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After 13 weeks of pledging to the Imperial Princess, I finally got enough merits to buy the Prismatic Shield Generators. The quickest way to get Merits for non combat roles is to have a spare 7.5 million CR and just buy pamphlets from the Imperial Princess. You don't need to wait for it to refresh, just spend the 100,000 CR to buy 10 at a time. After spending an eternity buying 7.5 million CR worth of the stuff, truck it to the closest system that's the target of her campaign (look at the Powerplay screen). When you have enough merits for Rank 3, it'll tick over at the end of the week, then you can go to any station in the universe to pick up your faction/rank specific equipment. Go to a station controlled by Li Yong-Rui and all equipment is 15% off.
I picked up 1x Class 8A, 1x Class 7A and 2x Class 6A Prismatic Shield Generators. The Class 8 generator on its own cost me about 200 million CR. It would have been more if I was lazy. The only ships in my fleet that will take the Class 8 slot is the Imperial Cutter (my flagship) and the Type 9 Freighter. The Federal Corvette will only accept up to the Class 7, and most of my other combat ships can't make use of Prismatic Shield Generators without heavy engineering, so no point getting spare shields. Plus I don't do any PVP, so the normal Bi-Weave shields should be sufficient for PVE battles.