SciFi Model Action

Members Current Projects (WIP) => Members Current Projects (WIP) => Topic started by: Merrittk54 on September 09, 2018, 03:59:36 pm

Title: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 09, 2018, 03:59:36 pm
I've begun my Enterprise Refit build after many hours of viewing videos, reading web pages, studying the model and its parts, diagrams, pictures, and so on.  What I have found is that the key to a successful build is similar to what they say about the value of real estate, being all about "Location, location, location".  it's "Preparation, preparation, preparation" for us modelers.  A close second to that would be "Planning, planning, planning".

So what I've done so far is the boring prep stuff like washing, trimming and test fitting parts; mainly the saucer section and shuttle/hangar bay.  It's been fun.  I've also gone ahead and built 2 of the shuttles just to get a feel for handling very small parts.  I'm going to do a little painting on the shuttles and apply decals, again with the goal in mind to get used to handling and establishing muscle-memory. 

The biggest temptation for me is getting into a big hurry.  I work in an industry where the clock rules everything you do.  It's refreshing to be able to do something like this and be on my own schedule.  I'm willing to bet that there are some of you who know what I mean!

When I figure out how to post some pictures, I'll do that as the build progresses.  Back to the kitchen sink for more parts washing!

-Merrittk54
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: CrowTRobot on September 09, 2018, 06:51:51 pm
You've got the right mindset for building the big Refit. I would add that if/when it becomes tedious & seems overwhelming then step back, relax, and maybe take a break from it for a while. Maybe have another simple project on the side that you can work on (Bandai Star Wars kits come to mind, or damned near any Tamiya airplane model). The last thing you want to do is press on in frustration and make careless mistakes.

Good luck with your build!
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 10, 2018, 07:12:16 am
Thanks for the encouragement CrowT!  Appreciate it.  ;D
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 14, 2018, 07:37:12 am
Ordered and received my Paragrafix Refit Photoetch and decal sets.  I've also been picking up various small stuff like brushes, adhesives, etc.  I've got plenty to do between now and when it comes time to add the electronics & lights.  Still pondering how far I want to go with that.

Since I don't own an airbrush at present I am considering decals for the Aztec effects, but not final on my decision.  That is also a ways from now.  My main methodology for this build is based on Boyd's YouTube tutorials, which are excellent. 

Anyway, hope everyone has a great weekend.  For our modeling brothers & sisters in the southeast, stay safe while Florence is around.

-Merrittk54
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: CrowTRobot on September 15, 2018, 07:30:40 am
Since I don't own an airbrush at present I am considering decals for the Aztec effects, but not final on my decision.

IMHO, an airbrush is the single most important modeling tool you can own. It's an investment that will pay-off many times over as you build more models. Learning how to use one (and it's not difficult) will vastly improve the outcome of every model you build. An airbrush would still be very useful even if you use aztec decals because there are numerous other details that need to be painted. If you can, bite the bullet and get an airbrush + a suitable air source now. You won't regret it. I use an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS brush with a Sparmax TC2000 compressor, and they've served me well (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150725760@N04/collections/72157685748171965/).
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 16, 2018, 07:12:36 am
Thanks again CrowT!  That airbrush/compressor combo would be quite the investment! :o
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 16, 2018, 03:53:20 pm
(http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a534/Zealot061/IMG_1947_zpscatj9fos.jpg) (http://s1282.photobucket.com/user/Zealot061/media/IMG_1947_zpscatj9fos.jpg.html)

Shuttlecraft Complete!  Man, those decals are TINY!  The black windshield and engine side stripes don't come with the kit decals, so I cut them out of the extra -A that I didn't plan on using.  My refit will be the Enterprise as she was post-TMP and pre-TWOK attack by the Reliant.  I'm only going to make 2 shuttles for this build.

I also began the Dremel process preparing the saucer section for lights.  Having a great time!

