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February Updates - 2018

Hi Everyone! This months updates are pretty good. First I have started to add the Black Velvet Material to the Base of the model. This will help make the model appear to floating over the base. The panel frames will be supported by two screws on each side of the frames to hold the structure up and help keep it level. This is also a very good sign because it means that I will soon be adding the Enterprise permanently into the drydock, then adding the port side panel frame assembly into place. I've added all of the wiring and some new lighting to the rear hanger bay on the dock by using the LED light strips. They have some interesting details on the strips that would make the lights appear to be a natural fixture on the dock. I will also be replacing the lightings on all the other hanger on the dock as well. It just looks better. 
On the Enterprise I was originally going to use magnets to hold the two saucer halves together, but because the pieces don't line up very well, I've decided to permanently seal up the saucer. The LEDs should last quite a long time and even if there were a problem it would be impossible to work on the Enterprise in the dock unless I take the whole port side off of the dock and remove the ship. That Ain't gonna happen. In cementing the saucer together, I've found a lot of other gaps that needed to be fixed or repaired. The bottom impulse engine does not meet up with the saucer, so I had to use some styrene and putty to fix that problem. Also, the collar of the Dorsal was not molded very well so I had to replace that as well and then putty, sand and repaint all of these areas. Where the pylons meet the secondary hull there was a gap at that point, so I've puttied that as well on both pylons. The reason for holding off on that was because the model was going to be handled a lot before I added it to the drydock and I knew because of the stresses and weight of the model there would be cracks forming in the putty. So I waited until now so there would be less handling of the model. I also did the same with the Deflector Housing. Because of the way the Secondary hull was molded and put together the two halves did not line-up, so there was a gap on the port side where the pieces would meet. I was originally going to use magnets with this part as well, but decided to seal it permanently and putty up the seam to get rid of the gaps.
There are just a few more touch-ups to do and then the Enterprise will finally be added to the dock. I can then add the Port Side Panel framework and begin the final wiring of the model.
On a side note, there might be another delay with this build as my landlord decided not to pay his mortgage and has gone into foreclosure with our unit so we will be moving to another location. But I will try to get back to this project asap.
I have 11 new pics in the February Updates - 2018 page. Check-em out and I'll get back to you soon. Have a great month everyone.

January Updates - 2018

Everyone! My apologies for the delays. I really have been working on my build, it's just that life keeps interfering with my progress. 

As a Note to all visitors, my website will be discontinued around May of 2018. I'm just having too many technical problems with this site builder so I will be posting mainly on the forums that I'm involved with. I'm really sorry about this. So If you want to lift or copy any of the photos on my site in the Member's Gallery Page please feel free to use them as reference photos for your own personal use. I'll will let you know when the exact cut-off date is when the time gets closer. Thanks to all who have visited over the years and thanks for the comments as well.

For my January updates I have cast resin pieces for the outside details of the hanger bay. I had to make transparent pieces so I can make the lighting effects. I will next opaque these pieces and mask small parts of the casting to allow light to pass through them.

I also was asked by my client to put in some different lighting in the saucer sections. So I pulled out all of the fluorescent lighting and ballasts and replaced them with LED light strips. This was a very good idea because the lighting will have a longer lifetime in the model. I then also put some white styrene strips into the saucer section  for the LED lighting to reflect off of. I was going to insert pictures of the corridors onto those walls, but they was not enough depth to them. My client also wanted to see figures walking through some of the corridors giving more scale to the size of the ship. So I did what I originally wanted to do with the interior and that was build some 3D versions of the corridors. I built one master so I could make a mold from it and cast several pieces in clear resin. This would allow the lighting to shine through the light panels which are located at the bottom panels of all of the corridors. I cast the pieces in resin then I masked off all of the panels. I sprayed the front of the pieces in Flat White to help reflect some of the light. I then sprayed over that in Flat Black and made sure there were no light leaks. The next color was a blue/gray for the floors and the side supports. I then hand painted all of the other panels in aluminum. Next I took a strip of styrene and painted it Flat Red then I cut the strip into pieces and used them for the Doors to the crew Quarters. When everything was finished, I put the castings into an oven at 170F for about ten minutes to soften the pieces then I bent them into a curved shape resembling the curve of the outer rim of the saucer. Next I put them into the freezer for about 10 minutes so the resin would then harden again into the new permanent shape. I still had to belt sand the tops and bottoms of the pieces to allow them to fit into the sauce. I then aligned the castings behind the viewports and cemented them in place. Next, I secured the LED strips onto the back sides of the castings, which were never painted, and aligned them to show through the light panels on the corridors. Then I put electrical tape over all of the backs of the corridors so there would not be any light leaks. I also found these sheets of a rubber like substance in a crafts store. I cut long strips of this stuff and put them around the entire edge of the top of the saucer to help keep light from shining through the seam of the saucer halves. It was a lot of work, but it was worth the effort to give the corridors a little bit of depth when you look through the viewports.

I have 16 new photos which can be viewed in the January Updates - 2018 Album on the above bar.

I can now finally seal up the saucer and get ready to permanently add the Enterprise to it's new home in the Dock. Again, thanks for your patience and I apologize for the long wait for this update. Hopefully now I can get this build finished. See you next update.