As I was building my Agora Models 1:200 scale RMS Titanic model, I realized I could likely improve the way the internal lighting is done. This way, we can light areas better and control what is lit and what is not. This setup will be installed alongside the stock lighting, so it can be used separately or wired to the ship to replace the stock lighting and be controlled by the remote. At least, that is my plan!
There are a few things required to add this custom lighting to our Titanic (list is not complete yet):
- 2 x Warm White 3000K Flexible 5VDC COB LED Tape Strips (2m – 6.6ft)
- 1 x 2 or 3 wire AWG26 Wire (50ft)
- 1 x 3mm LED – 3000K Warm White
- 1 x 100 Ohm 1/4 Watt Resistor
- Heat-shrink Tubing (various sizes)
This process can be followed to prepare and wire any part of our model. In this example, I will add custom lighting to the First Class Lounge roof that arrived in Issue 47. The LED Strips I use can safely be cut with scissors into various segment lengths at 2in (5cm) intervals (where the copper contacts are):
Next, I determined that the underside of my First Class Lounge roof would fit a 2in and 4in length of the LED Strip. These two segments were soldered together, matching the 5V and GND pins together.
I also soldered about 12in of wire to the free end of the 4in segment as a power lead:
Deck over the First-Class Lounge (Issue 47)
This LED Strip has a removable backing paper that exposes an adhesive. I peeled this paper from the two segments and stuck it to the underside of my First Class Lounge roof, as shown:
To keep our wiring tidy, I used pieces of electrical tape to hold it in place. My power lead was directed towards the center of the roof:
The reason I routed the power lead to the center was to match the location of this square hole in the Boat Deck as the roof was attached:
After the roof was attached, I connected this custom lighting to a 3-5VDC power supply to see how it looked. I like it!
Optionally, we can run these LED Strips down to about 3VDC and it provides a more ‘golden’ glow that you may feel is more appropriate for the time period. With the studio lights turned off, this is how my custom lighting looks:
Second-Class Entrance (Issue 61)
I was going to use a piece of LED Strip inside my Second-Class Entrance but feared it would end up too bright. Therefore, I went a different route and installed a single 3mm LED here. First, I drilled a 2.5mm hole next to this forward mounting hole on the Boat Deck (Aft):
Yes, this hole was drilled right through the stock LED Strip on the underside of the Boat Deck. However, I first verified that no circuit traces are in this part of the Strip. You may notice my first hole here as I planned on simply passing my LED wires through the forward mounting hole, but the post of the Entrance fits here:
Next, I soldered a 100Ω 1/4 Watt Resistor to one leg of a 3mm LED in 3000K Warm White, attached about 12″ (30cm) of Wire to the open ends, and wrapped the connections in heat-shrink tubing, as shown:
The leads of the LED and wiring was then bent into a ‘S’ shape to fit into a notch I cut out of the stock white foam Square padding, as shown:
Using a couple of excess strips from the same stock foam Self-Adhesive Squares, I secure my LED into place:
Base for Fourth Funnel (Issue 61)
A single segment of the new LED Strip (with another 12″ wiring lead) was installed under the Base for Fourth Funnel:
First-Class Smoking Room (Issue 61)
Two single segments of the new LED Strip (with 12″ wiring leads) were installed under the First-Class Smoking Room roof. I really could have wired these segments together, but I premade a bunch of single segments with wires, so here we are. I will fix it later on:
More To Come!
As I add more lighting to my Titanic model, I will add to this page.