Archive for the ‘Star Trek’ Category
Continuing weekly Polar Lights Model Kit updates for the month of December, here is a look at the U.S.S. Reliant mockup that was reviewed recently. This is a much anticipated addition to our Star Trek line of 1:1000 scale kits. This is a new source and the prototype had a few unexpected flaws (like the wavy saucer) as well as the usual amount of fix up we find that is required. A slight mishap resulted in broken Starboard phasers.
Other than that the ship isn’t in too bad of shape overall, but as anyone reading this blog will know that the devil is in the details. Most notably are the grid lines on the top of the ship, not just the saucer section, but the rear end as well. We’ll get that fixed up as well as the other 20-odd points of interest pointed we out to the factory.
Next week… Kong!
New York Comic con is just around the corner – October 10-13, 2013!
Round 2 will be there – stop by and see us at booth 443. You won’t want to miss our new model kits, die-cast cars, slot cars, Forever Fun, Captain Action, and even the Wicked Witch of the West will be in display.
We had announced at Wonderfest that we’ll be releasing a 1:1000 scale kit of the U.S.S. Reliant in 2014. It is personally one of my favorite Star Trek ships. We’ve been working on it for a while now.
Angelo Bastianelli who worked on our recent Cadet Series models built the CG model. At this stage, there are still a few details for the factory to nail down, and then we’ll be able to see a prototype (hopefully soon).
We have received some questions about the installation of the new lighting sets for the 1:350 scale U.S.S. Enterprise model kits so we put together a quick tutorial video that is available through our YouTube channel and our Collector Model Blog. Polar Lights brand manager, Jamie Hood, shows step-by-step how the lights should be installed into the model. This video covers some of the trickier spots that a modeler may encounter as well as some helpful hints to ease the assembly of either MKA005 Deluxe Accessory Set and MKA007 Lighting Kit. As with any of our model kits, we recommend reading all of the instructions completely before you begin any project, but this video should grant a great insight about the installation before the project is begun.
We’ve seen some excellent buildups with the lights installed. We hope this video assists those that have been holding back from lighting their builds. Enjoy!
Lighting a Mini “U.S.S. Defiant”
by E. James Small
Round 2 have begun doing a few things differently lately, and the difference is clear to see.
Let’s look at the newest re-release of the Star Trek Deep Space Nine kit. The entire model is now molded in clear plastic, allowing for the adventurous modeler to light up the whole thing more easily rather than having to bother with the tedious job of drilling hundreds of holes and installing fiddly fiber optics. The same thing was also recently done with the Star Trek Enterprise D kit.
For an example of how casting the kit in clear is advantageous, let’s show you how to shed some light into something that most people might consider impossible, the newly tooled and diminutive 3 inch “Defiant” model that comes with the DS9 kit. Remember you can light up the entire station using the methods shown here too.
Using five 3mm LED’s, the tiny ship can be fully lit with relative ease, and it’s easy to make a stand to both support the model “in flight” and serve as a power supply.
The photos here pretty much show it all. Note that, using files, you can even sculpt and sand down LED’s to fit your needs, such as in cramped areas. Just as long as you don’t sand through to the metal bits inside the solid epoxy case, you can modify LEDs to the shape and size you need and install them in areas where they would not normally fit. Plus, because LED’s stay cool, you don’t need to worry about them damaging the model.
First, the kit is test assembled and examined to see where you can install the LED’s. The Defiant’s engine and bussard scoops are glued in place, being careful to test to make sure the top of the body can be installed correctly afterwards.
Next choose the LED’s to use for the model. I decided to use “warm white” 3mm LED’s for the bussard scoops and front sensor area, and regular (cool) white for the engines in the rear. Use whatever you think is best. Upon reflection I suppose I should have used a cool white or blue LED for the front sensor area since it is supposed to be blue, but it still worked out.
Hint: Stick with white, blue and green LED’s for most of your projects because they work rather happily on 3 volts, generated by two regular 1.5 volt dry cells connected in series. They can be tinted with transparent paints if you want different colours. The new pink and purple LED’s also work using 3 volts. But red, orange and yellow LED’s work at around 2 volts (one cell won’t light them up but two will burn them out!), necessitating the use of resistors which is more complex for the average modeler who may not be familiar with electronics. Please see my other article on lighting the K-7 space station here on the Round 2 Workbench for more details in using and soldering LED’s.
The most time consuming part is next… Practice installing each LED in place within the model, file down both the LED and the inside of the model as necessary until the LEDs fit in place and the hull fits together properly.
When you are satisfied with fit, choose some very thin insulated wire (such as telephone wire) and solder the LED’s together paying particular attention to polarity. You will need to plan it carefully and trim the LED’s leads accordingly.
Hint: Don’t solder the parts inside the model. Test fit, get the correct positions then solder the parts together, holding them with alligator clips and clamps outside the model to avoid damaging the plastic. Just keep test fitting often, and also keep testing the circuit as you go to make sure your polarity is correct and your LED’s aren’t damaged.
