Excelsior Model Kit Options

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by TheRealMcFly, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I was thiking of building up one of my favorite ships, the Excelsior. I had thought of hunting down a Lunar models kit, but should I just stick with the AMT?

    Think we could convince Polar Lights to do one?

    What is the best options for a build regarding accuracy?
     
  2. Watson

    Watson Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Polar Lights is gone and I would not expect RC2 to foot the bill for a new Excelsior. :cry
     
  3. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So no hope of a new excelsior...

    I think its the best Trek ship design.

    Anyone know where to track down info on the 41" Lunar Models kit? I had heard that it was inaccurate, and the only plus is its size.
     
  4. Studio Stasis

    Studio Stasis Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The 41" lunar kit is sitting on my bed at the moment. I acquired it in 1994 and I have since butchered it to hell, haha. Actually, I have rebuilt so many parts of it but I really need an experienced model builder to help me realize finishing stages of it. I was SO unimpressed with the secondary hull shape that I have since resculpted the entire shape. The problem is its a mess. I havent been able to make it look super smooth and pristine but the shape is SO much more accurate. I am also stuck on the neck portion that attaches to the saucer. I dont know how to get the accurate ribbing effect. I have already rebuilt the neck to be a closer shape to what I see in photos of the studio model. Believe me, the Lunar kit was awful. The neck and secondary hull were so pointed and retarded looking. The secondary hull was shallow and had a HUGE sensor dish opening, totally disproportionate to the studio model. I cant even express how much I love the studio model. I agree with you 100% that it was the best design, ever. The engines are a bit wonky looking as well but this ship needs to have a scratch built done. I have started one but my work is sloppy. I wish I hadnt paid a model builder to help me in the past. This guy Mike took my saucer section and cut out the center plastics to "inset" the resin details that go in the center of the saucer. By doing this he didnt retain the circular shape of the saucer top and he glued it all together, but the wedge he put into the area he cut out wasnt the exact same size and shape. Therefore the ships saucer top does not match up with the saucer bottom on the rim. The idiot kind of ruined that so it has to be cleverly fixed.
    When I started this project I hadn't even owned a camera. Since then I havent taken many pics but I do have some REALLY old pics that I took with a disposable of the scale of it next to my AMT that I had. Its amazing how large the kit is. I just wish I had someone to help me either resculpt it or make it nice. Either way it will be a difficult project. I have considered letting mine go, but I dont know if the person who buys it would be * that its in such a state of redesign. Its lightyears better than it was though.

    Josh
     
  5. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks for the input Josh. I had no idea the Lunar Models kit was that bad. Where did you find your reference photos of the Excelsior?

    I'm sorry to hear about your excelsior kit. Sounds like a mess.

    If you ever feel your in too deep, I might be interested in joining in the disaster that it has become.

    Its a real shame no one has been bale to offer a decent size excelsior kit or a adequate quality.
     
  6. Studio Stasis

    Studio Stasis Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, if there is a model builder that is trustworthy I would lend my original parts to finish a kit that we could all have. I just HATE the fact that none of the kits have gotten the secondary hull correct.
    If you are game, we should take some time to see if there are any options to making a new model. I think if there was a group for such a thing, it wouldnt be impossible to do. I dont think it would be wise to make it larger than the Lunar kit unfortunately, but it would be awesome to see one to scale with the new Enterprise A. That would be like a five or six foot long excelsior though.
    My photo reference is pretty minimal but if you contact me on aim or email I can share everything I have with you. I'll also get some pics of my kit taken.

    Josh
     
  7. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Josh,

    Perhaps we should start an unofficial exclesior project. I'm very interested.

    I wonder how much interest there would be for such a project. If an Excelsior kit was scaled to match then new Refit kits, I think it woudl be too big. Might as well just build it to studio scale considering that model was seven feet.

    I'll contact you on aim next time I see you online.

    Paul
     
  8. vaderman1701

    vaderman1701 Well-Known Member

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    If you go to the Starship Modeler website and goto their discussion boards, there are a few people who are planning on tackling this project. Looking at some of their other works, it will be awesome.

    Scott
     
  9. vaderman1701

    vaderman1701 Well-Known Member

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    BTW,

    Keep in mind the the Lunar kit and the Collective kits are not in scale with the Ertl Refit Enterprise. It is actually too big. Actually 1/537 scalle would put it around 34-35 inches.

