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MarkW

1/350 TOS 1701 for SWMBO!

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Indeed, I see the H harness. I would recommend if you can do so to put a break in the wire above the pylon and splicing a connector in there so that you can more easily attach the wires after the saucer is together. Otherwise, it is going to be a bit difficult to build the saucer and take care of the seams while the neck is protruding from it. While I didn't do that with my model, I considered it until I came up with a way to help thread the connector going to the secondary hull through the neck. That way, I was able to glue the neck onto the secondary hull and deal with its seam. The saucer I am not planning to deal with the seam on between it and the neck since the 11 foot studio model has the saucer capable of being detached for transport and storage anyway.

In any event, its looking good!

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How bad are the neck seams top and bottom? It looks like the neck to secondary hull join will be more trouble.

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The seams aren't that bad at all, provided you don't have a wire pinched at the top or the bottom. If you get a large gap on ANY of the seams (neck to saucer or secondary hull, or the nacelle pylons to sec hull or nacelles), a pinched wire is typically the culprit. One thing I really like about this kit is once that neck pylon is fully slotted in to the saucer and sec hull, it is a very robust assembly and not prone to drooping at all!

The secondary hull to neck pylon seam on mine was nice and tight, so to fill it I used a dab of Micro Krystal Klear (i.e. white glue) after I put the painted assemblies together and lightly airbrushed over the top to cover it up once the glue was dry and tight. It worked like a charm. It did take a couple applications of white glue to get all the gap covered, but it still worked out great.

Currently, my secondary hull looks sort of like a potato with three things sticking out of it (the nacelle and neck pylons) since the saucer and nacelles aren't attached yet.

Edited by Jay Chladek

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I've been working on the mess that are the B/C deck windows. The photo below shows the gaps filled by Milliput black (look at the upper edge of the square windows), or the mishapen blob of a hole that was supposed to be a circle. This will be a simple fix with SGT and a pin vise.

DSC_0942_sm_zps23787ec0.jpg

On to other issues, I'm curious as to how others have dealt with this terrible seam on the impulse engines. This part was slide molded, so the presence of this particular seam is even more puzzling. I'm likely going to grind it off and put a scale patterned fabric replacement.

DSC_0944_sm_zps180d19c3.jpg

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...On to other issues, I'm curious as to how others have dealt with this terrible seam on the impulse engines. This part was slide molded, so the presence of this particular seam is even more puzzling. I'm likely going to grind it off and put a scale patterned fabric replacement.

DSC_0944_sm_zps180d19c3.jpg

That is a puzzling seam, since there should be none at all there. Perhaps a melted "string" of sprue got caught in the mold for that particular run? dunno.

One idea that MAY work is since it's not down the symmetry line of the part you could take a mold of each side with a somewhat stiff RTV and then sand off the end patterned area. Then use the mold as a "stamp" on the opposite side in something like Milluput. IT would be pretty hard to line up the pattern but might be worth a try. I've seem some guys repair diamond tread plates like that and it worked for them. Never personally tried it though so I can't say it's the way to go or not. Just a suggestion.

BTW, this is coming along great. One day I may have to break down and get this model.

Bill

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Quick update, no pics. Chemical report--I HATE Rustoleum products in every possible way. They have an infinite continuum of suck.

Why such rage at an inanimate object? After working the long, booooorring nacelle seams, I switched to Bondo red glazing putty due to how much seam filling was required. I could have blown through a tube of Tamiya putty no problem...

Anywho, after getting the seams pretty tight, I decided to try Rustoleum filler primer. This should have been an ideal application, given the nacelles are perfectly smooth tubes. After a good light coat of Krylon primer to seal it up, I put a light coat of Rustoleum on. It instantly dissolved/ate into the putty THROUGH the Krylon.

So yes, I hate Rustoleum. I spent the next two nights fixing the seam, then using my go to brand Duplicolor to seal the new putty, and Duplicolor gap filler primer. Now smooth as butter, ready for paint. What is ridiculously frustrating is I knew I was taking a risk with Rustoleum, yet I dropped $5 on a can of crap anyways when both Duplicolor regular and gap filling primer were a mile away at Pep Boys.

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The nacelle strut to nacelle was not as tight as I hoped. Even though the join is very strong, I wasn't comfortable with filling a gap of this size with putty. As long as the nacelles are, any sort of bump or torquing could make putty crack. So, I used stretched sprue about half a mm wider than the gap, and a liberal brushing of Tenax 7 to set it in place and then melt it enough to easily form it into place with a #10 blade. This is the result after a skim coat of Tamiya.

