South Goodwin LV-90

This is originally a Frog Models and after changing hands, it wound up at Revell. I do not know much about this Lightship except that it is anchored on the dangerous area of Goodwin Sands.

The original ship, which was commissioned in 1937, was sunk by the Germans in (25.10.1940) , the replacement was sunk in a Storm in 1954 and the final lightvessel replacement was de-commissioned and towed away in 26.07.2006. Coming back to this kit, I believe this was the version that sunk in the 27.11.1954 Storm where all crew perished save for one visiting ornithologist.

There were various other ships assigned to the South Goodwin, all bearing the same name. Thanks to one Mr. Lyndon Pritchard, who pointed out that the Frog/ Revell model represents ship vessel no. 91 and not the original no. 90 that was capsized.

I got this kit many years ago at HobbyHQ when it was JUST lying there on the shelves for a very long time. At that time, I did not know what made me do it but perhaps, it was the thought I could modify it into one of those Ian McQue futuristic floating ships design using the model’s hull.

It really sat in my stash for years, with me only opening it to protect the decals into a Ziplock bag in case those Silverfish attacks.
LV-90 002
So, um, yeah, this is how the kit looked when it was taken out. All in one bag and yes, there are a lot of loose parts in there. I did notice one or two small straight tears on the bag, which is a sign that the plastic bag is actually degrading.
LV-90 003
The hull is quite long. about 15.25 inches. And if I were to calculate it against the length I read from the Internet, which is 119 feet, the 15.25 inches or so would mean that this is a 1/95 (OK, 1/96) scale model and not 1/110. But I could be wrong.
LV-90 004
I will really need to do something about the black plastic which are actually the anchor chains and the railings. Somehow, the instructions said to bend them might not work well with me. But this plastic is quite flexbile though.
LV-90 005
OK, I might have to think of a solution for doing the stand as well because the other side is missing.

I think I have found it again but it’s been so long now, it might have been misplaced again.
LV-90 006
The upper deck which houses the light tower is… warped. and has a broken part in one of the vertical stands in the corner.
LV-90 007
There are s lot of small scratches on the large areas of the parts. Then again, I should not be surprised as they were bundled into the box in a single plastic bag.
LV-90 008
So, I will have to use a 1600-2000 sanding sponge to lightly sand/polish them away. I am tempted to maybe make it as rust affected area but a maintained ship should not have these, right?
LV-90 009
There is definitely some kind of liquid which marred the plastic. And so, its Mr. Sanding sponge to the rescue.
LV-90 010
Somehow, this does not look right.

While I was searching for more details about this fated lightship, I came across this image, which seemed to be, ‘too good to be true’. It was on Pinterest, titled, ‘South Goodwin Lightship – Goodwin Sands (off Kent), England.’

The subsequent images showed that there is no deck after the storm. The only clue was that this is possibly a doctored image since the name, ‘South Goodwin’ at the side of the ship is not consistent with the port windows. So, could this be the LV-4 Smiths Knoll?

After reading the Wiki entry, this is possibly the third South Goodwin Lightvessel before it was de-comissioned in 2006. And thanks to Lightvessels and lightships, there are various numbered vessels assigned to the South Goodwin sand which carries the same name.
LV-90 011
Aftermath of the Storm which the ship lies, after hitting the Goodwin Sands.
LV-90 012
Another image of the wrecked ship. Unfortunately, this is the only large image I could find on the Internet but I still could not make out if the deck is made of wooden planks or steel.
LV-90 013: The LV-4 Smiths Knoll

This looked similar to the LV-90 South Goodwin that sank in 1954. This is the first light vessel which had her crews changed via Helicopter, which explains the helicopter deck at the rear.
The instructions called out for Carmine Red, Matt #36. Well to be honest, after some colour matching and all, I decided to just get this red instead. This is just a model after all and I do not wish it to be accurate or else I would be wasting time on this.
Not only is the red a problem, so is the Wood Brown, silky-matt #382 and Tank Grey, matt #78.
In the end, I just went for Mr. Colour #43 Wood Brown and also, Mr. Color #32 Dark Gray (2).
LV-90 016 LV-91 HELWICK
This is the picture of the LV-91 Helwick and in most photos of the other lightvessel, they do have wooden decks. So, I guess the LV-90 South Goodwin is no different…

