Correcting the Lunar Models 41" Excelsior

Vidar 710

Well-Known Member
Hi Jamesfett... I used .7mm styreen. In addition was the base of the Warp dome junction between the nacelles. I also scratch built the plating that goes around the base of the lower saucer that goes around the top of the dorsal assembly.

I believe 87 stacked styrene sheets here all hand cut.

Here the nacelle grills being cut, then shaped on their hand made jigs...



Base of the Warp Blister mount...


The top "Fillet" of the dorsal assembly framed out in styrene...
Then sculpted to final shape with Aves Apoxie Sculpt...
Then sanded to shape...




The trench fillet is added...


The paper template for the upper detail plating at the base of the saucer that flanks the dorsal junction...

The finished detail plate in place..

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Vidar 710

Well-Known Member
Discovered the top saucer profile is wrong, so...

Removing the incorrect dome shape...



Removing the excess to reduce the dome down to the proper diameter...


1mm sheet styrene cemented to the base of the dome to rise it back up for a proper profile...


A hole is cut into the new base so resin can be poured in for support...


The resin is poured in increments, then slosh-cast to make sure it goes into all the nooks-n-crannies...


After all the resin is poured in, I taped up the hole so I could hand roto-casted it to make sure all the inner surfaces get a good layer of resin. Before the resin cooked off, I clamped the dome down to a flat surface to ensure the dome didn't warp from the heat of the curing resin inside. At the top of the last image, there is the saucer's profile traced from ILM plans scaled to my project. I will be making a screed blade from that to level out the domes surface.


Pictures of that progress to come...


Vidar 710

Well-Known Member
Some progress on fixing the contour of the upper saucer half.

The ledge ring is cut from 1mm thick sheet styrene.


After the ring is cemented to a .5mm base of sheet styrene, the downward tapper is ground in by hand with a Dremel.

Fillers are used to level the surface.

... then sanded smooth.


A screed blade is fashioned from 2 x 1mm sheet styrene. The profile comes from a scaled image of the original ILM Excelsior plans.

You can see here, I have my work cut out for me to get this built up to the correct profile.

The screed blade ready to go...

The first pass is always the roughest. It'll take sever passes of varying filler products to built it up and get it smoothed out.


Vidar 710

Well-Known Member
Layers built on then sanded the course filler material

Checking the build up progress against the screed blade.

Creamier self leveling filler applied, then sanded in...

Another layer applied to correct some dips and imperfections, then sanded again.

Red glazing putty screed in to fill scratched and shallow dips in the surface.

A centering jig is installed to ensure everything stays aligned when everything is stacked back up.

The base of the saucer is filled with resin to give it strength, and hold its shape for the vacuum forming process when pulling the parts.


...a little more resin to go to achieve a slight over-fill.

The resin and hull are feathered together due to some excess resin purposely added to ensure the hull and resin will blend together.

The new downward sloped ridge is cemented and epoxied into place then clamped. Once fully cured, the new lip ring with be feathered into the hull.

More to come as the dome gets prepared to go back on.

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Vidar 710

Well-Known Member
The top half of the saucer's mast is complete.

Here shows the multiple layers of different fillers to build up and correct the shape of the dome.

The first application of primer to check for flaws.

After several rounds of sanding and primer applications, it's finally done.
Here the home made screed blade is placed to show the new dome profile and show the now downward taper of the outer ring section.

On to correcting the nacelle struts I think.



Sr Member
I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. I don't have money. What I have is a particular skill set that makes me a nightmare for talented people like you (nagging, begging). Release a kit and that will be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. If you do not, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will,......... bother you 24/7 until you give me what I want.

Vidar 710

Well-Known Member
Next up... giving these parts the drastic face lift they badly need...

After upgrading the accuracy of the nacelle struts, I will be molding them and casting them with brass tubing to route wires for lighting, and steal rods to give them strength and prevent sagging.

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Vidar 710

Well-Known Member
A little news. No work on this since before the holidays. Re-orging my hobby room before I start bending plastic again. The big news is I just bought a large vac-form table capable of pulling all my hull masters. Should be here in March.

Before I do any vacuum forming, all my masters will be mounted on 1/4" plywood bucks to lift them off the table. This will prevent webbing over the masters for a clean pull.

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Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
His work on fixing the sizes of the TOS and Refit Enterprise, as well as the Excelsior, have given me so much satisfaction. And impelled me to finally learn Blender. Polar Lights did such amazing work with their models, but in th eend it only highlighted for me how the exteriors of those ships were just too small to fit the interiors. The Enterprises only need to be scaled up by about 15% for them actually work, but the Excelsior... He almost had to start from scratch -- especially as there were no truly accurate drawings of the miniature as it appeared in Star Trek III (never mind later revisions).

Vidar 710

Well-Known Member
For a while, the superstructure for the primary hull has bothered me with its profile. It just didn't seem quite right to me, but I was into the other parts of the ship so much, I didn't take the time to see what the issue was. I pulled it from the shelf and started going over it inch by inch, and even traced out a scaled image of the studio model to my projects scale and noted some measurements to ensure the master fit the image.

I then took the tracing and put the superstructure master over it. It was here I noticed the chines on the sides were not forward enough.

I went right to work adding styrene extensions, then back filled the shape with Apoxie Sculpt.



After further review of the whole part, I realized the Impulse Crystals trench was also too far aft, and so was the rear of the upper plate details. So I got the chisel and the Dremel Sanding Drum out...

You can see the fresh exposed resin from the carving, and that the chines and bow have been refined and feathered in...

Now the impulse crystal trench needs to be shaped to fit the trench insert.


Vidar 710

Well-Known Member
Progress on the superstructures new profile...

Here, using the Impulse Crystal part to fashion a clay plug.

Apoxie Sculpt used to refine the leading edge of the recess.

The plug is snuggly in place...

... and the resin goes in...


The clay plug removed to reveal the new position of the recess for the Impulse Crystal trench part.

The entire superstructure gets filled, sanded and blended with the new profile. Its clean and ready for primer.

Expect pics on the primed superstructure with all the raised detail and templates for raised plating soon.


Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
This is truly a masterwork, and will essentially end up the most accurate Excelsior model since ILM built the original filming miniature. Even Greg's ~half-scale model for Voyager got stuff wrong. Since you lengthened the nacelles and built a new neck, do you have a sense how long this finished model will be (since it won't really be the original 41" Lunar Models product any more)?

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