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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.


September Updates - 2017

Hi Everyone. I've been making a little more progress with the dock build. I've added some magnets to the engineering section to hole the Deflector dish assembly in place. This will make the Housing removable in case someone needs to get to some of the engineering electronics. I've also added the wiring and LEDs for both the Deflector Ramp on/Ramp off effects as well as adding the Photon torpedo firing effects to the launching tubes. I still need to fix a few of the light leeks but the effect look very nice. I've added a small video for those who would like to view the effects. I've also built some lighting housing for the running lights that are seen on the drydock mainly on the front end. I was having trouble figuring out how I was going to wire these until I found some speaker coil wire which is extremely thin. Once it's painted up it will be difficult to see on the model. I've added 8 pics to the September 2017 page... I've also added a new short video with the Deflector dish  and Photon Torpedo lighting tests. By the next updates I will have the Shuttle bay details added to the outside of the hanger deck and will begin to permanently wire all of the electronics to the circuit boards that are inside the Starboard side overhead modules. See you next update.




August Updates - 2017

This has been an eventful month. Adding the Test video of the Enterprise flyby to my library has given me a little extra motivation. I want to thank all of you who have checked out the video on youtube.  I am looking forward to making my own ST:TMP version of the flyby when I'm finished, shot for shot. Also I'm planning on making an additional version that would include portions of the Enterprise and Drydock  that were not shown in TMP. Any ideas? Let me know.

In this month's update I've been concentrating on getting all of the wiring done for all of the hanger bays on both the front and aft sides of the dock. I finally was able to hook up all of the chase lighting on all of the hangers as well as their overhead lighting. I wanted to have the overhead lighting on the hangers rather than the rear walls glowing to make the modules appear more like a gigantic space warehouse for supplying and/or repairing any starship that might pull into this humungous dock for repair/refit/resupply.  This is also why I wanted everyone to see inside at least one of the hangers. If I didn't need the support framework on the inside of the modules to hold the model up, I would have made the hanger even deeper into the model. But space was limited. But, I've permanently added the shuttles into the hanger deck and at least four of them are lit. I will be adding crewmembers as well as work bees and cargo containers to add depth of scale to the dock. I also added some red LEDs to the front hanger as seen in TMP. I would guess that the RED lights would be a warning to small craft that it is not safe to enter the dock at this point. That is why on the open hanger on the aft side I'm using green LEDs to indicate it is safe for departure or arrival onto the hanger. The chase lighting on the open hanger is heading outward indicating clearance for launch.

I've also added the top f the module to port side of the dock in one of the pictures. I wanted to make sure it seated the right way and would not interfere with any of the wiring and optical fibers. It fits very snug and can be removed to access the lighting and wiring.

Getting back to the Enterprise, I am adding some super strong magnets to a few parts of the ship. Mainly the saucer and the main deflector dish housing. This will also allow access to some of the wiring. I will be finishing that wiring up as well as for the photon torpedo launchers. There are a few more small details I have to add to the ship and then do another wiring test before I seal everything up. I can then add the Enterprise permanently to the dock structure and wire it into place. After that I can begin adding the port side panel frame assembly. Keep checking for the updates. I can actually see an end coming for this build. FINALLY! Then I can look forward to making some nice HERO shots as well as the long awaited FLYBY Video. Exciting times!

Well that's it for this update. Enjoy the pics in the August Updates 2017 page. Talk to you in a month or so.




July Updates - 2017 - Supplemental...

Okay, I usually don't jump ahead of my posts here, but I just had to add this to the blog.... I recently purchased a 80cm motorized camera dolly and I wanted to use it for several special photography effects on the side. But most importantly, when I finished the drydock build I wanted to make a duplicate flyby movie that would match ST:TMP's drydock flyby. I made a few passes with the model in it's unfinished state to get an idea of what I can do for a final project for this build. The results of the tests came out very good even though the lighting was not corrected the models are incomplete, none of the effects lighting is operating and there is no space background. But if you could just ignore all of that and take a look at the video's potential, you might understand why I had to do an early posting of this video. Now I really can't wait to finish this project. Take a look at the RECENT VIDEOS section on the home page under ENTERPRISE FLYBY - TEST. See you in a few weeks



July Updates - 2017

Hey Everyone! My apologies to all for the big delay. As you may have noticed my website was hacked and my version of my is no longer functioning for my website. I have had to update my site to and try to clean up as much of the garbage that the hackers have caused and try to get things back in order as best as I could. I've had a few setbacks with the Drydock build, sick relatives and other problems have caused further delays. Although I do have a small update for this month I think you'll find some of it interesting.

I became discouraged when I found out that I made a mis-calculation with my armature for the ship. This armature was to keep the ship level inside the dock and also allow it to appear to be floating while inside the dock. I poured over ways to correct this problem including some extremely thin steel fishing line that would hold the engines level with the dock.  I decided to do what I did with my 1/350 scale dock armature and just bend the heck out of the thing until it help the ship upright and level the way I wanted it to.

Using a pair of pipe wrenches, I found the point where the armature meets the connection rod and pushing in opposite directions I twisted the armature enough to pre-load the tension in order to hold the weight of the ship in place. I have a pic of how I was able to do this in the July Updates - 2017 page. It took me a couple of tries, but I finally got the ship to appear level inside the dock. She FLOATS! I exclaimed! Anyway that was a huge hurtle to get past. Now I can finish the wiring for the main deflector dish and torpedo launchers and finally seal off the saucer section and get ready to add the port side panel frames into  place. 

In other areas I had to replace the hanger deck on the aft side of the Dock. Some of the fiber optics were not lining up the way I wanted to so I redid the entire deck. It looks much better now and I have all of the chase lighting done for the entire aft end of the modules. The small hangers have the chase lighting heading into the deck whereas the larger hanger has the lighting running in take-off mode with a few shuttles in position for launch. I should be able to get more done in the upcoming month. Once again I apologize for the long delays. Hang in there and I'll get this thing done soon. Thanks for your patience and keep checking for more updates.