As pointed out by one Mr. Lyndon Pritchard, the Revell model represents ship no. 91 (where ships 91-95 are sister ship) and it has a metal plate deck compared to the earlier no. 90 which has a wooden deck.
LV-90 017
So, this means, the detail of the model’s metal deck is correct. I will only need to recreate the wooden deck if I am still stubborn in the 1954 version. In other words, LV91 was the ship reassigned as LV90 which Frog/ Revell used as reference when creating the model.
LV-90 018 The Waterline
Not sure which version of the ship is this but it does show the ship’s water line perfectly.
LV-90 019
Before I start, I noticed that the model is a print magnet and so, I decided to give some of the parts a nice soap bath…
LV-90 020
I suppose the main attraction of this model would be it’s light tower. Just a dry fitting test, it does look awesome. Maybe I should make it more detailed without having to source for the photo-etch. But having seen the design on the fret (below), I must admit that the PE detail would be beautiful and makes the light tower stand out even more.–1075794

There was a photo-etch solution from Atlantic models but on every site that I searched they were either sold out or out of production.
LV-90 021 That damn putty
The deck is a single piece of plastic which was already slightly warped when I opened the bag. And after laying it flat for a few days, it sort of behaved itself. When I started to dry-fit the walls, there are a lot of gaps. One thing I made a mistake was to use Mr. Dissolved Putty which was a disaster as it was too watery and seeped through the gaps.

So, I glued plastic strips to as close as I can between the floor and walls. This is because I have the plan to light up the interior and so, this is effectively my first step in light blocking. Not only that, it also serves as guide and stronger anchor for the walls later on.
LV-90 022 This is not Windows 3.1
The windows (ports?) needs to be drilled out.
LV-90 023 Slowly, Man. Slowly
Using a photo-etch saw to remove the light tower’s clear piece from the gate and then, some small shaving action to remove the excess plastic via a scalpel.
I decided to drill out all the necessary holes on this part although in real life, the ship has more holes and this can be seen on the photo-etch. I decided to use what I have instead. You can tell I am bad at this because I can even draw blood from a drill bit which is supposed to be blunt.
LV-90 025
A coat of Mr. Surfacer 1200. I do not know why I started using these primers but I love them, so long as I leave them for a few days to dry. But it is enjoyable when you start to airbrush the colours in.

However, maybe its just me but even with the primer on, I can still see paint scrapes in most of my models despite giving the plastic a thorough wash with soap.
LV-90 026 The start of black-basing
For the rest of the ship, I used Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black. This is would be the great base to start for when I start to spray the colours in a mottling fashion. But the paint must be thinned well. This method is called black basing.
LV-90 027
Can I improve on the light tower? Feeling bored, I decided to play with some very thin plastic strips and build a cage from scratch. Sure, its a little bent and wonky but no one would notice the difference when they’re 10 feet away…
LV-90 028
The light tower with the Black primer
LV-90 029
The underside of the hull is divided into two colours, red and black. It is stupidly lazy but I just used flat black on the black primer and left it alone…
LV-90 030
Hopefully, no one notices it. Still, this is the first coating. The second coating eliminates most of these mottling pattern. Oh well, maybe I should play with oils much later on.
LV-90 031
Some mottling on the light tower parts as well, for that Sun bleached look.
LV-90 032
This is the almost ‘wet coat’ sprayed from a distance after the mottling pattern.
LV-90 033 The LV17
Thanks to @Lyndon Pritchard and Lightvessels and lightships and Lightships who both supplied some very useful information this morning. This is the image of the LV17 from the generous Mr. Pritchard which shows the deck as being metal and that the original Frog Model was based on the LV17 and not the LV90 as mentioned by Revell.
LV-17 034 The Hull
The insides of the hull is white and so, I have given it a coat of Mr. Finishing Surfacer Black 1200. After letting it dry for a few days, I thinned down Mr. Color #316 White FS17875. This is the white I’ll be using for the whole model. Luckily I had two extra bottles as one of them has gone bad and became dough-like despite adding more thinner.
LV-17 035 The Hull
After a day or so, I then sort of mist sprayed it with another coat of thinned Mr. Color #316. And then, I noticed that the ejector pins!

Took me quite some time to fill them, then re-painted the surface. Since I am not that experienced with redoing the rivets, I just sanded them off as the pins were located right in the middle of the bolt patterns.
LV-17 036
Again, using the same Mr. Color #316 white, I thinned it down and repeated with the mottling but this time, over a grey primer. I figured that since these walls can be easily maintained by her crews, so the weathering or shift of colours had to be pulled back.
LV-17 037 The Hull
You know, maybe I’ll play with some small rust details and colour shifts with oils later…
LV-17 038
The upper deck and cabin roof is now being mottled with very thinned Mr. Color #68 Red Madder over the Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black. I am going to give this the first layer and then let it dry for a few more days before coming back and give it a second mottled layer.

