TOS Enterprise-1/1000 kit by Polar Lights

trekriffic

Sr Member
Hi everyone! These are some in-progress shots on my 1/1000 scale build of the Polar Lights kit.
This will be the production series version of this kit and is being constructed as part of the Group Build over on The Tholian Web forum.


Just so you all know, this image taken from the 2010 SOTL calendar is kind of what I'm shooting for.
As much as possible anyway given the limitations of this kit.



Shown here are various parts scavenged from booklights I found at the local Dollar Tree store.
Four of the 1.5V batteries, wiring, metal contacts (one with and one without a spring), and slide switch will be used to construct an internal battery pack so the finished model will not need an external power source. Each nacelle will have a reflector behind the LED in each bussard.
The lights will be static which should look nice for photographing.



The finished battery pack made from the booklight parts and Evergreen and clear acrylic tubing is wired up and attached with CA to the back of the deflector housing.
I won't go into details about all the material I had to remove from the inside of the secondary hull to accomodate all the battery parts and wiring but, believe me, it was a lot!
Brass tabs at the front of the battery pack mate to slots cut into the secondary hull and the housing turns to lock into place.



A high brightness white LED is wired between the upper and lower sensor domes in the primary hull.
This LED will later be painted with fluoresent white acrylic paint so it spreads it's glow evenly around the interior much like an incandescent light bulb would.




Wires are soldered to the LEDs in each nacelle.
The LEDs are painted with white fluoresent and orange acrylic paint.




A wire cage or "spider" is constructed using 30 gauge solid wire and a clear styrene disk.
This will be inserted into the lower saucer sensor dome to give it the "pie slice" look seen in several fan made images which I have come to admire.



The cage after insertion into the lower dome. The insides of the sensor domes are painted with white fluorescent acrylic so they will have a nice even glow with the light on. Fiber strands are run to the lower running lights.



I didn't care for the look of the kit molded "nipple" on the lower saucer dome so I used the other dome in the kit (the one provided for use in building the pilot versions) and drilled out a small hole in the center. Then I turned some aluminum bar stock at high speed on my dremel and made a tiny round bead with a tiny shaft using my scribing tool. Then I glued it into the hole in the center of the lower sensor dome. This is the location of the ion pod in my opinion. Some may disagree but, for the sake of this build, it's the ion pod!



Upper port and lower starboard running lights were turned on my dremel using red and clear acrylic rod. Looking at some great still shots of the studio model I left them as globes rather than hemisphers sitting up slightly above the surface of the model.




Work on the bussards involved making a brass template for use in cutting strips of adhesive-backed aluminum foil to make the fan blades to stick to the dome inserts. The template will allow me to make each fan blade identical to the other. The inserts have had about 1/8" removed from the backside to accomodate the LED reflector. The ridges for the fan blades were also sanded flat as the fit was too tight otherwise; I have cracked a few bussard domes in the past so I knew this going in.


Light test after painting the interior of the bussard insert with transparent turn-signal amber enamel followed by red acrylic paint thinned with alcohol and allowed to pool in the center. The outer bussard domes were previously frosted on the inside with Floquil clear flat.



The stern beacon over the shuttle bay doors was the wrong shape and you could see the square slot in the kit part for mounting to the tab on the hull so I made a new one from scratch. Then I took brass tubing and ground a bevelled edge with the dremel before slicing it on my mini-cutoff saw. Much better in my opinion.



Then I sliced the acrylic rod off below the metal collar using a miter saw, hollowed out the inside with a round router bit, and painted it with white fluorescent paint tinted with just a hint of blue. My fingers almost cramped up from holding this tiny piece as I worked on it.




So, as of this writing, all hull seams have been filled and scraped and puttied and the majority of the sanding is complete. I did fill in the kit scribed lines in the front of the dorsal and on the front undersides of the nacelles with red putty. These areas will eventually be masked off and painted a slightly darker, greener shade of the hull color. Left to attach are the bussard domes, hangar bay beacon, intercoolers and reactor loops, and end caps on the nacelles. The deflector dish will be attached last and may be left removeable after the rest of the ship is finished.
It should be ready for priming with gray rattle can Tamiya primer tomorrow.
With any luck I should be finished by New Years.:confused

Thanks for reading ! Comments welcome!
:)
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
Very nice work! The lighting tweaks should make it really shine. In my case, while I like lighted projects, I never have been able to work up the nerve to do that with a model as small as the 1/1000 model. But I have seen some excellent projects done from it, INCLUDING this one. :)


The ion pod location makes sense, although remastered Trek established it as being one of the exposed dome lighted areas on the back of the secondary hull near the shuttle bay (they did a tight shot on it in the new effects shots). Still, since TOS never fleshed out exactly where it was, it could be in the sensor dome. Or, the dome could also contain the photon launcher.

