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  1. Hi all! Here's my next project The Enterprise refit is one of my favourites. I'm not getting any of the after-market parts / no photo-etch parts, no aztecs decals etc and I'm not painting with pearlescent paints. But none of that really bother me. Sure it'd be nice but I'm on a budget and I plan to light it. I've had this model sitting in a pile in the corner of the room for years now, and I feel that I need to do one more big project like this, and possibly a few smaller ones before I tackle my price possession... the Polar Lights TOS Enterprise, 1:350 scale. So here we go! So, off to an interesting start. Getting the parts out of the box and looking at the saucer section, the window areas are completely cut out and need to be glued in and seams removed. Anyone know why this is the case? Seems a very odd decision to provide the kit like this. It's not even as if there are a choice of parts available for different configurations. Most odd. Still, getting them in and hiding the seams should be no problem, I hope!
  2. 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! Cheers
  3. Hi all, starting a build log for my 1/1000 Enterprise model as depicted in Star Trek: Discovery. I know people have strong feelings (positive and negative) about the show, but I think most people agree this re-imagining of the original series Constitution class was firmly on the plus side. This kit was released from Polar Lights earlier this year and I think I grabbed the first one available at my local model store, along with the lighting kit. First thing first - the combo was pricey, and doesn't even include Aztec decals (which were released a couple months later for another $25). As I have no experience with lighting models or creating lighting circuits, it made sense to me to start with the lighting kit. Obviously you could put together a similar lighting setup for much cheaper if you know what you are doing. The difficult part would be sourcing motors that fit into the nacelle cavities for the spinning part of the bussard collects. For someone who just wants a lit Enterprise and doesn't want to deal with doing the math and designing circuits, soldering wires, or sourcing all the different materials, I think the lighting kit is reasonably priced. Either way I finally had time to start this thing last week, and I'm very excited with what I've already seen. It is a much different beast than the 1/1000 Enterprise Refit I built (as well as being much larger due to producers of the show changing the in-universe size of the ship). Some first pics: Not pictured is the round black base and brass rod to connect the base to the ship. Wonderful details, clear parts for all the windows, and as the kit is designed for lighting, wiring channels are built in. Another cool feature is that the pylons holding the warp engines are tabbed in such a way that there is low chance for misalignment of the pylons or engines, a common issue with other Star Trek kits from what I understand. The lighting kit has LEDS for the windows, bridge/sensor domes, warp and impulse engines. Through the use of clear parts, the "landing pad" of the shuttle bay back can also be lit up. Also included are small motors to spin the bussard collectors in the nacelles, and clear blue/red parts for the warp engines that replace the clear parts from the main box. Lastly is a circuit board for all the electronics to clip into, and that runs down the rod to a battery box that takes 3AAs. Sorry I didn't take photos inside this box, but you'll see them all during the build. Also pictured is the Aztec decal sheets as well as the photoetch set from Paragrafix. There are 3D printed bridges and other aftermarket resin parts available if you really want to pimp it out. I'm passing on the bridge because in theory the top dome is not a window that looks into the bridge, and not a detail I cared enough for. We begin! The instructions start with the nacelles and I started playing with the electronics in there, but a very important part when putting lights in models - light blocking! The idea being you don't want a hot spot of the light showing through the hull of your ship (unless you want to, which is an effect called Raytheon lighting which mimics the lighting of an area that can't physically be lit by a light source on the exterior of the model) Sprayed the insides with black, then white. I'm using a flat white instead of a glossy white or silver because I read it diffuses the light better inside, lessening the chance of hot spots. You can see the standoffs inside the saucer where the LEDs from the lighting kit are designed to be attached. And the inside of the warp nacelles - didn't need to spray white in the front end because that's where the motor housing will go: Think that's enough for a first post! Next I'll go into the work I've done on the engines, and my thought process on deciding to supplement the lighting kit with more LEDs. Thanks for reading! I'm still a relatively new modeler and would appreciate any feedback, comments, critiques, or questions as this project goes along.
  4. USS Enterprise NCC-1701A Refit (14021-1/1000 for Moebius) 1:1000 GreenStrawberry After losing Spock on the Genesis Planet at the end of the Wrath of Khan and getting him back in Search for Spock, the sneaky trick on the Klingons near the end of the film sees Kirk and co. leaving the bridge of the original refitted Enterprise for the last time just in time for it to blow up and take the deluded Klingons with it. Captain Kirk is a bit upset about that for obvious reasons, and they’re stuck flying a green Klingon Bird of Prey for most of the following Long Way Home movie, engaging in some time-travelling, whale kidnap and saving of the world once again. At the end of the movie, they get a new Enterprise as a thank you from a grateful earth, which they sail off into the black depths of space until the next film came calling, with many break-downs following a refit, and some chicanery from a group of baddies that frame Kirk for murder, at least temporarily. That’s a massive over-simplification of events, so if that doesn’t make any sense, just watch the films, some of which are better than others. The Kit Polar Lights kicked off a new series of Star Trek kits in the homogenous 1:1000 scale around the same time as Star Trek: Discovery reached our screens. This version of the Constitution Class Enterprise is available again as a reboxing, which also comes with some ‘damage’ decals for people wishing to depict the ship in a state of battle weariness. This set arrives in GreenStrawberry’s usual clear foil packaging with black card that has green and red branding, whilst inside are two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) separated by a sheet of black paper, a small printed sheet of self-adhesive paper, a thick chunk of card for protection, and the folded-up instruction sheets that are also doing some protective duties. Construction begins with removing a tiny raised light at the rear of the upper bridge, with a two-layer bulkhead added to the flat rear before it is joined to the lower. The lower section has a detail strip applied all around its middle, which includes vertical frames for the bridge windows at the rear, through which the simple insert that is made next will be seen. The floor of the insert is folded to create a bulkhead, and two additional short bulkhead sections are glued into grooves in the floor, and some half-thickness details are etched in the area nearest the windows. It is inserted from below and glued into position before it is placed in the centre of the saucer section. The lower surface of the saucer has two shuttered bays cut out to receive a pair of wedge-shaped inserts that are each folded up from four parts before they are slotted into place. These parts are identical to the Reliant set we reviewed recently. The impulse engine housing at the rear of the saucer section has the lower lip removed and a PE mesh insert fitted, with two more light fittings on the saucer nearby, and a PE spider placed over the dome-shaped Plasma Deflection Assembly just forward of the impulse engines. The similar-shaped Photon Torpedo housing at the base of the saucer ‘neck’ has a new insert made up from two main layers with additional bezels around the launch tubes. The central scanner array in the lower saucer has four PE skins added to the flat-fronted sections, while a trio of lights are added to the rim, and at the top of the neck a ribbed appliqué plate is glued to each side, butting up against the saucer. The edge of the saucer is decorated with new skins that have textured stripes and windows etched-in, with the ends shaped to fit around the Impulse Engine housing at the rear, and where the sections join at the sides, the left side is hidden by the application of the crew gangway over the top in a half-thickness socket. A circular hatch is installed at the bottom of both sides of the neck, with two more on the sides of the hull. The hull has a long, windowed section along the lower side with an arboretum stretching from side-to-side, and this is updated with a PE window frame part on each side, which will allow the interior to be seen. The arboretum itself is made up from a floor part that has pathways etched to half-height, and walls with etched-in fold lines that are bent up to support the roof section, onto which the sticker is fixed, giving the impression of lights and a blue cloudy sky, with the light portions having the PE etched away behind so that if you light the interior, it will show through the sticker. Two small curved skins are applied at the rear around the sides of the shuttle bay doors, with yet another little circular light added over the top. On the underside of the hull another pair of light fittings are glued onto the centreline - there are quite a few of these on the sheet. Moving to the warp nacelles, the kit inner nacelle sides have their striping removed, and the new PE replacements are glued into the recess instead, then at the rear the exhausts are inset with two new parts that make up a U-shape when complete. Yet another light fitting replaces the kit lumps at the rear of each of the nacelles. Conclusion Apart from some slight vagueness around the fitting of the arboretum (my kit is on its way, so I can’t peruse the parts together yet), this is another great set from GS with plenty of detail added to the base kit. