Help wanted: Electronics

Shortly put: I want my 3D Space Hulk to be the best I can make it. For me, that means including lighting effects that tie in to the various mission objectives.

Sadly, I don’t know the first thing about electronics :'(.  So, I’m hoping someone can help me out…. Basically, being the luddite I am, I need all the help I can get.  (Any advice is welcome: instructional sites, advice for books that teach this sort of thing to absolute and total beginners, cheap suppliers.  Anything at all.  I’m essentially a blank slate when it comes to electronics…)

This is what I’m hoping to include:

(This is the state of affairs on 25-8-09, the missions from the new SH may require additional lighting effects…)

My goal is to have appropriate lighting effects to enhance each of the missions from the 1st/2nd ed. Space Hulk core set missions.

Plus some additional lighting effects for mood or “cool” factor. J


Full Rooms/Corridors:

Mechanicus Chapel:


Room, 1 entrance: Large eagle on the far wall (with a few mm room between the wall and the eagle), dataterminals along walls, large double door with overhead lights, dais in the centre of the room for a Data-Ark (Gothic external HDD)

Lighting effects:

-6 to 8 amber/yellow lights for over the dataterminals and doors. Ideally speaking these lights gently fade between dim and near full strength, in a fairly long cycle (10 to 16 seconds, maybe more. The fade should subtle, only really noticeable when directly looking at the room.)

-2 sets white/yellow diffuse glow, behind the eagle on the far wall, constant strength. (possibly also 2 similar red glows behind Mechanicus icons, should I fit these.)

The above two effects are the core lighting for this unit.

In addition to this, I’d like 2 additional lighting effects, that can each be activated/deactivated separately from the core lighting above:

-1 bright blue-white irregularly flashing light, like sparking electricity/arc welding sparks. (see for an idea of what I mean).

-A “toxin canister port”: for description see the Loose Module number 3. It functions in the same manner.


Console Alcoves:


Room, 3 entrances, 2 Dataterminals (large), The lighting for each terminal can be activated/deactivated separately!

Lighting effects:

Per terminal:

1 overhead amber/yellow light, dimmed. Blinks on and off at random intervals (like a failing fluorescent light).

1 Monitor: irregularly flashing medium green light, with incidental flashes at maximal power. (like a failing monochrome monitor)

Ideally the consoles should also have a number of tiny “blinkenlights” (maybe done with fibreoptics and a few internal leds?)

These effects are also needed, but with 3 terminals in a separate module of  12x3x4 cm, the Communications Console




Room, 3 entrances, 7 cryotubes along the walls. The cryotubes are semi-opaque, like glass that is severely frosted over. With the lighting effects on, faint shapes can be seen inside the tubes…

Lighting effects: Per cryotube, each cryotube can be activated/deactivated separately:

Each tube is lit from within (from both top and bottom, maybe sides too?) with a diffuse, cold blue/white light. The light pulses (between maybe full and threequarters strength) with 3-4 seconds between the peaks of maximum light. Ideally there should also be random, split second flickering in the light. (At max power the light should be able to throw shadows inside the module?)


Devotionary hallway:


Corridor, 3 squares (12cm) long. One side has a massive bronze Imperial Eagle against the wall, these is a few mm room between the eagle and the wall). The other wall features a small alcove, littered with prayer parchments and seals. Below it is a small shrine (battery housing…) with candles on it.

Lighting effects:

-1 set of soft, diffuse glow (yellow-white) from behind the Eagle.

– yellow/orange flickering light for the candle flames.


  1. Derelict/damaged corridor:

Description: A corridor that has suffered severe damage when several spaceships smashed into the hulk.

Lighting effects:

1 or more sets of flickering blue-white light (“arc welding sparks”) and several red warning lights, that either blink on and off or smoothly, but quickly fade from on to off (1 second on, 1 second off for both variants).


Genestealer territory (hallway and/or room)

Description: A room or corridor that has been claimed by the Genestealers. Sections of the room/corridor have been overgrown/replaced with organic chitinous structures.

Lighting effects:

Pulsing, diffuse purple light at several locations. Flowing organic pulse, it’s rhythm is similar to the Cryopods or a hart beat rhythm. (This effect may also be used for the Genestealer entry points, in which case everything needs to fit in a 4x4x1 cm block…)




Separate Modules:


Terminator Exit points:

Description: Small (4x4x1 cm) units, to identify Terminator Exit points.

Lighting effects:

Red or green blinking light (half second on, second off, or a short flash every 3 seconds. Something like a homing beacon.


Reactor Dampening controls:

Description: Module about 4x4x4 cm in size (It’s height could be adjusted to 6 cm). It has a dataterminal on one side, the rest looks like a complex control system.

