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Revell Enterprise NCC1701 (TOS) - My First Model

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Hi all,
I've been here a few weeks now and though it was about time I showed you what I'm up to.


I've very fond memories of watching Star Trek (TOS) as a kid in the 80's with my dad and my brother and it's one of the few things that has really stuck with me through changing times. The Enterprise itself I find mesmerising, it's graceful and each part of the ship has a clear purpose, a design classic and I love it. My favourite itteration has to be the refit, which I hope to build at some point in the future :)


So, I got in to modelling because I wanted a decent model Enterprise, I've had a few very small die-cast models but they are always lacking something. I found the Revell kit online and decided that I'd build my own, LED lights and all. Now I've well and truly got the modelling bug, I've bought the Star Trek Starship Voyager for my next model, I've built a small Star Destroyer and plan to build models from Battlestar and other Star Trek models :)


Here's some photos that I took while building my Enterprise, I wasnt originally planning on posting them online but then I found this place, so here it goes!




1. What a great start, I ruined my first model!

I wanted to light my model with LEDs, so it had to be light-proofed. So the insides of the model had a coat of adhesion promoter, followed by black, then a silver or while coat would be painted to make it reflective. I was watching lots of Boyd's Trekworks Youtube videos for info and he used a heat gun on a gentle heat to aid the drying process.... I'll never do that again, my model melted :(


You can see the plastic deformation from the heat in this image. It also shows my initial plan for lighting, which was to cover all windows with grease-proof paper, which diffuses the light, then placing LED's around the ship to light them up.




2. Saucer section interior is about ready

So after buys a replacement model I started again, with a few important lessons learned :)

This image shows the insides of the saucer section, painted and with the windows covered.  I used 'Revell Contacta Liquid Special' to glue the clear windows in place, and to glue the greese-proof paper in place.




The secondary hull, again with the inside prepared for lighting, it's had a black coat followed by a light coat to refelct the light.

By this time I'd also started experimenting with LEDs, the breadboard in this photo had a 555 Timer chip and a 4017 Decade counter, they'll be used for the rotating lights of the Warp Nacells and the blinking navigation lights.




4.Let there be light!

Not sure of the best positioning and arrangement of LEDs I just dove in with something that looked like it would give good coverage. I know some people use fewer but brighter LEDs, and some use LED tape/strips, which I might look at using in the future. Each LED has a resistor attached, and they're all in parallel, so if one should fail the others will continue to work.



5. Glue.

After lighting the secondary hull in a similar way I was ready to glue a few parts together. Which I was pretty worried about as I considered it opportunity to ruin yet another model. I used Revel Contacta Professional glue and found my fears were unfounded, thankfully :)




6. Circuits

To light this model I would need to build some circuits to handle the navigation lights and the rotating buzzard collector effects. So I bought the relevant gear from Maplin (I now use RS instead) and designed a few circuits in Pad2Pad, which is excellent free circuit design software.


The first completed circuit was for the navigation lights, I was initially planning to put it inside the model but then decided I would fit it in the stand instead.



7. Warp Nacell Test #1

You saw my breadboard with a few components in an earlier photo. This is basically how the Buzzard Collector effect works on my model, The red, orange and green LEDs are aranged in a circle and give the impression of rotation.


8.Warp Nacell Circuit fitting

After designing my Warp Nacell circuit in Pad2Pad, I printed it off, cut it out and placed it in it's intended final position to make sure it would fit.

The circular plastic piece has holes drilled in it to receive the LEDs, 12 of them (for a single Nacell).



9. Assembled Warp Nacell Board

After building the warp nacell board I fit it in place. Now you can also see how the LEDs sit. It's a pretty tight space so I was pleased that everything went in with no problems :)


In the video below, the middle light isnt connected to any power, it will eventually be 'always-on' to provide a steady red glow.

The camera doesnt really do the below any justice.