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. USS Reliant NCC-1864 Later Version (14121-1/1000 for Polar Lights) 1:1000 GreenStrawberry KHAN!!!!!!!!! Yes, that’s him. He’s been Kirk’s nemesis for a while now, and during the 2nd Trek movie, he pinched the USS Reliant whose crew happened upon the remains of Khan’s people left on a horribly transformed planet that Kirk marooned them on some years earlier during the original series. The Reliant is primarily an exploration vessel of a different configuration to the Enterprise, consisting of a saucer section with underslung warp nacelles on each side, and a rather 80s spoiler at the rear that they call a Support Pylon. She sported some weapons for self-defence, as demonstrated during the climactic battle around the Genesis planet, where Khan came off worst thanks to a clever ruse on the part of the Federation crew that resulted in the destruction of the Reliant. The Kit Polar lights kicked off a new series of Star Trek kits in the homogenous 1:1000 scale around the same time as Star Trek: Discovery reached our screens. The Reliant is available in a couple of variants, one of which being the Khan edition, which also comes with some ‘damage’ decals for people wishing to depict the ship near the end of the film when the Enterprise has finished knocking it about. This set arrives in GreenStrawberry’s usual clear foil packaging with black card that has green and red branding, whilst inside are two frets of Photo-Etch (PE), a thick chunk of card for protection, and the folded-up instruction sheets that are also doing some protective duties. Construction starts with the upper saucer, which has the bridge windows removed to receive the new parts later. The bridge insert is first folded up into an L-shaped assembly with another part mated to a line on the interior wall and painted. Once complete, it is glued into the upper saucer from the inside, as shown in a later diagram. On the underside of the saucer there are a number of let-in sections toward the front, which are cut out from the kit along the panel lines, and have the inserts made from four parts that are folded up into a wedge-shaped assembly, then slipped into the apertures from the outside. A PE outer skin is added all around the bridge deck, curved around so that the window frames match the slot in the front where the bridge will be seen. If you’re minded, you could add some acetate sheet behind to give the impression of glazing. An additional pair of inserts are fitted into the areas above and below the bridge windows, and a number of circular PE parts are dotted around the underside of the saucer, and on the top side above the bridge, plus a few more to the edges of the saucer topside. The whole saucer edge is wrapped in PE skins that add extra striping detail and window cut-outs to the area, with a raised section at the aft-most ends, with two ladder-sections on the corners of the deformed sides. Underneath the saucer is a tapering front “wall” toward the rear of the area, and these too are fitted with skins added to the front, having windows and decorative striping etched-in, a motif that is carried on in sections around the rear of the shaped parts of the saucer under the pylon. Additional details are added to the sides of the pulse phaser cannons that are in the pylon sides after removing the vertical details, and these too get one each of those circular PE shapes, which could be formation lights. Possibly. Under the cannons a pair of triangular skins are applied to the front of the support pylons, then at the rear under the support, some moulded-in details are removed and replaced by new more detailed parts around the two shuttle bays, which themselves are surfaced and lined with new PE skins, including a texture on the door, and details around the entryways. In addition, a pair of overhead light fixtures hide the join between the ends of the strip. The auxiliary Navigation Deflector unit at the centre of the lower saucer have PE skins applied to the four ends, and in the centre of the support pylon the weapons pod is detailed with exhaust louvers, exterior panels and yet more of those round lights. The panels near the rear have a choice of two parts, so check your references, and while you have them out, check to see whether the circular Photon Control disc at the rear of the saucer has a set of fingers radiating out from a central circle, as this a included as an optional extra. If you are planning on modelling your Reliant during the Dominion War, there are two more formation lights (we’ll call them that), another set of fingers for the Lower Fusion Core dome, and striped inserts for each side of the warp nacelles, so take your pick! Conclusion Another gorgeous set from GS, and yet again it has cost me to pick up the kit to go with the set. The detail is excellent, and the parts are well-finessed to fit, while bringing a ton of extra detail to your model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Intrepid Class Sensor Array (15321-1/1000 & 15221-1/670 for Polar Lights & Revell) 1:1000 & 1:670 GreenStrawberry Star Trek Voyager was one of the early spin-offs from The Next Generation, and was rather successful, extending to seven series that spanned two millennia (1995-2001 in case you wondered). After departure from Deep Space 9 on their first mission, then being whipped far away from their home sector to the Delta Quadrant by the ‘Caretaker’ that following its death would see them travelling for a lifetime to reach home, they set off on the way back, meeting many friends and foes along the way, getting the occasional leap-frog to get them closer, and problems to set them back along the way. The Intrepid class was fortuitously designed for long missions, and was compact in size at roughly half the length of the then-current Enterprise with a relatively small crew of just over 140 souls under normal circumstances. It was technologically advanced, having variable geometry warp nacelles, an emergency medical hologram system, and many other fancy things to fit the storyline. The Kits The larger Revell kit is 1:670 or 1:677 if you believe Scalemates, and it has been around a long time now, since the mid 90s when the show first aired. It is a product of its time, so will welcome any upgrades that can be thrown at it, and you can see some of the other GS sets here, which covers pretty much the rest of the spaceframe. The Polar Lights kit is smaller at 1:1000 and was released in 2021 as part of a range of new range of Star Trek ships that also included the then-new Discovery with its weird mushroom powered propulsion system, that seems silly when you say it out loud. The main difference between the two sets relates to their size. There are the same number of parts in each set, and they both arrive in the same compact-sized black box with their usual green and red themed printing. Inside each box is a Ziploc bag of five grey resin casting blocks that contain twelve parts each set, plus a folded instruction sheet that acts as a damper to protect the contents during shipping and handling. The instructions are functionally identical, although they are laid out slightly differently between the two scales. The narrow, curved sensor arrays are set into the edges of the saucer section, and these require the possible deepening of removal of the blank backing plates behind the kit inserts and replacing them with the corresponding resin parts, along with two more on each side of the main hull, an inverted coffin-shaped array on the sloped front of the saucer, and a final trapezoid array at the back of the saucer where it blends into the hull. Each part is correctly shaped and contoured to fit the model, and improves on the kit details to make it a worthwhile exercise. 15221-1/670 for Revell 15321-1/1000 for Polar Lights Conclusion If you have either or both of the two kits and want to bump up the detail, these sets are just the ticket. The detail is to the usual high standard we’ve come to expect from GreenStrawberry, and that’s why they’re my favourite Sci-Fi upgrade company. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Hello all, It’s been a long road, but, after only a month into the build I finally finished my Polar lights 1/1000 NX-01 Enterprise from the Star Trek tv series Enterprise, this is my favourite Star Trek ship after the NCC-1701 Enterprise from the original series (I have the Revell 1/600 kit). This was the hardest kit I have ever built yet, the main problem with the kit was the fitting, though it didn’t require a large amount of putty I had to use a lot of clamps and plastic putty filler to fill in the gaps between the pieces (though there were some gaps I just couldn't fill without destroying too much detail), the nacelles were the hardest to build, they came in halves that when put together with the clear parts and buzzards, they don’t really fit correctly, and when gluing the nacelles to the main body, I had to cut of the pins which disrupted the assembly completely. On the other hand, the kits detailing is quite good; the decals are from Aztec and are also good though some of them are a little large and tend to break. This was my first ever attempt at a metal finish, I used Vallejo metal acrylic paint (duraluminum) with Vallejo black primer as a base coat and, for the gold parts I used Green Stuff acrylic metal colour (antique gold). The clear parts were painted with Tamiya and AK acrylic clear paints. I had a lot of ups and downs building this kit, but ultimately, I had fun and was pleased with how my metal finish turned out. I hope you like it, comments welcome!