Lighting effects:

-1 Monitor: irregularly flashing medium green light, with incidental flashes at maximal power. (like a failing monochrome monitor)

-1 green “status OK” light at a prominent point on the device. If a switch is activated, the light turns red (Ideally, several other orange and red lights should spring on at other locations on the module as well!)


Airpump System:

Description: A large airpump device (8x8x4 or6 cm), at 4 locations there are connection ports for toxin canisters.  4 separate toxin canisters that fit onto/into those connection ports.

Lighting effects:

-Each connection port has a green light above it. Once a toxin canister is actually inserted, the light switches to red for that port only.


Communications Console (see Console Alcoves for descriptions).

Description: A block, 12x3x4 cm in size. The block features 3 dataterminals in a row.

Lighting effects:

Per terminal (the lighting for each terminal can be activated/deactivated separately):

1 overhead amber/yellow light, dimmed. Blinks on and off at random intervals (like a failing fluorescent light).

1 Monitor: irregularly flashing medium green light, with incidental flashes at maximal power. (like a failing monochrome monitor)

Ideally the consoles should also have a number of tiny “blinkenlights” (maybe done with fibreoptics and a few internal leds?)


9 Responses to “Help wanted: Electronics”

  1. Hello again thx for the replies in the other post! Although I’m also unskilled in electronics. I once stumbled across a guy named “canucks fan” he’s quite active on and specialist games forum. He makes lots of crazy LED lighted projects for Epic and BFG. I remember asking him for some tutorials and he was more than happy to help. You should pm him or or just look for some tutorials. I can’t find any right now, just some topics of him building things.

  2. Here is the most basic LED-resistor calculator I found, you said you were totally blank so you might have a bit of help from it (it’s not ment as an insult).
    With the more advanced blinking lights I see two possible ways, either programming microcontroller or with discrete logic, the latter would probably be the easiest if you have never done any programming before.
    It sounds like a nice project but it’s too hard to give you that much help straight like this without knowing more about your possibility to get components and equipment. If you want to, drop me a mail and I might be able to help you, if you haven’t already got the help you needed. My mail is ” eab (dot) henriksson (a) gmail (dot) com “.
    A very intresting project, I have thought about doing something similiar myself and this might be the start of it 🙂
    Good luck!

  3. the work in progress forum has a few led tutorials for this style of creating. But you may be pushing it with the blinking. If memory serves there are a few people selling DIY sets for doing LED upgrades to miniatures, so you might look at them first. Primarily done to Necrons, but the techniques are the same regardless.

    After doing some of the static lights, you can gauge how difficult it is to achieve the wiring and hiding of batteries to get the best result.

    I have been thinking about doing some LED stuff to some terminator characters, so I am looking forward to seeing how you go!

    The other thing to consider is clear rod carries the LED light quite well at a smaller scale, so you could hide the LED at the end of a box of three rods, and run the LED through them. Meaning you could also leave a rod out and not have it showing giving you the look of fluro lights with some blown or broken.

    Another way would be to find some cheap toys with LED lights in them to rip out and use as a starting point.

    Then there is the trick we use for vehicles in 40k. Mount the ear bud style headphones on a model, giving them the look of little speakers, and then running a hidden ipod within the model on a random loop of music, military transmissions, or sound effects to help set the mood.

    (it is best not to ask about the slaanesh vehicle noises)

  4. Wow thanks for the responses!

    Insolitus, basically what I can get is limited to people sell on the internet. (No proper local electronics store, so I need to go online for my purchases anyway…)

    Bucho, I’ll have a look at that forum.

  5. Hi,

    If you find any good tutorials, I’d love to know! Am doing my own Space Hulk project, having been inspired by yours! Would love to add LEDs to it!

    Just want to add that I keep this site favourited! A wonderful site, with great Space Hulk terrain!

  6. Hi again,

    Well, you can get everything online so I guess that’s not a limit 😉 Then, if you want to do your electronics without any programming I have some ideas for you.

    Here’s a circuit you might be interested in for the electricity arc stuff: I have not built it my self, but I have built some of his synth modules and they are working perfectly. In addition I believe that this kind of schmitt trigger oscillators and or-ing and and-ing with diodes is the easiest way to get the whatever blinking results you wish.

    For the more soft dimming up and down it might work with a sinus oscillator controlling a pwm-circuit. As sine oscillator you can for example use this: and for the pwm-circuit you can use a 555 , scroll down in the datasheet until you find Pulse Position Modulator on page 10 and take a look at that.

    Hope this can give you some good ideas!

  7. By the way, here is a site with good e-books for download And make sure you get your hands on a solderless bread board like this so you can try your circuits without first soldering everything together.

  8. Insolitus, thank you!
    When I get some time to have a proper sit down and read, I’ll dive into those.

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