Kylo Ren Command Shuttle

As we move on in Life, sometimes there are moments which will make your day. Call it Karma, or call it random events but the more you help people and the more you are being positive, the rewards will be there for you.

Thanks to Derek Ho for the wonderful model kit which came to me out of the blue with just an announcement weeks ago.

The Shuttle is a reminiscent of the Tydirium Shuttle as seen in the Return of the Jedi, which has foldable wings too. But unlike the Tydirium, there are no flashing lights and the wings are fixed!

This is the most detailed model to come out from Revell. And its huge. Just the ‘wings’ alone, which is about 14 inches long will definitely force you to make decisions about display space! There are a lot of surface detail on the model alone and it would be fun to subtly highlight them.

As for lighting, well, there are no fancy sequences and so, I can get away with simple LEDs.

Kylo Ren Shuttle 001

The Box for the model is quite sizeable because of its large wings. Here, I am using a AA battery for size comparison since my Coke can aka ‘International Unit for Scale Measurement’ is gone.
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There are three bags in the box and the wings themselves alone took up two bags. I have yet to see if the wings are warped after the way I placed them into the luggage for the flight over to Kuching. (Yes, my current Job is located across the South China Sea)

Let’s talk a little about the Wings which I have some challenging issues with.

First, it is long. As in 14 inches long. But there is a (fictional) reason for it. has this to say and there’s nothing you can do about it:

“The First Order’s top officers travel in Upsilon-class command shuttles that look like grim birds of prey. These ships’ massive wings are packed with defensive systems to protect their valuable passengers. The upper wings contain advanced sensor suites that scan for enemies, while the lower wings house efficient shield projectors and powerful jammers. Upon landing, the wings rise from flight mode and then retract, encasing the upper wings’ sensor arrays in thick armor.”

Secondly, the Revell model kit it is fixed in a landed position with the wings are pointing upwards. In the model, the pair of wings were held in place with four locator pins. Of course everyone is trying to figure out how to make it swivel ala Tydirium Shuttle but for me, if I can make it slant at least 30º to 45º, I’m happy.
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Right away, I am starting to realise the sheer scale of this model and its about 1/93 (Source: TheRPF Forums), which is still quite big. And a quick glance at the lower fuselage will tell you that I need to drill some holes to fit a stand and USB charging port.
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Now, if I had a Kylo Ren micro machine figure, I would really, really start to want to light up the ramp and also the area underneath. I would also like to light up the red cockpit area too. Yeah, but its a big IF.
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Although the whole model was molded in shades of black, there were certain parts which was pre-coloured. I have yet to see if the coloured parts matches what was seen in the film but I am certain, the ‘Made in China’ sign above the landing ramp ceiling was never in the Movie.
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This is the detail of the upper fuselage and I think, dry-brushing it would be the order of the day. The initial findings on the Internet showed that the model is quite accurate except for certain areas. But for me, that is as good as it gets.
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Here’s another photo of a mock-up to show you how big the model will be when fully built. It is OK when built according to the instructions, which means the model will be standing tall. But if I want to open up its wings like the image below, the model would then be very, very wide instead.
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The lighting for the Shuttle is quite straight forward and one of the best reference images is from Wookepedia

Let’s have a look. On the left wing, there are five lights; white, red, white, red, white. But on the right wing, the lighting is different. This image shows the red. Let’s go to the next image

Also note the two spots near the landing ramp which is always on and not just during landing.
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I did this screenshot and you will now notice that the four lighting sequence for the right wing is [white,white], white, red, white

Note that the cockpit is red and putting a red LED in there just by itself is not the solution.
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How about the view from the back?
In this scene, as the wings are sliding into landing position, the left wing (actually right) has the light sequence: red, white, white

For the right wing(actually left), the sequence is [white,white], white, red, white

Note the engines are warm white.
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Again, note the red cockpit. The glass is red and so are the lights in there. I guess I can put in some fibre optics but with warm white led as the source.

On the left, there are two sets of spotlights. One is a single spot while the other is three squared ones clustered together.

On the right are four square spots all clustered into a square.
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This is the best reference image for all the lighting placements. Because this is a view from slightly above, you will not see the left spotlight.

Note the three lights at the wing’s joints. There are other subtle smaller lights too but I am not going to do them. This photo is very important because when you compare it with the Revell model, you will start to see how close Revell got for this nodel.
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To make the wings bend at an angle i.e. during flight, I can use these brass tubes from KS Engineering.

I got these from Art Friend some years back during my experiment with the base for the Softshell pilot. Tubes #9833 and #9834 will slide into each other quite nicely. Another bonus is that you can solder wires to these tube and they would act as connectors to power the LEDs inside the wings.
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Let’s look at the engines. The holes on the engines are a pinch smaller than the 3mm LEDs and so, you might want to widen it a smidgen or do like I did when I was lighting up the OddSaga Base: friction fit the darn thing (Ha ha ha ha!)

I have two types of warm-white LEDs for this testing purpose. From the screenshot, the colour looked orangey/yellowish and so, these LEDs would be the closest I have since I do not have yellow LEDs (and they’re too yellowish).