  8. Inner Light Scale Model Lighting Scalectronics Lighting your model has been a growing interest in genres such as Science Fiction for quite a while now and it is slowly spreading to other genres too, as has been evidenced by the companies popping up offering solutions here at Britmodeller and in the wider world of modelling. They're always either custom-made for a particular installation or cobbled together using our electronic skills and generally speaking, once they're done that's it - You have no real way of changing them. You generally need to have at least some ability with coding if you want to depict any kind of lighting effect such as flashing, pulsing or the Knight-Rider/Cylon "wawww-wawww" effect too, and having had a brief go with some simple changes to an existing code snippet, it's not all that easy if you have no experience. What if there was a black box that has the flexibility so that you could hook up to pre-soldered lights, including options for fibre-optic/fibre guides, with a user-friendly interface that you could connect to and control from your desktop PC, tablet, laptop or even your phone? I think you know by now that there is, and that this is the subject of this review. It's called Inner Light, and it does all those things and more, thanks to the massive leaps in System-on-a-Chip (SoC) computers and the general miniaturisation of electronics that we have seen lately, driven heavily by the release of the Raspberry Pi (see the pic below) and various types of Arduino board. At the heart of the system is a Raspberry Pi 3A in a black case, which is a somewhat shrunk-down version of the new(ish) 3B, but still retains most of the power of the B, unlike the much smaller ZeroW, which probably couldn't hack it. In a slot under the board is a tiny MicroSD card with 16gb of storage space, which is pretty generous in size and of a good brand. There is a 5V Power Supply Unit (PSU) with a USB outlet and generous 2m USB extension cord, but you could replace this with a different length if you feel the need as it's a standard cord. The combined power/data cable plugs into the extension and pin 19 of the General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) header (noted with an arrow on my board in the picture above) that projects through a slot in the case, and your lights plug into the small 3-pin socket at the business end of the power/data cable. In the starter kit you receive two long and two short extension cables, two lengths of LED tape (one with 5 and one with 10 LEDs), five pre-soldered socketed LED units, five unsocketed LED units, five fibre-guide clip-on covers, five 30cm fibre-guides, and finally a quick start guide with a link to the full instructions on their website. That's quite a lot of gear and the fact that most of the LEDs are push-together will save plenty of time in the construction phase of your next project. If your model needs more of anything, there's a full shop on their site with all the items available in quantities of 1 and above for a reasonable price, from fibre-guides to extension cables and LED chips. Once you have your lighting set-up, you then start the process of configuring it, which involves powering up your black box for the first time, and logging in via a browser to the in-built Wi-Fi server that's on the board. Join the new network "Inner Light" from your phone, tablet or other Wi-Fi enabled device - this will cut you off from your home Wi-Fi network, so make sure you remember this when you finish and try to visit Britmodeller or somewhere. Once you've joined you just navigate to and login using the provided credentials. If you don't want your friends and neighbours hacking your latest creation, you might want to consider changing those details, but that's entirely up to you. If you forget the new login details you can factory reset the device, but that's a pain if you haven't backed up your configuration. You're presented with a nice simple webpage that talks you through configuration of your lights, with colour, intensity, special effects and so forth easily changed at whim, and at any time thereafter. You can also add custom sounds, and make lights and sounds respond to physical buttons too, although you'll have to buy and solder those yourself, but you are shown the correct pin-outs on the GPIO to connect them to. Everything is menu-driven with tickboxes and drop-downs for quick and easy changes to pretty much everything. You can also control the device and its lighting groups (which you set up) by using HTTP command sent over the airwaves directly to your model. If that sounds tricky, it probably would be if you had to do it by typing out the commands yourself, but there are several 3rd party apps available for iOS and Android devices, some of which can be visually customised to match your subject, such as a Star Trek command console seen on their site. That's the theory, but I'm not about to pass judgement on the system without having a go myself, so here there has been a break while I dig into the box, put some lights and cables into a simple set-up and have a play with the system. Now where's my tablet? Following those instructions, I soon realised that I'd forgotten to plug in the MicroSD connector into the black box, which is what supplies the power to the system's processing unit. Once I'd corrected that blunder (it had been a long day), the lights started flashing sporadically as they should and after a few seconds, checking my Tablet's available Wi-Fi SSIDs showed up with the innerlight name, so I logged in using the username and password provided. Navigating to the home page by typing the IP address into your browser's address bar, you're greeted with the main screen, which has a few important settings that must be stored before you can proceed. You choose the number of LEDs (in total) that you have attached to the line, how bright you want them to be as a maximum value (they can be really bright, so they're best toned down), and how they start up when you power on. That's all very simple and hinges upon your ability to count. No worries there then! You can revisit this page if you add or subtract lights later on, so don't worry if you decide to change things, and there's no need to reboot as you can just save the new settings and carry on. The next tab LED Grouping allows you to separate the string of lights into sub-sections and give them names that mean something to you, which will help you out if you decide to switch things up a bit in the future. Allocate the various lights to the groups, and here you don't have to use contiguous blocks, as you can choose a block, a few additional singles, another block and so on, simplifying the process if you want the same effect on opposite sides of your model and have other lights in between. With all your groups set up, you can go off and create some effects in the next tab. Again, everything can be revisited if changes are needed or desired. The Effects tab does just that. You can create the effects that you want to later allocate to your various light Groups by tapping Add New Effect, then renaming it and assigning attributes like flashing, solid colour or chasing, with choice of colour, duration and delays. You can use a colour picker, an RGB slider, or a pick-list from your history to choose your colours, which will be a lot quicker if you're using the same colour in different areas of your lighting design. The final part of the setup is the Scenes tab, which is where you bring the Groups together with their Effects so that you can issue commands to your model from afar. You can connect the Scene to a trigger, which will be a button or switch you add somewhere on your model and wire into the black box using the pins allocated in the instructions. This enables you to be as fancy or simple as you like, providing you've got sufficient lights, enough time and a good memory to keep it in your head as you switch between tabs. In addition to the light effects, you can also add sound effects that will be sent to the 3.5mm audio jack on the RasPi by default, so will require a speaker to be fitted in order to enjoy the sound on the finished model, but can be used with headphones while you are setting it up. While talking to Andy, I sowed the seeds of an idea to allow sound to be sent to a Bluetooth speaker or sound bar, which may appear in future updates of the firmware, taking advantage of the RasPi's built in Bluetooth chip. I've got a terrible memory as most of you will probably know by now, so I kept my test setup pretty simple. I arranged 11 lights comprising the long self-adhesive backed 10 LED strip, plus a singleton with a snap-on fibre-guide cover and a length of fibre slotted through it. The covers have a central hole, and you feed the sharp end through the hole from the inside so that it stops at the flared end, absorbing most of the LED light in the process and transporting it to the other end. You can cut the lengths of guide shorter, or if your installation requires it you can get longer lengths online and create the flattened ends by warming it with a soldering iron or lighter, then smooshing it on a flat surface to create the mushroom head. To prevent light leaks, you'll probably want to paint the exterior of the caps and perhaps wrap them with insulation tape to prevent leaks and secure the caps permanently. Here's a quick demo of my simple setup, which isn't bad considering it was knocked up as I was learning the ropes in a very short period of time with absolutely no forward planning on my part - I've named my technique "winging it". The colour is a little washed out in the video, but as I've not really created