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  1. Member Since
    Apr 2005
    From
    Phoenix, Az.
    Messages
    929
    Mar 7, 2011, 7:40 PM - Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #1

    I've had this kit since 07 I've done some work on it, but for the most part it's been in it's original box since then.

    I hope Sean doesn't mind me linking to this image of his build(let me know if there is a problem. You can see more here Square Models - Accurate Sci-Fi Models from TV and Movies). But I figure you guys would want to see what I'm talking about.

    I have a friend that has one as well. One day he sends me a couple of pics.


    These pics are of the upper saucer of the Custom Replicas 66" TOS Enterprise.
    Yikes!! I saw these and thought I better check mine.

    So get my box down from it's shelf.

    Yes, it's a very impressive box.

    When you take off the lid it's very well packed. This is the lower saucer.

    I wish more companies packed their products with such care. This is the upper saucer.

    But there is more to be reviled.

    So I do a test fitting, I got the armature stuck down as best I could(without gluing it). I used a rubber band and a pen in the center(it worked pretty well).

    It looks like I got the neck well matched.

    But when I set the upper saucer on...

    That doesn't look good.

    That doesn't look good at all. Thoughts of money wasted go through my mind.

    But not all is lost.

    Use a little tape.

    To my relief it can be saved.

    Taping it down took care of the problem, which means I'll have little problem gluing it together. In this image things are set and taped in place. But it means I should get this model together because the warping problem might get worse. So along with my Big E, I'll be building this little E.

    -F.Y.I.-
    Those of you who have this kit(un-built) and haven't looked at it in a few years. Go get it and look it over, there is a good chance you will have a similar problem. I hope you don't. I can't say how my friend stored his model, mine was left in the original box with the lower saucer on top of it. And some warpage still occurred. So you guys that own this model check your unbuilt kits.

    You ask why is this happening? Heat? Cold? Apollo showed up? Kirk pushed it one step to far?

    Nope it's physics, the material it's made out of is polyester. A relatively inexpensive type of fiberglass(there are a lot of different types). But there are reasons it's inexpensive. That I can go into later(unless someone else would care to explain it). But the fundamental problem is, the saucer was to thin to resist the tendency of the material to do what it wants. Which it did. If the upper saucer was made thicker it wouldn't have been as big an issue. Gluing the saucer together will solve the problem. This doesn't happen with all types of fiberglass.

    These kits were supposed to be built soon after you got them. But how realistic is that, I know where you guys are coming from. I own more kits than I could ever build as well.

    I'll be chronicling my build for you guys. I hope to inspire some of you as well. Don't worry I'm still on the big E. I'll post on that thread soon.

    Like always I'll be glad to answer your questions. Just ask away.
  2. zacic is offline zacic
    Mar 7, 2011, 7:46 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #2

    Atemylunch said: View Post

    YIKES, looks like the pancakes I made this morning. Looks like your one is in top shape though.
  3. Member Since
    Apr 2005
    Messages
    229
    Mar 7, 2011, 9:23 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #3

    He could get some stacks of books around the rim set up on a table!
  4. Member Since
    Oct 2010
    From
    Los Angeles
    Messages
    2,034
    Mar 7, 2011, 11:10 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #4

    Nope. Paint it with dark gray primer and stick it in the sun on a flat surface. All resins have a memory and will in most cases go back to there original shape. I've had plenty of polyester do this and always got it back. A heat gun works good too.

    But...epoxy works the best. Pure epoxy with hand laid matt and cloth. Properly cured it should never warp and if it gets exposed to heat and set in an unfavorable position the heat gun will bring it back every time.

    Using a type of brushable urethane resin for gel coat, then they backing it up with cop and polyester. I don't think the two different materials agree with each other over time. Strictly IMO. Never cross the streams! But then again how would you know for sure until you let a kit sit around a few years?

    All the large kits I have made in the past and present are pure West Systems Epoxy. The gel coat is the same. It goes in the mold first and captures all the detail but in the case of this ship straight epoxy fallowed by a two layers crossed of 4 oz. cloth would have worked best. Then back that up with some matt and more epoxy.

    It cost more yes. A lot more but you won't ever run into this problem as the product will be perfectly stable.

    Just my 2 cents.

    MAX it's great to see you building one of these. I'll learn a lot from this to apply to my same sized kit which I'll be getting back to this weekend.