10. Closed up my first Warp Necell - and made my second big mistake :(

It's amazing isnt it that you can do something, then the instant you finish you realise you've done it wrong. I guess it's not really that big a deal, the model isn't completely accurate anyway and I'd already decided that I would'nt worry about that this time. But this mistake was easily avoidably, yet at the crutial point I... put the wrong circuit in the wrong nacell, so the buzzard collectors now spin in the wrong direction. Only a Trek fan would notice, but it's annoying all the same. Still, after much grumpiness I think I can live with it.



11. Connecting the Pylons and the Seconday Hull.

I'd already glued the warp nacells to the support pylons and let those set, I'd also done some work on removing the seams on all the parts glued so far. Now it was time to connect the wiring up and glue them to the secondary hull.




With the wiring connected and the pylons glued on to the secondary hull, it looked like the area would be under a fair bit of stress, so I stuck a clamp in place to hold things together while they set.



12. Windows, I hate Windows

I bought some masking fluid so that I could mask the windows, but found it to be far to imprecise and the results (of tests I did on my melted saucer section) were pretty messy. So after getting some advice right here on Britmodeller (thanks guys, you know who you are) I settled on masking the windows with masking tape. I used a scalpal to cut small rectangles working on one at a time. It took ages.


I have used the masking fluid on a few of the larger clear pieces, but I'm still not impressed with the result, maybe I just need more practice with it!




13. All Masked, Time for the Primer

With all the clear parts masked I bought myself a 'lazy suzan' and gave the entire ship a coat of Hycote Adhesion Promoter and then a nice coat of Hycote grey primer. No way was I going anywhere near this thing with a heat gun ;) The wires you see here will eventually be fed through the stand in to the base. I found the Hycote cans give excellent fast coverage, pretty cheep too.




14. Base Color

With the primer dry it was time to start mixing colours (as per the model instructions) and giving it some proper color. I used a 'Sparmax Arism Mini' Airbrush to spray the model, with Revel Aqua Color paints. I found that thinning the paint 2-parts paint to 1-part thinner worked pretty well. I'd aslo sprayed the deflector dish, I love that copper colour :) and started giving the warp nacell and impulse engines some colour.




I was having trouble cutting the masking tape perfectly to cover the inside of the impulse engines, so decided to try the masking fluid. The result was not great but I think It'll look fine if I touch it up with a brush.



So, that's my model so far. It's the first model I've ever build and while I've found it quite challenging I've really enjoyed it and plan to do many more in the future. I'll post more photos and videos as I make more progress.

And thanks to everyone here for accepting me in to the site and giving me some great tips!





Edited by SteveR
Added box art image, updated tags.

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So far so good. My first model (also the TOS Enterprise, but coincidence) looked like a puddle of puke, and I wouldn't have dared try lighting it. This one's gonna be good!

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Looking good Steve. Sorry to read about the problems you had. All I learning experience i guess.


Any chance you could share you circuit diagram for the spinners? I'm looking at doing the same thing for my 'Into Darkness' build that i'll be starting shortly. Just waiting for supplies to arrive.



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Thanks guys :)


Today I finished the majority of the painting! I still need to do a thick white line down the middle of the warp nacelles (inside the blue areas). For some of the more tricky/hard-to-mask bits, like the fins and the very ends of the nacelles I used a brush instead of my airbrush, which still gave a pretty nice finish.


You can also see that I removed the masking from the windows, even though the masking tape I cut didn't fit any of the perfectly, I was really surprised at how well they turned out :)




@podmore71 I'll upload the Pad2Pad file, a bitmap image (which I printed on tracing paper before using that in etching the PCB etc) and a text file with the resistor and capacitor values I used. I'm pretty happy with the result I got, but you may want to tweak things or play about with it. I'll see if I also have the same files for my navigation light timer too (which I'm putting in the base). I'll post here again soon when it's all uploaded/available. :)


I don't know how familiar you are with the whole process, I learned mostly by watching YouTube videos but I'm happy to offer help if I can!


