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  1. Millennium Falcon (06777) 1:164 Revell Build & Play The Millennium Falcon seems to have been a main stay of most of the Star Wards films to date. The Kit As part of Revell's licencing of Star Wars from Disney they are releasing a whole host of kits for modellers of all ages. This is aimed at the cross over between toys and kits in that its pre-painted and ready to go with some easy click together construction. The unit also has a sound & light modules built in complete with batteries so its ready to go. Construction is fairly simple. First of all all the parts which are fitted from the inside are added. To the top section the upper gun turret, to the lower section the landing gear, side parts and the battery module (remember to remove the plastic tab which holds the battery contacts apart). The batteries are in a screw locked compartment so cant easily be removed by children. The upper part of the cockpit section is also added. The rear engine is added and then the two sections can be closed up. The radar is added and its good to go. Conclusion There is always the debate as to are these a model or a toy. I think they are a little simple for a model but a great toll to get children interested in doing something a little more advanced, and for the right age group that only has the be encouraged (Revell recommend this for Age 6+. Recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  2. Poe's Boosted X-Wing Fighter (06777) 1:78 Revell Build & Play From Star Wars the last Jedi Poe Dameron is a resistance X Wing pilot who brings Finn and Rey into the story. As an X-Wing pilot he has his own fighter. The Kit As part of Revell's licencing of Star Wars from Disney they are releasing a whole host of kits for modellers of all ages. This is aimed at the cross over between toys and kits in that its pre-painted and ready to go with some easy click together construction. The unit also has a sound module built in complete with batteries so its ready to go. Construction is fairly simple. First the X Wings lock together, then the lower hull is added. The the cockpit and Poe figure are added along with the front landing skid and rear bulkhead. The hinged canopy is added to the top hull and this can then be joined to the lower. Parts are added to the rear of the hull. Then the engine pods and laser cannons can be added to the wings. Finally the rear landing skids are added. To activate the sound module a tape has to be pulled out. The batteries are in a screw locked compartment so cant easily be removed by children. Sounds are played by pressing the droid behind the cockpit. Conclusion There is always the debate as to are these a model or a toy. I think they are a little simple for a model but a great way to get children interested in doing something a little more advanced, and for the right age group that ony has the be encouraged (Revell recommend this for Age 6+). Recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  3. OK so I couldn't let all you 'rebel scum' have your own way in the group build I'm going to be building this: It's a Revell kit, but a rebox of a FineMolds kit, it's pretty pricey (for what you get), though I didn't pay full price for it. It's a pretty simple kit, all the parts come in a standard, pretty flimsy Revell cardboard box that opens on the ends. It includes some decals for the interior, etc. A colour instruction booklet 3 grey sprues (one entirely for the stand, other than the tiny Vader) and a clear sprue for the window/top hatch, all shoved together in a single bag (other than the clear parts in a separate bag inside). Note one of the pieces had detached in transit/storage and the handlebars/yoke has one of the very flimsy arms bent out of shape/almost about to snap off, the mouldings however seem pretty crisp with little or no flash, injector marks, etc. It seems like it'll be a pretty quick and fun build other than masking the canopy bits, I have no idea on how Revell rank their kits (this being the top level 5), I'm fairly sure I've built more complex aircraft from them before at lower ratings.
