ok so I am pretty happy with my work on the top of the carousel and I have put it to one side to start on the body now. I drilled 96 holes in the top for the leds to go into or rather the leads of the leds will go through leaving the leds totally proud and made some trim pieces to go on each of the corners. I have drilled 8 holes in each and glued leds into those as well. in total it will have 192 leds by the time I have finished.
I have decided to use a arduino mega to control the carousel as it allows me to have 48 outputs for the lights leaving me with a couple to control speed and maybe music too. The main thing I cant decide is if I should have 48 sets of 4 lights which will allow me to control all the way around the carousel but limit the effects possible a little or 48 set of 2 lights and just have the lights on 3 of the sides mimic the lights on the controlled side which will allow for better lighting effects
all assuming I can hack together enough code to do all I want to do.