Wednesday, 5 February 2014

LED lit Police Cruiser


Over the last few months I have been teaching myself how to mod old Gameboys. I am now capable of basic soldering, and have a bunch of LED's, switches and batteries lying around... Hmmm.

Taking a look at my bits box, I retrieved one of two die-cast "Grid Limo" toys from the latest Tron movie. I think I got them in Poundland last year for a pound each.

Luckily, these toys are held together with screws, not rivets. this means they can be taken apart and reassembled easily.

Crude wiring

A little bit of fiddling around and I managed to get an LED poking out of the center of the underside. The switch went in a wheel-hole and the battery in the main body. I used insulating tape to make double sure I didn't get a short from the car body, and screwed it all back together.

All finished!
After all that was finished and the light was working, I painted the outside. Plain black and white looked really boring, so some weathering was done with brown wash painted judiciously on around the seams. This still want enough for my liking, so I tried some sponge-chipping. This is a popular technique where you use a sponge (I used a piece of clump foliage, as I haven't bought a blister pack since 1998) to dab on irregular patterns of paint. Kept it fairly minimal and on the edges of the vehicle where I imagined it might get the most wear. Overdoing it would have ruined the working cop look I was after.

The P7 is freehand. It's not as precise looking a s a decal, but I don't enjoy messing about with decals and the price was right. You also can't run out of freehand if you need to do another one.

Total cost was One Pound for the toy, another 2 pounds for the LED assembly I cannibalized (from Ikea) an hour or so soldering and messing around with the internals, about an hour of painting.

PS-The two police on the roof are of course, 15mm figures from Khurasan.

Thanks for looking!

19 comments:

  1. Speak for yourself, I usually run out of freehand after about ten minutes of squinting and cursing.

    Amazing work... I guess it helps that the original toy was already quite on-theme but you took it so much farther and the result is great. The under lighting is a fun mod, I wonder if you could squeeze in red and blue flashing LEDs for the mandible blinkers? :D

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    1. Well, my freehand technique is not that difficult. block in the basic shape with short strokes, then clean up the edges when it's dry. A bit like using an eraser to tidy up lines after they have been drawn.
      I did consider flashing red and blue (after I'd finished of course) but it's a lot more complicated to pull off as I'd need some more components. I will keep it in mind for a larger vehicle though, it would look great.

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  2. Very nice what an excellent idea. Great paintjob

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    1. Cheers Simon! I'm resisting the urge to build more lights into things. I need to stop messing around with terrain.

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  3. Really nice. Your freehand puts my decal application to shame :)

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  4. Nicely done SJ- it's amazing what can be done with inexpensive items and a dollop of ingenuity!

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    1. This is the sort of thing I miss from the 80's. Not the fluff or the sculpts so much, but the creativity.

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  5. I'm a great fan of toy-based cnversions and this, wth juste a repaint and dome ledwork ended up amazingly impressive! Top notch model for sic-fi police, love it.

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    1. Cheers Javi, I will post some Hotwheels car repaints next :)

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  6. Excellent stuff, I've really enjoyed your tutorials and scratch builds. Perhaps I should get over my bias that foam core is only for 28mm.

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    1. I highly recommend having a go at peeling foamcore then scribing or pushing detail in. It seems to look much more in scale than smooth paper foamcore.

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  7. Great looking ships, Jacker.

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  8. Genius. Add Khurusan's android hunters and some more well worn terrain and its an off world colony Ridley Scott himself would be proud of. Have never done lighting but want to try it. I am curious about the tape wiring I see in the dollhouse lighting isle and Hobby Lobby.

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  9. A posting spree buddy, nice!

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