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Everything posted by opus999

  1. I've got one of these in similar condition after my parents' cat knocked it down a few years ago. I never quite get around to working on it because I read a tutorial in the January 1992 Fine Scale Modeler on how to make it more authentic, which seems like a lot of work, so I never get started. Plus I think I've lost one of the window inserts. The tutorial I read has you fill in the minor panel lines, and then provides templates to paint the "Aztek" tile pattern instead. I've recently found masks for the "Aztek" pattern for the 1:1000 polar lights version of this ship, so I'll bet they're available for the 1:537 AMT Enterprise. Well, whatever route you take, I'll be interested to follow along. It's a big, beautiful model and will probably look great when you're finished!
  2. You did nice work on those exhaust bumps. It is irritating that they have to be added. Testors molded them right in to the cowling (back in the day) and just provided extra cowls for different versions. I assume that making you add the exhausts is a way for Airfix to save a buck by not molding different cowls.
  3. That is really nice looking. I like the unusual camo colors. Can't wait to see this one finished.
  4. That is really sharp looking! Can't even tell it had been through so much during the build. Nice save on all the surprises thrown your way!
  5. Man, that is a terrible shame! Maybe you can't fix it, but perhaps there's something else you could do with it (like a diorama)? It took me almost a year to calm down about my Enterprise to get back to it.
  6. Thank you sir! I have to agree with you about the "JJ-prise". Not my favorite. I was just a little jealous when I gave this to my friend... it looked so good sitting on my shelf! Over the last 5 or 6 years I've collected all the after market parts and decals to make my own accurate-as-possible 1:650 AMT Enterprise (the "Lexington", actually). When this was done, I wasn't sure if I wanted to jump right into it or swear I'd never do another AMT kit again...
  7. I love that camouflage! The mods are brilliant too. Nice work.
  8. Well, it may not be authentic to the movie, but it still looks great!
  9. That looks nice in green! I really like the engine pod that's a different color.
  10. Thank you! I think I managed to pull it from the jaws of defeat...
  11. USS Enterprise | Constitution Class | 1:650 I built this as a Christmas present for my closest friend. We watched Star Trek together throughout college and I figured he'd like a nice presentation model of the original Enterprise. I was building it to give it to him last Christmas, but ran out of time. Then had a cat knock it off the table after the decals were finished and bust it up pretty good. I dug it out around Thanksgiving time to finish for this Christmas, which included a lot of repair work. WIP (with the whole sordid story) is here. The old AMT kit is not the best. It is not accurate, and so I made some changes, and fabricated some of my own parts, notably the bridge and the connector pieces on the bottom of the nacelles behind the Bussard collectors. I also bought some after market parts (navigation lights and planetary sensor). The AMT kit is also bad for fit, and there was a lot of sanding and filling to get it to look right. The decals that came with this particular kit (a 2 in 1 kit along with the Polar Lights 1:1000 Enterprise) were accurate, unlike the old boxings of AMT's Enterprise. They were, however, terrible: stiff, easily broken and tons of silvering despite a glossy finish. Paints: (applied from base coat to surface): Mr Surfacer 1500 black as a primer > Testors Enamel FS36440 (Flat Gull Gray) marble coat > Testors Enamel Black preshading > Testors Enamel FS36440 top coat > Testors Enamel Dark Ghost Gray (FS36320) / Testors Enamel Gunship Gray (FS36118) / Testors Enamel Chrome Silver for details > Alclad Aqua Gloss (3 coats) > Decals > Testors Spray Lacquer Semi-Gloss clear coat (decanted) Some paint colors were modified at the end after I read the Cult TV Man painting guide, which is an article well worth reading. The pictures are not the best; I'm set up for 1/72 scale WWII fighters, not large starships, so I don't have enough lights to take the pictures I want to of this model. It will have to do. Thanks for looking! Comments, questions or constructive criticism always welcome!
  12. Dennis, this is really great! I didn't realize you did Sci Fi models too. This is a beauty. Pretty good size too.
  13. That is really inventive! Nice kitbashing.
  14. Well, not my best work, photography-wise, but it will have to do. I'll get an RFI up soon, but now we're off to dinner...
  15. Got the last details on! Lots of navigation lights: Planetary sensor: ...and the navigational deflector (notice the nav. light on the bottom of the secondary hull, too) So I'm declaring this one done! I'll have an RFI up just as soon as I figure out how to best take photos of it.