In my experience with printed material and products, red paint fades faster even away from the Sun and so, with this uneven painted surface, it shows that the crew is always on maintenance duty (well, to me anyway). This is also explains why most of my bedroom posters turned blue after some time when I was a kid.

I also made the area under the light tower slightly more saturated as half the time, it is shaded by the tower. But that is just my own theory since I have never been on such ships.
LV-17 039 20200613: THE WELDING COIN
The circuit board which I had designed much earlier during the Lockdown period has arrived yesterday. The diameter is about 20.9mm, a smidgen smaller so that it can fit into the light tower.

Calling it a design coincidence? The PCB was originally meant for a Welding Effect project for a friend, so I called it the Welding Coin. When I was designing the PCB, I realised that I cram in all the electronics into that tower. My original plan was to make a PCB to be glued under the roof below the light tower as I needed to light the room compartment. In the end, I made quite a small amount of these boards, which I will separate into two Projects; the Light Tower and a welding Torch. I know it does not make sense to waste so much resources just to fit into a tiny one-off project. Then again, it is my call.

I will have to look into programming so that I can try to mimic the effect of the three rotating Fresnel lens. I cannot find the video now, but I think I calculated the sweep of a third of the lens was about 3 to 4 seconds.
Let’s have a thinking session. I know that the Lightship’s light tower has a 3-sided Fresnel lens. And somewhere, on the Internet, it mentioned about a 3-second sweep. True or not, let’s use this a fact.

There will be 12 LEDs in there, divided into 3 Groups of 4 LEDs each. Let.s make it a 3-second sweep from the first LED to the fourth. I will have only 60 steps for the sequence to cycle through which is due to the microcontroller’s memory limitation. The code is borrowed from the Blade Runner’s (left column) revolving lights effect and then modified from there. I hope get the graph as similar to that on the right.

The microcontroller has some memory left over for me to program another feature where as if the Lightship was fitted with LEDs instead. So, it would flash for 500ms and then pause for 5 seconds. So this PCB can have two modes:
1. Turning Fresnel Lens, and
2. Modern LED Flash
14.06.2020 Lightship Lighting Simulation Prototype V.01
Looking at the Revell model kit of the South Goodwin, it was a challenge to create a working light. The ship’s light assembly is based on three sets of fresnel lens and has a sweep of roughly 3 seconds. Yeah, the phone’s camera makes the flicker look wrong but it is all good through human eyesight. There was enough memory left to create a LED version where it flashes for half a second and has a pause of 5 seconds. You can see this at the 00:30 mark onwards.
28.06.2020 Lightship Lighting Simulation Prototype V.02
This is the second version of the circuit as I am designing a piggyback board to the original PCB. Because I am using 2N2222A NPN transistors instead of the ULN2003A, I have to alter the programming by giving it the opposite values. The end result is the same as the first version except that now I have included options for secondary lighting but slightly dimmer (as represented by the 5mm LED on the right). Oh, and the second mode is more or less 5 seconds.
It’s almost midnight and my brain is stuck! This is an adaptor board to the original Welding coin which allows me to connect to 12 LEDs.

Due to space constraints, I could not use the so16 ULN2003A Darlignton Array. So, I have to break out the sot23 2N2222 NPN Transistors instead. The problem is how to connect to all 12 solder points with such limited space.

Note that this is a not a finalised design. I am just haphazardly haphazarding some haphazard test connections manually, getting the feel of the circuit because I was too damn lazy to use a pen and paper.

Sleep first…
LV-17 042 Lightship Extender Circuit
The enlarged circular template (right) facilitated the multiple trace pass through which significantly reduced the development time of the said design.

Due to space constraint, the 7-channel ULN2003A Darlington Array has been replaced with four SOT23 2N2222 NPN transistors. The change required significant modification to the main circuit (left) where the five 0805 100R SMD resistors would be removed and replaced with four 1/8W 10K axial equivalent (ie vertically)

Power to the secondary circuit is made possible via parallel connections from the main board through the soldering of PC jumpers. Said jumpers which not only performs as PCB stands but also as a height guide to assist in the soldering of the said four 10K resistors between two boards. The concept is to mechanically strengthen the two boards..
LV-17 043 20200626 Second Revision
Feedback from further analysis concluded that the initial design has numerous flaws where mechanical structure is concerned. The following second revision utilises all five 1/8W axial resistors as both signal path and PCB stands.