Next, you can use narrow brass or copper tube (available from K&S metals at your hobby shop) as a receptacle for the stand mount which you will make from Plastruct’s plastic coated steel wire (made in two sizes), also available at your hobby shop. Choose sizes that will allow the stripped wire to slide easily but firmly into the hollow tube. This wire will act as support for the model as well as carry electrical current to the LED’s. The plastic insulation on the wire will allow you to glue it together and prevent short circuits. The tiny tubes will allow you to remove the model from the stand any time you wish. Solder the LED’s to these tubes with one for the positive leads, the other for the negative. You will need to drill holes and cut channels into the interior of the model to accept the tubes. See Fig. 1.
When you are satisfied with your internal assembly, make sure you fully test it by plugging in some wires from your battery pack before gluing the hull together, sealing it up forever. See Fig. 2.
Now is a good time to make your stand. First, make your support by stripping and preparing the plastic coated wire, bend it into the shape shown and make sure the stripped ends fit into the model snugly but easily without strain on any parts as in Fig. 3
The stand shown in these pictures was scratch built from sheet plastic, but you can make one out of just about any kind of box you want. A switch is installed as well as a battery pack to hold two dry cells and two tubes, the same as the ones installed in the model, are used to plug the support wires into. See Fig.4.
Imagine what you’d have to go through to light this little fella up if it were molded in opaque material!
When you are satisfied everything can be mounted in place and the hull can be glued together, test everything (Fig. 5) then go ahead and finish the model as usual but with the following exceptions:
1: Mask off the areas you want to light up, OR be prepared to scrape paint off those areas when the model is finished. Liquid masking film is handy for this operation. Note the stand you made can be used to hold the model when spraying it as well as keep paint from getting into the inside of the tube!
2: Spray the entire model’s outer surface with white primer and when dry, follow up with dark gray primer. The white will help the light bounce around more inside the model to light up other things like windows, the gray primer will help keep the light from leaking through the hull colour, as most other paints are not entirely light-tight. Continually test the lighting while priming to make sure the model’s hull is sealed. Silver also makes for a great light blocking alternative as well, just make sure you can paint over the silver with your hull colour. Some silver paints don’t take well to being re coated with another colour.
When that is done, finish and decorate the model as desired. Install the batteries, plug in the stand, throw the switch and… (Fig 6)… ENGAGE!
Get yours now from the Autoworldstore.com
This iconic set of three 1:2500 Scale Star Trek models is a great way to pass the
snowy winter days. It includes three mini snap kits, featuring the U.S.S.
Enterprise along with the newly tooled Romulan Bird-of-Prey and Klingon D7
Battle Cruiser. Molded in silver and green the Romulan Bird-of-Prey and Klingon
D7 Battle Cruiser have never before available at this scale. These simple snap
assembly kits are great for beginners and include detailed decal sheets
featuring all three ships’ markings.
Hi all. I know all of you 1701 Club members are anxiously waiting to find out what is going on. Update #8 is finished and should be sent out soon. Many have been asking when we will ask for payment information and you may be assuming the worst that delivery has been delayed… and unfortunately it has a little bit. Fear not though. All development is complete and the kit is currently in production. Details will be in the update.
This blog post might not fill the void left from the above statement, but still we must carry on.
Hopefully you have had a chance to review our Wonderfest video that went live as of my last post. If you stayed tuned in until the end, you found out that the winner of our poll was the 1:32 scale Galileo shuttle! It seems that the Galileo benefited from a grassroots movement that made it the clear winner. I was surprised, but not shocked by the result.
All of the candidates were strong contenders. Some have made the point that with so many great subjects to choose form, some kind of cannibalized the votes of others. If, say, either the Reliant or K’tinga had been left off the ballot that the remaining 1:1000 scale craft would have drawn the votes of the other and therefor put it over the top. I purposely tried to stay out of the nomination process. As long as the winning kit would fit what we had in mind for the size and budget, I knew whatever won would do well. But, I didn’t want to limit the choices in any way. Why? Because I wanted the modeling public to get a taste of the decisions we have to make when it comes to our product line. Our range of choices are also nearly unlimited. Whether it is another Star Trek kit or any other license there are tons of great subjects deserving of being made into a great kit. Figuring out where to start is the trick.
You might wonder if any of the other contenders could get made someday. I threw out several ideas at the presentation covering several types of kits from many properties. In the perfect world of my mind, they would all get made some day. The disappointing truth is that I doubt that 100% of them will get done, but they are all on a list of kits I pull out each year to determine what we will do next. I’ll need to weigh our tooling budget and licensing responsibilities against popular demand.
When it comes to creating brand new kits, we need to hit a home run every time. With reissues, if something doesn’t sell well, we are only out the time it took to create the packaging, etc. But if a newly tooled kit fails, the chances of getting another one made lessens. We have heard the demand for NEW kits and we are putting a plan into action to create new tooling. It will be up to you guys to vote with your wallets to tell us you want more.
