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  #16  
Old 01-17-2015, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

Thanks!

A lot of what I do now was learned while working on my earlier study models... and watching Steve Neill's videos!
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2015, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

I finally have molds for both the upper and lower primary hull.




Hopefully I'll have parts by the end of this weekend. The nice thing is that I really don't need to get inside for anything, so I can close the primary hull up pretty quickly. The big issue with this would be getting a nice, sharp upper lip edge.

We'll see how things go.
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  #18  
Old 01-25-2015, 05:20 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

I now have primary hull parts!


And the best part of this is that these two halves weigh about the same as the first lower primary hull pull I did.

I cleaned up the edges (this is the primary hull top with the first lower half so I could experiment with cutting) to see how things fit together...


Still a bit thicker than it should be, but at least it is really starting to feel the part.
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  #19  
Old 01-26-2015, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

Based on what I learned from the spare lower primary hull, I cut down the main lower primary hull and did a test fit of the top and bottom together...


I threw in a shot of the original model from approximately the same angle for comparison. The clamps aren't actually clamping in those images. I had set them to the target thickness I was aiming for for the outer edge. They pretty much freely slide around the rim at this point.
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  #20  
Old 02-12-2015, 04:56 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

Got the upper and lower halves of the primary hull together, this is my first primer pass to see how my putty work turned out...


There is still a bit of refining to do, but I'm pretty happy with the results so far.
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  #21  
Old 02-17-2015, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

About to start another round of putty/sanding, but here is some shots of the top of the primary hull (with the bridge/B/C deck master set in place)...


Still a long ways to go, so back to my grindstone.
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  #22  
Old 03-19-2015, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

Finally got one of the major molds done (major because it has so many parts included on it)...


... so now I can start in on the secondary hull.

I still have a little more to do on the nacelle masters, but that mold shouldn't be nearly as hard to do as this last one.
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  #23  
Old 04-29-2015, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

Update...

Some shots of the final bridge/B/C deck structure in place (still working on blending the seam)...


And I started on making the parts for the dorsal... this is a test assembly of them to make sure that they fit to the primary hull's contour.


This is the start of the secondary hull, including the start of the hangar doors (yes, my model will have the hangar doors even though the original model's doors were lost between the second and third seasons of TOS)...


The goal is to replicate the model at it's most iconic period... when being used for publicity photos with the cast members during the first season. Some time between the second and third seasons the model was dropped and imperfectly repaired (the port side nacelle was re-attached wrong and the outboard intercooler on the starboard nacelle was glued on backwards) along with the hangar doors being lost.

I did some trimming of the secondary hull halves and test fit them with the start of the hangar door hood. There is still a ways to go at this stage, but it is feeling like I'm making progress.

I also finished up the nacelle masters and mounted them to a board. I hit them with a couple coats of Krylon Crystal Clear before starting in on making a mold.


I finished up with the silicon rubber part, now just making the mother mold for the nacelles. I also did the first major cuts into the secondary hull... the rear undercut and the side channels.

This is a good example of why my parts aren't kit friendly. The secondary hull was no where even close to finished when I made the mold, but that was by design so I only had to worry about turning out one side to get both. And I knew what I'd have to do to finish the secondary hull as a whole.

This is after a couple hours of cutting/shaping...


The nice thing is that I was totally pounding away at these parts, and they are very strong. They are also very rigid...which is quite nice.

Did some more work on the dorsal. The last major internal piece was mounting the locking screw (which corresponds to a metal plate I embedded into the lower primary hull piece back in January). I should be able to make pretty quick progress on the dorsal from here.


Once I'm done with the dorsal, I'll build it into the secondary hull, locking it into place.

This is the finished mold for the nacelle body. It'll be a while before I get a chance to actually use it, but so far it looks pretty good.


I've also been testing fit and alinement of aspects of the secondary hull. With the dorsal set in place, I made some nacelle support pylon stand-ins out of foamcore board. I just needed to mimic the size and shape of the final parts to make sure that the slots they will eventually fit into will produce the correct angles...


All the angles look pretty good at this stage. And if there had been nacelles on the pylons, their center lines would have been about 10 inches apart (like they are supposed to be)... so that is a sizable amount of work done early on while engineering the masters that has thankfully paid off.

And I decided I really wanted to see it with the primary hull in place too... so here it is.

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  #24  
Old 04-30-2015, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

This is a test assembly with a test pull from the nacelle molds... mainly to see what was involved in making them.

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  #25  
Old 05-01-2015, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

Last night I was experimenting with the nacelle body molds to see if I might like Alumilite White better than the TC 1630, and how little material I can get away with (the first nacelle body was about 8 oz). I made a second test nacelle using about 4 oz of Alumilite, but I like the TC 1630 better for this type of part (though I think I can get it down to around 4 oz of material on the final nacelles).

Even though I didn't want to waste any more time on the Alumilite nacelle, it is a second nacelle... which means I can take some more test assembly shots that can help me judge if I'm going in the right direction with this model (I had made additional changes to my plans after the second study model, so this is really my first chance to see them).

Here is how she looks (some images are flipped, I just wanted to see it from a different direction without handling the model too much)...

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  #26  
Old 05-06-2015, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

Over the last few days I've constructed the nacelle support pylons. They are actually pretty strong (stronger than I thought they'd be), and can support the weight of either test nacelle. Still, I'd like to get the weight of the final nacelle bodies down a bit more because there are a number of pieces which will eventually be added... adding weight to the nacelles. And even though most of them should be pretty light weight, the domes (which were finished a while ago) are solid and do have a bit of weight to them.

