TOS USS Constellation (AMT studio model replica)

Discussion in 'Studio Scale Models' started by JMChladek, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    For the past few weeks, I've been building up a long box 18" AMT Starship Enterprise kit as the USS Constellation from the episode "The Doomsday Machine". The reason I am using a long box kit is because it is the proper tooling to use for this model (the original 1966 vintage tooling wore out by 1975 and the tooling used after that was almost totally different).

    Using the screen captures I've found here (mainly in the AMT studio model thread), I've tried to add the proper battle damage in spots, using what I've seen in those images to guide me. This won't be a 100% exact replication and indeed I may go a bit more detailed on the paintjob and the decals, but it is certainly in the spirit as my damage areas are being made with stretched sprue, styrene bits and aluminum foil, as that looks like what the effects house used back then.

    In any event, I've uploaded three in progress videos to youtube detailing my work (with inspiration from Steve's "The Enterprise Project") as it were. So have a look if you want!

    18" USS Constellation Project (part 1) - YouTube

    18" USS Constellation Project (Part 2) - YouTube

    18" USS Constellation Project (Part 3) - YouTube

    I'll be uploading still photos of the conversion soon as well as I have been shooting a few during the build.
     
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  2. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Very cool, I enjoyed the vids.
     
  3. trekman1017

    trekman1017 Well-Known Member

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    These decals were designed by David Shaw who is making plans of the original kit. The decals were biased off the original kit decals and the windows that were etched on the hull.
     
  4. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    I've thought about using these, but I have plenty of decals sitting around anyway and I am leaning towards doing the windows closer to what the Enterprise studio model had, partly because it doesn't seem like the Connie had all the windows painted on anyway. My thoughts are since I am not doing a 100% total replication (say more like 95% as I am tweaking it in spots to make it a little better looking than the cheaper style damage), I am probably going to tweak the paintjob a little as well under the premise that the Constellation "might" have looked like this if the production crew had more of a budget to spend. I already accurized the bottom of the saucer a little to get rid of the dimples down there and add the three rings. Since we never saw that area on camera, nothing says I couldn't do it. :)

    But I am still on the fence about that. The one set of AMT windows I am definitely leaving on is on the back of the saucer in front of the starboard pylon since we saw it so clearly in the episode.

    In any event, I have enough long box models sitting around that I can use one for window reference if I should decide to put the AMT style windows on. But thanks for showing an image of these. I at least downloaded the image for use as a sizing guide.
     
  5. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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  6. KUROK

    KUROK Well-Known Member

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    Nice job! Enjoying the vids.
     
  7. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    I'll be posting a new video soon, but I wanted to make mention of a couple things. For my paint selection, I decided to try the Tamiya JN Gray color that Newitt recommended as being a nice off the shelf model paint shade close to Walmart "Concrete" which in tern is a close match to the 11 foot E color chip. Well, it is indeed a nice color, but too dark in the bottle. Mixing it with 10% white probably gets it close to what the studio model had (and it might work fine for the 1/350 E) but it really needs some lightening for the smaller stuff, probably more like 20 to 25% white.

    So I mixed up a batch last night. I've probably got closer to 40% white in my first batch, but since the Constellation studio model looks so washed out in coloring anyway (and I doubt the effects builders used the GM color on it since it was plastic, UNLESS they shot a good primer coat on it first). The final coloring I ended up with seems about right. I'll use the original full strength JN gray on the patches on the bottom of the warp nacelles and the front of the center pylon.
     
  8. ILMwannabe

    ILMwannabe Active Member

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    Fantastic Jay - you do really good work.
     
  9. feek61

    feek61 Sr Member

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    Looks great!! I had heard that on the original that they used balled-up aluminum foil for the destroy engine nacelles. Just thought that I would mention it. Enjoy your videos.
     
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  10. trekman1017

    trekman1017 Well-Known Member

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    beside the actual episode where else is there info on this?
     
  11. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    The foil is what I've been using here as well for all the engine damaged areas except for the conduits in the pylon use some form of balled up foil in spots in combination with styrene strip and sprue bits. My guess is the original used perhaps wire strands and maybe pieces of unmelted solder for the strand like bits.

    Other than the episode, I haven't found ANYTHING on this model. I don't even know if it existed after the episode (it was seen in "Ultimate Computer" as the Excalibur after the M-5 trashed it, but that was a re-used distance viewscreen shot to disguise its origins).

    Part of me is hoping once I finish this model and pictures of it get out that maybe somebody who knows SOMETHING about the original will come forward to tell its story. I know Datin didn't work on it as apparently his last assignment for the studio was converting a concept model of the Douglas corp's "sombrero hat" space station into deep space station K-7.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  12. SD Studios

    SD Studios Well-Known Member

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    Looks great so far!.

    I watched all of the videos...waitng for the next installment. The anticipation is killing me! :lol

    I actually JUST finished my model. Great minds and all...
     
