Fujimi Blade Runner Spinner

This was one of those ‘missed the boat’ kits which I had to stop thinking about it during the time when I was not sure when the next meal might come. Even if they had included that non-scale Blaster, it was more important for me to focus on getting food to the table.

Finally, after so many years, I was thankful for HLJ who secured the model for me.
This is the flying vehicle which first existed in the futuristic Blade Runner World and they’re called Spinners. Alas, when the Movie came out, I was too young to understand what it was all about and only remembered it as being dark, some boring as heck guy got his fingers broken and some screaming girl being shot in the apartment. Fast forward decades later, well… let’s just concentrate on this model.

Bear in mind, if you trawled trough the Internet, you would know that Fujimi used a filming miniature to create the 1/24 model and then you would also realise that they Spinner in various scales. Hence the absence of some critical details and so on. But that is not important to me right now. What is most important is the lighting inside the model. It will be a great challenge and one that I will enjoy.

Fujimi Blade Runner Spinner
Fujimi Spinner 001
This took months and as soon as I bought it, HLJ said the item is on ‘Backordered’ status. Still, I am so happy that it was finally in my hands!
Fujimi Spinner 002
The box contained 8 plastic bags: 5 white runners, 1 clear red runner, 1 clear blue runner, 1 clear runner and decals with a photoetch ‘Spinner’ logo.

Looking at the chassis, its about 8.5 inches long and 3.25 inches wide. So yeah, to scale the lighting, most of the LED used will be SMD LEDs.
Fujimi Spinner 003
At first glance, I have a feeling that the seats would need some work and so is the rear board which would be located behind the seats and also to cover the big ‘boot’.
Fujimi Spinner 004
So with the coloured clear parts, I do not have to worry about the tinting lights. However, if you look carefully, the red domes are not red but should be orange. Plus, each of these domes has an inner alignment pin which, I guess needs to be Dremelled out.
Fujimi Spinner 005
Looking at the Chassis, by logic, the driver’s side must also have a clear window. So, I might have to remove the (yellow area) plastic. On the left of the image which I found on the internet, the Studio model did not have this but then again, I WILL have to do something about it since the canopy glass of the model allows you to see every detail.
Fujimi Spinner 006
Yeah, this (yellow area) also needs to be worked on.
Fujimi Spinner 007
See what I mean about the alignment pins on the bigger clear domes? They need to be removed but I think, I might have problem with this. Never mind if I just remove only 2mm and leave the remainder as some sort of bulb as I don’t think this idea works.
Fujimi Spinner 008
Yeah, clear red might have a problem, so I would need to try some yellow LEDs in the hopes of turning it orange. Or, I can find someone to vac-form them….
Fujimi Spinner 009
OK, Jim Small, these are the 1/24 figures I got from Oliver Dan Golembiewski of ODG Studios sometime ago. And they were sculpted to fit into the Fujimi seats.
The resin used is very light and has minor bubbles. Since Gaff has a posable right hand, I will scratch the Spinner’s controls for him.

You can go to this link for more photos:
Fujimi Spinner 010
Now comes the dilemma. During the dry-fit test, Deckard’s head will be too tall. This means I would need to perform some plastic surgery to lower the two figures. On the second picture, I must create a hole so that the Gaff’s legs can fit into it.
Fujimi Spinner 011
The only modification would be to cut off the alignment pins under the seats so the figures would look ‘laid back’ a little. And then I found this picture on the Internet… hmmm
Fujimi Spinner 012
The Spinner’s seat would definitely need to be modified and also, look at the picture on the right, courtesy of Jean-Marc Deschamps. There is a mechanism under the Deckard figure, which means, his head is moveable…
Fujimi Spinner 013
This is the photo-etch I got from Paul Bodensiek of ParaGrafix Modeling long ago and now, its really a great excuse to use them. Paul’s PE set has all the parts to make the Spinner look much better since the canopy allows the observer to really look at all the details.
Fujimi Spinner 014
My main concern are the light-bars situated at the top of the Spinner and if you look at the reference models all over the Internet, it is quite a task to hide the wiring. This would mean, I need to be very creative.