The said revision also takes into account the utilisation of the GP5’s output as PWM source for secondary lighting with a maximum collector current of 800mA.
01.07.2020 Lightship Lighting Simulation Prototype v.03
OK, this should be the last video about the prototype. I have sent the piggy board design to be manufactured which should be arriving after mid July 2020, depending on the Pandemic.
This is the timeline from the moment the package was picked up by DHL.

You can see that DHL moved very fast and every moment was tracked. This screen was updated on less than a minute after I got the package I my hands!

I was so afraid that I might miss the package if it arrives after Saturday as I won’t be in the office until the week after.
As soon as I saw the DHL guy walking in, I know the parcel was for me.
Now, I have to find some spare LEDs to make a prototype for this piggyback. maybe tonight, maybe this weekend, if I have the time.

JLCPCB also gave me a free gift too.
OK, so this is how the piggyback PCB looked like (right). The ‘pillar’ solder holes are placed exactly so that the piggyback board can lie on top of the microcontroller board and be supported by the 5x 1/8watt base resistors

This is the PCB which takes the signal off the first board, and them amplifies them to the 12 LEDs. Therefore, without the first board, it cannot work.
LV-17 048 The Sandwich
This is roughly how the both board looked when stacked on top of each other, I say ‘almost’ because in my haste and fatigue (after looking all over for spare components and a long drive/ commute from work), I have soldered the board upside down.
LV-17 049 Clockwise or Anti-clockwise?
If you look at the piggy-board PCB (right) closely, you will notice that the light would be spinning anti-clockwise. I just realised this glaring mistake because throughout my research, I assumed it was clockwise.
But when I designed the Welding coin, I forgot about this fact and designed the LEDs just as they exit from the microcontroller so, naturally, the piggyback also followed this direction.
But, all is not lost (I think) because if I reverse soldered the board it goes clockwise… damn.

Anyway, I have to research more to determine the light sweep direction of LV17 and/or LV90. But before that, I really need to find more LEDs too…
LV-17 050 Clockwise or Anti-clockwise Pt.2
I re-arranged the data on the lighting sequence where:

LED01 = LED04
LED02 = LED03
LED03 = LED02
LED04 = LED01

In other words, the sequence has been reversed and is now sweeping in clockwise fashion.
If you look at the graph on the right, the upper graph represents the original sequence but on the board, it was sweeping anti-clockwise. The bottom graph is the correct version.
So, again, there are 60 steps to be animated between 4 LEDs and each sequence takes about 30 steps, staggered at every 15 steps or so. The trick is to make as if the light is traveling from one LED to another without any ‘peaks’.
LV-17 051 Prototyping the Lights Pt.1
These are the LEDs I could find and I guess they will have to do since the ones I was looking for suddenly became every expensive.

But also, the legs of the LEDs I wanted were too short. Anyway, these are the 2x3x4 LEDs and I have them in both warm-white and pure white.

I am purposely bending their leads in this fashion (right) to create a 360ยบ circle effect.
LV-17 052 Prototyping the Lights Pt.2
Next, the 12 LEDs are stuffed into an aluminum tube with a blob of solder flux in the middle.

Prepare by melting a big blob of solder onto the tip of the iron and then rest the hot soldering iron bit in the middle of the flux-coated LEDs. Once they melt, most of the of flux would flow downwards followed by the solder.

This effectively creates the first contact point and maintains the circular shape of the 12 LEDs .
LV-17 053 Prototyping the Lights Pt.3
Since I am using a 30W iron, I have to make sure the heat loss is minimal since the aluminum tube also serves as a heat sink to (hopefully) cool the downward solder and thus creates a cylinder of solder. Yeah, keep feeding the solder, Baby!
LV-17 054 Prototyping the Lights Pt.4
Slip in about 18mm length of 3mm heat-shrink sleeve. After heating the sleeve, (Hopefully) it would form a tight circle where once again, I would coat it with some more solder flux and melt a blob of solder onto it.

But because the hole in the PCB is quite tight, I might hold off with just heating the heat-shrink sleeve instead.
LV-17 055 Protoyping the Lights Pt.5
It took me quite some time to align all the 12 leads and the middle core onto the piggyback PCB so, this is am exercise in patience.

