Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ADMG Part 6 - Lighting up the Moebius Galactica

Here's part 6 of detailing and accurizing your Moebius Galactica, emphasizing on the lighting up your Moebius Galactica. Now please note that whilst I am a novice when it comes to lighting model kits, its not impossible. It is however more difficult especially when one is really green about electrical stuff.

That's why I rather have a lighting set that's already done up whereby all I need to do is "plug and play". Its safer for me and my kit. So before you decide to light up your kit, you'll need to decide if you want to do it yourself, which will definitely be so much cheaper but more inconvenient if you know nuts about lighting, or get a set that is already pre-made for the specific purpose.  Research first the areas that require lights, and then determine what colour lights, where and how to light them. You'll also need to give attention to how big (windows, engine exhaust or cockpit instruments) those lighted areas will be.

Of course this post isn't a lighting tutorial, so I can't tell you how to do it (I have the lighting set from Madman Lighting but as I'm not even done detailing my own Galactica, I haven't had the chance to attempt lighting mine yet)

So before you go light up your kit, you'll need to identify first what lights are required for which location. I have provided some reference images to show case those lighted areas that would need your attention, and then leave it to your imagination how you plan to light these. Here are some images of where these lights belongs to:

Lighted Areas on the New Galactica

On the nose section, there are two yellow port windows toward the right section. Antenna tips are lighted red and you can see the gun turret's yellowish hue. You can also make out the mid section window layouts.

Alligator mid section lighted windows. A little blurry to make out but you can see there's something like spotlights shinning from the base of the windows and from the windows themselves. Antenna lights and gun turret lights are visible in this image as well
Clearer images of the mid section windows was seen during the first season when the water tanker tried to refill from the Galactica. Close up reveals how these windows look like

Hangar Gantry. Besides the cross shaped lights at the base of the gantry, notice there are four red beacons lining up the gantry entrance? Inside the hangar bay on the landing light, the streaming light (landing beacons) strobes at around 1 second apart. Also look toward the right side inside the landing bay, noticed there is something that looks like a side way traffic light box with the lights green, yellow and red?

The Flight Pod's lights are clearly visible as well as the gun turrets. Also notice the seven spotlights highlighting Galactica's name on the port Flight Pod. 

Another view highlighting the lights emanating from the hangar bay, Galactica's insignia spotlights and gun turrets

Engine Thrusters. The four main thrusters emanate from an oval shaped exhaust pad each but on the Moebius kit, these were replaced with flat transparent parts. You'll need to scratch build those oval exhaust pads to emulate how the CGI model looks like

Another view of the engine exhaust revealing the thruster's nozzle. In this image, the garage/recess area where the flight pods retracts into (when Galactica engages her FTL) are lighted with six red lights but in this image, you can only see four

The mid engine thrusters lighted up. At first, I thought this was only used after firing up the FTL engines. However, there were instances when these engines were engaged without FTL activities.

Clearer View of the gun turrets. The bubble dome house a gunner.

Better view for the number of red lights housed within the garage/recess area. Here you can count six.

 Lighting Sets

Since I have yet to "successfully" light up a complete kit (blush), what I will do is to highlight where you can get the light sets from. What I can't do is to tell you how you connect each wires, etc etc. Not now anyway.

So first off the list is the set from Madman Lighting. This set is a tone downed version of the original set that had more options. It got toned down to keep the product affordable for the masses, and despite the cutback, the package still carries a fantastic array of options for you to light your kit. No soldering required but you will need a wire wrapping device.

  • Deluxe-8 card: easy to use constant brightness controller
  • High Brightness LEDs:
    • Three special wide angle high brightness blue LEDs for main engines.
    • One white LEDs for all the windows, ports, and bridge lights.
    • Four 3mm white LEDs for the landing bay entrances.
    • Four red LEDs for landing bay retraction zones.
  • Fiber optics in three diameters for lighting all the different sized windows, ports, engines, etc.
  • Eight feet of hookup wire.
  • Full color, comprehensive instruction manual.
  • Includes detailed photos showing how to mount the lights in each part of the model.

A prime example would be Cylon75's build


Another set that recently came to the market is from Evans Lighting, available at CultTVman Hobbyshop. I'm not really familiar with how his set up would look like but according to the product list, his kit includes 8 wired LEDs, battery clip, aluminum rod, wire nuts and illustrated instructions


And of course for the modeler who wants "cheap cheap good good", a terminology I picked up from my work place referring to getting something really good at very low prices, may I recommend this:

Yes, its your off the rack regular battery operated Christmas Lights LED set. Don't laugh. I have seen scale modelers using these to light up their ships and starships. Abet the lights would be too bright and has very little choice in terms of colours, but you'd still be getting a lighted kit at the end. Do take note I didn't say these lights would make your kit look accurate, but they certainly do help a lot making them look good. Problem with Christmas lights though is their size. They could be a tad too big and too bright for certain areas.

Basically by lighting up your kit, you literally bring them to life. A good example would be Halanar D's work using Christmas Lights

More on Accurizing and Detailing your Moebius Galactica at

ADMG Part 1 - Intro to Accurizing and Detailing your Moebius Galactica
ADMG Part 2 - Accurizing/Detailing the Alligator Head Section
ADMG Part 3 - Accurizing/Detailing the Flight Pods
ADMG Part 4 - Accurizing/Detailing the Garage/Recess Section
ADMG Part 5 - Accurizing/Detailing the Main Hull
ADMG Part 6 - Lighting up the Moebius Galactica
ADMG Part 7 - Painting your Moebius Galactica


  1. Will prolong use of lights be detrimental to the plastic kit? If i keep my kit lighted for display, will any of these lights (ie Christmas lights) cause any melting of plastic components and drying/peeling of decals?

  2. It depends by how long you mean by "prolong", so to a certain extent, yes. That's why its recommended to use proper LEDs and not bulbs. LEDs emit less heat.

    As for using Christmas lights .... haven't tried that method so I can't say for sure if prolong use will damage the plastic.