"Plus-ing" the sign
When I originally installed the sign for my project, I did it in a rush. The party that I was trying to get the project done and open for was only in a few hours and I simply didn't have the time to put it in properly. I simply took the fluorescent fixture that would backlight it and screwed it directly into the plywood below. I hot-glued the plexiglas sign to the edges of the fixture and masked the light leaks around it with black electrical tape. I later painted the plywood with a blue to try to mask the texture, but it didn't do much.
The sign looked alright when I did it, but I wanted to clean it up and make it better this time around. And for safety reasons, I want it to be as close to the plywood as possible, so that it doesn't snag any clothing or for the sign's safety, not get broken. To do this, I cut a hole directly into the plywood for the light and into the scene behind it (the one with the blacklight Nautilus cruising). To ease the installment of the light fixture, I removed the scene so I can access the wall. That scene also had developed a leak in the bubble water box so the removing of that temporarily for maintenance made putting the sign in easier.
Here's the plywood wall on the outside with the light fixture now recessed into it. You can see the blue painted around it for a quick (and unsuccessful) fix for the plywood texture.
From there, I smoothed out the plywood and areas around the light fixture with joint compound, and when it was dry I gave it a sanding.
At that point, the entire outside of the table was different colors and different materials. The entire thing was given a coat of paint to make it monochromatic with a neutral color. It looks a lot more streamlined.
Around the light fixture I airbrushed a sort of "glowing Nautilus"; this is to give the sign a glowing look even when the sign isn't on, and when it is, help accentuate the lighting. Since the shot below was taken, I redid it so it was a little more subtle.
Then I drilled some holes in the plywood and bolted the sign on (it has bolts epoxy-ed to it from the back).
Here's the finished sign installed during normal daytime lighting. It just got polished and cleaned so it's reflecting all the clutter on my desk!
With the fluorescent bulb turned on...
And at night:
Now the sign only sticks out about 3/8", rather than 1 1/2" which makes it less susceptible to damage. And it looks much cleaner than before.
I hoping for the final video through the table to be done by Saturday.