STAR TREK in 1:2400 scale

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by Albertese, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    I've been gathering a collection of 1:2400 Star Trek kits and now I'm building them. I figured I'd begin with the beginning, the original Enterprise. This will be a build thread where I'll put up all the models I put together. My intent is to build all the ships that appear in the show in 1:2400 scale. Some I'll have to scratchbuild, but I'm starting with the kits.


    Now, anyone who's build the 1:2400 TOS E knows it's an awful kit. Well, if you want it to be the ship in the show. It's actually a fair representation of the 18" AMT model. But I wanted to model the ship from the show. First I carved off the cartoony window squares all over the secondary hull. Then I made room for a styrene tube to accept a 1/8" acrylic rod as a stand. Then I carved around the shuttlebay doors and made a ....hood? ...awning? I don't know what the official name of the roof over the doors would be called, but I made it out of sheet styrene and filed it down to blend it with the rest of the hull. I filed the recesses into the hull at the 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 positions. I filed down the interconnecting dorsal to match the contours of the 11' model.


    On the saucer, I filed down the shape of the "B-C" deck area to match the 11' model. Then I added strips of styrene around the edge of the saucer and then spent hours filing it the match the angle and sharpness of the 11' model. The undercut in the saucer had the wide flat outer edge of the 18" AMT kit, so I took a curved blade and scraped out the plastic to closer match the 11' model.


    I also made a couple little changes to the nacelles. I got carried away and sanded the aft cowlings too round. I was going to ignore it and accept the softer look, but it's been bugging me, so I'm going to fix that tonight.


    It's about 90% complete. I've scratched my own sensor/deflector dish as the kit's looks like a weird salad bowl or something. I took a 1/4" hole punch to a ping pong ball and used a length of piano wire for the antenna/stem. Also, the Impulse deck area, while not terrible on the kit, got wiped out while I was rebuilding the saucer edge, so I'll have to scratchbuild that area also. Overall, I think it's coming together to match the 11' model a bit more closely. I figured I'd share it at this point, before I wrap it up and start painting.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]





    To fill file marks and scratches, I used mostly CA and flat white spray paint. Also a bit of Squadron Green on the saucer.


    Well, more to come.


    --Alex

    UPDATE

    Got the nacelle end caps done.

    [​IMG]



    --AM
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
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  2. vidman

    vidman Well-Known Member

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    Very nice start, those are so small, and a little harder to do a complete paint job....

    I'll be watching your progress :ninja
     
  3. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, vidman. I think such a small subject lends itself to a lot of brush work. Should be fun!

    I finished the impulse hardware. Also, I added formation lights (bottom ones too). I think this more-or-less finishes the sub-assemblies. I think I might paint them before final assembly, but I haven't decided.


    [​IMG]


    Painting this weekend. Maybe sooner, but I doubt it.


    Thanks for looking!


    --Alex
     
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  4. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    I got around to spraying a base color. I used Tamiya TS-5 Light Blue (Luftwaffe). I think I read somewhere (maybe something posted by Shaw?) that it's a fair match to the original color. I think the original was a bit greener, but the TS-5 does look pretty darn good to my eye.




    [​IMG]


    If all goes well, I'll start the detail painting Sunday.


    Thanks for looking!


    --Alex
     
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  5. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    I had a little extra time today, but I didn't quite feel like painting. So, instead I started one of the simpler scratchbuilds.


    [​IMG]


    --Alex
     
  6. vintageslant

    vintageslant Active Member

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  7. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Ha! The box is the space buoy from the borders of the First Federation in the episode "The Corbomite Maneuver."

    I managed to paint all I think I'm going to paint on this. But there are some things I want to make some custom decals for. That's the next step. Then I'll put on the kit's decals, then I'll weather it and then I'll do final assembly.


    [​IMG]




    Thanks for looking!


    --Alex
     
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  8. vidman

    vidman Well-Known Member

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    Looks GREAT :thumbsup
     
  9. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Well, I am part way through making the decals. But I wanted to take a break and that stinkin' white cube was taunting me, so I painted it. I considered spraying it, but I wanted it to have the textured, mottled look of the original cube. So I painted it by hand.


    [​IMG]




    --Alex
     
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  10. danikin72

    danikin72 Active Member

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    Love it.
    The texture really sells it
     
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  11. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, danikin72!


