We've ranked many of the SFX lighting kits based on the available effects of each. The rankings have little to do with difficulty level. Instead, they are designed to help the modeler choose which effects and features are desired for their build. Use this guide to help your in choosing the kit that's right for your build.
Admiral Series - Loaded with as many screen-accurate effects and cool features as we can fit into the kit! The Admiral Series is generally reserved for large-scale models (though many can fit smaller scales) and will contain expansive "luxury" features such as sound and, when available, remote control and multiple interactive modes. These kits are recommended for intermediate to advanced builders familiar with installing electronics in their models.
Captain Series/SFX - ***UPGRADE*** The vast majority of our Captain Series line boards require the purchase of the Commander series to get all the features for a particular ship. (They will say "UPGRADE" on the product listing. If it does not say "UPGRADE," it is a self-contained board that doesn't require a separate purchase) This series of boards is designed to add features such as warp effects, weapons, sound functions, and other interactive features to the Commander series to increase your build's "cool factor" exponentially! While they can function as a stand-alone board and don't technically require the Commander Series boards to work and can be used as a modular combination with other boards, such as a Nav/Form board, they are designed to "complete" the Commander Series for a truly amazing model.
Commander Series - Screen-accurate look and functions but without the sound. The Commander series is basically the Lieutenant Series with more features. Recommended for builders who have some working knowledge of electronics, though suitable for beginners. A perfect option for those wanting the on-screen look with some interactive features at a very reasonable price.
Lieutenant Series - An "in-betweener" kit designed to look right. These kits are generally best for 1:1000 scale Trek kits and above and are designed for the modeler on a budget. Many contain an interactive button or automated effect features as well. Recommended for beginner to advanced builders. These boards may run at a lower voltage, so be aware that LED strips may not be usable with them for interior lights.
Ensign Series - Designed for a limited budget, but still accurate blink timing and limited automated effects. These boards will still make your model look fantastic! Recommended for beginner to advanced builders.
BEMS Modular Series - These boards are designed for creating your own effects package. These boards will work as stand-alone boards or in concert with one another to add as many or as few effects as you want! Perfect for custom kit desgin, kit-bashing, and scratch building! Recommended for intermediate to advanced builders.