  4. Hello all... This will be one of three builds for this group build. I will use this older 1/48th MPC kit. build my Movie Red Two of Wedge Antilles in "A new Hope". My phone just got updated to IOS 13.0 last night and copy and paste is a nightmare now. Please be patient with me as answering anyone with photo's will take about 6 steps instead of one. This kit is ok for the exterior but i will completely gut it. The limited instrument panel has 6 dial gauges on it. I will be using a spare cockpit with Glass displays from an old build to update it. Dennis
  5. Hello everyone... Im building the old MPC X-wing for the Sci-Fi group build as Red-Two. Im getting close to landing gear time as I'm about 1/2 way through the painting. The main gear have doors but the nose gear just hang in place with no doors ? Does the nose skid/gear double as the door or should there be doors ? Also does anyone have good photo’s or drawings of the skids ? All i have in the kit are three chintzy skids identical in size. Id like to dress them up a little at least if possible. Dennis
  6. This is a quick build from the late nineties- back when there were only three Star Wars films released and lot of dreams about what happens in that universe. One Friday night I was having a few beers with a good friend and we got to talking about things which happned elsewhere during the fight between the Rebels and the Empire. I got a piece of paper and sketched out this design, then some sheet plastic and built the main hull as we talked. It was detailed up some and painted the following day. About the design: I wanted to show an Imperial craft which had both a utilitarian look about it but also had a bit of a mean attitude as well. Imperial shuttles (original trilogy) seem to love large dorsal wings (which I don't), two landing legs and a ventral personnel loading ramp. I also added two ball turrets because I had yet to see any unarmed Imperial craft. There is was a smaller turret above the engines but that has been damaged over the years since I built this. This model is about seven inches long and scale is about 1:200 or so. Concept behind the build: The Rebels managed to attack a small Imperial storage facility and obtained some much needed supplies. Going through the wreckage they find an Imperial cargo shuttle which, aside from a rather large hole blown through the starboard side seems to be salvageable. The technicians get the systems back up and running. It has two dorsal cargo doors and the they remove the one abocve the ruined starboard cargo bay and add a remotely controlled twin heavy laser canon. They removed the large upper wing to save weight and to allow a greater field of fire for the new turret. They weld some scrap plating cut from some other wrecked vessels over the large hole in the side and now the Rebels have a new ship to aid in their conflict.
  7. Hello again, Here is my Civil War era 1/144 Rebel Fighter Squadron. The X-Wing, Y-Wing and A-Wing are Bandai kits (the "Vehicle Model" series) and the B-Wing is from F-Toys. All build straight out of the box with little or no glue, painted with a variety of different paints and some homemade decals for the X-Wing and Y-Wing. The base is a very old resin one I had in the stash from Scale Solutions (they still do some excellent resin parts) that was just perfect for this little display.
  8. It is very rare I decide to share one of my builds online- just making them for my own fun mostly. This one I chose to make an exception on- it is still needing a couple of minor things such as adding the engine lights, a bit more weathering and decals, but when I put it on the stand last night it felt finished enough to share. It is the SDCC Edition B-Wing. I figure there were enough people building it to match the filming model so I gave mine two additional twists. The first is that I made it Red 7. There was some discussion a while back about how the wing stripes on the X-Wings could show numbers higher than the five the space allowed for, I thought gaping them would work so I used that on this fighter. I also though the long fuselage strip on the X-Wings would look nice on the main wing of this build so Red 7 was born. The Second was giving it a bit of history. The SDCC has a couple of missing panels at the bottom of the main wing with exposed greebly. the stock version of the kit has an exposed panel up at the top that the SDCC version has a plug for. I liked it open so I added some mechanical bits behind it. I then started thinking- why leave these two areas open. What I came up with was that this particular fighter was damaged in it's last battle. The mechanics did not have time to do a proper repair so the power feeds the blast tore apart and just ran a couple of bypasses along the outside instead. This to me gives a reason for those missing panels and sort of embraces the feel for the Rebels doing whatever it takes to get things battle ready without having the time or materials to do it in a fancy way. As mentioned there are still a couple of things I think still need to be done for this build but I am going to put in on the shelf for a while and just enjoy it a bit...
