8th December 2013
Today I wanted to see if I could get the lid (saucer – I mean saucer) closed up. Before I could do this I had a few lighting issues to sort out.
Of the front three windows on the front of the saucer the middle one was a lot brighter than the outside two. This was because the internal post that supports the lid forces the LED strip to be very close to the centre window. As you can see in the photo below I actually had to cut away the bottom of the post to allow the LEDs to slip underneath.
I sorted this one by super-gluing in a bit of 0.4mm thick plasticard as shown circled in red below…
This had the effect of attenuating the light enough so that it evened out across all three windows.
One thing I’ve learned with this build is that the window lighting looks much more convincing if it is done with diffuse reflected light. Any light sources that directly shine through the windows totally blow the scale effect.
Next thing to sort out was the square windows on the top of the saucer. With these under certain angles you could see right into the ‘core’ of the LEDs which created a really bright spot and again blew the scale effect.
Here’s a shot of one of the windows in question…
Sorry to say though that no matter what I tried I couldn’t photograph the problem – in the photos the lighting looks perfect whereas in reality you would be seeing a really bright glow in the middle of the window and shade around the edges. Not wanting to turn the afternoon into a photography self-lesson with a really incompetent teacher, I decided to press on and actually fix the issue. (As it happens the above photo makes an excellent “after” shot, so please return to the above shot later for an example of the problem after is has been solved 😉 .
To fix the glare problem I made up a small 0.4mm thick plasticard “sun visor” to glue under the window to shield the view directly into the core of the LED…
To prevent any risk of the plasticard relaxing back into being straight (and obscuring the window) in the future I made up little webs that were glued into the sides to fix the visors into the desired shape.
Rinse and repeat a number of times…
Initially the visors were held in place with blu-tack while I worked out the best position for them with the lid dry fitted in position and lit, then they were tacked in with Superglue.
And then a good dose of hot-glue to make sure they stay clinging onto the heavy internal blocking paint.
As you can see above the visors had to be fitted at various angles to achieve the desired effect given the varying positions of the LEDs. Also for one or two I had to make Jumbo visors to eliminate all of the glare.
When the visors were all in place it looked like the window in photo 2 😉 All windows evenly lit and no discernable bright spots anywhere.
With that done, the lid (saucer assembly) was glued up and is now just awaiting filling, sanding and re-touching around the edges.
…So faced with filling and sanding I instantly turned instead to doing more wiring, this time back to the engine nacelles.