    Steve
    Last edited by SteveNeill; Mar 8, 2011 at 12:17 AM.
  5. Member Since
    Feb 2011
    From
    Chandler, AZ
    Messages
    18
    Mar 8, 2011, 2:53 AM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #5

    I might have to stop by again to see this thing go together
  6. Aztek Dummy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2007
    From
    Raleigh, NC
    Messages
    340
    Mar 8, 2011, 8:01 AM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #6

    Atemylunch,

    Thanks for posting this. Like you, I have had my kit in the box since it arrived. Every once in a while, I pull it out and ask myself if I'm ready to start on it.

    The last time I noticed that because of how it was re packed the time before, the bridge module piece had developed a distinct warp/dent in it.

    Like you, I had the wave of panic, but I set it aside out of the box. and I can say that it has returned to it's proper shape on it's own.

    your pictures of the saucer have got me thinking that it might be a good idea to make a "glue ring" to go between the four points of the clear infastructure. That way there would be more points to attach the upper saucer plate to. Hopefully that will keep it flat

    thanks for the info
  7. Member Since
    Apr 2005
    From
    Phoenix, Az.
    Messages
    929
    Mar 8, 2011, 5:30 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #7

    Yea Lou, I had a similar thought of a glue ring. I'm not sure I would have the room in the saucer with the armature. I figure just tape the top and bottom saucer together while working on it.

    Would guys like to see what you get with this kit?

    Hull pieces and stand, there is an acrylic armature in the 2nd hull and saucer.

    And a table full of parts.

    It came with a cd with the instructions and pics. So I made my own manual. It did come with paint swatches, which is very helpful for somebody like me who can't make mix paints to save my life. So I would take the swatches to an auto-body supplier and have them do it. Before you can say I can use them on the Big E, well not exactly. When you scale stuff up(or down) the color has to change. Unless somebody knows if these were taken from original paint chips?

    There are some nice touches in the kit.

    I like that the bussards already have the LEDs in place. That saves some potential frustrations and/or fried parts.

    But these parts leads me to something. In fact a couple of somethings.

    You see on the top of the image the planetary gear box set. These are for the spinners, I consider them junk, they are real noisy, the gears are styrene and the motors are substandard for a kit like this. I'm going to replace them with much better motors(I still have to get them). The gears in the kit are unnecessary you just put the motors on a pot, and set the speed where desired. The other thing is the power supply, it's 5 volt. IMO that is just a pain, I think it's better to put the electrical system on 12 volt. And use automotive grade electrical components for the lighting system. After all if a set of LEDs are good enough to go under a car in the dead of winter or the heat of the summer. It should be good enough for a model. It sure is easy to wire, and I can get the parts locally. They may cost a bit more but it sure saves an afternoon soldering a bunch of LEDs. This brings up something else.

    See all of these styrene pieces, they go around the windows. There is justification to do this and that's fine. I'm not doing it, I'll place light sources around the model and just light the whole interior. With one layer of white paint to reflect the light around. Of course take care with all of the seams.
    Which leads me to the windows.

    Pardon the blue tape. The windows on this model have to be cut out, then filled in with dental acrylic(supplied with the model). I'm not doing that either, I'm going to try clear resin and see what happens. If it works I'll open windows more and use paint masks to get them right.

    Here is most of the parts for the electrical system.

    I'm still trying to figure out the mixture of light types. But since I'm doing something different, I'm not to concerned about it. But I do have one question for the electrical guys out there, since the system is 5 volt what would I have to do to get the flasher circuits and bussards to work on a 12 volt system?
  8. Bryancd's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2002
    From
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Messages
    7,755
    Mar 8, 2011, 6:46 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #8

    Wow, that's some kit. I remember when these came out. Looking forward to seeing your build, would love to see it in person!
  9. Aztek Dummy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2007
    From
    Raleigh, NC
    Messages
    340
    Mar 8, 2011, 7:38 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #9

    We reach, brother!

    I was thinking that CCFL's would be a better way to go at least for the secondary hull.

    I'm curious to see how the clear resin goes for your windows, the thought of mixing dental acrylic is not appealing.

    can you give any more details on your replacement motors?
  10. Member Since
    Oct 2010
    From
    Los Angeles
    Messages
    2,034
    Mar 8, 2011, 8:36 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #10

    Dental acrylic is really easy to work with actually I've done it plenty in my 35 years of makeup effects work for the movies. But. It stinks like hell!

    For my model I was going to do a glass cloth lay up which means and even thickness and light weight. It also means you can use clear PETG which is what I hope to do. We shall see.