    So, I finally got to printing some decals. I dunno what the heck is going on, here. My CHEAP * printer can't print a decal to save it's freakin' life. I wanna throw the dang thing against a wall! I made a sheet of graphics up in Photoshop and printed it four times. Each print was unacceptable. I tried different settings each time. I included names and numbers for a few different starships.

    [​IMG]




    Questions for anyone who's made decals this way before... any advise? I've done this before myself and it worked great. But I can't remember if it was the same printer or my previous printer. But any tips?


    Anyhow, though the lettering will not pass muster, some of the just graphical stuff was more usable. I hunted through my many and sundry decals trying to find the least offensive markings and got some decals on there.


    [​IMG]


    I made a "wallpaper" style decal for the upper and lower surfaces of the saucer. And I'm using Micro-Sol and Micro-Set for the first time. It sure seems to take a long time to set up/dry/cure... but dang, it sure seems effective at laying the film down flat. I'm sorry I never tried this stuff before! There are very faint grid lines on the there, but they are hard to see, even in person. It's just how I wanted it to look, so I'm happy with that result.


    Anyhow, I want to give it all the time it wants to be dry before I lay more decal on top of this. Plus I have yet to put my "wallpaper" decal on the upper saucer, and that'll take time to dry. But I'll keep posting as the model progresses.


    Thanks for looking!


    --Alex
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  12. MKWJTC

    MKWJTC Active Member

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    I think this is the one Little E with the biggest amount of job I've ever seen.
     
  13. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Thanks MKWJTC. There's not a part on this I haven't modified one way or another.

    Well, I got the decals done. I plan to ease up the edges of the decals with some 600 grit sand paper. Then Glosscote, Dullcote and some weathering before final assembly.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Thanks for looking!


    --Alex
     
  14. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    FIN!


    This was a fun project and I learned a lot. I used a bit of Bare Metal Foil for the inner tracks on the warp nacelles. My first time with BMF. I weathered the ship with as many pics of the original model in it's production paint as I had up as reference. I used powdered pencil graphite applied with a small brush and adjusted with judicious use of an eraser. And I wasn't as diligent as I ought to have been regarding dust on the model and there are some unaddressable issues with the decals. They're small, but you can find them if you're looking at them. And I kinda suspected I installed the pylons backwards, but I couldn't tell for sure until now that I have the engines in place and they are definitely on there at an unfortunate angle.... I might saw the pylons off and glue them back on straight...? But I dunno. It'd be dicey getting the re-paint just right so I have to weigh which issue bothers me more.


    Anyhow...pics!




    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]




    --Alex
     
  15. Randy13

    Randy13 Well-Known Member

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    This is some great detail for such a small scale. Looks a lot larger than what it really is. Great job.
     
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  16. vidman

    vidman Well-Known Member

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    GREAT DETAIL, Most impressive.

    You mastered this small model very nicely :p :cheers
     
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  17. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, guys! Randy13, yeah, I keep looking at pics of it and it reminds me on my 1:1000 Polar Lights model.


    Well, for my next model, I will do the Romulan Bird of Prey.


    Initially, I had the idea that I would do these in the order they were done on the show, but I'm not so tied to that any more. The RBoP was first in "The Balance of Terror" and I think the only other appearance was reuse of the footage in "The Deadly Years." In that episode, Commodore Stocker, having taken command of the Enterprise during an emergency, bumbles into to a fleet of possibly as many as ten ships and only survives by Kirk's nick-of-time recovery. In the original effects, we only see one Bird at a time, but in the remastered one, there are as many as four on screen at a time. I'm using that precedent to only bother making four of these.


    This kit, especially when compared to the Enterprise in the same box, is stunningly accurate. Well, not really, it has some "webbed-feet" areas due to compromises in the tooling, but they are easily filed away. And the domes on the front of the engines are very soft. I took a file to them to create a sharper specific edge between dome and nacelle.


    But overall, the parts are very nicely thought-out. None of the seams even need puttied as they are all concealed by the design.


    [​IMG]




    My question for you all: What color was this thing? My only references of the original model are the admittedly rough prints that ended up on-screen, and a collection of very nice, but black and white stills of the model from 1966. I get the impression that it may have been simply sprayed silver and had the bird markings painted on over that. But for so many years, I grew up thinking it was more white-ish, so I don't know. All I do know is that I don't care for the heavily plated look the CBS model had and I won't go that route. Any opinions?


    Also, I don't want all four to have the same bird artwork. I read somewhere (possibly an old FASA book?) that each ship had a bird of different color or type to distinguish it's identity, and I like that idea, so I'm gonna come up with some designs of my own and possibly print some decals if I can work out my printer issues.


