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Author Topic: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue  (Read 15811 times)

Offline ImWolf

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Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« on: March 08, 2013, 08:37:15 am »
I'm actually still doing doing touch-up, and assorted enhancements to the D7 group build model.....   but in the mean time.....

2nd build is on the bench!!!    This is the Matt Jefferies design that never made it to the silver screen, (or any screen that I'm aware of), and I don't think it was intended to be. As memory serves, this ship was designed for AMT as the pilot of an intended fleet of "Strategic Space Command" spacecraft (hoping to build on profits from the already popular Star Trek kits), but the LE just didn't sell enough.....

I read somewhere along the way that Mr. Jefferies had a fascination with submarines and was leaning towards including these elements in his designs....    which explains the obvious "conning tower" shape of the LE bridge. Even though the LE was not used as any type of ship during the short run of TOS, that "conning tower" was used again when he designed the DY-100 class freighter (Botany Bay).

Actually, I'm fine with the fact that this little cruiser was never "recorded" in any way.....  I can do anything I want with this build and no one can tell me it's not "authentic" or in line with a particular display elsewhere...  :b

When this kit was first released AMT did NOT state a scale on the box or instructions...   it took our fellow plastiphile, Frank Henriquez, painstaking time to determine what this ship actually is..... 1:500

http://frank.bol.ucla.edu/le.html

Strangely enough, with the re-issue AMT suddenly decided to announce that the Leif Ericson was a 1:500 scale model. (Not sure how they determinded this or who they thanked).

Other cool info and build info about this neglected kit can be found here.....

http://www.projectrho.com/SSC/model.html#columbus

Ok....   that said, it's been over 40 years since I ripped the box open on this kit.....    update will follow.



« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 04:07:05 pm by ImWolf »
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

Offline wolf 359

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 10:15:05 am »
I have seen this before, but have never see one built. I will be following. Thanks for posting.

Offline ImWolf

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 08:17:29 pm »
The good, the bad, and the ugly.....  (an OoB review)

Wish I could say all is great, but I'm no happier with the quality of this kit than I was with the 1:1000 D7.  :'(

First thing that jumped out at me was the flashing.... and more flashing....  there was major trimming, filing and sanding b4 I could even start test fitting pieces. There was even some plastic goobers in the middle of smooth surfaces!

The major hull halves fit pretty good at the rear and the very front, but most of the neck and wider hull has bad seam mis-match...  I tried filing/sanding on that seam while I was holding them together, but my emery stick started brushing on the molded window frames so I stopped there.....  I see some putty in my future.

The interior of the hanger deck looks like they threw it into a tiger cage! It's all scratched up and has indentations on the bottom and sides....   there's a very obvious knife scratch in there too! This is right out of the box. The bottom has ribs molded on it as well which won't help the nice decal sheet much.

There's a rear panel to cover the trapezoidal hole on the end of the upper hull, but the panel isn't wide enough so there are gaps to deal with there..... more putty?

While test fitting it became apparent that the instruction sheet is wrong on placement of the engine shrouds....   luckily these are asymmetric and unique enough parts that you cannot physically put them together wrong (per the instructions).

The engines on each side consist of two red clear pieces connected by a chrome part, and the kit includes a 3V battery pack with 4 LED's to light up the 4 red engines....   but the instructions are kinda goofy there too as you would end up with the LED pointed towards the chrome connector. I ended up bending the wires 180 and then 90 to fit up through the side slot and still be pointed towards the engine ends.....  once you do this test fit, I don't think you'll get it back apart!  LOL

The display stand is the old style triangle thingie which I don't think I'll use....   they changed this slightly to use a square peg off the base stem instead of the long tab, but they left the tab slot in the hull....   (more putty). In fact, there's a completely separate display base included which I believe was introduced with the 70's version of the Enterprise kits. I have no clue what it's doing in this kit....  the instructions make no mention of it at all.

OK....  that's long winded enough for now.....
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 10:09:07 am by ImWolf »
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

Offline ImWolf

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 10:32:23 am »
Alright.....  got a few confidence boosters last night.....

I was web surfing on this subject for ideas and ended up at CultTVman buying some PE for this kit...   which I didn't realize existed. I got a sheet from ParaGrafix that will not only save that shuttle bay but totally enhance it, and a smaller sheet from JT that has some outer hatch covers.

Then I was loitering about on eBay and found some very thin styrene sheeting. I'm hoping this will work on my hanger door modification. Those doors were kinda cool back in the 70's, but I find them sorta quaint compared to today's standards. Also, I'm planning on some lighting in that hanger so I'm thinking that these old doors will be a light leak problem and need to be replaced by some sliding doors.

So I'm waiting on the mail....   :b
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

Offline Big Rob

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 11:41:04 am »
Looks interesting, Imwolf! Will be nice to see with the PE enhancements 

I didn't know they existed for this kit either :)
You gonna light that thing?

