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Star Trek Enterprise NCC-1701 Refit (AMT, 1:537 Scale)


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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!

 

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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!

 

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Just now, Thom216 said:

I think they were cut out for limitations in the molding process. If they had done the windows closed up they probably would have done it all in one piece

Ah, that hadn't occurred to me, but makes perfect sense. It seems that only a few select holes/windows are pre-drilled/moulded on this model, so lots of drilling to be done soon :) thanks

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I managed to get a bit done today on this.

I've put all the windows in place, filled and sanded the gaps, possibly a little more work to do on those, but not looking too bad. Of course I want them totally seamless.

 

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I've cut the read out of the saucer section so that I can add some LEDs for the impulse engines, Photo taken just before I tidied it up a bit.

 

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I've also drilled out the windows in the lower section of the saucer, and made some extra room for the LEDs in the middle.

 

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And I've started drilling the windows out on the secondary hull. The last time I tried drilling windows out was on my abandoned Reliant, and I was not happy with the results at all. This time I feel like I'm getting the hang if it, lots of careful work to do on this part yet though!

 

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Starting to feel like I've made some progress :)

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All the windows are now drilled out. This is the best result I've had yet. the pinhole windows are easy as the drill-bit fits perfectly, but this time I feel I did a much better job on the oblong shaped windows.

 

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Masked off a few areas where I want light to bleed through. I've also masked the impulse crystal (I think that's what it's called) and the bottom sensor dome. To do those parts I used Vallejo Masking Fluid, which seems like it's basically liquid silicone.

 

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And the light-blocking layer is done, in black. To be followed by a White or silver coat to provide some reflectiveness for the internal LEDs.

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A minor update!

 

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I've given the internal areas that will be lit a once over with a cheap white gloss to provide some reflectivity.

 

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I've got a couple of 5m reels of LED tape (5V) so I thought I'd do a quick test. I'm not sure yet how the nacelles will turn out, but what I've done is to mask of a section internally so that the light can bleed through the plastic. I'm planning to only put very thin coats of paint on the outside, on those sections. Finger crossed it'll look okay!

 

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Well, the test looks promising. Rough, but still promising!

 

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And, I've found a use good for the lid of a toothpaste tube on this model. More on that later :) 

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  • SteveR changed the title to Star Trek Enterprise NCC-1701 Refit (AMT, 1:537 Scale)
11 hours ago, Thom216 said:

Do I recall correctly, that on the filming model, they'd painted thwe dark color only on the tops of the ridges?

Not sure if that's how they did it, but it sounds quite likely. I think there's a good chance that approach will give a good result, so when I get there I'll give it a go :) thanks

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Nice progress and I started this one in January myself! But only as far as adding the inserts to the saucer sections.

Pulling up a seat:popcorn:

Any build thread I've read says the nacelle pylons need to be reinforced with metal rod as the main hull won't hold the pylons & engines.

Look forward to following!

Cheers,

Dermot

 

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15 minutes ago, Dermo245 said:

Nice progress and I started this one in January myself! But only as far as adding the inserts to the saucer sections.

Pulling up a seat:popcorn:

Any build thread I've read says the nacelle pylons need to be reinforced with metal rod as the main hull won't hold the pylons & engines.

Look forward to following!

Cheers,

Dermot

 

I've seen that a lot too. I'll be looking in to using brass rods to reinforce the pylons as it seems like it's a must for a solid and long lasting build. But for now I'm going to work on the electrics, partly because I have everything I need for that but mainly because my airbrush is busted :/

 

I'm not completely convinced that I've got the saucer section inserts properly flush and seamless, so I will likely have to do some more filling and sanding at some point. They seem to pass the fingernail test, but I bet once I get some primer on them, they'll show!

 

Best

Steve

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So here's what I've use the lid of a tube of toothpaste for (Oral B, by the way). It fits perfectly inside and supports the led in the centre, giving a nice bright spot in the middle and a gentile fade to the edges.

I was originally going to have a coloured led in there, the lid would also help with light blocking. But I've decided that It would be best if the deflector had some colour while the lighting was turned off as well, so I will be giving the outside a coat of blue. Hopefully it's look okay :)

 

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Edited by SteveR
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I've started lighting the saucer section using LED strips, cut to size. I've created positive and negative strips using copper tape, that I can solder additional wires to for other lights when required. Which means I can keep the wiring that travels through the neck of the model to a minimum. This also and saves on wire and helps keep things tidy.

 

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The impulse engines here still have masking tape over them. Though I quite like the yellow look :)

 

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Edited by SteveR
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Looks good so far, and it's also helping to keep your teeth white :D You going to do anything with the shuttle for this build?

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2 minutes ago, Mike said:

Looks good so far, and it's also helping to keep your teeth white :D You going to do anything with the shuttle for this build?

I took a quick look at the shuttle on unboxing, while inspecting the sprue and I remember thinking that it looks way too big? :undecided: 

I've seen a few builds where people have mounted it on a rod next to the main model, so I might have a go at that, or something similar. This is the first consideration I've given to the shuttle tbh, I'd totally forgotten about it until your post :D I wonder if I could also light it in some way? You've got me thinking now!

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1 minute ago, SteveR said:

I'd totally forgotten about it until your post :D

Oops! :blush:

 

1 minute ago, SteveR said:

I've seen a few builds where people have mounted it on a rod next to the main mode

That's what sprung to mind when I saw the note on the box. :yes:

 

1 minute ago, SteveR said:

You've got me thinking now!

Sorry about that again :unsure:

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Nice to see a proper Connie class in the shipyards! Lighting is going to be awesome. I hate to admit it but these LED strips are making parts of our modeling lives a smidge easier. Nice work so far!

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