Tidbits

Posted in General, Uncategorized on July 2, 2013 by gregk1

Been adding little revisions (usually called out as such) to various model detailing pages. As noted previously, a wealth of new info on all three versions of the Enterprise has come out, thanks to Gary Kerr’s unparalleled research on the original model for the 1/350 scale kit.

I’ve been working on numerous 1/1000 projects, getting in lots of practice for my eventual 1/350 build, which will be very methodically planned out for the highest standard of accuracy and craftsmanship I can muster.

That being said, I continue to solicit you, my loyal readers, to comb through my posts here and point out any factual errors or inaccuracies. The goal for this blog is that it serve as a one-stop resource for information on the detailing and color schemes of the various incarnations of the Enterprise (and her sisters).

To that end, I also invite anyone with better computer-art skills than I to whip up accurate orthographic drawings/renders featuring the various versions of the ship that call out correct colors and accurate and little-known details. My crude, annotated photos of my (now inaccurate in several areas) 1/1000 models are really just a placeholder for something nice like that. Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you’re interested.

I really want this to be a one-stop shop. Too many people on too many forums have had too much trouble getting even the simplest questions about the Big E’s details and coloring correctly answered. I’ve been one of them! The goal is to make the most accurate info freely available to as many people as possible. Thanks!

Revisions Begin

Posted in Uncategorized on January 15, 2013 by gregk1

As noted, I’ve begun revising various pages of this blog. Most notably, the “Other Variations” section is being updated with detailed images and analysis of the, well, other variations. Feedback is welcome, but please keep in mind that it’s still a work-in-progress. Thanks!

Changes, Big and Small

Posted in General, Uncategorized on January 10, 2013 by gregk1

Hello, again!

I’ve been working on freshening up the site’s look. Hope y’all like it.

Meanwhile, I’ll soon be going through the older posts in this blog, and updating certain bits of information pertaining to the detailing of the Enterprise in its various incarnations. A lot of juicy tidbits have come out with the release of the 1/350 kit, and, as noted, I’ve had the pleasure of discussing some of the finer points with Gary Kerr, who has been ridiculously patient and giving in regards to his answering hobbyists’ many questions (and rants).

Although, as I expected, despite the release of the BIG E, certain details are still up for lively debate. On the flipside, a number of old myths have (hopefully) been shattered for good.

Anyway, I’d also like to add some visual guides for the variants of the ship, for easier reference–although I’d rather not use others’ photos and such without permission. Hmmm.

Now that the 1/350 kit is out, I think it will be very useful for people to have the reference materials at hand to replicate the Remastered, “In a Mirror, Darkly…”, et al. variants.

As ever, the 1/1000 kit will surely still be the go-to model for many people–and they’re like potato chips; you can’t stop with just one! I’m pleased that Round 2 will be re-releasing it yet again in the near future, with the added bonus of a 1/1000 Botany Bay!

Bigger IS Better!

Posted in General, Uncategorized on January 9, 2013 by gregk1

Howdy, folks! It’s certainly been awhile.

As some who follow this blog are no doubt aware of, I’ve been very active on several forums discussing a certain “little” model that Round 2 recently released:

Misc. 031

I’ve had a fantastic time interacting with kit designer Gary Kerr, learning many behind-the-scenes secrets of the 11-foot Enterprise, and bringing some of my own observations and theories to the table. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Round 2 for producing a fantastic kit that will be nigh impossible to top.

Initially, I’d felt that my intended trio of 1/1000 kits would scratch my Enterprise itch.

Nope.

So, I decided to go for it, and purchase the 1/350 kit (with all its add-ons). This eventual build (to perhaps be chronicled in this very blog) will (Hopefully? Finally?) be my definitive statement on the good ship Enterprise…if there can be such a thing. But, that’s a long way down the road.

Some may feel that this does not bode well for my 1/1000 project. Well, fear not. I fully intend to finish the 1/1000 Production Enterprise I’d originally set out to do nine (!) years ago, which first led me on this strange and magical journey.

To date, I’ve built no less than thirteen 1/1000 scale STAR TREK models (both official and garage), with no less than seven more underway, two sealed in their boxes, and one total scratchbuild.

That’s quite a departure from wanting to build a single 1/1000 scale model in 2003!

Anyhoo, I’m certainly going to finish my 1/1000 Production Enterprise–now primarily intended as a proof-of-concept for the 1/350 kit in regards to color and detailing.

So, stay tuned, folks.

