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Author Topic: Neil's 1/350 Enterprise Refit build  (Read 2071 times)

Offline neilfsmith

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Neil's 1/350 Enterprise Refit build
« on: February 26, 2018, 06:12:40 pm »
  So I've started the 350 Enterprise Refit and I should probably mention that my biggest character flaw is a lack of patience. Most people who know me think my biggest character flaw is anger - but actually, the anger just comes from the lack of patience.

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure as to what modifications I'm going to include and what I'm going to leave out and/or unchanged. I figured I can play that by ear to some degree. Of course, that has already bitten me in the @$$, but more on that later.

I actually started the project in January but wanted to get started a bit before I started posting. That way, when the inevitable, project-halting issue hits, I will be back up and running and you all won't be any the wiser.

I should also mention that I haven't soldered anything since high school - around 30 years ago - and I haven't held an airbrush in about 20 years. But I have confidence because I watched a lot of YouTube videos and I spent so much money on this thing so far that I darn well better have confidence.

My version of the widowmaker will include most of the ParaGraphix photoetch parts, the extra Polar Lights decals for the strongbacks and a great lighting kit from Big Easy Modeling Solutions. I'm also planning on incorporating my 3D printer (MPSM) to make some custom parts here and there.

So, yeah... yada yada yada.. here's the obligatory unboxing photo...


IMG_3569 by Neil Smith, on Flickr

Offline neilfsmith

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Update
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 06:32:52 pm »
  Like most people do, I have started with the Holy Trinity of Officers' Lounge, Arboretum and Cargo/Shuttle Bay. Originally, I was a bit put off by the design of the Officers' Lounge. Specifically the big blank wall. I have seen many builders address this issue as well by scratch building their own lounges or simply removing the wall entirely. My first step was to design and print a new piece on my 3D printer. I designed the part based on Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise. The printed piece came out just great and I was all set to replace the stock part when I ran across something enlightening. While stepping through HD screen shots of ST:TMP, I noticed that right after the leaving drydock scene, there is a closeup of the impulse engines. Well, above those in the same shot you can clearly see into the Officers' Lounge.. and what did I see? Yup. A big frickin' wall. So, turns out, the stock part is correct - at least in that way.



IMG_3582 by Neil Smith, on Flickr



star-trek1-movie-screencaps.com-4068 by Neil Smith, on Flickr


I noticed that on that wall, there was what appeared to be wavy lines covering most of the wall. I'm not sure what this is exactly - I think it's a map, but who really knows - but I enlarged the screen shot in Photoshop and re-drew the lines to make a decal for the model part...


IMG_3607 by Neil Smith, on Flickr



IMG_3612 by Neil Smith, on Flickr


Note, I've since cleaned up the surface texture of the hand-painted wall which looks fine from far away, but close up - not so much...
So that's it for the first post. Like I said earlier, I'm actually a bit farther along in the process. More updates (hopefully more interesting than this one) to come.

Neil









Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: Neil's 1/350 Enterprise Refit build
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 07:10:40 am »
Talk about making it screen accurate!!

I would never have noticed the wall or the painting!

Well done, Neil!

Keep going!
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 neilfsmith

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Update
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2018, 08:44:06 am »
I wanted to give the arboretum a bit of high contrast because I plan on putting in some sort of blue filter and/or diffusion. I'm not sure exactly how much blue I want to put in there, but I know I want the whole thing to have an overall blueish color to it. I'm not sure if I will do that by tinting the windows or the ceiling or some combination of the two. I will need to wait until I have the secondary hull lit in order to see how much light actually gets in there. However, in my impatience to get things done, I already painted the ceiling. Twice actually. The first time it came out horrible and I stripped it down and repainted. Now I think my options will be a bit limited if my ceiling doesn't allow for the needed amount of light - which I am thinking it won't - I might do some scratch building to make a new ceiling. I am learning that "two steps forward, one step back" is par for the course with this kit.









More later...
Neil



Offline neilfsmith

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Update - ShuttleBay
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2018, 10:54:56 am »
The Cargo/Shuttle Bay was a lot of fun to build. I went back and forth on putting it into the ship or leaving it outside as a separate display. Ultimately I decided that I would get more enjoyment out of it if it were inside the ship. My color choices are based on the matte paintings and screen shots from ST:TMP. Even using the airbrush, I am still painting way too heavy. But I will get better at it the more I do; and I love how it turned out.

Big learning: I borrowed a torch from my friend to anneal the brass photoetch parts. In hindsight, I wish that I had only annealed the parts that needed to be curved or shaped, but I did the whole sheet. I found out that the annealed parts were very soft and easily bent out of shape. This was especially evident with the shuttle bay railings and the tiny little rings on the airlocks.

















More later...
Neil

Offline neilfsmith

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Update - ShuttleBay Part2
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2018, 12:36:18 pm »
I am loving the OrbitalDrydock paint masks for clear parts! The turbolifts were hand-painted and, initially, they were installed in the floor of the Cargo Bay. But I found out that it was very difficult for me to align their pegs into the ceiling during assembly. So I shaved off the lower pegs of the turbolifts, mounted them onto the ceiling. The ceiling went on very smoothly and now they just sort of hang from the ceiling, hovering a hair’s breadth over the floor. Eventually the turbolifts will be lit from above by blue LEDs.









