Polar Lights 1:350 TOS

jellis11

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Jul 24, 2012
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Hi guys, I just wanted to show my 1:350 TOS Enterprise WIP. Forgive me for starting this in the middle of my build, but I have had this on another site for the last two months without a lot of response except for my own. So, I’ll try and spare all the gory details up to this point and just show you the highlights and issues I’ve come across. I’m using the Polar Lights light kit and Photo Etch, Paragraphix photo etch detail set and the Aztek Dummy window masks and registry markings masks. I am still up in the air on whether I will be using the weathering decals or just using paint and pastels and I am sticking mostly to the Model Master and Tamiya paint callouts included with the kit instructions.

So, without further ado…..beginning with the shuttlebay: This is a fairly straightforward assembly. Mask off the areas that will get PE, light block, finish paint, attach PE and decals. A few things to point out….
As the individual parts need to be painted and decals applied before assembly you need to be precise and go easy with the glue and try to avoid any squeeze out because since this area will be lit, you will definitely see any imperfections.

I ended up with some horrid light leaks at the seams of the walls and ceiling, however these were easily fixed with a combination of Mr. Surfacer and foil tape applied from the outside…just continuously check your progress with a flashlight.

The lighting kit instructions call for the top two LEDs to be placed all the way forward in the channels. I found that the light I got in the shuttlebay was insufficient for my tastes, so after some experimentation I ended up placing them at the very back of the channels. This seemed to provide much more light through the clear roof panels. I’m not sure if this is exactly screen accurate, but I was happy with the results.

To get the high shine on the shuttlebay deck I shot two coats of Future (after finsh paint and decals) followed by Model Master Acryl Gloss.

My apologies in advance if I have left any details out. I'll be posting more in the following days.
Thanks for looking and any feedback, comments, questions or constructive criticism are most welcome and appreciated!!!


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jellis11

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Next up, A/B deck issues….It appears that the mould for the A/B deck had a couple of minor issues. As you can see from the photos, a few of the windows were not exactly round, actually they were quite wobbled out! So, using some white Milliput I filled them in from the inside, sanded smooth, then re-drilled the holes. Adversely, I will not be able to use the entire window assembly for the starboard side now, but I’ll fill those windows in with Krystal Klear and shouldn’t have any problems. I also filled in the engraved hatches with squadron putty then sanded smooth…apparently the kit decals do not line up with the engraving exactly, therefore it will be much easier working with a smooth surface rather than trying to get the decals to match.

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jellis11

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Scott Girvan said:
Cool build. That interior is looking sweet.
Thank you Scott! Much appreciated!

On to the engineering hull: First problem….the dreaded shuttlebay fit issue. Keeping in mind that this is WITHOUT the window inserts, Which, if needed I will use Krystal Klear in place of. I dremeled out the areas seen below in the photos, removing +/- 1/16”, then cutting about ¼” off the rearmost mounting peg (not used anyway) and my shuttlebay fit without any problems and no gaps in the engineering hull halves when closed up!! (see my photos of the shuttlebay in place in my previous posts)

I taped off all the glue contact points on each half of the engineering hull, then light blocked by spraying Duplicolor gray primer, Flat black, then gloss white, allowing each coat to dry completely before proceeding to the next. I followed this up by doing a light test and filling all areas that needed it with (again) a combination of Mr. Surfacer and aluminum tape….pay close attention to the sink marks!


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trekriffic

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Nice progress so far. Do you plan on lighting the three spine lights over the shuttlebay?
 

jellis11

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trekriffic said:
Nice progress so far. Do you plan on lighting the three spine lights over the shuttlebay?
Trekriffic, thanks for the compliment! That means a lot coming from you as I am a huge fan of your work...Actually your TOS build is what inspired me to start this one.

Yes, I fully intend on putting in the spine lights. My biggest issue right now is just trying to figure out how to orchestrate everything. (ie: "Do I paint this now and glue it later or glue it now and paint later?, wait, but what about the lights? Oh. I can't do that cause I still have to putty this......") You get the idea.

I still have a few assemblies that I have completed that I haven't posted yet
 

Grendels

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Thanks for posting, it is always good to see someone else tackle a project. Even if others have done it before, each person does something a bit differently and you can learn from that.
 

jellis11

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Grendels said:
Thanks for posting, it is always good to see someone else tackle a project. Even if others have done it before, each person does something a bit differently and you can learn from that.

