USS Reliant

Typical of the ERTL range, but without the annoying panel detail of the Enterprise, the Reliant offers some easy upgrades....

Disclaimer: the ERTL model is licensed to Paramount. I don't sell the models, I just light them and build them for customers who have bought them.

As usual, the process begins by figuring out what l.e.d.'s will illuminate the model and making a wiring plan for the plug.

This one was a bit of an experiment in that it was the first to contain a central led cluster for the window lights and transit the light via fibre optics. Well, never again!

Here's the lower hull half. You can see why I went for piped light: all the windows are off one central space. The problem turned out to be anchoring the fibre optics in place: I opted for PVA wood glue. NEVER use superglue as it eats the polycarbonate of the fibre optic. The stubs had to be trimmed after painting, and a razor cut-off wheel in a minidrill is used for this as it allows a mirror like finish on the fibre stub, maximising light transmission. The same treatment is given to the internal end. There are 3 outward pointing l.e.d.'s in the centra and one looking down into the sensor dome.

The overall result was a three fold increase in time over my usual method, it cost the same for the fiber optic cable that I saved on l.e.d.'s, and it didn't look any better. Ah, well: at least I learned something! See the Enterprise article for the usual method.

The styrene sheet needed for the central light chamber is 14mm x 5cm radius, or 31.5cm in total length.

The rings needed to lightproof the upper and lower reactor domes are 7mm high by 8cm in length.

Note the silvered finish, sprayed over black, for light proofing.

Here's the top half.... note the 6mm styrene pipe holding the fibre stubs in place, with an l.e.d. embedded inside.

Heres the inside of the photon torpedo and sensor housing.... fortunately all the l.e.d.'s in this one were the same so only two wires have to run through the wings into the hull. The wing parts are thick enough to accomodate the wires. I'm doing another one with spotlights, so I'll strip the wires down to one strand for this, like the Enterprise TNG.

The warp engines were just clones of the other Enterprise models.

One day, about half way through.....

The bottom image is photographed under it's own light.

Note the warp engine effect: white and grey when off, and blue with black stripes when on. The most common way to see these on a model is with blue tinted plastic.

Love those windows!!

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