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Author Topic: The Great White Whale Restoration  (Read 14558 times)

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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The Great White Whale Restoration
« on: January 05, 2016, 07:22:15 am »
Hey Everybody,

I know that posting another starship build may be redundant - but this is SciFi Model Action blog so - I'm off on another one!  ;D

My brother did this build some decades ago and, after years of neglect and harsh summer, he wants me to try and restore the model. The instructions list it as an S951-603 which makes it, I think, a Long Box V6, but, from the look of the Nacelle attachments, it looks like it could be a V4 - not sure.

Here are some pic of the model "as found". http://scifimodelaction.com/sfmaforum/index.php?topic=5727.0 Rather than repost more pics follow the link. I am posting progress shots here.

After some consideration, I am going to try to "restore" the AMT model for a more nostalgic feel to it rather than heavily modify to emulate the production model. (That build is next!) I am thinking of repainting it to a white, pearlescent base coat to restore the original look of the model and then place only the decals that may have originally been included in the box issue. I am drawing heavily on Shaw's documentation of the Long Box model. http://federationreference.prophpbb.com/topic752.html?sid=3d6727b80becd74b5554ca95bb9c08c0 (NOTE TO ADMIN: I am not sure if, by the rules, I can link to another site, so if I am in violation, please PM me and I will remove the link. Thx!)

As you can tell by the cross-post, the model was heavily damaged by some sort of heat source and is in bad shape after decades of neglect. It almost looks like someone tried to use a heat source (candle?) to fuse the seams together and ended up warping (no pun intended) the secondary hull and causing to nacelles to sag terribly. I will have to clean the model, strip it and restore the "lines" of it before any cementing of parts can be done.

The photos below are after the parts have had a bath. I kept saying to myself "You are not working on this model; you are only "seeing what's to be done"! You must finish your other one http://scifimodelaction.com/sfmaforum/index.php?topic=5679.0 first!" But I found myself doing more and more and gave in and decided to post this WIP and gain your valuable insight and comments on this build. Not to worry (as if you would) I am still working on my first build and will see it done soon!

Your input and advice would be appreciated. As always, thanks for visiting and reading!

Thanks
MSgtRetUSAF
"To be honest with you, Picard, a significant number of my crew members have expressed a desire to return even knowing the odds. Some because they can't bear to live without their loved ones, some because they don't like the idea of slipping out in the middle of a fight."

Offline Shawn McClure

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 03:22:22 pm »
Looking good so far.
To build or not to build.... that is the question.   The answer.... build... Duh.

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 08:03:31 am »
Thanks, Shawn!
I feel a bit like a cold case detective trying to figure out what was done to this model before it came to me! I also am aware of this being a relic of someone’s childhood, so I want to treat it with kid gloves. But I also need to crack it open to see what I am facing in this effort.

I want to get it back to original intent condition; with some slight modifications. So I need to get it down to the basics to begin again.

1. This is a view of the Warp Nacelle. It has triangular cut holographic sticky paper on the Bussard Collector. He said he was trying to make it look like an active Warp Nacelle. Not a bad effort for the resources he had available during the build.

2. Once I had peeled the sticky paper off the Bussard Collector, I noticed several layers of paint. This made me want to see what the originally molded plastic color looked like.

3. The decals on the Secondary Hull were not water-slide decals but actual stickers. I saved them, but they are un-usable now. When I peeled it off, a layer of paint was also lifted off and, again, made me want to strip this off and clean it up.

4. When I cracked it open, this is the Nacelle attachment mechanism I found. Whatever he used, it was a mess of fused plastic. It seems as if whatever he used, epoxy, gorilla snot or whatever, fused everything. If you have an idea of what he may have used, let me know – I would be very interested.

5. This is a view of the external Nacelle attachment site. I will have to come up with a way to re-attach the Nacelle without using the original method. I have a few ideas, but would love to have your input and recommendations.

6. Another view of the internal mess. I knew I would have to grind this off and come up with a way to fix it. *whew*

7. This view and condition of the Aft Navigational Beacon leads to believe a heat source (candle?) was used to fuse the seams. I dunno. I am not even sure if that is a method or not.

Anyway, your input, comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Steve
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 11:02:43 am by MSgtUSAFRet »
"To be honest with you, Picard, a significant number of my crew members have expressed a desire to return even knowing the odds. Some because they can't bear to live without their loved ones, some because they don't like the idea of slipping out in the middle of a fight."

Offline Shawn McClure

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 08:06:42 am »
That thing looks a mess.  Looks like you have some work to do for sure.
To build or not to build.... that is the question.   The answer.... build... Duh.

