SciFi Model Action

Members Model Gallery => Members Model Gallery => Topic started by: MattA on September 04, 2017, 10:28:13 pm

Title: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MattA on September 04, 2017, 10:28:13 pm
Hello All!  Those of you who follow my projects know that I started this project back in February of 2014 (That's 3 and a half YEARS ago to those keeping score).  I started with a Star Trek VI kit and decided I was going to fill all the tile work and paint on the aztecs using a 2 color aztec paint scheme.  I even purchased the DLM parts pack to try to accurize it some.  As the project wore on, I just wasn't happy with how it was turning out.  Then after awhile, I found that when I had glued on the pylons, they were far too close together making the warp nacelles just look 'wrong'.  When I attempted to straighten them, CRACK.  That meant kissing that project goodbye.  It's the first time I've ever started a model over like that. 

So after that, I decided it was time to begin again.  I purchased a brand stinking new Star Trek IV kit that was still sealed from 1986.  It even included the 'Star Trek: 20th Anniversary' decals on the decal sheet.  Getting this particular kit was a sort of homecoming for me, as my gateway drug to Star Trek was The Voyage Home.  I was 13 years old, and boy did I get bitten by the bug in a HUGE way. 

This time, I decided I was going to just build up the kit, warts and all.  I did bring over the parts from DLM (Getting them off the other kit took some imagination and finesse).  I also removed all my lighting and transferred it to the new ship.

This time, I was really careful with the pylons, and made sure the nacelles were completely straight vs having the pylons be straight.  This kit isn't symmetrical, so there are slight issues no matter what you do.  By getting the saucer and nacelles straight, the whole ship actually looks fine. 

I didn't want to try to paint the aztecs on this thing again, so I asked Jerry from hdamodelworx if he wouldn't mind making an aztec decal set.  He did, and this ship was the guinea pig.  Some of them are too light, some are too dark, but I think overall they really look great.  We've dialed in the proper brightness and transparency now, so you kids that decide to use them on your own models won't have much of a problem. 

So anyway, here she is.  I hope you all like what I've done.  She's just shy of being complete.  I'm going to mount the stock base to a plaque of some kind for extra stability and I also need to do a shade more work to the deflector dish, but otherwise, she's done.  Let me know what you all think. 

The proof is right here.  You really can polish a turd! ;D

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4358/36894737761_d2c2abdde9_b.jpg)
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4360/36638926130_2bab97d622_b.jpg)
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4399/36864630792_1e0a5c5605_b.jpg)
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4411/36894738411_cf7168cdf9_b.jpg)
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4390/37035636055_7136e610cb_b.jpg)
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4401/36638927980_e44f1a011c_b.jpg)
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MSgtUSAFRet on September 05, 2017, 08:33:28 am
Matt, you are like the Refit MASTER - no matter which scale you chose to build!

Absolutely astounding! Very well done!

But then, I didn't expect anything less of you!

Great Job!

Steve
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: pakratt840 on September 05, 2017, 10:42:19 am
What makes this even more impressive is that if you didn't know beforehand, you would think it was the 1/350 Refit. It's simply excellent work. 👏👏
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MattA on September 05, 2017, 02:32:36 pm
@Steve:  I try!  It's the whole driving force behind my modeling.  Someday, that perfect 1:350 refit will be done!

@Dan: That's the ultimate compliment!  Thanks!!
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: greg on September 05, 2017, 10:49:35 pm
Why doesn't Jerry have a regular set of aztec decals available? He has them for the pylons and deflector housing and such, but not for the rest of the ship. Makes little sense in buying that one set and not have the rest of the ship covered with a matching aztec pattern. If you were his guinea pig, then you've certainly proven that these should be a good seller.
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MattA on September 05, 2017, 11:52:37 pm
They're coming very very soon. Trust me, they'll be available before you know it. :)
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: starsiegeplayer on September 06, 2017, 09:02:34 pm
Good job, Matt!
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: greg on September 06, 2017, 11:28:14 pm
They're coming very very soon. Trust me, they'll be available before you know it. :)
Thanks. I message Jerry fairly often. Sometimes he's quick to respond, while other times I'll send him a few messages with no response. I asked him about aztec decals but never heard back from him.

I have some questions for you.