What is this Tholian Web forum of which you speak? I'd be curious to see some of the other GB projects as well.
 

glorbes

Active Member
Looking forward to seeing this come together. Your previous work would indicate that this'll be another finished masterpiece. Its already looking great.
 

trekriffic

Sr Member
What is this Tholian Web forum of which you speak? I'd be curious to see some of the other GB projects as well.
Here's a link to the Group Build finished pics. So far 3 ships have been completed and posted in the finished thread:
The Tholian Web • View topic - Original Constitution Classes

This link details the rules and signup list for the Group Build:
The Tholian Web • View topic - Original 12 Starships

I'm signed up to build the Enterprise and the Defiant.
 

Underdog

Sr Member
Nice work. I took an easy way out to do the neck, engineering hull and upper and lower primary hull.... I just cut big sections out laid clear package tape over the areas, to conform to the shape and filled with clear, sanded, masked, opaqued, painted, unmasked and so on... A lot of work for such a small kit.... Still, can't wait to see more.
 

trekriffic

Sr Member
Today I did some more work on the front of the secondary hull and the deflector housing. Used a small miter saw to slice off the inner half of the rectangular tabs on each side at the front of the secondary hull and glued those pieces to the sides of the deflector housing; these would be at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions on the perimeter of the housing. I needed to do this as the tabs are designed to lock onto the tapered housing and lock it in place which meant they had to be pried apart every time I pulled out the battery pack. Then I cut a round piece of thin styrene sheet with a hole in the center to match the diameter of the battery pack front collar and glued it to the front of the secondary hull so when the deflector housing is twisted and locked into position I get a nice tight fit with no gaps. Turned out well. Using AVES I puttied around the tabs and all around the ring behind the deflector housing. Tomorrow I'll sand any rough spots.

I also repainted the inside of the little stern hangar bay beacon using a big rattle can of Krylon "Celery" lacquer I bought for half off at Michaels. This is a light bluish green color and looks very close to the color of the lit dome on the studio model. This is also a good color to use when painting the command pod, boom, and lower engineering hull surfaces on the Klingon D-7 battlecruiser but, boy, is it runny! Will definitely need a light primer coat underneath it when the time comes to build the reissued D-7.

I also glued the bussards to the front of each nacelle. They look AWESOME lit up!

The last thing I did was fix a rattle I was hearing from inside the sealed saucer. I'm anal about things rattling around inside my models; I just can't stand it! :angry
My assumption was it was the small clear piece I had glued in front of the LED to hold the ends of the fiber strands from the lower running lights; it had come loose once before prior to sealing up the hull but how to fix the rattle without breaking open the saucer? Simple. I drilled a hole in the top of the saucer as close as I could estimate where this piece was and squeezed in a liberal amount of Super Thin CA thru the hole and tilted the hull from one side to another to spread it around inside the model. That did the trick as whatever was rattling around stuck to the glue and NO MORE RATTLE! The hole was sealed with AVES and once it dries I will sand it flush with the hull.

So I figure tomorrow will be the day for priming and maybe the first coat of the basecoat. I have a new quart of ACE Hardware "Shady Cove" oil-based enamel to try out. It comes closest to "concrete" on the gray scale (at least according to Paul Newitt) with just a hint of olive to it. I figured it was cheaper to buy it premixed rather than try mixing it up using those relatively expensive little bottles of Model Master paints; a quart of "Shady Cove" ran me 9 bucks at the hardware store and I figure it'll last me forever considering the size of the models I build.

Next post I'll have some pics I promise!
:)
 

trekriffic

Sr Member
Nice work. I took an easy way out to do the neck, engineering hull and upper and lower primary hull.... I just cut big sections out laid clear package tape over the areas, to conform to the shape and filled with clear, sanded, masked, opaqued, painted, unmasked and so on... A lot of work for such a small kit.... Still, can't wait to see more.
Sounds like an ingenious way to build a lightable kit without having to drill out all the tiny windows on this small kit! Extraordinarily inventive on your part sir. Cudos!
 