Lessons Learned

Posted in General on June 25, 2011 by gregk1
 
 

Well, it’s been some time since I’ve posted an entry to this blog, and with good reason. I’ve been hard at work on my Production Enterprise model. Or, at least, I was.

During the final stages of assembly and painting, I decided that I could do better. So, I made the difficult decision to write this one off as a practice build, and begin anew.

As a result, I did rush it a bit during the final stages, although I’m very pleased with the final result. I decided to label the model as the Yorktown, as a nod to the original name of TREK’s starship, before it was changed to Enterprise.

This build allowed me to experiment with a number of techniques, as well as being only my second 1/1000 model that was painted with an airbrush instead of rattlecans. I also added those few details and markings that are absent from the stock kit, such as the triangular markings on the saucer underside and the windows/tiny red light on the upper rear secondary hull.

Areas that turned out well:

* Paint masking/finish.

* Minimal decal silvering.

* Use of Micro Krystal Kleer for the tiny saucer/nacelle marker lights and the lower saucer’s teensy, red-tipped “phaser nipple”.

* Front nacelle dome effect is very good. I used VA Minatures’ red-tinted resin inner domes, backed with reflective foil, and with dark metallic charcoal tape applied to the raised fan-blade ribs. The outer domes were painted with clear orange, then frosted with Testors’ Dullcote–perhaps a bit too heavily, since the ribs are hard to see inside the domes.

Areas that need improvement:

* Drawing on the saucer’s gridlines. I may end up using some of the aftermarket decals for this, as they’re very tricky to get right, especially at this scale.

* Weathering. The weathering on this model turned out well, but it needs to be more controllable in order to replicate the 11-footer’s specific look.

* Front nacelle dome look needs work. I used the red resin aftermarket domes because they catch the light well, but the original model didn’t have red inner domes. I may stick with the stock clear domes for my next attempt.

The completion of this build also has me reflecting on how far I’ve come. This is my third 1/1000 model which, due to my dissatisfaction with the results, ended up being labeled as a ship other than the Enterprise.

While I still fully intend to build my ultimate 1/1000 Production Enterprise, the news of Round 2’s forthcoming 1/350 Enterprise kit has whetted my appetite. In the end, all of this work may prove to have served as mere practice for taking on that giant kit and fully tricking it out with lights and spinning inner nacelle domes.

Anyway, this newest 1/1000 model is light-years improved from my initial attempt. I bought a 1/1000 Polar Lights Enterprise back in 2003, when it was first released. After I began to build it, the project stalled, and I didn’t resume it until 2006. That build was very experimental, since I hadn’t built a model since I was a kid, and had never done a good job of one to begin with. It was my first use of an airbrush, although I went back to rattlecans for more of my recent builds, until I’d gained the confidence to try the airbrush again.

Setting the trend, this model was labeled Lexington , since I felt it wasn’t successful enough to be my definitive Enterprise. I used J.T. Graphics’ excellent decals for the name and registry numbers, although the font and spacing is a little off when compared to the 11-foot Enterprise.  For my recent Yorktown, I went with PNT’s decals, which are a precise match for the 11-footer’s look.  And, of course, Thomas Sasser of PNT designed the Polar Lights kit’s decal sheet to begin with, so his aftermarket sets are a perfect compliment to the stock decals.

Here are some visuals which will illustrate how far I’ve come. This just goes to prove that practice makes perfect, so you aspiring modelers out there shouldn’t give up!!!!

2006

2011

2006

2011

2006

2011

And then there’s my Constitution, which began as my first attempt at a first pilot Enterprise. I decided to rename this model after a few painting and assembly problems (like my accidentally installing the nacelle spikes from the outside, with the result being that they stick out too far). On the other hand, I think the shade of blue on the dorsal is better than on my final first pilot Enterprise, as previously seen in this blog. Also, since I decided to label this one as the Constitution, I decided to leave it completely pristine and unweathered, thus depicting the first ship of the class as if it had just been launched.

2009

2010

2009

2010

 
All in all, it’s been a long, strange journey. Back in 2003, I bought one model kit, with the intent of building the Production Enterprise–that was the full extent of the plan at that time. Little did I dream that this one kit would snowball into MANY kits,  including the pilot Enterprises.
 
At this rate, I may end up building the entire fleet!
 
 

Myths and Misconceptions

Posted in General on December 31, 2010 by gregk1

As work progresses (slowly!) on my Production Enterprise, I thought I’d take some time to point out some of the more common misconceptions floating around out there about the specific detailing of the three versions of the original 11-footer. While much of the following information is contained elsewhere in my blog, this post is designed to provide a quick and easy reference source.

