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Guide 008 : Mini-lights in diecast models

 
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ngtman
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Location: Ayr, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Guide 008 : Mini-lights in diecast models  Reply with quote

Guide Ref No:_ 008
Guide Title:___ Mini-lights in diecast models
Creator:  _____ngtman


Please Note:
Images used in this guide are copyright of the Creator and cannot be copied without their consent. Failure to get permission may result in Copyright infringment.


Mini-lights in diecast models using flashing badge modules.

The model chosen for this guide is the Matchbox Hovercraft. There are a few reasons for this. The model is wide and flat with room for the battery module. It is easy to restore because the wheels and axles do not need attention and there is only the top half of the model to paint, which can be done in one colour, if required.



Dismantling and stripping the model:

The rivets are drilled with a 4mm bit, taking care with the plastic base.



Remove the blue window plastic. This window plastic will need to be modified later.



The propeller rivets also need to be drilled with care from the inside.



Tidy up the rivet posts to make sure they fit inside the holes in the base when it comes to reassemble the model



All the parts go into a little plastic box.



Strip the model with caustic soda or Nitromors. These were stripped with caustic soda. Rub/polish with brass wire brush and/or fine wet and dry paper.



Make sure this lip is polished and painted as it will be seen when the model is reassembled.



Select position for the lights and drill holes.

The lights are 3mm but a 3mm hole is just a bit tight. 3.5mm is a little loose, but as the lights are to be glued in, this is of little consequence. I use a 3.2mm bit and this is just a neat fit.

Select where the lights are to go ensuring that there is sufficient room inside the model to accommodate the lights in the chosen position. Mark with a sharp instrument or, very carefully, with a hole punch to prevent the drill from slipping while drilling.

Access may be required to change the batteries at some future date so the base will have to be reattached with screws. I use these No. 2 X ¼ Pozi Pan Tapping screws






At this stage it is necessary to assemble and prepare the lights for fitting later in order to avoid excessive handling after the model is painted.

The lights can be bought as flashing badge modules here:

http://www.rapidonline.com/Educat...e57a7-737f-420f-a054-3e7a632e3a79

The modules are 25mm in diameter, with printed circuit, batteries, push on/off switch and two flashing red lights attached to flexible wire tails 50mm long. The lights flash in unison and not sequentially. Red and black wires indicate positive and negative terminals. I have only been able to buy these modules with red lights.



In order to have another colour ( eg. blue for emergency vehicles) it is necessary to change the bulbs. The bulbs are 3mm 3v. Alternative bulbs are available on eBay and may have coloured glass or clear glass which flash coloured. The clear glass should be painted with glass paint in order to give the desired effect to the finished model.



The bulbs come with long, rigid terminals. The longer terminal is the positive terminal. Test the bulbs by placing the long terminal on the positive side of a 3v button battery and the short on the negative side.
 


These terminals will have to be cut short so a little red paint is applied to the positive terminal for recognition purposes.





To disconnect the bulbs, pull down the black plastic sleeve on the module wires. It helps to soften these with a hair dryer.



Disconnect the existing bulbs with a soldering iron and solder the new bulbs to the wires, ensuring correct terminal connections.



To protect the bulb filament, it may be wise to use a heat sink when soldering. A simple crocodile clip will suffice. It may be difficult (or impossible) to replace the plastic sleeve. A little black tape will do the job.



I now have flashing red, yellow and blue lights but they look clear when not flashing. A little glass paint applied to the bulbs will rectify this. If required, the terminals can be bent gently to 90 degrees to facilitate fitting.



To remove the lapel pin, open the pin and remove the black cover. Carefully clip the ends off the pin, taking care not to remove or loosen the bar as this forms part of the printed circuit. The black cover can now be replaced.



It is also necessary now to prepare the model to receive the light module and make any modifications required.

In this hovercraft model it is only necessary to cut the glass palstic to allow the module to sit inside the model and to remove the two small lugs at the back to allow cable access..

Score the plastic flush with the underside of the model, cut down the edges and snap the plastic off.









The module can now be fitted.



Line up the base with the push button, mark and drill a hole for the switch.







The switch for these flashing lights is a home made push switch to operate the push switch on the light module. A piece of plastic tube is a tight fit for the hole in the base of the model. A pop rivet head is glued to the inside of the tube. The piece of tube is just long enough to protrude below the base of the model and acts as a return spring for the rivet head.

A simpler method could be to super glue a short length of 3mm-4mm plastic rod to the module switch so that it protrudes through the hole in the base of the module. I didn't have anything suitable in my work boxes.





Once the lights and the modules are prepared the model(s) can then be painted.


When the models have been painted the bulbs should be super glued into the pre-drilled holes and the module fitted to the vehicle.



The adhesive protection can be removed to provide more stability in securing the module inside the model.








When I first started this my intention was just to paint the three models in the RAF blue, as I did previously. However, as I progressed I began to think that would be very boring and explored various hypothetical versions.

As  result I finished up with these spurious vehicles.














[URL=http://s968.photobucket.com/albums/ae165/ngtman/?action=view&current=MVI_0208.mp4]

Click on this photo for short video



Last edited by ngtman on Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:19 am; edited 2 times in total
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scotty
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent guide thank's for sharing this with us and i like the yellow/grey on the most Cool
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Dr Dinky
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well done. I Used to make police cars like that a very long time ago.
It sure gives a nice effect.
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mikeb2102
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great helpful guide, I'm just starting out with restoring and I have an old Dinky Jaguar 3.4 Saloon, that would look good painted black with a flashing blue light on the roof.
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ngtman
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Location: Ayr, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum. You will get any help you require here. Good luck and happy restoring.
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mikeb2102
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I've been doing a lot of reading first before I start on my models. Bought a few in joblots on ebay and just trying to build up my tool collection before I get started. Adding lights has just opened up a massive window of possibilities though.

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