Sunday, March 17, 2013

KBoP Part 13

Previously on Klingon Bird of Prey...

Here are some progress pics of the Klingon Bird of Prey. I did take a bit of a break from it--I never completely stopped but the work slowed down for a while. I'm nearly ready to close up the hull, stick on the wings, and do the finish work on it that you do after you already see the light at the end of the tunnel. Speaking of light, here's the red and amber lighting for the torpedo emitter (and navigational deflector?). Paint needs some touch-up.

 Here's the wiring for that lighting. I was originally going to add nine small red LEDs to light up the ring around the torpedo emitter, and had them all soldered up, but try as I might could not fit them in. So there are three ultra-bright red LEDs, plus the amber one in the middle. Plus limiting resistors so it can run on 9VDC. All packed in epoxy.

I used the technique promoted most famously by Don Matthys of Don's Light and Magic to glaze the windows in the lower front command hull, but used 5 minute epoxy, which is pretty viscous, so it didn't fill the windows completely. His method is to tape over the outside of the opening and pour in clear resin. Here I tried a variation on the technique: I cut out holes in the tape, painted in there (to repair damage to the paint job and to seal the tape better). Then I smeared in clear epoxy from the outside. It worked better but the result wasn't perfect.

I couldn't resist: The detail along the trailing edge of the wing sticks out on the kit, but on the filming model it's recessed. So I hogged out the detail and replaced it with strips of Evergreen corrugated siding. You can see the LEDs and fiber optic in there, too. The LEDs are those Christmas lights I mentioned before that consist of warm white SMTs on lacquered wire with a blob of clear resin on each one. I drilled out a hole in the resin for the 1mm fiber optic and inserted it with epoxy. Then sealed the light in for better transmission with repeated coats of Metallizer alumiinum plate and Future.

Here's the new trailing edge. Sorry about the focus. You get the idea.

Lastly, here's a lighting test. What are those things, headlights? Navigational deflectors? I don't know; maybe I'll have to get the owner's manual now that it's out.

Next time: maybe I'll get the last of the lighting installed and close it up.


  1. Have to say your attention to detail is amazing. The finished model looks great.
    I do have a question about this step though. How did you mount the torpedo tube without blocking the thin slits of the navigational deflector? I assume you made your own part?

  2. Thanks! About your question, I'll assume you've got the kit so you know what I'm talking about. There are three kit parts involved: (6) "forward bulkhead", (7) photon emitter housing, and (401) photon torpedo emitter (clear). In Part 3, I described how I opened the slits of the navigational deflector around the photon emitter. When test-fitting part 7, I made sure to shave away any material that blocked those slits before gluing it in place. There was still enough mating surface left to make a secure joint, though I could have added bracing if necessary.

    1. Awesome. Thats what i was thinking, but i didn't want to ruin the piece. I've just gotten back into models after not doing one for about 15 years. I've decided i want to make them as detailed as i can, but am stil learning.