This page is part of my Custom Lighting Mod series of articles.
DISCLAIMER: If you choose to attempt any of these modifications, you assume all risks thereof. I just wanted to share my experiences here. Neither Agora Models, nor myself, are responsible for any damages that may occur.
Lighting Stage 21
Before I assembled the Emergency Lights in Stage 21, I wanted to add LEDs to them.
Emergency Light Frames
The first step I took was to snip off the larger peg on the back of all six Emergency Light Frames with my sprue cutters:
Next, I drilled out the remaining peg material with a 1.2mm screw bit. This will clear the way for the new wiring:
Then, I drilled a 2mm hole right through the center of each Emergency Light Frame. This is where the new LED will be placed:
Finally, using my sprue cutters, I snipped a small V-shaped groove on the back side of each Emergency Light Frame to create a channel between the two drilled holes for wiring. Take care not to make this groove so deep where it comes out the front of the frame:
Emergency Light Lenses
I wanted these tiny LED lights to be visible from many angles, so I chose to drill a small recess in the back center of each Emergency Light Lens. I started with a 1.2mm bit, worked up to a 1.7mm, and finished with a 2mm bit. The tricky part here is to drill as deep as possible without coming through the other side:
The Emergency Light Lenses are not solid red plastic, but clear plastic covered in red paint. This exposed clear plastic would be visible from the outside of the lens, so I used a cotton swab to dab some Tamiya X-27 Clear Red acrylic paint into the recess to make them red again:
Starting the rear cab side Emergency Light LEDs and Frames
After allowing this paint to dry, I could start to install the first Emergency Lights on my model. The process is very similar for all these lights, so I will explain the first one in more detail. Starting before attaching the first Rear Cab Door, I carefully fed a Micro Bit Light (Red) LED through this tiny hole of the Main Cab Body from the inside, as shown:
Next, I fed this LED through the center drilled hole of an Emergency Light Frame from the rear, as shown:
Attaching the LED and Emergency Light Lens
To quickly secure the LED into the drilled recess of an Emergency Light Lens, I chose to use my Solarez Thin-Hard UV Resin. First, I put a tiny drop into the recess on the back of the lens:
While holding the LED centered face down into the lens recess, I flashed it with my UV flashlight for a second or two. This hardened the Solarez resin instantly, securing the LED to the lens. Be sure to protect yourself when using UV lights like this:
The next step was gently pulling the LED wiring through the Emergency Light Frame and using super glue to secure the Emergency Light Lens to the front of the frame, as shown:
Turning the Emergency Light assembly over, I carefully bent to LED wiring into the groove I cut into the back of the frame, guiding the wires over to the side hole, as shown:
Working with the Rear Cab Doors
At this point, I moved forward with installing the Rear Cab Doors. As I fitted the door’s Inner Cab Panel of each door to the Main Cab Body, I routed the LED wiring up through this small hole. I took extra time to be careful when handling this very small wiring:
I left a very small amount of the LED wiring on the outside of the Main Cab Body – just enough to allow me to install the door screw:
Finally, I used some super glue to attach the Emergency Lens to the Main Cab Body. Here is how it looks when powered on – I love it!
Repeat this same process on the opposite side to attach the right side LED and door.
Routing the Dome Light LED wiring
When installing the Cab Inside Roof to the model, the wires from the Dome Light LEDs should be routed alongside the Lightbar cables towards and down the rear of the Main Cab Body:
Installing the front cab side Emergency Lights
The front cab side Emergency Lights are assembled the same way, but I did not have to work around a door screw. The only difference was that I needed to drill the rearmost holes of these mounting locations completely through the Main Cab Body with a 1.2mm drill bit to allow room for the LED and wiring:
The rest of the installation process for these lights is the same as the previous Emergency Light + LED assemblies:
The local connections for these LEDs are as follows:
If we consider my full plan diagram, we can test the lighting after this stage by connect everything like this:
Next Custom Lighting Page
LIGHTING 23 – Adding our custom lighting to Stage 23