  9. Bandai's latest addition to the Vehicle Model range, the Super Star Destroyer, at the somewhat eye watering scale of 1/100,000. I'll probably make a start on the build later tonight, but for now I'll post some sprue shots to show off Bandai's exceptional injection moulding skills. There are only two sprues for the SSD, along with a third for the standard Bandai stand (back in black again, rather than the more recent clear), with only 20 parts to make up the ship. The surface detail (here on the lower hull) is even finer than on the previous Star Destroyer. Lower engine section and aft hull extension. Upper half of the aft hull extension. Detailing on the upper hull. Slide moulded engines. The absolutely miniscule (about 3mm wide) bridge. That's it for now. The build (not that there's much to it) should begin later. Andy
  10. Hi all I'm a little late getting organised cos I've got a couple of other builds on the bench... However, I'm sorting myself out a bit now... In 1977, star wars hit the big screens. Obviously I don't remember it first time round but I'm a pretty big fan, as are my boys. All the ships /vehicles are pretty iconic but there's one that stands out... So I'm building Bandai's X-wing. There's hundreds of build threads for this kit or variants of it, in the space/sci-fi section, most of them expertly done, but I've never built any space/sci-fi kits so it's a first for me. I'll do the Skywalker/R2-D2 version 'cos my kids wouldn't forgive me if I don't. Just in case you're from a galaxy far far away, this is it: Th sprues are moulded in multiple colours - which would be good to see from some other companies too. This one has four including clear.. You get your own section of Death Star - 2 in fact - one as part of the stand and the other enables you to do the attack on the thermal exhaust port scene. I'll use the stand but probably not the exhaust port one due to shelf space. The instructions are very... Japanese.. Here we go then.. W-D
  11. Hi All. Well, I have finally finished this model. And I say finally because I thought it would be faster than it really has been. The painting process has been minimal: a simple shading around the raised parts of the surface, subsequently masking to lighten these raised parts. As with the first attempt I had doubts that it would remain after varnishing and applying oil to highlight details, I did it again with a darker tone. The end result was not what I had anticipated but you learn from mistakes. I have enjoyed this kit a lot because it has offered me what I wanted from it: good detail but without waiting for any wonder due to its size, absence of lace problems that oblige to putty and sand, and no complications with cockpits, landing gear or armament For not having, he doesn't have any decals. In other words, kill that sensation of gluing, painting, varnishing and showcase. I just need to put the photos. Andrés.
  12. STAR DESTROYER Bandai 1/14500 Bandai tempts me again, and hook me, with one of his little kits: The Star Destroyer. The scale is small, really small, 1/14500. That translates into a model that, having 11 cm in length, fits in the palm of the hand. However, the detail is very fine. In my opinion of having made Bandai a kit of this ship at 1/7000 scale would have resulted in a length of between 23 and 25 cm that, with the great detail to which the Japanese brand has accustomed us, would be perfect for those of us who love the ships of this galactic saga but we do not want a model of it 50 or 60 cm long. With its 11 cm it is, although very manageable, really small yes. Another thing would be the Imperial Super Destroyer that at 1/7000 would result in its 2'7 meters of immense length even at this scale. There is no wife to be persuaded, a "deadly" salary that would allow her or a showcase to house her. Show the construction process I think is not worth it. The pieces, which are 22 or 23, fit in a small staple and from the beginning of cutting the first piece until it ends by pasting the last one, I don't think 45 minutes have elapsed. Its adjustment is almost perfect, needing putty in 4 or 5 points and I have applied diluted in acetone. I think more by forecast than by something else because the boards may not be visible because of their size and layout once painted and especially because they are camouflaged when applying dark oils to highlight details. I have used extra-liquid glue also more by anticipation than as a necessity since Bandai's fat-breasted system and its exquisite fit surely does not make it essential. A photo of the mock-up not yet painted, and without the engines. I prefer to paint them comfortably apart and place later. After applying a dirty white result of mixing XF-2 with XF-55 I have sprayed Tamiya XF-55 very diluted around the different structures. Next, I reapplied the base color by masking the surface so that it was only applied to the highest parts of the structure. At some points I applied the paint with a fine brush. I thought I could finish it completely today, but no. Anyway, this little bug has no decals or landing gear or anything like that, so in the next post it will be "ready for sentencing." Andrés.
  13. Has anyone else seen the Dragon 1/35 scale AT-AT and have any better information than that on the Dragon website. all i found was a picture, no measurements or anything so no idea of sizes or anything?