And then, I noticed that the frames are different and so, they would need to be reconstructed if I can help it. But trust me on this, Paul Bodensiek ‘s PE part for the lightbar is still as crucial as ever, which I will explain very much later when tackling this.
Fujimi Spinner 015
Using a slow-speed rotary saw, I was able to more or less cleanly remove the blocked wall. Because of my fear of scratching the model, I scribed the vertical sides from behind and then slowly using the saw, I cut off the horizontal sides. After much forceful pushing, the scribed lines gave way.
Fujimi Spinner 016
Following Paragrafix’s instructtion, I removed the alignment pins and also the alignment pillars from the seat, so that the figures can sit lower and not touch the clear canopy later on. However, this posed another problem because (left pic) Gaff’s knees are knocking on the console. And even if I shave that off, his coat needs (right pic) to be modified too.
But that is not what I am going to do because his left hand, is actually touching the console and might need to be modified if he is to ‘hold’ the Spinner’s controls.
Fujimi Spinner 017
Until then, this is how both figures would be sitting and yes, Gaff’s console cannot fit into the chassis properly unless I really modify him. But that won’t be so soon as I need to take a look at the console and also, his footrest.
Fujimi Spinner 018
This is the modifications needed on the original console so that it can fit Paragrafix’s PE part. Maybe I can try to reconstruct the console instead since I am bad at cutting this way and I don’t have a razor saw yet.
Fujimi Spinner 019
Hmmm…. looks simple too, and maybe, I can try to scratch-built this as well (famous last words, ha ha). I do not have confidence in performing these kind of modifications.

But if I can do this, then I can also replace the details on the sides of the doors in the Spinner’s cabin as well. (Ha ha)
Fujimi Spinner 020
I finally decided to use the model kit’s part instead of scratch-building as it looked quite difficult. First step is to use the DYMO tape as guide. The gap between the tape and the edge of the console was about 1.4mm or so. The DYMO tape was to guide the circular saw (and not the scriber) as it goes around the edges.

My scalpel blade is semi-sharp, rusting and missing the tip. It suits me because won’t injure myself much with it and also, less accidents during excess plastic shaving. Years ago, I bought the blade with a wrong sized stub and so, it cannot enter into the handle much. My fear is that it would snap back towards me when I press it too hard on the cutting mat. The current handle is metal is and quite nice to hold. I have blades with two different stubs right now, maybe I should get another handle?
Fujimi Spinner 021

(Left image)
Phew! I got a somewhat clean cut with some slight accidents beneath the fascia’s surface but otherwise, it was good. Maybe I should have widened the gap to about 1.6mm. Then I traced the shape of the console to a Tamiya 0.5mm pla-plate

Just to let you know, I am using a 12 volt rotary too (because I do not have any budget for a Dremel) but stepped down to 9 volts. This reduces the speed of the saw resulting in far less melted plastic gunk. Also, the melted gunk was easier to remove since it did not have time to fuse into the plastic.

(Right image)
After some gluing, I shaved off the excess plastic before finally sanding it down. Note that there is a fine line at the top of the console which I decided to leave it in. The reason why I used a 0.5mm pla-plate is that it is good enough to diffuse the light from the LEDs and also strong enough not to warp when more glue are applied later on (I hope).

Note the front ridges on the left, which needs to be lighted up as well later on.
Fujimi Spinner 022

I did the same with the middle console but forgot to take the picture. So, now I have two of these surfaces prepared for ParaGrafix Modeling‘s PE parts. Just need to figure out how to stick them on without any CA or Superglue.
Fujimi Spinner 023

(Left image)
Using the ParaGrafix Modeling‘s original PE as template, I traced out the three patterns for the Spinner’s backwall. I want to use plastic instead of metal since you all know that I do not have any love for CA or Superglues. If you see the plate above, the first trial was a mistake because in my excitement, I forgot that the templates were based on the PE’s thickness. So, the 1.2mm failed and I had to try again with a 0.5mm pla-plate.

(Right image)
Finally, with the recreated wall all glued up, it looks good.
Fujimi Spinner 024

(Left image)
And the fit is quite nice! Notice how the recreated backwall fits and also covers the two rear windows.

(Right image)
But from the front, there would be some gaps which I would leave it for the moment. It is a slanting gap and I have yet to think of an alternative than gluing pieces of styrene on it. Then again, it is the Spinner’s door.
Fujimi Spinner 025
Compared to the image of the Studio model which I found on the Internet, the new backwall looks good albeit a little too low. I am glad that ParaGrafix Modeling‘s new backwall helped to solve the problems of the two rear windows.
Fujimi Spinner 026
Once again, I had to use the Paragrafix’s PE as template because this floor pan part would be visible due to the clear window beneath it. I cannot use any epoxy or other glue which could be visible.

