for a few more pics, go here:
Back in the 70’s, I built one of these when I was 10 years old, but it was slapped together in a day and it pretty much looked like it. I picked up a new kit on ebay for decent price a year or so ago, along with the control screens from Cult TV Man, and have been working on this kit on and off ever since.
Other than the lighted panels, it’s a pretty straight build out of the box. Cutting out the many control screens and panels is, as you can imagine, not much fun…very tedious work, especially for a guy pushing 50 with deteriorating vision and little patience…but thank god for whoever invented the Dremel tool.
I made slight modifications to the elevator doors, the Captain’s chair and crew chairs (adding the black padded backing with Sculpy). There are so many other little things that could be accurized, but I only had the time and patience for the few I did, as cutting out all the screens ate away at most of the time and patience I had allotted for this kit.
I had extra crew figures leftover from previous kits, and managed to find a skirted female and seated male 1/32nd scale figures on ebay that were close enough in size to kit figures for me to supplement my bridge crew. I did not spend a whole lot of time painting them – pretty basic paint job…but as the figures are a little goofy looking to begin with, it was hard for me to justify doing much more…but I’m sure we’ll see others with more talent and a steadier hand who can make these figures shine.
I had elaborate plans as to how to enclose the lights behind the model with plastic tubing cut in half and lined with reflective aluminum tape, but in the end, it all proved far too complex and time consuming…so I went with the “lazy man” method of securing the lights with duct tape and then covering with aluminum foil which would reflect the light to give it a boost and keep the lighting from spilling out onto my shelving unit. However, I did use one of the plastic tube halves to fashion a reflector housing for the main viewing screen, as this portion of the model was more in view and using foil here would have looked rather tacky….although this is all a rather moot point as the only person who is likely to look at this model is me and my wife and kids – and they’ll look at it long enough to go “neat model, Dad” and then it will pretty much just be me looking at it. ☺
The lights are a string of 20 miniature white LED lights I picked up from Target or Walgreens at Xmas time for about $6 or so…and it was certainly tricky figuring out how to place them in the navigation station where Sulu and Chekov sit…and then having wires go under command platform (where navigation controls and Kirk’s chair set)…and then continue around the rest of the bridge. I imagine if you knew how to do wiring and electronics, it would be better to use even tinier LEDs and wire them as needed with exact wire lengths to each station, as using off the shelf LEDs has its limitations. If you wired it yourself you could also make some of the lights blink, which would be cool. But I do not have this talent, so off the shelf LEDs it was for me.
For the time I invested, I am pleased with the results. While it is not 100% accurate, it is close enough for me to enjoy….although I am very envious of those that make the extra effort to accurize other details further – like the proper number of control screens (some stations had two, some just one) and the extra details on Spock’s station controls and even adding an elevator interior. For those of you who go the extra mile on this, more power to you… I really get a kick out of how far some talented model makers will go in making this and other kits more screen accurate.
As for paint colors, I used a hodge podge of Tamaiya spray paint and bottle acrylics mostly. The exact colors of bridge carpeting have been debated, and while the inner circle area floor looks tanish brown to me, I went with dark grey for outer perimeter flooring and light grey for inner command area. I am always amazed at how much time I use grueling over paint colors…and I repainted the rectangular areas around each station’s view screens three times before I settled on a proper color, which is no easy task as I had to mask it off each time…and I despise masking things off. A tip to the wise – take your time selecting colors BEFORE you even start so this doesn’t drive you crazy as it did me during the painting and building process.
Another tip – the smaller half-station that is nearest the main viewscreen does NOT have any control panels or buttons. The Cut TV Man transparencies for this station does have control panels printed, but if you look at the series for shots of this rarely shown station (the one to Kirk’s right) has no operating controls…but the corresponding half-station to Kirk’s left DOES. This can also be seen in the Bridge Blueprints available on the internet. I realize this is in the “small points” department, but for those of you who shoot for accuracy, I thought it worth mentioning.
Hope you enjoy the pictures….and may they inspire those of you who are still working on this model to finish it up and post pictures of your work for others to enjoy.