A Two-Thirds 33 inch Enterprise

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Shaw, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    Last weekend I put together a demo of how I scratch build things like models and props and I figured I'd add it to this thread as it is the same method I used for building the primary hull of my Enterprise model. For the demo I picked something non-Trek related because I felt it was important to see that this could be done for just about anything. So I chose the command module of a Space: 1999 eagle as the subject (as I know little about it). All told, this demo took about 2 days from beginning to where I stopped (with about two hours of actual work invested).

    __________​

    Resources and Materials

    What I'll be using is pretty straight forward...
    • Foam Core Board
    • poster board, card stock
    • brown paper bag, standard paper, (wrapping) tissue paper
    • Elmer's Glue
    • AMACO Sculptamold (cellulose-based paper maché)


    __________​

    Foundation

    As stated above, I know little about Space: 1999, so I hit the web to find a reference plan to work from. This isn't aiming for hyper accuracy, so low resolution diagrams were more than enough for what I needed here. I printed them out and then started cutting the top view to the shapes I needed for cutting the foam core board (mostly estimates of the shapes).

    [​IMG]

    Once cut, I started gluing the pieces together to form my foundation.

    [​IMG]

    __________​

    Basic Shape

    With the foundation made I now needed to build up the basic shape, which is what I use the Sculptamold for. You just add water to it until damp and start sculpting. This is non-toxic, so no worries molding it with your hands.

    I generally take a few passes at it, letting the first rough application dry a little.

    [​IMG]

    Then filling in the gaps a little more...

    [​IMG]

    And finally ending up with a good general shape that can be sanded and carved to nearly the form I want.

    [​IMG]

    __________​

    Initial Sanding and Refinement

    After letting it set for a little while more, I did some more sanding of the shape. I also added the first elements of card stock within the indentations.

    [​IMG]

    One of my mistakes with the Enterprise primary hull was letting this stuff sit for too long... it gets harder over time, making it harder to sand out imperfections. Best to get that aspect done early (within the first few days).

    Because this is mainly water based (both for the Sculptamold and glue) it helps to get the initial form made of foam core board as close to the final shape as possible so that it dries quickly. And it does generally dry quickly... at this point I'm less than 24 hours into this build.

    __________​

    Adding Detailing

    I moved along faster on this than I normally would because I knew I was running out of time and this is just a demo of the technique. So between that and the fact that this isn't a shape I am overly familiar with, means I doubt this would measure up to the standard of those who follow Space: 1999.

    One of the details that stood out (for me) when looking at images of the command module was the panels. The panels help turn it from an organic shape into one that feels more industrial. So it was that detail that I've started in on.

    [​IMG]

    This is the first few panels, and I'll go back and sand them down to get rid of the raised areas I don't want. After all, the raised outer edges are what I'm after.

    ... And this is basically what we end up with.

    [​IMG]

    From here I'd give it a couple coats of clear gloss latex enamel (which helps water proof it) and then start painting it. Those are steps which I may or may not do to this model as I think it has generally reached the stage where you guys can see what can be done with this technique.

    So, that is it... hope this will be helpful to others. :techman:
     
  2. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    I did a test painting of the secondary hull to see how well it is coming along... and it seems like it needs less work than I had thought. Here are a few images...

    [​IMG]

    And here is the warts and all version of the progress on the model. These images are obviously much clearer and so you can make out flaws and unfinished sections much easier in them. At the same time you can get a better idea of how things were meant to look (like the nacelle domes) which just didn't show up that well in the other images. And of course the best measure of my progress is to compare it to the shot of the original model that I had wanted all my previous models to look like (but never did).


    Even if it turns out to be a mediocre model, in the end it'll still be closer to what I've wanted for decades than any previous attempts. :techman:
     
  3. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Lovely, I must say. :techman:

    Where did you get your nacelle domes?
     
  4. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks!

