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Author Topic: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!  (Read 598 times)

Offline FatalCheese

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It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« on: August 12, 2017, 12:13:54 am »
Greetings All,

So I've started the quest of my TMP refit!  Actually, it's not a TMP build - it's a ST2/WOK build, so completely different, right? ;)  More on that below.

Plan is to do a 5-color Aztec paint, and will be lighting it up as well too. Have the photoetch pieces and Oribital's masks, as well as the paint guide. I actually started building a couple months ago. I'm new to modeling and really wanting to do it right, so I'm taking it slow. After spreading out all the model and all the supplies, tools, accessories I bought - I was too terrified for a week to answer the question "where do I begin?". It's also my first time using an Airbrush, so I've been experimenting and learning on NOT the model. Also wanted to get into it a little bit before I started posting, make sure it was going to happen. I'm probably $500 in it so far - so this is definitely happening. I just chuckled to myself back when I thought buying the model itself was the investment. Oh, how naive I was then!  I've started modifying the bridge as well as the arboretum - given there are so many posts about the same stuff, I won't bore everything with small steps until there is significant progress or something unique I think might be beneficial to share.

Anyways, here is part of the shuttlebay, and the defining feature of why this is the STII enterprise. I absolutely hated the color schemes of TMP - there was no way I was doing a pea green shuttlebay. I really like the blue/steel look of the "utiltiy" areas in ST2, so that's the scheme I went with.

The blue ended up a little darker than I wanted, but after several attempts of unhappy paint color mixes on prevous attempts, I can live with it.

This also ends my efforts in making custom colors.  Next time, get up, drive to the hobby store, and buy the color.



Question: You'll notice in the shuttlebay pics that it needs sanding.  I'm having a heckuvatime finding a good way to sand details.  I've bought the smallest sanding sticks I can find - but they still seem bulky, especially since the ends don't have the grit, and they aren't rounded.  What are others using for these detailed areas?

I've been experimenting with the Aztec colors.  I'm using the base as a test surface, since I'm probably not going to use it.  I'm using PearlEx with AlcladII Lacquer - per Orbital Drydock's recommedations.  I seem to be getting inconsistent results.

The blue and green are very light, and the red and gold seem very dark. In fact, the blue, I actually put on pretty heavy.  In the gold light spray area - this was just enough until I could tell I had covered the area.  All are the same formulat 1/16tsp PearlEx to 12ml AlcladII. Really concerned that by the time I can see it, I've put on too much.

I know many are fans of the fish paint - didn't see that until after getting this.

Question: Is this the problem inherent with pigments - that each color is a potentially a different mixture?  Any tips?

Highlights:
  • Time to draw first blood - 18mins.  Is that a record?

Thanks,
Brian
You're in it this far...what's another $20?

Offline karve

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 05:54:38 am »
Hiya Brian and welcome to the insane world of the Enterprise Refit.
  I was very much like you when I started mine. I had built models as a kid etc. but had never gotten into it to the level that's required for this guy. Like you I had to buy an air brush and learn how to do it .... and so on. I started from scratch just like you.You're right .... it is an expensive build, especially if it's your first one like you and I, but man it's worth every penny when you see her sitting on your mantle all lit up.  ;)
  You're approaching this monster just the right way. Take each little section as a separate build. Do the shuttle bay, the officers lounge, and the arboretum first, and then work from there. As you finish little project after little project one day you'll look up and see that you're starting to approach the finish line!

As for your question about sanding small areas, I have no answer for you sorry. I've never found a good way to sand small or uneven surfaces well. I guess my only suggestion would be to be careful not to spray too heavily when using your air brush. It took me a while to realize that a light touch done twice looks much better than a heavier coat done once. It's much smoother and is generally a better look.

You're off to a great start. Have fun and be patient. If this guy does anything for you it will teach you to be patient!  ;)

 
Kevin

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us."
    Quote from Carl Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot'  1994

Offline FatalCheese

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 11:59:03 am »
Thanks, Kevin.  Yeah, finding lighter coats are probably a necessity. Although, I think I've spent more time cleaning my airbrush than actually building the model so far!

Cheers,
B
You're in it this far...what's another $20?