As has been noted before, the Starship Enterprise has inspired countless artistic interpretations–from model kits to comic book art to detailed recreations used in official STAR TREK productions. While no one of them is “wrong”, per se, those who want the ultimate in accuracy have often been detoured in their quests by erroneous observations that have been passed along over the years.

In more recent times, much new information has come out about the original Enterprise, yet some of the old myths still remain–after all, it’s difficult to fully update everyone, everywhere when some new piece of information comes out.

Again, I’d like to reiterate that anyone’s own personal interpretation of the fictional starship is fine and dandy–and should be encouraged, not nitpicked to death. My personal interest, however, is in replicating the specific details of the original model as it was during the 1960s, with a dash of idealization thrown in (in terms of that unfinished portside). That’s what we’re here for!

FIRST PILOT:

The 11-foot model was painted white/silver, and/or with a glossy finish. This is incorrect. From day one, the model was painted with the medium gray-green color (as identified by Richard Datin some years back)  that we’ve come to know. And it always had a matte finish (except, apparently, for the connecting dorsal–in the first pilot, it appears to have been a glossy, reflective blue color).

* The model was clean and unweathered. This has proven to be quite false– reference materials show that the model was substantially weathered, in a manner somewhat different from the final, production version.

* The nacelle domes were copper, and maybe even the same color as the sensor/deflector dish. In fact, a wide variety of references show the domes to be a dark red-brown color, distinctly different from the dish.

* The dorsal and/or “linear accerator” were hull-colored. As has been noted in detail elsewhere, these areas appear to have been a light blue-ish color–possibly a glossier, brighter, almost metallic color than the shade seen in the second pilot.

* The nacelle domes’ spikes were silver, and the sensor dish’s antenna was either copper or gold–perhaps even the same color as the dish itself. Based on the available materials, it appears that the nacelle dome spikes were gold/brass, and the sensor dish’s antenna was silver.

SECOND PILOT:

* The 11-foot model was painted white/silver, and/or with a glossy finish. As with the first pilot version, this is incorrect. While sections of the model appear to have been repainted for the second pilot (thus eliminating much of the weathering), the same matte, gray-green color was used, just as it was on the production version.

* The bridge dome had one illuminated “window” in front, and one red-outlined yellow rectangle on either side. While the Polar Lights model kit comes with decals to represent these “markings”, reference materials show that the “markings” appear to have been light panels just like the one on the front of the dome. The 1/350 kit from Round 2 depicts these areas as yellow markings, without the red outlines. Reference materials are scarce for this detail, and I believe that it’s still very possible that the rectangles were illuminated cutouts.

* The colors of the nacelle dome spikes changed for the second pilot from gold to silver (or vice versa). As noted, the spikes appear to have been gold/brass, and stayed that way for both pilots. In fact, most of the detailing and color scheme remained the same for both pilots. The major changes were the addition of the lighting effects, extra markings, and a few small greeblies.

* The dorsal and/or “linear accerator” were hull-colored. As in the first pilot, these areas appear to have been a light blue-ish color, although it seems to have been toned down a bit for this version, possibly just with clear matte spraypaint–or a misting of the base gray-green color–, as opposed to a full repaint.

PRODUCTION:

* The model was painted white/silver/blue/green. This is a classic misconception–the color of the Enterprise has inspired countless debates! But the 11-footer was painted the same gray-green that it had been for the pilots.

* The model had no gridlines. False–the saucer had a grid pattern lightly drawn on with a pencil.

* The secondary hull and nacelles had gridlines. Not true–only the saucer had the grid. The secondary hull didn’t, although some have interpreted the faint separation lines between the wood and metal nacelle components as “gridlines”. And it should be noted that the 1991 restoration of the model added gridlines to the secondary hull and nacelles.

* The model had an “aztec” panel pattern. While some more recent iterations of the original Enterprise and/or her sister ships have featured this design element (a staple of TREK ships ever since 1979’s STAR TREK- THE MOTION PICTURE), the original featured a smooth, even gray-green paint job, with subtle weathering applied on top of it.

* Some of the windows on the model glowed amber and/or green instead of white. Several recent versions–including the Master Replicas model–feaure colored windows in some areas on the dorsal and secondary hull. This is, in fact, accurate–several windows were tinted green or amber, and even had mesh detailing placed behind them.

