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I've always wanted to see how a mini would look all lit up. Lots of the toys I had while growing up had tons of blinking doo-dads and such, so why not my minis? Seemed pretty straight forward. I just needed a practice piece. This is that piece.

I took a Mage Knight Metal Magus body and sawed off it's dumb head and replaced it with this kick-ass Ghost head from Reaper. It looks like Iron Maiden's mascot "Eddie". I drilled out the neck hole of the Ghost head, and then drilled out the eye sockets in a "V" shape until they met with the neck hole. Then I ran fiber through it.

This shows the path of the fiber through the body of the figure. The new head lines up above this hole. I bored out a standard 30mm base and epoxied the mini over it. The base will house the flat lithium battery.

The fiber was actually fed in through the eyes, in a loop. The two ends were pulled down through the mini and then epoxied to an LED. The loop was cut in two and pulled flush with the eye sockets after test-fitting everything and making the battery "clip" (see below). Note that you have to run the fiber after you've painted so you don't get paint or primer on the optics.

The battery is a 3.5 volt lithium battery. It is held in place by the leads going to the LED itself. The leads were bent into this "clamp" after being test-fitted earlier. Once the bends were made, the LED was epoxied into the miniature and the fiber optics were trimmed down. A piece of electrical tape ensures there won't be a short.

A close-up of the glowing red eyes. I think this head makes the figure look like Iron Maiden's mascot, "Eddie".

The finished mini- based, touched up, and sealed... glowing with malicious intent. Shortly after finishing this guy up I sold him on E-bay to recoup the parts cost for further fiber optic experiments. I hope this article shows that there's nothing magic or difficult about using fiber optics to light miniatures. With patience and planning, anyone can do it.

© 2002 Mike McCuen

© 2002 Mike McCuen
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