31″ Nautilus W.I.P build part 4

In this part I will quickly cover the lights, I installed into the model.

As with the Allegator eye lights, I wanted to keep the light temperature of the lights at a warmer tone to reflect the Victorian era. The smaller lights around the Salon windows were the same as I used in the Lights above the Wheelhouse and the two larger ones were five mm LEDs. At the same time, I installed a three mm LED on the bottom hull under the wheelhouse floor to provide some ambient light and illumination through the depth indicator tube. I then added the small electric motor wrapped in foam as insulation and sound proofing. To have the motor spin at the slower revolution required for the model’s scale, I used larger resistors to hold back the current. It was easier than making a reduction gear box which would have proved too noisy for a display piece. I understand that it wasn’t an ideal way to slow the motors revs, but then I’m not an electrical engineer either. Besides the motor is only on for limited times as an additional animated show off piece.


The little circuit board at the front section is what I used for lighting the atomic clock on the port side of the wheelhouse wall. It was just a simple two light flasher I purchased from Jcar with two small blue LEDs connected to a single strand of one mm fibre optic.  To help with directing its glow, I used a strip of silver, reflective tape. Normally, I would  use  white high gloss paint to spread and diffuse the light. But in this case, I wanted a more reflective cast to the light.

Once I fitted and tested the lights I glued the completed Wheelhouse sub-assembly into place. Which wasn’t anywhere near the perfect fit it should have been. To fix the horrible gap I used thin styrene strip, superglued and filled with a super fine filler. At theis point of the assembly, the top and bottom hull pieces were not glued together because I had plans to add a scratch built salon and fit it into the model behind the large observation windows. I’ll cover off the salon build in the next instalment.


With the Wheelhouse installed I did some further lighting tests. Once the hulls were eventually glued in place I had now way to fix any problems so as I mentioned in an ealie post I constantly check the lights through out the build.

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The last two inmages in the slide show were taken the following night after I attched the main raker arch. In the origional Disney film much of the lighting inside the wheelhouse and outside the boat was done with green bulbs to add the slightly supernatural look.While I tried to remain faithfull I also took some artistic license by directing the lights to a softer more realistic glow while still maintaining the green tint. In fact the scene in the film where the boat is surging through the water surrounded by a bright green glow was, as I understand it, an editing issue because those scenes were filmed on an underwater dolly with a bank of green lights in the approximate shape of the sub. It is a rather good effect but the green glow is never seen again in any of the underwater shots of the filming miniatures.



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