-Merrittk54
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Tshark on September 17, 2018, 07:51:34 am
Thanks again CrowT!  That airbrush/compressor combo would be quite the investment! :o

You might consider this airbrush compressor option.  Both work well and you can upgrade the airbrush once you master the basics if you desire.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001TO578Q/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Hope this helps
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 18, 2018, 08:53:41 am
Thanks Tshark!  That's more in line with my affordability factor, although I'd love to be able to get the one that CrowT suggested.  :)
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: CrowTRobot on September 18, 2018, 06:43:49 pm
I started with an old Badger 200 using compressed air in cans! The set that TShark posted is way better than that.
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 23, 2018, 02:21:57 pm
(http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a534/Zealot061/IMG_1958_zpsk8hpq2sk.jpg) (http://s1282.photobucket.com/user/Zealot061/media/IMG_1958_zpsk8hpq2sk.jpg.html)

Made some nice headway on the upper saucer section.  Following Boyd's & Matt's guidance, I removed segments of the inner walls to permit light to show through the windows on the saucer edge.  I'm sure this was a task many or most of you did early on in your build.  At first it was rather intimidating but I gained more confidence with time.  Very happy with the results.

Refer to the picture above.  I'm in a quandary with respect to the windows themselves.  In all the videos I've watched, I don't recall that anyone has mentioned the clear plastic windows that come with the kit.  I don't see them installed at all on the builds, or if they were no mention was made of them.  It doesn't appear that they can be installed once the walls are installed, and if you do install them you can't very well paint the walls or the saucer without masking the clear plastic windows, and that would be a big PITA, I'm sure.  I do recall either Boyd or Matt or someone else talking about using canopy glue to fill in the tiny window openings; the glue itself becoming a window.

Would one (or more) of you fellow modelers enlighten me about this?  I'm reluctant to continue wth wall installation until I get some clarity on this.  Many, many thanks!

-Merrittk54
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: CrowTRobot on September 23, 2018, 03:29:15 pm
I filled the windows in my Refit with Envirotex Lite clear liquid resin. I wanted something that would cure perfectly flush with the hull. It requires more work than canopy glue, but I was worried canopy glue would pull-in as it cured and form concave "dimpled" windows. First I taped over all the window ports on the hull exterior using scotch tape, then I filled each window from the inside with the resin prior to assembly. After it cured I removed the tape to reveal smooth, flush windows. It's hard to tell from this photo, but you can run your finger across the hull and never feel the windows:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4043/35535783901_a39df8c49a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/W9bbvk)IMG_7236 (https://flic.kr/p/W9bbvk) by Marshall Blythe (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150725760@N04/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 24, 2018, 07:12:09 am
Thanks CrowT!

Some follow-up questions:

1.  At what point in the build process did you apply the Envirotex? Before or after assembly?  Before or after paint?  Did you have to mask it?

2.  So the Scotch tape doesn't stick to the cured Envirotex?

3.  Did you use this technique on every window (except for the officer's lounge and arboretum, of course)?

4.  Is it brushed on or poured on?

-Merrittk54
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Tshark on September 24, 2018, 08:05:35 am
I tried the same technique using acrylic nail powder on a 1/650 Enterprise, but the Envirotex looks like it might work better.  Is there any problem with bubbles and the Envirotex?
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: RossW on September 24, 2018, 10:00:03 am
I tried the same technique using acrylic nail powder on a 1/650 Enterprise, but the Envirotex looks like it might work better.  Is there any problem with bubbles and the Envirotex?
Yeah, I had a lousy experience with acrylic nail/dental powder on my 1:350 TOS E. Couldn't get the windows crystal clear, plus you could see the thickness of the hull plastic which wasn't in scale. I ended up using the white window inserts, individually cut for each one. If you go the clear resin route, I'd first thin the hull plastic around the windows to make the thickness more in scale , and then use a piece of scotch tape on the inside to help diffuse the lighting after the clear resin has cured.
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 24, 2018, 03:57:49 pm
Thanks for the suggestions.  I saw a thread from Neil Smith and he tackled the window situation differently.  I may try to get in touch with him and ask about it.

Pressing on!

-Merrittk54
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: CrowTRobot on September 25, 2018, 07:23:38 am
1.  At what point in the build process did you apply the Envirotex? Before or after assembly?  Before or after paint?  Did you have to mask it?

After light-blocking the interior but before assembly & exterior painting. I did have to mask each window, but I used the Orbital Drydock masking set which included pre-cut masks for all the windows.

2.  So the Scotch tape doesn't stick to the cured Envirotex?

Nope! A little tape adhesive remained stuck to some of the windows, but a gentle sanding took care of that. That's another plus: you can sand & polish the resin windows once they're cured.