IMG_20130816_063514_827_zps7aecbb1f.jpg

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Work and rework at a snail's pace continues. In the process of test fitting the nacelle strut to the secondary hull, I discovered the gap was surprisingly larger than expected, and that I had made a bit of a mistake. It was the sort of mistake that had I one available, I would have used my agonizer on myself. I was able to reduce the seam in advance of gluing, and it was a lot easier than it should have been. My goal is to plug the strut in and simply let the paint fill the remaining gap, which I've gotten pretty close to.

The first step: I applied metallic tape to the secondary hull--super thin, and impermeable. Then the foil tape was liberally, but thinly, coated with vaseline. Next, after fitting the strut in place, I slathered SGT around the joint. There is no other material I could think of that would be tough enough in this situation.

DSC_0997_zps81cfa960.jpg

After it all cured, I could simply pop the strut off, remove the excess SGT, and touch up and defects with putty/primer.

DSC_0998_zpsc516902e.jpg

DSC_0996_zps8d29dbd1.jpg

The finished seam is shown below. When I apply a little pressure, it actually tightens it up some more--this is just sitting in position while I held the camera.

DSC_1010_sm_zps4a732f43.jpg

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On to other repairs. My nacelle lights are comprised of waterproof blue LEDs (which means the clear flexible layer on top) and using the spare R2 lighting kit connectors.

Well, on the starboard side, peeling off the clear layer and using the R2 connectors wasn't a problem. But, the port side vexed me. It vexed me. The string was made up of two sets of lights, and the second, longer string kept disconnecting. So I finally bit the bullet, and though it was already sealed up, I popped the low temp glue gun attachments off and pulled the light string out as much as I could through the side of the nacelle. I cut off the R2 snap on connectors, striped and tinned the wires, and then re-soldered the mess back together. After stuffing it all back inside the nacelle, I couldn't use hot glue again, as the glue gun was way too big to fit through the side of the nacelle, and simply drizzling the hot glue on the LED strip was pretty useless. I made braces from sprue corners, and glued those around the LED strip while it was pinched in place with a pair of pliers.

DSC_1000_zps51ba4316.jpg

As you can see from the prices, the left side of the picture has a fairly frosted look on the LED. This is due to CA glue fogging the clear waterproof layer. Normally this would be bad, but it actually helps with the diffusion.

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. But, the port side vexed me. It vexed me.

Ahhhhh, but you shall have your revenge!!!

Edited by phantom

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Indeed Joachim...

Finally put on my big boy pants and began the bridge work. I have the Paragraphix PE set, which includes the bridge detail masks and railings. Having three bridges to work from (two opaque, one clear) I started surgery on a spare opaque one. I used a Dremel, first with a standard high speed burr cutter. I found this to be hard to precisely control without gouging the deck under the solid railing. I switched to a bit similar to #196 in my Stylus (pistol grip Dremel):

http://www.dremel.com/en-us/tools/Pages/ToolDetail.aspx?pid=1100

http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Accessories/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=196

What I found early on is the bridge is very fragile, after sending a seat flying...

DSC_1123_zps8faf9bf8.jpg

The technique that worked best once I switched cutters was to plant the Dremel pistol grip on my bench, and then hold the bridge floor perpendicular to the Dremel while cutting away the rail. While this wasn't 100% perfect, it worked much better when I switched to the clear plastic bridge due to the different cutting characteristics. I did end up doing a little putty work to remove swirl marks in a couple places.

As I was focusing on the opaque bridge, I worked to remove all excess material that would diminish the lighting. Before and after:

DSC_1125_zpsf2d515bd.jpg

DSC_1124_zpsf915fc51.jpg

The bottom picture also includes a healthy amount of coarse sanding stick work to thin the remaining walls out.

Here's the bridge with the PE rails installed. I haven't done much PE work before, but must say the Paragraphix set was very easy to work with. Most folds could be made with tweezers or even a fingernail. Putting the railings on bordered on trivial, aside from launching one and a daring rescue from the carpet monster (why I have a carpet directly and only under my model desk eludes me).

DSC_1126_zps31217376.jpg

Prior to masking with tape and liquid masks, I made sure to test fit the display PE to avoid damaging paint on the bridge or PE by post folding it.

