TOS NCC-1701 1/1000 Polar Lights

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705CO
Posts: 188
Joined: April 20th, 2019, 4:00 pm
Location: DC area

January 5th, 2020, 3:26 pm

After some time away from lighting adventures, I've decided to take on this one next. I'll be deviating from canon a little bit, but not overly so. I've got a set of Aztek Dummy masks for the 'Wee Connie', and they should go nicely with the ISS Enterprise. Research for this ship is pretty easy, so the challenge is just figuring out what direction you want to go. Living in the DC area you can even go to the Air and Space Museum to see the original studio model--all lit up and everything.
TOS-01.jpg
this one even includes the SS Botany Bay
As always, the snap together nature of the smaller scales, as well as the plan to light the kit, result in a lot of initial work and planning.
TOS-02.jpg
The good and the bad. On the good side, if you want to make this a snap together kit the secondary hull sections fit quite nicely. On the down side, the design choice was to have you 'trap' the nacelle struts and the deflector base. While the former is avoidable with minimal work, the deflector must go in that way unless you want -a lot- of extra work.

Back to the good side, all of the 'halves' on this kit are grooved, which provides a built in light block and a better seam to work with. This also means you have good alignment plastic remaining if you remove or modify the alignment pins/snap fasteners.

For lighting of the secondary hull nearly all the vertical stiffeners and pins/sockets will have to be cut out.

Lastly, this kit is small. At 1/1000 it is about the size of the Enterprise-E in 1/2500 scale.
"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."
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705CO
Posts: 188
Joined: April 20th, 2019, 4:00 pm
Location: DC area

January 5th, 2020, 3:33 pm

The nacelles are another mix of good, okay, and poor.
TOS-03.jpg
Good. As mentioned before, there are raised sections around the edges that will not only help with alignment but also as light blocks. To provide some lighting of the Bussard collectors, the forward two alignment pins/sockets will be cut out. As there are no other lights in the nacelles, the rear ones can remain. The collectors are two parts, and one of them is 'trapped' when you assemble the halves. It should be simple to mask this for painting, and the other part can be cemented in place after painting. The collector pieces are molded in clear.

OK. The fit of the nacelle halves will require minimal putty and sanding. The fit of the space matrix restoration coil is acceptable, and it is installed after nacelle assembly, which is once again quite convenient.

poor. The nacelles are designed to fit onto the struts, but they don't. Fortunately I'm not the first to build this kit so there are some nice videos on-line showing fixes. Unfortunately this is likely to mean a lot of putty work...and that the nacelles will have to be in place prior to painting.

But back to the good, the saucer can be painted separately and added at the end, so the nacelles shouldn't be too onerous.
"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."
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705CO
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Location: DC area

January 5th, 2020, 3:44 pm

Last update for today on the starting efforts.
The nacelle struts are awful. The actual fit to the curve of the hull is quite good, but you can tell the seam is just ugly. A channel will be cut into both upper and lower sections to facilitate wiring.
TOS-04.jpg
One thing about lighting is all the noodling through ahead of time so you can still get to the different parts. The nacelles are a great place to discuss this, and there are options.
-use enough wire and leave significant excess at both ends of the struts. This allows assembly of the struts separate in time from the nacelles and the secondary hull. This is of benefit so as to make finishing the nacelles easier. However, you then have to assemble the nacelles with excess wiring, solder to the strut wiring, and then stuff the wires into the nacelle. Same goes for connecting the wiring from the strut to the secondary hull.
-Or, use enough wire to run one a single length from the front of the nacelle out of the model. The drawback to this is that you end up with three assemblies that need work with a wire holding them all together.

Based on the internal space available, wire wrapping wire should work for saucer and secondary hull, but magnet wire or beading wire may be needed for the nacelles and the run through the struts.
"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."
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MSgtUSAFRet
Posts: 192
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Location: Houston, TX

January 11th, 2020, 3:36 pm

Scott, interesting that you would choose to light this scale; I don't think I have ever seen one of this scale lit (lighted?) before. Noice!

So, how do you plan to hide the seams? Perfect Plastic Putty (PPP)?