    Scott
     
  10. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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    Any links? There's threads all over the place over there. ;)

    What is the consensus on the "proper" size of the "real" Excelsior? The only thing I have ever seen was a sketch by one of the ship's designers, Nilo Rodis, which put the Excelsior at 1500 feet long as compared to 1000 feet for the Enterprise, making the Excelsior exactly 50% larger. If I ever get around to building her (planning on it) I will use that size as a reference.
     
  11. Watson

    Watson Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Charles you are such a tease :p Go ahead and pencil me down for one.

    Greg
     
  12. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  13. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I browsed a few sites for information on the original, and subsequent excelsiors used for filming.

    This site was by far the most comprehensive:
    http://www.shiporama.org/excelsior.htm

    This site also has a few nice reference shots:
    http://employees.csbsju.edu/rsorensen/mode...hips/excelsior/

    If a fresh larger size Excelsior kit was ever scratchbuilt, it'd be nice to do one up the same size as the Jein model.

    On another note, did the Excelsior model cast from the same molds as the Jein model sell? Anyone have a clue?

    PS Josh I haven't seen you on IM, but then again I haven't been online all that much lately.
     
  14. Studio Stasis

    Studio Stasis Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sorry about not being on IMs. I am out of town, in Sacramento and I'm just checking mail and message boards when I get the chance. I'll be home Wednesday and able to get more time online. I have the pics that are on the sites listed so far on this thread. I only saw one of the ship on its side with a person standing in front of it that I didnt have. The others I am familiar with in my archives. I just wanted to point out that the Greg Jein smaller model shown on that first site is not proportioned as close as they claim. I can see with the naked eye that the secondary hull does not match. I can make side by side illustrations if necessary but his overall shape is off quite a bit.

    I'd sure like a pro model builder to get this model right.

    Josh
     
  15. REL

    REL Sr Member

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    The Excelsior is one I plan on making in the near future, it's one of my favorite ships too. I'm not sure what scale yet, to make it in scale with the PL Ent A would be 52".
     
  16. knightdriver2001

    knightdriver2001 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    52"......... Now theres nothing wrong with that. :D

    Bigger makes for more detail. Now if someone would tackle the
    Reliant, then we would be good to go. B)
     
  17. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    REL

    Your enterprise E is incredible.

    I beg you to build an excelsior, and offer a kit.
     
  18. REL

    REL Sr Member

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    Thank you. I've decided when I make an Excelsior it will be 1/350 scale. 52" or so. Now which version I don't know, I happen to like the NX version over the NCC.

    After that I'm sure it wouldn't take much to make a kit to covert it to the Enterprise B.
     
  19. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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    I am serious about building one studio-scale eventually. I already made complete patterns for the NX-2000 for my friend Jim Creveling who got as far as building the primary hull in studio scale. Those were based on photos, now I can get it much more accurate so I will be going back and redoing them in CG in the very near future. Plan to do some experiments with CNC machining so it doesn't have to be hand sculpted and can be near perfect.

    The challenge is all those viewports. I see only two options for big starship hulls, one being translucent fiberglass and the other vacu-formed clear butyrate. Having to cut out all the viewports is an unacceptable amount of work at least to me and makes it near impossible to get them all done right when viewed close up. The Excelsior has a lot of small windows in the secondary hull. For a model that needs to look good up close, being able to mask off and paint around those windows seems like the best approach?

    REL, you are a talented sculptor. I'm sure that if you tackle this it will look awesome. At 1/350 52" sounds about right, just base it off an even 1500 foot length versus 1000 feet for the TMP Enterprise and you should have it. But, with something this big, it's going to be fiberglass, right? Can you do semi-clear castings? And how will that look if you mask off the viewports and paint over them? Or do you plan to cut them all out?
     
  20. REL

    REL Sr Member

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    I would make it out of clear fiberglass, actually it's like a frosted clear. I wouldn't cut the windows out but mask over them like the studio's do.

    The Enterprise E I'm working on has cnc machined parts too, the impulse engines and probably the pylons as well if I can manage it. The Excelsior would be down on the list though as I have a few more planned right now, namely a large scale Ent D. But it's definitely something I would like to make, but I wouldn't make a ship of something someone else is already doing out of courtesy to another modeler.
     
  21. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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    PM sent. . . :)
     
  22. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    REL, an enterprise D? Now that would truly be wonderful. I was going to build up the AMT with lights, but given the raised panel detail (outlines not actual panels) and size, it just didn't seem worthy. Blacklight paint seemed to qualify.