  14. I got this the other week - I think it's a limited edition or something, as it comes in an all-black box. It's basically a standard Stormtrooper that's been moulded in shiny black rather than shiny white. No worries - you can't have enough Stormtroopers in the cabinet. I'm not sure where these guys appear in the series, but they'd look good next to the Death Troopers. Anyway, rather than stash it away in my Bandai Star Wars stack, I figured I'd build it straight away. I didn't use paint other than a bit of Molotow Liquid Chrome for the chest-plate lights/buttons (?) and the detail parts on the helmet that don't settle down well as decals. All the rest has just had the sprue gates sanded back, then polished back to a glossy shine with buffer pads, and put together with a little liquid glue in the friction tubes. Totally OOB, and I'm not going to do any weathering on it, as I don't know where they were posted, if at all so far. I thought I'd make a post in here just so I could claim another completed model for 2019 There's not much to tell about construction, as everything goes together awesomely, and I fiddled with it in between extended bouts of during this hot weather. Here it... he? is:
  15. I've bought some weathering washes which (so far) I've only used undiluted on one test project. I saw a video on YouTube which suggested you can dilute it with the matching solvent to get a less intense color. I'm going to be applying either this dark "multi-grey" shade or "multi-black" over top of Tamiya TS-81 "Royal Light Grey" and I'm not sure if I should use the dark grey wash or a heavily diluted black. This will be going on the Bandai 1/100000 Super Star Destroyer. Was wondering if anyone had any advice or insights on this as far as mixing ratio, tips, opinions, anything?
  16. I finished this model some months ago but I haven´t showed it in RFI yet. I waited for new camera equipment, but I am not sure if I am happy with it. The lighting looks a little bit off. The real colour lies between the first pictures and the 2 WIP pictures below, which I have taken before. I tried to recreate every tiny scratch and chip from the studio model. I hope you like it. Some pictures from the finished cockpit while it was in WIP:
  17. Here's my offering - a straightforward, simple build. I am expecting it to go together quickly, giving me enough time to have a decent bash at weathering. The kit looks nice enough, and comes with a very comprehensive set of colour instructions. Also included is a small decal sheet - I think I'll be painting most of the colour though in an effort to speed things up - we'll see. The clear parts were all short-shot - but hats off to Revell who came up with replacements very quickly.
  18. Less than happy with the Thornycroft, lets see what I can manage in hours few. The box The bits Parts painted in the paintshop For a build of this speed, it’s got to be a some banging tuuuuunes by Scooter. This is where it’s at
  19. Just started out on another model from the Bandai's Resistance Vehicle Set which includes two 1/144 T-70 X-Wings along with this 1/350 Falcon from the Last Jedi. Few parts but great detail. I'm really impressed by the pipes which run from the hull into the maintenance pits. The parts were all very clean except for the radar dish, which had a prominent mold line running down the center. I laid down a base coat of Badger Stynylrez Black Primer followed by random squiggles of Vallejo Model Air 71.119 White Gray to give some modulation to the hull color. I just received a set of Flory Washes in the mail yesterday, so I'm eager to try them out soon.
  20. My brother is a huge Star Wars fan and quite an accomplished cosplay crafter as well. For his 47th birthday, I'm creating a small First Order Stormtrooper bust for him. Since I'm still learning how to sculpt in Zbrush, I purchased a 3D model online and will be modifying it into a customized 3D printed model. The model I purchased features a classical sculptural base. It looks nice, but I have an idea for a base that features the First Order emblem. First, I created the base in my favorite NURBS modeler and added a 1cm hole in the center. The Aurubesh text is my brother's name and age. Next I turned to customizing the model in Zbrush. First, I trimmed off the original cylindrical base and add a 1cm wide post. The space between the helmet and the torso is pretty tight, so I separated the geometry at the neck and add a mounting post with a matching recess in the helmet. I tried to align the separation between the folds of the neck piece as best I could. Then I imported my custom base and checked the alignment digitally. Next, I sent the geometry to my Form 2 SLA printer and waited for nine hours for the print to complete. After an isopropyl alcohol bath to remove residual resin, the model parts were ready. Here are the parts still attached to their printing supports. I did a little clean up of the parts and put them together for quick test fit. Surfaces that have a gradual slope that ends in a horizontal surface tend to have faint stair step lines from the printing process, in this case they were 0.05mm layers for the model. The sanded portion on the top of the helm is where I lightly sanded the layer lines away. In the photo below, the horizontal lines that are visible are actually completely smooth. I'll be performing additional sanding and clean up in the morning, then onto priming and painting.