any videos in the past I'm using the "newb" excuse. The five lights on the right for example are blue to the naked eye, the centre two are purple, and the three chasing each other on the left are kind of pink. Finally, it's fairly obvious that the single fibre guide is green I hope. I found it pretty easy to get to grips with the interface using my tablet, and the only thing that gave me a moment's pause was initially when I set up a new Group, it didn't immediately occur to me to tap the name of the group to bring up the configuration details. Once that was out of the way it all seems pretty straight forward, but if you ever get stuck there are full detailed instructions on everything you could want from the system, including the different methods of controlling your finished lighting rig either via the built-in Wi-Fi, a third-party app that issues the http commands from a fancy User Interface (UI), or even your Home Automation (HA) device such as Amazon's Alexa or the Google Home devices, by using the IFTT (IF This Then That) app that you can download to your device and configure to work with your HA if you have the technological know-how. You can even operate your Inner-Light from anywhere in the world if you're able to open up the required port on your router and forward it to your device's IP address, but again extra details can be found in the detailed instructions. The system could theoretically support over 1,000 light chips, but with the standard 2 Amp RasPi power supply, up to 100 could be used before you begin to run short of power. Most models won't need anywhere near that amount however, so you should have plenty of power to spare. You can also connect up to eight physical control buttons, each of which will need an additional two wires to be run back to the control box, so placement will be crucial. You'll have to source buttons yourself, and some soldering is likely to be required unless you get the pre-wired for use on the RasPi's GPIO pins. The detailed documentation can be found here, where you'll also be able to find out details of how to update the system's firmware, which is the underlying code needed to make the system function and allows extra features to be added or updated in the future. This adds extra value to your purchase down the line at no extra cost to yourself. Importantly, the system should always be closed down using the app to ensure no damage or corruption occurs to it, and this option along with other useful functions such as data backup, reboot and even factory reset are found in the Options menu, sensibly enough. There is also a help button at the top of every page that directs you to the site to obtain the detailed help files I linked to above, but you'll have to re-connect to your own internet in order to visit if you have a problem. Chances are that you'll be sitting next to a device that's connected however, so it's not a major imposition. My tinkering was all done sat in front of my workshop PC but using my tablet, so anything I needed to know was readily accessible by switching focus to the big screen in front of me. That said, using the configuration system, you can change the Wi-Fi to allow the system to join your existing Wi-Fi network, after which you can access the device by using the IP address assigned by your router (assuming you have DHCP active, which most people do), or by going to http://il.local in any browser on the same subnet. That would have the benefit of being able to access the help files from the same device, and would also open up the HA and remote access options for configuration as discussed above. One improvement that I would like to see would be the option for bundling fibres on one light chip, as the current system only allows one fibre per chip, which could get very busy if you were building a Zvezda Star Wars Star Destroyer for example, which has hundreds of tiny lights in its superstructure that are best suited to fibres. You can of course make your own bundle from some tube and epoxy glue, but the key selling point of the system is its modularity. Maybe Andy could come up with something later on? I've mentioned it to him, and he suggested enlarging the hole in the cap (which hadn't occurred to me), but as modellers we're probably capable of making up a short tube and filling them full of fibres, then attaching it to a LED chip if we need more fibres on one chip. Here's a proper demo from their site, showing what you can do with the system once you're familiar with it and have a specific application in mind. Conclusion This system has the capability of being adapted to many situations, allows alteration of colours, effects etc. after the lights are added to your model, which has previously been very difficult or impossible, and previously required much more technical know-how than Inner-Light requires of you. Adding your own sound, light effects and colour has never been easier and instead of fishing around with wires, resistors, code and burning yourself on a soldering iron, you have a simple almost plug-and-play system that just needs you to answer a few questions and fiddle about with a few settings. Siting the control box will be an important aspect of the installation, but when you're done you can still fine-tune the settings as much as you want. Andy has reminded me that he's got a special offer for Britmodellers which entitles them to a £10 cash-back on their purchase of the Base kit (the subject of this review. Type in Britmodeller in the promo code box, and you'll get a discount, and Britmodeller will also get a small donation as a thank you from Scalectronics too. What on earth are you waiting for???? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. USS Voyager NCC-74656 FruitPACK (FP18 for Revell) 1:670 GreenStrawberry The USS Voyager, under the command of Captain Catherine Janeway was “relocated” to the far away Delta Quadrant by a benevolent but misguided alien whilst in the middle of a firefight with a Maquee ship, wanting their help in looking after a race called the Ocampa since damaging their planet irreparably in error. It all gets more complicated, the Caretaker eventually dies and the crew are forced into a difficult decision to destroy the station to protect the Ocampa, stranding the Federation ship in the Delta quadrant, so far away from Federation space that it could take the rest of their lives to get home. Cue a long journey home that spanned seven series and ran from 1995-2001 with 168 episodes, of which I’ve seen quite a few but by no mean all. The USS Voyager is an Intrepid Class ship, built in the Martian shipyards in 2371, carrying around 150 crew, some of whom were originally Maquis, filling jobs vacated by crew killed in the initial encounter with the Caretaker and the other protagonists of that episode. Kate Mulgrew played the Captain, and was the first female lead character of any Star Trek show, with a number of alien races also being on the roster, some more annoying than others. Looking at you, Neelix. The Set This is another of GreenStrawberry’s burgeoning range of FruitPACK sets that bring together a number of smaller sets into a “full meal deal” boxing that gets you everything with a little cost-saving into the bargain. This set arrives in one of their medium-sized black boxes with their usual green and red printing, and a photo of the finished set on a bare model along with some details of the sets in the box. It includes the following sets: 13021-1/670 Exterior Set 13121-1/670 Shuttle Bay 13221-1/670 Landing Gear The kit is patterned for the Revell kit that has been re-released a number of times over the years, and we have reviewed one of those boxings here on the forum. It’s a nice kit that builds up into a reasonably sized model, but it could do with a little more detail if we’re honest, in order to bring it up to the more exacting standards of the modern modeller (that’s you BTW). Each set is available separately in case you don’t want to purchase all of them, so make a note of those numbers above if you’re so minded. In the meantime, we’ll deal with each set separately, as they are in their own clear film and Ziploc bags within the box with their own instruction booklets that are printed in colour in the usual GS style. Exterior Set (13021-1/670) This set consists of three sheets of Photo-Etch (PE), two of which are 0.2mm thick and nickel-plated, while the third is bare brass but much thicker than the other two at 0.5mm. There is also a sheet of thin printed plastic (possibly PVC film) with lots of tiny windows and the contents therein to decorate the windows/portholes of the ship. The instructions are 8 sides of A5(ish), thanks mostly to the volume (area?) of PE that you have in the package. Work begins on the aft of the hull, removing a few raised areas to be replaced by laminated grilles top and bottom, plus a wrap-around section of windows facing aft, for which you’ll need to laminate the printed window pictures with the PE. More raised/engraved areas are removed under the saucer, and on both aft “corners” the raised details are removed to accommodate the new PE detail parts later. These are made up with two layers that are bent to fit the shape and glued in place, as are five more sets of windows with printed backing within recesses in the lower saucer. The details removed earlier are replaced with new parts, the rectangular sections being made from two layers each, while the two curved ribbed lengths are glued to the lower saucer along with some frames above the deflector dish, which has extra detailed parts inserted into its three sections once the original detail has been removed. Some additional skin panels