On the left is a normal 3mm LED with clear lens. On the right is a top-hat LED, also with clear lens. For this model, a diffused lens would be ideal since the main purpose of the LED is to give the surrounding thruster circles a nice glow.
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This is the 3mm LED with clear lens which you can see, is very bright if viewed head on. Because of the lens construction, only the inner rings were nicely lit

This is the 3mmm LED top hat and if you viewed it head on, it less bright. However, because its lens was designed to give a wider spread of light, you can see that it does a better job of lighting up most of the rings. To make it more effective, I suppose I can push the led more but since its lens design is short, I might have to modify the plastic’s thickness.

In the end, to be honest, both LEDs does the job well and there is actually not much difference between the two. However, I decided to go with the top-hat LED since its yellow is much warmer.
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Aaaannnndd…. the project stalls right here.

The fibre optic strand I brought with me was too short to do anything. And since I am planning to use 3mm LEDs, there is no space for these except on the crevices or tunnels on the right. Yeah, so I need to get longer 0.76mm FO and also order some 0.25mm ones, which is also ideal for a certain Triangular Intergalactic ship (hint hint). But yeah, that’s about 30 days from February as it takes that long for Internet stuff to arrive and due to my current job situation (again), I am not sure where I’ll be in March. Yeah, that sucks but even as I speak, more doors are being opened. Except the modeling stuff.
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Both the 0.256mm drill sets have arrived (after 6 weeks of waiting) and so are the 10 feet of 0.256mm fibre optics from! Although the drill bits look like there is a lot, they are not and their range is from 0.25mm to 0.45mm in multiples of 10 per row. These tungsten HSS drill bits are for high speed drilling and they pose a hazard when the drill bit snaps which becomes flying shrapnel. But for the Kylo Ren shuttle, the holes for the fibre optics will be hand-drilled, which, also increases the chances of the bits breaking….
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These are the two Fibre-optics I will be using for the Kylo REN shuttle. The 0.76mm on the left will be for the bigger lights inside the wings while the smaller 0.256mm (from the will be for the smaller clusters plus those line of smaller lights inside the cockpit. They are quite small and for this test, I am holding them up against my working fluorescent lamp as temporary light source. We shall see later how it fares with the actual LEDs.
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This will be the second time I’m using brass tubes but for a very different purpose. I have been using these two brass tubes from K&S Engineering which I can only get from Art Friend in eCurve. On my last trip there, I bought their brass tube cutter as well (RM28.xx). This one was made from plastic but has a spring loaded clamp.

The #9833 and #9834 slides into each other nicely and if you want a tighter fit, you just use a pair of long-nose pliers dent the walls of #9834 a little. I do have another all-metal brass tube cutter lying about on the Works table but hey, this one has a spring fitted and a plastic clamp and it could mean less loose parts and a cleaner tube walls.
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Test fitting the #9834 tube into the shuttle, surprisingly was great. The hexagon holes in the plastic gave the tubes a good fit and in one or two holes, actually have some excess plastic which stops the tube from going in further. I will need to secure these tubes with JB Weld. The extra space inside the hexagon walls will hold the epoxy. Yeah, I should have sanded the outer walls for a better grip.
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It’s a nice feeling to be able to finally use these tube cutters which I’ve bought for years and lost and then misplaced. All you have to do is just mark the length you need, then insert into the tool, align the mark to the circular blade and twist the plastic knob slowly until you feel some resistance. Yeah, you do not want to clamp it too hard or you get a dented tube wall instead:

1. Mark length to be cut with pencil on tube
2. Insert tube into cutter
3. Align cutting mark with cutter’s disc
4. Turn knob clockwise until you feel slight resistance
5. Grip firmly long end of tube
6. Swivel tube cutter around tube’s axis. Make sure it does not move or it will create a screw thread instead
7. When the swiveling action has less resistance, repeat steps 4-6 until tube snaps off

Its fun until the last one inch which becomes painful as your fingers will try to grip it form slipping.

So, anyway, for the #9834 tubes which is for the Shuttle body, it will be 2cm and 3cm in length. For the wings, it’s #9833 tubes which is also, 3cm in length. I need to make 8 sets for them.
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This is the cut from the tubing cutter. Note that the edges are tapered in. This is OK for #9833 which will be sliding into the #9834 but for one end each of the #9834, I need to open it up as a flat edge or else the #9833 will not go in easily. I learned this the hard way…

Once the #9834 tubes are in place, I JB Welded them with the plastic part and left it overnight. The Wings on the other hand, will be very tricky….

There are two reasons why I am using these brass tubes:
1. As removable armature for the model during transport, and more importantly,
2. As ‘wires’ for the LEDs inside the wings
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This is how I am going to attach the tubes to the wings.

1. Cut off the four plastic pillars
2. Using the exposed hole, drill about 120º (or 40º depending on how you set your Protractor) into it using a 2.5mm drill bit, which is the same size of the #9833 tube.
3. Do not over drill into the other half of the wings or into the table
4. Stop the drill, take a deep breath and examine the plastic mutilation
5. Scream
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Another thing I like to tell you that the Model is actually pre-painted. Since the model is ‘dark’ it is very hard to notice the bonus parts except the ones with the more noticeable lighter paint. Once you look more closely into the darkened parts, you will see it….

To strip the paint off, I am not going to use Dettol but I am going to try with Mr. Paint Remover instead.

