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How would I do some minor wiring on a model.

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Posted · Report post

I am planning a detailed Superbird build. I am doing some minor lighting such as working brake lights, headlights (Maybe, not sure) and a interior light. I have never lighted a model before. I have a basic idea of how to do the system but I need some help.

My battery will be in the trunk in a box that I will make for it. There will be a small push button switch under the dash, so when you push the brake pedal with tweezers a peice of rod pushes the button. Is it best to ditch this and just do a system that all the lights are powered by one switch in the trunk? Another thing is the headlight doors. I am thinking a metal rod through both doors with a gear at one end. A very small motor drives the gear therefore making the headlight doors pivot up like the real car. Would a seprate battery in the box with a pushbutton switch work for that? The headlights them selves will be hooked up to the battery that does all the lights.

Thanks for the help!

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Posted · Report post

Not to rain on your parade...

but IMO, trying to make the headlights light up is a major project in itself. Trying to make them actually pivot open and closed is an almost impossible job. How would you hook up the motor? What type of motor? Where would you mount the motor and yet still connect to the headlight opening/closing gears? How would you you be able to reverse the motor so the lights would close? And if you somehow managed to overcome all of those obstacles and actually got the system to work... how many times before one of the tiny gears strips, or a shaft breaks, or... well, you get the point.

Making the headlights actually open and close is Gerald Wingrove-type craftsmanship. No offense, but I seriously doubt you could pull it off. Not saying you shouldn't try, but my guess is the odds of you (or anyone) being successful are very slim.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Ok well the automatic headlight doors looks like its out the door, I probably will go with the maunual flip up lights. No motor, no worries!

Edited by Mississippi Resins

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Posted · Report post

yeah hes rite about that its almost impossible to do. and maby complicated too. and also harry p i put in my full name in sig. box!

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Posted · Report post

Thanks!

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Posted · Report post

Even manual working lights can be a chore! You'll want to make sure there are no huge gaps around the perimeter of the headlight doors, and then you'll need to find (or make) a small but delicate tool to open and close 'em.

Here's a couple pics on a '69 Daytona I did years ago, (The wrong wiper motor car! B))-----------I used '57 Chrysler headlights as a base, and with some good pics went from there. The lenses themselves are MV ones picked up at a train shop.

P5050293-vi.jpg

P5050301-vi.jpg

They also used to open together, but the rod inside has worn out so I can only open them up individually. As I said, this was a LOT of work and you'll need to take your time to get it to look decent.

HTH! :o

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Posted · Report post

Awosome Car!

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Posted · Report post

Making working lights on a car is a neat idea, but personally if I were trying something new and rather complex like that I'd probably start with a kit that lent itself to that kind of work (nice big lights, good lenses, large trunk or other place to hide the inner workings etc) rather than taking a random car I thought was really neat but may not be the most cooperative.

When I'm trying a completely new technique I try to make sure I'm not going to saddle myself with additional problems. No reason to kill yourself on the first attempt. An older car from the 1930-40s might be easier since the headlights are typically much larger than on more modern cars. It is probably obvious but you would want to make sure it has clear lenses for the headlights / taillights.

As far as the lights themselves I've seen tiny LEDs which can be used. They last pretty much forever compared to little incandecent lightbulbs, and put out almost no heat. I've seen lighting kits for models but I think you can get all the do it yourself stuff individually from Radio Shack (or similar). LEDs are also very low voltage so you can use a small watch battery which should last for years.

I don't want to discourage you, just trying to help you avoid the huge pile of overly ambitious unfinished models many of us have acquired ovr the years. :unsure:

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