Underdog

Sr Member
Sounds like an ingenious way to build a lightable kit without having to drill out all the tiny windows on this small kit! Extraordinarily inventive on your part sir. Cudos!
Awwww Shucks..... Try it, it works. You can use the stickers to mask off all of the windows and use a drill bit the same size as the round windows to just touch the kit after it's all painted and sealed. Makes for a very interesting conversation piece. People will wonder and ask.... How did you get all of those holes in exactly the right place... How did you do that? :)
 

Underdog

Sr Member
Another thing I did was to paint the existing running lights with transparent paint, for the red and green and leave the white as they are and all you need is one small bright white led hooked up to a basic flasher and you can run the running lights and anti collision lights all with one LED for the two circuits each and a little fiber-optic, which I can see you are already using. Bam! You've got an easy, less complicated circuit and in the right lighting it will look as good as a 22", or 32.46" ship. :)
 

trekriffic

Sr Member
Another thing I did was to paint the existing running lights with transparent paint, for the red and green and leave the white as they are and all you need is one small bright white led hooked up to a basic flasher and you can run the running lights and anti collision lights all with one LED for the two circuits each and a little fiber-optic, which I can see you are already using. Bam! You've got an easy, less complicated circuit and in the right lighting it will look as good as a 22", or 32.46" ship. :)
Yes. I had thought of something similar but decided on this piece just being a static display. After I finish this one though I plan on building the Defiant as seen in the Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly." For that one I'll be using the vinyl aztecing masks I bought online to give her the full aztec treatment (it will be very subtle). I will also be using the CultTVMan nacelle lighting kit I bought years ago. It has a chaser circuit board for each engine wired to a disc with 12 red surface mount LEDs that simulate the turbine spin. I also will be using a 555 flasher board for the running lights a friend of mine built for me; he's since passed away so I plan on making a diagram showing how he wired this board so in future I can replicate it myslef. So that ship will be fully tricked out.
 

Underdog

Sr Member
Yes. I had thought of something similar but decided on this piece just being a static display. After I finish this one though I plan on building the Defiant as seen in the Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly." For that one I'll be using the vinyl aztecing masks I bought online to give her the full aztec treatment (it will be very subtle). I will also be using the CultTVMan nacelle lighting kit I bought years ago. It has a chaser circuit board for each engine wired to a disc with 12 red surface mount LEDs that simulate the turbine spin. I also will be using a 555 flasher board for the running lights a friend of mine built for me; he's since passed away so I plan on making a diagram showing how he wired this board so in future I can replicate it myslef. So that ship will be fully tricked out.
Coolbeans, they both sound like they're going to be awesome builds. Can't wait to see more. Believe it or not, I designed a circuit like the one that Steve sells and discussed it at length over at Starship Builder years ago, but all references have been scrubbed from the net. I wonder if I can find that by using the wayback machine? At any rate, you're doing a fine job, looking forward to updates.
 

trekriffic

Sr Member
Update with pics!

I glued the bussards in place and lit her up. These pics are a tad overexposed but you get the idea...





Pics from today...

I made a round headed post to fit inside the flight deck control beacon,drilled a countersunk hole into the upper cowling directly above the door control booth,inserted the mounting post into the hole and glued it with CA,glued the beacon dome to the mounting post with crystal clear craft glue, then puttied around the base of the metal collar with AVES. I'm going to start calling it the flight deck rather than the hangar bay since someone pointed out that the hangar is where craft are stored prior to being moved to the flight deck. In this case the Enterprise's hangar is below the flight deck.




Basically ready for priming. Still need to mask the stern beacon and the running lights. The deflector housing will be unlocked, masked and left dangling for priming separate from the rest of the ship. The horizontal inner nacelle grills were painted and masked. I used gunmetal metalizer as a base then brushed on aluminum metalizer. I didn't think to snap a photo but the aluminum over the dark gunmetal looks fantastic!








Paint for the main hull color...


There are a few other lights I might add after the first primer coat but I'll leave what those might be to your imagination.

Thanks for reading. Comments welcome!
 

trekriffic

Sr Member
Thanks Underdog. I didn't plan it but that ready for primer bow shot under the saucer is almost the same exact pose as Drexler's image from the calendar! Funny...
 

trekriffic

Sr Member
Pics from this weekend...

Masked and ready for the first coat of primer:




I wasn't satisfied with just using a decal for the impulse engine vents so I cut a piece of thin styrene sheet using an impulse engine from another 1/1000 kit as a template to trace the outline. Then I and cut out the rectangles with an exacto thin chisel blade and drilled the tiny center hole before gluing it to the face of the kit part. This is a nice improvement in my opinion and really defines the vent openings:



After priming I noticed several spots that needed more sanding so I dobbed on red putty as needed and sanded and sanded until I was satisfied everything was uber smooth. Based on the photos below, I'm quite satisfied that no seams are visible. After a quick go over with 600 grit to ensure absolute smoothness she'll be ready for the initial basecoat:











Thanks for reading!
 

trekriffic

Sr Member
It looks good, but I'm sorry.... at this scale, it's really hard to come up with good detail.
True. Showing much detail is rather a challenge at this scale. Conversely, one could also argue that, as elegant and iconic as Matt Jeffery's creation is, there really isn't a wealth of detail to show with this ship. And that's just fine with me.
 
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