    So, what do you guys think about the base color?


    --Alex
     
  18. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 Master Member

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    I'm not 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure the original Romulan Bird of Prey filming model was coated only in a light gray primer before the graphics were applied.
     
  19. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I dunno. A primer coat would leave a very matte surface. The one thing I'm sure of is it wasn't just that.

    Check this out:

    [​IMG]


    ...especially the upper (or, more correctly, the starboard) nacelle. Now, that looks like a pretty reflective surface to me. This is what makes me wonder about silver paint. On the other hand, I suppose that it could be a light gray with a semi-gloss or satin finish and it's just catching the light this way.

    And as for the bird graphic, does anyone know if it was something like a big silk-screened decal or would it have just been painted on by Mr. Chang, talented artist that he was. I'm going with decals on my little ships, but I'm curious for the sake of knowing the history of the thing.

    --Alex
     
  20. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    I love those kits and remember building all of them when I was a kid. I've still got a real fondness for the real miniature stuff. You're making me want to jump on eBay and throw some money at another project I don't have time for :)

    really slick work. I especially love how you did the windows and how you pulled off the paintwork on the nacelle tips.

    just curious. Is there a reference for the scale of that cube or do you just have to guess?
     
  21. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 Master Member

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    Not necessarily. I've used gray primers before that left a surprisingly semi-gloss finish. I just wish I could remember where I'd heard or read about primer being the only basecoat on the original filming model.
     
  22. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the kind words! I have found that several people seem to be confusing this kit with the Adversary Set from the 1970's. It had the Enterprise Klingon D-7 and a poorly proportioned Romulan Bird of Prey in 1:1600 scale which makes these new 1:2500 scale ships (roughly) 2/3 the size of those old ones. You can pick up this current set for less than 20 USD. And I say go for it! They're super fun.

    And the windows are included as decals, so don't let me take too much credit for them. But, thank you for the compliment on the nacelle domes.

    And I just did the math on the scale of the cube. In the episode, Sulu tells us it's 107 meters per edge. So 107000 mm / 2400 = 44.6 mm. (As I said above, I'm going with 1:2400 rather than the advertised 1:2500 based on the actual length of the Enterprise model.) The result is a cube which is much much larger relative to the E than we see on the show, but I decided to go with the stated size rather than visual effects department size.


    That's interesting. And entirely possible. But I see a lot of RBOPs around the web with silver skin. In fact, this kit is molded in some kind of swirly silver plastic. And for what it's worth, the CBS RBOP was made to appear metallic. So, somebody's research is pointing to silver for some reason.

    I've also seen some very nice ships done with gray in various shades.

    I'm leaning more towards lighter coloration, myself. I grew up with the above mentioned 1:1600 Bird of Prey and I always had it painted white with the orange bird decals. I have a can of Tamiya AS-20 Insignia White that is singing softly to me. I'm gonna try it tomorrow after work. Maybe even decal and everything. Pictures to follow.

    Though it still leaves the question of the engine domes. Wah Chang's model was clearly equipped with lights, though they seem to have been left dark when photographed. But I have no clue as to the color. I think I'll go with green, even though the whole "green equals Romulans" business wasn't established until TNG, I do like to be able to tie them together. And I think I'll still do them fairly dark, to remain true to the look of the model on-screen.

    --Alex
     
  23. spockboy

    spockboy Well-Known Member

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    3575110690_baaa60d4f0_b.jpg ROMULAN EFFECTS SHOT.jpg ROMULAN BIRD OF PREY.jpg

    (Click the pics to embiggen)
    Definitely silver, which would be very common for science fiction models in those days I would think.
    Plus it gives it that great metallic look that would beautifully complement the bird of prey painting.
    Good luck!

    :)Spockboy
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  24. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm leaning more and more towards the original being silver. I think I might actually try it both ways and see what I like best. After all, I have four of them and I intend to make custom decals anyhow....

    --Alex
     
  25. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Here's the first test.


    [​IMG]


    On the left is one sprayed in a Krylon chrome color. I underestimated just how shiny it would be. This definitely ain't the way to go for this ship. (Although I think I found the paint for my upcoming Endoskeleton project...)


    On the right is Insignia White, which honestly does look very good to my eye. I think I'm going to go out tomorrow and find some other silvery spray, possibly an aluminum color, something not as mirror-like, and try again on the silver one. But I think Insignia White is probably going to be the color to beat.