Offline ImWolf

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 12:56:24 pm »
I hope it turns out more than interesting Rob, I'm sure the PE cost me more than the model did....   8)
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

Offline Prowler901

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 12:51:38 pm »
Looking forward to following this.  I had the glow in the dark kit when I was 8.  Me and that ship had a lot of cool adventures together. :)  But, that darn stand looked like vampire fangs in the middle of the night if the ship wasn't on them. :o

Offline fumblethumbs

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 01:18:30 pm »
Nice choice!  This will be a cool build.  As much as the kit suffers a bit, that Paragraphics set is supposed to be a real beauty!
I bought this kit a little while ago and have been doing a bit of research.  Here's a pretty sweet build up over at Resin Illuminati.  http://resinilluminati.com/showthread.php?t=13902
If you haven't already seen it, there are some neat techniques and some cool retro touches in the thread.

I'm going to enjoy watching you work this one Imwolf!!  :)   
Ooooooo!  I think I may buy that kit!
 
Jeff.

Offline ImWolf

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 02:04:31 pm »
Thanks for that link Fumble..... had not seen this b4....  this guy is doing a lot of the things I had envisioned and more.....

I ended up with the same cut off nail file last night sanding the inside of that box.... lotta fun!  :b
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

Offline ImWolf

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 05:20:15 pm »
Sorry about the slow updates here gents....   wish I had more time to play with this stuff.....

The PE showed up from CultTVman on Wednesday....    That's fast shipping! (If any of you reading this can tell me the basic do's and don't's when it comes to working with PE, I'm all ears.) I was hoping the styrene would show up quick too because the first thing I really need to get past on this kit is the hanger door mod.

In the mean time I did smaller stuff. After gluing the engine connector halves together they strangely got even bigger and lots of hand sanding didn't help them fit into the engine ends. I ended up chucking each end in a drill to polish the other end....   that went perty quick! (Given this issue and the whole squeezing of the lights into the engines, next time I might just extend the slot in the red engine parts out towards the connector).

Styrene showed up at the post office yesterday...... Yippee! I used the thinnest (.016) sheet to cut out the doors. (This stuff was very flexible in the sheet, but not so much at 1 1/16 door width). I glued a 1/16 wide (.030 thick) strip on the bottom edge to act as a stop. Then I stuck a small steel rod into some tiny shrink sleeve and sliced one side to attach to the edge of the doors where they come together. (hoping this will give me better light blocking.)

On the hanger bay, I roughed out some new end walls with .060 styrene making them a bit higher than I need and glued those on. Once these are set I plan to hold some shim stock or banding material along that newly formed shelf and sand the new wall down to a uniform distance off the original. The hanger will be attached to the hull by these two edges only. Right now I'm thinking that .025 banding material will give me about the right step, but I need to do some paint experiments first to see how thick the final doors will be. (how much thicker does plastic get after 3 or 4 coats of primer, paint, gloss?).

After brainstorming on this door system for a while the above fix seemed best to me for a few reasons. It's perty easy to do, it maintains the original hanger interior size so I don't have to trim off PE, and it creates a nice back board to putty the old door hinge cut-outs. (I was already in that hanger with lot of stuff including rotary tools to remove the molded on details, and I do have a lot of putty repair to deal with!)  LOL

I had already checked out all the interference issues on this system and was actually considering making the doors slide lengthwise to eliminate all these issues, but I think I can make this work and it will prolly look much nicer in the end.....   I layed the hull on top of the (still too high) rough hanger and I think it looks good.

Only other thing so far was a slight mod on the tabs of the upper engine shrouds. They stuck into the hull too far so I stick sanded them at an angle to allow the doors to slide by those.....   Not much of a change, but needed. I'm thinking that I'll just glue some more .016 flapper to the inner hull later so the doors can slip by the whole engine/wiring stuff.
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

Offline ImWolf

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2013, 05:21:04 pm »
More pic's....
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

Offline HDATX

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2013, 08:19:06 pm »
This is going to be a cool build.  I have so wanted to see someone put this kit together.  It has been out there in modeling land for years and I have never seen a build of it detailed and your choice to do the repop is great.  Can't wait to see more.
"There never was much hope. Just a fool's hope..."

Offline Prowler901

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2013, 10:46:50 pm »
Lookin' good. :)  What's with the basketball court in the photo-etch?

Offline ImWolf

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2013, 05:57:52 pm »
I hadn't even noticed the basketball court scribing on the etch when I bought it, but if you're going to shoot some hoops between planets I guess the hanger deck is the best place to go? There's even some small backboards and rims scribed on the observation/control towers.
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

Offline ImWolf

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Re: Leif Ericson (1:500) AMT re-issue
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2013, 05:20:39 am »
Too many other chores so just a minor update tonight....

I did look at most of Trekriffic's build (which Fumble posted above) and the man was unfortunately correct....   AMT had shifted the engine locations by about 1/16 somewhere along the way.....   (I have the original kit to compare to). This wouldn't be an issue at all if you're not using the PE, but it looked to me that the new engine position would be right up to the PE grill. (I elongated the 8 slots in the side of the hull by .080)

The test piece I had painted with 3 different products only grew in thickness about .003, so I went ahead and sanded the new hanger end walls down with a chunk of banding material which should leave me plenty of clearance for the door slides.

Only other thing was my first experience with Aves Apoxie Sculpt....   I used it to putty the large holes and slot in the hull bottom, and the hinge notches in the hanger. I like this stuff! Took a long time to set, but I found it very easy to work with and just as simple to sand down even to the plastic.    8)
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

 




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