1. Dip a slightly hard brush into Mr. Paint remover.
2. Brush the part to be stripped
3. Go have a wee-wee
4. Work your way into the crevices with the brush
5. Rub off the liquid with cloth
6. Examine and repeat until the paint (dark olive green) is gone. The Wee-wee is optional

The left part #02 is the original while #10 on the right has been more or less stripped. The details (especially the grills and square edges) are more pronounced. Later on, the ‘circle’ on one of the grills next to the ‘2’ tab is actually a paint smudge and not some melted part. Phew!

There are about 8-10 parts that needs to be paint-stripped.This is optional but for me, I want to test out Mr. Paint Remover since Mr. Tool Cleaner was too aggressive to the point of being so much more destructive.
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It’s not perfect but it’ll have to do. I am going to apply small bits of JB Weld to the drill holes on the left image and let it set. This is because I need to make sure the angles are almost symmetrical. Its difficult but it can be done more or less. Later on, this will be filled with imagined plastic details to cover up the damage.

There would be some plastic details too on this image on the right. I was tempted to flip both parts
since they have some ribbed details compared to these smooth sides. But I’ll look into this later.
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Why am I using the four pillars?

OK, I got side-tracked and kept looking at this miniature on the left which is from the X-Wing Miniature game, title: Upsilon-class Shuttle Expansion Pack.
At first, I thought the three rear thick fins/details houses the mechanisms to fold the wings and so, I chose the two rear pillars. But going back to the original big sized picture on the right, that theory is gone.

Revell got this right. And so, four pillars it is!
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OK, let the epoxy set for at least 25 hours or so. I measured the wings and they’re roughly at 50º now, which is fine since I originally wanted it to be at 40º when comparing the screenshot. Then again, looks close enough.
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Do you know what is the problem with excitement?

It pulls the wool over your eyes.

When you’re excited, you tend to overlook a lot of things and your Judgement is clouded.

And so, this was what happened. For the past few days after opening the package, there was a nagging feeling at the back of my mind, why was the foam in the drill bits box slanted? Only when I took a closer look, did I notice the reason why. Someone, during packing, did not insert the foam properly and locked it in place. So when they closed the cover, the higher drill bits snapped. It has nothing to do with the box being thrown about as there is a plastic piece to lock the foam tightly in the box. I have less than half of the white 0.25mm drill bits to work with as most of them are now useless. Thankfully the blue 0.30mm which is next in line had a better survival rate.
Huge Bat in the Bog
I nearly had a fright this morning when I opened the bathroom door!
There was huge bat on the floor which shocked me and I was about to rush for the broom.

Then I remembered, I had set the model on the floor for the JB Weld to set the night before and had totally forgotten about it. Had I used the broom, this model would have been broken.

Thank goodness I did not hang it from the ceiling….
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After leaving the wings to set for a day, they looked solid but there is this worrying creaking sound when I moved the model. I guess its the side wall plastic which is flexing. Maybe I should hit it with JB Weld before I close the model up at a later stage.

[Red Arrows]
I have actually put in more JB Weld here as they looked as if the gaps were not filled enough.

[Yellow Arrows]
The flat tops shows how much space there is inside the wings, where the putty dropped through. I opened them just in time before everything sets in place, or maybe, the whole wing will glue itself. But it may need more JB Weld too.
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I have put more JB Weld into the insides of the wings last night and this morning, in less than 8 hours, I opened the wings again. I got some slight resistance when opening the wings which I suspect could be due to the tight snaplock pillars. But here it is, I am satisfied with the epoxy work. Just in case, I have actually put in the masking tape as a barrier between the plastic and the epoxy.

Connecting the wires from the wings would mean scraping a little tunnel through the epoxy for the wires to come through first. Then solder the wire into the small sanded off area of the epoxy where the brass is already exposed.
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Stripping the 0.256mm Fibre-optics was a little challenging this morning. This are the ones I’ve ordered from The outer black protective jacket is quite stubborn and when I managed to get it out, I saw that some of the strands were stuck. Don’t cut too hard either (just like their FAQ said) as this was what happened. So, I now placed the blade lightly but firmly on the sheath and make a light cut. Slowly bend until the light nicks turns into deep cuts which then opens up to reveal the fibre. How I cut the jacket totally open was another journey filled with a lot of cussing and brute strength since the whole diameter is just about 4mm.

I would expect a lot of fibre casualties when doing this.
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Drilling the bigger white 0.75mm holes were no problem at all but it the smaller 0.25mm holes which is really time consuming. As you would have known, not many drill bits survived the journey due to some packing carelessness. But no sense dwelling into what has passed. Moreover, with my current retrenchment, it would be too time consuming for the seller and I to go through the return/replacement rounds.

Putting the part on the table and drilling upright is a bad idea unless you have a proper jig and a very steady low-speed drill or something. Treat these drill bits with extreme care. Like Sen LIm said, no drinking coffee before doing anything like this. These drill bits are very sharp and fragile where one small slip or flex means broken metal stuck in the plastic. Hold the plastic part in your hand (but not too firmly) and slowly drill them a little at a time with your steady hands. What I did was to drill the hole little by little and if I need to rest, I would have to slowly un-drill to ‘pull’ the drill out. Yeah, it is very time consuming and you cannot have anything distracting you, not even your Mobile phone on vibration.

I think this took me about half an hour for three holes….
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And as you amy also know, the plastic details do not go all the way up to the wing tips but rather, about two-thirds, where the wings separation is. Which is a little awkward for the model and I an not sure if I have the skills to fil in these missing details neither.