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 08:14:09 am »
Fatal Cheese, First let me take the opportunity to thank you for sharing your BB/HTML coding with us! The pictures inserted with comments about the pictures to the side is excellent formatting! Not only that, but it gives me something else to try!! So, thanks again.

I love how you're documenting your aztecing color trials.  :o  I am learning a bit from them and should have more questions later!  ;D

As far as sanding, the micro-sticks will certainly help, but what surfaces are you trying to sand? I broke down and purchased a Needle File set. I picked it up at my LHS. Also there are Professional Hobby Sanding Files which are round, white files and, at least in the packages I've seen, have fine tips on them for tight spaces. One more, a Sanding Detailer Kit. It is hard to describe so here is a link. http://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Wood-Crafting/Hardware-Tools/Sanding-Detailer-Kit/p/80799062

I have also cut strips of sand paper and wrapped them over the eraser of a pencil to get that illusive scratch. Using the same principle, I would grab one of those pink school erasers and wrap the sandpaper over the beveled end of it and get to a difficult seam that needed sanding.

One more, unexpected place to find smaller sanding tool is a beauty supply store. I have a Sallys Beauty Supply close to me and the sanding sticks and boards are much less expensive there than an LHS. Plus, if get their rewards card, you can pick up some decent discounts.

Hope this gives you some ideas about sanding.

LLAP!

Steve
"As long as there is injustice, whenever a Targathian baby cries out, wherever a distress signal sounds among the stars, we'll be there. This fine ship, this fine crew. Never give up... and never surrender."

Offline dannyk

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 12:34:58 pm »
Welcome, Mr. Cheese,

You've certainly come to the right place to ask questions. Please don't be afraid to do so--but expect lots of different opinions and answers for you to choose from!

Your story is similar to many others here. I didn't know I had a Wrath of Khan Enterprise until I painted the uniforms on the tiny L'arsenal crew. No way I would paint on those TMP pajamas...

I really like the sanding sticks for their stiffness. Also, the larger Squadron or Flex-I-File sticks. When you get to the hull though, you might want to just use your hands to hold small pieces of sandpaper since all the surfaces are curved and you may want the 'feel' under your fingers.

I also used the PearlEx with Alclad (with good success), and you're right, the blue doesn't read as colorful as everything else. You can increase the amount of PearlEx powder quite a bit before worrying about the mix coming through the airbrush. You can also increase pressure a bit to spray if needed. So, to answer your question, yes, you may find each color is a potentially different mixture. And as Karve said, you must use light coats! That will become more evident when you start pulling off the small aztec masks.  Too heavy, and you'll have massive edge buildups, which must then be sanded off--removing the heavier spray you were trying to put down!

Finally, if you continue with the whole aztec plan, you can expect to spend much more time prepping the masks and cleaning the airbrush than building the model, so you must be doing it right!  Good luck!  :)

Offline AnythingSciFi

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 06:33:38 pm »
I like the idea of getting away from the traditional Refit build! Everyone builds those!!
Now, the Wrath of Kahn version, now that is something really different!!  LOL

I like you plan and the colors are looking good! Shuttlebay is taking shape!

Offline FatalCheese

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2017, 03:19:02 pm »
Thanks for all the suggestions - the areas I'm struggling with are narrow spots with imperfections in the paint (splatter or dust) - I had not come across the Flex-I-file sticks, I think those might work.  Although, I like the idea of sandpaper on an eraser, will try that too.

Part of my issue on the Aztec is knowing "what amount is right" - I see some pictures of others where the colors appear way too prominent (at least to me) - but that could also be the effect of camera and flash as well, and could look prefect in-person - I'm sure pics don't do justice in many cases.  I've been studying the 1701-A pics on modelermagic.com and comparing against ST VI movie.  I'm not doing the 1701-A paint scheme, but I assume the model's scheme still matches what was filmed in VI, so just trying to see what the Aztecs looked like for the film - and they seem very very subtle.  Although, the model has clearly seen better days - they might be faded, and I have no idea what ILM did in post.  I am after the look of the movie, not the look of the model. So I will continue to experiment with the pigments, since it's way down the road before I'm actually ready to paint Aztecs, and I'll be sure to post what I find. 
You're in it this far...what's another $20?

