Building a Better Bridge part 2 by Don Matthys

Back to Part 1

Don Matthys continues the Better Bridge project with new panels for the Bridge kit that feature accurate upper view screens and openings for lighting.

My first attempt to build the Command Bridge kit by AMT happened in 1995.


This is an impressive sculpt of William Shatner as Cpt James T. Kirk by Andrea Miniatures.  This all metal 54mm figure needs an all new base to command a Federation Starship from.


The first items to get set up is all new station wall castings.

  • The monitors and status screens were all opened up.
  • The screens and monitors were retooled with a steps in back to accept clear plastic with decals or graphics. This will fit the forward a bit more…more authentic.
  • A 4th section was made for the Half Station…That is still in the RTV molds

 The first section I decided to work on is the Engineering Station… Just off to the left of the Turbolift Doors.


A computer flat bed scanner helped me make some art from the clear countertop castings.  This art helps me mark where I could cut out holes to let the light shine trough. The usefull tool in this situation is a Dremel Motertool with some inexpensive End Mill/Drill Bits from Harbor Freight Tools


I start out with pilot holes…Then start cutting sideways. Cleaner edges are refined with a file.


The casting flash is removed and a series of clear frosted plastic squares and rectangles was cut from template mylar plastic found in craft stores.This test shows how light behaves with frosted plastic sheets.  Later I will scan the clear parts and draw up a cutting template to fit to the opened up wall castings. Or as a pattern to be cut by a laser.


A test fit of the countertop clear cast panel.

Test Fit of the clear cast panel. Double sided tape holds it in place temporary

When I put lighting any type of model…. A coating of black is sprayed onto the back side. Then followed up with a gloss white.

The next step…I may actually get to glue something!

Part 3 coming soon

Leave a Reply