Edited by SteveR

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Here you go @podmore71,




Note that these are the first circuits I've ever designed and built and there's lots of room for improvement! The Warp Nacelle circuits fit in the model's nacelles , the navigation lights circuit will fit in the saucer section, but I chose to put it in the base instead.


**Please use this as a way to get the gist of what I did, please check your resistor values, power supply etc etc carefully and do plenty of tests. I found a breadboard invaluable testing things out and would highly recommend one!**


Download NCC1701_Circuits.zip


The zip here contains two folders, 'NavigationLights' and 'WarpNacelle'. Both contain Pad2Pad project files you can edit, as well as the BMP images I used to print the circuits in order to apply to single sided photosensitive boards. The 'WarpNacelle' folder also contains a text file with some important and useful info.


Use these at your own risk, do lots of testing and be careful!

I hope you find them useful :)

Edited by SteveR

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Steve I can't believe this is your first model, your workmanship is exquisite. 


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Thanks @S5 modeller, but I think you're being a bit kind :)


I'm looking forward to doing some models that require more skill, not in the building necessarily, but in the painting. I'd like to learn some weathering techniques, some of the finished models I've seen here on Britmodeller are just amazing! I hope I can learn a lot from you guys :) 


But, for my first model I've learned a lot and I'm very happy with it. I think weathering etc this time around might be pushing it a bit far. My next model will be a 'Revell Klingon D7 Battle Cruiser 1:600', which I've already ordered. I plan to light that one as well. I'm not sure yet but I might try a bit of weathering on it as well. Gotta start somewhere!

Edited by SteveR

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I'm with you on that. So far all the kits I've built have factory fresh paint jobs. Been too scared to try weathering myself.

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Love it, and a great way to start modelling if there ever was one! Congrats.


About the warped saucer part, contact Revell. Most model companies will assist in replacing a lost or damaged parts. It may cost a couple bucks, but if you get a replacement, then you have another full Enterprise kit to play with. Or bash with!

Edited by Thom216

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Great work on the kit so far and the lighting is fantastic.


Couple of suggestions for next time.

To diffuse the light through windows you can rub the inside face with a sanding stick to frost it then apply a coat of matt varnish, also on the older Sci-Fi (1960's & 70's) the interior lighting was a warmer white rather than the harsh cool white, you can get warm white LEDs and there are now strip LEDs that operate at 5V which are great for filling large areas.

Have a look at Kynar wrapping wire, its single core and about 0.8mm in diameter, much easier to work with in tight places!

Finally have a look at Arduino programming, its relatively easy to pick up and will condense your control boards, I use a single 8 pin chip to control the buzzards and a second one for the navigation lights.





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@Thom216 These models are comparitively cheap anyway (£20-£30), if it was an expensive one I'd definately try. But it's good to know that that's an option, I'll remember in future if I have similar disasters :) Thanks


@Madmonk Nice tips :) I used the much thinner 'Maplin 10/0.1mm Stranded Copper AWG 10/38 0.5 Amp Light Duty Wire' for the warp nacelles, there are only two wires running up each pylon though, a positive and a negative and I found that the thicker wire would have required me to cut away more supporting plastic from the pylon to make them fit. A thinner single core wire would have been even better for the wiring from the nacelle board to the 12 LEDs in the buzzard though, I'll see if I can get some for my next project!


I frosted the outside of the clear dome on the warp nacelles, and the top and bottom clear domes of the saucer section with a sanding stick and wasnt 100% happy with the results (I am fussy though), but they look fine when the lights are on, I guess that's just a case of practice makes perfect. I will do as you suggest for windows in future though, as I'm worried about the greese-proof paper changing colour with age and maybe even dropping off one day :o


Before I started building the model I was planning to use a Raspberry Pie to add sounds (on button presses), music and to control the lighting but I dialed it all back as it was my first project. I actually had a lot of it working, so I'll definately research the Arduino options in the future. Though for now, I've designed my flashing and chaser boards, which are reusable for lots of similar projects, and only have to build them (which is pretty easy and fun) I probably won't rush in to it.