More later…
Neil

Offline RockyD88

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Re: Neil's 1/350 Enterprise Refit build
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2018, 01:39:48 pm »
wow I am loving the detail you have put into this :)

Offline neilfsmith

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Re: Neil's 1/350 Enterprise Refit build
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2018, 02:12:14 pm »
wow I am loving the detail you have put into this :)

Thanks RockyD88!

Offline neilfsmith

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Update - BEMS lighting kit
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2018, 02:49:57 pm »
I got my lighting kit from Big Easy Modeling Solutions (BEMS) and it is fantastic! I ordered the Commander series but am upgrading to the Captain series. Can’t wait for that to arrive!

I really have no way of comparing this kit to other kits in real life, but from what I’ve seen online this kit gives me all the bells and whistles at a fraction of the cost of the more expensive kits. But the main reason I bought the BEMS kit is that the guy who runs the place was talking on a blog or somewhere and mentioned that his kits are a bit more subtle than most kits. A lot of the kits I’ve seen on YouTube and the internets seem IMO to be way too bright with too much glare. Plus the BEMS kit comes with a dimmer switch so I can control the amount of brightness. Lastly, BEMS has recently re-worked the deflector dish and impulse crystal light colors to be much more screen accurate. I can attest to that. It is by far the most accurate, as far as color goes, to ST:TMP. In fact, I think I’m the first one to have this updated kit.

I mentioned before that I haven’t soldered anything since high school. It’s impressive how quickly things come back to you. After a few false starts, I was up and running with no problems at all. And having a lot of fun to boot. The kit is super organized and color coded. Even I can do it!

Anyway, these pictures do not do it justice; but this is me testing the deflector lights plugged into the board.











Now, it’s time to grind out some window walls…

More later…
Neil

Offline neilfsmith

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Update - BEMS lighting kit Part 2
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2018, 01:46:09 pm »
The BEMS kit instructions come with a basic “soldering-if-you’re-an-idiot” guide, (my words, not theirs) and with a bit of practice (and some serious eyewear) I was able to get started on the LEDs and strips.





I also thought it would be a good time to do a dry fit. I’m planning on doing another right before I start painting - just to be sure. A lot of parts on this it have extremely tight fits, so some filing and sanding was needed.






Offline neilfsmith

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Update - Prepping for lighting
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 01:58:04 pm »
Prepping saucer for lighting

While grinding away at the saucer to prep it for lighting I ran into a problem. Not so much due to a lack of patience, but due to a lack of attention. I’m realizing that I have at any one time at least three sets of instructions to check: the kit instructions, the lighting instructions, the photoetch instructions and all the builds on the YouTubes (BTW, Thanks Boyd!!) and the internets. But sometimes I get into a zone and forget to check exactly where I am in the process. I finished grinding out the saucer to allow for the lighting and started to put in the saucer walls. It wasn’t till I was done that I realized that with the saucer walls in place, I couldn’t put the clear window parts or the clear RCS parts in. I should have put those in before I glued on the walls. I know that it’s not a huge problem. I can use canopy glue for the windows. But it was yet another reminder to think first - glue second.







More later…
Neil

Offline jwood314

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Re: Neil's 1/350 Enterprise Refit build
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2018, 11:39:20 pm »
Take a look at Easy Cast epoxy.  I have looked at about a dozen different window materials, and this is my favorite, outside of glass or solid acrylic polished.  I also have some Lang Dental willing to sell at a loss :)

Cheers,

Offline neilfsmith

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Re: Neil's 1/350 Enterprise Refit build
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2018, 07:59:06 am »
Take a look at Easy Cast epoxy.  I have looked at about a dozen different window materials, and this is my favorite, outside of glass or solid acrylic polished.  I also have some Lang Dental willing to sell at a loss :)

Cheers,

Thanks for that suggestion. I actually have some epoxy that I use for smoothing out 3D prints. I'll give that a try on the extra secondary hull bottom part.

Offline neilfsmith

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Update - Finally something I'm good at...
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2018, 12:16:08 pm »
Light blocking the interior of the parts was a sheer joy. I could spray this crap on as thick as I wanted.







I was attempting to drill out a slightly bigger hole to allow for my 1.8mm LED for the bridge strobe light. I got the hole just right, but the circular recessed area around the hole on the inside of the part was a bit too narrow to allow me to fully seat the LED so that it pops up a little bit on the top of the bridge. So I carefully starting cutting out the area in order to make it a little wider. I put  bit too much pressure on it and shoved my drill through the now very thin layer of styrene… and it came out the other side. A huge hole on the top of the bridge!

After a few moments of freaking out, I took what I learned from this forum and said, “You will screw up. Don’t panic. It’s just plastic.” So I puttied up the hole and re-drilled. It looks okay at the moment, but time will tell once I get it temporarily mounted on the saucer with the lights plugged in. As a backup plan, I am getting a replacement resin bridge. You know… just in case.



Oh, I almost forgot the coolest thing! After I finished light blocking. I removed the parts from the craft paper I was using to protect the table when I saw the coolest looking abstract art just staring back up at me. I think I might frame it!



« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 11:32:13 pm by neilfsmith »

Offline Shawn McClure

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Re: Neil's 1/350 Enterprise Refit build
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2018, 03:19:59 pm »
That looks really great so far.

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

 




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