Light and Sound Card Installation

Here is a series of photographs showing how I installed an on/off switch for the Starling Technologies Light & Sound Kits for the Pegasus War Of The Worlds Martian Machines. I wanted an internal on/off switch to power the self-contained models so there would be no battery wires from the base to spoil the scene.

If you decide to use clear 'stilts' like I did to suspend your ship(s), be sure to file down the INSIDE back edges of the three green bottom light inserts so they are recessed in the bottom shell. Taking off about 1/8 of an inch should be enough.  This not only creates a nice slot for your legs to rest in (without gluing), it is barely noticible since they are on the underside of the ship. BTW, I used the clear Lexan rods that are used to open & close the shades on mini-blinds. They have a hexagonal shape which diffracts the green light from the bottom inserts nicely. They have them at Home Depot for three bucks or so. Depending on how high you want your ships to perch, one rod should be enough for each machine.

If any of this is unclear or you have questions, please do not hesitate to email me with your query and I may be able to help you out.

This is a picture of the top half of the Martian War Machine. As you can see, I cut away about 1/3 of the inner rim that will hold the cobra head 'plug' that fits in this opening. Avoid removing anymore of this feature so as not to weaken the structure.

This is the internal underside view of the previous picture. Nothing has changed.

This photo shows the cobra head base placed in the hole. DO NOT GLUE!

This picture that shows the cobra head 'plug' with the newly exposed section (because of the initial cutaway) highlighted with a magic marker as a future reference point.

At this point, carefully glue a narrow piece of sprue or scrap plastic (shown in red) to the cobra head 'plug'. Be careful not to get any glue on the cobra head plug and the top of the ship. If you do, you won't be able to rotate the cobra head later. Also glue a small platform (shown in black) to the underside of the ship's top section as shown. This will act as a platform to mount your on/off switch.

This is a shot of the Starling Technologies Light Kit Power pack with the included on/off slide switch REMOVED. You have to substitute it with a micro ROLLER switch, NOT a micro rocker switch. Now that Radio Shack is gone, you can get them on eBay for about 2 bucks. Be sure that you can get this switch type since my design depends on that style to work correctly. If you can come up with a better solution, go for it. Be sure to solder to the outside connections on the switch and test with a light bulb to make sure that the light turns ON when the switch is depressed and OFF when released.

This view shows the roller switch GLUED in place. I use 5 minute epoxy. Regular model glue just isn't strong enough. Note that the current position of the cobra head 'plug' pictured, the circuit would be OFF. When you turn the cobra head, the red piece engages the roller and makes contact, thus turning the switch ON. I recommended trying this out a few times BEFORE gluing the switch in place to make sure that you have good contact AND smooth operation. The angle of the roller is very important in this step. Use masking tape to hold the switch in place until you are satisfied with the operation. Once secure, this operation is essentially complete and the ship can be closed up. The parts fit nice and tight so I don't glue it together so I can get at the batteries when they need replacement.

If you are installing the sound kit, the on/off light kit installation steps for the lights are the same. This shot is to show where I placed the drill hole for the laser/meson firing switch near an internal support stud. This is looking at the LOWER inside half of the war machine towards the rear.

This is just showing the position of the laser sound effects button from the inside. I use hot glue to secure the switch in place but if I were to do it again, I'd use 5 minute epoxy. I also recommend that you lightly coat the outside edges of the button with petroleum jelly or light oil BEFORE putting it in place. This because when you paint the machine, you can 'glue' the button to the sides of its hole. The button itself is just long enough to extend through the ship shell so you don't have a lot to play with and just a little stickiness can mess it up pretty good (believe me, I found out the hard way).

This is just a shot of the outside of the ship showing how 'invisible' the laser sound on/off button is. You're all done.

An unfortunately uninformative photo of the wiring harness laid out. The LED cluster at the top provided the lighting for the large green fore light. The others are approximate placement of the other lights. Obviously, you'd want to run the circuit a few times before installing it to make sure all is well.