1. Did you use any brass rods to reinforce the pylons? I read on a forum somewhere that this is recommended. I'm not entirely sure how to brace them against the plastic hull, though.

2. I understand that on your first go at this kit, you tried filling in the fake panel lines. What did you use to do this? I was thinking of using some Tamiya putty and/or Mr. Dissolved Putty.
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: whb64 on September 07, 2017, 11:01:12 am
They're coming very very soon. Trust me, they'll be available before you know it. :)
Thanks. I message Jerry fairly often. Sometimes he's quick to respond, while other times I'll send him a few messages with no response. I asked him about aztec decals but never heard back from him.

I have some questions for you.

1. Did you use any brass rods to reinforce the pylons? I read on a forum somewhere that this is recommended. I'm not entirely sure how to brace them against the plastic hull, though.

2. I understand that on your first go at this kit, you tried filling in the fake panel lines. What did you use to do this? I was thinking of using some Tamiya putty and/or Mr. Dissolved Putty.
Greg I haven't used this yet but from everything I read and the videos I watched it looks like pretty good stuff- Deluxe Materials Perfect Plastic Putty. 

What I like about it is it is water based and flows easily.  They sell applicator syringes with different size needles to apply it to seams and tight areas.   Once applied, you can wipe off the excess with your finger dipped in water, or use something like a makeup sponge.  From the videos I watched it stays in the seams and wipes off the rest of the surface.  Once dry a light sanding and then  paint and you can't even see the seam.  Sounds like a lot of work, but less than trying to spread regular putty on and then sand everything.
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: DizWhiz on September 07, 2017, 06:36:41 pm

1. Did you use any brass rods to reinforce the pylons? I read on a forum somewhere that this is recommended. I'm not entirely sure how to brace them against the plastic hull, though.

2. I understand that on your first go at this kit, you tried filling in the fake panel lines. What did you use to do this? I was thinking of using some Tamiya putty and/or Mr. Dissolved Putty.

I would suggest YES. I haven't built one since I was a kid but the nacelles drooped and/or fell off over time. I think I had to re-glue them on several times, the only thing holding them up are two flimsy pieces of plastic at the ends.
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: AnythingSciFi on September 07, 2017, 09:55:30 pm
FANTASTIC!!!
Would never know that this was the AMT POS!
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MattA on September 08, 2017, 03:33:52 pm
Thanks, Kenny!!

@greg:  I didn't use brass rods.  The Star Trek VI version I started with had cutouts in the tabs for wiring to 'light' the nacelles.  They severely weakened the tabs.  I filled them from the underside with strip styrene and a bunch of glue to try welding everything together, and it did work, but because I was so focused on getting everything strong, I forgot about straight.  The nacelles went on really really crooked.

I scrapped that build and started this Star Trek IV version, and one of the things I noticed immediately was the tabs were MUCH thicker.  There was no cutout for wiring which helped beef things up immensely.  I focused on making sure the entire thing was square this time, dry fitting the inner nacelles while gluing the pylons to the secondary hull and paying close attention to straightness.  Once that had dried, I did the same thing as before, and beefed up the mounting point with strip styrene.  It's actually quite strong.

Filling the panel lines was time consuming, and I never really got them to disappear completely.  They kept showing up.  One this build, I decided to just build it warts and all, and you really can't see them too easily unless you look for them.  The decals seem to hide the issue a lot unless you're right on top of it.

Also, when contacting Jerry, if he doesn't respond, just try again later.  He works a day job and then packs orders at night and tries to get to email in-between.  The guy works ALL the time.  I'd go mad in his shoes!  I had to really bug him to get these decals done, as finding the time was so hard.  he did come through, though, and did an outstanding job!

Thanks for the kind words, everyone.  This was one of the more difficult models I've built, mostly because of all the flaws.  I'm really glad it turned out like it did, and I'm really glad the modeling community seems to like it! 
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: DizWhiz on September 09, 2017, 10:26:21 am
Glad you got the pylons to work out, she looks great. I've still got one of those STVI w/lights kits in my closet I take out, look at, and say "maybe someday".
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: nkaltso on September 09, 2017, 10:33:07 am
Very nice
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MattA on September 09, 2017, 10:42:35 pm
Jerry just put the Aztec Decals for the 537 up on his site for sale. 

http://hdamodelworx.com/DECAL-SET-FOR-537-Scale-USS-Enterprise-RefitA-Model-Kit-by-HDAmodelworx_p_572.html (http://hdamodelworx.com/DECAL-SET-FOR-537-Scale-USS-Enterprise-RefitA-Model-Kit-by-HDAmodelworx_p_572.html)

They truly dressed up my 537 a ton!  They are definitely well worth it.  We used my ship as sort of a test bed to see how they looked.  The final ones were slightly adjusted opacity wise in order to even them out some.  They look great!