Offline QSquared

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 06:32:18 pm »
Wow Steve! You definately have a ton of issues to work with on this restore my friend. Best of luck with this one and I am definately going to be following along with much interest!

Joshua
"Risk is part of the job if you want to sit in that chair...."

Offline Tankton

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 11:54:38 pm »
Testors Red tube is what the old glue looks like. Too much will
melt the styrene and actually weaken the joint. The older stuff
was a lot hotter than the than it is now.
Live Long and Prosper

Cameron Lewis Sr.

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Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2016, 12:36:43 pm »
Thanks for the empathy, guys!

Adm Tankton, thanks for the information! I remember using those tubes of Red Testors cement. I also remember getting more on me than I did on the model itself. ::D

Despite the severity of the damage, I am kinda excited to see what I can do to restore her!

These shots are more an evaluation or assessment of the damage. One thing I did notice, other than the stickers decals, was that the Starboard windows were actually black stickers; cut to fit. The Port side windows were painted in black paint. I guess cutting the stickers became too labor intensive.

1. These are the secondary hull pieces. The Yellowing was not the plastic but the paint. The Starboard side is used a fine scrubby pad to take off a layer of paint; which is why it looks cleaner than the Port side.

2. This is a comparison with a spare Round2 Dorsal Port hull. As you can see, this will take ALOT of putty to fill and contour back to a proper lines. Also note the break near the Aft.

3. Another view of the Port side damage.

4. The Starboard side didn't have as much damage and won’t take of much to restore to true.

5. The Port Dorsal Hull – I was trying to demonstrate how out of true the center line was. The orientation tabs on the interior didn’t allow me to lay it flat on the mat, so I improvised. Either way, it doesn’t look too good. But at least I know which way to tension the hull when I put it back together.

6. The Starboard Dorsal Hull – this one isn’t so bad. Apologies about the framing of the pic - it was one-handed! ;)

7. Finally – a comparison to the Starboard Dorsal Hull from the Round2 spare.

I think I will be using the spare parts to get close to the true lines while applying the bulk of the Millput. Then, while finishing, I will have to eyeball it.

Like I said above, I am excited about trying to restore this model. It should be an interesting exercise in fixing a broken model so that, when the first builds break, I will know how to start to repair it!

More to come! Thanks for reading and your input and comments are always welcome!

Steve
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 12:38:15 pm by MSgtUSAFRet »
"To be honest with you, Picard, a significant number of my crew members have expressed a desire to return even knowing the odds. Some because they can't bear to live without their loved ones, some because they don't like the idea of slipping out in the middle of a fight."

Offline pakratt840

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2016, 07:06:01 pm »
Kudos Steve for trying to fix this broken ship. Your braver and more dedicated than I. I would probably just toss it in the spare parts bin and use it for paint tests, etc. Come to think of it, that's precisely what I do with the saucer sections from my old busted up 1/650 TOS Enterprise. Will be watching to see how it turns out. 
Dan

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Luke: I'm not afraid!
Yoda: Oh...You will be...You...Will...Be!

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2016, 01:40:11 pm »
Dan, Thanks for the kudos! I didn't really want to scrap it as it, seemingly, may modelers online in various forums seem to all want a LongBox version of the AMT and here I had one, albeit damaged, literally handed to me and it does hold sentimental family history so...That and I don’t have a scrap pile… working on that though. ;)

Plus, with QSquared doing surgery for a TOS Scout http://scifimodelaction.com/sfmaforum/index.php?topic=5710.0 then I figured I could at least do restorative surgery. ;D
Okay,

1. I knew I needed to get this thing stripped of the paint to see what the molding color of the model was originally. Again, I called my hobby store expert and he recommended "Super Clean" degreaser. And now, so do I! This stuff works like a champ!!

2. I did a test run and left one of the more damaged pieces in the purple stuff for about 18 hours. When I took it out and washed it off the paint, with light rubbing, disappeared! So, into the bath it all went. The bottles are used to hold the pieces submerged in the stuff.

3. Another shot. I used a painter's roller tray to allow all of the pieces to get done all at once. The wife frowned on using Plastic food Storage bins. These I left in the bath for longer than 24 hours. True to Expert, it didn't attack the plastic and left it nearly pristine from the paint!

4. This is a shot of the drying mat. Sorry for the wild print and colors but it does show the model with no paint on it and very clean - hence the name of the stuff.

5. Another view. Thanks to Tankton, I now know what caused the scarring and pitting in the Interconnecting dorsal connection site.

6. The Nacelles. I am perplexed (again, easily, and often) as to why the black paint behind the Bussard Collectors didn't lift off. Another type of paint? I may end up covering it up with primer and painting over it. Still they are clean.

