1/1000 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701

Gregatron

Master Member
It’s been quite a ride.

In 2003, I excitedly picked up Polar Lights’ then-new 1/1000 kit of the original Enterprise. I had previously (badly) built the old 1/650 AMT kit, and had bought the newer 22-inch cutaway kit, but this one blew both of those away with its accuracy, decals, and optional parts.

Around 2006, I finally got around to building it, but wasn’t entirely satisfied. I could do better, and this was THE ENTERPRISE, dagnabbit—the greatest and most famous spaceship of all time! So, I picked up a set of JT Graphics decals, and labeled the model as the Lexington, instead.

After that, it was a slippery slope. I kept buying the kit again and again, intending each time to build the production-style Enterprise, then thinking better of it, and labeling it as another ship. A first-pilot style model ended up being the Constitution, etc. This slowly became an overarching project with long-term goals. First, to build a “history of the Enterprise” set, and then to build all of the Constitutions from TOS…along with a few extras. A few kitbashes of Franz Joseph ships entered into the mix, as well. I built both of the pilot Enterprises, but that production-style model continued to elude me.

I’ve bought quite a few copies of this kit, over the past 19 years, and it’s all been research and development for getting the Enterprise right. Then, in 2012, the 1/350 kit came out, and the 1/1000 kits became R & D for that kit.

Now, my goals have nearly been accomplished. I decided to break my own rule by not saving the production-style Enterprise for last. The time just finally felt right, so I went for it. All that remains to build (canonically, at least) are the “Mirror, Mirror” version of the ship (which I built and half-painted, then set aside, a year or two back) and the Excalibur (which I intend to trick out with battle damage and 3D-printed parts to show off interior sections behind hull breaches).

Anyway, after all these years, the itch has finally been scratched, and I have a production-style Enterprise to be proud of. Waiting so long had its advantages, since I was able to make full use of the information from the 2016 Smithsonian restoration of the 11-foot filming model, as well as my own recent experiences with 3D-modeling.


The stock 1/1000 kit is still excellent, even by today’s standards, but it has a number of inaccuracies and omissions. Here’s what I did to superdetail and accurize it:


* Added the missing, miniature red/green running lights on the upper saucer and nacelles, as well as the brass screws on the nacelle dome clips (with dibby-dabs of gold paint).

* Slightly reshaped the three rectangular plates on the underside of each nacelle, as well as the hangar deck beacon dome.

* 3D-modeled and printed the running lights (or ion pods, if you go by the Remastered version of “Court Martial”…which is just dumb) on either side of the hangar deck.

* Filled and sanded smooth the inscribed lines which were not inscribed on the real model (the dorsal stripe, the “T” shapes on the undersides of the nacelles, etc.).

* Scribed lines onto the lower saucer dome, and added the teensy little phaser cannon/tallywhacker.

* 3D-modeled and printed new nacelle interior domes, with much more accurate fan-blades, as well as the Christmas tree bulbs behind the domes (which you can’t see on the finished model, but I know they’re there).

* The Enterprise insignia from the kit’s stock display stand was used as decoration for my custom one.


Here are the new inner domes (and the new backing pieces with the faux Christmas lights) compared to a painted stock dome (right).

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* Added the missing windows and red light on the rear spine of the secondary hull.

* Color scheme based on the 2016 filming model restoration, with pastel chalk weathering which match’s the specific colors and streaks of the real model as closely as possible. The upper and lower saucer domes were painted a greenish white, for a first and early-second season look. The white-ish intercoolers and reactors loops were lightly misted with the hull color to help tie everything together without losing the contrast between them. And, yes, the pilot hull-color in-between the copper rings behind the sensor/deflector dish were a pain to mask and paint.

* The deflector grid on the saucer was penciled on, then accented with pastel chalks (as well as a pastel chalk rust-ring on the upper saucer), then misted over with the base hull color to blend it all in. Greenish weathering was added to the upper saucer only, to simulate the unusual greenish tint on the filming model.

* A black wash was used to highlight various ribbed and scribed details. The louvered rings behind the nacelle domes are hull-colored, but, as with the original filming model, the shadows between them provide the optical illusion of the rings being painted a medium or dark gray.

* Used spare decal sheets to add windows missing from the stock kit (such as the hangar deck control room window, above the doors). The window patterns for the port side of the ship are somewhat idealized/symmetrical, since the filming model was unfinished on that side, and so it always requires a bit of artistic license. And a few windows were also added, removed, or changed from black/“unlit” to white/“lit”.

* Used PNT decals for the triangular landing leg hatches on the lower saucer.

* I just went with the stock saucer bow light decal to indicate it being unlit, which is how it usually looked on the show,

* Replaced the stock decals # 32 (the two sets of three round ports on the underside of the saucer) with spares of decal # 36A (cut apart and placed individually for more accurate spacing between each port). The stock decals are way too small.

* The white areas of the technical hatch decals on the underside of the secondary hull were masked and misted with a more accurate grayish-white color, and the green windows on either side of the hangar deck were masked and painted a greenish white.




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publiusr

Sr Member
The TOS has often seemed to have a blue tint (perhaps better for a 1/1000) while the loveliest view of it turning came off quite beige. Has anyone done a 1/1000 FJ kit that could be mixed with the Round2 offering? The saucer looks worse but the secondary hull looks better—being a teardrop.
 

Gregatron

Master Member
Going through my gallery, I noticed that I’d (quite unintentionally) taken shots of both this model and my PHASE II model from a number of very similar angles. This certainly provides the opportunity to compare Matt Jefferies’ two designs—created a decade-plus apart—for the most iconic spaceship ever.


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