  21. With the 40th anniversary of Star Wars this year, i'm going to try and build some kits from that series as a kind of a tribute GB. And to mark feeling very old! To ease myself into it, I've pulled this from the stash which I picked up last year at Telford for the princely sum of a penny shy of £2.. Just a small bit of wear and tear on the box! (hence the price) But everything there.... Behold the mighty sprue map...almost 40 parts! None of your fancy-shmancy 900+ parts Master Series nonsense here.... The upper hull/turret bustle had received a fair whack in the box and was cracked from left side to right so that needed fixing...plastic tabs (hidden) to support and lashings of glue.. It's an Easy kit (Snap-Fit to us older folks) but I'm going to glue it together. So out came a persuading tool to snip the lugs for a better fit. And we have a hull! While not as accurate as the AMT kit and smaller in scale (about 1/50 I think), I'm going to try and improve this by repainting in the Phantom Menace scheme and adding some basic detail to it. Yes, I know there are some minor shape/detail differences between these versions but hoping it will still look the part (and not upset the fans ) I'll miss those 'eyeliner' gun stains from the front glacis! Thanks for looking. Cheers, Dermot
  22. Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle (06746) 1:93 Revell Kylo Ren is Supreme Leader Snokes' young(ish) apprentice and plays a substantial role in both of the episodes of this sequel trilogy so far, with the promise of more in the upcoming Rise of Skywalker that is due (at time of writing) this Christmas, with the hope that it ends the series on a high note. Ben Solo as he was named at birth gets around in a large black Command Shuttle, which bears a familial resemblance to an Imperial Shuttle in the folded configuration, and with the central fin deleted. In flight the wings fold out into a wide V-shape that defies explanation other than looking malevolent. It's screen time is fairly fleeting in The Force Awakens, but it acts as his mobile command centre toward the end of The Last Jedi, hovering menacingly over the under-used AT-M6 Gorilla walkers and taking centre stage during the breaching of the Rebel base's huge armoured shield-door on Crait . The Kit This is a re-release of the snap-together styrene kit as a true model, and is more detailed and larger most of the other kits in the Star Wars range. It arrives in a large end-opening box, and has six sprues in grey black styrene, plus one containing a single clear part. The details aren't painted at the factory like the previous release, and as such it has been re-branded as a kit with the skill level raised from 2 to 3, and Kylo's helmeted head has been removed from the box art to be replaced by his Grandad wielding his light sabre. Now the instructions show glue being used and colours are called out on the way using the more usual alphabetic codes that relate to their paint brand. The first thing of note is how big these wings really are. They're over 30cm long, so when it's built, you're going to need some headroom wherever you want to store/display it. There are detail inserts in the wing edges, and the cannons in the leading wing-root edge are carried over from the old shuttles. The wings fix into the hull at the vertical landing orientation, so if you want to depict it in flight with wings canted to the sides, you'll need to adapt the roots to suit. The partial retraction of the tips of the wings for landing inside hangar bays would make for a more difficult conversion, but there is bound to be some out there willing to give it a go, and some maniac will probably also motorise it! The lower hull has a crew compartment and bulkhead added along with an articulated access-ramp, which is covered by a blank bay to block your view of the interior. The canopy and wing root bulkheads are slotted in place along with a few other smaller parts, and the hull is closed up, with a pair of exhaust nozzles added to the rear. This time around you will need to paint the canopy yourself, which gives you the opportunity to leave it translucent to show the detail in the control room. The wings slot into the hull's bulkheads on long pins for strength, and you then install the landing gear skids in retracted positions by leaving the gear legs off, or in landing pose by adding the legs beforehand. Conclusion This is a now marketed as a model and I feel that it is better suited to this genre as the surface detail is more in line with its new status. It's a big kit and if you take your time to paint and detail it to the best of your ability, the basic detail is strong enough and for the detailers it is a good base on which to go to town, with room inside the hull for a lighting rig if you have that in mind. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  23. Revell/Bandai's 1/72 'Perfect Grade' version of the #MillenniumFalcon will be back in stock this coming week! #starwars #revellmodels #modelkit #hansolo #wookie #chewbacca #bandai https://www.wonderlandmodels.com/blog/article/bandai-perfect-grade-millennium-falcon-jul-2019/