  16. Down to the wire! Due date is tomorrow morning... Luckily, I'm at the little details stage. Yesterday I made some changes based on the article I posted previously. I painted this impulse engine doo-dad Testors Gunship Gray by hand: And painted the turbo lift darker. I didn't follow the recommended color mix (because I was too lazy to dig it up again), but instead did a 50:50 mix of Testors Gull Gray (FS36440) and Testors Olive Drab (FS34087). It came out a little lighter than the pictures of the Model in the Smithsonian look, but it will do. I also airbrushed the impulse engines with Testors Gunship gray and then masked and painted black on the exhaust openings: I used a wash of black watercolor and water, with a tiny drop of soap on the various warp engine pieces I'd gloss coated this week. I wanted to highlight all of the detail. It didn't come out quite the way I wanted, but it's passable. I then assembled the warp engines (except for the Bussard Collectors) using gel superglue. Once those were assembled, I went over all of the sub-assemblies with decanted Testors Semi-Gloss clear. It put the perfect sheen on everything: When I was done with that, I used MIcro Krystal Klear to attach the Bussard Collectors to the warp engines, and set those aside to dry. I shifted to the stand at that point. I hand painted flat black on the insignia. The insignia was the stand to the 1:1000 polar lights enterprise, but I don't use the stand that came with that kit because it is so flimsy. So I have some of these insignia left over. I puttied the opening in the center that the upright part of the stand connects to, then airbrushed it with Testors Gold, cut with mr. leveling thinner. I probably did this last January. I didn't paint the corner because that's where I was holding it, and it should only take a second to touch that up today: All that was left after that was to put all the sub assemblies together. I started with the primary and secondary hull. Because of the leverage the saucer has on that join, I figured Epoxy would be the best way to attach it. It was very hard to get the saucer lined up at a right angle with the pylon as the tab and slot that join the two together have a lot of play in them. I don't know how I did this as a kid! On top of that, there was really no way I could think of to secure it for drying (e.g., clamps or something), so I just held it with my hands. For 45 minutes. But at that point it was set up that I was reasonably comfortable that it wouldn't get out of alignment. I put together a jig of sorts with paint bottles and boxes that would keep it from moving (I should've taken a picture). Since the tabs on the warp engine pylons fit into deep pockets in the secondary hull, and the warp engines are not that heavy, there is not a lot of strain on the joins, so I used gel superglue to attach those. This morning I test fit it on the stand. It looks really cool -- I'm quite jealous. All that's left to do is some touch-up with the semi gloss, attach the impulse engines, navigational deflector and planetary sensor, and then put on all the little lights. I'm a little apprehensive about the lights because they are so small and I'm not sure how to handle them. The other challenge is figuring out how to take RFI pictures since it is too big for my usual back drop and desk lights.
  17. The holiday schedule madness continues at our house, so I only had one night free since I last posted. On the nights I wasn't free, I had 5 or 10 minutes and used those to put a clear coat on the engine pieces and to finish painting a couple of the engine pieces: The two on the bottom of the above picture were painted with my light gray mixture, with dark ghost gray in the center and the gull gray on the left. The night I had free, I worked on the stand. Last weekend, I painted the stand with gloss black Krylon; both the wood base, and the copper rod. On Wednesday night I drilled a hole in the base, press fit the rod in and then mixed up the 2 part pourable resin. Now, my friends, that stuff is a mess to work with. Plus it is one of the worst smells I know of. But the result speaks for itself: That's got me thinking about all my stands, past present and future. If you go this route for stands, use gloves and put in a well ventilated area. I didn't use gloves because I was going to be careful and not get it on my hands,,,, until I did... . The resin comes off easily with solvents, but the smell lingers on your fingers for 48 hours. Yesterday I was able to put my fabricated pieces on the warp engines. They look so much better than the other ones. I'm glad I got that figured out. Tonight is our big party with our circle of friends, which means a morning's worth of clean up tomorrow (at least). Even though I have 3 more days until I give this to my friend, I kind of feel like I'm running short on time.
  18. I briefly used acrylics with an airbrush and found they worked much better when I got vallejo drying retardant. It kept the airbrush from clogging, the tip from drying and improved the smoothness of the finish. Personally I loathe acrylics -- I use the Gunze lacquers and have found Hataka's lacquers to be superb. The finish looks fantastic, BTW!
