Ok so here we have two firsts for me, my first instrument panel lit up using fibre optics and a 3 LED circuit being shown here on my first ever video uploaded to YouTube
So I tested an LED in situ and there was significant amounts of light bleeding through the bare plastic so I have painted the insides of the engines with a couple of coats of metallic paint to try and reduce this effect, I still have some spots that I am concerned about due to the wall thickness but I am hoping using a primer on the outside that contains micro fillers should sort that out… fingers crossed!
Ok so I am kind of determined to get a model kit lit up with some LED’s but I don’t really want to build any of my larger scale stuff at the moment so off the back of the relatively quick building TIE Fighter I thought I might try my hand at Revell’s 1:112 (what kind of scale is that?) X-Wing Fighter and I am going to try chucking a few LED’s and some Fibre Optics at this one to see what great disaster I can conjure up with a soldering iron and model kit!
Its’s a cheap kit, very simple to build but if I can pull the idea in my head off it should look reasonably good I think. Anyway I forgot to take a sprue and box shot before I starting cutting parts off the sprues so heres a much prettier picture of the box than I would have ever managed.
Well that’s the TIE complete. For all its simplicity it’s a nice looking kit once its built up, gave it a light weathering with some dark grey pigment but nothing too strong. I am actually quite pleased with the way it looks, might even get my proper camera out and take some better photos at some point, but in the mean time here’s the ones taken with my phone!
Not much to say really, it’s an iconic TIE Fighter window, painted the wrong colour according to the instructions colour call out. It should be a darker grey than the hull apparently but I didn’t notice this fact until after I had removed the masking, and considering the amount of time it took me to mask the window up … it’s staying the wrong colour. Can you just sense the rage from the StarWars community, the horror!
Unlike my aircraft builds I feel the need to use the included pilots on these Star Wars kits, the TIE Pilot is adequately represented in this kit, it’s not a great figure but at this scale and with how much of him will be visible he doesn’t exactly need to be.
The colour call out for the solar panels is matt black, and I am sure this is what the fantastic studio models were painted, however when I put a coat of this on I found the detail on the panels themselves of each cell tended to fade away compared to a gloss finish, but then this got me thinking too… and thinking’s never good!
When you see the on screen TIE Fighters the panels have a blue hue to them, this, much like the grey shade debate is often put down to a “blue bleed” from the special effects screens. Then I remembered a recent trip to the National Museum of Scotland where I had seen solar panels up close and they’re not black, the ones I was looking at either had metallic blue or bronze almost like flakes in the make up of the panel. I know realism doesn’t really come in to it with Sci-Fi but I decided this was enough to ignore the colour call out here and try something a little different, so here I go probably offending all those hardcore Star Wars fans/builders out there.
Returning to the theme of quick and easy builds I decided to get another of the small Revell Star Wars kits out of the stash, this time I plugged for the iconic TIE Fighter with this kit being 1:110 scale. I have to admit I find the lack of consistency with the scales on these small Star Wars kits a tad annoying. I would much prefer if they were all done to one scale, whatever that may be, but thats just my own personal hangup and it I am sure this doesn’t bother most of the builders of these kits and I suppose this would maybe cause a few issues when it comes to displaying them alongside one another.
I did toy with the idea of lighting this one up with some LEDs/Fibre optics but looking at the internals there probably isn’t a lot a room in this one to embark on my first lighting project so I’ll leave that for another build.