  24. Inner Light Scale Model Lighting Scalectronics Lighting your model has been a growing interest in genres such as Science Fiction for quite a while now and it is slowly spreading to other genres too, as has been evidenced by the companies popping up offering solutions here at Britmodeller and in the wider world of modelling. They're always either custom-made for a particular installation or cobbled together using our electronic skills and generally speaking, once they're done that's it - You have no real way of changing them. You generally need to have at least some ability with coding if you want to depict any kind of lighting effect such as flashing, pulsing or the Knight-Rider/Cylon "wawww-wawww" effect too, and having had a brief go with some simple changes to an existing code snippet, it's not all that easy if you have no experience. What if there was a black box that has the flexibility so that you could hook up to pre-soldered lights, including options for fibre-optic/fibre guides, with a user-friendly interface that you could connect to and control from your desktop PC, tablet, laptop or even your phone? I think you know by now that there is, and that this is the subject of this review. It's called Inner Light, and it does all those things and more, thanks to the massive leaps in System-on-a-Chip (SoC) computers and the general miniaturisation of electronics that we have seen lately, driven heavily by the release of the Raspberry Pi (see the pic below) and various types of Arduino board. At the heart of the system is a Raspberry Pi 3A in a black case, which is a somewhat shrunk-down version of the new(ish) 3B, but still retains most of the power of the B, unlike the much smaller ZeroW, which probably couldn't hack it. In a slot under the board is a tiny MicroSD card with 16gb of storage space, which is pretty generous in size and of a good brand. There is a 5V Power Supply Unit (PSU) with a USB outlet and generous 2m USB extension cord, but you could replace this with a different length if you feel the need as it's a standard cord. The combined power/data cable plugs into the extension and pin 19 of the General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) header (noted with an arrow on my board in the picture above) that projects through a slot in the case, and your lights plug into the small 3-pin socket at the business end of the power/data cable. In the starter kit you receive two long and two short extension cables, two lengths of LED tape (one with 5 and one with 10 LEDs), five pre-soldered socketed LED units, five unsocketed LED units, five fibre-guide clip-on covers, five 30cm fibre-guides, and finally a quick start guide with a link to the full instructions on their website. That's quite a lot of gear and the fact that most of the LEDs are push-together will save plenty of time in the construction phase of your next project. If your model needs more of anything, there's a full shop on their site with all the items available in quantities of 1 and above for a reasonable price, from fibre-guides to extension cables and LED chips. Once you have your lighting set-up, you then start the process of configuring it, which involves powering up your black box for the first time, and logging in via a browser to the in-built Wi-Fi server that's on the board. Join the new network "Inner Light" from your phone, tablet or other Wi-Fi enabled device - this will cut you off from your home Wi-Fi network, so make sure you remember this when you finish and try to visit Britmodeller or somewhere. Once you've joined you just navigate to http://192.168.1.100 and login using the provided credentials. If you don't want your friends and neighbours hacking your latest creation, you might want to consider changing those details, but that's entirely up to you. If you forget the new login details you can factory reset the device, but that's a pain if you haven't backed up your configuration. You're presented with a nice simple webpage that talks you through configuration of your lights, with colour, intensity, special effects and so forth easily changed at whim, and at any time thereafter. You can also add custom sounds, and make lights and sounds respond to physical buttons too, although you'll have to buy and solder those yourself, but you are shown the correct pin-outs on the GPIO to connect them to. Everything is menu-driven with tickboxes and drop-downs for quick and easy changes to pretty much everything. You can also control the device and its lighting groups (which you set up) by using HTTP command sent over the airwaves directly to your model. If that sounds tricky, it probably would be if you had to do it by typing out the commands yourself, but there are several 3rd party apps available for iOS and Android devices, some of which can be visually customised to match your subject, such as a Star Trek command console seen on their site. That's the theory, but I'm not about to pass judgement on the system without having a go myself, so here there has been a break while I dig into the box, put some lights and cables into a simple set-up and have a play with the system. Now where's my tablet? Following