  13. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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  14. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    Well, Part 6 has just been uploaded. This one pretty much covers my planet killer display for the stand rather than the model itself. Still, it might give somebody ideas for similar presentations. Enjoy!

    18" USS Constellation Project (Part 6) - YouTube
     
  15. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    Just a quickie update. The model is almost done as I spent a good portion of yesterday evening applying most of the decals. Thanks for the link to Shaw's decals as I went ahead and downloaded them and resized them for my use and had the ships name and registry numbers printed on my ALPS-1000. Once I applied them to the model, the results were perfect as Shaw nailed the shape and proportions of the Constellation name and numbers just perfectly (and they look dead on accurate to the studio model numbers).

    I didn't use his windows though as I opted to go for closer to Enterprise style windows. So I am using the Round 2 AMT decals for that. I am also using several of the stencil markings on the ship as well for a little up close touch. Many of these markings can't be seen at the filming angles from the episode and those that are wouldn't show up well anyway. I'm also adding a couple minor tweaks of my own, including a pilot 2 style grill decal to the back of the stock AMT warp nacelle (I never did like the totally blank appearance in the episode).

    So, I just have a few more markings to apply, then I will clean the decal residue off once they are down fully, flat coat, go to town with the pastel chalks and I can declare it done. In the meantime, I'll shoot one more video tonight once the rest of the decals are down as an update in addition to some work in progress still photos. But, it looks like I am in the home stretch now. Stay tuned!
     
  16. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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  17. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Looking good. Can you pass me a slice of saucer pie?
     
  18. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    Why? Fake food would be more appetizing. ;)
     
  19. trekriffic

    trekriffic Sr Member

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    Wonderful work on the damage so far. Looks much like the original.
     
  20. feek61

    feek61 Sr Member

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    Oh man that looks really great!!! This is my favorite TOS episode and you are doing a fantastic job on the Connie. In the 70's I built a couple but I was just a kid. You make me want to build a new one. One thing I remember about the one we see on screen is the windows around the B/C deck were very prominent. I'm looking forward to seeing her finished up!!
     
  21. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    Just remember she doesn't have all the decals on yet. I have a few more windows to apply and I might strip the neck pylon decals off of one side and apply new ones since their position doesn't seem symetric with the other side (it will be a judgement call). I have a few windows I need to add to the saucer as well, including the B-C deck teardrop windows. Shaw's NCC-1017 numbers and Constellation name worked perfect for the saucer and engines BTW. I was going to use the PL ones, but Shaw got the lettering down perfect for that "AMT studio model" appearance.
     
  22. feek61

    feek61 Sr Member

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    I know you are not done with the saucer; the B/C windows are just something for some reason that I always remember about that model. That is the only reason I mentioned it; I was sure you were going to get to them. Looks grand!!
     
  23. Shaw

    Shaw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the compliment!

    Between this model and the 1/1000 Constellation Gregatron has been working on, I'm really glad that I took the time to do Constellation versions of the AMT decal markings as well as restoring the Enterprise ones.

    I was really hoping that someone would do a great reproduction of the Constellation as she appeared in TOS, and now there are two of them!

    Outstanding workmanship on this build. It is amazing to see it come together.
     
  24. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    Well thanks again for doing the artwork Shaw. I'll be honest as I was originally going to use either the Round 2 kit decals instead or some other aftermarkets in my stash. But, after comparing them to what you did, you got the unique look of those AMT markings down cold! Plus, the more condensed rub on transfer font used on the Constellation's name looked perfect as well. So, it was a no brainer. I'm having to print off a couple of additional markings for my model, so I'll be throwing some of the AMT windows on there as well as it is a nice time saver compared to positioning individual window decals on the B-C deck and the saucer. The majority of the windows are the Round 2 AMT dark pilot ones to give the ship a look closer to that of the Enterprise. But, there were some more obvious AMT window features I need to add to it to complete the look.
     
  25. Shaw

    Shaw Well-Known Member

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    If it helps, I put up an EPS version of the sheet I put together (it was what I sent to JT Graphics to have my copies made up). You can find it here:
    This is a beautiful build... I can't wait to see it done!
     
  26. Airwolf

    Airwolf New Member

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    Last time I saw this it was still in pieces nd you had just started with the details. I'm glad to see the progress you have made on it and can't wait to see you bring it to the meeting in a few weeks.
     
  27. crowe t

    crowe t Active Member

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    Jay, This build is coming along beautifully! :thumbsup

    It's nice to see a build up of a long box AMT Enterprise kit.
     
  28. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    All I need to do is finish the dang thing, but some sort of nasty cold or mild flu has been kicking my rear end since just before New Years. I seem to be getting over it though.

    I just have to add two more pieces of bent conduit to match what I found in my reference photos, do a minor tweak to the paint and the pastel chalk weathering can take place.
     