3.  Did you use this technique on every window (except for the officer's lounge and arboretum, of course)?

Right. For the officer's lounge, arboretum, and rec-deck windows I used very thin sheets of clear styrene. Everything else is resin.

4.  Is it brushed on or poured on?

I "dabbed" it on using a small bit a stretched sprue. I mixed small amounts of resin in a tiny cup and transferred droplets of it into each window using the sprue. This gave me good control over the process. A paint brush or toothpick would be prone to adding air bubbles to the resin. You want to use something smooth to avoid picking up air. I ended up with some bubbles anyway despite my best efforts, but whenever that happened I was able to coax them out using the same bit of stretched sprue.

It's not a quick process, but I think the end results are worth it. The 2-part resin has a finite working time with once it's mixed, so I mixed only small amounts and worked small sections of the model in any given session. For example, in one session I filled the left & right dorsal windows, and in another I did the left & right secondary hull windows. If you break it up this way it makes it more manageable and less tedious.

The only real trouble I had was on the saucer rim windows. If you look at them closely you'll see that the sensor band grooves run right into the window openings. The Scotch tape had a hard time sealing these areas, and as a result some of the resin leaked out into the grooves. I had to clean the cured resin out these areas using scribing tools and gentle sanding.
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on September 25, 2018, 09:10:51 am
Thank you CrowT.

So, when you sand the windows after the resin hardens, I presume they will have an opaque look to them.  Is that what to expect?  Doesn't bother me if they do so long as the light gets through.
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: CrowTRobot on September 25, 2018, 09:58:05 am
After sanding with fine-grit paper the windows will have a frosted appearance. You can either polish them or just leave them and let your gloss coat shine them up. Light passes through them easily .
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: Merrittk54 on October 20, 2018, 08:27:30 am
Hi guys & gals,

Well, it's been a while since my last post.  Life does seem to get in the way of our personal pleasures at times.  Anyway, I have some progress to report to you.  I have pretty much been following Boyd's methodology with my build, plus garnering advice from others such as Crow, neilfsmith and MattA.  And as many, if not all of you have discovered, this kit is not to be trifled with! :P

As you can see, I've done the typical upper saucer prep.  I didn't really have much trouble here.  I did come perilously close to cutting through the saucer with the Dremel in one place; you can see it at the lower left side of the saucer.  I anticipate the there will be a light leak that will need extra blocking.

(http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a534/Zealot061/IMG_1978_zpsxhxwmg25.jpg)[/URL]

Adding the photoetch commander's lounge window caused my heartrate to go up at times but I'm very happy with the result.

(http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a534/Zealot061/IMG_1980_zpsa8te1dhc.jpg)[/URL]

On the other hand, the bridge was the most challenging for me thus far.  I had no trouble adding the styrene strips to raise the bridge.  The real problems came when I attached the photoetch pieces to the rear bulkhead.  The one on the right did not want to "nest" in its place on the bulkhead.  Is it possible that there is a mold defect on my part?  Several attempts at removing and replacing it started making matters worse, so I did the best I could and moved on.  That piece is slightly raised compared to the left side.  I have since filled in places with plastic putty and shot some primer on it.  I'm happy enough to move on.  I'm thinkimg that this particular imperfection will be one of those that only I and few few other folks (like you!) will know about.

(http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a534/Zealot061/IMG_1981_zps9akbj9pe.jpg)[/URL]

Here's a picture of my new DC power supply.  I've also purchased a new Weller soldering station and will very soon place an order for an airbrush/compressor set.  I'm an aircraft technician by trade but have moved on the the proverbial "desk job".  I've sold some tools and equipment that are no longer needed and used those funds for my new stuff.  LOVE BUYING NEW STUFF!!

(http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a534/Zealot061/IMG_1985_zpsc7c52bmk.jpg)[/URL]

I have since light-blocked the saucer and will soon order some LEDs and wiring and really start having fun.  Hope you guys are enjoying your builds.

-Merrittk54
Title: Re: Merrittk54's Enterprise 1/350 Refit Build
Post by: CrowTRobot on October 20, 2018, 05:17:09 pm
Looking good! The new tools will serve you well in this & future builds.