Some LaserFire fun….and nacelles.

Back again.  I thought I might share a little of what goes into making the display bases I offer.  This one is a little unique, as it was intended to support one of the 8″ by 14″ Shields Up display panels that I manufacture.  The customer is also utilizing a Trekmodeler lighting kit for his model, as well as the electronics to drive the shields up board.  The customer will be wiring the Shield’s electronics, as well as the backlighting for the graphics himself.

First off, all the parts are laser cut from 1/4″ mdf, glued together, clamped and allowed to dry..


The finger jointed construction makes for a very sturdy box structure.  The fingers are designed to be slightly raised and sanded down flush with the surface.


Ave’s is applied to the joints to seal up any cracks and crevices.


Some sanding ensues, along with a few coats of shellac to seal up the wood.


Now it’s time to cover it all up with some primer and check for flaws.


In the meantime, a fixture is created that houses the model’s support rod.  I’m actually rather proud of this little gizmo.  It’s simple, yet effective.  The double box structure holds the rod nicely, while allowing any wires to pass through freely underneath.  The rod fits snugly, but can still turn inside the fixture allowing  the model to be rotated however the customer likes.  Well….within reason anyway 🙂


The interior of the base and bottom was painted white to help diffuse and spread light around, while the exterior was painted black.  Felt strips are applied to the lip where the upper display sits.  I also supplied mounting for the Shields Up circuit board.  Speaking of the Shields Up kit, it came with a little speaker that makes “beep beep” noises when the circuit is activated.  I had previously cut grill slits in the base’s bottom, but the speaker itself has no mounting holes.  My inner audiophile emerged and convinced me that every speaker should be mounted in an enclosure anyway.  So, I made a little box to house it, and mounted to to the bases bottom.  The speaker itself is held into the enclosure with a bit of silicone adhesive.


Using a standard Shield display with a centered post arrangement results in the post protruding from the Enterprise’s secondary hull on the graphic.  The customer and I decided to cut a new display with the ship graphic moved back…that way the ship graphic could remain un-obscured.  This, in turn, freed up a bit of real estate at the front of the display, which allowed some extra graphics to be added.  The picture below shows the back side of the display with white diffusion over the ship graphic, and blue acrylic over the “extra” graphics.  The white acrylic makes gluing the LEDs and wiring in place much easier as it prevents damage to the display’s back painting.  Oh, I see the front display with holes for the various buttons is shown in the picture as well.


Flip it over and place it on the base and this is what you get.  The final product.


The front display can be glued in place with some silicone, or epoxy once the customer completes the wiring of the various switches.

I don’t have any pictures of the illuminated base since the customer is taking care of that aspect himself, but they usually end up looking a little like this.


Now.  Where did I leave off on that darned Refit?  Oh yes!  The nacelles.  Once they were finally assembled, I went through the  “oh so lovely” process of sealing off light leaks.  This consisted of spraying, and a bit of brushing, black paint in all the offending areas.  Once this was complete, they looked damned ugly.  Thus, no picture in this spot…….

However, spray some primer on them and they look much better. 🙂


Check ’em for light leaks again, and hit them a couple coats of white, and Voila!  Pristine white nacelles, ready to be detailed!


Oh.  I’ve built a Pulse Rifle base as well.  But, that’s another story.  😛


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