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Author Topic: Which things should be illuminated ?  (Read 2550 times)


  • Guest
Which things should be illuminated ?
« on: June 12, 2008, 08:37:23 AM »
Hi all,

building my first old fashion stern wheeler, I coming to the question, which things should be illuminated ?
I think, in old times gas/petrol lights are the only way to illuminate the boat. Haven't seen any pictures of steamboatmodels at night as yet. How to build the windows/doors to get the best effect ? Simply cut out the windows or use some kind of plastics to imitate the windowpane ?  Should I use bulbs or LED's ? I own a Petromax Lamp, have anybody seen a working model of such a lamp ?

Many question for now, but hopefully anybody has an answer for me.

greetings, Carsten


  • Guest
Re: Which things should be illuminated ?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2008, 01:55:35 PM »

I might be able to help a little on this one.

Instead of clear plastic for the windows, I used to buy boxes of glass slide mounts and take the very thin glass out of them and use that instead. Looks a lot more natural and doesn't warp or change colour over the years. A bit fiddly, but well worth it.

To get the nice 'yellowy' light effect, you use 12 volt grain of wheat or grain of rice (smaller) bulbs, and light them using a 6 volt battery. They then have a nice warm oil lamp glow.

If you search around a bit, you can also get little circuits that 'flicker' the bulbs to simulate oil lamps. Just depends how much you want to simulate.

Hope this helps


Offline Eddy Matthews

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Re: Which things should be illuminated ?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2008, 03:55:41 PM »
What needs illuminating depends on what type of boat it is exactly - A traditional Mississippi passenger vessel could be lit up like a christmas tree at times, but a workboat such as a sternwheel towboat might only have a few deck lights and navigation lights.

Flickering oil lamps can be done with some electronics as bogstandard said above - Action Kits here in the UK do a unit for this purpose - Take a look at their P90 Twin Flicker Unit on

No doubt there will be others available, or you could build your own if your into electronics (I'm not).

~ Never, ever, argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience ~


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