    The clear domes were from Don's Lighting & Magic, but inside of them are these sparkly little pom-poms that I found. They make for a nice effect without having to add lighting (which the original model never had).

    I plan on adding an extension to the back of the domes to house the pom-poms that will also hold the domes in place without gluing them in. This will let me switch between the red and gold ones on both models. :techman:
     
  5. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    Beautiful. :)
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, very very clever! ;)
     
  7. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    I just realized that I hadn't updated this thread in a while...

    After making a number of comparisons of the assembled Enterprise model with existing photos of the original, I found that the DLM B/C Deck part was the wrong shape to a noticeable degree (and I wasn't the only one to notice it, Richard_2001 had noticed the difference too). So I when back to the part that I had originally built for the model.

    Here is how the model stood during it's last test assembly after switching out that part...


    Additionally, I've been practicing my other skills on the Constellation. These include aspects of painting and applying decals (neither of which I've done in nearly 15 years).

    Here is how she is turning out...


    On my list of things to do on the Constellation that are not related to practice tasks for the Enterprise, I need to repaint the bridge area and shorten (and repaint) the lower sensor dome. But I'll most likely wait until after I've made more progress on the Enterprise before starting in on those changes.


    This project has done quite a bit towards helping me find errors and omissions in my original plans of the 33 inch model. After I update those plans (and work on my model building skills) I'm sure I'll be more confident in attempting a one-to-one build (which has always been a goal).
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
  8. Bernard Guignard

    Bernard Guignard Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Very nice work there Shaw :techman::techman::techman::techman::techman::techman::drool:
     
  9. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Shaw, any more progress on this? :)
     
  10. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    I've made a little progress...

    I finally took the plunge and glued the dorsal to the secondary hull last week. To do this I mounted the warp nacelles in their correct positions so that I could make sure that the primary hull was lining up correctly with them (otherwise I would run the risk of misaligning the elements). This was the next step after I finished most of the secondary hull assembly (which included packing the lower front third of the hull with paper maché so I would have a solid area to drill the mounting hole at some later point).

    I also photo copied the decals before the assembly to test if they would lay correctly on the surface of the primary hull (which is obviously different from the model they were intended for). I figured I had better know ahead of time if I was going to have to hand place each character of the registration before I reached that step. It seemed to work alright from what I could tell.

    [​IMG]

    This is pretty much how she is going to end up when finally finished as far as general arrangement of parts goes. Neither she nor the Constellation have the nacelle supports glued to their secondary hulls as that will be the absolute last step after their final display stands are ready for them.

    [​IMG]

    The images below brings up something I may or may not have addressed earlier... yes, the Constellation is shorter than the Enterprise, but it actually goes beyond that. Even though both models are originally based on the 22 inch cutaway kit, the Enterprise wasn't meant to be at the same 1/537 scale as the kit. Early on I realized that with a few key modifications, the elements that I did use matched the two-thirds scale plans I had drawn. Those plans (assuming Jefferies' primary hull diameter as a measure standard) are at approximately 1/333 scale, which means that 2/3 times 1/333 is about 1/500 scale. Which is what one would expect when my primary hull is exactly 10 inches in diameter and the Jefferies diameter is 5004 inches. Still, the two models are close enough in scale that they look nice together.

    [​IMG]

    I also included a scan of the strange gap in the decal sheet. I started taking a closer look at the decal sheet and had noticed a line (length wise gap) down the center of the "U.S.S. ENTERPRISE" when I made a copy for testing, but assumed that it was my printer when I first saw it... now I noticed that this is directly on the sheet itself. If no one else has seen this type of error with JT Graphics decals, then I might just contact them about getting a replacement set.

    The other option is to do the name the same way I did it on the Constellation... by hand, using dry transfer lettering. It was something of a pain to do, but I think it turned out okay.

    [​IMG]

    I had always kept that idea in mind as a back up (and that was why I used that technique on the Constellation to make sure it was a viable option).