Offline FatalCheese

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 06:21:16 pm »
Well, I'd like to post pictures of significant progress, but I keep running into steps that lead to questions. So I move onto something else - and that leads to questions.  I'm generally trying to move the saucer along, but it seems I can't until I figure out paint and lighting.

. According to Boyd's videos and HDA, the 2mm LEDs are the perfect size for the saucer flashing lights. I'm not finding how that is the case.  If I don't enlarge the hole, the bulb is quite recessed. Looks ok if looking straight down, but from the side, most of the light you're seeing here is actually just light bleed. With the saucer at eye level, you would see no light.
Because the hole is too small, I tried widening it to 2mm to match the bulb.  Doing that, I've lost most of the detail of the bulb enclosure on the saucer surface.  First irreparable mistake is in the bag.
Even after enlarging the hole, the 2mm round-top are still sunk because the LED base won't allow it to be flush, so the only bulb I'm finding that works is a Lighthouse 2mm bulb (pictured).

Haven't seen any comments on this on other posts. Are people leaving the bulb significantly recessed? My thought was the bulb would be slightly raised above the surface, so it could be seen while viewing ship at eye-level, but a little worried that scale will look wrong.  I may be stuck with it since I can't un-drill, but curious what others did.

Also, I'm a little concerned on the blub reliabilty.  I've have 2 die on me already, which is 50% of the ones I've been using to experiment with.  I bought from HDA, using the included resistors (470 Ohm) - assuming quality isn't the problem - what could I be doing that's killing LEDs?  They do get bumped around - are they that fragile?  I don't have a good plan for replacing bulbs when this is done.

Do people paint first then install lighting, or the reverse? Following Boyd's video, he seems to install lighting first.  But he kinda skipped over painting in the video (or I just can't find where he explained it) - so how does one end up without painting the exposed LEDs like the Nav lights?  Feel like trying to mask a tiny circle will look like crap, but dealing with installing bulbs and fighting light leaks after you paint the finish seems like a good way to scratch the finish with the banging around that happens.

Speaking of paint, I realized I can't continue paint testing until I've decided on the color of my base coat. I've bought 4oz of HOK white - but I think I'll need to make it a light grey.  I asked this in the questions board, but  but curious what the House of Kolor paint is - (lacquer, enamel, etc) - and if anyone has tried mixing HOK with other paint? Trying to avoid $20 for a 4oz bottle of black, when I only need a few drops of black.

Struggling to get a glass finish on the shuttle bay deck. Tried 3 coats, each with a light wet-sanding of 3000 grit.  Getting what I would call satin.  Using Model Master Arcylic Gloss clear - should I be able to get a glass finish with this?

Sorry for all the questions.  Advice greatly appreiciated!
You're in it this far...what's another $20?

Offline MattA

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 10:54:23 pm »
On the refit I'm working on now, I used 2mm lighthouses for the marker lights.  I was able to drill out just a little tiny bit and have them fit.  They actually can fit flush or be raised slightly.  I fit mine flush, and they actually look really in scale.  I also used an arduino board for the flasher and was able to dial the brightness way back. 
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Offline whb64

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2017, 11:52:01 pm »
Matt how did you dial in the brightness with your Arduino?

Offline Tankton

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2017, 01:31:05 am »
I used 1.8 mm leds, sometimes listed as 1.5mm. But to mount them I used hot glue in the hole letting a little protrude then press and hold the led in place. The
hot glue sticking out of the hole acts as the light and can be trimmed. Looked more in scale to me.
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Offline Garbaron

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2017, 04:03:10 am »
If I ever do a second 1/350 Refit (still quite happy with the one I got) - I thought of using the clear pieces that come with the kit for the nav / position lights. Fill possible gabs with clear canopy glue. Light block the area around them. Place one LED between top and lower saucer nav / position light. Build a light box around the location and be done with it.

You'll save up to 5 LEDs for the sacuer and since the nav / position lights won't be lit directly via LED tip, the glare is reduced and should be more "in scale" with the 1/350. I have not tired it yet, its an idea I have for a future build. In my recent build all nav / position lights are realized with fibre optics which results to one LED for all the nav / position lights top half saucer and one more for the bottom half. I'd opt to chage that as I had some fibre optics break during the remaining build time resulting in the top saucer starboard nav light and lower fantail strobe not working anymore.