So far I have two coats in flat black and one coat in primer gray. These three coats do NOT provide sufficient light blocking yet which is fine, as I will hand paint silver on the outside of the bridge when the time comes. For lighting with the kit light holders gone, I plan instead to wrap the bridge with white LED tape, using up to 7 LEDS to make it glow.

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Some more ugly baby shots of the in progress painting. I used a base of spray paints, but brushed the detail colors on since time is an issue. These pictures are about 4X magnification, which really highlights every flaw. I can see Chekov's chair needs a touch up in black. Oh well, this is the test kit anyways...

DSC_1127_sm_zps092a35ae.jpg

The additional knobs and buttons are painted on. Yes, I know the light layout is fiction, but the PE set misses a whole row of buttons and knobs, so I filled in the space. For anyone trying this at home, don't bother with red. Tiny red dots on black don't work, but yellow, orange and green are visually distinct enough.

DSC_1130_sm_zps1d296781.jpg

It still looks like crap without the decals or finish flat coat. I'm going with a flat finish simply to smooth it out, and at that scale it won't matter if the whole thing is flat anyway. I had to do a lot of brush touch up as I built it, and flat coat will help hide that. The turbo lift doors are a chunk of red decal cut to size. Painting it failed miserably, and I am concerned about how well the flat coat will cover the roughness.

DSC_1131_sm_zps6eccfe33.jpg

Next step--decals on the itty bitty screens. I'm going to take bradicus' (SFMA) advice and pre cut them for better fit.

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Thanks!

Ok, last shots of the bridge. First, with three L'Arsenal figures. Any more, and the out of scale nature would be too obvious.

DSC_1166_sm_zps817557e2.jpg

DSC_1167_sm_zps01d1bcd9.jpg

The uniforms need a little touch up, but other than that they are done. Here are some shots of the bridge using one 3 LED strip to light up the displays. I'll see how the kit lights compare, but am leaning towards using a three LED strip on each side to ensure lighting is sufficient. It would be great to have some degree of interior bridge lighting that would fit, not wash out the backlit displays and provide general detail coverage, but I'm pretty sure that won't be workable.

As I mentioned earlier, I found the Paragraphix decals useless for the control panels. I instead used pin points of various Tamiya clears to give some suggestion of color to the panels. Next step will be hard mounting the bridge and fixing final light leaks (black Milliput will be used for both as much as possible).

DSC_1168_sm_zps7afd5e50.jpg

DSC_1169_sm_zps532e9591.jpg

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The struggle continues...3 months left to finish this puppy. And SWMBO is pressuring me like an Orion slave girl to paint the damn thing shiny metallic. BUT, good news too. I was able to replace a window in my garage, which is significant because now I can set up my spray booth and exhaust fan out there (the old one wouldn't open). So far I've been limited to quick hold-your-breath dashes (or with a respirator) to do primer shots.

I have inflicted a little bit of delay on myself as well, by prepping the detail parts for my second kit so I can do one round of painting for both. So far that includes the Medium Gray engine details, minus the impulse engine housing. I still need to cast a second set of intercoolers before I bust out the Canadian Voodoo gray...

In the meantime, I've been working on the shuttle bay. Thank goodness I'll only have one kit with an open bay to deal with. Gotta love prominent sink marks in clear plastic on a visible edge...

DSC_1232_sm_zps5c963d4c.jpg

Also have been working on the shuttle. The idea is to have one lifting off, front windows lit. I got the LED worked out, but the light blocking tasked me. For translucent plastic, as I saw with the bridge, you can shine a light through it easily. BUT, because of diffusion, it is very hard to light block, especially the tiny window frames. It would take a prohibitive amount of paint to accomplish this. So, I went with poor man's PE--wine bottle foil. Fortunately, I have an ample supply of wine foil due to my need to keep the voices in my head from shouting so much ;) .

First step was to sand off any coatings down to bare foil and flatten it out, which is best accomplished when you carefully remove it from a bottle--it tends to be tricky to smooth out again. I then made a 1:1 photocopy of the kit decal sheet for the section that has the Galileo windows. I placed a small section of smooth foil on a cutting board, then the decal print on top. Finally, I taped both the paper and foil together to the cutting mat so nothing would move.

DSC_1230_sm_zpsa398873c.jpg

A steady hand, sharp hobby blade, and voila! The first one was crap. But, there are two windscreen decals in that part of the sheet, so I started over with my second photocopy and got decent results. After that, it was simply CA glue, and some clean up. Partial progress shot:

DSC_1231_sm_zpsde2c2126.jpg

Currently have putty on it to clean it up a little more, I'll post pics when it is closer to done. My initial tests on light blocking are very promising.