And just because this really showed the difference between the 537 and 350 Enterprises:

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4432/37134816055_2caba78aa1_b.jpg)
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: karve on September 10, 2017, 05:05:10 am
Looks great Matt!
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: whb64 on September 10, 2017, 06:00:11 am
I'd be proud to have just built one that looks that good... but you have two!  Great job :)
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: greg on September 10, 2017, 07:42:00 pm
Jerry just put the Aztec Decals for the 537 up on his site for sale. 
Neat-o mosquito! I just added that to my wishlist.

I really like your comparison photo. It shows the proportion differences with the 537, namely the engineering hull's length.
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: TK Iain on September 12, 2017, 05:49:23 am
Superb job! ;D
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MattA on September 13, 2017, 10:15:05 am
Thanks, everyone!  I'm glad she's finished (mostly), and that she looks ship shape.  It's a tough kit to make look right for sure. 
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: scottminium on October 11, 2017, 07:02:48 pm
Wow, great job, and the size comparison is really striking!
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: greg on October 12, 2017, 12:38:28 am
I ordered the 537 aztecs today from Jerry. Looking forward to seeing them when they arrive. I still need to build up my experience before tackling this. I've managed to accomplish a strobe on a 555 timer chip on a breadboard, so I need to translate this into soldering it onto a board.
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MattA on October 12, 2017, 09:38:08 am
I wound up using a tenacontrols board for this build, but in my future builds I'm going to use an Arduino.  Arduino Nano's are plentiful and small, and there's sketches all over the place to make up a flasher. 

I'm starting a 1:350 build right now that I'm doing up for youtube (sort of the 'opposite of Boyd' build).  It'll be a build for the rest of us who don't have mad painting skills like he does.  I'm also going to be keeping the cost down as far as possible on it.  I'll be using an Arduino in that one.
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: greg on October 12, 2017, 09:12:35 pm
I'd be interested in seeing your videos. What's your YT channel?

How expensive will the Arduino be? I bought a 556 chip for dirt cheap and I've found a guide on how to wire it up for use in a Trek kit. I will try it out someday. If I can get it to work, I am sure it will be much cheaper than an Arduino.

Jerry told me yesterday that Round2 is gonna repop the 537 Enterprise model. I haven't seen this reported anywhere else yet, but he was right when he told me that Moebius was coming out with a Cylon Base Star. Unfortunately it wasn't the original classic, but the hood ornament one from the reboot. (Meh.)
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: pakratt840 on October 13, 2017, 07:12:41 pm
Quote
Jerry told me yesterday that Round2 is gonna repop the 537 Enterprise model.

We can only hope they fix the brickwork on the molds. But that would be a major change from their normal pattern of just releasing essentially the same kit with a few minor updates.
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MattA on October 13, 2017, 11:14:22 pm
My youtube channel is 'mattsmodelshop'.  Currently I only have a couple of videos up there.  More is coming!

Yes, the 537 is being repopped and will be out around January.  No, they didn't fix anything on it.  It's the exact same mold as before, warts and all.

As for the arduino cost, I get mine from Jerry.  Ask him. ;D

Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: greg on October 16, 2017, 01:38:48 am
I've since saw the box art for the refit repop on CultTVMan. It's hard to tell, but hat lousy gridwork pattern is still there. I'd say the best we can hope for are Cartograf aztec decals. I already ordered Jerry's aztecs, though.

I checked on his site and I couldn't find any arduinos. I can find them here in Japan, though.
Title: Re: 1/537 Enterprise Refit (1701-A) 99% complete
Post by: MattA on October 18, 2017, 04:49:49 pm
I don't think they're doing aztec decals for the 537.  At least, they haven't announced them.  I wouldn't think they'd bother.  Old kit and all.