Production Model Construction

A series production-era Enterprise model is the easiest of the three versions to build using the stock Polar Lights/Round 2 model kit. For ease of reference, all construction tips (even those which are lifted whole from the first and second pilot sections of this blog) are presented here.

(click on photos to enlarge)

SAUCER:

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. However, kit parts 32 each need to be cut in half, so you have four separate lights to work with, instead of two sets of two. This will allow the upper saucer’s lights to fit in the repositioned holes.

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,  and should be removed.

* The scribed triangle-markings need to be filled in and sanded smooth (these markings were not etched on the original model), but leave the raised rib at the base of each triangle intact.

* The molded-in running lights at 4:00 and 7:00 represent the second pilot version, and need to be removed.

* The impulse engine housing’s crosshatched texture is correct for the production version, but the scribed lines are not, and should be filled. 

* On the clear lower saucer sensor dome (part # 31), 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.

 

SECONDARY HULL:

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

NACELLES:

* 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 all four nacelle pieces, fill in the scribed “T” panels on the forward ends.

 

 

MISC:

* You may wish to discard the stock display stand. I prefered 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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