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Conducted initial light blocking tests with paint on (the paint doesn't contribute to light blocking at all). Next up, decals and and done.

DSC_1233_sm_zps88a5f37a.jpg

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Okay, progress worth noting! My lofty goals at the beginning of this build have somewhat diminished in an effort to complete it. First, I gave in to SWMBO, and the E will be a metallic shade. I've also pretty much given up on the interchangeable parts for the Production vs Pilot versions, and may skip moving the saucer lights on hers because she just doesn't care.

The accent parts, however, such as intercoolers and other details, will be in their original colors, so we'll see how that works out. The other visible details, such as the bridge and open hangar bay, will also be done up old school. The final metallic she chose was DupliColor Stainless Steel, used for automotive trim. It goes on very flaky, as in the surface will look like 60 grit sandpaper:

DSC_1241_sm_zps0740c0f8.jpg

After giving it an hour or so to cure, you can buff it with a tee shirt. I used a shop towel, then a light wet sand with 4000 grit sandpaper to achieve this:

DSC_1242_sm_zpsf4149599.jpg

What is exceptionally cool about this particular paint is that while it has an old school spray bomb nozzle (not the finer mist rectangle nozzle), it can recoat like a lacquer primer, and leaves NO recoating edge at all. I did some test shots on the nacelles, using Stainless steel and DupliColor Platinum, and the Platinum shade looked like you'd expect a metallic from a can--high shine areas, blotchy, obvious recoat edges, spattering, etc. SS has none of that and is perfect for what I need. I haven't checked it yet for light blocking, but as a metallic flake paint I expect it can only help in that regard.

Since I recently completed soldering up the upper and lower saucer wiring harnesses, my goal this weekend is to get the sauce together and then paint. I'm really incentivized to get this done now that I have a working Arduino prototyping board on hand, and can work on building a custom light scheme for MY Enterprise.

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Okay, last bit from the holiday weekend.  After seeing how the metallic paint overlays, and edges disappear when hit with flat coat, I decided to build the saucer sections, paint, decal and flat coat the halves then install glass and glue.  Below, the bottom half:

DSC_1244_sm_zps6dda3c46.jpg

An issue comes from how rough the metallic surface is. This is the unbuffed secondary hull ring.

DSC_1243_sm_zpscd9b9048.jpg

Even after buffing and a quick wet sand with 6000 grit cloth you won't get a glass smooth surface. For flat areas like the nacelles, this was no issue as the decals responded to Micro Set & Sol. The one bit of silvering was remedied using the "aggressive" approach from below.

DSC_1245_sm_zps84e47f47.jpg

Note the gray accent decal is essentially invisible against the stainless steel finish.

DSC_1246_sm_zps68a0bf9d.jpg

On the saucer I had to resort to a different strategy for the rougher finish and grid lines. Dousing decals in Sol wasn't doing squat. So I took a more aggressive approach.

DSC_1247_sm_zpsa8df36d1.jpg

I've done this before, so I knew it would work...if great care is taken. First, you get ONE pass at best with the brush. Second pass, you have just melted a decal (look at the nearest "C" in the saucer picture up top). Second, these are ridiculously simple decals. Where I did melt the decal, it was on a solid black portion, trivial to repair. Third, I knew the glue would NOT damage the base coat as it was a lacquer.

This did work to snuggle/melt the decals into the grid and eliminate silvering, but isn't ideal. For the saucer top registry numbers, I laid down a base coat of Future. So, that's the next one and only one chance experiment!

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You are doing nice work, but your wife is nuts regarding colors. You can tell her I said so, lol.

Edited by midnightprowler

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Rule #1: I can call my wife that (not to her face, of course!), you cannot.

That said, it actually is a look that works. While metallics are generally pretty hard to photograph, this particular stainless steel is captured fairly well. It is a smooth color when buffed, and goes down without obnoxious metal flake patterns. In this scale, it is fairly decent, and doesn't look as ridiculous as a chrome finish would. I am going through a lot of glue to get the decals to lay down on it though.

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Another minor update--added the light blue to the neck:

6001b9c423f06e47480157f7c87b9c11_zpsf680fad6.jpg

This was done with Alclad Hot Metal Blue.

I also removed the masking from the windows, and that was not as wonderful as I hoped. Next time, I'll paint the window then seal.

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