Well I finally got up the guts to start on the 1/350 Refit Enterprise by Polar Lights. I have had one ever since they were released and just now am starting to work on her. First impressions, WOW!!! This model is really big and really beautiful.
Since this is my first attempt at this model I am going to follow the instructions and do it in order. I am also going to light this monstrosity as I cannot see a reason to build her if I am not going to build her right. As with my other projects this will be a work in progress. Here is to hoping I don't screw this up too bad.
December 12, 2005
Day One has me starting on the Cargo Deck and Shuttle Bay areas. Cleaned the parts and primed them with good ole Plastikote Sandable Gray Primer. I decided to go with a dark gray for the ceiling and floor of these areas. The floor area of the part seen in the picture below had some ejection pin marks so I filled those in with Bondo spot and glazing putty.
For the ceiling of the cargo area I wanted to highlight all the pipes and raised panel areas. I primed the piece, then masked the area to be painted off. I shot this area with gloss black then with Alclad Polished Aluminum.
Once the Alclad was dry I went over it with my dark gray color. Before the paint was dry I took a lightly damp washcloth and wiped off the excess paint revealing the polished aluminum. I think it turned out pretty good.
No pictures of this step but I put a coat of Future on the Shuttle Bay/Cargo Deck parts and tomorrow will apply the decals.
December 13, 2005
Last Night I got bored and decided to go ahead and put the decals on the Shuttle Bay and Cargo Deck. Here are some progress shots showing the painted interior. I used Tamiya Chrome Silver to highlight some of the railings and detail work on the inside. My sister has my good camera today so I had to go with old faithful for these. The pictures do not do it justice.
Everything has been coated over with two coats of Future to seal nice and tight. The last coat of Future was mixed with Tamiya Flat Base to create a nice dull coat.
For the clear plastic pieces that serve as the lighting, I used some Rustoleum Frosted Glass to make the top parts opaque in order to distribute light more evenly.
December 14, 2005
Painted the arboretum. This section was painted by hand using Poly Scale Panzer Greens and Tamiya white and clear blue. I wasn't really worried about this section so much because it will be hard to see once the model is completed.
Starting doing some light testing to see how I want things to go. I am going to use LEDs throughout the ship. I went to Elliot's Hardware here in the Dallas area at the suggestion of another modeler to get some clear rod stock. Sure enough they carry a wide variety of the stuff. I cut a piece to length, drilled holes in the ends and then inserted blue LEDs. It may not be bright enough, but it looks good so far. I am going to frost it later and do another light test.
After I updated I really wanted to test this with the rod being frosted. I again used, Rustoleum Frosted Glass and made the rod opaque. Dried it with the help of a hair dryer on low heat and re-tested. The lighting effect looks so much better frosted. In person it is very bright and I am very happy with it for just being a trial run. Here are the frosted pics.
December 19, 2005
I got some after market parts in today and also took some better pictures of the completed arboretum and Shuttle/Cargo area.
The new Impulse engine area from Don's Light and Magic is really nice. The translucent resin is bubble free and the instructions are easy to follow. Add in really quick shipping and I am really happy with this purchase.
December 22, 2005
Today was absolutely gorgeous here in the Dallas area. Perfect for getting some painting done. I needed to tint the nacelle grills clear blue, but did not want to do it when it was too cold or humid. Luckily today was just what the modeler ordered.
Using Tamiya Clear Blue thinned with Windex I painted the grills. I did a build up a little at a time and it took about an hour to paint both to my satisfaction. Once they were dry I went ahead and clear coated them in future. In my opinion they turned out really nice and I am happy with their appearance. I am going to frost the back of the grills with Rustoleum Frosted Glass once the future has set. Also I didn't crop the middle picture so you could see how beautiful it was outside. I am wearing shorts and a T-Shirt and feel perfect. God I love Texas. The last picture shows them in the nacelles and also shows the primed and ready to paint nacelles. They are smooth as a baby's butt. :)
This last picture shows that in the dish I went ahead and made it white on the inside instead of the Alclad Chrome. I like the chrome better, but it is too expensive to do a ship the size of this one with Alclads.
January 6, 2006
Started painting on the Deflector Dish area over the last few days. Small update today showing the halfway completed paint job and a test firing of the deflector dish in action.
January 7, 2006
Finished painting the deflector area tonight and test fit it to the fuselage. There are some minor paint touch ups to fix but for the most part this part is DONE!
January 9, 2006
Still working on the deflector area but now I am working on the dish itself. I decided to use a technique I found while perusing a really long refit lighting thread over at the Hobby Talk Forums. It in a nutshell gives your deflector dish the appearance of the amber like color from TMP when you do not have your lighting on. A user over there named bigjimslade, gave these instructions to create the desired effect.
For the deflector disk:
As you can see in these first two pictures, this creates a really nice effect that looks good, but does not mess with the coloration of your lighting scheme when activated.
In the above picture you will notice a slightly blue area in the center of the dish. I decided to get creative on my deflector and in the process created a very nice lighting effect.