    Steve
  11. Member Since
    Nov 2009
    Messages
    190
    Mar 8, 2011, 10:28 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #11

    I may have missed it, but are these kits still available for sale, and if so how much?
  12. Member Since
    Apr 2005
    From
    Phoenix, Az.
    Messages
    929
    Mar 9, 2011, 3:24 AM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #12

    darthsideous said: View Post
    I may have missed it, but are these kits still available for sale, and if so how much?
    Last I heard they are no longer available.
  13. feek61's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2007
    From
    The Sunshine State
    Messages
    1,817
    Mar 9, 2011, 3:29 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #13

    darthsideous said: View Post
    I may have missed it, but are these kits still available for sale, and if so how much?
    I think they were a little over $3000 dollars and they are not available anymore. Look for Steve's half-scale build thread. I think he is going to kit the one he is working on.
  14. Member Since
    Apr 2005
    From
    Phoenix, Az.
    Messages
    929
    Mar 9, 2011, 11:31 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #14

    I cleaned and primered the big pieces this evening.
    But first I had a little fun with the parts.

    This is the 66" upper saucer sitting on the SS upper saucer.


    This gives an idea just how big the SS E is. 66" E engine on the SS engine.
    I had these parts in my shop, I needed to drill a few holes.

    First I cleaned the parts I was going to paint, Sorry I have no pics of that. I washed the big pieces in a tub, first I wipe them down with alcohol. Then use dish soap and scrub away. For some reason when ever I do anything like this I get water everywhere(it's just as bad when I do dishes).

    Then I take the parts out to the paint shack(paint booth).

    My camera doesn't seem to like it out there. This is the lower saucer hung from wires. The ceiling of my booth has a bunch of hooks in the ceiling so I can do this very thing.

    But it is handy for something else.

    When a part is finished I move it to the front of the booth. That's where the intakes are. This pic shows the back wall of the booth, with the filters in the back wall, the white grills catch paint and help the filters beyond last longer. There is a lot more to the booth. But I'll save that for future posts.


    Both saucer painted, with the engines on deck. You can see the intake
    filters in the wall.


    Here is an engine ready for painting. I drilled a small hole in one end so I could hang it up.


    Engines finished and drying. The good part about this booth, I can hang parts in the front to dry and the airstream pulls the paint into the back wall, so over-spray isn't an issue.


    2nd hull freshly painted.


    This is everything done, the booth is about 8' x 10', so it's hard to get good pics. I shot the backs white of each part. I wanted to see how everything looked, so I can see where I need to fill holes, remove boogers etc. I'm still a long way before any assembly begins. At least now I get to work on fitting the parts.

    Thanks again guys for your support.

    Questions, comments?
  15. PHArchivist's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2001
    From
    Southern California
    Messages
    12,085
    Mar 10, 2011, 10:01 AM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #15

    Very relieved to see this post...

    SteveNeill said: View Post
    Nope. Paint it with dark gray primer and stick it in the sun on a flat surface. All resins have a memory and will in most cases go back to there original shape. I've had plenty of polyester do this and always got it back. A heat gun works good too.

    But...epoxy works the best. Pure epoxy with hand laid matt and cloth. Properly cured it should never warp and if it gets exposed to heat and set in an unfavorable position the heat gun will bring it back every time.

    Using a type of brushable urethane resin for gel coat, then they backing it up with cop and polyester. I don't think the two different materials agree with each other over time. Strictly IMO. Never cross the streams! But then again how would you know for sure until you let a kit sit around a few years?

    All the large kits I have made in the past and present are pure West Systems Epoxy. The gel coat is the same. It goes in the mold first and captures all the detail but in the case of this ship straight epoxy fallowed by a two layers crossed of 4 oz. cloth would have worked best. Then back that up with some matt and more epoxy.

    It cost more yes. A lot more but you won't ever run into this problem as the product will be perfectly stable.

    Just my 2 cents.

    MAX it's great to see you building one of these. I'll learn a lot from this to apply to my same sized kit which I'll be getting back to this weekend.

    Steve
  16. Member Since
    Nov 2009
    Messages
    190
    Mar 11, 2011, 10:26 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #16

    Atemylunch said: View Post
    Last I heard they are no longer available.
    Thanks
  17. Member Since
    Nov 2009
    Messages
    190
    Mar 11, 2011, 10:28 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #17

    feek61 said: View Post
    I think they were a little over $3000 dollars and they are not available anymore. Look for Steve's half-scale build thread. I think he is going to kit the one he is working on.
    Thanks Feek. This build is exciting
  18. trekman1017's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2010
    From
    Somers CT
    Messages
    259
    Mar 11, 2011, 11:00 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #18

    How do you have room for all these models?!
  19. wasili's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2002
    Messages
    549
    Mar 12, 2011, 6:34 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #19

    Atemylunch said: View Post
    ..
    ....