  29. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    No pictures yet, but I got the pastel chalk weathering on the model last night and it looks like I was hoping it would. I think I've captured the spirit of the Constellation rather nicely, even if it isn't a 100% total replication (certainly over 90% though). Only reason I haven't uploaded pictures yet is my primary system had a nuisance virus on it yet and getting rid of it seems to have disabled my LAN port. Plus I've been fighting a nasty resperatory infection this week as well.

    So give it a day or two and I'll upload photos of the Constellation in all its Planet Killer trashed glory.
     
  30. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    I hope you and the computer feel better soon :)
     
  31. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    Okay, how about some pictures? These were kind of a rush job with out good lighting, but they should showcase the model nicely:

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    [​IMG]
     
  32. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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  33. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Very nice! I like the way you kept it close to the screen model, with just enough extra detail to look good up close.
     
  34. dbuck

    dbuck Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That is wonderful, and I also love the stand.
     
  35. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    Thanks Rob. That was exactly the effect I was trying to shoot for. If I had gone overboard, I would have stuck it in General Modeling. But since I was trying to shoot for a studio replica with a little more detailing, that dictated the approach I wanted to take with it.
     
  36. feek61

    feek61 Sr Member

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    Great Job!!! She really turned out nice.
     
  37. fraley1701

    fraley1701 Member

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    This came out really nice Jay! I think the battle damage looks spot on from what can be seen in the original episode. Several other interpretations of this model I have seen, tend to over-do-it on the battle damage. Your version looks perfect to my eyes! :thumbsup
     
  38. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    +1
    And great idea for the stand! :thumbsup
     
  39. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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  40. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This would undoubtedly eclipse the original in almost every way that counts. Youve done such a fine job that I think this really proves that these studio utilized kits can become accurate replicas. And with the amount of interpretation required to finish there's still some room for creativity.

    The base is an amazing compliment but I don't think you need the plaque.
     
  41. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    Thanks Paul. I appreciate that. I suppose if I had drilled the stand hole in the dead center and mounted the maw around it there, a plaque wouldn't have been needed. But, it looks a little naked on one side without something and just a maw on the other side. I may change what I have there for a plaque to something better (as it looks a little small), but I'll have to think about that somewhat. Of course, I've also got plenty of time to decide on that before Wonderfest rolls around in May.
     
  42. Bryancd

    Bryancd Master Member

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    Really well done and the stand is great!
     
  43. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh, and thanks for posting pics! For whatever reason, I don't find myself watching linked videos very often.
     
  44. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    LOL, no problem. I mainly shot the videos because it was something new I was trying and it helps to at least get my thoughts across. I admit I don't always have time to check other videos either, since it can take time out to do, time which I might need for something else.
     
  45. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    I thought I would give this a minor bump after the recent studio scale discussion. I am not trying to re-hash that thread of course since the mods closed it for a reason obviously (as it has been asked and answered numerous times before). But, as my model shows, it qualifies as "studio scale" since this kit is exactly what the effects guys used for the original episode.

    Technically, one could probably build an MPC 1/41 scale X-Wing and build it like one of the X-Wings (or likely one X-Wing shot several times) seen briefly in the hyperspace exit scene in ROTJ and it would still qualify as studio scale (although they didn't look all that well built IMHO).

    So some modelers might consider it "cheating" to go this route, but my point is not all studio scale replicas have to be expensive or heavily kitbased from original parts. Even the effects studios have used model kits as is from time to time and these potentially make nice projects if the right one comes along.
     
  46. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If anything commercial kits used by fx teams would be a sub category of Studio Scale. Just because it's simpler than scratch building and sourcing hundreds worth of kits doesn't mean it's a cheat. These models do belong in this category.

    Now I could see the grey area on things like that X Wing. Unless you were painting it to look exactly like theirs then yes it should be here, but why bother? And what about a mustard yellow Stargazer? Technically it's a set decoration/prop but it's also the study model for the fx miniature. So does that make it equal to the early Star Wars concept models we find here?

    These are all questions that can be answered one at a time by the mods as soon as we build them. Either way these are fun and can be relatively bargain builds.

    Again, it's a great model and true to what is seen on screen.
     
  47. ozzyguanche

    ozzyguanche Sr Member

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    I don't spend enough time in the studio scale section it seems. I missed this totally.

    Your painting and weathering are always top notch.

    Ozzy
     
  48. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    I'm not a big fan of necro bumping threads (especially my own). But, since William Windom passed away this week (or was it last), I thought I would give this thread a bump with my model as a tribute to the actor who played Decker in "The Doomsday Machine". I would say if it wasn't for Windom's performance, I don't think the episode would have been quite as memorable as it was (cheesy effects with a trashed AMT model kit not withstanding).

    And a belated thanks to Ozzy for the nice compliment. :)
     
  49. Quinn

    Quinn Active Member

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    I'm glad for the bump, since I missed this thread over the winter. Nice work. That base is a great idea.
     
  50. Studio B

    Studio B New Member

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    Yeah thanks for bumping it.....I missed it too. Great work!
     

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