Basically I drilled out the center of my dish housing to house an acrylic jewel that you can find at Hobby Lobby. Here is what the beads look like.
Basically you take one of the beads, I used the darker blue on the right, and drill a hole 5mm in diameter to accommodate a 5mm blue LED. This is one of my bad drills, but you get the idea. Using a drill press vice and a drill press drill the hold as centered and straight as you can. Again, the hole in this picture is off center.
Once drilled I inserted the jewel onto the LED and damn it sparkled. I apologize in advance that these pictures are so over saturated, the LED light just kills my camera. I tested the lighting with the jewel as it came out of the package and with Rustoleum Frosted Glass. The Frosted Glass looked good, but the standard jewel when inserted into the dish housing created this fantastic star like pattern across the whole dish. There was no hot spot on the light and the lighting was nice and even throughout.
This picture came out way over saturated, but I used Photoshop to give you a better idea of what it looks like. I am trying to get a better picture but my old camera just isn't cutting it. I believe that this is a great way of lighting the dish and am very happy with the way it looks. I just wish you all could see it
Using some Aves putty, man I love this stuff, I set the jewel in place and have left it to cure. Using Aves gave me plenty of time to adjust the jewel to make it dead center of the dish.
January 18, 2006
Don't have time to write up a detailed review of these pics so I will let them speak for themselves enjoy!!!
January 25, 2006
Some new pictures today. First up are some shots of the nearly completed nacelle lighting. The blue shows some hot spots but you cannot see them with the naked eye.
These next shots show the impulse crystal light box I built as well as some pictures with the light box installed.
The last two shots show the torpedo bay all light up.
January 26, 2006
Really not feeling well today but I got some work done anyways. Here is the dorsal fin between the engineering and saucer sections.
Still not feeling well but got more done anyways.
February 1, 2006
Small update today. I have gotten allot done, but the majority of it is wiring and soldering and wiring and soldering and wiring and soldering and so on and so forth. It really is time consuming but will be so worth it in the end. I have installed the spots for the lower half of the saucer section. The bottom led is casting too much light so I most likely be adjusting the resistance to make it less bright. Other than that one I think the spots look great so far. Gives me hope for the upper saucer section as well.
The last picture shows a brief light test of the nacelle again, but this time with the nacelle ridges being blacked out. I used cheap black pin striping from Pep Boys to get the effect. It still needs to be trimmed some.
February 2, 2006
Here are some pictures showing how I achieved the spot lights on the saucer. Basically I took the clear plastic parts and cut the middle section out to accommodate a 3mm LED. I used my dremel and sanded the lip edges of the LED off so it would sit flush against the hull. I also cut off the annoying mounting pins that block those areas and sanded the part flush to allow the LEDs to go straight through.
February 7, 2006
Today I started testing out my painting technique for my refit. Using the 1701-A Secondary hull that I did not use for this kit, I painted it with my base color. In these pictures I just threw together a fake aztec template really quick using masking tape. Not accurate at all but serves it's purpose. Here is the fake aztec before painting.
Next I mixed up the paint I wanted to try out and let fly. It dried almost immediately so I pulled the masks off. Here are the results in different lighting settings.
I have to tell you, the pictures above do NOT do this justice. You can see the gold, blue and green colors in the pictures above but you can't see how deep and rich they are when viewed at certain angles. When viewed at certain angles you can barely see the aztec at all but I've got to tell you I found the paint I am going to be using for my entire refit. Want to know what it is? W
ell do you? IT'S FRACKING REVLON NAIL POLISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I used a 50/50 mixture with acetone and this is what I got. It's beautiful and so worth the weird look the lady at Wal-Mart gave me. Both the acetone and nail polish from Wal-Mart were under $10 all said and done.
February 15, 2006
Wiring, wiring, wiring god am I tangled in wiring. I have spent the last few days wiring the main hull for lights and making everything fit in with the shuttle insert. Man it is tight in there but everything seems to be working. So here are the pics of the main engineering section with lights. Try not to laugh at my wire explosion.
February 17, 2006 **Update**
Almost done with wiring this beast. The secondary hull is now completely assembled. Please take note of my mistake. DO NOT PAINT THIS SHIP BEFORE SUB ASSEMBLIES ARE COMPLETE. I cut a corner trying to save some time and not only did I not save any time I now have to go back and re-do some things.
I thought by keeping the join lines clean I could then attach everything with minimal fuss and that was just not the case. I had some atrocious seems to fill and if god had never allowed some blessed soul to create Aves Epoxie I would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
You will be able to see from the pictures below that I had some major seem work and had to do a ton of sanding. It looks bad but the seems are smooth as a baby's butt. Everything has been wet sanded and due to the Aves being pushed into every nook and cranny, she seems SOLID as a rock now. Anyways on to the pictures. I still have some work for the thrusters around the dish and some paint work to do on the dish itself but I think you can see from the pictures very little needs to be done. Also one of the pictures shows a plastic pin broke and I replaced it with brass stock.
This Review will be updated often so please come back