those instructions, I soon realised that I'd forgotten to plug in the MicroSD connector into the black box, which is what supplies the power to the system's processing unit. Once I'd corrected that blunder (it had been a long day), the lights started flashing sporadically as they should and after a few seconds, checking my Tablet's available Wi-Fi SSIDs showed up with the innerlight name, so I logged in using the username and password provided. Navigating to the home page by typing the IP address into your browser's address bar, you're greeted with the main screen, which has a few important settings that must be stored before you can proceed. You choose the number of LEDs (in total) that you have attached to the line, how bright you want them to be as a maximum value (they can be really bright, so they're best toned down), and how they start up when you power on. That's all very simple and hinges upon your ability to count. No worries there then! You can revisit this page if you add or subtract lights later on, so don't worry if you decide to change things, and there's no need to reboot as you can just save the new settings and carry on. The next tab LED Grouping allows you to separate the string of lights into sub-sections and give them names that mean something to you, which will help you out if you decide to switch things up a bit in the future. Allocate the various lights to the groups, and here you don't have to use contiguous blocks, as you can choose a block, a few additional singles, another block and so on, simplifying the process if you want the same effect on opposite sides of your model and have other lights in between. With all your groups set up, you can go off and create some effects in the next tab. Again, everything can be revisited if changes are needed or desired. The Effects tab does just that. You can create the effects that you want to later allocate to your various light Groups by tapping Add New Effect, then renaming it and assigning attributes like flashing, solid colour or chasing, with choice of colour, duration and delays. You can use a colour picker, an RGB slider, or a pick-list from your history to choose your colours, which will be a lot quicker if you're using the same colour in different areas of your lighting design. The final part of the setup is the Scenes tab, which is where you bring the Groups together with their Effects so that you can issue commands to your model from afar. You can connect the Scene to a trigger, which will be a button or switch you add somewhere on your model and wire into the black box using the pins allocated in the instructions. This enables you to be as fancy or simple as you like, providing you've got sufficient lights, enough time and a good memory to keep it in your head as you switch between tabs. In addition to the light effects, you can also add sound effects that will be sent to the 3.5mm audio jack on the RasPi by default, so will require a speaker to be fitted in order to enjoy the sound on the finished model, but can be used with headphones while you are setting it up. While talking to Andy, I sowed the seeds of an idea to allow sound to be sent to a Bluetooth speaker or sound bar, which may appear in future updates of the firmware, taking advantage of the RasPi's built in Bluetooth chip. I've got a terrible memory as most of you will probably know by now, so I kept my test setup pretty simple. I arranged 11 lights comprising the long self-adhesive backed 10 LED strip, plus a singleton with a snap-on fibre-guide cover and a length of fibre slotted through it. The covers have a central hole, and you feed the sharp end through the hole from the inside so that it stops at the flared end, absorbing most of the LED light in the process and transporting it to the other end. You can cut the lengths of guide shorter, or if your installation requires it you can get longer lengths online and create the flattened ends by warming it with a soldering iron or lighter, then smooshing it on a flat surface to create the mushroom head. To prevent light leaks, you'll probably want to paint the exterior of the caps and perhaps wrap them with insulation tape to prevent leaks and secure the caps permanently. Here's a quick demo of my simple setup, which isn't bad considering it was knocked up as I was learning the ropes in a very short period of time with absolutely no forward planning on my part - I've named my technique "winging it". The colour is a little washed out in the video, but as I've not really created any videos in the past I'm using the "newb" excuse. The five lights on the right for example are blue to the naked eye, the centre two are purple, and the three chasing each other on the left are kind of pink. Finally, it's fairly obvious that the single fibre guide is green I hope. I found it pretty easy to get to grips with the interface using my tablet, and the only thing that gave me a moment's pause was initially when I set up a new Group, it didn't immediately occur to me to tap the name of the group to bring up the configuration details. Once that was out of the way it all seems pretty straight forward, but