    --Alex
     
  26. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 Master Member

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    I like them both, but the Insignia White is closer to what I remember from watching the show; the silver looks more like the ship in the remastered episodes.
     
  27. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    New paint!


    Here's the new silver. It's a lot more toned down than the chrome. I think I'll use this for the "Balance of Terror" ship and the Insignia White for the other Romulan ships. I'm using the remastered episodes, in this case, to justify the distinction. To me, it looked like the BoT ship was more metallic and the birds in "The Deadly Years" were more white. It also seems to me that maybe these were two different classes of ships just in similar hulls. After all, the ship in BoT was single-handedly responsible for destroying numerous listening posts buried in solid iron asteroids besides giving Kirk a run for his money, while the ships in TDY cornered the Enterprise by out numbering it ten to one. But they did little enough damage that it seems to me that they were way under-gunned and only are effective when used as a swarm.

    Also, I think the Romulan D-7s from "The Enterprise Incident" would look good in the Insignia White.


    [​IMG]


    Not much of an update, but I got excited.


    Decals to follow!


    --Alex
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  28. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    I'm undecided on the color for the engine domes. I photoshopped a few options. Any opinions?


    [​IMG]


    --Alex
     
  29. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 Master Member

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    Tough call. I've seen photos of the filming model with the domes lit (white), but I don't think they ever appeared that way on the show. I like the orange domes, but they might be too similar in appearance to the original Enterprise's Bussard Collectors. I know the Next Generation Romulan color scheme was mostly greens, but I'd go with blue.
     
  30. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    So, I decided on the orange color for the nacelle domes. In the end, I recalled that an early draft of "The Balance of Terror" had the Romulan ship having been built using technology stolen from the Federation. While that connection didn't make it to the final cut, I wonder if Wah Chang built the model under that assumption and made the engines to light up like the Enterprise ones. All the pictures I've seen of the studio model lit up are black and white, so the color really is anyone's guess. I painted the domes white, then blended a layer of yellow leaving white in the middle, and then blended some orange around the base of the hemisphere, then covered the entire dome with Tamiya Clear Orange X-26.


    Then a shot of Testor's Glosscote and started in on decals.


    [​IMG]


    I intend to use the kits decals for two birds, the silver one and one of the white ships. I will make custom graphics for the other ships, but I find myself not in the mood for that kinda thing at the moment, so I think I might put them on hold for a while. Since I want to work on the top and bottom of the ship separately, I went ahead and used one kit's decals on both ships. Tomorrow, after these are quite set, I will break out a second kit's sheet and do the opposite sides. Both the Silver and the Insignia white look pretty darn good IMHO.


    My only complaint so far about the Romulan ship is the decals. The graphics for the top fin are fiddly and not well shaped to the area they go on, and I feel that the big bird graphic should have been a touch wider so the ends of the wings would wrap a bit higher around the body of the nacelles. And these do require generous amounts of Micro-Set and Micro-Sol to lay down. There are still a few little wrinkles that may be here to stay... though I will give one more effort with the Micro-Sol to try to smooth them. We'll see. Also, to get the bird graphic to settle into the seam between the nacelle and the pylon, I had to slice through it. I may go back and try to touch up the break with some dainty brush-work. Depends on how saucy I feel in the next few days.


    --Alex
     
  31. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 Master Member

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    I'd never heard this before. Taking it into consideration, the orange color for the domes is very reasonable; besides, it matches the bird decals quite well. Seeing the silver Bird with the decals applied, it looks more "original" and less "remastered" and I can't say which color I prefer at the moment. Nice work, they're both beautiful!!! (y)thumbsup
     
  32. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    ROMULANS!


    I finished these two.


    [​IMG]


    I used some Bare Metal Foil for the aft end of the nacelles. It was just the right finishing touch. The white one looks great, but the silver one.... I'm afraid I got overly excited and didn't wait long enough for the Matte Finish to cure. My grubby fingerprints are all over this thing. I'm pretty unhappy with the finish. I have every intention of redoing the silver ship with a fresh model on some future date. I'll probably spray this one black and have it be the "cloaked" version. :lol


    Anyhow, I did take few shots from familiar angles. Enjoy!