And so, I traced out the part onto a 0.5mm pla-plate.
Fujimi Spinner 027
(Left image) I would need some smaller squares and ‘L-shapes’ to make sure the walls hold. What I did, like the previous backwall, was to trace out the shape, then lightly scribe the folding lines and quickly put some thin cement over the joints. Do note that I traced the pattern from the back of the PE fret and so, the scribing of the folding lines would be on the same side and not on the actual front side.

(Right image)
And this is how it would look like. Do be careful when using thin cement as it would go all over the place due to the gaps in the plastic….
Fujimi Spinner 028

(Left Image)
Continuing with the cockpit, I am now making from seat braces. And I need to make four of them. So, after measuring the rough shapes and cutting these braces, I began to make some holes. Drilling the first hole into the stack is not easy as they keep slipping. Once the first hole is done, I stuffed the drill bit onto it and moved to the second hole and so on until all four holes are done.

{Right image)
I found the seat’s position by cutting off some plastic from the kit’s runners as their size (arrow) give a nice leaning angle and height to the seat.
Fujimi Spinner 029
With the seat brackets completed, I glued some beams to the edges for better grip. Once that is done, I used normal cement to glue them to the seats. As normal cement are thick, it allowed me time to adjust and also, ‘push’ the parts together. This was due to the slightly off angle of the brackets but with the normal cement, it sort of melted with the seat’s actual slanting shape.

Update: I removed these seat brackets as the angles I measure were wrong and they kept the seat upright higher. Later I will try again, using another method.
Fujimi Spinner 030

(Left Image)
I had to remover off the tall tube before I can proceed with the console modifications. That tube will be dealt with later.
I used a rotary saw to cut off the console as best as I can but the cut was about 0.5mm off. So, I had to cut out a new 1.0mm pla-plate and make it as the console’s new base. This would give me the same height I needed when gluing the PE part.

(Middle Image)
For the bottom, I had to do the same but this time, it was with a 0.5mm pla-plate. There would be some gaps due to the angle of the cut by the rotary saw but I think I got it covered.

(Right image)
Using the normal cement, I pressed the pla-plate onto the bottom half of the console until both plastics melted together. Late on, with some Magic Putty and sanding, it was good to go.
Fujimi Spinner 031

(Yellow arrow)
I was a little worried that the brackets might push the seats further out but during this dry-fit test, they looked OK. And in theory, I can also glue the seat to the wall but I won’t as its too fragile.

(Blue Arrow)
This is how I wanted position the console. The middle ridge would be the next modification which I am a little apprehensive since to me, the plastic is already quite weak.
Fujimi Spinner 032

Once the console and chassis were aligned, I used a 3mm drill for them. The hole at the bottom would be for a 3mm LED to poke through and also, which also serves as a ‘neck’ for the upper console to turn.

Mistake with the rotary saw as the thin line had become a thick trench. So, I would need to find some thick clear plastic for this. But I am happy with the lighting on the front of the console.
Even at 10mA, it is still too bright but I will adjust this once I place the label onto it. Do note that I am not using a normal 3mm white with clear lens but with a diffused lens. This is so that the console is uniformly lit and does not have much of a hot-spot.
Plus, in scale modeling, it is not necessary to use the LED to full brightness.

You know, all this work just to turn the console less than a few degress to the left and make it light up….
Fujimi Spinner 033

(Left Left)
For the round tube thingy, I am using a 2mm top-hat warm white LED. This is because I do not have any 2mm yellows and so, the warm-white of the LED kinda gave me the compromise.

The inner tube would be from a Tamiya 2mm clear rod while the outer is some plastic I found and to hold it to the floor later on, I used a Tamiya 5mm clear round tube.

First lighting test. It looks OK but I might want to tone down the lighting a little as even at less than 20mA, it is way too bright.

(Right Right)
Well, yeah, that’s how this prototype would look like later on. But there would be some changes since I am not sure if the ‘opening’ of the tube is that big.
Fujimi Spinner 034

There would be some fibre-optic lights coming out from the Spinner’s cabin wall and onto the Photo-etched seat panels. So, I need some kind of greeblie to ‘hide’ the fibre-optics and also make it look convincing. So, I used some plastic strip and create some kind of hood.