7. Test fit for feasibility of restoration - how much I have to do - which commenter's on the thread have pointed out - A LOT! ;)

8. The most damaged port nacelle attachment site.   I'll have to bring the secondary hull out a good inch in order to even reach the shortened pylon. *sigh* What have I gotten myself in to?

Still, it is a lot of fun to discover and plan this restoration! I am also learning ALOT and about paints, cements and stripping! Woohoo!

Thanks for reading and sympathizing! As always, your comments, insights and inputs are appreciated!

Steve
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 01:43:50 pm by MSgtUSAFRet »
"To be honest with you, Picard, a significant number of my crew members have expressed a desire to return even knowing the odds. Some because they can't bear to live without their loved ones, some because they don't like the idea of slipping out in the middle of a fight."

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2016, 07:12:15 am »
Hey all!

I jumped in and decided it was time to stop looking and start doing. My idea was to use Superfine White Milliput to restore the damaged bulk. This putty is a bit sticky to work with but, once set, is extremely hard and should have the strength to support the pylons.

1. I ground down the fused mess from the inside of the secondary hull to make room for the new attachment mechanism. More on that to come later

2. As you can see, I also prepped the site using an acrylic bur and a Dremel to roughen the surface. I also created a ledge or shelf, depending on your point of view, which should allow me to finish to the line without creating a feather edge. Port View.

3. Starboard view. I used the spare parts from the Round2 model to help create the seam or stop for the additional putty. The blue tape came in handy and did it's job admirably!

4. Here is the model with the Millput applied and setting. I even went fancy with the cut glass coaster as a rest.  ::)D

5. Reverse view.

6.  24 hours later after the putty was set. It was still cold and a bit soft so I don't think it was at it's final set yet.

7.  Starboard - and the only remaining tab.

8. Also filled the hole on the Aft.

After some finishing, I will try and fill the dorsal of the secondary hull.

More to come! Thanks for reading!

Steve
"To be honest with you, Picard, a significant number of my crew members have expressed a desire to return even knowing the odds. Some because they can't bear to live without their loved ones, some because they don't like the idea of slipping out in the middle of a fight."

Offline Shawn McClure

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2016, 08:59:41 am »
Wow, now that is craftsmanship.   Looks like things are on the right track for sure.   You are one determined individual.

Shawn
To build or not to build.... that is the question.   The answer.... build... Duh.

Offline QSquared

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2016, 11:41:03 am »
Steve,

Kudos on the solutions you've devised and implemented thus far! There is no doubt your hard work will pay off as the restore progresses. This is very informative and interesting to follow. Keep it going and don't give up on it!

Joshua
"Risk is part of the job if you want to sit in that chair...."

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2016, 12:47:05 pm »
Wow! Thank, guys, for the kudos and nice words!! :D

1. Here is the Ventral view after some finishing. I used an acrylic bur and my Dremel to take down a majority of the bulk, then used sandpaper to get the smooth finish. I think I won’t get too fine with the finish and final shaping until I get the two halves together and the seams filled.

2. Here is the port view with the Round2 Dorsal secondary hull…

3. … and the starboard the Round2 Dorsal secondary hull.

4. I made a template of the secondary hull of plastic used to make wall stencils. I used David Shaw’s excellent analysis http://federationreference.prophpbb.com/topic752.html of AMT’s 18 inch, Long Box model as a pattern. Shaw’s thread is an interesting read and has many insights that have helped in the planning of this restore. I used the template to make sure I wasn’t overfinishing the repair.

5. As I did on the ventral section of the Hull, I am doing to the Dorsal. I prepped the site using an acrylic bur and a Dremel to roughen the surface creating a ledge or shelf allowing me to finish to the line without creating a featheredge. Port view…

6. …and Starboard.

7. The application of Millput. Waiting for it to set.

Truly, I am blow away by the support and encouraging words from this most excellent group of Modelers! Thanks!

Any input, comments and suggestions for improvement are greatly appreciated!

Steve
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 12:49:35 pm by MSgtUSAFRet »
"To be honest with you, Picard, a significant number of my crew members have expressed a desire to return even knowing the odds. Some because they can't bear to live without their loved ones, some because they don't like the idea of slipping out in the middle of a fight."

Offline Shawn McClure

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2016, 01:03:16 pm »
That looks like a ton of work.  Great so far.

Shawn
To build or not to build.... that is the question.   The answer.... build... Duh.

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: The Great White Whale Restoration
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2016, 07:38:46 pm »
Says the guy who's building a lighted Reliant, Shawn!  ;) That's work to me!

Steve
"To be honest with you, Picard, a significant number of my crew members have expressed a desire to return even knowing the odds. Some because they can't bear to live without their loved ones, some because they don't like the idea of slipping out in the middle of a fight."

 




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