are laminated up either side of the pivots at the front of the variable geometry nacelles, and a pair of faceted mesh panels are added to the intakes on the pylons. The same “exfoliation” is carried out on a large number of raised panels on the upper saucer, and a hole is made in the rear of the bridge superstructure, then the windows are filled in with PE and printed plastic picture parts in the same manner as the underside. More printed windows are applied to the hull sides, and another raft of them are placed behind the outer rim layer of the upper saucer. More of the two-layer detail inserts are added to the front “corners” of the saucer lip, then a major detail upgrade is performed on the bridge. The centre section has various layers added to create the correct depth at the centre, the windows and their frames are added on either side of the main bridge hump, and the two-layer grilles are laid in place further outboard, again in a similar manner to the underside. A large detail skin is prepared with additional layers and inserts, then glued to the roof of the bridge, with more parts added to the sides and to the front section of the roof, with yet more side detail panels, an insert that fills the hole in the rear of the bridge, and another pair of detail panels to complete the revamp. Toward the front of the saucer is an auxiliary deflector array set into a large scalloped part of the surface. The array is cut down at the rear and detailed with PE parts, then the raised panels in the depression are skinned with PE, and the two large grille panels are given the (by now) usual treatment with two layers of PE. A trio of three-layer airlock panels are laminated and placed in the front and both sides of the saucer edge, followed by more raised panels being removed from the underside of the hull, to be replaced by yet more detailed skin panels, some of which are two layers. On the back of the “neck” that joins the saucer to the blended hull after a fashion, there is a sensor palette, which is upgraded with a small insert placed in a recess, and a pair of brand-new photon torpedo launchers replacing the soft styrene versions that are moulded into the hull. There are also two raised panels on each side of the neck that are shown being added rather vaguely, which is because they’re actually missed off from the kit. You can see their location on the example photos of a finished example, or on any of the many plans of the ship that can be found online, which is exactly what I did. The final stage has you building up the two slatted impulse engine exhausts on the back of the nacelle pylons. They are folded up into a three-sided shell with grooves for the strakes that is inserted within the hollowed-out styrene originals once finished, which are comparatively chunky. At the back of the hull is a skin for the shuttle bay surround and a door part that has horizontal lines etched in it. Shuttle Bay (13121-1/670) This set includes the two-part bay within the rear of the Voyager, which has a larger inner section and long narrow entrance hall. The set is 100% PE, and includes two sheets of PE in 02.mm brass with 6 sides of A5 instructions. Construction begins with the entrance hall, which is L-shaped and folds up to form floor and walls from one part, with detail inserts lining the walls to add extra visual interest. Doorways and doors are included, and the larger rectangular second section is made up from another one-part floor and wall section, adding door skins and a two-layer sidewall, which gives the impression of a narrow walkway high up that wall. The two ceiling panels are made up from structural layer and detail layer, with added lighting frames running down the centres, and shallow flaps on the sides that give them a better grip on the lower sections, preventing them from flexing and breaking the glue bond. The rear doorway is made up from three layers, plus detail panels inside and out, and optional smaller access door to the right (from the outside) of the main door, which can be glued closed if you enjoy wasting your efforts, or more sensibly in the retracted or semi-retracted position to show off your hard work. The last part involves trimming excess plastic from the top of the rear duck-bill fairing, removing the centre section that is now redundant, plus adding a set of narrow slots in the rearmost area, which will be most use if you plan on lighting the bay floor. If you want to populate the bay, the kit includes a Type 7 shuttle for you to place in the sightline. Landing Gear (13221-1/670) This set is a combination of resin and PE parts, with twenty resin parts and a small fret of nickel-plated PE brass in the package. Construction begins with cutting out the four gear leg apertures on the underside of the hull that are depicted as raised mouldings on the hull halves. The holes are backed by large resin ports that should be well glued into place for maximum strength before closing up the hull halves. The four gear legs are paired and handed once built, but the struts are identical pairs. They have a resin core that is wrapped with a PE skin that is glued in place around it and slid into the four ports after putting the lower legs and feet in position. The lower legs are all identical, with a slot in the inner face that accepts a PE strake. The bottom of the lower legs has a joint onto which the landing pads are fitted, with a choice of two sets of feet. The first set have all the “toes” folded together as if they have just been extended and haven’t yet deployed, while the second set are unfolded into their cruciform landing configuration with a flat underside. The first set could be of use if you were planning an in-flight pose just prior to landing of after take-off, while the second set is great to take the kit’s stand out of the equation and ground your Voyager as it appeared occasionally in the show. Again, probably the first main ship that landed back on a planet willingly – we’ll ignore Cap’n Kirk’s regular crashing of the Enterprise in the films. Conclusion A highly comprehensive set of updates to this ageing kit that should do much of the work to bring it up to modern standards. Your talent will do the rest of the job. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. NX-326 USS Franklin Detail Set (06218-1/350 for Moebius) 1:350 GreenStrawberry The USS Franklin appeared in Star Trek Beyond, part of the new Kelvin Timeline series of films with that actor that wasn’t Bill Shatner – Chris Pine maybe? It was marooned on the planet Altamid after an accidental trip through a wormhole in 2164, where it was kept in reasonable order by one of the characters, conveniently waiting for Cap’n Kirk and his chums to come along and get it back in space again during the climax of the afore-mentioned film. The Franklin was pre-Federation, and the first ship capable of Warp Factor 4, with some fancy defensive and offensive capabilities for its time, which came in handy during the film. It also had a Star Trek: Enterprise vibe about it, which was set a decade or so earlier than its disappearance. Moebius kitted it in 1:350 in 2018, and it’s a nice model but maybe a little spartan for some modellers, so along comes this detail set from our capable friends at GreenStrawberry. The set arrives in one of GreenStrawberry’s familiar medium-sized boxes, and inside are resin parts in a Ziploc bag, two large frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, some clear acetate with the two outlines of the view-screen printed on it in black, plus a set of A4 instructions, with a sheet of black paper separating the two PE sheets, stopping them from chaffing during transport. The bridge floor is the first to be made, which involves laminating four layers of PE, then another two and finally creating a thick lamination from those sub-assemblies and two more layers, before the crew seats and the various consoles are glued to the new 3D stepped surface on their contact depressions using CA. The large resin “tub” forms the basis of the walls and ceiling, with a two-part lamination of perforated PE parts adding central detail before the floor is glued into position. The centre of the saucer section is drilled out to the correct size according to the instruction, and is filled with a new hatchway made from folded PE, which includes a ladder and floor section, following which the bridge is glued to the rear of the bridge window, with the clear acetate and a PE outer skin added in the front of the styrene aperture. Attention turns to the exterior of the ship now, with two small assemblies either side of the engraved USS Franklin on the front of the saucer, with 20 tiny circular PE parts topping off the paired upstands on the underside of the saucer. Back to the top again, 10 small trestle-like assemblies are folded up and glued to the surface, and the final parts are a pair of mesh panels with circular perforations for the impulse engines at the rear of the saucer. Conclusion This set will give your USS Franklin just the right amount of visual interest, and if you’re lighting the model, the centre section of the bridge ceiling is perforated to give the effect visible in the original. The engine grilles will also add some detail to the exterior lighting, as will all the delicate parts. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Been a bit since I built a sci-fi model, which I think was also a Star Trek model, the USS Saber. This one is going to be a kitbash between two /2500 scale Star Trek Discovery models, the Shenzhou and the Enterprise. 