OK, the hood idea looks kind of too big and cheesy. I will have to redo this again and make it shorter a bit by 1/4 or so.
Fujimi Spinner 035

I have shortened the part at the rear of the wall and also added some rectangular panels, complete with rivet/screwheads.
This was done by twisting a few rounds of the modified syringe needle and I have higlighted it with Tamiya Panel Line to show the detail.
Fujimi Spinner 036
I then cut and glued some plastic rods as a kind of cable holders and connection points for the 2.0mm guitar bass strings which would be threaded like this.

The 2.0mm looked a little too big though but at the shop, they only had 2.0mm and 1.0mm. One day, I will go to a music instrument shop and ask for more of these strings, preferably in 1.5mm too. I think they are called bass guitar strings.
Fujimi Spinner 037

So far, so good and the ‘cabling’/tubing did not interfere with the modified seat
Fujimi Spinner 038
To make the bass strings intertwine or plaid more realistically, I would be using 1.0mm solder leads. This is a shot of my testing with a stripped copper cable. It is too strong and hard to bend later on, and would mean gluing and re-gluing all the cable ‘holders’ over and over again.
Fujimi Spinner 039

I have removed the middle block from the original part using a combination of rotary saw and scalpel. Then I carefully removed the front fascia to be replaced by a flat pla-plate later.
The rounded details (arrows) are already on the Paragrafix’s PE part and so, I do not have to worry about them being accidentally destroyed. But I am definitely salvaging the walkie-talkie/Motorola phone (arrows) details for later.

I used a 1mm pla-plate to close up the hole and used Perfect Plastic Putty for the gaps. This putty is quite nice and quite similar to Magic Putty, where you just apply the stuff with a toothpick and then use a wet cotton bud to smooth them out.
Fujimi Spinner 040

This part needs to be lighted up as there will be a PE part for it. So, using a 3mm diffused white LED, the effect looks promising. Alternatively, I can use a one with a clear lens as the hotspot might project itself to the slanted fascia.

I am using Mr. Surfacer Primer 1000 as I have run out of 1500. And one thing about using this primer, it can act as a light block too.
Fujimi Spinner 041

I intentionally sprayed the backwall thick as to create some kind of texture. And to make it looked even worn, I intentionally did not flush the Airbrush with the previous paint but added blue paint instead. After some wash with Abteilung Oils and Tamiya Panel Liner, this is the worn look I got.

Then its time to thread the 2.0mm guitar strings into the panel. This time, I used 1.0mm solder wire which indirectly helps keep the shape.
Fujimi Spinner 042

I hate masking but it needs to be done. I might have missed out the reference shots because I did not see this (green Sol-R masked) part lighted up except in Randy Cooper’s model.

After priming the model, and masking it, I gave it a good spray with the Mr. Color Blue (H5) for the interior tub leading to the front dash. In fact, I gave it too much and now, I have to wait a few days before I go over it with some fine sanding paper to get rid of the orange peel effect.
Fujimi Spinner 043: Blade Runner Spinner lights.

Well, it is almost one year now. I had just gone through another job change and was very busy for months.

Anyway, let’s continue with the lighting. Not counting the constantly lit ones, there are about 11 LED effects on the roof of the Spinner. Initially, I think they were switched on at the same time but with the imperfect World, after a few moments, the rotating police lights would go out of sync. In real life, where the same motors of the same lights, will not spin at the same speed. They will come into sync for a few seconds. You can see this during a traffic light where turn blinkers of the same car models are not in sync but comes back into sync a little later (if the traffic light takes too long to change. Ha ha ha).

Yes, I can get away with at least 5 effects but it would look bad. It’s a challenge and I hope the observer can tell the difference between each set of lights.

This would also mean switching to another microcontroller with a higher pin count, more than I ever needed.
10.06.2019 The Spinning siren illusion
If you squint your eye while looking at a spinning beacon, you will realise that the lights first fade in, flash and fade out. So, this view is me trying to explain that, Using this method, I think, will work on the 1/24 scale with a single LED, or a 0805 SMD version to be accurate.
This is the second version. The LEDs looked a little weird as if it was flashing from left to right but in real life they are very different. It was very challenging to capture the PWM effects with digital devices.
Fujimi Spinner 043A: The Model which gobbles up microcontrollers

Yeas. It’s going to need three and each one does one specific job:
-Roof Flashing square lights
-Roof Revolving Lights, and
-Bottom Flashing square Lights

Putting them all into one chip cause some problems for me since my programming skills suxx to the max. But I think I can reduce to two chips if I combine both square lights together. Shame though as I wrote a slightly different sequence for it….

