I had a chance over the weekend to work on the helicopter lighting.
I have ordered a light controller and a few L.E.D.'s from Dimension Engineering
. I have used this controller in my other scale build and simply love the fact that every channel is programmable from time on or off to brightness. Their L.E.D.'s are very bright and come in white, red or green. One thing to mention is that they are a PC board mounted L.E.D. and do not always fit everywhere. So for the tighter spaces a conventional L.E.D. is better. While I wait for the Dimension Engineering parts to come in I started working on the other lights in the model.
The top and bottom beacon are very straight forward. The lens and metallic ring that were supplied with the fuselage are simply glued in place and the DE L.E.D. is fitted from the inside.
The main landing light/headlight is a reflective dome glued from the inside and a semi clear plastic dome on the outside. This is convenient for simple L.E.D. installation but I wanted to add a little more depth and detail to the simple light. I used a plastic light housing I received with the fuselage lighting kit as a gift and removed the conventional L.E.D. and placed it inside the reflective dome in fuse, then the semi clear dome is added over and a DE L.E.D. is fitted from the inside and will likely be controlled of a TX channel.
The vertical fin has a light post and comes with a lens but installing an L.E.D. is a bit tricky since no holes or conduits are provided for the wires.
I first cut a large opening in the fin where it mounts at the boom to bore a hole in the wood support for the mounting, the opening will be hidden by the boom so no need to fill it after. Then using a small drill bit I carefully drilled a hole at an angle from the post towards the fin. Unfortunately the paint cracked a little and will have to be fixed later. Then I installed a small L.E.D. and the provided lens, and painted a silver ring to keep the lighting theme thru-out the model.
The horizontal fin does not have any ports for lighting, so everything must be done from scratch. I did this using a conventional L.E.D. and housing filled with epoxy, then shaved to an appropriate shape. Then a small hole was drilled at an angle and the wires are ran thru the vertical fin out the same hole and into the boom.
As for the skid lights. This is the most complicated portion of the lighting mainly due the wiring issues. I've seen a few different ways of doing this and decided to try my luck at my own way. I used a small brass tube for running the wires inside. I shaved a groove where the tube sits in the strut and epoxied it in place. Then I drilled a hole in the skid where it lines up with the brass tube. The whole thing is painted to match and the brass tube barely noticeable. This allows me to take apart the model and rebuild it or make any changes to the lighting or wiring since everything is removable.
I also ordered some skid tips from Shapeways
which is a 3D printing company who basically print and ship out products based on CAD drawings that designers send in. These fit perfectly and look pretty scale. I then modified them slightly to accept the DE L.E.D.s, painted them flat black to match and glued on a clear bulb that will eventually be painted clear green and red.
I will post a video once I receive my DE controller and have it programmed.