USS Voyager - complete refit of this model for 2006

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This is the 'special edition' version, including the clear parts for the front deflector dish and warp engines, open shuttle bay and much improved decal sheet. Tooling is excellent, but there's some engineering required if you want to light it!

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.

Here's the 1995 version - I've left the text as it was for reference....

Lighting this kit was going to take some serious effort. There's no good putting ordinary bulbs in this: there was going to be many weeks of effort spent, and I didn't want to end up with something with dark areas as the bulbs started failing. Fluorescent tubes last for 1000's of hours and give superior brightness and light distribution- but there isn't much room! I squeezed two 15cm tubes in, but I had to make an internal mounting frame for the tubes, and cram in the circuitry wherever I could. This is the inside of the bottom of the primary hull - you can just see the tube for the secondary hull hanging down underneath, where it will go in the finished ship. Note the wiring for the navigation and strobe anti-collision lights running round the hull rim. There's also a simple flasher circuit for the strobes. I couldn't use led's for the running lights directly - can't be mounted into the hull edges - they're just not high enough. For that, I use some Borg technology to let the led's shine proud of the hull directly - but you'll have to buy the model before I give that secret away!

Here's the underside of the primary hull, with the second tube in it's mounting. This was tricky, because the tube is in the same space that the led's that illuminate the front deflector dish have to be. The solution is simple: rip off the metal end-cap from the tube to give maximum room, and cover the deflector dish space with tracing paper, then test-fit the whole lot together. I moved the tight-focussed led's around to get a nice even spread over the deflector dish paper, then marked their position - this is what defines the front of the mounting. The bundle of wires hanging out the back will feed the engineering section.

 

The engineering section was so full of wires that there was literaly no free space inside. There are 8 blue led's for the warp endines, two giant red led's for the Bussard collectors, 2 red and 2 green navigation led's, 3 white anti-collision strobe led's, the shuttle bay led, and 4 orange impulse engine led's - and the warp engines still hinge!

....And heres the 2006 version, with just 2 Luxeon 1W emitters on top ......

.....and one below. So, does this make it cheaper? Not really - the current limiting hardware and the Luxeons together ammount to slightly more than the old l.e.d.'s.

 

The rest of it was just as complicated though!

Inside the shuttle bay. Some tracing paper, with shuttle-bay-type decoration drawn onto the walls, works very well. Illumination is via white led, again for reliability and service life. Two strands of fiberoptic run out the door to make the entry panel - attention to detail counts!

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