1/2500 is not my scale, so bashing them into another ship fitting 1/1000 is the goal here. I'll be using the Shenzhou as the basis for the ship, trading its nacelles in favor of the Enterprise's, which look more era-correct than the Shen's more futuristic ones. First off, I'm going to cut a pen in half... No, it's not a start to a bad magic trick but the beginning of a new deflector, using the Enterprise's in place of the Shenzhou's, agan because the Shen's just looks too futuristic. I cut then cut the base of the deflector dish away from the Enterprise part and glued it onto the new housing. With that done I cut out the molded detail on the Shenzhou and test fitted the new deflector housing into the gaping hole behind. The bottom shows a bit of fitting will be needed to close some gaps. I skipped from there to the nacelles. I snipped the tops off the Enterprise struts and glued them into their slots in the nacelles to close those up. They will be sanded smooth and then holes drilled for when they are pinned to the Shen's struts. 3. While that was going on, I glued the hull together, after gluing in the clear parts. The ventral bridge will remain in place, though I will be filling in and smoothing over the big windows, since they are too large for the smaller size of the ship. Then thin styrene was glued into the bow to cover that hole. While that was drying, I decided to move the struts outward from their original positions. I wanted the new nacelles to be a little outward of the rim of the saucer. They'll need to be adjusted, as they follow the upward curve of the lower hull too much. Left as is and the rear of the nacelles will be up to high, rather than riding even with the rest of the hull. And a test to see how the new nacelles will look compared to the rest of the ship. You can see I also cut and sanded down the insert in the bow, before cutting the hole for the new deflector housing. And the last bit of work today was to add some shims into the bottom, to fill some gaps alongside the deflector housing. They'll have to be sanded down some but will close those little gaps up. And that's where she is at the moment. I'll clean that up a little more and glue the new deflector housing in place, then set the struts in place. And also add the shuttle bay from the Enterprise to the back of the Shenzhou. Though it'll be widened to give the Sprite a larger shuttle deck. Til next time, model on! Thom
  12. Kit Manufacturer: Polar Lights Scale: 1/1000 Paints Used: Tamiya LP/Vallejo Paragraphix Photo Etch sets Polar Lights Aztec decals sheet for Reliant Hi guys, this is the final reveal of my Wrath of Khan diorama, I wanted to try and mimic the blue and pink colours that were present in the movie when the Enterprise entered the Mutara Nebula. I used some plastic right angle strip to create a frame and glued some 12v neon LED strip lights to the inside of the frames. The Enterprise and Reliant are powered by a pp3 9v battery under each base. I made up a Perspex shelf to hold the models and fixed a jack plug under the frame to power the strip lighting from a 12v wall socket power supply. The camera does not really give a true representation of how the colours look, but in person, I am very pleased with the results. You could say it's my first wall mounted diorama. These are snap together kits and overall, well-engineered. I did have to cut off some fixing pegs to add the lighting and used glue in the final assembly. I can't say I used much of the photo etch sets as I found the brass was way too thick for the scale of these kits. I like adding decals, but avoid these kits if that's not your thing as there are loads of them to cut out and fit. I hope you all enjoy the pictures. "Live long and prosper!"
  13. Hi Guys, We are pleased to announce that in partnership with Cozmic Scale Models ,we are now exclusively stocking a cool range of 1/72 Star Trek Work bee resin kits, plus a Shuttle Pod and Travel Pod You can check out the range here - https://abovebeyondretail.co.uk/latest-arrivals/ we have a limited stock in but more available soon so Preorders are being taken.
  14. U.S.S Voyager (04992) 1:670 Revell The USS Voyager is a series set in the world of Star Trek, some treckies liked it, while some not so much. The series followed the adventures of the USS Voyager NVV-74656 an Intrepid Class Starship captained by Kathryn Janeway. The series ran from 1995 and followed the adventures of the ship which was transported to the Delta Quadrant (35 years travel from Earth) and its 7 year journey to return to Federation Space. The Kit This boxing is a re-release of Revell's original tooling from 1995. The kit has a relatively low parts count at 67 and is not as detailed as some of the Star Trek kits out there. However the large moulding from Revell are very detailed and with some nice painting will make this an impressive model at 514mm long. As well as the kit in the box is a generic Star Trek base. Construction is fairly simple begins with inserts to the two large upper hull mouldings. Once all these are in place they can be joined together. More inserts are added to the lower hull mouldings and then these can be joined with a top part also filling in. At the from the reflector array is made up and added. The lower and upper hulls can then be joined up. The supporting structure for the engines is now built up, as are the engines them selves. Once built up these can be added tot he main hull. A single part shuttle is provided for the rear shuttle bay. Lastly the base is made for the model to be displayed on. Markings There is a large decal sheet for the model kit with many smaller decals to apply. Decals are by Cartograf as can be seen from the small "c" at the end of the code, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It's good to see this kit re-released but it is a bit simple. Its a shame there is no landing gear for the kit as the ship did have the ability to land on planets in the series. Also Revell could do with tooling some coloured clear insets rather than having the modeller colour the clear ones. Overall though recommended if you are a fan of the series. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  15. Klingon D-7 Battlecruiser | 1/1000 | Polar Lights Finished 3/13/2020. I'm back after a few months absence. I didn't model for a couple months because I just couldn't get into it. This D-7 was 95% done for those couple of months and there's nothing quite like an unfinished project to guilt me back to the bench. Since this kit is a snap together, seams were a major issue. So there was a lot of superglue and sandpaper in the building of this model. Another major problem was color: First, good reference photos of original series Klingon ships are practically impossible to find. Second, the instructions called for Testor's Napoleonic Violet, which I couldn't find a lacquer equivalent of. I went to the LHS and found Testors apparently doesn't make Napoleonic Violet in enamel anymore, but they had it in Acrylic (which I refuse to use). The LHS had several shades of purple in the little Testors bottles and I matched one to the Acrylic Napoleonic Violet -- Lilac. It wasn't perfect, but close. Other parts of the ship were Light Ghost Gray (Mr. Color 308) and a 50/50 mix of Light Ghost Gray and White (also Mr. Color). The Lilac turned out to be comically bright, so I dusted light ghost gray over it until it looked right to me. I quite like it, actually. The other problem I had was that there were chrome plated parts in the kit, which I think look ridiculous, so I used bleach to strip them (and boy, it didn't take long! Just a few seconds!) and then used Alclad Duraluminum on them (with a base coat of gloss black). The parts on the warp engines got a dusting of Alclad steel as well. With a little care to overcome the kit's deficiencies, it builds into a beautiful model. and it was fun, which is good because I have another in the stash waiting to be built into a Romulan D7. One last thing - I picked my own registry number for this ship. Everyone does the one that looks like a styliszed "TCS" and I wanted to be different. (It's "A49" if you want to know) No WIP for this build. Finishing: Seam filling with Super Glue and Squadron white putty Paints: Mr. Surfacer 1500 black | Mr. Color 308 (FS36375) > 50/50 Mr. Color 308 and 1 > Testors Lilac enamel with a dusting of Mr. Color 308 > Alclad Aqua Gloss Clear coat > Testors spray Semi-Gloss (Decanted) for final coat Weathering/Wear: A little bit of streaking with Tamiya Weathering pastels. While it seems laughable to have weathering in space, it looked too toy-like otherwise. Although I suppose you could argue that going through cosmic dust clouds at high velocities could deposit something on the surface! Had to mask the impulse engines in the back. I think they turned out OK! Thanks for looking; hope you enjoy! Questions and comments always welcomed!
  16. Probably the quickest build yet for here, but fun none-the-less....Not the best of kits, with a number of fitment issues and inaccuracies when it comes to the cockpit. It's a basic kit, it's not all that bad. I don't think it is worth the £32 price tag for the kit though. hey ho. Full build log here if you care for a look-see? Anyways, here's my version of the F-104C Starfighter of Capt. Jonathon Christopher from the Start Trek episode - "Tomorrow is Yesterday" Enjoy! Tried a little weathering around the engine. I didn't want to overly do it. I thought I'd try a little "action" shot of the Starfighter "taking off" looks OK> 🤣 And my lazy bottom co-pilot through-out the build - Willow... Hope you all enjoyed the pics and the build? Next up with be over in the vehicle forum for the Polar Lights DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future 2..........
