On The Bench 209: Marc King’s PL Refit Enterprise 4

Start  with part 1
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More from Marc King’s build up of the refit from Polar Lights.

Moving into the paint phase now, this is not an exercise for those without patience and it does require a lot of time. I have about 4 hours just in the masking of the nacelles and secondary hull, this includes applying the templates. I’m not going to get technical about all the paints I used at this point, I’ll compile a list and some of the steps I took and forward this to Steve. There are a lot of different paints and some were mixed up by myself to get the certain colors I was looking for. I went for a more subdued look on the Big E because I felt this looked better in relation to the scale.

The templates were a bit of a challenge, for the most part they fit where they’re supposed to fit give or take. One negative thing I have to say about them is that the vinyl material was not cut deep enough which causes a lot of headaches when trying to separate the shapes from the carrier sheet as well as once they are laid down on the parts. All in all I think they are very well executed and really will do your model justice if used properly. So I would highly recommend them to anyone.

These photos show the basic process I used of first painting the darker aztec patterns over my initial flat white layer. This was then diffused with a very thinned down layer of the same flat white base coat to blend everything together. The next step involved doing the various greys and blue tones followed up by the same process of blending all the shades together.

There’s still some small details to add but overall I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. I never set out to try and build the “ultimate Big E” here, I simply went with what I thought would look good keeping in mind what the ship actually looked like on film. I would encourage everyone to go and have some fun with this build and not try to be too anal about it.

The primary hull is next so stay tuned!

Here are a few additional tips from Marc:

Mounting on the base: There is a piece of threaded rod that runs up thru the copper pipe from the bottom of the base to the inside of the hull. In the base the rod is fastened with washers and bolts, in the hull it runs up thru the center of a flat strip of copper, about a 1/4″ thick. It’s just a flat bar that runs from one side of the hull to the other with a hole drilled in the middle to allow the rod to pass thru, and gives you a flat surface to fasten the bolts onto. Take care not to overtighten the bolts, the bar will dig into the plastic and you’ll see the mark on the outside, trust me!!. The idea here was to have something solid to hold the ship to the stand and at the same time the larger diameter tube gives you room to run wires for lighting.

The windows: First off with the window problem, the larger ones as in the lounge and botany section will have to be pieces cut to the proper shape and size to fit the areas, made from 0.010″ clear styrene. Anything thicker and you’ll distort the viewing area inside. I’m working on some vacformed shapes made from clear butyrate that I may make available with the light schematic I’m also working on. As for the smaller windows, spotlights, etc. these are small enough to be filled in after the painting stage with MicroScale- Micro Crystal Clear. This is a great product for making small windows and is easily applied with a toothpick.

Lighting: , I am planning on using fluorescent tubes for the nacelles and I’ve tried out a technique that looks really cool. If you look at the clear piece for the nacelle there are grooves and raised areas, when the grooves are masked off and the clear raised areas painted this leaves only the lower areas to be lit up and you get that look they had on the ship in the movies with the lines. Sounds complicated maybe but really it’s not. As for the rest of the ship I’m planning on loosing the whole cargo bay area assembly and using the space inside for electronics. The secondary hull and primary hull can be easily lit by using mini flashlight bulbs. As for the flashy stuff like the running lights, etc this will all be done with led’s and controlled from a circuit board.

Onto part 5

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