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USS Excelsior NX-2000

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I'll be making my way back to this project very soon. To ease back into it, I'll be correcting the nacelles first.

They need to be lengthened 2" and the bows need to be reshaped. This will be done with a new buck that will accommodate the extra length and the new shape, then vacuum formed in clear so that the lights can be added in the lower nose of the nacelles. The shrouds at the top front of the nacelles will need to be reshaped as well to match the bottom profile.


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  • 5 months later...

Started refining the basic shape of the bridge dome and wall assembly. These two masters will be molded, then cast in clear Smooth-On Resin so they can be back-lit.


The aft section of the wall has a taper from its base to the top. I added a thin strip of styrene at the bottom of the wall, then applied Apoxie Sculpt to shape it, then sanded it to shape. I applied glazing filler to smooth out the assembly.



Here the taper in the aft wall can now be seen.



This expanded image to the NX Excelsior studio model's bridge shows the angle details in the leading edges of the wall. This has always been assumed to be a single angle, not three.



Front profile.



Top Forward Plan View



Top Aft Plan View



The Bridge Dome Master is hollowed out for lighting purposes.



Inside surface is Smoothed out.



The parts will be primed and polished so that the window/light port positions can be taped in. Several coats of primer will then be applied and buffed to build up a new surface. The tape will be removed to render all the light sources in both the dome and the wall - which has two light sources on each section of the wall.


Here is an image of the Studio miniature NX Dome with some light ports showing.



And here is the bridge and wall light sources being shown on-screen.




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Wow! Missed this the first round. I am impressed with the work you're doing. Very professional. I've never been a huge fan of the Excelsior class ships, but they are growing on me. And seeing this one come together makes me actually start to like the shapes much more. Keep up the great work!



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  • 2 weeks later...

NEW Hi quality RARE photos of the NX version of the studio model have popped up. What was once thought to be a gap with a wall around the bridge dome has revieled that dark blue paint an low-res images has thrown off Trek modelers and Excelsior fans for decades.


Here, I've added strip styrene to the base of the side walls to taper the surface about 10deg. The Aft wall however is more pronounced at 20deg.




Apoxie Sculpt has been applied to render the new surface.




Here, Apoxie Sculpt has filled in the gap between the wall and the dome.




Here is an image of the studio model on-screen. What we've thought to be a shadow of the wall being cast on the dome is actually the Dark Blue painted hull surface.





Edited by Vidar_710
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  • 4 months later...

PhotoBucket must have been doing maintenance or something, but it's working great now.

New direct image from the top of the torp launcher section.


New 68mm circle cut 10mm to the left of center axis. (more than a half circle)


Circle test fit over the image.


Confirming the scale of the image to my secondary hull master.


New plate placed on the master. You can see that the extended material making it more than half a circle, plus the tapered shape of the hull gives the illusion that the plate looks oval.





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  • 3 weeks later...

3D printed Aft Torp Launchers arrived. Here, a size, shape, and scale check over a scaled image of the studio model.



Next, a couple of images with the part in place on the bottom of the secondary hull master. Real happy with how this came out!






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  • 3 weeks later...

A few advances towards shaping the neck/dorsal structure, and the Warp Nacelles.


Template for the large plates. The smaller spacer template will be made directly from this template by removing 5mm of material from the outer edge.




The neck sweeps forward at a 31 deg angle as seen in the drawing at the bottom of the page. The yellow sticky depicts the size of the two torp launcher recesses.




The Warp Nacelles need to be lengthened 1.5" to a total length of 22" to match the scale of the primary and secondary hulls, and the bow of the nacelles are terribly inaccurate in shape. Here a template was made directly off a scaled image of the studio model, and a Lunar Models nacelle bottom is placed over it showing the shape issue. Once the length and shape are corrected, a set of templates will be made to determine the shape of the grill plates in the nacelle.





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The plug to lengthen the nacelles to 22" is made from dense foam.


Here, the pattern is drawn in.




It was cut out with a band saw, then roughly shaped before filling.




Once refined, this plug will be molded, then two copies will be cast - one for each nacelle master.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Extension plug finished, molded and super glued into the nacelle.








Same paper template was used to re-shape the leading edge of the Top Bow cowl.