Anyway, after comparing the details with the hi-res picture, these would be the holes for the front panels, with the top being the LEFT panel and the bottom for the RIGHT (when the model’s cockpit is facing you)
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Whelp. I’m not sure this is cool or not and this is just testing with an injured fobre-optic strand under a fluorescent lamp. And I’ll only know the actual result when I put actual the fibreo-optic into a white led. I am using white LEDs and coating the fibre with clear red because there is no bright reds in my stash.
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One thing I forgot to mention is that you might want to cut off some plastic at the back where the hole would go through. This is to prevent unnecessary drilling (and also, extra plastic means tighter grip on the drill bit, giving it more stress when turning). And yeah, it would shorten drilling time too.

So, I cut off a chunk (yellow) of these plastics. Do be aware that most cutters (like mine) tend to warp and bend plastics when you cut them directly. I did not use any blades in jsut it slips and cuts through the whole panel. See the white dots? What’s where the holes came through.
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There are the back panels for the wings. Again, there are no details on the upper third. The upper panel (RIGHT Wing) and the lower panel (LEFT Wing). The only time I needed to use the 0.25mm drill bits were for the two while lights for the RIGHT Panel. The rest, including the RED light, was done with the 0.75mm drill bits. But like all 0.75mm holes, I had to wide it a smidgen as the fibre-optic I had was 0.76mm.
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Continuing with the wings, these are the parts I have from whatever left on my table since I have packed all of my things and sent back hope in anticipation of the retrenchment. Short of buying some 1/72 or 1/144 model kits, I am going to use some styrene strips, cut off plastic sprues and their nibs. I thought I could use the cigarette lighters which I have found all over the company (there’s more) but not for this scale. But the metal valves on the left near the white lighter casing will be used for another spaceship.
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After some fiddling, here are the results of the front (LEFT) and the left (RIGHT). Yeah, they are 100% inaccurate of you compare them to the actual model but its been a long week and I am using 2000% artistic license on this. Then again, my license has expired….
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What I liked was the ‘heatsinks’ I did which just came out from nowhere. However, the problem with thin cement is that it does definitely seep through everywhere and this would mean I have to pry the wings open again. This time, I would paint the whole wings first, then insert the fibre-optics before sealing it up and paint the two mating edges of each wing.
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One very important point I need to mention is that while I have been preparing the panels for fibre-optics, I need to look at the side of the wings too. Drilling holes onto the panel is just one part of the process. I also need to make sure that the holes in question is not obstructed by the snap-tite pillars or other plastic walls. If this is the case, I would need to cut out or drill through the obstruction.

I need to plan carefully especially for the upper area of the wings where there were no detailed panels to work on. The usual behind the scenes are like this (LEFT) where the yellowed area is removed. So far so good except for one which I totally missed (RIGHT) and it ended up behind a pillar. The first two holes were OK but not the third. It is also the first time (since 2016) where I broke the 0.75mm drill bit while drilling into the rounded walls of the pillars. I can hear and feel the crunching sound before the break…
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After making sure all the holes for the Fibre-optics are clear from obstruction, its time to test-fit the wings again. The paint on some inner areas of the wings, especially the alignment trenches is quite thick and this actually stops the panels from getting a good fit. This time, I am going to use Mr. Tool Cleaner to remove these thick and hard olive Green paints from the trenches. Don’t mind the scratch on the left as I thought I could scrape the paint off at first.

Mr. Tool Cleaner was originally used to clean the airbrush from paints and is a very strong solution to the point of melting plastics too. I found this out when I was doing the MENG A7V roadwheels, which I should be using Mr. Paint Remover instead and is less aggressive. So, after a few drops along the small trenches, and some wiping with a cotton bud and skewer, they were gone. And the panels fit perfectly. Yes, I should have read Mr. Tool Cleaner’s label until the end…..
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With the Wings almost done, its time to go back to the Engines. Earlier on, I have decided to use the 3mm Flat Top Warm WhIte LEDs. These flat tops gives out a wider spread of unfocused light because there is no lens. Actually, the best would be the version with a concave lens as this would help spread the light sideways even further. But at the cost of reduced brightness of forward radiation. For this model, that is not a problem.

The holes for the Engines are a good tight fit. If I fit in a normal 3mm LED, it would go in without much problem. The dome shape of the LED’s acrylic lens would help ‘widen’ the hole. In this case, the Flat Top LED does not have that and so, instead of using a 3mm normal LED to do that, I decided to use an alternative way as my intention is to friction fit the LED into the plastic. This will save on epoxy or hot-melt glues.

So I gingerly hammered the LED in and hope it did not shatter! However, I cannot hammer the LED all the way in but to have only about 0.8mm jutting out. I’ll tell you why later.
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Also, the alignment of the LED is important. The LED’s leads must be parallel to the Engine’s alignment slits (LEFT, RED ARROWS). This is when I make two holes for the LEDs to go in (YELLOW ARROWS), they would not get obstructed by the alignment pillars in the middle. This also saves me the possible trouble of wiring being crimped by the plastics or shorting if I did not use heat shrink sleeves (YELLOW DOTTED ARROWS)
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OK here is the reason why I did not extrude the 3mm LEDs all the way. I am using it’s lens properties to highlight the three surrounding circles (YELLOW ARROWS) of the Engine parts. The other solution would be to re-cast these plastic parts in clear resin. But I do not have the resources nor time to get this done here in Kuching.