This is is my first prototytpe. As usual, I would start small, with just the microcontroller and minimal LEDs. This is to test the LED light sequence programming. Once that is more or less confirmed, only then would I start to expand the cirsuit.
The 2019 Spinner Lighting

Well, it’s more or less done and although it’s not 100% exact but I’m gonna stop here. It took me 3 microcontrollers to achieve this and I’m not that pleased because I know there are some programming tricks which I have not discovered. Then again, the spec calls for about 20 PWM outputs. Right now, I’m cheating a little so that I don’t have to use the 4th microcontroller.

The actual solution would be to use one single chip with all the digital outputs using the resistor/capacitor combo to achieve the fades but that would be a heck of a lot more components (minimum of 52 additional) and it might eat up the battery faster. Another method would be to use addessable LEDs but right now, they are bulky and not that cheap either.

And this is just for the roof and undercarriage lighting… anyhoo, video would be up in a few days while I redo my notes.
Fujimi Spinner 43B

Well, here it is, Folks.

This is the proposed circuit for the Fujimi 1/24 Blade Runner Spinner. It has a lot of lights.

As in about 58 lots of lights! And its going to suck up about 1A in current, no thanks to the 25 constantly ON Leds.
This design took me quite a bit due to my busy DayJob and all but I just want to make it look as good as it can be when compared to the actual Movie car.
The design really took a toll on a lot of microcontrollers, mostly due to my inexperience in programming or maybe, could not find a PIC chip that has so much PWM outputs. In the end, rather than dwell on how to improve on the programming or adding about 100 plus components, I decided to split the effects into three smaller microcontrollers and control the LEDs from there.

If you look at the circuit diagram, it is a very simple matter of using the ULN2004 Darlington Arrays to control the LEDs from the output of the microcontroller. The fading effects are then programmed in.

But what I am thinking now is, should I add another microcontroller to control the 25 constantly ON LEDs? of course it would add cost and increase component count but in theory, it would save on battery power. Heh.
Fujimi Spinner 04C

If you watch this scene carefully, you will notice the light ‘dot’ revolves all around, even to the back of the assembly. I have already added this to the prototype and it would also mean, an additional PCB for it.
Fujimi Spinner 43D: The shape of things to come

So, yeah, this is how the PCB might look like with the circuit in place. This is the first time I used the auto-router function of the EaglePCB software since there are so many tracks but it failed as well, even on a double-sided option. So, I will need to redo this again and again and maybe, place the tracks manually.
Fujimi Spinner 043E

I had to change to a bigger microcontroller as it has more output. This was the same chip which I had problems with earlier. But this time, it worked because I do not need all the outputs to be working full-time.

Not only that, it has enough ports for me to separately pulse the rear 5 thruster LEDs and also control the brightness of the 21 static LEDs.

Despite having 59 LEDs in this circuit, it was not able to load the mobile phone charger to make it stay on permanently. I am guessing the current drawn is very much less than the calculations and so, I might be a problem if I need to display it for more than 25 seconds, say 8 hours, maybe?
Fujimi Spinner 043F: Spinner Board Rev.02

Sorry for the lack of updates here due to (the usual) day Job and Family commitments. Moving forward, after a few free sessions, this is how the circuit looked like for the moment. I have upgraded the third microcontroller and also, lowered the Darlington Array to a more manageable input voltage. Then again, it might not make any difference.

At the last count, the LEDs have increased from 59 to 63 and strangely enough, the USB current meter still did not register any noticeable load. I will have to use the multi-meter to verify this. Because I have now used PWM to light up and dim the static LEDs instead of direct drive, in theory, I should be saving more power. But this might not be so great when plugged to those portable mobile phone chargers which sort of require a certain load to prevent it from shutting down after 30 seconds.

Since each Darlington pair is capable of outputting 500mA, I revised the circuit design a little and all of a sudden, I now have extra connections there and here. I can use them for further modifications when I have the parts for it.

