Joe Walters’ Enterprise A


I recently completed an Enterprise-A model. This is the Star Trek IV kit, the first one with the crappy random panel lines; I attempted to defeat them in a rather lazy manner, hitting the whole surface of the thing with two primer coats followed by three coats of white followed by two coats of Future, hoping the smaller panel lines would mostly fill in and leave the larger (correct) panel lines intact. This sorta worked; the bad lines are not gone but are greatly attenuated and are not nearly as distracting as before.

You can see much of the engine nacelle detail and the upper primary hull (you can see the aztec pattern). Lots more decals on this beast than one might expect! The rings around the saucer are thin blue lines from the McDaniel sheet.

I used a nice bright white for the basic hull, then mixed two light grays. Light Gray 1 was made of a half-bottle of Floquil Reefer White plus four drops of Testors Chrome Silver. This is a VERY subtle off-white! Gray 2, slightly darker, was a quarter bottle of Reefer White plus six drops of Chrome Silver.

I used the Walker Enterprises “aztec” templates for painting the upper and lower primary hulls; these are GREAT! Even with the bad panel lines present, they did a nice job of masking out the aztec patterns.

All of the aztec patterns were done with Gray 1 over white. Other panel markings over the ship were done with Gray 1 and Gray 2 along with two light greens I mixed after referencing Chris Paveglio’s excellent “Accurizing AMT’s Enterprise Model”

Other than the Walker Enterprises templates, all other masking was done with drafting tape, a flexible straightedge and Mr. X-Acto.

I picked up two excellent supplement decal sheets from Don’s Light & Magic and McDaniel Models

The windows along the outer edge of the saucer were covered with clear decal film as a by-product of applying the three blue stripes you’ll see in the photos. Though I didn’t get a shot of it, I did drill out and filethose @#$!! square rec room windows (anybody make a square Dremel bit?).All other windows on the model were covered via Micro Kristal-Klear.

I like the look of the panel lines on the secondary hull and the dorsal interconnect in this shot. You can also see the portside saucer docking hatch airlock thing, and the tiny writing on either side of same.

The included stand is MUCH too flimsy for this huge model, which wants to tip it over no matter what. I ended up epoxying the stand to a hunk of wood, and that held it upright.

The photon tubes and the blue main deflector dish. I got that effect by painting the deflector dish completely white as a separate part, coating it with Future so I could undo any major screwups, then airbrushing a highly-thinned light blue across the dish, allowing the paint flow to just hit the far side of the dish, which I rotated by hand. This caused a very slight amount of blue to lay onto the plastic, and I could coat it over and over until I liked what I had.

You can even pick out the varied-color vertical panels (white, Gray 1 and Gray 2) along the outer edge of the saucer along with the botanical garden windows (dark here), the groove-things on the leading edges of the warp pylons, and much underside detail.

This ship class is my personal fave of all the Enterprises to date, and it was fun to do if a bit hectic (I was racing a deadline to get it done for that contest!). I do have a ST:TMP Enterprise kit still in shrinkwrap (be jealous!) that I intend to do up grandly with lights and all eventually (probably sometime in 2001 or so), and this was good practice for that project. I learned a lot about how I should have gone about it… 🙂

-Joe Walters

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