The effect looks good and so, I am not going to add any paints and just leave it alone.
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Very quickly, here is a brief example of the different types of LEDs with eh images I’ve taken from the Internet.

No lens, light radiates on a wider angle but with less forward light and diffused hotspot

Lens, more narrowed angled forward light radiation and a very defined hotspot.
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The sides at the front of the Command Shuttle have some lights which is too hard to ignore. You will have to go back to reference Photos #12

There is a round spotlight on the far side. The reference photo #12 does not show this being ‘ON’ but screenshot from the movie in photo #09 does and is also confirmed by the photo #08 too. This sits externally under the lower fuselage. Next to it would be a bank of three square lights which is between the lower fuselage and the plastic detail. And right above it would be two smaller round lights. The LEDs I am going to use would be a 1.8mm White LED and also a 2x5x7mm rectangle White LED. As for the Fibre-optics, they would take its light source from a white LED used for the cockpit.

There would be a pair of two square lights which sits externally under the lower fuselage. And above it would be a pair of smaller round lights. I am going to use a smaller 2x3x5mm rectangle White LED. Again, for the two smaller round lights, its Fibre-optic source would be from the cockpit LED.

There are more lights above and under the shuttle, so I am going to tackle these one at a time.
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Here is the work so far. I have hand-drilled out three 1mm holes for the square lights. Using a 1mm chisel, I shaped the round holes into rectangles. It’s a bit risky since it’s hard to see black against black. But the result is so-so. Alternatively, I should have just shaped out the rectangle, cut out a small piece of styrene and make the three rectangle holes from there. ThIs would look much better but I am bad at cutting the three small rectangles without leaving cut marks.

Using the surviving 0.256mm drill bit, I slowly created the two small holes. The detail on the plastic is quite spot on and was represented by two small dimples which I need to sand off. OK, so they are not aligned but hey, its midnight.
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But before I start with the two smaller holes, I need to Dremel out the thick plastic behind. This would shorten the drilling time and less prone for the bit to snap. But do do this slowly and let the plastic rest as they can melt and warp the plastic panel details too. I also carved out more plastics for three rectangle holes, or as much as I can with a blade. Before it snapped.

There is a reason why I am doing this: I glued the plastic detail in without making the holes for the LEDs and Fiber-optic first. And after that, only did I realise the mistake. It would have saved me time and also not break any tools.
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And here is the result. It looks good from the camera but because IRL, the middle is blindingly bright. I will try to sand off the clear lens to create a diffused surface and see if this improves the result.
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To remove the glare, I sanded down the LED’s lens. Right away, you can see the difference. On the left is the original LED which has a clear lens and so, creates a hotspot and blinds you when you stare at it from the front. On the right is the sanded down lens where the light is now diffused on the new surface. It creates a bright bar.

And finally, here is how it looked. If you compared it with the previous photo, there would not be any difference due to the camera. But if you see it with your own eyes, the glare is now gone.
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Using a combination of plastic (ABS?) piping, I created a crude 3mm LED holder which also serves a light pipe holder. I am not worried if the light looks ‘dim’ as for this model, as the purpose is to light it up and not blind everyone. I could order some real 2mm fibre-optic strand from but I don’t have much time as I could be retrenched anytime now. So, this will have to do.

I also cut out a shaped part from the tube as hood the light pipe when it comes out under the Shuttle. It reacted well with Tamiya Thin Cement as I can see the part melting and sort of fusing with the original model’s plastic. So, the searchlight is now complete.
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The (almost) clear rod? It’s from Tamiya. Because its soft, it was easy to cut, even with a blunt scalpel blade. But for light performance, do not expect much as it will never replace a real fibre-optic. But for me, this is good enough.
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For the RIGHT side of the Shuttle, this how I used the 3x5x5mm rectangular LED. First I drilled out three holes to form a small oval hole where the leads of the LED can pass through. Because the Lower side of the shuttle is angled, I had to shave a little plastic so that the LED can still ‘aim’ straight and not follow the shape of the shuttle.

I had some clear beam with me, but I forgot where I got it from. It’s either from multifilla of from Art Friend. Using a rotary cutter, I got it down to size but cutting off the side walls at an angle is not easy since my fingers feel very clumsy. I am not sure what this beam is made of, as I feel it could be acrylic and brittle but so far, it worked well with Tamiya Thin Cement (almost). But we’re not out of the woods yet.
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Less than 24 hours, I realised that the white hood for the searchlight has gone AWOL. This must be due to the flexing of the light pipe which created stress to the part and so, it popped off. Popped off where, I do not know.

I took a used sprue part from the Hasegawa Falke which has the right size of the original pipe and started to hollow it out by hand. Once it is glued, I decided to dress it up a little with spare styrene strips lying around. Later, I will use the scalpel to shape these styrene strips.
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I finally located a clear piece which I can use as lens for the lights. It’s not acurate but that’s the best I can do for now. Although it looked alright to me, but once I zoomed in with the camera, I can see a lot of defects (and dust). The main defect was, they’re not squares anymore. I hope to at least ‘adjust’ the lower side which looked slant. Anyway, the lens would be clean once I give it a clear coat towards the end.
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When I looked at the Shuttle’s painted Canopy, I feel very uncomfortable with it. The factory paint does its job of giving that muted dark red look. But in the movie, in the dark cockpit, you can still see some lights in there. I can coat it with some Future Floor polish or a Clear Gloss but it still look bad to me.
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OK, its time to strip the paint off and do take note, there are two coats to it. The first coat would be the red inside the plastic, followed by some olive green
outside the plastic. All this was done with Mr. Paint Remover, which as you can see, is quite effective. As for the stubborn scratch/paint on the canopy’s right, it will be done with some fine sandpaper.
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These are the 0.25mm holes I drilled for the fibreoptics later. I winged my way through this based on the reference picture in post #12 and the screenshot where Finn

