Published January 3rd, 2009 by

Because some of the work was so tedious, I would jump from carving to lighting to electrical and back. Today I felt like lighting and I was curious to see how the fiber lighting would look.

I purchased approx. 4,000 feet of .25 mm fiber optic cabling for lighting the cities and used about 3,000 feet of it. Manually drilling with a pin vise was just too slow. I found a pin vise that would fit into a Dremel-sized chuck, so using the Foredom FlexShaft and a #70 drill bit in the pin vise on at about 10 rpms works well. Any faster and the plastic melts or the bit breaks. Surgical tweezers are a must for threading the optics into their homes. Another worthy tool is a magnifying lamp.

This is the largest city being assembled and lit.

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The first 15 fibers showed that the lighting would work well for scale. This city will end up with 400 lights by completion.

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Published January 3rd, 2009 by

Closeup of a resin equatorial trench (1 of 2). As I began to detail these, I had some trouble with glues. It turned out to be the mold release agent from the resin. Although I had scrubbed every part with warm water and soap, it took a second scrubbing with SimpleGreen to really get rid of it. Good lesson for the future.

 

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Published January 3rd, 2009 by

Rear body cored out with most of the curface in place and ready to detail. Engine light wiring tunnels in place.

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Published January 3rd, 2009 by

Of course, thirteen engines will need to be cored out for lighting. These puppies need a lot of extra details.img_0015

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Published January 3rd, 2009 by

It only took a few attempts to realize that all the boring and grinding that I was going to do required a better tool than the drill press and scalpels. I invested in a Foredom FlexShaft. Do mistake it for a Dremel–the difference is night and day. The Foredom and footpedal can go as slow as zero RPM. This is a necessity for working with resin & plastics. A good FlexShaft setup is about $300 and worth every penny. A local watch repairman gave me some great advice on bits and pointed me towards a local jeweler supply shop. They had the FlexShaft and a lot of other tools I needed. I now was grinding out cities faster and a lot safer.

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Published June 19th, 2008 by

img_0008The main body uses fiberglass cloth and aluminum bars for added strength because of the thin profile. Boring passageways for future lighting has to be done around these structural pieces.

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Published June 18th, 2008 by

After purchasing solid resin casts of the model itself, I realized that the model had a lot of room for improvement. I decided to add an entire new range of detail into this thing….that meant a lot of revamping of my old modeling tools & skills.

Using resin cast blocks and styrene sheets layered into the “cities” of the ship means that each one must be hollowed out afterwards to allow for interior lighting and electrical wiring. The drill press and I get better acquanted.

Hollowing out cities

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