TOS USS Constellation (AMT studio model replica)

JMChladek

Sr Member
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.
 

trekman1017

Well-Known Member
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.
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
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.
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
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.
 

feek61

Sr Member
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.
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
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.
 
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SD Studios

Well-Known Member
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...
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
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!
 

feek61

Sr Member
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!!
 
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