Also, and just a suggestion, rather than cut a groove in the strut for the wire, have you thought about Copper Foil Tape to run up the struts? It's flat and wouldn't compromise the strength of the struts. Just a thought.

I will be following this as I have a couple of these in my stash and I LOVE TOS builds!

Steady as she goes!

Steve
Admirals don't fly; do they...where's the fun in that?!
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705CO
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January 18th, 2020, 10:32 pm

Steve,
I don't believe I have seen work done with copper foil tape. Any references?
The struts don't have to support very much weight, so a little plastic removal should be OK.

As for the seams, I bounce between PPP and Vallejo plastic putty.

I have somewhat reclaimed by hobby area downstairs and have started working on this again.

-Scott
"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."
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705CO
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January 19th, 2020, 6:02 pm

A quick update.
As the neck and secondary hull will have some lighting, some plastic removal was necessary. All of the pins and sockets in the neck, and those in the forward half of the secondary hull were removed by careful use of a Dremel. This did indeed melt the offending plastic, but if you go slow you won't affect the parts you want to remain.

Channels were cut out of the aft supporting structure to allow wires to get to the nacelles. As there won't be any lights in the aft most part of the secondary hull, those supports were left intact. The lowest pin and socket were left intact as well for alignment.
TOS-05.jpg
TOS-06.jpg
"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."
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705CO
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January 19th, 2020, 6:09 pm

The base of the nacelle struts is designed to be 'trapped' between the halves of the secondary hull. Although the fit is a little too tight right now, with just a bit of sanding they should line up excellently. Originally I was going to remove that plastic, but if the fit can be adjusted the additional strength will be a nice addition.
TOS-07.jpg
really just small seams, and these may go away after some heating
TOS-08.jpg
nice fit on the underside of the struts as well
"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."
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705CO
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January 25th, 2020, 1:16 pm

This kit comes with several options for decals. This has the unexpected benefit of making it easier to locate windows. While the decals on the neck needed no replacements, the emblem on the secondary hull clearly was needed later. However, with two sets of decals for the secondary hull (minor differences) one set could be applied and then scraped off later.

After setting the decals a scribe was used to mark the same location on each window, then they were drilled out. Not quite perfect, but they'll do nicely. A slightly different approach, and a larger drill bit, will be used on the saucer.
TOS-09.jpg
note the little spots where the scribe was pressed into the plastic
TOS-10.jpg
and after decals scraped off
"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."
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MSgtUSAFRet
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January 26th, 2020, 1:56 am

705CO wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 10:32 pm
Steve,
I don't believe I have seen work done with copper foil tape. Any references?
The struts don't have to support very much weight, so a little plastic removal should be OK.

As for the seams, I bounce between PPP and Vallejo plastic putty.

I have somewhat reclaimed by hobby area downstairs and have started working on this again.

-Scott
Scott, I couldn't find the build thread where I saw the copper tape. Best memory serves, it was on scifimodelaction and someone was building an Enterprise D, 1/1000 scale and used the tape in the engine support pylons because of the limited space there.

Since scifimodelaction is archived, the search function is dial-up slow and so I wasn't able to find it. Sorry dude. I think that using a single strip for power and another for ground would be the way to go. Just thinking out loud; so to speak.

Steve
Admirals don't fly; do they...where's the fun in that?!
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MSgtUSAFRet
Posts: 192
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Location: Houston, TX

January 26th, 2020, 2:07 am

705CO wrote:
January 25th, 2020, 1:16 pm
This kit comes with several options for decals. This has the unexpected benefit of making it easier to locate windows. While the decals on the neck needed no replacements, the emblem on the secondary hull clearly was needed later. However, with two sets of decals for the secondary hull (minor differences) one set could be applied and then scraped off later.

After setting the decals a scribe was used to mark the same location on each window, then they were drilled out. Not quite perfect, but they'll do nicely. A slightly different approach, and a larger drill bit, will be used on the saucer.
TOS-09.jpg
TOS-10.jpg
So how are you gonna shape the windows to be rectangular?

Another question - what size of drill bit did you use to make the holes in the ship? Pin-vice?

Keep at it!

Steve
Admirals don't fly; do they...where's the fun in that?!
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