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The wings, while the 'folding fan' approach does a good job (and was sort of made canon in Yamato 2199), it still doesn't make the wings as large as seen in the original series. Plus the need to have the edge double as 'door cover' when folding means it's not the aerodynamic shape as shown in the show. (granted, the entire reasoning for the wings is...well, they exist because it looks cool I guess. I don't think the lift they provide is really necessary given the incredible thrust of even the secondary engines :) )

Those bow missile hatches, I just don't know. I *think* they wanted to motorize them and may have run into a cost/benefit problem, the addition of the motor, the mechanism and the needed 'space' for the command function may have threatened to push the cost over the allotted target.

What I envision is something like a motor connected to a screwjack driving a pinion up and down, so the hatch covers cycle like the show, top middle bottom open, maybe with an option for a slight pause so only the topmost are open. The existing springs hold the doors closed. The pinion would be pressing on the levers/pins/whatever holding the doors open.

I think the existing 'missile holds the door open, retract to close' deal may be a fumbling way to work within the boundaries of a similar concept that had to be canceled. I'm sure the project head insisted the doors HAD to open because the easy solution would be "hey, we had to ditch the motor, so we'll just have the doors snap in place and mod the part so it won't move" and boss man said "no way, dude!" :)

The rocket anchor winch, that's just a mess. It would need a motor, a clutch (so it stops when the chain is run all the way out or fully wound) and another clutch that could switch from port to starboard anchors. My thought was MAYBE the missile door motor could have done double duty (a controlled switching gearbox would be called for I think) but that seems like a fairly complicated setup. It might not be possible in the space available.

If there was a feature I would consider omitting from the kit, I would pick the rocket anchors. As fun as that can be, it's not as visually interesting as the turrets and all that. If you can't SHOOT the anchor, what's the point? :)

But that's me. I would also do things like fill in the limber holes and try to re-sculpt some of the hull (the curves and 'transition area' from the bow to the mid hull is just way off to the classic look) and leave off the added little fins and junk. Granted, the amount of work I would want to do would probably keep me from ever finishing it, soooooo :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
IR remote working

Figured out the wiring of the IR receiver included with the model, wired it in, and ripped the IR codes from the Wave Motion Gun remote.

Added this into the code, and now the whole thing works with the Bluetooth LE iPhone app I wrote and also with the (more limited, but cool-looking) stock remote. Only real change is I need to make a new firing mode for the cannons, since there's only one button to fire them on the remote.

I'm now at 5% memory free for the Arduino and three unused pins. I'm really pushing this thing.

I also have to get a demo video up soon.

Included pic is of the rat's nest, but it really isn't as bad as it looks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Video demo of current progress

Here's a video of the work-in-progress.

It shows the stock (noisy) gearboxes being controlled via Arduino, along with sound and LEDs. Also working is the original IR remote and auto-centering. It went pretty well, aside from a debounce glitch while pushing the rear guns to their limits. Yes, it never did this until I tried to film it.

Code needs some optimization as well since the Arduino is being pushed to its limits right now. Apologies for the odd thumps during the video, the iPad case was making tons of noise.

 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Finally, another update

Progress came to a halt as I was pondering how to get a set of hollow barrels.

3D printing brass seemed to be the answer, but it would only work for the main guns and came at a hefty $15 per barrel (x9 barrels). That's half the cost of the model right there.

The second option was rebuilding the barrels from scratch using brass tubing. This had two major drawbacks: First, I don't know what I'm doing. Second, there was a shortage of the proper K&S barrels in the marketplace. So I had to wait until October (nearly 2 months) to get the sizes I needed. Then when checking sizes, K&S put the wrong size tubing in one of the packages (1.5mm OD tube in a 2mm OD package. Since the 2.0mm was going to be my barrel size to hold the fiber, I needed to get more tubes - and they are all out of stock again.

Last week I finally sourced more tubes and got them in a variety of sizes and wall thicknesses, including some I thought I did not need. This turned out to be fortuitous since I now can experiment and compare sizes and came up with a better solution. Using tubes, I can have enough material to do the whole ship for less than the cost of 2 3D printed brass barrels.

Here it is - it still needs some cleanup, but this is the closest I can get. A 3.0 mm barrel with a 2.5mm ID. I have various sizes of tubes that can bring that down to a 2.0 or 1.5mm ID for the fiber optic. Here, it seems the fiber optic size is "bigger the better" since the light output of the main cannons should be very large and bright, closely followed by the secondaries. The AA guns should just "twinkle". Hard to do if everything the same diameter fiber.

The base "plug" is a 3.5mm sleeve that will be an exact fit to mount into the turret. The white bulge is 3/16" polystyrene that just happens to have an ID that fits the 3.5mm tube and is a lot easier to handle than the thicker-walled brass equivalent.

Best part of this arrangement is that as long as I cut the barrel 1 or 2 mm short, the whole thing is adjustable to get them into uniform lengths. What you see below is a "fit check". I'll probably be recutting/reshaping the polystyrene once I figure out how to get better 90 degree cuts and file the ends of the plugs down a bit - or putty the ends and sand it into shape.

Ultimately this will all be painted. Now I'll have to build up 5 more of these, followed by some prototypes for the 6 barrels of the two secondary cannons, followed by the really big job: the AA guns with approx 100 barrels between them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
First set of three done

First three barrels done. They fit quite well.

Attached is a photo of the progress done. The barrels are lightly pushed into the mounting holes on the turrets. When fully pushed in, they will slide in another 3-4mm or so and will never come out again. Same goes for the original set. when fully pushed in, the lengths of all the parts will match up. I decided to go with the slightly thicker #9821 brass tube than the thinner #9835

The barrel diameter is 3mm OD, 2mm ID, which when looked at straight on, has a reasonable thickness - and may eventually wind up looking better than the original parts.
 

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