So, here is the revised image of the circuit but don’t bother to zoom in too much because I can’t enlarge it without stitching the images. The design is very simple. The microcontrollers at the bottom gives out the signals/fading commands which is then amplified by the three Darlington Arrays in the middle before going to the LEDs at the top. The difficult part? Making sure all the copper tracks can fit into the circuit board. And to be honest, if this system was to be use by others, they would need to know how to solder, especially with those pencil tip soldering irons. I have thought of using screw terminals but the board is just not big enough and also, it will definitely make the model back heavy.
The almost completed prototype circuit for the Spinner.
As I have mentioned, it is difficult to capture the effect with a digital device, namely my Huawei mobile phone but in some instances, you can almost see it
Fujimi Spinner 43G: Running out of space, fast!

So, um, yeah, I might have to ditch this design and start all over again. There’s just not enough space for another seven 0603 resistor arrays. I need to rethink about using both sides of the board more effectively and also using through-hole connections.

The main problem with this design is that it uses about 60-ish LEDs (I’ve actually lost count due to so many revisions on the circuit) and connecting them to the board is not as simple as it seems. Why? If it were up to me, I can just put in some solder pads, solder the wires to the board and probably save about maybe 1/3 or more of the board’s footprint.

Not many have soldering irons nor have much experience with SMD LEDs. So, yeah, most of the resources for this board goes to the connectors. I have already ditched those micro-JST connectors in favour of those PC headers and it’s still too big (bear in mind, I have to solder and crimp each of the 60 connectors individually) . Still, I did learn something on the EaglePCB which is how to modify existing component in the EaglePCB Library and so, yeah, that giant DIL ULN2003A has modified solder pads to accommodate various tracks. I couldn’t believe it was so easy once I knew what I was doing (usually I don’t)

Fujimi Spinner 43H
Almost there…
Sorry for the non-colour printout (as it costs quite a bit at the printers) but this is how big the board is going to be.

Although the circuit was quite easy, designing the board itself was quite a challenge on a few fronts:
1. Double-sided
2. Through-hole connections
3. Thinner tracks
4. Modifications of parts, and
5. Combinations of SMD and through-hole components

I think I’m the only nutcase doing this compared to ‘normal/conventional’ designs but hey, at the end of the day IF it works, its good enough. There are still some tweaks left before I finalise the design. See the bunch of connectors on the right? Those are for power from either the 3x AAA or USB. I ordered one or two as samples and they should be coming soon in November. Of course I can use the same connectors such as those PC headers in the bottom and sides but they can be connected in either direction which is not a great idea if you’re a power cable..

As I am designing the board manually without any auto-routing, I am still worried even after double-checking it. I the meantime, I’ve got a Destroyer to finalise….
43E: Trying something new
I finally bit the bullet and decided to get my prototypes done outside Pasar Road. For those who know me, I do really have issues at this stage. The shops around Pasar Road is able to do this service provided I give them the positive film for the photo lithography process, which I cannot because:

Shop A requires the positive film of my design from Shop B which is about 300m away. I can email my design to Shop B but cannot pick up the film since they close at 1300. Shop A cannot go to Shop B as well, let’s just say they’re understaffed and stop at that. By the time I rushed from my Workplace, it would already be 1530 in the afternoon, earliest. This has been going on for years due to the nature of my day Job. Well, maybe I can reduce that to months, if I can get a friend to help out.

Anyway, there are some very important facts which drove me to try other places. Firstly, the design is much more complicated than usual, and the tracks are very fine and plus, it uses the double-sided more than ever. The prorotype board must also have some plated-through holes for connectivity since I hate soldering connecting link wires. And so, here I am, waiting for that company to audit my files again. This is the second time I submitted because of some earlier issues when I converted my normal file into Gerber format.

But I truly believe that once this initial teething problem has been resolved, things can only get better.

I hope.
Fujimi Spinner 043 (ok, this is the tl;dr version)

Even though I have just punched in at work, I can’t wait to get home today. Yep, the prototype PCB I sent out has arrived yesterday evening while I was out of the Office!

This design took me months due to a lot of factors but mainly it is that I hardly can find the time to continue with my Hobby for the time being. What drove me on was the challenge to light the model since it requires about 60-plus LEDs and also, the enjoyable time of designing the circuit board! However, before I can reach to that stage, I had a lot of problems getting the microcontrollers to do what I wanted them to. As usual, I was really ‘alone’ in doing this since most either suggested Arduinos or the usual advise in jest which did not help at all.