    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    --Alex
     
  33. Jedi Dade

    Jedi Dade Sr Member

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    Killer job! you should drop these in rubber and sell a few. I bet there are a few out there that would be interested. With all of these modes its not a recast in my book :)

    Jedi Dade
     
  34. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Thanks,Jedi Dade! I've considered making a mold for my own uses, but I don't think I want to get into the selling business. I do this to unwind and enjoy my free time. I have a feeling that if I tried to monetize my hobby that I'd lose the joy in it. I hate working to a deadline and I know that if I had customers I would either disappoint them or find myself very frustrated. So, sorry, but you'll have to do it yourself! lol!


    I've begun the next one. This will be the Constellation from "The Doomsday Machine."


    I like that the original episode used an AMT kit as the damaged Constellation. Though the damage they applied seems like little more than judicious use of a lighter. I really like the more extensive damage depicted in the remastered version, though I think the actual ship model they used was too much like the Enterprise. There were a few alterations here and there to make it a "different ship" but I feel that the use of the AMT model really did more to expand the setting than just making it 98% the same as our hero ship.


    Also, the Cadet Series Enterprise kit is pretty good match for the AMT 18" Enterprise right out of the box, so I will be using those lines for my interpretation of the Constellation.


    What I don't like is the nature of the damage on the CBS model. So much of the "wreckage" looks more like someone let a cigarette ash than like a vehicle that has been shot up, especially what we see around the saucer (the nacelles are better). So I'm going to try to make it look like there is a sensible internal structure being exposed rather than just "damage." To this end I am referencing both Matt Jefferies' cross-section for his take on the Phase II ship, as well as my own stab at deck plans, for the revealed interior on the saucer's flat surface.


    [​IMG]


    So far this has taken me about three and a half hours. But I kinda got bored with doing it straight through so I decided to pause and show you all the beginning of my current project. Thanks for looking!


    --Alex
     
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  35. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    I like where this is going. I'll have to look up the episode.

    netflix is my only source for TOS and it's all remastered. Is there a good source for comparisons.
     
  36. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Google Image Search. Look for "Starship Constellation" and you'll get lots to see.

    But for your convenience, I whipped up this image to give you a quick side-by-side. If you want a closer look, I found these with google in seconds, I'm sure you can do the same.

    [​IMG]


    --Alex
     
  37. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    Yes, I did pull up those same images. Interesting episode, my uneducated eye wouldn't have been able to tell the difference between the two ships whatsoever other than the damage.
     
  38. MKWJTC

    MKWJTC Active Member

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  39. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, MKWJTC!

    Some more progress on the Constellation. I've been working on this here and there and it's ready for me to figure out how to skin it. I have a couple ideas. The areas marked purple are the areas that will be exposed.


    [​IMG]




    I didn't work on the ship tonight though. A friend of mine recently had to have her horse put down after a broken leg injury. So I put together a little something to give her when I see her tomorrow. I will paint it in the morning.


    [​IMG]


    --UPDATE--
    Painted.


    [​IMG]




    --Alex
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
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  40. opal1970

    opal1970 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alex,

    coming alone very good. The level of detail is amazing. Similar to you, I also have a whole stash of 1:2500 ships that are sitting around in the pipeline waiting for me to get around to them. I had not thought of the Constellation, but I really like where you are going with it and I may just have to dedicate a thread to you someday. ;)

    Sorry about your friends horse. Things like that are never easy.
     
  41. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Working on the ship again. I painted all the exposed areas black, to fill in any hard to reach areas when I really paint it.


    [​IMG]


    Then I used some rotary tools to eat into the tops of the bulkheads and chew up the edges of the outer hull. You might notice the background is black instead of my usual green cutting mat. I went ahead and took this bad boy to work and used my instruments there. I have rotary tools at home, but a greater variety at work.


    [​IMG]


    This damage stuff has added more thickness than I hoped, so it'll be interesting to see how I treat the lower saucer.


    --Alex
     
  42. MKWJTC

    MKWJTC Active Member

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    Nice little wreck. Destroyed areas should be scorched, but interiors had some color. Have you considered som yello, red or so bits, as furniture? Just to break the blackness.
     
  43. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    As for stuff in the rooms, my thought is that most everything would have been disintegrated/blasted into space. Even stuff fixed to the deck would have shaken loose. So, I don't think I'll include any furniture. And, yes, I do intend to have more color in there when I do the actual paint job. The reason for the black is just in case there are areas that I have a hard time getting to later when I do the final painting. I want them to be black to seem burnt and shadowy and shrink away from the eye rather than have little bright spots of white where I never could get paint to go...

    --Alex
     

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