Shadow Caster bottom
Shadow Caster bottom
Engine shroud removal
Step 1. Start by removing the engine shrouds. Grab as much of them as you can firmly and wiggle until the glue cracks and they slide off.
Engine removal
Step 2. Now is a good time to attempt to remove these dark grey pieces of the engines. They have a hole at the end that slides over one tab from each half of the ship. The best direction to move them is straight out away from the sides of the ship. Ours were well glued, and the larger tabs from the top half of the ship broke off with them.
Step 3. Insert your pry tool into the crease in the back and slowly feel your way towards the pegs. Get your pry tool as close as possible to each peg before giving it a sharp twist to break the glue bond. The goal is to have the two halves of the ship pulled straight apart from each other as close to the peg as possible to prevent them from breaking off.
Step 3. Insert your pry tool into the crease in the back and slowly feel your way towards the pegs. Get your pry tool as close as possible to each peg before giving it a sharp twist to break the glue bond. The goal is to have the two halves of the ship pulled straight apart from each other as close to the peg as possible to prevent them from breaking off.
Step 4. Slowly work your way one post at a time over towards the engine nearest your entry point. Be mindful that the posts near the engine are much smaller. They will probably require a bit more care in the direction of your twist to make sure they come straight out and don't break off sideways.
Step 4. Slowly work your way one post at a time over towards the engine nearest your entry point. Be mindful that the posts near the engine are much smaller. They will probably require a bit more care in the direction of your twist to make sure they come straight out and don’t break off sideways.
Step 5. Keep working your way around the ship's hull. Once you reach the halfway point it should become easier.
Step 5. Keep working your way around the ship’s hull. Once you reach the halfway point it should become easier.
Step 6. Separate the two halves of the ship and begin your mods.
Step 6. Separate the two halves of the ship and begin your mods.
Ship tab broken off inside the engine. Not a big deal to us since they were going to be drilled out for LEDs and reglued anyway.
Ship tab broken off inside the engine. Not a big deal to us since they were going to be drilled out for LEDs and reglued anyway.
Top half detail
Top half detail
Bottom half detail
Bottom half detail
These vents are 2mm tall. A 1mm drill bit in a pin vise would be a good way to hog out most of the material before cleaning up the edges with a hobby knife.
These vents are 2mm tall. A 1mm drill bit in a pin vise would be a good way to hog out most of the material before cleaning up the edges with a hobby knife.

BONUS CONTENT

When drilling out your engines for LEDs, start with a smaller bit than needed and work from the show side first. Here we started with a 2mm bit. This is so you can get a perfectly straight pilot hole. GO SLOWLY. Whether using a pin vise (recommended) or a power drill, go very, very slowly to prevent the bit from wandering off your target path. These engines are nice because they center the bit for you.
When drilling out your engines for LEDs, start with a smaller bit than needed and work from the show side first. Here we started with a 2mm bit. This is so you can get a perfectly straight pilot hole. GO SLOWLY. Whether using a pin vise (recommended) or a power drill, go very, very slowly to prevent the bit from wandering off your target path. These engines are nice because they center the bit for you.
After you have a good pilot hole, move up to a 3mm bit and again drill from the show side
After you have a good pilot hole, move up to a 3mm bit and again drill from the show side
LEDs have a small lip at the base. We are going to use this to our advantage to help place them perfectly.
LEDs have a small lip at the base. We are going to use this to our advantage to help place them perfectly.
Place your LED alongside the engine to figure out how far back you want it. Note where the top edge of the LED lip lines up.
Place your LED alongside the engine to figure out how far back you want it. Note where the top edge of the LED lip lines up.
Line up a 3.5mm drill bit so the top cutting edge lines up with your mental note. Then mark the bit with paint, tape, or marker parallel with the back edge of the engine. This is your drill stop.
Line up a 3.5mm drill bit so the top cutting edge lines up with your mental note. Then mark the bit with paint, tape, or marker parallel with the back edge of the engine. This is your drill stop.
Lock your drill bit into a vise or power drill, then firmly put your thumbnail on the edge of your mark. Place the engine, back side first over the bit and slowly turn the ENGINE by hand, being careful not to let the drill bit bite into the plastic too much. Drill down until you reach your mark. Pull the engine back a bit and repeat the process, watching through the top to make sure you're getting a clean edge on the cut. Test fit your LED. If it has trouble going in, move up to a 4mm bit.
Lock your drill bit into a vise or power drill, then firmly put your thumbnail on the edge of your mark. Place the engine, back side first over the bit and slowly turn the ENGINE by hand, being careful not to let the drill bit bite into the plastic too much. Drill down until you reach your mark. Pull the engine back a bit and repeat the process, watching through the top to make sure you’re getting a clean edge on the cut. Test fit your LED. If it has trouble going in, move up to a 4mm bit.
Repeat previous steps, test fitting as you go until your LED fits exactly where you want it to. Then pull the LED out, solder your wires to it and put heat shrink tubing over one of the legs. You probably won't have room inside to heat shrink the legs together or use electrical tape. Run your wires to the interior of the ship and connect them to whatever power source or controller you have chosen.
Repeat previous steps, test fitting as you go until your LED fits exactly where you want it to. Then pull the LED out, solder your wires to it and put heat shrink tubing over one of the legs. You probably won’t have room inside to heat shrink the legs together or use electrical tape. Run your wires to the interior of the ship and connect them to whatever power source or controller you have chosen.