USS Cygnus 1/700 - The Black Hole


Well-Known Member
Another lengthy gap between updates. Wrapping up the stern section or at least the main structures. Really nice to see it coming together. Also, starting to pay more attention to the bow section and how that will be assembled. Its a bit of a puzzle and will take some additional "engineering" I think. The parts do not fit as well as the stern. Maybe this is where Primitive Dave lost steam with the project, not sure.










Jedi Dade

Master Member
Dude that is simply killer! I do think you're right about the Bow... If memory servers that is where the issues with primitive Daves files cropped up. But you're so close now I have confidence you'll finish this up :).

Jedi Dade


Well-Known Member
A mix of things for this update. I started to test fit the bow section as well as dry fit a bunch of parts on the center section. Starts to really look like the Cygnus when the additional parts are on. For the "nest" parts in the center I had to remove a few mm from the transparent parts to get them to sit properly on the spine sections. Easy enough but was not expecting that. The bow armature box sits in the bow structure nicely but there were some extraneous pipes on the inside of the piece that had to be removed. I just snipped them off with a clippers and then the armature box fit perfectly. Again, was not expecting that but was an easy fix. Test fitting the wires that will power the engine lights was also fun. Figuring out where to channel them through the scaffolding structure was a bit of a puzzle. But all part of the fun of this project.








Well-Known Member
Probably too many pictures for this update but here goes. The connection between the bow and the center armature parts is a major pain in the ass. I guess the design was not really finished or it could be that I am just not looking at it correctly. Either way I just could not get the parts to fit properly with the original design so some improvisation was needed. The armature part between the two areas need to be significantly slimmer so thankfully my son's skills in Solidworks saved the day. He redesigned the parts and I had them recut. That was a whole other drama with Pololu and file formats but I have to say their customer support was unbelievably amazing. The large hole in the piece was designed in for running wires. Now the armature insert sits flush with the 3D printed model part which it was not doing previously.







While I was waiting for parts to be cut I continued to detail out the center span. There are tanks that fit into either end and they are a bit of a puzzle. I figured it out eventually from looking at reference pics but it was a head scratcher.



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Well-Known Member
I am sure there are better ways to build this model and if I was ever to do it again (probably zero chance of that) I have learned a lot and would do things very differently. I needed to work on the model from below so I made a jig to hold it turned over. Worked out pretty well and was a lot easier than stooping down and trying to contort myself in various ways.



Also worked out the wiring to the front engines. I had to cut holes in the engines which was another delicate job as I was trying to make it as inconspicuous as possible.







Well-Known Member
Wrapping up the bow section and gluing all the parts on. The fit was a bit fiddly as several parts have to be glued at the same time, at least the way I did it. I also lined the dome housings with silver foil to try to help with reflecting light and adding a bit to the brightness of the LEDs. Not sure if it actually did anything but it didn't hurt. Starting to look and feel like the Cygnus........finally!









Well-Known Member
Been working on a base for the Cygnus model in parallel. I got a bunch of extra detail stuff from Marc Noonan and he had designed a pretty cool base to go with the 1/700 Cygnus. I got the parts/layers cut in acrylic at Polulu and again there was just an insane amount of back and forth with file format issues. But the level of customer support and patience was amazing. Massive shout out to Arthur Rodriguez there for all the help in getting everything sorted out. I ended up going a bit off script from Marc's design and opted to go with a translight image of a black hole with the Cygnus flying into it. I got it printed at the FedEx store as they have the material and really big printers! I didn't have the highest resolution images to work with so its a little dodgy but the overall effect is nice, I think.
The base effectively became the power supply for the lights in the model. My son designed a part to hold a switch and a plug for an external power supply. We had to cut a slot in the acrylic layers to make it fit. Acrylic is seriously a pain in the ass to cut and work. I guess if you have a laser cutter its awesome but I do not so lots of sawing and filing to get it to fit. Attaching the model to the base was also pretty traumatic as there is a share of handling of the model itself needed. Luckily the Cygnus is pretty light but its very delicate. So we were really glad when we had it attached. The top 3 layers of the base were adapted to form a "lid" that can slide up and down the brass supports to access the guts of the base. We installed some magnets to help keep it closed but also ended up adding some registration tabs so there is no movement of the lid from side to side. Pushing hard to get this done over the Christmas holiday!!











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