if you ever get stuck there are full detailed instructions on everything you could want from the system, including the different methods of controlling your finished lighting rig either via the built-in Wi-Fi, a third-party app that issues the http commands from a fancy User Interface (UI), or even your Home Automation (HA) device such as Amazon's Alexa or the Google Home devices, by using the IFTT (IF This Then That) app that you can download to your device and configure to work with your HA if you have the technological know-how. You can even operate your Inner-Light from anywhere in the world if you're able to open up the required port on your router and forward it to your device's IP address, but again extra details can be found in the detailed instructions. The system could theoretically support over 1,000 light chips, but with the standard 2 Amp RasPi power supply, up to 100 could be used before you begin to run short of power. Most models won't need anywhere near that amount however, so you should have plenty of power to spare. You can also connect up to eight physical control buttons, each of which will need an additional two wires to be run back to the control box, so placement will be crucial. You'll have to source buttons yourself, and some soldering is likely to be required unless you get the pre-wired for use on the RasPi's GPIO pins. The detailed documentation can be found here, where you'll also be able to find out details of how to update the system's firmware, which is the underlying code needed to make the system function and allows extra features to be added or updated in the future. This adds extra value to your purchase down the line at no extra cost to yourself. Importantly, the system should always be closed down using the app to ensure no damage or corruption occurs to it, and this option along with other useful functions such as data backup, reboot and even factory reset are found in the Options menu, sensibly enough. There is also a help button at the top of every page that directs you to the site to obtain the detailed help files I linked to above, but you'll have to re-connect to your own internet in order to visit if you have a problem. Chances are that you'll be sitting next to a device that's connected however, so it's not a major imposition. My tinkering was all done sat in front of my workshop PC but using my tablet, so anything I needed to know was readily accessible by switching focus to the big screen in front of me. That said, using the configuration system, you can change the Wi-Fi to allow the system to join your existing Wi-Fi network, after which you can access the device by using the IP address assigned by your router (assuming you have DHCP active, which most people do), or by going to http://il.local in any browser on the same subnet. That would have the benefit of being able to access the help files from the same device, and would also open up the HA and remote access options for configuration as discussed above. One improvement that I would like to see would be the option for bundling fibres on one light chip, as the current system only allows one fibre per chip, which could get very busy if you were building a Zvezda Star Wars Star Destroyer for example, which has hundreds of tiny lights in its superstructure that are best suited to fibres. You can of course make your own bundle from some tube and epoxy glue, but the key selling point of the system is its modularity. Maybe Andy could come up with something later on? I've mentioned it to him, and he suggested enlarging the hole in the cap (which hadn't occurred to me), but as modellers we're probably capable of making up a short tube and filling them full of fibres, then attaching it to a LED chip if we need more fibres on one chip. Here's a proper demo from their site, showing what you can do with the system once you're familiar with it and have a specific application in mind. Conclusion This system has the capability of being adapted to many situations, allows alteration of colours, effects etc. after the lights are added to your model, which has previously been very difficult or impossible, and previously required much more technical know-how than Inner-Light requires of you. Adding your own sound, light effects and colour has never been easier and instead of fishing around with wires, resistors, code and burning yourself on a soldering iron, you have a simple almost plug-and-play system that just needs you to answer a few questions and fiddle about with a few settings. Siting the control box will be an important aspect of the installation, but when you're done you can still fine-tune the settings as much as you want. Andy has reminded me that he's got a special offer for Britmodellers which entitles them to a £10 cash-back on their purchase of the Base kit (the subject of this review. Type in Britmodeller in the promo code box, and you'll get a discount, and Britmodeller will also get a small donation as a thank you from Scalectronics too. What on earth are you waiting for???? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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