Second Pilot Model Construction

Constructing a second pilot Enterprise model is very similar to building a first pilot model. Most of the differences between the two versions are cosmetic, and so the overall detailing and construction is pretty much the same. For ease of reference, all construction tips (even those which are lifted whole from the first pilot section of this blog) are presented here.

(click on photos to enlarge)


Unlike the first pilot version, the second pilot model did include navigation lights on the saucer. Therefore, kit parts 32 can be used–but each part needs to but cut in half, so you have four separate lights to work with, instead of two sets of two.

The holes for the upper saucer’s navigation lights are too close to to saucer edge–they need to be moved in very slightly. This can be done by drilling or filing the holes inward, then filling in the outer edges with putty so that the holes aren’t too big.

Also, due to a quirk in the mold, the B/C deck structure on the upper saucer has a slightly raised “lip” on the upper front edge, which can prevent the bridge dome from sitting flush. This needs to be sanded down to achieve both the proper fit and the proper look.

As for the lower saucer:

* The copyright information needs to be sanded off.

* The molded-in running light on the bow edge is representative of the second pilot version, but it’s not shaped correctly. In the interests of accuracy, one should remove this molded-in light, drill a small hole in the same spot, and insert the bottom half of a spare part # 32  (clear navigation light–one of the smaller ones from the lower saucer). Alternatively, one can simply use small dab of Micro Krystal Kleer to create a small clear dome after construction and painting are completed.

* The three tabs on the base of the lower sensor dome mounting ring need to be removed.

* The raised ribs at the base of each engraved triangle need to be removed, and the triangles filled in and sanded smooth (these markings were not etched on the original model). REVISION–The triangles were indeed etched, so don’t fill them.

* The molded-in running lights at 4:00 and 7:00 are accurate for the second pilot version. However, if you want to use the clear kit lights, or plan on lighting your model, the molded-in lights should be removed. Then, drill small holes where the “lights” were, and insert the bottom halves of kit parts  # 32  into the holes from behind. The upper and lower saucer running lights (part 32) are molded as one piece, and must be cut apart in order to depict the lights on the second pilot version.

* The impulse engine housing should be completely smooth–removed the crosshatched texture and fill the scribed lines.

* On the clear lower saucer sensor dome, gently scribe shallow lines across the surface, from 12:00 to 6:00, 9:00 to 3:00, 10:30 to 4:30, and 7:30 to 1:30.


* The scribed lines on the sides of the connecting dorsal should be filled in and sanded smooth.

* The two raised ribs and scribed panel on the port/starboard “deflector forks” should be removed.


* On each of the clear front endcaps, the three rectanglular shields are slightly misshapen. Check reference photos, subtly reshape them, and the change the angle of the front edge of each shield.

* It should also be noted that there’s a slight alignment problem with the nacelle endcaps. The outer edges of the rectangular shields should line up perfectly with the edges of the gray-colored “T” panel on the underside of each nacelle.

However, as is indicated by the green line in the photo below, the T-shaped panels are slightly larger than the width of the endcap shields.

In terms of accuracy, the scribed T-panels should be filled and sanded smooth, anyway. However, to address this problem, one can either remove the alignment tabs on the endcap pieces so as to slightly adjust the positioning of the caps on the nacelles, or one can mask and paint the T-panels with a slightly thinner width than the scribed originals, so that they don’t “bleed” beyond the edges of the shields.

* On the inboard nacelle pieces, remove the raised “dots” on the intercooler heads, and fill in the scribed “T” panels on the forward ends (fill them on the outboard sides, as well). 

* The kit’s stock second pilot endcaps can be used, but the grilles on the 11-foot model’s endcaps were painted on, as opposed to molded-in. For my build, I sanded a set of first pilot endcaps smooth, and used a custom decal to depict the painted-on details–to much better effect. 


* You may wish to discard the stock display stand. I preferred to drill a hole in the bottom of the secondary hull and inserted a small brass tube which would serve as a sleeve for a smaller brass tube that would fit into a simple wooden plaque/base.

* Since this is intended as a snap-fit kit, you may want to lightly sand some of the pegs and connectors for a looser, more controllable fit if you’re gluing/filling the parts.

* The best way to attach the nacelles onto the pylons is to do some minor sanding of the pylon tabs (for a looser fit), then snap-fit/glue only the INBOARD nacelle halves onto the pylons. The nacelles can be held in place by wrapping a rubber band around the nacelle halves to keep them aligned while the glue dries. Once this assembly is solidly glued, then attach the outer nacelle halves.


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