was running towards the shuttle.
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This how the canopy will sit into the model. The insertion must be done BEFORE you close the model due to the clipped tab at the top and the insert tab at the bottom. I will give the clear piece a clear red, followed by a smoke black on the outside. Looking at the photos again, it feels like the cockpit does not have a glossy shine to it. So, no clear gloss nor Future.

The cockpit is already very dark and I will leave it alone.
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Looking back at the sides of the shuttle, it looked a little too bland for me. Taking some plastic styrene, I dressed it up a little. As the side piece is clamped between the two fuselage halves, I had to make sure that all the details do not go beyond the yellow dotted line. This line was done by scribing on to the piece while the two halves were snapped together.

It does look a little wonky as I was using my eyeball as protractor. I am so tempted to add a little more details but I’ve run out of greeblies. Ha ha ha ha
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This is how the mechanism looked. Sadly the detail for the wings side is very bad and I have no idea on how to recover it apart from cutting up pipes and sticking it there.
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On the underside of the ramp, I just trimmed away some plastic for the square LEDs. These are not for the LEDs to go through the ramp but to just sit above it, to create that pair of lights.
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I am going to remove this white rectangle as its too thick just as soon as I can find some scrap styrene, that is.

The four lights are ready and I will not drill through the ones on the ramp which is for red lights. I’ll see how I can overcome this problem. This is because the hole is on the ramp…..
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OK, first coat of Primer is done before I ran out of Mr. Surfacer 1000. My plan is to work/paint on the wings first, then do up the LEDs and fibre-optics before sealing it in. Or, maybe I’ll just seal everything in, and then paint it…
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OK, first coat of Primer is done before I ran out of Mr. Surfacer 1000. My plan is to work/paint on the wings first, then do up the LEDs and fibre-optics before sealing it in. Or, maybe I’ll just seal everything in, and then paint it…
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There was a lot of dust on the models eventhough I had given them a brush off before spreaying. Maybe I should invest in those anti-static ranbow coloured dustbusters…

Yeah, but in the meantime, I’ll just have to sand off these little things.
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I have decided to spray the Shuttle with a base of Mr. Color #92 Semi-Gloss Black mixed with a dab of Gaia Notes #006 Flat Base at about 9:1 and thinned the mixture at least four times. This will turn the sheen to a slightly more matte. Halfway through, I had some very serious problem of the airbrush spiting paints and bubbles riding from the cup. I’ll tell you why in the next post.

The next day, I had the chance to drop by Heng Kim Trading again to get another bottle. Even with the paint thinned the pair of wings used up the whole 10ml bottle. So, with the second bottle, I have the wings a second coat which also helped to hide the droplets which was spit out by the airbrush the day before. Now it looked looked slightly better.
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Usually when there are bubbles rising from the cup, I would take out the nozzle and clean the middle cylinder with a sharp cotton bud. After putting it back, I noticed some paints leaking out from the twin pointed part. And that’s when I realised that the nozzle comes in three pieces. So, taking them all apart, I used Mr. Tool Cleaner to clean it as best as I can. There was a lot of paint residue in there. And since I have packed the airbrush cleaner and spanner home, the only thing I can do at this point is to drip Mr. Tool cleaner through the three holes in the nozzle and then blast it with the airbrush.

So far, so good!
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It’s Mr. Paint Remover to the job which took care of the dark polive green. Then, using the 0.75mm carbide drill bit, I made some holes in the barrels.
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Just for fun, I thinned a little of Mr. Color #92 Semi-gloss Black and sprayed some subtle weathering. You can’t see this clearly but it is quite obvious with the eye.

But you need to be aware on WHERE the downward line goes.
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I am using two sets of FIbre-Optics; the 0.256mm from and the 0.76mm I got long ago. Plus, I will be using two sets of LEDs; a 3mm red and a 3mm white. Each FO is then bundled up with masking tape and fed into the styrene tubes which serves as FO holder and also the LED holder. Since the tubes are a tight fit, there is no need for glue.

Yes, I could just put all the FO into one single LED and then use clear red for the ones that needs it. But let’s do this properly since this is just a few FO strands and not in the hundreds…
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I am using 100R resistors for both LEDs. By right the white would be using 68R but I wanted it to be dimmed a little. And these LEDs are soldered in parallel connection. Each of the holder tubes are put into place via hot-melt glue.

