Constellation/Stargazer Vacuumform build.

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JP Modelworks

Active Member
Currently working on a SFSM Vac kit of the Constellation/Stargazer for a client.
As it is being called another name ship, I'm upgrading the model with some innovations I've always felt the basic design needed. The client is all for the upgrades and the ship is looking pretty good.

I've upgraded the fronts of the nacelles with what I think the refit Enterprise engine SHOULD have looked like. I always felt the design was good but lacked the traditional red fronts.

The other modification I've done is the addition of a deflector dish at the front of the saucer. Why the Stargazer design lacked this feature is anyone's guess.
I think it looks much better (and logical) this way! :rolleyes

I've also purchased a vinyl cutting machine that will allow me to accurately cut the Aztec templates for the saucer painting. So far the learning curve isn't too bad and I'm having fun with the machine. It's also going to help with a digital camo paint scheme I'm planning to do on another model.

Enjoy!
 
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JMChladek

Sr Member
Can these kits still be had? And who has them. Thanks.

steve
JT Graphics might know how to acquire them as I believe he was able to get the molds for the Oberth class (Grissom) and offer them with some resin upgrades. SFSM got slapped with a C&D a LONG time ago (over 10 years if I recall correctly), which is why these kits went OOP when they did.

Only minor bit about the SFSM kit is a later production AMT/Ertl refit was used, so the warp nacelles and saucer sections have the "mall floor" tile pattern on it. If it were to be done again, it would be nice to perhaps see the molds altered to get rid of that grid. But, its a relatively minor thing.

I've been considering what it might take to kitbash two 1/350 E refits into a Stargazer model. It would take a lot, but it should be possible.

As for this model, these are some really nice tweaks. The nav deflector on the saucer is a very nice touch and still manages to flow quite well with the "utilitarian" nature of the ship design.
 

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JP Modelworks

Active Member
Thanks for the positive feedback guys. I'm sure JT Graphics has some of the kits in stock. Give him a ring!

And you are correct, Jay, if I was to do the molds over for the kit, I would use the "smooth" version of the Enterprise for the masters. I still have one smooth kit in my collection. Maybe if I could find a second kit, someplace...
 

opal1970

Well-Known Member
very nice,
I agree with you regarding the red bussard collectors, I never understood (from a hypothetical historical point of view) why the "refit" era did not have these when the TOS era had lit up bussards and afterwards even every shuttlecraft has its own red bussard-tips.

I won't be getting around to my 350 Enterprise for a while, but I have been playing with the idea to leave the inside of these areas unpainted and place a red/orange LED inside (which I can turn off if I want to have a more studio correct version) letting the red light gently go through the plastic. The effect that I will be aiming for will look more similar to metal heating up rather than the red glowing bussards that we are used to, but that might be from a technical point of view a logical "first step" to the bussard collectors in the post-refit ships.

Jason
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
The lit bussards were re-introduced by Andy Probert on the Enterprise D. The refit E was designed by a committee. Matt Jefferies had stuff in it, Probert did and so did several others. Richard Livingston I believe came up with the open face nacelle fronts and he was getting influences from 1930s automobiles for that (the classic art deco futuristic style). It worked well I think. But no bussard lights seemed to be a carry over from Phase 2.

The paintings of the Phase 2 Enterprise from the never produced 1978 television show didn't show lit bussards either, but I have a feeling they might have left themselves open to perhaps rotoscoping in a glow if they wanted to. Of course, Phase 2 never got far enough for any effects test passes with studio models, so we will ultimately never know.

Now one project I would LOVE to do is kitbashing two 1/350 PL Enterprise refits together to make a 1/350 Stargazer. There is a lot of work that would need to be done though. I may at least try it in 1/1000 scale to come up with my own 3D study model before doing it in the bigger size (there might be a resin conversion kit to do it already).
 

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opal1970

Well-Known Member
Hey Jay, Thanks for the background. Now that you mention it the open grill does indeed remind me of some of the old car grills out of the 30's.

MAN you guys are getting my fantasy going at 100. I have no idea if it might be a little too much... but I could imagine the bussard collector grills recast in transparent/frosted resin (lightly darkened in places) and a LED pattern behind it similar to the TOS... maybe not going in circles but maybe going at a roughly random downward pattern, or completely random... OK it would have absolutly nothing to do with the original studio model but it might produce an interesting effect... sort of like a beta test nacelle between the TOS era and the later refit nacelles. I am going to have to write down some notes and give it a test run when I get around to it.
 
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JP Modelworks

Active Member
Work continues on the Stargazer build. Have the first color coats of paint on and have started to mask the Aztek pattern. I purchased a Sihouette Cameo vinyl cutter and it's simply amazing! The program is simple to use and you can import various file types into the program to cut. Worth every penny I spent on it. I'll be doing all my Trek ships this way and even though it's time consuming I'm getting better at it.

Once all the masks are in place the second color will go on and the masks removed. The main color is a gloss and the second color will be flat giving the look of the movie aztek patterns.
 

JP Modelworks

Active Member
Finally got the main color on the ship today. Peeled all the vinyl masks and it looks pretty good! Too many hours of masking but it is well worth it in the end. :)
 

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JP Modelworks

Active Member
Thanks guys, The vinyl cutter is probably the coolest modeling toy I've gotten in a long time. I can't wait to do a digital camo scheme on the scratch built hover tank I'm working on next. Then I can get back to the six Trek ships that are waiting for paint jobs.
 

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