Offline whb64

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2017, 06:12:42 am »
If I ever do a second 1/350 Refit (still quite happy with the one I got) - I thought of using the clear pieces that come with the kit for the nav / position lights. Fill possible gabs with clear canopy glue. Light block the area around them. Place one LED between top and lower saucer nav / position light. Build a light box around the location and be done with it.

You'll save up to 5 LEDs for the sacuer and since the nav / position lights won't be lit directly via LED tip, the glare is reduced and should be more "in scale" with the 1/350. I have not tired it yet, its an idea I have for a future build. In my recent build all nav / position lights are realized with fibre optics which results to one LED for all the nav / position lights top half saucer and one more for the bottom half. I'd opt to chage that as I had some fibre optics break during the remaining build time resulting in the top saucer starboard nav light and lower fantail strobe not working anymore.
I was talking to my buddy and when I finally get to my 350 build I'm definitely going to do a lot of overkill.  I guess it goes back to when I was in the military, we had backups for backups.  We were talking about something similar to what you plan on doing, except I would like to use two LEDs instead of one, just in case one ever burns out I still have a backup.  I could even control it with the Arduino Mega and just have the one LED on, and if it fails unplug the bad one from the board in the base.  I know this sounds nuts, and I wouldn't do it with a small scale kit, but with all the time and money everyone puts into a 350 build and once it's glued shut that's it... I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Offline MattA

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 08:56:01 am »
Matt how did you dial in the brightness with your Arduino?

I set the brightness to 10% on the nav/strobe LEDs. It really worked well.
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Offline FatalCheese

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Re: It's Not a TMP Refit 1/350, it's a STII:WOK Refit 1/350!
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2017, 04:08:21 pm »
Thanks everyone for all your input! Really got me thinking about light strategies again.

@whb64, I don't think it's nuts at all (or we're just both nuts) to think about a backup solution. LED failure is a reality, and I know a dead bulb would stick out like a sore thumb to me. LEDs are cheap, so it's worth some consideration. 


Unfortunately, the drilling I had done really looked bad. Using LH bulbs seemed like it might work, but I had to push them up high to make up for the damaged bulb "mounts" - and it looked out of scale.

I decided if I sand the bulb domes down, I might be able to get away with just raising LH bulbs slightly above the saucer surface.  That was on the assumption that if I sanded it down, I would still have a round hole.  I did not.


Wait a minute, what am I doing? So now the nav lights don't have a raised mount? Am I going to just change the design because of a screw-up? Am I going to get this done this year? Hell, no! I can't just start taking the easy road this soon!






Ok, so I needed to rebuild the mounts. Molding something is waaaay beyond my skillset.  So I came up with using a really small washer, with a really, really small washer on top.  It's slighly larger than the original, but close enough that I don't think it will be noticeable.

I like the idea that @Garbaron mentioned, about using canopy glue and [insert final glass solution here]. This, combined with maybe a redundant bulb system, might work well. I was already planning to have all the electronics in the base where they can be accessed, so this kinda fits in that plan.


My color experiments continue on the side. I decided I really don't want to go with plain white - because the ship isn't white (at least, in ST1-3, it's not). I broke down and bought a 4oz bottle of House of Kolor Black, to add a few drops to my HOK white. I hope this automotive paint is worth it, this stuff is expensive, and now I'm not sure 4oz is going to cut it. But a few drops made a really light grey I think I'm happty with.

I mentioned earlier that I was struggling with the PearlEx pigments. I figured out my problem. I'm a little hesistant to admit why - but let's just say you should check the jars to make sure they say "Interference" on it. With the right PearlEx colors, I'm back in business.

The middle section is my base grey, and the aztecs. I wanted to tone down the colors as much as possible - get that metallic effect, without the ability to see "that's a red square, that's a green one". I think I've actually nailed it. It's hard to photograph what it really looks like - but when you look at it, the sections are distinct by a different color, but it's hard to tell what color it is.

The top seciton, I was also testing out Krylon Clear flat as a coat. This won't work on top of the Aztecs, it basically killed the "metallic" glimmer.

And....we're just going to forget about that bottom section.


You're in it this far...what's another $20?

 




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