to avoid painting the fibers themselves as I have had instances where the paint makes the fibers brittle and prone to snapping. I can't tell you enough how annoying it is to have to remove a broken fiber and replace it. PVA doesn't react to the paint..



And 'hey presto', you have lighting on a small scale. Notice that one of those fibers has split in the middle. This means that the end you want lit isn't as bright as the others.

Some other things to consider are: you can naturally use a smaller tube. The length of the tube is also wholly variable according to your size limitations.

You also don't need to shrink wrap the tube either. You can paint the tube black and use model glue to secure it against the subject as well. I prefer to shrink wrap it as it provides better protection for the SMD/LED

If you use an LED - 3mm or more, a good tip to avoid harsh light is to sand the LED itself until it's frosted. This will diffuse the light so much better and provide a nice glow. I'll be doing this on the SD. It should dull the light down enough to make the effect more realistic and so that the SD is not powered by the sun.

Well, that just about sums it all up. If you have any questions or you want something clarified, by all means drop me a line.

Happy lighting folks!

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