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Old 03-05-2009, 07:08 PM
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Default Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Well, like most people around here (I would guess) I've been building model kits of the Enterprise for many years (I believe I got my first model of the Enterprise in 1971). I've built a few dozen, and over the course of those builds got better and better at it. By the late 1980s I was replacing many parts with corrected wood parts based on the best plans available at that time by Allen Everheart with help from photos of the 11 foot model in the Smithsonian taken by my wife.

As the models got more and more accurate to the 11 foot model I started to realize that they still weren't what I really wanted. And then one day while watching Star Trek ("Requiem for Methuselah") I realize why my models hadn't lived up to what I wanted from them, they don't look like this one...


In the intervening years I learned a lot about that model in a quest to have one like it.

So a couple years ago I started working towards making one. No longer having the resources I once did for building models and props (specifically, I no longer have access to a wood shop like my Grandfather had), I decided to scale it back a little... to two-thirds the size of the original.

Why two-thirds? That made it about the same size as the 22 inch cutaway model of the Enterprise. I could scavenge parts from the kit, use some third-party parts and decals to cut down on the amount I would need to build on my own.

I printed out my 33 inch model plans at 2/3 scale and made comparisons to the parts in the kit. With some modification I could use the secondary hull (but not the dorsal), the nacelles and their supports. That left me to build the primary hull and dorsal pretty much from scratch. Fortunately the bridge and B/C deck structure from Don's Light & Magic matched up with my plans pretty nicely.

To be on the safe side I had two copies of the kit (in case I needed replacement parts). But I was able to make my modifications to the parts I was going to use without having to resort to them... which meant I had pretty much a full kit that could be built on it's own.

Below is most of the Enterprise elements after my modifications.


In order to get a feel for what it was I was building, I made a foam-core stand-in for the primary hull. I had intended on making the hull using a lathe, but after a year of looking for someone I knew who might have one handy, I finally decided to attempt to make the primary hull on my own by hand.

So starting with my foam-core stand-in, I filled in the stair steps with a paper mache pulp (which is what you see in the image above). After some time of sanding I got the basic form to where I wanted it.


This raw surface wasn't going to work for a model, so I used layers of paper and Elmer's Glue (and a lot of sanding) to slowly even out the surface. This is the process part way through.


And this is the nearly completed primary hull (the extra parts aren't attached yet, their just there to see how things are coming along.


So that is where it stands as of today.

As I said, I still had a complete kit leftover after I made the modifications to the parts I was going to use, so I decided to start in on a (pretty) stock version of the 22 inch kit which would represent the Constellation.

It assembled rather nicely (specially considering the horror stories I had heard about people trying to make a non-cutaway version of the kit. I didn't care for the aft ends of the warp nacelles, so I removed those spheres (after all, the Constellation was an original AMT kit which didn't have them anyways).

This is the first test assembly of the major pieces.


Once I was happy with how the model sat, I started in on painting it. I've been using Flat Gull Gray on my starship models for a long time, so that is what I stuck with here.

It was about this time that I also started worrying about the nacelle domes (for both models). I had seen a ton of different techniques, but I really wanted something simple yet elegant looking. Then, while looking for something at a hobby shop I found these little sparkly pom-pom like things (with a bunch of different colors). So I grabbed a couple sets and put them inside the clear domes of the model to see how they looked.

Below is what the yellow/gold ones looked like... which I liked so much that I've put them aside for the Enterprise.


Even though I wasn't finished with the assembly (the nacelles aren't painted yet either), I decided it was time to differentiate this model from the Enterprise model, so I put her name and registry number on (I used the same type of dry transfer letters I've been using since the 1980s for this type of thing).


In these images I used the red pom-pom things for the nacelles (the domes aren't glued on yet).

And that is where that model as been (progress wise) for nearly a year.

I don't know when (or if) I'll finish these two, but I thought I would share what progress I've made so far.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg progress-082010a.jpg (26.0 KB, 4 views)

Last edited by Shaw; 08-19-2010 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Excellent progress, it looks great.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Thanks! I just hope I'll be able to post something finished some time soon.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Shaw,

Looks very very good

I have been following your another fan attempt at deckplans on TrekBBS and I love it you are doing a great job!! I cant wait to see how the nacelle trench end turns out

RIchard
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Outstanding work!!!
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Very nice work. This is very encouraging to me to see this type of thing done by hand on top of everything. I have been on a quest to find a friend with a lathe myself! Thanks for posting this and keep up the good work!
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Thanks for the encouragement guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_2001 View Post
I have been following your another fan attempt at deckplans on TrekBBS and I love it you are doing a great job!! I cant wait to see how the nacelle trench end turns out
It has been a fun project. I added a small lip to the underside of the edge at the end of the trench to help support the ramp evenly with the surface itself. It has made the studies easier as I don't have to attempt to get those edge to line up completely on their own now. This is what my latest attempts on that area looks like in action.