Thanks for the great feedback guys, lots for me to take in :)

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Nice work with the model and lighting Steve.

I have the very same model sat waiting to be built and you have pretty much done what I am wanting to do to my model.


I was going to use mine as way back into modelling after a break of many years & to get my hand in before I start on my Space 1999 eagle model.

Didn't quite goto plan as I have been helping my daughter, she is 14, with her Voyager kit that she got for Christmas.


I really must make a start on the Enterprise sooner rather than later.

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@eureka, I've seen some excellent Space 1999 Eagle builds/works in progress on here, I loved that show as a kid so I looked at buying one... how much?!! I think I'll look at buying one when I'm a bit more flush and a lot more experienced :) I also have the Revell Voyager kit sitting on my shelf waiting to be built, but as I plan to light that one too I will need to cut out a lot of the windows, so I've put it off for now, the Klingon D7 Battle Cruiser is next!


PS. I wish I'd discovered modelling in my teens like your daughter, and not at 43!

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That's awesome progress so far for your first model, looking at what you have done so far, id swear you'd been modelling for years.


Ive been using Revell Liquid Contacta for years & haven't had a problem.


Just be carefull when using the contacta when it comes to clear parts, it can fog them up when dry.


I too follow TrekWorks (Boyd) on YT, his builds are class, also check out Quaralane (Patrick) on YT.


Some of Patrick's Sci-Fi builds are simply breath-taking with the detail he puts in.


Revell's Voyager is a good build (done one myself), along with a few Battlestar kits too.


Looking forward to seeing some of your future builds, along with this one.





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I decided that I really didnt like the light blue for inside details of the nacelles (as directed by the model instructions), so I went online and tried to find something I liked. It seems like almost everyone does it differently! I settled on something similar to the Smithsonian restored Enterprise, which I know has all kinds of inacuracies as well, but as I'd already decided that I wouldnt worry about that, I just went with something similar to it. This is the end result :)




I'm close to giving it a clear gloss coat, then adding the decals! The end is in sight!

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I gave my model a coat of acrylic clear varnish yesterday, so I'm starting on the decals today! I'll post photos later hopefully so you can see my success/failure :)


@podmore71, I don't know if you've noticed but it looks like @Madmonk is an expert with lighting and sells lighting kits for all kinds of models! See his signature (^above) for a link/details. If you're not too far down the line of doing it yourself and want/prefer an easier option it might be worth getting a ready made kit. Just a thought.

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So this weekend I've added the decals, and done a final coat of clear acrylic varnish.



The stand is painted and the I've taken the masking off the buzzard collectors!




And here it is on it's stand (with a black blanket for a background)...



So, I still need to build a box for all this to stand on, it'll house the navigation light board and connection to the power supply. That'll be something for next weekend.


Putting the blanket to one side and connecting up the electics it looks like...






So, not quite finished yet. I'll post a couple of images of my base as a work in progress here, then finish off with a some photos and a video in the 'Ready for Inspection - SF & RealSpace' :)


Thanks for all the help, tips etc so far!






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Most odd. I thought I'd posted photos of the finished model in the 'ready for inspection' forum, but it seems I haven't. I will try and do it soon!

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On 30/08/2017 at 5:01 PM, dasabaja said:

Hull color is a mix of Revell Aqua colors as the instruction manual stated?

Hey, dasabaja, sorry for the delay getting back to you.
Yes, I stuck to the instruction manual for everything except the light blue color for inside details of the nacelles.

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On 30/08/2017 at 5:39 PM, MikeR said:

Looks good!



Thanks Mike, I'm very happy with it. I've will definately continue modelling. In fact I'm part way through a Revell Klingon D7 :)


I've posted a few final photos and a video in the 'Ready for Inspection' forum... finally!



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