I scraped off some JB Weld from the brass tubes, cleaned the surface, fluxed it and then melt some solder on them. These would be my connection points. The reason I am using this is so that the wings can be taken apart for transportation. Oh, and because I can.
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Using the power from a USB charger, I tested the circuit and yeah, the white is still very bright.
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One more test after closing the wings. You need to test them again and again for every step if you can. For practical purposes, I am not going to cement the wings shut.
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Finally, the wings are done and its very tempting to weather them right now. But I need to complete the body too. Remember which brass tube conducts which polarity, I soldered the appropriate wires to the body’s brass tubes. This is how power will be transferred to the wings.
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The rectangular LED is a little hard to position due to my earlier mistake. So I had to be patient and used white glue to set it first before laying on the Aves Apoxy to set it permanently. And this means quite some delay since on the first try, I accidentally moved the LED after the white glue has dried.
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At the same time, I also fixed the styrene tube into place an using the Tamiya Clear Rod as guide. Never did realise the clear rod reacted perfectly with the thin cement neither…. oops.
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Taking a risk without the actual CCTV stand, I decided to position the microUSB-to-DIL adaptor within the corridor box which leads to the landing ramp. However, I need to measure the height of the adaptor so that when it protrudes out at the bottom, it will mate with the USB connector perfectly. Once I got the measurement, I drilled out two 3mm holes for it.
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As the corridor box sits just enough at the ramp’s pivot points, I realise that there is not enough space for the microUSB adaptor and also for the USB connector. The USB hole was a challenge to me and is out by about 0.8mm. For the USB connector(yellow area), I shaved off some details as they increases the gap unnecessarily.

Also, because of this, the two dimples that I had just mutilated will not have white LEDs anymore.
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With the USB power settles, now is the most dreadful moment, which is to open up a 6mm hole for the model to be mounted on the CCTV stand later. As I do not have the stand with me, it is a little risky to do this. The CCTV stand has some kind of anti-slip disk which is about 1 inch in diameter and so, I am very concerned that it might obstruct the USB connector when everything is in place.

Anyway, using the 1/4inch 20 UTS nut as template, I drilled and widened the hole, hoping for the best. One thing about using this ‘Widow Maker’ which I got from ICW (Infinite Creation Workshop), is that is is very sharp and you can actually get carried away with widening the hole too much. So, twist for two rounds, stop and inspect even though you did not ‘feel’ the reamer doing the cutting.

Let me tell you this: I intend to keep this model snap-fit until everything is confirmed. So, it is understandable when I move the model around, there would be a lot of creaking and straining sounds coming from it.
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In order to get the 1/4″ 20 UTS nut (aka Camera Tripod Nut) to stay in place, I am going to use JB Weld on it. Since the area is flat, I created a makeshift box so that the epoxy would not run all over the place.
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This is the after photo of the next post. But I wanted to show you how I making sure the JB Weld is doing it’s job and entering all the crevices. I laid the model op top of a Data Modem which has a pair of strong neodymium magnets inside. I placed the metal screw on top of one, hoping it would magnetise it. This not only attracts the JB Weld to the nut but forces it to move downwards more. Yeah, I know, I am doing it just to satisfy my fears since the mix felt quite thick.
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10 hours later, the JB Weld is going strong and this is also where I removed the screw in case JB Weld glues it too. In actual fact, I should have done it about two hours or so but I was afraid the epoxy is still liquid and this might move the nut out of alignment. Plus, I was sleeping…
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Yeah, the microUSB adaptor is a little slanted. Anyway, I drilled out two holes for the power cables which I have already soldered on the adaptor. I dropped some Hardex Threadlock 6271 into the screws to make sure they do not become loose later.
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I am using these 3806 SMD SideLEDs for the side lighting and to be honest, these SideLEDs are meant to be mounted onto the PCB surface and illuminate screens or something like that. They cannot be soldered to wires like these. This is because their leads are just little bent metal and if you’re not careful, they can be destroyed easily.
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I soldered the thin wires (aka Kynex in other parts of the World) from the back. This allows the LED to jut out and fits into the hole Ive made earlier.

But we’re not out of the woods yet. Any pull to the wires will definitely compromise the SideLED and so, I used some hot-melt glue to protect it.
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And this is how it looked from the outside.

Light test. Still too bright for my taste but it will light up the wings neautifully.
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To be frank, I am never that confident when it comes to ‘interfacing’ Fiber-optics with LEDs. There are no specific plugs or socket systems. You cannot use superglue, have to wait for ages with the White glue, fudge it with hot-melts and epoxies, stupid non-sticky sticky vinyl tapes, etc. I just plain hate it.
But, when its all done properly, all that just melts away and you’d go, ‘Awwwwwww…….’

I used some styrene tubes to create a adaptor system for both the LED and the fibre-optic. One end is to fit the 3mm LED and the other is (just so happens, is the correct size) for the 0.256mm FO. The LED has a clear lens and so, I can use its hotspot properties as with the middle tubing, I already have the required distance. If you stick the OF directly in front of the LED, most of the strands would not be uniformly lit.

Then I coated the FO with white glue and let it set inside the tube, using the masking tape as the binding factor.
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And this is the final result. The 0.256mm FO cable which I got from has 64 strands inside one 3.3mm cable and I am only going to use about 15 for the cockpit wall and one for the red light under the fuselage.
Look carefully at the strands; it has some ‘dead FO’ which I attributed to my careless cutting and removing of its protective sleeve. I only need to ‘touch’ the seeve lightly and it would start the cut. If I pressed it harder, I would get cut strands at the cut point, which you can see in the ‘Whoops’ area.
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And this is the 0.256mm FO going into the cockpit’s wall which I have drilled very much earlier in the *ahem* month.
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I dipped the OF into the white glue and then slowly push them back into the wall. So, when the LED is off, you will not know there FO were ever there. Then again, it’s all black and behind a red canopy, no one would even know anyway.
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OK, this looks good enough…
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After some testing, I think I am going to leave the canopy as it is, without putting a layer of smoke or clear black.
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I got a nice M2.5 nut and bolt to secure this connector terminal in place. This will be where all the wiring of the Shuttle concentrates before connecting to the USB.
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Because I am going to use the 3528 LEDs for the ramp lights, I needed to shave off these area since the LEDs do take up some space.
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One thing about the 3528 LEDs and the 5050’s is that they are easily destroyed if you solder too long. If you solder longer than 3 seconds, the LED is fried.

