Lighting the Revell "Maquis" fighter


Part :- 1

Revell's kit for the "Maquis" fighter seen on Star Trek :-Voyager is a very simple kit to build, but hey who wants simple when you can get out the drills & sharp knifes & do something different.

For this kit I am going to put in some lights for the cockpit, static rear lights & more importantly impulse & warp engines.  I had seen on the net a firm called Don's light & magic & they do just the kit I needed, so had it shipped over.

Parts included in the convrersion kit

This kit allows you to have the engines lit up & gives you the modified parts, coloured opaque inserts & very detailed instructions on where to cut the model.  As with all things it is best to read & re-read before getting out the knives.

SECTION 1 :- Basic model preparation

The first job is to get out the cutting wheels & sharp blades to take out the plastic advised in Don's instructions.  Where the blue engine grills & rear red inserts go I left a 3mm lip to start with so the grills will have something to sit against.

Areas cut out for conversion parts

I then spent time with the 2 halves sitting together fine filing & trimming the lip I had left & the areas these parts will sit in testing the seating position very regularly till I had got the desired spaces & holes.  I know this will take some time, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

SECTION 2 :- Building the rear "light box"

I may not have needed to do this, but I wanted to make some light boxes to separate the area I was going to put the lights into. The first thing I did was to measure & cut a piece of 1mm thick plastic card to act as a base. This was then trimmed to fit into the area the rear parts of Don's kit go.

First stage of the rear lightbox

Through time & errors I found the best way to get the best fit for the upright part of the light box was to use paper & then keep folding & cutting it till it sat upright when the 2 halves are joined together.  By using just paper it allows you may attempts to get desired size right without wasting plastic.  Near the end of getting the correct shape I used an LED to see how it was working & the light was going where I wanted it to go.

checking with paper shpae of upright

Testwith  LED to see on effect

When I was happy with the shape it was just a case of putting the paper pattern on the plastic card & cutting out the 2 vertical parts of the box.  Then measuring where they had to sit I glued these to the base using some offcuts of plastic to keep them up.

final shape of uprights cut

Completed lightbox unit

SECTION 3 :- Finishing the lighting preparation

Now the rear light box was done I used the same technique of paper & then cutting the plastic for the areas where the blue grills & side impulse engines will need to be lit. I then test fitted the whole main body with all the parts added & trimmed or filed where it still was needed.

Test fit of all lightboxes

Where to feed the wires in was my next question? The stand given in the kit didn't have anywhere to hide cables, but I did notice that just in front of the stands hole on the bottom of the fighter was an area where a mould sink mark was that would suit, so I used a fine drill bit to make a pilot hole then worked my way up to a 5mm one.  I then used a round file to finish off the hole to allow a very tight fit for a 5.5mm (outside diameter) plastic rod to fit.  I dry fitted the stand together & using the rod as a guide marked where I needed to drill the stand & did the same to that.  The rod only needed to roughly be 55mm long & the hole in the stand was 35mm in from the edge.

Modification to stand & hull

Position of rod on the stand

The whole of the inside of the two main body halves were sprayed in matt black to stop any light possibly shining through the plastic where it wasn't needed.  This was left to harden while I went on to do the wiring....


Part 2 will be the wiring preparation & installing them into the body.....NOW ONLINE