* The intercoolers/reactor loops on the engine nacelles were painted a medium gray, not the base hull color. This is a fairly common myth, and even the “Trials and Tribble-ations” recreation of the original model featured it. New analysis has recently revealed that the intercoolers and reactor loops were, in fact, two-toned. The ribbed, center portions of each intercooler/loop were hull-colored, while the curved edged at fore/aft were a very light gray. Also, the textured screens on the four intercoolers were hull-colored, instead of gray or black (as they are commonly assumed to be).

* There was a round, illuminated port on the bow of the upper saucer, just forward of the “rust ring”. This particular detail has proved vexing to many. New analysis from expert Gary Kerr has determined that a clear lens was indeed there on the model, presumably as an access port for the internal lighting (much like the rectangular panels that were also on the upper saucer).

However, due to some weathering streaks that were added over it, and because of poor internal light distribution, this disc appears to have been only dimly illuminated, if at all. Regardless, many modern iterations of the Enterprise (like the post-NASM 11-footer, and the “Trials and Tribble-ations” and Master Replicas models) have featured a brightly-lit disc, while others have eliminated it altogether.

* The middle window in the cluster of three portholes on the bow saucer edge was bigger than the other two. This has proven to be correct. Note that, in the second pilot, this center “window” was a blinking navigation bulb.

* The impulse engine housing featured three small “mounting” holes. While there are three holes on the restored model as it currently stands, during the series, there appear to have only been the two rectangular vents and one painted black “window” in-between them.

* The ring at the forward end of the secondary hull (surrounding the deflector dish housing/rings, and intersecting the boxy deflector “forks”) was copper colored and/or the same color as the deflector dish and rings. This appears to be the result of a simple optical illusion, and it appears on almost every modern recreation of the model. But the ring does indeed appear to have been hull-colored.

* The deflector/sensor dish and the rings behind it were both the same copper-gold color. While this was true in the two pilots, for the series, the dish appears to have been repainted a lighter color than the rings, in addition to being reduced in diameter. Or, the reprinted dish was likely left unweathered, giving it a brighter appearance than it had possessed in the pilots.

* The four rectangular vents on each nacelle pylon were a copper-ish color. This is only correct for the three-foot model, and the AMT model kit used to represent the U.S.S. Constellation in “The Doomsday Machine”.

* The leading edge of the dorsal was either gray or green. References indicate that this area was indeed a green-gray color, although, if it was blue, then the stripe was likely a remnant of the original pilot-era color scheme.

* The illuminated dome above the bridge was replaced and/or changed height during the series. In fact, the dome appears to have stayed the same height throughout the series’ run, although it did get changed during the NASM years.

* The nacelle domes glowed red, and the “fan blades” radiated from the center of each dome. It appears the the frosted outer domes were clear, with multi-colored lights (primarily orange) contained within. And the fan blades/vanes stopped just short of the center of each rotating inner dome, with a tiny screw in the center of each. The early NASM restorations added blinking on-off red domes, although the 1991 version featured a recreation of the original effect.

* The upper saucer’s running lights blinked red and green, while the lower saucer’s lights blinked white. Not entirely correct–in early first season episodes, the lower saucer lights were also red and green, but they appear to have been changed to white at some point in the mid-first season.

* The spheres on the rear end of each engine nacelle were glossy white and/or illuminated. In fact, the spheres were the same gray-green color as the rest of the hull (and not illuminated), but, due to the optical illusion created by the darker endcap sections (which separated the spheres from rest of the engines), they appear to be lighter.

All Signs Point to “No”

Posted in Second Pilot on November 13, 2010 by gregk1

A quick correction–

When I was building my second pilot model, I took note of the following detail, but somehow completely forgot about it while decaling, and after–right up until now!

For series production, three tiny, slightly jokey bits of signage were added to the 11-foot Enterprise  model. There are two on the lower saucer (“Inspection Door Vent Systems Connection”), and one right under the starboard engine nacelle pylon on the secondary hull (“Tail Pipe Socket Adjustment Access”).

The 1/1000 model kit features these bits of signage on the Production-style decals (40A/39A for the secondary hull, and 29A/30B for the lower saucer).

However, while the “Tail Pipe” sign is correctly missing from decals 39 and 40, they still appear on the second pilot’s lower saucer window decals, 29 and 30A. All available second pilot reference material indicates that the signage was not on the model during that period. So, it had to go!

As noted, I somehow forgot to trim these tiny bits of signage off of my second pilot model’s decals, until now. A few tiny dabs of the base color, and,–bingo! No more signs!

BEFORE:

 

 

AFTER:

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