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Archive for April 4th, 2016

Star Trek models: My Enterprising Journey Pt. 2

posted by JamieH 5:00 PM
Monday, April 4, 2016

Here we are with Michael Scarola’s second part of his build process of our classic AMT U.S.S. Enterprise kit.


My Enterprising Journey: Building the Classis AMT 18” Enterprise – Part 2

The work continues…

Now that the saucer’s details and shape were worked out it was time to move onto the secondary hull. I started by lengthening the hull. The 3 main parts were glued together and the rear section, in front of the pylons, was cut off and the hull was stretched approximately 1/16”.

Figure 7

I used one of the AMT kit’s nacelle domes to make new landing bay doors by simply cutting it in half and scribing in some vertical lines.

Figure 8

Sheet styrene was added to the curve of the hull next to the hanger bar doors to achieve the proper shape. The front of the hull was built up with putty and the ribbed details on the deflector forks were added using pieces of .5 mm styrene rod placed side by side as well as some half round styrene rods above and below.

Figure 9

I combined the rear of the kit’s deflector housing with the front of a resin housing from JT-Graphics. The outer housing itself was puttied and re-shaped.

Figure 10

The nacelle pylons were narrowed and shortened to match the blueprints. They were attached at an angle slightly less then 90 degrees using a template I made from the blueprints. I strengthened the pylons with sheet styrene and 1/8” brass rods.

Figure 11

The kit’s nacelles were used and also modified. I cut off the grooves behind the bussard domes since I was using resin bussard domes from JT Graphics, which already these details.  To create the taper of the studio model’s nacelles I drew a line with a pencil from the front corner of each half that goes to 2.5 mm at the rear.

Figure 12

The above image illustrates where the cuts were made.  Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the actual kit parts so I used nacelle halves from an older kit for figure 12’s illustration. It’s basically long skinny triangles that needed to be cut away.  In order to make sure the inner trenches stayed centered on each nacelle the cut on both parts has to be made on the same side, as indicated in the picture. The 2 halves were heated with a hair dryer and rolled on a flat surface to create the taper towards the rear. When I glued the halves together I sanded, for what felt like days, to get them round and even.

I used a set of correctly sized end caps from Federation Models that come with their Surya resin kit. The bussard domes from JT-Graphics have inserts to simulate the fan blades but have other details that weren’t actually on the studio model. Instead I used a set of clear domes I had on hand and added the fan blades with some 1 mm masking tape, painted silver.

Figure 13

I used a set of JT-Graphics Intercoolers and Federation Models Control Reactors and rear vents to round out the nacelle’s details.

Figure 14

The above image shows the model almost completed sitting atop a Round 2 Dome Base, attached with a brass rod. I reinforced the dome base with 1 mm styrene sheet on the bottom. This keeps the Enterprise from swaying.

Figure 15

Having worked through all these modifications I was now ready to take a breath. The next round of fun would involve the hull color. With the Enterprise’s hull color being a big topic of debate over the years I knew it would take more then simply opening up a bottle of paint.

In my next and final installment I’ll cover the painting, weathering and the decals…

Michael Scarola