Serenity in LEGO
    Light-up fun

One of the things I wanted to be sure to accomplish with my model of Serenity was to incorporate some sort of "light up" feature. While most LEGO bricks are "mere" plastic, from time to time they've released battery-powered bricks with attached lights. I had two or three of those bricks in my collection when I started this project. By the end, I had run to BrickLink for specialty part orders several times.

The final count:

Bridge 1 Light
Dining Room/Commons 3 Lights (One 2-light brick, one "solo" light)
"Light Ring" just forward of the Firefly drive 8 Lights (Four 2-light bricks)
Firefly Drive 8 Lights (Four 2-light bricks)

The Bridge and Dining Room are on a single battery pack controlled by a switch on the top of the cargo area. The Light Ring and Firefly Drive are on a second, more elaborate battery pack, allowing for both "steady on" and "blinking like a christmas tree" modes.

This is a test shot from about mid-way in the building process. I didn't have a tripod handy, so the picture is a bit shaky. Still, you get the idea. At this point the bare bulbs sat right behind the windows. By the final version this had changed with the addition of a difusing wall of clear bricks between the light and the window.

Here's a shot of the main Firely Drive and Light Ring in operation. In an ideal world, the firefly drive would be yellow...sadly, I wasn't able to obtain the necessary LEGO pieces in that shade. (No one had any transparent Yellow big corner windows in stock, and even if they did, it would have been at least $40 for the four parts I needed. And I was on a budget.) Still, it looks pretty good.

The light ring is a half-and-half mixture of bare white lights, and lights with a blue gel cover over them.

To get the full effect, click on the picture above for a huge version of the photo.

Here's the same angle, but with the engine covers extended. Remember, these lights have both a "steady on" and a "blinky blinky" mode. (If you're interested in seeing how the lights are controlled, check out the Construction Log pages.)

As before, click on the photo for a really huge view.

Here's a front view of Serenity, showing off the lighting in the bridge and kitchen areas in the finished version.

The bridge has some transparent light-blue bricks in the difusion wall, giving it a cooler glow. The kitchen has some yellow bricks, giving it a warmer feel.

And, need I mention that a huge version awaits your click?

Finally, here's a shot of the small window just fore of the light-ring. It's a poor angle, because just to the left of the round window is another horizontal window like the one at the front of the kitchen. Both windows share the same 2-bulb light. If you follow the tan bricks to the right of the window, you'll see the small yellow switch that controls the bridge and kitchen lights.

You can see it better in the huge version of this shot, of course.


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