Hi All I am nearing completion of a Minicraft 1/350 Titanic, which I've lit with 14 leds and over 12 metres of 0.5mm fiber optic cable and some 1.0mm cable.
All portholes (drilled out of course) and windows have been lit by removing internal decks etc, and using the bottom of the hull to throw light up from 8 warm white LEDs, using opaque plastic to diffuse the light. All windows have been made opaque using a plasticised opaque paper. I have achieved nearly the right hue of glow from within the ship - albeit it's a little too yellow - but at least there is so much light diffusion that you can't see the light sources.
The exteriors of all upper and outer decks have been lit with fiber optic cable - bunches of which are tied together and tied onto the ends of warm white LEDs. There are 80+ separate cables, and points of light, going through over 12 metres of cable. Practically all the light fittings that are in the model mouldings are now lit, and only once or twice I put in a light where there was none, just to give even lighting (forgive me). The Ken Marschall book is the reference I use to establish where exterior lights are, using his night-time images. One liberty I took was to put four 1.0mm fiber optic cables at the base of each funnel (hidden under the fidley grills for funnels 1-3) - so the funnels get a bit of light running up them (I realise the real ship didn't have this, and that's not what the fidley vents were for).
One difficult aspect about this was light masking - eg stopping light coming out where it shouldn't. I lined all deck undersides with aluminium foil, plus I used black paint and modelling filler. But this often required parts to fit together much better than they did in their original moulding - so that meant a lot of filing, fettling, and scratchbuilding.
Although my model isn't yet finished, and I haven't got an image of it's current state lit up, this ship will of course be finished for April 14th, and subsequent pictures can be uploaded before then.
I have taken photos the whole way through the process of lighting this ship, and am happy to create an illustrated tutorial which could go on this site and be peer-edited by other modellers, much like a wikipedia entry - eg - letting others improve it. Although I have tackled this task quite successfully, this is my first effort with fiber optic and perhaps a more experienced modeller could give better advice than I can.
#5635, "RE: Fiber Optic lit Minicraft 1/350 Titanic" In response to Reply # 0 Tue Mar-20-12 06:05 PMby Art Braunschweiger
that's a very generous offer of a tutorial. I have a very comprehensive lighting tutorial in the works, though, with a lot of high-resolution images and instructional diagrams. It also includes a comprehensive list of decklamps, lightproofing techniques and so on. Not sure if it would be of benefit to have two.
#5649, "RE: Fiber Optic lighting tutorial" In response to Reply # 2 Sat Mar-24-12 02:24 PMby Art Braunschweiger
There is no argument that presenting additional information, or even similar information in a different form, can be very useful, especially since not everyone's approach to a problem may be the same. John, for example, has chosen to illuminate some of his sidelights with fiber optics instead of CCFLs. The only requirements for inclusion of a tutorial in the TRMA Reference Library are that it must be well written (i.e., it must clearly explain what the modeler needs to know or do); it must be clearly illustrated; and it must present accurate information. I mentioned my own tutorial only because John, being new here, might not be aware of it and I wouldn't want anyone going to a considerable effort without knowing that his would be be in addition to another one on site. (Mine will be quite extensive, by the way, at least 10-15 pages).
John, my only concern in casting your information into a Tutorial is that you would be recommending the use of aluminum foil for lightproofing. Did you consider using Mr Surfacer for this purpose instead? While foil has total light-blocking capability, its use can be problematic in several ways. Early on in my build I used foil, but quickly abandoned its use in favor of Mr Surfacer given the vastly superior ease of application and utility of that product.
#5749, "RE: Fiber Optic lighting tutorial" In response to Reply # 3 Sat Apr-14-12 07:16 AMby monkey95
Hi folks Just to say hello, and that despite modeling being a very solitary exercise, I really appreciate the font of information and sense of community from this forum.
Alas my ship (1/350 Minicraft Titanic) will not be ready for the 14th/15th - nevermind, it can't be rushed. I have enclosed several photos of it with lights on - unfortunately they don't do it justice (it actually looks great). It's sort of 90% done - the lighting is finished, the superstructure is all done but not attached to hull, after that it's the rigging and the PE railings.
If it wasn't for 2 things this ship would have been finished months ago - 1 - lighting it, 2 - buying Peter Davies-Garner's book . Lighting is a big job as we know, but the PDG book sent me on an obsessive mission to correct errors in the kit with a fair bit of scratch building and re-doing things etc... So thanks a lot PDG - I'll get my life back one day!
The quality of the other models on this site is incredible - quite intimidating even - particularly Art and Mortens - my model is pretty good, but those are something else.
It is still possible to make a tutorial for my lighting - after I've finished the ship I'll think about it. But I agree with Art's comments and realise that some things I've done I might not suggest others did, and can readily see ways I'd streamline the process if I ever did another lit ship. So having said that, if I ever do a tutorial, I will be clear to point out what could be done better.
Art - re the aluminium foil - I can see the merits of a painted light-proofing, but actually the foil is good in a lot of instances - for example if you need to do a wide flat area foil takes seconds, and you can recommence work more or less straight away without waiting for paint to dry. Also it's high reflectiveness comes in handy when you're bouncing light around.