I have also dremeled out some space for this LED. DO not dremel too far in as the plastic edge will be gone and you can see a hole underneath.
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Remember the round spotlight at the side of the Shuttle? I need to cut off the snap-fit pillar (and later, the metal tube) as it is really blocking the Tamiya clear pipe.
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Sorry I forgot to take the before picture but this is how I secured both 3528 LEDs; hot-melt glue.

I also soldered the current limiting resistor directly to one of the 3528’s solder pad. This is not a good idea but since I am using the hot-melt to lock everything down….
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I know that for the Shuttle Wings to bend at such angle, there would be a lot of stress to the main body. Every time I moved it, I would hear a lot of creaking.

Looking at the thickness of the main body got me worried. What is even more worrying is that when I used the thin cement to glue the upper half of the Shuttle’s fuselage, the glue did not go anywhere much which means there are gaps.
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I am using JB Weldt o secure the side panels to the upper half of the Shuttle’s fuselage and not the bottom.

I want the model to be strong enough to keep the wings for a long time (Actually, if I slap the whole fuselage with epoxy, it might help. Not)

So, while it’s curing, I am going to take a few day’s break.
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So near yet so far.

Well, this is really a spanner in the works. Days after I came back from a break, I was rushing to catch up on closing the model so that I can start to weather it. There was a lot of things that went wrong in just one night.

I could not get a nice CCTV mount and so, I laid the model flat on the table while I tested and put all the connections together, not realising that I was pushing the model downwards. The USB cable in turn resisted and so, the poor USB connector became the victim. After 30 minutes of swearing, an almost worn screwhead and a few cuts, I got the board off. Yeah, I am now thinking very hard if I should continue with using thread-locks….

From now on, I need to make sure the USB connector’s wings soldering has been reinforced. You can see how it so easily came off. And the 5 little itty bitty connectors had no chance.

So, this board is out of commission and all the rest of my stuff has been sent back during my last trip home. I won’t be able to continue and so, everything stops until I get back home, clean up my Works Table and re-organise stuff. That would take weeks. Damn.
Mother puss bucket! The Kylo Ren Shuttle has stalled again!
Well, it’s back to packing the @#&% model!!!
I’m going to change this into a 3.5mm jack when I get back home in late June. Seems the microUSB connector can’t handle the stress of the plug flexing. I can make some metal steps to hold it in place but nah…
At least I had 10 minutes of fun
Kylo Ren Shuttle 101
Long story short, I bypassed the USB circuit board and soldered the new USB power cables directly into the model. It wook me months to finally have some semblance of working area in the Works Room. With the Shelf finally up, I now have some (but limited) leg space to sit and work properly.

So, with the MMHS2018 coming up in less than two weeks, I had to rush things (OK, a lot). I have been putting off weathering the Shuttle because in the movie, it was completely black. Then came The Last Jedi and you can see that it is subtly weathered. Originally, I was going to mask off some panels and then airbrush them with gradual coatings of matte clear.

So, now is a good time to break out my Abteilung oils. What I did was to dab small dots of ABT175 Faded White, then using a brush wet with lighter fluid, swept them downwards. At first, it was too much due to the paint and so, I transferred to using cloth soaked with lighter fluid and quickly smeared downwards. I then continued with ABT060 Light Rust, ABT003 Dust and for slightly different panels. The ABT525 was not working as I hoped it would be.

In the end, I have some semblance of weathering with slightly different off-coloured panels. Mind you, I did not know what I was doing at this stage. 😛
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Here is a closer look at right wing. I did the same on the other side but not so weathered since in this open configuration, everyone would be looking on this side.
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With the so-called last minute weathering done, the shuttle looks much better (to me). The (Left) front view and the (Right) Rear view. I fixed the model onto a wooden piece as that was what I could find around the house and was big enough to stop it from toppling.
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Going for broke, I applied some pigments of dust and brown sienna, before sealing it from a distance with a Mr. Hobby (clear + matte) mix. Bad idea as the pigments dissapeared. So, I used Vallejo’s pigment fix, which was much better but it gave me a muddy look instead of a dusty finish. Oh well, when I have the time, I’ll try to airbrush it from afar instead.

Note the metal tube in the foreground has a black heatshrink. This is my fast solution of not painting the hinge/pistons black since my last epxeriment with some metal primer did not work out as it still keep on collecting scrathes. So, I cut them to size, then use a little heat for the tube to wrap around on the (main body’s) bigger tube. Alas, I did not shrink this well enough.

Anyway, the model is finished and it was so big, I could not take any ‘money shots’. It has gone through one to two shows and well, two of the cannons broke off and I can’t find the other one. Sheesh

2022 Update:
Well, what a surprise! Going through a backup, I actually did a longer Construction Notes version just like the pkf.85 Falke. So, I am going to put them here but it’s going to take time. This version does have a section on how I did the electronics.