Return to the BUILD

“In this issue you add LEDs and wiring to the dashboard by following these step-by-step instructions.”




Materials: All of the non-electronic parts in this issue are plastic.


  • Drive Time: Model Instructions
  • Production Diary: Futuristic Taxi and Flying Police Car
  • A Time Traveler’s Guide: Griff Tannen


The Dashboard

Before we get started, I wanted to add a little color to the Dashboard Display. On The ‘A’ Car, these are big Rowan Control contactors and have more details than what the model provides us:

This is the stock part:

First, I took a Metallic Gold Sharpie and added a little color to the front sections:

These are the contact points on the top of the stock part:

To spruce this up a little, I used a small brush and some Model Master 4672 Brass acrylic paint to fill in the contacts:

This is what my Dashboard Display looks like now. It’s not perfect, but it’s better! Let’s get on with the issue now.

Step 1

The bottom of the Dashboard Display has a post and pin that aligns the parts. Place it onto the dashboard, as shown:

Step 2

Secure these together from underneath with one (1) BP screw:

I have seen a lot of other builds showing a ton of bleed around these gauges, so I am going to try to fix it. The first thing we need to do is see where the bleed is. I did this by holding the Dials up to the flashlight on my phone:

As you can tell, there is a lot of leaking light/bleed. To tackle this, I grabbed my handy Black Sharpie and painted the back of the Dials until no more light leaked through:

I ended up covering the entire back with two layers of Sharpie ink, but the results seem to be much improved:

There is one more thing we need to do. The edges around the panel need to be blocked off or else light will leak there too. I came up with some steps to solve this as we continue the installation steps below.

Steps 3-4

Insert the Dials into the Casing and secure with two (2) AP screws:

To seal off the edges, I cut up some strips of black electrical tape about 1/8″ (3 mm) wide to the exact lengths of the sides of the Dials:

Then, I placed the long piece along the inside edge of the Casing (this is the glovebox lid on the real car):

I folded the tape back, inserted the Dial into the Casing, and secured it with the two (2) AP screws circled below. I ran the blunt end of my tweezers down along the taped joint to seal it all up:

The smaller pieces of tape could now be placed along the short sides of the Dials to seal them up the same way:

Steps 5-6

Slide the LED Panel into the grooves of the Casing with the wires facing away from the Dials:

Step 7

Before we do Step 7, we need one last long piece of electrical tape to seal up the bottom of the Dials:

Now, pass the plug from the LED Panel down through this hole in the Dashboard:

Step 8

Lower the assembly into the recess in the Dashboard.

I put the rear edge (with the gauges) in first which allowed me to fold the tape back behind the Dials, then popped the front edge into the recess:

Step 9

Affix the Casing in place from below with two (2) BP screws:

Step 10

Connect the plug and socket together:

Step 11

Place the Tab over these yellow/white wires and secure with one (1) AP screw:

That completes this issue, but let’s take a quick look at the results of my attempt to contain the light bleed around the Dials:

I think it came out really good! There is very minimal bleed around the gauges and none around the panel. Now, let’s add one more thing…

It is time again to reach into the Decal Set III from Mike Lane. Here, we can add a couple of decals that replicate the McNichols Perforated Metal Mesh found on the sides of the Dials enclosure.

Fun Fact: The Plutonium Chamber gauge on The A’ Car is a real Phaostron 631/Simpson Roentgens Meter:

These are simple peel and stick decals that go into place with ease:

This is a quick and easy mod that adds some nice detail!


The dashboard is really coming along, but we are getting into some serious modding territory with these and the next few issues. Just wait until we get to the massive Issue 48 and all of its wiring!

Next Up

 Issue 47 – Dashboard: Base Plate, Steering Wheel/Column/Shaft

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