  17. USS Defiant NX/NCC-74205 (FruitPACK FP08 for AMT) 1:420 GreenStrawberry It’s Star Trek time again, this time it’s the USS Defiant from Deep Space Nine, when they decided to give the crew of the space station a bit more robust mobility and add some greater breadth to the story-telling. The Defiant is a war ship plain and simple, and that’s all it was been designed for. As well as taking part in season 3 onwards and making an appearance in the Star Trek movie First Contact, it is a chunky little ship and has a bit of a “Voyager” look to some of her shapes, although all strapped to a saucer-style section and without any of the crew amenities that makes ships like the Voyager and Enterprise a home for her crew. The Set Designed to fit to the 1:420 AMT kit that was first released in the 1990s and has been rereleased a few times, the last time as recently as 2014, but they're a bit thin on the ground at time of writing. There are a lot out there in stashes of course, and GreenStrawberry have a pair of sets available to improve on the kit's simplified detail. The FruitPACK brings those together in a cost-effective and attractive box that contains a lot of resin, plus three sheets of Photo-Etch and a small sheet of decals. Inside the card box you get two sets that cover the Engines & Exterior in one, and Hangars in the other. Here’s what it all looks like in the heat-seal and ziplok bags: Engines & Exterior (08019-1/420) There are forty-two resin parts in grey, clear blue and clear red resin, plus two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) part and a thick instruction sheet, plus a load of tiny resin flakes from the moulding process. There will be a little plastic butchery involved to fit some parts, which is best done before you begin the build, especially as this set just begs to be lit thanks to the translucent resin parts. Initially this includes removing the circular shuttle-bay panel underneath, some small details, a pair of recessed bays under the nose and eight holes on the upper side. The bays are replaced by detailed inserts and eight translucent blue plugs fill the holes, while the shuttle bay is left until later. A few more small details are removed from the snout of the craft and filled with a translucent blue resin part with waffle texture moulded-in and a resin bracing part behind it. Next are a pair of louvered vents on the top of the ship, which are shaved off and replaced by a resin surround, translucent red centre and four resin inserts in the recesses, plus a set of folded up ladder shaped parts that fit into the area. In the engine nacelles new “intake” lips are temporarily fitted to act as a template to cut a hole through which the translucent red intake is passed, and the lip is then permanently attached around it. This is repeated on the other side and joined by a bunch of PE details on each side, and later on some resin parts are added to busy the area up. Under the rear of the nose there is a scoop-shaped area that is detailed with a new skin plus additional parts that replace all the simplified detail of the kit. The kit exhausts are excised and replaced by a sandwich of two bay halves with a translucent blue insert between them that acts as a diffuser for a light to tint the whole bay blue. This will also show up the moulded-in detail and the additional parts placed within the area before fitting. The aft of the Defiant is a bit of a beaver-tail that looks a little unfinished, and this section gets a thorough overhaul with new impulse engine tubes that are recessed, mesh vents and other details. The rest of the set is used in thoroughly upgrading the detail to the outer hull, with skins, grilles and other details that take up a substantial number of parts. more parts are added to the aft, and the upgrade is completed by replacing the shuttle-bay doors with a new more detailed assembly. Hangars (07919-1/420) This set consists of one fret of PE, a sheet of decals, plus seventeen resin parts in grey, and of course the instruction sheet. This details the area you might have just covered over with the new doors in the set above, as well as the smaller bays in the lower hull, so remember this and plan ahead. Construction begins with the main bay in the belly, which is made up in layers to give a thoroughly 3D look, which includes decals for display screens as you go. They both attach to a bulkhead that is also decked out with decals along with some PE parts and access ladders that are folded up and put in place. The bay doorway is lined with a PE lip and the doors are folded into shape and placed in the aperture, with a large decal on the inside “stand clear” written around the edge. The smaller bays are made inside the small resin boxes with one end left open while the other is closed up with some small windows left for lights to shine through, into which you fit the shuttle pads and a lot of decals. There is also a PE part that is added to the underside of the shuttle “tray” that will allow it to be slid in and out, or to fix them in the deployed or retracted positions at your whim. After cutting out the bays from the kit lower, the bay edges are tidied up by adding a PE surround, then apply the completed bay from behind and add extra detail parts to the surround. If you really must cover up all that nice detail, a set of finely grooved doors are also supplied, although you’d be mad to fit them unless you made a boo-boo. The final fun part of this set is a few different types of shuttle, including one larger Chaffee shuttle, two Work Bee Units, and two Type 18 shuttles with their weird hovercraft vibe. They all have decals for their windows, as well as codes and for the type 18s, pinstripes and door lines. Conclusion This is very involved and detailed set that is by no means cheap, but if you’re serious about your Defiant model it’s a must have, especially if you’re planning on lighting it, which is very common in Sci-Fi modelling these days. This provides you with the majority of the parts that will do it justice, needing just the lighting loom to finish off. Very highly recommended if you have or can get a kit for a sensible price. FruitPACK FP08 They’re also available separately if you only want one set Engines & Exterior Hangars (07919-1/420) Review sample courtesy of
  18. USS Discovery NCC-1031 FruitPACK (FP09) 1:2500 GreenStrawberry Star Trek fans will have heard of the latest show from the Star Trek universe, which ploughs an alternate timeline furrow with Captain Pike still in charge of the Enterprise and some rather weird looking Klingons. There’s also a view into the more sneaky side of Starfleet, Section 31, who don’t seem to share the higher moral standing of the previous incarnations of the United Federation of Planets. The Discovery, from the Crossfield Class of ships has some quite extraordinary propulsion systems that allow her to travel almost anywhere instantly, but with some complications that cause issues at times, and lead to some head-scratching plot points. I’m not entirely sold on the Spore-Drive myself, but that’s just me. The Discovery herself has had a new captain in each of the two seasons so far, and with season three in production we wonder if there’s another one waiting in the wings. The main protagonist is First Officer Michael Burnham, who grew up with Vulcan parents that gave her a stoical outlook and a tendency to whisper her lines, which irritates me a little. It’s an ensemble show and the special effects are excellent, with the Discovery sharing a roughly similar outline of the Enterprise from above, but having a more flattened side and front profile. I’ve also just learned that there’s going to be a spin-off show about Section 31, which is probably good news for Michelle Yeoh and another notch on her extensive CV. The Set This is a new tool from GreenStrawberry, who aim to improve the detail beyond the snap-together heritage of the recent kit from Polar Lights. In case you’re unfamiliar, their FruitPacks are supersets of their existing detail sets that offer a one-envelope solution to get your detail on! They arrive in card envelopes with the sets included within their individual wrappers for additional protection. This set includes the exterior detail set and the hangar bay set, so let’s see what’s in them. Detail Set (08319-1/2500) This is a two sheet set that is etched from a thinner gauge of brass so that the details don’t project too far from the surfaces, as it’s a small scale ship that would look out of place if they were of thicker stock. The two sheets contain mostly skin parts, but also have some additional details that aren’t included on the kit, and it should result in a much more detailed model once painted and decaled. The main hull is an arrow-head shape with the wide hangar bay in the rear. In the top of the nacelle supports or wings, there is a shallow recess that is removed and replaced by a deep part that is folded into a box insert that adds depth and a number of tiny window cut-outs. At the rear there are detail inserts in the back of the wings, with a choice of two types, so check your references and suit yourself. On the undersides there are more skins added to the hull, with slimmer inserts added to the leading edges of the wings where injection moulding was unable to provide sharp detail. The saucer section is given a highly detailed deflector where it joins the hull, with multiple parts forming the surround and a spoked representation of the dish itself. The neck is skinned, as are the sides of the inner saucer on both sides, the outer rim and the “bridge” that leads to the bridge dome. The sloped outer edges of the inner saucer is also