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As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

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Hi all,


Well I did say when I first joined this Britmodeller a few months ago that I would be concentrating on Real Space modelling and that hasn't really changed even though I have a few planes in boxes in my stash. I specifically said I would be avoiding all and every Sci-Fi kit (with the possible exception of the Starship Enterprise) but I never thought I would be posting this...


Since I've played around with electronics in the past I thought I would try my first ever go at lighting a model. Nothing too ambitious on the first go so elected to go for Pegasus Models Area 51 UFO, a simple kit that a 6-year old could put together.  So here is the progress so far...


Box art for reference:


Box Cover




First couple of coats of silver grey to imitate weathering.  Several more to go!!





2 coats of Vallejo matt black applied heavy.  Amazing how translucent PS can be so it's important to block off the light where you don't want it to shine through. Light from the green LEDs that will be installed must only emit through the filtered green windows (currently masked).




The board that I used - an Arduino Nano. I originally considered using a 555 Timer IC but these can really only flash a single LED and require a few more components in order to function, whereas I needed six LEDs to fade in and out and in unison. A 4060 CMOS chip would have worked ok with some additional passive components (caps and resistors) but in the end I chose to go with the Arduino microcontroller since prices have come down so much for these devices. I wrote a simple programme to initiate and loop the blinking/fading of the 6 LEDs.  Similar C++ programmes are widespread online and can be adapted to your lighting needs.




Each of the 6 LEDs requires a resistor but that's all there is, apart from connecting up to the right connections on the Arduino board. Once the programme is uploaded to the controller and compliled (done using your computer), the programme is resident in memory and is then powered by the 9V battery shown.


I'll post additional photos once the paint jobs are finished and (hopefully) add a short video showing the finished model.





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The top and bottom halves of the model snap together well via the 6 large pins you see in the last photo. They will not be glued and the fit is nice and snug.


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That's very effective, and a great approach to the lighting :) In my last (finished) project, a Revell Enterprise NCC1701 I built my own boards; used 555s and 4017s to control the lighting. It worked out well, but I think I'll try those Arduino Nano's next time, it looks like it would save a lot of time and effort :) Thanks for the inspiration!

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