I took another series of test assembly shots, this time with a stand-in for the front of the secondary hull and placement of a test printing of the primary hull decals. I've done a little more work on both the secondary hull and dorsal, but nothing that is note worthy in these images...


It is still pretty rough, but right now I'm mainly happy that all the major elements at least play nicely with each other.
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  #27  
Old 05-07-2015, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

I made another nacelle and tested it against the first nacelle I made... it weighed in at about 90% the weight of the first one, which isn't the significant reduction I was hoping for. Considering that there are a number of additional parts that are going to be added to the nacelles (and assuming that they are all the same weight for each nacelle), we are really looking at something closer to a 5% difference between the first and second tries using TC-1630.

Given that, I'll use that first test pull as one of my nacelle bodies as there isn't a good reason to waste more material if I'm not going to make a significant improvement over what I already have. And now that I know that these are the final parts, I'll start in on bringing them together to make the nacelles.

I took a few more shots of the model with the new nacelle body, I'll be pulling it apart to start doing some more significant work on the secondary hull and dorsal next. In these images I've included the Viewmaster shots of the original model (which I believe predates the accident that damaged the model).


There has been a number of people who have asked about how I'm building these parts. I'm finding that a lot of people are assuming that because these are open faced molds that I just fill them to the rim with resin and end up with solid parts. I avoid making solid parts if at all possible, usually only small parts are cast solid.

So for this model, the primary hull, bridge/B/C deck structure, secondary hull and both nacelles are all hollow. Below is a shot of what the inside of one of the nacelles looks like...


Here is a quick run down of the technique I use...

In the case of the TC-1630, I get about a 10 minute window of work time, so I spread a thin layer over the surface of the mold... making sure to brush it up towards the edges and the higher points. Pretty soon it starts to thicken, and when it stops easily flowing, I let it sit for a couple minutes. I then press in pre-cut sheets of fiberglass cloth, making sure it conforms to the interior contours (it has some give, and you can pre trim it to lay pretty flat against the mold's surface). I then mix up a second batch of TC-1630 and brush it over the fiberglass... making sure it gets absorbed into the material before it starts to set up. Once I get a good covering, I start brushing it up towards the edges like before.

The parts can be removed from the mold pretty quickly... though I usually give it a few hours. After six to eight hours it is pretty hard, after 24 hours it is rock solid (pretty much no-give)... which is why it works so nicely for these larger parts while letting the parts stay pretty thin.

The irregular surface on the interior of the nacelle is from the brushing up process. Irregular surfaces are actually stronger (more rigid) than smooth ones, so it acts sorta like a structural re-enforcement.

The TC-1630 actually cuts nicely too... this is why I wasn't too worried about leaving off key details on the secondary hull master so I could get away with a single master and mold to make both sides. Knowing what I was going to be working with ahead of time is why I knew I only needed one secondary hull half, one outboard nacelle body half and one inboard nacelle body half to build the secondary hull and nacelles.

Hopefully that clears up any confusion. I know no one here has asked about it, but I figured I'd share this with you guys anyways in case anyone was curious.
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  #28  
Old 05-07-2015, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

That's impressive work.
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  #29  
Old 05-14-2015, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

Thanks!

I've been working on a number of different parts of the model recently, mostly the deflector assembly, casting parts for the nacelles and making sure I'm happy with the dorsal and nacelle support pylons. I've also been working on the decals, so I've placed test printings of different decals on the model to compare what I have against photos of the original model.

Most of the work on the dorsal and nacelle support pylons has been making sure that the surfaces between where they connect to other parts are in good shape. It is easier to get them nice while they are still on their own. They still have quite a ways to go, but they are starting to look like they should.


I started in on the nacelle parts with the rear end caps. Those came out pretty nice and shouldn't require too much additional work. The main thing I needed from them is to stand in place while I adjust the nacelle body when I bring it together.

I did a quick test assembly to compare some of the decal elements. Oddly, while the original builders of the model took the "U.S.S. ENTERPRISE" straight off the decal sheet, the smaller "NCC-1701" decals have had their spacing adjusted when they were applied to the original model.

I realized after taking these shots of the deflector assembly parts that I had used the templates based on my original (2007) plans and not the updated ones... so the second of the three inner rings is too wide.


This is another couple shots of the deflector assembly with the start of a new second ring and the deflector dish master in place.


With a few more of the nacelle parts cast, I took another series of shots of the model assembled to see how things are coming together.


One of the things I noticed about the secondary hull pennant on the original model is that the rear slopes downward (on both sides) compared to the center line of the secondary hull and the windows. I'll have to figure out how to replicate that without taking it too far as to be noticeable (which on the original it is hard to spot).
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  #30  
Old 05-16-2015, 03:04 AM
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Default Re: 33 inch TOS Enterprise - Studio Scale Replica

A few more test assembly shots... this time with both nacelle dome assemblies in place and deflector assembly (with most of the parts) attached. The first set is slightly higher resolution (but missing the deflector assembly)...


The next set is at my normal resolution...


One of the things I noticed is that the nacelles seem better balanced with the dome assembly elements in place.

The next big step will be bringing the secondary hull together (rather than have the pieces taped together as they are right now). What I'll need to do to start that is build an alignment box much like the one I built for the Phase II Enterprise...


This well help me make sure that the nacelles align with the primary hull, which is done via the secondary hull. The nacelles only need to be partly assembled and the primary hull is mostly assembled for these parts to correctly align the dorsal and nacelle support pylons in the secondary hull as I bring it together.
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