skinned, as are the inner sloped edges of the outer saucer section, then the neck has another sliver covered up with some final parts. More raised detail is added to the top of the saucer where there are raised blocks, and yet more details are added to the roof of the route to the bridge. Given the slightly underwhelming surface detail of the ship out of the box that relies over-heavily on the decals to give the impression of more depth, this set should give it the massive boost that it needs, with the decals placed over the top treated with several coats of solution to settle them down into the recesses and add realism to the whole model. It’s a must-have if you want to turn it from an expensive toy into a model. Dare I say mandatory? Hangar Bay (08419-1/2500) Since the original 60s series got the budget for a shuttle to augment the cheaper effects of beaming down to every planet they visit, all the main ships have had shuttle bays from which to launch and retrieve these vessels. On the kit the bay is moulded closed, so the first task is to remove that part, plus six of the attachment lugs that make this a snap-fit kit. Then the bay is folded up with a number of simple straight folds forming the basis of the bay, which is then adorned with internal skins, a number of prominent ribs, a perforated roof section that is then closed in by folding down the remaining side after placing a stepped part into the centre back of the bay. The completed bay can then be slid into place within the hull, and has an optional two-part bay door if you want to hide away all your work. This set is etched from thicker gauge brass, so will be less flexible than the exterior set and therefore easier to handle when folding it to shape. Conclusion Having got one of these kits, they’re a little disappointing out of the box, relying too much on the large decal sheets to provide the detail. I’m not a fan of 2D detail, so these two sets in the one box not only save you a few credits, but also does the kit a huge favour in terms of detail. They’re an absolute necessity if you enjoy making detailed models. Extremely highly recommended. You can also buy them separately if you don’t want both Detail Set (08319-1/2500) Hangar Bay (08419-1/2500) Review sample courtesy of
  19. Quite frankly, I'm disappointed at the lack of Star Trek representation in a sci-fi group build. We have a nearly a dozen X-Wings, a couple Battlestar Galactica, and even something from Space Above and Beyond for heaven's sake! This must be rectified. I started my first 1/48 jet after finishing the YF-21 for this group build, but I think I'll put that on quick hold while I put in another GB entry purely to represent some Trek. My choice will be the Polar Lights 1/1000 Klingon Bird of Prey released last year as part of a two pack with the USS Grissom as seen in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. I've had this in my stash since it was released and this seems like a great reason to crack it open. It's advertised as a snap-fit kit, so it should go together pretty quickly. Due to the size I foresee handpainting a lot of the accents instead of masking and airbrush, so we'll see how that works out. The box is actually really cool, with the decal callouts and color painting guide on the inside sides of the box, allowing them to be printed in color. Two green and one small clear runners contain the entire ship. You can build it with wings up or down in "attack" position. The details look great, but as you can see there's a bit of flash on the sprue, if not much on the actual parts. Included is an extensive decal sheet of which 90% of are for the Grissom. Small black two-piece stands are included. Thanks for reading! (Also in case it doesn't come across via text, my first paragraph is dripping with sarcasm. I'm enjoying looking at all the group builds and have a TIE Fighter finished on my shelf and an A-Wing in the stash.)
  20. Hiya all. I've been on a 2500 scale kick since getting some of those AMT Cadet ships last year, and when combined with my 7 3D printers (I run a small 3D printing and laser-cutting business) I'm aiming to build a large collection of famous starships from many different franchises, although right now I'm on a definite Star Trek kick. I try to go for canon sizes, though in the case of the SG1 Daedalus, I went off a Twitter post from Joe Mallazio as well Trekyards as they had the actual CGI asset to get dimensions from. Though I completley ignore the Discovery sizes and try to scale those ships to TOS sizes. Here's the new Enterprise from Discovery that I sized to match the TOS Enterprise size. Printed on my Phrozen Shuffle mSLA (liquid resin) Here's a group shop of a bunch of different subjects. The Star Gate Daedalus was done on my CR10, and printed on my Phrozen Shuffle was the: Drazi Sunhawk from Babylon 5, the Defiant, Daedalus, Jem'hadar Bug Ship, Intrepid NV-11 from Star Trek, If you look very closely on the CD is an Al'kesh from Stargate as well. Here's the Reliant and K'tinga from AMT and the Nova, BoP , Marquis Ship and Ares (from the fan movie Axanar) is from my Phrozen. And my current knee-deep projects are the Negh'var and Dominion battlecrusier (printed on my CR10). I still need to set-up my painting table, as a a bunch of these are ready to paint. I'm also working on getting the vinyl cutter set-up for making masks.
  21. 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!
  22. Calling this one done..... You can see the build log by clicking here.......Space Seed Build Log A nice build to do, even though it was a snap fit, some of the fittings were very tricky and didn't quite sit right. You had 3 choices to build in the kit which was great. The decals were easy to soak and released very easily, though they were complex in their layout and did tend to break a lot as they slid off of the sheet. Esepecially the registration markings on the secondary hull and the nacelles. The Original pilot episode enterprise from the "The Cage". the Mirror universe Enterprise, which is basically the pilot episode Enterprise but with ISS markings, or the "Space Seed" episode whish is what you get to see here.... Had to use the flash as the pictures were coming our really dark. A nice side effect was the flash bouncing off of the navigation lights. All in all, a fun build to do and one I would recommend. Thoughts and comments all welcomed
  23. So finally, after many months of delay due to 'family things' I've found some time to post a few images of my finished Enterprise! You can see my 'work in progress' thread at Revell Enterprise NCC1701 (TOS) - My First Model, which includes lots of photos, some better than these tbh. As mentioned previously, this was my first model. I've learned a lot so far and enjoyed every minute of the build (apart maybe from masking the windows before paint spraying). I really need to get a decent camera and video camera. I used my phone and these are pretty poor quality, the video is pretty dark and shakey too so sorry about that I also need to create a work-in-progress post for my Revell Klingon D7 that I've started, but havent worked on for a while. Anyway, here they are.... I plan to add some weathering in future models and to be a bit more adventurous when it comes to correcting inaccuracies in the model compared to the TV/Movie models. But, for a first model I'm very happy with this
  24. Hey All! Just got finished up with a car build and was longing to jump into another build, had this knocking around for years and thought I'd knock it out. Lessons learned and skills coming back after being away for so long. I want to do a nice job of this and take my time. I've been searching for aztec templates for the painting and have found some but just not sure if they are the most accurate, I found this : http://www.startrekpropauthority.com/2008/06/detailed-photostudy-of-enterprise-b-7.html and this It has a bunch of nice photos and if this is legit this was one of the models used in filming so it is supposedly the most screen accurate if true. If there are any other trekkies out there with confirmation or other good resources I would love to see. Ive also been watching way too much , https://www.youtube.com/user/TrekWorks , he has a wealth of stuff and makes amazing models. So this is my beginning, more to come. If anyone has some advice / resources anything would be massively appreciated. Thanks for looking. The top and bottom halves of the saucer section had massive gaps so allot of filler and sanding later its starting to look ok. Forgot to take before and after pictures but Ill try and remember next time Used Tamiya X-27 clear red on these, I'm REALLY loving the Tamiya paints super easy to airbrush and the finish is amazing every time, definitely something I'm going to get more of. Tried my best to replicate the look found on the supposedly screen used models secondary impulse engines, would go for the primary impulse engines too but these are just miniscule on this model and my hands aren't that steady yet You can see here what i mean, trying to get the impulse engines as accurate as possible.
  25. Hi everyone - I finished my USS Enterprise build this weekend. This has been my first model after 30 years and even though I think it turned out ok, I wish I could go back to change these things: - Get rid of the silver shine on the larger decals. Stock Revell decal softener had no visible effect. Any tips ? - The nacelles seem to droop to the rear slightly too much. I found no way to easily correct this. Link to a video and more images: https://geekjournal.ch/uss-enterprise-model-build-part-13-endgame/
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