I've slowed down on the Enterprise model as the next big step will be to cut an opening into the primary hull for the dorsal to fit into... and I'd rather not make any mistakes on that process.

Similarly, I need to cut new holes in the nacelles (for connecting the nacelle supports) as the original model had the nacelles too far apart. That should be another interesting hurdle.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaw View Post
Thanks for the encouragement guys!

It has been a fun project. I added a small lip to the underside of the edge at the end of the trench to help support the ramp evenly with the surface itself. It has made the studies easier as I don't have to attempt to get those edge to line up completely on their own now. This is what my latest attempts on that area looks like in action.


I've slowed down on the Enterprise model as the next big step will be to cut an opening into the primary hull for the dorsal to fit into... and I'd rather not make any mistakes on that process.

Similarly, I need to cut new holes in the nacelles (for connecting the nacelle supports) as the original model had the nacelles too far apart. That should be another interesting hurdle.
Shaw,

Oh that looks sharp!! It appears to me that there will be a slight hump on the nacelle tube similar to the one on the secondary hull cutouts and that the ramp is no longer flat but humped lengthwise. It looks to me like what the real one would have to be so far! looks to be a bitch to make that in 3D CG though.

Have you seen the pictures of the restoration Kurt posted here the other day?

RIchard
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

My kind of build!!! I like this! Keep those updates coming as I'll be watching this one!!

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Old 03-07-2009, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_2001 View Post
Oh that looks sharp!! It appears to me that there will be a slight hump on the nacelle tube similar to the one on the secondary hull cutouts and that the ramp is no longer flat but humped lengthwise. It looks to me like what the real one would have to be so far! looks to be a bitch to make that in 3D CG though.
I just drew those lines on there haphazardly, I'll be erasing them and putting better ones on before gluing the pieces together. When looking straight down the trench towards the back, those lines help show the form the ramp is taking.

Quote:
Have you seen the pictures of the restoration Kurt posted here the other day?
Yeah! I saw them when he posted them... they are awesome! Those rocked my view on how the model was built. Parts I assumed were plastic of some type were actually wood (like everything on top of the primary hull). Those are a tremendous resource for all of us who love the model as much as the starship it portrayed on screen.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Small update... I wasn't happy with the primary hull, so I'm going to start over. I gave it a single coat of gray paint to see how it was working and there were a few points that stood out right away (which means I would never be able to over look them in a completed model).

On the plus side, it can return to the role it was playing before... that of being a test article for some of my ideas. And in that renewed role, I successfully cut the hole in the primary hull for the dorsal and it worked nicely. Here is a test fitting of most of the major pieces (including the test primary hull) fitted together (though nothing is glued together at this point).


Oh well... live and learn.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Sorry to hear about the primary hull but you are really doing some outstanding work.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Shaw,

That still is a good looking Enterprise I hear ya on the defects and not being able to overlook them. have you tried sanding down the hull and using the screed method to apply a thin coat of autobody glazing to the surface to smooth it out or is it a deeper structual defects from the cutaway hulls. At any rate, it looks good mounted on the neck

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Old 03-09-2009, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_2001 View Post
have you tried sanding down the hull and using the screed method to apply a thin coat of autobody glazing to the surface to smooth it out or is it a deeper structual defects from the cutaway hulls.
The hull was built from scratch... so no part of the original hull was in play on it. Yeah, I had planned on fixing the surface imperfections that way (the painting was to help me see those). The deal breaker is that the top hump isn't uniformly round (sort of visible in the images)... which added in with the main disk not being perfectly flat (which I had noticed earlier, but I really had to look for it) makes for a good stopping point.

It isn't a complete loss... this was the first time I had attempted anything like this technique since 1989 (when I built a USS Ingram at one-to-one scale with the printed plans).

Here is another vantage point (with the original parts and the Constellation)...


It might be that the only way to really see it is to see it in person... but that is how I planned on seeing this model when it was done.

Beyond the shapes being too different, an additional reason for not using the original primary hull from the model is that it is only 9.75 inches in diameter, whereas the two-thirds version of my 33 inch plans needs a 10 inch diameter hull. Again, a small detail.. and most likely not visible in the images above.

And it didn't turn out totally bad, so I'll still be forging ahead on this... just learning from my mistakes.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Another TOS Enterprise... sorta

Shaw,

Ahh OK pretend it is a practice hull for the real deal then

Yes I can see it is just a smidgen smaller in the side by side pic but it was not really noticeable in the others you have shown. so it is my mistake thinking they were modified parts he hehehe

Still it looks pretty good in the pics anyway so with a little bit of modification to the technique it should turn out a new saucer that will work beautifully.

RIchard
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