“Doomsday Machine” U.S.S. Constellation Build

ALLEY

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’ve been putting this one off for a while and decided to jump-start it over the Memorial Day weekend.

This a vintage “long box” AMT USS Constellation build. Although, I did use the saucer top of the modern kit.

I am approaching this in sections and have completed most of the saucer detail and am moving on to the secondary hull and nacelles next.

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ALLEY

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I managed to get some more work done this evening. There is a slight bit of deviation from the studio version of the build with the addition of some photo etched detail work.



The bottom of the secondary hull is taped together, at this point, pending the installation of a mounting point for the intended stand.

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I’ll say this; the fit and finish of these vintage “long box” kits is WAAAAAAY better than the revised “small box” releases of this kit, to include the current re-release.
 
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ALLEY

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A quick update...

Yesterday, I finished the main assembly, puttying and wet sanding all the seams, and the painting of the main body. The polyurethane is drying on the stand and it’s on to the weathering, decals, and attaching the remaining greeblies.

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ALLEY

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Side-note topic; if anyone else is interested in taking on a studio-scale Constellation project, I have a second vintage AMT “long box” kit that I picked up in the event that I needed an extra set of parts as I proceeded with this build and committed any screw-ups. Now that the main assembly is completed, I’ll be putting the second kit up for sale in the Junkyard.

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Here's a question related to the long box kit - has anyone ever built one to look just like the built ship on the box cover? I recently acquired a complete unbuilt version with the lit nacelle domes molded in amber and with the 3 "shorty" tabs on the bottom , which appears to be the version depicted on the box for many years (up through the 1980s at least). Heck, not much if any filling would even be needed, esp. since there needs to be a gap (apparently right through pennant decals) where the lower half of the secondary hull snaps off to access the batteries. Figure some light blue semi-gloss paint, maybe some black, amber and chrome paint for some other details and viola! Thinking about doing this, but can't say I've ever seen an example so built.
 

ALLEY

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here's a question related to the long box kit - has anyone ever built one to look just like the built ship on the box cover? I recently acquired a complete unbuilt version with the lit nacelle domes molded in amber and with the 3 "shorty" tabs on the bottom , which appears to be the version depicted on the box for many years (up through the 1980s at least). Heck, not much if any filling would even be needed, esp. since there needs to be a gap (apparently right through pennant decals) where the lower half of the secondary hull snaps off to access the batteries. Figure some light blue semi-gloss paint, maybe some black, amber and chrome paint for some other details and viola! Thinking about doing this, but can't say I've ever seen an example so built.

I’ve always been of the impression that the nacelle domes on the “long box” photo we’re actually primitive photo work to superimpose tail light lenses (or other red light lenses) onto the nacelles in the photo as they do not match any version of the kit that was ever produced, including the orange clear nacelles of the second version of the long box kit.
 
You may be right, but the amber domes with the short “tabs” do seem closest to what’s depicted on the box and should give a similar result I think if one were to mask off the domes proper and paint the attaching ring and tabs with a “burnished” metal-like paint.
 

ALLEY

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You may be right, but the amber domes with the short “tabs” do seem closest to what’s depicted on the box and should give a similar result I think if one were to mask off the domes proper and paint the attaching ring and tabs with a “burnished” metal-like paint.
Yeah looking at both versions of the “long box” nacelle caps, the second version is closest to the version 2 box art build up, but still lacking in crisp detail and the correct color. The deep red and illuminated nacelles on the box art appear to have the polish and clarity of glass vs. murky plastic with soft details

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I have never seen an exacting build-up to exactly match the version 2 box art—that would be awesome to see.
 
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I may go for it. It may not require a heck of a lot of talent, and good thing since I don't have a lot. ;) Hopefully I'd do a better job than the last time I built the (later version of the) kit circa 1983:

1029763


By the way, the pic below shows the somewhat more clear amber domes on my kit.

Kit I have has an intact decal set, but I'll likley source a pilot version of the decals if I can find (or just clip of the seriff on the 1s on a standard set).

I promise not to clutter up your cool built thread any more about it though! :)

Well, maybe just to ask...black paint on the inner intercoolers and few windows, a darker blue on the end caps, etc., amber on the deflector dish and recess, chrome paint on the upper rear intercoolers, and chrome again (or some burnished metal color) on the nacelle cap "rings/tabs"?

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ALLEY

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I may go for it. It may not require a heck of a lot of talent, and good thing since I don't have a lot. ;) Hopefully I'd do a better job than the last time I built the (later version of the) kit circa 1983:

View attachment 1029763

By the way, the pic below shows the somewhat more clear amber domes on my kit.

Kit I have has an intact decal set, but I'll likley source a pilot version of the decals if I can find (or just clip of the seriff on the 1s on a standard set).

I promise not to clutter up your cool built thread any more about it though! :)

Well, maybe just to ask...black paint on the inner intercoolers and few windows, a darker blue on the end caps, etc., amber on the deflector dish and recess, chrome paint on the upper rear intercoolers, and chrome again (or some burnished metal color) on the nacelle cap "rings/tabs"?

View attachment 1029762

As far as the detail painting, for my Constellation build, I am deviating slightly by adding more detail than was on the original studio model, which was pretty much painted one light gray base color, to include the inter-coolers, etc. Along with some photo-etch upgrades, I am using a very subtle variation of light ghost grey to “bring out” various details:

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Since the inner portion of the nacelles are not seen clearly in the Version 2 “long box” art, I think you are free to go with whatever paint build up you would like in that area. I think if you can find some form of “blue steel” for the other engine details on your build, it will look great. Testors 11TT-1539 Enamel Paint Looks close. The base color of the body of the build appears to be a duck-egg blue of some kind on the Version 2 box art.

I recommend picking up a set of the decals from the Polar Lights / Round 2 reissue kit. I found a source selling just the decal sheet sans kit. PM me if you would like the details.
 
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Just one last preview of one of the nacelles mocked up , using an original 52 year old bulb and 2 AA batteries; I could see it looking pretty close to the box art with use of some Tamiya clear orange and maybe a bit of frosting as used on my 1/350 PL build.

I'll start a new thread if / when I progress further.
amberdome.jpg
 

ALLEY

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Loki
Just one last preview of one of the nacelles mocked up , using an original 52 year old bulb and 2 AA batteries; I could see it looking pretty close to the box art with use of some Tamiya clear orange and maybe a bit of frosting as used on my 1/350 PL build.

I'll start a new thread if / when I progress further.View attachment 1030521

Looking forward to seeing this.
 
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