In a perfect World, it would just slot right in…
LV-17 056 Protoyping the Lights Pt.6
Well, the effect is there but not as smooth as I liked though. The movement is a little jerky at times because these LEDs have a very limited viewing angle compared to a normal SMD which has a wider viewing angle. I could do this with the same LED but with a diffused lens. But this would mean another 30 to 53 days of waiting and besides, it would not be look like a lens.

Yeah, my original plan was also to use SMDs but because their leads are so fragile, they can actually break while forming the circle of light. Also, repairing them would be a b1tch.
05.07.2020 Lightship Lighting Simulation Prototype v.04
This is the first prototype for the piggyback board. I was a little dissatisfied with the lighting effect as the 2x3x4 LED made the movement a little jerky. Maybe I can fine-tune the programming more. Maybe. Anyway, this first example was 8mm too tall and so, could not be fitted into the model. I could try to cut the leads and re-solder but, after the first mistake, the board is a little torn and I decided not to risk it.
Anyway, I have two versions of the LED (White and Warm-white) and I think I will use this compared to the SMD idea and another LED which both have their serious shortcomings.
In this video, I am showing the Fresnel Lens clockwise sweep first and after the pause, the LED flash. The mobile phone camera picked up the unintended flickering but in real life, it was slightly better. However, I was hoping it would be much smoother too, with a noticeable transition of the light between two LEDs.
LV-17 057 Protoyping the Lights Pt.7
As this is a test round, I cannot put it into the model since it is too tall. The LEDs are hitting the roof of the tower.

So, for the next one, I am going to shorten them by at least 8 to 10mm and to NOT solder the core first. I want to see if the 12 leads can fit into that small hole I designed.
LV-17 058 Red Mottling Pt.1
Sorry for the lack of updates due to work. But after taking a second look at the model, it got me thinking that if I start to use the red paint to completely mottle against the black primer, it would come out as too dark, as what was seen on it’s light tower.

So, you won’t believe what I did next (this is not click bait): I diluted some white and started to lighten some areas of the earlier red mottling. This gave some very fungi look but if you look at the upper middle area, it is now much brighter, just like the side pillars (forgot to take that photo to show you as it was a srtaight red against white).
LV-17 059 Red Mottling Pt.2
I did the same with the ship’s hull too. It does look like those weird colourised posters in the beginning but after another layer or so, the red starts to deepen.
LV-17 060 Red Mottling Pt.3
This is more or less the result and later on, I’ll have to spray more to eliminate that ‘brickwork’ look. But for weathering, I think I will just use some white oils for the Sun faded look instead.
LV-17 061 Filler post
There are two things I disliked about the Light Tower detail and I am going to talk about one of them here.

At the top of the light tower is where the lights are and it is kept inside a glass cage. On the model, it is represented by a thick clear cylinder.

I used some small styrene strips (Evergreen #101 010×030″ aka 0.25 x 0.75mm strips) and copied the raised detail of the cage as best as I can. Yeak, it’s a bit wonky but I hope you won’t notice it. This was done sometime at the end of May when I was black basing the tower.

As for the thick plastic, I just sprayed it with some clear coat and that’s it. Maybe, if I had another model, I might want to go into polishing it before spraying the clear coat.
LV-17 062 Glowing LEDs
I have put some Aves Apoxie putty as a wedge between the model and the circuit board. Also, I have drilled out two holes for the red wires to pass through, but I have to knot them first before it goes into the hole.
Now, the problem I have is that two LEDs are glowing when they should be off. I will need to check if they are caused by the putty or, that my programming is wrong (although they were OK before I burn into the microcontroller)

2022 Update: The cause was due to a small SMD resistor array. However, I am still not satisfied with the Fresnel Lens effect and when time permits, I would need to look at the programming again.
14.03.2021 Lightship Lighting Simulation Prototype v.05
Since the last video centuries ago, I have replace the warm-white LEDs with pure white. However, looking back at the whole thing, there are two problems:
LEDs connected to the third resistor does not turn OFF but rather, dims ON. I have checked the programming and the error is not there. My desoldering and resoldering the SMD ressitor only made it dimmer but the problem is still there. Maybe I’ll try with a second board later.
The ‘turning’ lights sequence somehow does not look right to me. So, this means I would need to re-think on the sequence and re-write the program again.

2022 Update: The cause was due to a SMD resistor array. It is OK now. But I am still going to look into the programming as the Fresnel lens effect is weird