    If you built a D to the smaller to the two larger studio scale models (4ft?). In my opinion the Enterprise D and Excelsior were the best two designs to come out of all Trek. Certainly an accurate kit of either would excite much interest.
     
  23. Studio Stasis

    Studio Stasis Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I hope this isn't hijacking or off topic with this Excelsior thread but here is my issue with all of the models to date (minus the studio model). Here is a picture of the Greg Jein model from "Voyager Flashback" above the profile of the Star Trek III model. I have serious issues with his proportions and a lot of my angst comes from the shape and size of the secondary hull. It is a crucial characteristic of the ship in my opinion and this doesnt come close...


    [​IMG]


    This next photo is a picture of the Ertl Excelsior compared to the filming minuature from a front view. Notice the completely different perspective of the sensor dish due to the inaccurate shape of the secondary hull.

    [​IMG]


    The next two photos are the filming model compared to a persons buildup of the 41" Lunar Excelsior model. Notice the entirely different shape of the secondary hull, again, and the MASSIVE sensor dish proportions. The entire area that houses the dish is a gigantic opening. The Lunar model has a lot more shape issues that I wont even go into. Even the neck is entirely wrong. These two photos aren't great angle comparisons but you can still see such a huge difference that having perfect angles is not necessary for comparison.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    Notice how "shallow" the secondary hull is on every model. The secondary hull is the one thing I started building from scratch on my Lunar Kit. I will have a shape that I'm happy with in the end and a size, but I dont think anything will make it a pristine model except a more capable builder cleaning it up.

    Josh
     
  24. REL

    REL Sr Member

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  25. ShowCraft

    ShowCraft Well-Known Member

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    Charles (STAR-ART) Your set of ortho's are still pretty darned close to exact, but I think it might be wise for me to wait for your CG model before shapeing the secondary hull... This year? If that forward curve and sensor dish opening are off by just millimeters it is very apparent. The armature and lighting are planed out but as of today I'm still looking at a saucer plug and fantail detail plate as the only real work done so far. I'll just twiddle my thumbs while I wait :)
     
  26. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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    Aha. There you are. Good to see you posting here, buddy. Yeah, I haven't touched the Excelsior since I completed the patterns all those years ago. Now that I am back at it, I'm pleased to see that my original patterns weren't that far off. But it's the little things that make the difference. . . :)

    I started work on the primary hull final pattern recently. I'll keep at it as much as I can, but I'm juggling a lot of priorities right now (including looking for a new job -- yikes.).

    I originally thought you could scratch the primary hull from sheet stock, and I know you did the top that way and it looked great. I need to do some analysis to determine if the original was really done that way or was turned. I discovered the underside cannot be done that way without a whole lot of blending and bondo work. It has a definite curve where the bottom "dish" transitions to flat just before it cuts up and into the flat bottom plate or "ring." So it's not a shallow cone like I originally thought.

    I guess the only way to do this one right is fiberglass because of the huge size. I just hope the "frosted clear" appearance of the raw casting with the windows masked and lit will look good enough to stand up to close scrutiny. . . :)
     
  27. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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    Oh, and guys that "plug" you see in the photo that Samos3 just posted is roughly 34 INCHES in diameter and was built entirely from scratch. And he built it fast, too -- maybe in a couple weeks or less IIRC. This guy is amazing... :D
     
  28. REL

    REL Sr Member

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    That saucer looks excellent. Do you have any other photo's of the plug? Nice work.
     
  29. ShowCraft

    ShowCraft Well-Known Member

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    Unpublished photos I have of the studio model show that the saucer top master was not turned. Sheets laid over internal ribs was how they did it and I did mine that way too. The lighting in the pic of the plug I posted before exagerates the facets.
     
  30. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Josh was gracious enough to share those photos with me before he posted.

    I think he really nailed what needs to be done when building.

    Funny, my micromachines Excelsior seems to be more accurate than anything else out there... photos to follow soon.
     
  31. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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    Yes, that was a good analysis. The secondary hull in question is a particularly challenging shape to recreate. And, as Jim said, if it's off by even a little bit that will make a big difference.

    I think Greg Jein did a great job and his looks really close. But whether he had the access needed to take sufficient info off the original or not I have no idea. Even with measurements it would be hard to get a perfect match without a 3D scan. (I know of only one person who is skilled enough to do that -- the legendary Gary Kerr.) You would need lots of time and special equipment to be able to capture profiles with a contour gauge in order to get it just right.
     
  32. ShowCraft

    ShowCraft Well-Known Member

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    :( Leaped before I looked.
     
  33. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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