I agree completely Grendels, thank you!

Moving on....I glued in all the windows in the E. Hull which involved separating most of them from the individual panels for a better, more flush fit (which some still aren't that great). I decided to try to make mine look more like the series ship by using a mixture of opaque and darkened windows. After a few light tests I still wasn't happy with the dark windows as they let quite a bit of light through, making them look almost an "amber" color, so I backed all of them with black electricians tape (I hope it stays put!) I then ran all the wiring in the Engineering hull and after a few tests to make sure all the lights worked I began to secure all of the wires and LEDs with hot glue.

One quick note: After several failures with the kit supplied LED connectors, I cut all of them off and soldered the wires directly to the LEDs. Also, as almost everyone else has pointed out the 3M tape on the LED strips does not stay stuck! Use hot glue or something else to make sure the strips stay secured!

I used the same basic light blocking, wiring and window installation procedure with the neck assembly.

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jellis11

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trekriffic said:
This all looks very familiar... :)

Don't forget the orange window in the dorsal.

Trekriffic, it should look familiar!!! Yeah, I got the window in the dorsal, but instead of clear orange, I used a piece of yellow Tamiya tape....I just liked the look of it better. I'll show it a little further on.

Glorfindel said:
Nice start jellis11. Light blocking, wire, soldering....yeah it's all coming back to me now.

Thanks Glorfindel! I've done a bit of lighting on some of my builds in the past, but this, by far, is the most involved I have ever gotten.

Quaralane said:
Definitely a lot of work going into this.

Quaralane, so true!!! I definitely need to step back every once in a while to take a break and clear my mind!
 

jellis11

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Working on removing the saucer gridlines using Tamiya white putty and my entire arsenal of sandpaper grades......

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jellis11

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Work on the nacelle pylons didn’t present any real problems except for the fact that the halves were quite warped which was easily resolved with clamps. There were however a few sink marks and overmoulding that required some filling and sanding…….

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jellis11

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Now on to the nacelles….In addition to being warped, the nacelle halves had a BUNCH of sink marks in them, which was resolved by the obvious sand-fill-prime-repeat…..After they were smoothed out to my satisfaction, I attached the completed pylon assemblies and filled the gap (which wasn’t much) with Mr. Surfacer 500, sanded out, then re-primed.

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jellis11

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And that brings us to where I am currently on the build…..After shooting the completed nacelle assembly with the kit base color call out (Tamiya JN Gray and Flat White) and finish painting and attaching all the little additional bits and parts, I covered the entire assembly with MM semi-gloss, then added a small bit of weathering around the rearmost grills and the end cap domes (which, by the way aren’t white as they appear in the picture…it is a lightened shade of MM light gray). Also, some of the bits aren't glued down yet, so you may notice a small bit of gap, but not to worry, I will take care of that as I go. I’ll be using the Aztec Dummy masks next to start painting the nacelle markings and insignias.

Thank you for looking and I appreciate any comments, suggestions or advice!!!

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trekriffic

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I used the Orbital Drydocks masks to paint the ships registry and pennants on my own build. You'll be so pleased with the look you get from painting them on rather than using decals. It makes a BIG difference not having any silvering or sign of carrier film.
 

jellis11

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Jul 24, 2012
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Grendels said:
Looking good!
Thank You Grendels!!!

trekriffic said:
I used the Orbital Drydocks masks to paint the ships registry and pennants on my own build. You'll be so pleased with the look you get from painting them on rather than using decals. It makes a BIG difference not having any silvering or sign of carrier film.

Trekriffic, I am happy that I'm going that route, although AFTER I purchased the Aztec Dummy masks I started hearing horror stories about how they have a tendency to peel your paint off as opposed to the Orbital Drydock masks, which I have heard nothing but high praise about. Oh well, I figure I just need to hit her with a few good solid coats of clearcoat before sticking any masks on and maybe tack the masks up a bit before I apply them.(fingers crossed)
 

Glorfindel

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May 2, 2011
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Coming along swimmingly on this. I like your approach, and yes a good few coats of "clear" to protect your base coat should help with the Aztec Dummy masks. You'll do fine, keep up the work.
 

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