In the end, I opted to use three microcontrollers to reduce the PWM burden since I do not have the luxury of time to find out more about the programming optimisation. This is also a first for me where I had to convert my design into Gerber files for the manufacturer. Plus, I found out how to modify existing pads to suit my design too. After the second submission, it was good to go but there was a lot of learning in the process.
Fujimi Spinner 044
So, there you have it, a double-sided design complete with plated-through holes as standard!
I was given a choice to colour the board from green to red to yellow to blue to black to white but I chose Blue since the Spinner was blue.
Fujimi Spinner 045
Here is one design error which I made because I was afraid that there wasn’t any space in between. But after seeing this, I actually have about a minimum of 0.5mm! Darn. So now I have to solder the resistor array as far as I can, away from the PC header connectors.
Fujimi Spinner 046
Surprisingly, the tracks of 0.16mm width were able to pass through with no problem and during the design stage I was actually quite worried since they could be carrying higher current. As long as the coating does not come off, there should not be any shorting.
Fujimi Spinner 047
One good thing about the manufacturer is that they adopted plated through-holes as standard between the two sides of the board which is a happy bonus for me as there are a few pins which I needed them to do it so that I do not need to solder jumper wires. Something which I challenged myself when designing PCBs since jumper wires makes it look as if my design failed and the board look unprofessional.

As for that weird looking IC in the middle, after examining the board again, I do not really need to modify its solder pads at all but then again, it was a good learning experience.
Fujimi Spinner 048: What Blue for the Spinner?

There are some debates as to the correct shade of the 2019 Spinner’s Blue. The ‘real’ shade was, well, since I do not know how to describe the colour which is more like a greyish or dull blue. But in the movies, due to the lighting and rain and stuff, it became slightly darker blue.

The reference photos shows the different types of blue and so, just like the Studio Model T.I.E fighter and the Movie T.I.E. figther, I am not going to crack my head on this. What I am going to do is, use Tamiya TS-44 (the ’44’ on the car) Brilliant Blue on the outside and Mr. Colour #5 Blue for the interior.

As you can see, I have sprayed the bottom of the Spinner (months ago) with the Tamiya and the interior with Mr. Color (also months ago). Yeah, the interior does look weird.
Fujimi Spinner 049: Partially populated
So, yeah, this is the prototype board for the Spinner, and there’s still a few more chips left to solder before I can verify the whole system. It’s controlling and lighting about 60-plus (I lost count, 65 or 69) LEDS and will be placed inside the model. The green connectors mostly deals with Blinking lights while the same ones on the right would be the simulated Sirens. (Yeah to those who are familiar, the effect is like the Star Trek Enterprise-1701A’s and Klingon Bird of Prey’s Torpedo Tube launchers)
19.11.2019 The Video
Here is the video of the Spinner PCB. For rushing of time, I did not solder all the LEDs but just a few to rest the board. Maybe during assembly, I might have to create a test rig for them.
Fujimi Spinner 050
Using a 1.5mm flat blade scraper, I scraped the plastic as thin as I can and when it breaks through, I widened it with the scalpel. Then with the file, I gave it a few strokes but not too much. Using the Tamiya glue, I spread it on the fresh rectangle hole, waited for it melt a little and then use the 2x5x7 led to push through. The melted styrene then widens and also confirms exactly to the LED’s shape, forming a tight fit.
Fujimi Spinner 051: The melted styrene
It is boring during the Pandemic lockdown.
Fujimi Spinner 052
After fitting the board. The leftmost and rightmost LEDs are bent as the board’s width has been reduced to by about 2.5mm
Fujimi Spinner 053
Nice. With a little bit of twisting to the LEDs, I manage to get it fit. The middle rectangle would be straight one while the left and right would fan out at an angle, with the leftmost and the rightmost the most noticeable.
Fujimi Spinner 054
Tight fit with the makeshift wall (top left) I need to locate the original which is still missing somewhere in my Works room. The problem with leaving a model on KIV and returning weeks or months later, is that you would either have missing parts or, forgotten what you had done with the electronic design.

So, yea, the wonderful backwall with humongous piping I had detailed years ago has disappeared. And I need to recreate a new one. Sigh.
Fujimi Spinner 055
It’s very bright to the camera but normal eyes will detect the bright spots on each of the LEDs. Which means I’ll need to sand the resin lens to diffuse the light.