JULY UPDATES - 2018
Back on track for this month! I was able to Finish off the top of the display base by tacking down the Velvet material so that is now set. I can now prepare to add the trim and begin work on the lighting controls. In This month's update I have made some lighting test shots of the light panels and mark lighting. But first I had to square off the frame of the drydock. This needed to be done because the added weight of the Enterprise was causing one side of the dock to sag. So I had to level off the top of the dock by adding a cable and a turnbuckle to help even things out. This also allowed me to make the side panels square with the rest of the dock.. Next I have to do some tweaking of the individual panels to make sure they are all straight. I am now running all of the ships wiring down the back of the support frame to the switch board which will control certain lighting effects on both the ship and the dock. The new pics are posted on the July Updates - 2018 page. The lighting test shots came out pretty good. Check 'em out and I'll see you on the next update.
JUNE UPDATES - 2018
My Apologies everyone, Mom passed away in March so My Wife and I have been busy taking care of the related matters. But everything has calmed down now so I was able to start up again on the drydock.
I left off on adding the Black velvet to the display base of the model. I was able to finish this plus add some support screws for the light panel frame assembly. These will help keep the frames from swaying and sagging. With the Enterprise touched up I was able to add it permanently to the dock. The ship is now locked into place with two screws. The ship is now free floating inside the structure. I also began running all of the wiring from the ship up the through the armature structure. As soon as I add the travel pod docking pod to the outside of the dock I can then seal up the armature arm and paint it to look like the rest of the dock. Now comes the painful part of the assembly where I have to add the port side panel frame assembly. In order to make it fit around the armature support arm I had to cut into two of the panel frames. This unfortunately weakens the structure a bit until I can re-support the frames so they won't sag. I also had to secure all of the frames to the overhead modules via some lock-nuts screws and dome nuts. It took a while to adjust everything together, but now the Enterprise is completely surrounded by the dock. Next I will be testing all of the wiring to make sure everything lights up. I've also taken all of the work-cranes and lights out and will soon be adding them to the structure. Then of course they all have to be wired in. I have 6 new pics in the June Updates - 2018 page. Don't be alarmed if the panels do not appear strait. I still have to tweak the support frames but at least you'll be able to see a little bit of progress. That's it for this update and it's good to be back. See you soon!
March and April Updates were on hold due to my mom's passing. For those who are interested I posted a video.
February Updates - 2018
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.