Yet another lighting project on the go – this time for the new Pacific Rim Gypsy Danger kit from Max Factory / Plamax.
The kit does come with a small lighting module, but this is rather disappointing. It uses a single LED to illuminate both the chest turbine, and, through a rather convoluted arrangement of clear pieces, the visor too. One big advantage is that the kit has been designed to allow access to this module for battery replacement once assembled.
I wanted to have a turbine effect more like as seen in the film, so have designed a system that uses a ring of LEDs (and one in the middle) that can be animated in a rotating configuration. Space is very tight, so I have split the design up into 3 pieces – An LED board that sits behind the clear turbine cover, a main driver board that fits into the main chest cavity and which provides the animation for the LEDs and also contains an additional LED to shine directly up into the head to illuminate the visor better, and finally a power board containing the battery and on-of switch. The power board sits under the main board but can be easily unplugged and removed from the model to facilitate changing of the battery.