Light-up Gundam Eyes

I’ve been idle for almost a month! School has been pretty tough with mid term tests during these two weeks, and I’ve been looking around for certain toys (specfically the SHF Ixa) but they’re sold out everywhere so I can’t put up any new content. However I did write a short post some weeks ago.

Due to popular demand (ha ha ha) from readers requesting how I fit an LED in one of my kits, here’s a short one on how it was done. I didn’t take proper in-progress pictures and the head was permanently stuck in one piece so I made the best out of what’s left. I did write a post when I was still building it. You get to see the ugly bits of the kit everywhere.

It’s not a very easy mod to do as it requires some plastic cutting, electrical knowledge and soldering. Here are the common materials you’ll need.

You’ll need a kit with clear eyes for lights. That rules out certain kits like the 1/100 Gundam 00 first season kits.

You’ll also need wires, a switch and a power source. You’ll need a little more electronics knowledge if you’re powering your lights via USB or a source more powerful than your LEDs can handle as you may need to add resistors to prevent the lights from blowing out. Since my button cells were just sufficient to power the lights, I did not add resistors.

The stars of the show – LEDs. They’re bright (mostly), small (as small as you can find them) and come in various colours. From the left I have 2mm, 3mm and 5mm LEDs.

For my kit, I bought a prepacked kit complete with battery, holder, switch and LED to save me lots of time sourcing the other bits.

The first thing I did was to plan where to hide the battery and switch. I initially wanted everything to be inside the chest, but there was insufficient volume. I moved the switch to the backpack and kept the battery under the head. Depending on the model, you’ll have to make different plans.

Next I did the necessary removal of material to make space.

I removed plastic in the way of the LED. To keep it in place, I removed a U-shape from the clear eye part for the LED to rest in. You can just see the LED from the top of the head. To minimize light leakage, I covered the LED with my trusty silver tape. You could also paint the inside of the head black.

I made a hole behind the neck joint to run the wires into the chest. You can see the ugly wires above. One wire went to the backpack for the switch. I made a hole in the backpack’s mounting peg for this purpose.

I also made a hole in the packpack for the switch to be accessible, and gouged out as much plastic as I could from the insides.

The switch barely fits inside.

The other wire went directly to the battery holder, stowed away under the head where there is space for an LED unit from the 00 Gundam. I cut quite a bit of yellow plastic to make space for it, leaving only the longest bits intact.

1/100 Cherudim Gundam

Here’s a picture from when it was incomplete.

After soldering the wires and putting everything together. One drawback to adding lights is that the eyes aren’t visible without the lights on.

Here are a few shots that I took in the middle of the night, just for fun. Click on them for higher-resolution versions.

Lights off.

Lights on.

Taken in complete darkness. They aren’t blindingly bright and are highly directional so they can’t be seen from other angles. Maybe it’s my power source since back then the LED was much brighter.

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6 thoughts on “Light-up Gundam Eyes”

  1. i might try this some day but i only resently got my 3rd gundam zaku ii XD
    im going to get an air brush and practse painting on SD kits
    nice work cant wait for the next modle

  2. That is one complicated mod mate! I love the idea of using a switch. I seen some mod leds with the wires still jutting out ……not a very pleasant sight to behold.

    Ah mid terms…..well thats uni life unfortunately ^^;;

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