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Adding working Nav Lights to 1:48 Jet?


Jimd0586
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Posted (edited)

Hello all.

 

I would like to add working nav lights to my Meng 1:48 EA-18G I am about to start. This may be overkill, but I am curious what route I should go. I have experience with RC planes so I know how the RC nav lights work but didn't know if there was another option. If I use RC lights I then need the light harness, a receiver, and a larger 1 or 2 cell battery. Are there kits that run off a AA or AAA battery? I could then maybe make one of the engine exhausts removable and slide in batteries back there.

 

Any suggestions on what to buy would be appreciated. If this is just not a good idea from the start, do let me know. I have built plenty of plastic models and painted them, but never added lights!

 

JRD

Edited by Jimd0586
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I'd run a fibre optic to the nav lights coming from a single LED bulb running off a button battery

Thats sorta what I did on an Orc camp scene for no.3 son years ago

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4 minutes ago, Black Knight said:

I'd run a fibre optic to the nav lights coming from a single LED bulb running off a button battery

Thats sorta what I did on an Orc camp scene for no.3 son years ago

Great. Thank you. Do you happen to have a link to the fibre optic product you are talking about?

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I bought a silly cheap 'fibre-optic' lamp thingy* and I just cut lengths off the ones on it. For thick pieces I use clear sprue frame or heat stretch that to make it thinner, or use clear or coloured acrylic rod. Anything like that will do the job

 

* something like this, but cost me 99p in a discount store

spearmark-blue-star-wars-led-fibre-optic

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Black Knight said:

I'd run a fibre optic to the nav lights coming from a single LED bulb running off a button battery

Thats sorta what I did on an Orc camp scene for no.3 son years ago

 

 

I wouldn't use fibre optic strands, they are easily broken and can be quite inflexible in tight spaces.  I found that out when I wired up the nose lights in my Bandai 1/144 Millennium Falcon.

 

There's a much better more modern way of doing it.

 

Button battery as Black Knight said, or coin cell, a 3.5v CR2032 is ideal, they're about 1" round, you'll need the appropriate battery holder.  Then get some pre-wired LEDs.  SMD LEDs are what you are looking for, I've used 0805 SMD LEDs in the past. 

 

If you get them with magnet, litz or enamelled copper wire, the wires are far thinner, and far more flexible, than fibre optics, almost like string.

 

You can either solder, use wire glue, or even just twist wires together to make a join.  Personally, even though I know how to solder (badly), I'd go down the wire glue route for ease of use.

 

You can even get conductive paint, for if you can't get a wire through, around or between parts...

 

If you want a flashing set, get either flashing LEDs (which will all flash at the same time), or wire your SMD LEDs to an Arduino Nano board and look for code to program it with (it's quite simple).

 

You can even go as far as putting in a remote to turn your LEDs/Arduino on/off, but I tried that on a project and found it drained the battery, because it still draws power from the battery, even though it turns the LEDs off...

 

Plenty of micro switches on places like ebay - just put one between the live lead and the live (+ side) connection on the battery, if the battery holder hasn't got a switch already.

 

 

There's a guy in Belgium who makes ready to install sets, if you don't want to "do it yourself", mostly for 1/32 scale though and I don't think they run off batteries - https://www.magicscalemodeling.com/

 


I did the eyes on this with SMD LEDs (it's only 7" tall), each eye is an SMD LED (less than 1mm round), the wires go into the body cavity where the battery holder is (there's also a micro switch hidden under the hatch in the top) -

 

imperial-knight2018-jpg.137886

Edited by RobL
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A. the filaments on that light unit in the photo, on mine are nylon monofilaments and very flexible. I can bend them and spiral them and they don't break

b. you can get 'blow' switches. You blow on it to turn on or off

 

I hid a blow switch in part of the 1/76 armoured car in this mini scene. Irregular flashing LED inside, two wires running down by the tyres to button battery holders under the base

desert%20diorama%2C%2001s-M.jpg

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1 hour ago, RobL said:

 

 

I wouldn't use fibre optic strands, they are easily broken and can be quite inflexible in tight spaces.  I found that out when I wired up the nose lights in my Bandai 1/144 Millennium Falcon.

 

There's a much better more modern way of doing it.

 

Button battery as Black Knight said, or coin cell, a 3.5v CR2032 is ideal, they're about 1" round, you'll need the appropriate battery holder.  Then get some pre-wired LEDs.  SMD LEDs are what you are looking for, I've used 0805 SMD LEDs in the past. 

 

If you get them with magnet, litz or enamelled copper wire, the wires are far thinner, and far more flexible, than fibre optics, almost like string.

 

You can either solder, use wire glue, or even just twist wires together to make a join.  Personally, even though I know how to solder (badly), I'd go down the wire glue route for ease of use.

 

You can even get conductive paint, for if you can't get a wire through, around or between parts...

 

If you want a flashing set, get either flashing LEDs (which will all flash at the same time), or wire your SMD LEDs to an Arduino Nano board and look for code to program it with (it's quite simple).

 

You can even go as far as putting in a remote to turn your LEDs/Arduino on/off, but I tried that on a project and found it drained the battery, because it still draws power from the battery, even though it turns the LEDs off...

 

Plenty of micro switches on places like ebay - just put one between the live lead and the live (+ side) connection on the battery, if the battery holder hasn't got a switch already.

 

 

There's a guy in Belgium who makes ready to install sets, if you don't want to "do it yourself", mostly for 1/32 scale though and I don't think they run off batteries - https://www.magicscalemodeling.com/

 


I did the eyes on this with SMD LEDs (it's only 7" tall), each eye is an SMD LED (less than 1mm round), the wires go into the body cavity where the battery holder is (there's also a micro switch hidden under the hatch in the top) -

 

imperial-knight2018-jpg.137886

Thanks for the help!!1 And nice work on your model!

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