    I also just purchased an important part of the Constellation's display stand yesterday, the Constellation's insignia. I'll be doing the same thing for the Enterprise's stand, but the Enterprise insignia is (obviously) not as hard to come by.


    This model of the Enterprise has been quite helpful in finding errors in my original plans. Sadly the flip side of all the things that I've learnt is that I'm almost embarrassed by the number of mistakes I made in the first version of them. My goal is to have version 2 of them publicly available by August (two years after their initial release)... and include both pilot and series configurations in the new set.

    I'd like to have The Cage Enterprise plans (original drawings, 11 foot and 33 inch plans) ready by November/December of this year to mark the models 45th birthday. :techman:
     
  11. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

  12. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    Nothing too significantly new... I just happen to have the use of a better camera.


    I tested out some painting ideas for the primary hull domes using spares I had around, plus I just got the insignia for the Constellations display stand (though I don't have the rest yet). I grabbed the Constellation's insignia at this point because it is rare, I'm not too worried about finding the insignia for the Enterprise.
     
  13. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Looking really good, Shaw. :techman:
     
  14. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    My model is slowly-but-surely coming together.

    So I've passed the second anniversary of my work on this model. That is to say, I started serious work towards building this model on August 3, 2007 when I printed out a two-third scale version of my (unfinished) 33 inch model plans and started comparing them against the 22 inch cutaway model I had at the time (I'd end up buying a second for spare parts in the following months which became my Constellation model). By the end of that August I would have additional parts from DLM and the (flawed) decals from Federation Models.

    This is a break down of how the model was put together...


    And here is a few shots of how it is progressing as of today...

    [​IMG]

    She is a little shiny at this point, but I'll get that toned down after all the decals are applied. And I think I've applied those the way I had intended too.

    And this is the latest test assembly (with a make-shift stand for now).

    [​IMG]

    And how she looked before I started applying the decals and such...

    [​IMG]

    Considering the amount of time off I had between starting this model and the last one I built, plus the fact that I was attempting things I had never even considered in the past, I'm pretty happy with the results. She may not win any contests, but she has fulfilled what I wanted in the way of a model of the Enterprise. :techman:
     
  15. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oh, I think there are more than a few convention model contests this puppy has a better than average chance of winning, especially if it's made clear what the intent is.
     
  16. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    Well, yeah... making sure people know exactly what it is would be important. I could just see someone walking up and saying "it doesn't really look like the original Enterprise," all the while looking for the 11 foot model's details and curves.

    I'm quite happy about the fact that it has helped me fix errors in my original plans though. That was an important aspect of the build... running a close second to finally having something like the model in "Requiem for Methuselah" after all these years. :techman:
     
  17. CDR6

    CDR6 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Really nice work!

    Can't wait to see her when she's done. (I've got a pair of cut-a-ways in my stash, and I think some your techniques will help them out... when I finially get started on them.)

    Stay with it!!!
     
  18. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the encouragement! :techman:

    I was hoping to have the use of a friends camera, but she is out of town for a few weeks, so this is the best I can do for now.

    Some comparisons with the original model...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is slowly getting there.
     
  19. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    So I've gotten as far as removing the masking on the warp nacelles and adding the decals to them. Odds are this is as far as I'll be going for a while as I consider options for adding windows. The windows on the original model (as configured for the series) were raised, and I tested out electrical tape on the Constellation to see how that worked (which wasn't too bad, just a pain to apply them).

    But it isn't like I'm in nearly as much of a hurry anymore as she looks quite nice now when assembled (but not glued). She and the Constellation are in just about the same state of completion, though I have a list of things I'd like to go back and fix on the Constellation when I get a chance.

    So here are some shots over the last few days...

    [​IMG]

    And a little more finished (I was obviously playing in Photoshop a little too)...

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Now if you can just manage to get a picture of either Shatner or Nimoy holding it...