Parts glued onto the  plates.




Paper templates made off the studio model images were made to update the shape of the trailing edge contour of the cowl.




Trailing edge thin styrene patterns cemented into place.




Now the Apoxie Sculpt was applied into the extension plugs, and sculpted into place to flesh out a rough contour for the corrected shape of the nacelle's bow.




Close-up of the bow sections.




I'll let the Apoxie Sculpt cure for more than a day. I injected resin into the flimsy vacuum formed upper cowl kit parts to reinforce it for vigorous sanding so they won't cave in from the pressure. The Apoxie will be worked with various sanding techniques to refine the required shape, then a multitude of filling, sanding, and priming sessions will take place to get the nacelles to the desires shape.








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First round for refining the shape of the Nacelles bows. The Apoxie Sculpt has been sanded to shape.


Next, filler will be applied to cover seems and imperfections in the nacelles.


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Back and forth with priming and sanding to level the surface.




Nacelle bottoms and forward top cowls are complete! Shown here with the primary hulls superstructure.





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  • 1 month later...

Here's how the progress of fixing the bottom of the primary hull went...

Original Lunar Models vacuum form part.


Roughed out changes to be made drawn in.


Fleshing out the trench parts. Left, the base of the trench. Right, the plate that corrects the side profile on the bottom's profile.


Trench Assembly



New profile and trench ready for installation.


Making the cuts.



Installing the changes.


from the inside of the hull. styrene re-enforcements were made.


Trench fully installed


Determining the shaped of the dossal's trench using a scaled image of the studio model. This also determined the correct shape of the secondary hull's bow.


The crest of the saucer is removed and a flat plate is installed for mounting the scratch-built Planetary Sensor Dome assembly.


Filling in the over-exaggerated grid details. I used Apoxie Paste to ensure the thin styrene would not be melted, or deformed which it the result of using standard fillers or putty on thin styrene.


A paper template is made and test fitted to the hull.


The cut for the Dorsal Trench is made.


Base Plate is glued into place and re-enforced.


The dorsal trenches vertical wall is glued into place, as well as a piece of sheet styrene cut to shape to fill in and level out the dip in the hull at the outer edge of the saucer's aft section.


Plenty of back-n-forth with filling, sanding, and priming until a smooth surface was achieved. Here it sits with the resurfaced upper half of the primary hull.


With the bottom of the secondary hull's master complete, preliminary work has started on the Dorsal/Neck assembly. Paper templates shown in place.



Edited by Vidar_710
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  • 3 weeks later...

Dorsal assembly in-progress images.

The entire assembly is scratch-built. However, the inserts in the front of the dorsal will be 3D printed.

Cutting the styrene by hand.



41 plates were cut. More than half that didn't quite make the grade were relegated to being trimmed down to be the spacer plates.


The Large plates and Spacer plates were clamped together for sanding to unify their shape.


The Upper Adapter that attaches between the dorsal and the primary hull is framed in styrene...



... then shaped with Apoxie Sculpt.



Here, the ruffed out parts are stacked unglued on a jig to check for alignment.





Clean-up of the individual plates and the cutting of the two forward ports is the next step.

Thanx for lookin'!


Edited by Vidar_710
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  • 4 weeks later...

Work on the dorsal section continues...


I assembled in 3 sections. The reasone is to keep the Torp recess section separate until I determine how big to cut the opening for the 3D rendered Torp Launchers.

The lower section, the Torp Trench section, and the upper/Adapter section.



Here they sit stacked.



Further work on the adapter is being done. The addition of styrene to fill where the saucer trench passes over the dorsal assembly. I roughed out the shape of the trench 'blocks', then applied a thin layer of Apoxie Sculpt and allowed it to set up. I then pressed the Adapter into the bottom of the primary hull to cast the profile of the trench. Once fully cured the excess was sanded away and polished to check for flaws.


Top View



Bottom view.



Side View



The top section of the Dorsal Assembly test fit into the bottom saucer's master.





Once Bob "Aptiviaboy" Morgan has finished modeling the Dorsal Canon parts, I'll order them printed from Shapeways. Once I receive them, I can then determine how wide to cut the ports into the mid-section of the Dorsal Assembly.



Edited by Vidar_710
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