    Nope it's physics, the material it's made out of is polyester. A relatively inexpensive type of fiberglass(there are a lot of different types). But there are reasons it's inexpensive. That I can go into later(unless someone else would care to explain it). But the fundamental problem is, the saucer was to thin to resist the tendency of the material to do what it wants. Which it did. If the upper saucer was made thicker it wouldn't have been as big an issue. Gluing the saucer together will solve the problem. This doesn't happen with all types of fiberglass.

    ....

    Like always I'll be glad to answer your questions. Just ask away.
    Hi Atemyluch,

    Thanx for all your wonderful threads. You certainly put some effort into them to make them so extensive.

    If i may ask, how thin was the original fibreglass saucer (i've highlighted your orginal remark in your first post) ? Are we talking 2 or 3 mm or still a good 5mm or so ?

    Cheers,

    Wasili
  20. Member Since
    Apr 2005
    From
    Phoenix, Az.
    Messages
    929
    Mar 13, 2011, 12:18 AM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #20

    wasili said: View Post
    Hi Atemyluch,

    Thanx for all your wonderful threads. You certainly put some effort into them to make them so extensive.

    If i may ask, how thin was the original fibreglass saucer (i've highlighted your orginal remark in your first post) ? Are we talking 2 or 3 mm or still a good 5mm or so ?

    Cheers,

    Wasili
    Thanks Wasili, I hope to inspire others to build models.

    It goes from .06"(1.5mm)-.08"(2.03mm).

    Trekman1017 it's all going in my front living room, even the big ships. My wife let me use that area for my museum, she figured it's more interesting than a sofa and chairs we will never use.

    Here is the E in primer, before starting the finishing process.

    You will never know how good a model is before you primer it. But after will reveal everything.

    This is the saucer after my first pass and sanding and wet sanding. See the wavy line on the left side of the saucer.

    It goes pretty far and it's 3 dimensional. This was my next scare bigger than the wobbly saucer. (I'm still not sure if things are alright, only time will tell). I called a friend who does a lot of glassing and ask him what it could be. He said it could be one of two things, either the molds were going, or the fiberglass is separating. He told me to try to poke some holes and see if there is a cavity under the raised areas. To my relief there wasn't, but I'm having a hard time with those areas just the same. I should have them sorted out in the next pass.

    The upper saucer wasn't so bad.

    The upper saucer smoothed out real well, with only a few spots that need filling.

    Here is the pylons, both of them have an aluminum tube cast into them. As you can see one of them is a bit off, the resin was so thin it curled up when I painted it. So I pulled the resin off, it doesn't matter since there are perforated screens that go in those positions.

    I still have to do the 2nd hull, but when I saw the weirdness in the lower saucer I figured I better work on it.

    I've got a bunch of other things done I'll show those later.
  21. Aztek Dummy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2007
    From
    Raleigh, NC
    Messages
    340
    Mar 13, 2011, 10:03 AM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #21

    how do you support the underside of the saucer top when you sand it?

    I imagine as thin as it is, when you press down on it, it must collapse in the center. do you put it on a raised surface to work on it?
  22. Member Since
    Apr 2005
    From
    Phoenix, Az.
    Messages
    929
    Mar 13, 2011, 12:10 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #22

    Aztek Dummy said: View Post
    how do you support the underside of the saucer top when you sand it?

    I imagine as thin as it is, when you press down on it, it must collapse in the center. do you put it on a raised surface to work on it?
    I only measured the thickness on the outside of the part. Fiberglass isn't like styrene it's a lot stronger(it's glass fiber bound with a resin), I had no trouble sanding the middle. Plus the middle is a convex surface(unlike the edges) that shape adds to it's strength.

    My router is free at the moment, so I'm using that area to sand these parts. It's flat and has good ventilation.
  23. Member Since
    Mar 2002
    Messages
    53
    Mar 13, 2011, 7:58 PM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #23

    I have one of the CR 67" kits. My saucer top is made of vacuum-formed plastic, with an extra strip of plastic glued on around the outer edge. I'm surprised to see the fiberglass saucer tops. They must be from later issues of the kit.


    E
  24. Aztek Dummy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2007
    From
    Raleigh, NC
    Messages
    340
    Mar 14, 2011, 9:44 AM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #24

    thanks for the info, good to know.
  25. jamief123 is offline jamief123
    Mar 15, 2011, 12:11 AM - Re: Custom Replicas 66" TOS E #25

    wow,that is some cool kit.I wish i knew about it when it came out.

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