Getting back to the Galileo, Gary has already begun digging into the project. As you know getting the interior set to fit within the craft as seen on the show is impossible so our work is cut out for us. We have already started discussions on what kind of details we hope to include in the kit. We will do our best to get the kit finished and on store shelves by the end of 2013. I’ll keep you updated as we progress.
Next week… Wolverine…
Believe it or not, I’m still here working away on Round 2 Models of all kinds. Just like you I wish I could have posted sooner than this. Many people have been clamoring for a 1701 Club update. Of course so much time and work has gone by that I have a lot to write about. So much so that as I’ve been writing it, I’ve come to the realization that I will probably have to find a way to break it up into two reports. Besides the 1701 Club, many people are waiting with baited breath to hear what ship won the poll I talked about in my last blog post. More on that in just a bit…
I have a sliver of time this week where I think I can write up several blog posts showing progress on some of the projects I mentioned at Wonderfest. I’ve already got some test shots on the Motion Picture Cadet kits, a few versions of the Wolverine kit digital files and I’ve have reviewed he mockup for the Robby the Robot kit featuring Altaira. I should also be seeing the 1:144 C-57D mockup soon. I look forward to sharing some behind the scenes looks at these kits similar to what I’ve been sharing in 1701 Club updates. I’m not sure I’ll have time to get quite as in-depth as those reports have been, but there will still be plenty to share. Once I get them written, I’ll schedule them to release once or twice a week.
Back to the poll results… as you may know, we recorded video footage of this year’s Wonderfest presentation just like we did last year. We had hoped to get it finished and posted some time ago (like before the poll went live) but as things usually happen, other fires got in the way. That isn’t to say we haven’t been working on it all along. Modelman Tom is well known for his Youtube model kit reviews and he has been putting in all kinds of time on our video to make it extra-special and much more entertaining than last year’s edition. As production on the video has wrapped up, the poll has also come to a close. So like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, two great things have come together. So as they say… WITHOUT FURTHER ADO… Check out the 2012 edition of our Wonderfest presentation video to find out the poll winner!
After you’ve viewed it, give us some feedback and let us know what you think.
Have you ever had news that you wanted to shout to the world but you couldn’t? That’s kind of where I’m at right now. Things are getting exciting here in Round 2 Models-land. We’ve got a couple great shows coming up.
We will be setting up at C2E2, in Chicago, IL April 13-15. I’ve attended the show the last couple of years and I love it personally. The show focuses on comic books, movies and pop-culture of all kinds. We are looking at a show exclusive to sell at the show. We’ll see what we can do. Besides model kits, we’ll be displaying our other lines like Forever Fun seasonal products, Captain Action and Silver Screen Machines die-cast cars as well.
We are also gearing up for Wonderfest in a big way. I cant wait to unveil this year’s product announcements. I’ve stated that I don’t want to announce anything that we don’t have a sculpt or mockup for. I’m working hurriedly to be sure I don’t have to bite my tongue about anything. If all goes well, we will have more new kits out by the end of the year than just the 1:350 scale U.S.S. Enterprise™! I really, REALLY wish I could say more!
I gave a quick overview of our iHobby booth last time and touched on several Round 2 Models products that will make their way to workbenches in 2012. I’ll give a more in depth product preview of some of our early 2012 sci-fi and genre kits.
First we are offering up something we consistently get requests for- our Universal Dome Base. Though not a groundbreaking achievement, many have found it to be just what we intended, a nice clean method for displaying a model. It is suitable for pretty much any space ship or aircraft model. The dome is a perfect sphere section that can be painted as a planet if desired. The metal rod and ball joint will also be included. It should be available in January. If this one sells well, we’ll look at bringing out our larger version.
Next, a few Star Trek favorites are returning. From the old three piece Adversary Set, the Klingon Bird-of-Prey and Ferengi Marauder return in their own mini ship set. We are adding widow decals for the Marauder that will also include clear orange engine parts. Though there aren’t much to them, once built, they make a couple sharp looking little models.
Also from the old Adversary set comes the Romulan Warbird in its own box. The kit includes a dome display base and new window decals. The engine parts will come injected in regular clear and glow-in-the-dark options. The buildup Jim Small did for us is very striking.
Those knuckleheads, the Three Stooges are coming back again. Why so soon, you ask? We are starting an initiative to bring some model products to market that give some decent results to more casual modelers that don’t have the time or skill to put all the work into them that most of our core consumers do. So this time, the Stooges will come prepainted in shades of gray. Facial detail like eyes etc. will have enough detail to give a nice look with no paint required. They will be great for beginners and just require some glue to hold them together.
These Round 2 Models products will kick off 2012 for us. We’ve got a few others in the works too. More on those as we get further along. Some exciting new projects are in the planning stages and we should be moving into development with them very soon.