  19. Alright! Got some things fixed and made some progress! First off, to prep for painting the impulse engines the correct color, I wanted to remove the decal, just in case it gave me trouble later. So after a few rounds of burnishing tape on the surface and ripping it off, I had this: Repainting those should be fairly easy. Next I set about to fix my fabricated parts. Originally I had glued two layers of my thickest sheet styrine together. This time I decided to use just one. As with last time, I was going to put 0.5mm half rounds on the sides to account for the curvature of the engine. So with these: I was going to make these: The first one went together OK, but after that it went all down hill. Not only is it hard to sand something rectangular without rounding the edges, but I just didn't like how it looked still. Aggravated, I marched upstairs and loaded the dishwasher and thought about it. I was trying to think of something I could use that would have the right curvature to fit over that engine. Funny how things work out -- yesterday I took a break and looked at the other Star Trek models in my stash. Including my 1:650 AMT Enterprise that I plan to make as accurate as possible someday. I bought it on ebay 7 or 8 years ago, but never looked at it too closely until yesterday. That's when I noticed that the parts for both engines had been heated (looks like it was over a candle or something) and were very warped. Bad enough that I can't fix it. Well, it occurred to me today that those engine parts could be cut to size and have the right curvature to replace my fabricated pieces! So out came the razor saw and after some careful measuring, cutting and a little sanding I had some very nice looking pieces! Which after black basing and painting ended up like this (By the way, the beveling on one end is about 45 degrees and on the other end is more like 30 degrees, that's why they don't all look the same): I am very happy with these!! I couldn't have given this to my friend with the other ones. They were just too terrible. See how much better the new ones are? After that I set out to correct the "Light Gray" issue. In the end, I used 5 parts light gray (FS35495), 4 parts duck egg blue and 1 part white. That matched what was on my monitor. I started spraying and realized that I had forgotten to fabricate some other pieces that AMT forgot. Out came my thickest sheet styrene again, and a little cutting sanding and gluing and these doo-dads looked more correct than before: I finished painting all of the light-colored pieces: The ones on the left will need two more colors added to them, but the ones on the right are done. I plan to gloss coat them and put a wash on them to bring out some of the details. The light color looks about right against the hull color now: I won't have time for anything else tonight, but I feel like I'm gettin' close! And solved a bunch of my problems too!
  20. Slow day yesterday -- didn't get a lot done. I focused mainly on the stand because I'll need it before final assembly. I sprayed a pre-cut, ornamental piece of wood black. I also sprayed a rod with the same paint. My wife suggested using pourable resin to create a smooth, glossy surface on the wood, so I went and braved the holiday crowds to find the stuff. The other thing that tripped me up a bit yesterday was finding a very informative article detailing the colors that were discovered in the Smithsonian's restoration of the original filming model and an attempt to translate those to colors for modelers to use. If you haven't seen it it is here: https://culttvman.com/main/a-modelers-guide-to-painting-the-starship-enterprise-by-gary-kerr/ It includes high resolution computer model based orthographic views pointing out where each color goes. it made me realize that there were a few parts I need to re-paint to get the color right. The most glaring error on my part is the dark ghost gray on the bottom of the warp nacelles just behind the Bussard collectors. That color should actually be a slightly darker Gull gray. That's one I can't fix because of the decals in the way. The other things that aren't right are the engine details, which, luckily, I haven't put on yet. On the bright side, the other colors I am using are pretty darn close to the real thing, which makes me happy. I followed the color guide in the polar lights 1:1000 Enterprise kit, so I guess they did their homework. I touched up the bridge, because there was a big scratch in the white paint. That went reasonably well. Then I tried to cut a mask with my circle cutter to paint the planetary sensor. That didn't go well at all. First, because of the dome shape, it didn't want to stay circular and second, one of the times I pulled the tape off, it pulled a big wad of paint off. Grrr..... Which leads me to a slightly off topic rant -- How on earth can I get paint to stick to resin?? I had a bad problem with my USS Courageous model and found that if I sanded it, the paint stuck much better. Except... this planetary sensor is impossible to sand because of all the little details. I'll need to figure it out at some point because I have a bucket-load of resin aftermarket parts for my own 1:650 classic Enterprise model I plan to do sometime soon. OK... end rant So anyway, I used my fingernail to clean the planetary sensor off. I sanded it as best I could and repainted it. This time I decided to spray the white and pearl coat first, and the planned to hand paint the gull gray around the outside. It turned out reasonably well. It's not perfect where the white and gull gray meet, but I think it's only noticeable when someone wears magnifying lenses. Next up was trying to get the warp nacelles assembled. I put on the parts I fabricated. I wasn't crazy about them, but figured they were passable. Well, I glued them on and they look huge. So, now I need to decide what to do about that. I figured it was best to let that cool off and look at it with fresh eyes later. I decided I would paint the engine detail parts that needed new color. I have to say that the orthographic views in the article I posted above seemed to have the color correct when I look at their recommended mixtures and compare them to the views. So, the engine parts on top, toward the back are a light gray, almost exactly a Light Gray (FS36495). It had a complicated, 4 paint mixture, but I followed it and painted my parts. And... they didn't look right. They look too blue and too dark when compared to the orthographic view. What's more, they don't look all that different from the Dark Ghost Gray parts of the Enterprise. So, I guess I will be repainting those with Light Gray FS36495. Maybe with a touch of something blue-ish, since that's how they appear in the article. *Sigh*. And on top of it, the 2nd coat of paint on the stand got borked up somehow so it is all wrinkly. I'm just not sure if it will be noticeable or not with the pourable resin, but I think I may sand it anyway, just in case. So I am way behind where I thought I would be at this point in the weekend. I need to sit and do some thinking about how to resolve some of the problems that have cropped up, but I'm sure there's a solution.
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