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"Light Your Tripod!" Topic

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ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2014 5:27 p.m. PST

From the first moment I saw the All Quiet on the Martian Front Tripods I thought they just cried out to have some lights in them. Well, I figured out a way to do it!


How? Well, first, let me tell you that I know as much about electricity as your average 4-year old, so my method had to be very simple! Step one was to find a self-contained power and light kit that would fit inside the head of a tripod. No way was I going to try and have a remote power supply or lights and then try to send wires or fiber optics through the narrow legs of a tripod! A very little searching on-line found exactly what I was looking for:


This beautiful little set includes a battery, battery-holder, switch and LED light for about 5 dollars. The provided light was a bit too small so I got a bigger one for another couple of bucks. It's all available from here: link

Now, how to mount it? Well, the light itself is simple. Just drill a hole of the proper size through the nose of the tripod.


A little drilling, a little clean-up and it's ready.

I toyed with the idea of making another hole and poking the button of the switch through the body of the tripod, but I decided I would just leave the top of the head loose and access the button and the battery that way. The pegs in the top of the head fit very tightly into the holes in the lower part of the head. I wanted to loosen that up, but not too much. A little careful drilling did the trick.

After that, it was just a matter of hooking the wires of the LED up to the wires of the switch/battery and stuffing the whole thing into the head of the tripod with the light poking through the hole. Oh, I strongly recommend finishing all your painting before mounting the light!

And voila!


I have no idea how long the batteries will last, but they are easily replaceable and cheap and I keep them turned off when not in use. Sadly the apparatus is too large to fit in the head of a scout tripod, but I've got a lead on a smaller one.

And no "Rudolph" jokes, please!

Aladdin22 Jun 2014 5:43 p.m. PST


PHGamer22 Jun 2014 5:58 p.m. PST

Great Idea, did you select regular, nano, pico? I bought that set of batteries for 10 for about $17. USD LED's consume so little energy, the model might wear out first.

MacrossMartin22 Jun 2014 6:27 p.m. PST

I knew someone would do this. ;)

That is really great stuff, and thanks for the how-to shots, and link. Much appreciated!

John the OFM22 Jun 2014 7:09 p.m. PST

Come on Baby, light my tripod.

xraytango22 Jun 2014 7:19 p.m. PST

You could add magnets in order to secure the tops as well. Less worry and fiddley-ness.

fox news tea party22 Jun 2014 7:52 p.m. PST

Pure wizardry! Well done.

Charlie 1222 Jun 2014 8:21 p.m. PST

How cool is that! Nicely done, Scott!

JLA10522 Jun 2014 8:46 p.m. PST

Very nice! Now I wish I hadn't already built and painted mine…maybe I should buy some more Assault Tripods…

deflatermouse22 Jun 2014 8:59 p.m. PST

really cool and clever. Wish I had thought of it.
Now….what else can I add it to? IR…..

justBill23 Jun 2014 4:44 a.m. PST

Most excellent

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2014 6:17 a.m. PST

You might also check out model railroad lighting kits for smaller sized lights for the scout tripod.


elsyrsyn23 Jun 2014 9:41 a.m. PST

That's very clever, and the result looks great!


PygmaelionAgain23 Jun 2014 1:26 p.m. PST

I, for one, welcome our illuminated Martian overlords!

Well done!

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian23 Jun 2014 3:34 p.m. PST

Perhaps we could borrow sound technology from the Model RRers as well.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Aug 2014 6:30 a.m. PST

Just an update on the battery life. I left one of them turned on at my table for the entire 4 days of Historicon with no noticeable dimming of the light. So for standard game usage, they ought to last a long time.

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2014 6:54 a.m. PST

I responded to a call for 'lights' on LAF on the 15th of last month.

These are indeed KEWL. However, my reply was to a thread of a fellow who'd painted the 'window' black.

As I said then, shiny black has a nicely menacing shark-eye quality to it.


Brooklyn Wargamer14 Sep 2014 3:21 p.m. PST

Sorry to ask a dumb question, how did you make the light red?
Also, what size did you finally get for the light?


Cacique Caribe14 Sep 2014 4:22 p.m. PST

Does the light flash rapidly (strobe-like) when the tripod is firing?

If I were to do something like that, I would probably use a small dual-function laser pointer with strobe capability.


ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Sep 2014 4:39 p.m. PST


I got 3mm LEDs and they come in a variety of colors, so I just got the red ones.

Dan, The light does not flash, although for my wrecked tripods I got ones that flicker.

TMP link

Cacique Caribe14 Sep 2014 8:52 p.m. PST

That's unbelievable work! Definitely inspiring.


Brooklyn Wargamer15 Sep 2014 4:58 p.m. PST


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