Spaceship from Concept Art -WIP Scratch Build- UFP RV Montgomery Scott


Well-Known Member
Hello all, welcome to a scratch build of a "concept art" spaceship model.

I didn't want to recreate anything from a movie, television series or video game, so I looked at as much concept art as I could find. To make the project a bit easier on myself, I deliberately searched for a vessel that had few, if any, curves or rounded body shapes.

The one I chose was designed by artist Paolo Puggioni. This is the only angle of his ship on-line, so everything out of view must be created from my imagination. I propose this to be a science and research vessel, with a multitude of sensors for planetary survey. Like the drawing, the paint scheme will be all white, and since it stays in space and never enters hostile atmosphere, will have very minor weathering. Any warfare on this kind of vessel would be illogical, so the guns are quite small.

1 Paolo Ship.jpg

It will be named after my favorite character in Sci-fi.... from Star Trek The Original Series. Therefore, it will be known as...United Federation of Planets Research Vessel Montgomery Scott. (Scotty).

I actually met James Doohan back in the mid 90's, when I was an engineer at a studio shooting a TV commercial. I walked into a (what I thought was an unoccupied) dressing room, and Mr. Doohan was in the middle of changing clothes! We exchanged a few pleasant sentences... and I quickly escaped.

For details on this model, I will be using most of the concept drawing as a guideline, but invent the rest. Note: I do not own a 3d printer, laser, lathe or CNC unit, so this will be 99% hand built.

I always need a mockup first, so to get moving, I estimated some preliminary dimensions. Due to workspace and storage limitations, I can only manage a model with a maximum of approximately 24 inches (609mm). Even though I live in the US, I mostly work with metric numbers. As far as a definitive "scale", I have no idea.

2 paper plans.jpg

This is the 3rd version of a mock up I built out of white foam core board. The first was too big, the 2nd too small, and this one is in-between..

3 Foam coreMockup.jpg

To create the hexagon carcass, I chose .06" (1.5mm) styrene bulkheads, making card templates first to check sizes, then transferred that to the styrene.

4 Bulkheds.jpg

These will be anchored to this CVPC 1/2" (12.7mm) pipe for the inner core spine.

5 Cpvc pipe and templates.jpg

This model will be lit with LED's, so I drilled extra holes thru each bulkhead for wiring..

The CPVC (ID .468"or 11.89mm) pipe will slide over a wood dowel of a bit smaller diameter .460." (11.68mm), since I plan to build the model in 3 separate sections, front, middle and back. Then slide them together as the final step of the build. I may change the wood dowel to a metal pipe/rod depending on the weight of the finished model.

I lined the perimeter of the bulkheads with balsa wood for additional gluing surface.

6 Bulkheads balsa and head.jpg

The bow section is being test fitted with styrene sheet.

7 Front test styrene panels.jpg

After looking at the "nose" for a while, I decided it just wasn't steep enough pitch, as in the drawing. Chopped it down and made new parts. Looking better. Nothing glued.

8 Resized front nose.jpg

I hope to update this build 3 or 4 times a month, and it will NOT be abandoned until its finished.

Thanks for following.

Till next time...
Hello Carib very nice start to the build, I will follow your progress with interest, having built many scratch builds I can tell you now the weight of the model will creep up on you. Martin Bower once said that if you build some thing build it strong as many people always love to pick up models and handle them and fragile models do not bounce well. On many of my builds I have always made the long sensors detachable for transport , I look forward to the next update.

best regards Barrie ( the old guy )
Thank you Barrie! I appreciate your valuable interest.

Indeed, I will keep in mind the weight of this beast. I am planning to make this model a robust support system.
I agree with you about long, thin & pointy sensors being detachable.

Certainly, everything in that vein on the front and top of this ship will be removable. The bottom pieces are another challenge.
We'll see when I get that far....
The bow fuselage has a small section of 5 levels of windows. I cut those openings 7mm (.275") high by 27mm (1.06") wide.

9 Cut 5 windows.jpg

All the windows in the ship are square, and it was a challenge to find a way to produce them in large quantity. I settled on a size of 1mm (.039") x 2 mm (.078") each. I printed out a grid pattern of these numbers on my PC for all areas. It was then surrounded by masking tape on all 4 sides, and I cut thru the tape on the lines, guided by the grid. The tape is attached to .02" (.5mm) styrene. I made hundreds of rectangle cuts this way. Random pieces of tape were removed.

10 Tape window cut outs.jpg

For the long narrow bottom sections, I simply turned the direction of my guideline grid.

11 Tape cutout long piece.jpg

After several days, complete.

12 cutout complete.jpg

I then spray painted all the sections black, and then removed tape at random spots to reveal windows. (sections without paint).

13 black painted.jpg

The lowest fuselage bow section has a narrow row of windows. I cut those sections out, and built a jig to create 56 separations between each opening.

14 Long pieces separations.jpg

I made a spacer exactly 7.25 mm (.285") wide to ensure equal distancing.

15 Attach with square.jpg

Complete, with windows ready to be trimmed and installed. Must order more 2835 LED tape ...

16 Test windows.jpg

Till next time...

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