Archive for the Second Pilot Category

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!






Loose Ends, Part Deux

Posted in First Pilot, Second Pilot on October 20, 2010 by gregk1

A few more tidbits:

* After much deliberation–and rechecking my resources–I decided to add the nacelles’ faux formation lights to both of my pilot models. I’ve not found any hard evidence that these lights were on the 11-foot model during either pilot, but two factors convinced me of a very reasonable likelihood that they were there:

A) I found photographic evidence that the lights were on the 3-foot model in its original, first-pilot configuration. Since that smaller model  has been something of a Rosetta Stone in terms of figuring out and/or confirming details of the first pilot version of the 11-footer (the blue dorsal, the saucer’s formation lights, etc.), it only makes sense. Both models were derived from the same construction plans, and, aside from some shapes and proportions, are virtually identical–at least in the first pilot.

B)  It makes sense that the non-functioning red/green lights were there for the first pilot, and were then supplemented by the working blinkers in the second pilot. Matt Jefferies was an aviator and an engineer–his design for the Enterprise contains a number of familiar U.S. Air Force elements, the red/green formation lights among them. It would be odd to have left these lights off the 11-footer (but not the 3-footer) until the series’ production revisions to the model began.

REVISION–The faux lights were indeed there during the pilots.

* After checking and rechecking my references, and discussing the matter with other fans, I remain convinced that the dorsal and bolt cover were indeed a blue-ish color in both pilot episodes.

REVISION–This is correct.

* I recently came upon some photos which indicated that the antenna spike on the main sensor/deflector dish might have actually been  a silver and gold/brass/rust mix. In some photos, it looks as though the base of the antenna (and perhaps the round ring near the tip) were silver, while the rest was gold (or perhaps the same color as the dish itself).

Many model builds have sported a gold antenna, or a dish-colored (copper-rust) antenna. A few have had the mixed color scheme described above.

After rechecking photos and screencaps, I’ve come to the following conclusion:

I think the entire antenna is silver/chrome. But, due to either optical illusion, or the shiny antenna reflecting light from the copper-colored dish, part or all of the antenna can look gold/copper at times.

Photos I’ve seen of the Master Replicas studio-scale  replica also seem to exhibit this effect–in some photos, the antenna looks entirely silver (which, so far as I know, it really is), while in others, it looks gold-copper-ish, at least in part.

REVISION–The full antenna assembly definitely appears to have been an aluminum/silver color, not gold or brass.

Loose Ends

Posted in First Pilot, Second Pilot on October 16, 2010 by gregk1

Nothing’s pefect in this world, and it’s rare for everyone–or even anyone, ofttimes–to agree on something.

The original Starship Enterprise models have been a topic of heated debate for decades, the 11-footer in particular. Many fans have been consumed with a desire to perfectly replicate it down to the last detail, if they can’t have the real thing. This sort of passion has brought out both the very best and the very worst in fandom.

The best, because many great people (too many to name here) have worked dilligently over the decades to study this artifact, and unravel its mysteries so as to spread knowledge to all who seek it. At their best, fans of this model have shared, discussed, and fabricated their own models in a pleasant, friendly atmosphere which has encouraged fun and growth–which is what hobbies like this are all about.

The worst, because some have needlessly gotten into bitter arguments and feuds (both online and perhaps even in person) over ridiculously minor details. Others hoard information carefully, so as to dole it out to hungry fans for their own self-aggrandization–these egocentric individuals want to be hailed as the self-procalimed “experts” they think they are. Its sad–but not surprising–that passion for this fictional subject would occasionally lead to more negative and destructive emotions.

I am not infallible. The purpose of this blog is to share–to provide a resource for those who seek information on this subject. But I would not be so bold as to claim that this is the end-all, be-all on the subject. There are surely still things to learn about the original Enterprise.

However, I do think that my research–and my models, if I can be so bold–are just about as up-to-date and accurate as possible, given the publically available resources.

That said, I’m perfectly willing to admit that I could easily be wrong about some things, and openly invite discussion and outside research from you, the fans.

There are still a number of details I’M not even sure about. Here are a few of those details.


First, the simple bit–

There appears in some reference materials to be a round, unlit window (indicated in the photo below) on the second pilot version, which was not there in the first pilot or the series. This may also be a mere smudge, or an optical illusion. The quality of available reference materials is not the best, and this makes it hard to tell. I saw this smudge/window in enough different reference images to commit to depicting it as a window on my model. But I’m still unsure. Pretty much all the other window patterns I’m very sure about.

REVISION–This was indeed a window.

Now, the not-so-simple one–

I’m quite sure that the connecting dorsal (and the “linear accelerator” on top of the saucer, which served as a cover for the dorsal’s mounting bolts) were a blue-ish color in the first pilot. Sort of a pastel blue color, perhaps with a glossy sheen. The color clearly appears on both models, 3- and 11-foot, in the first pilot.

The second pilot is a different matter.

Although I can still perceive a distinctly blue-ish tonal difference between the dorsal and the rest of the hull, it seems less obvious than the first pilot’s bright blue-ish color. Was it dulled down to remove the glossy effect? Misted with the hull color (or completely repainted)? Was it touched at all, save to cut in the holes for the illuminated windows?

This matter–and my choice to paint my models with a blue-ish dorsal and bolt cover–has proven highly controversial among modelers. Some have supported my decision and agree with my research. Others have vehemently argued against it, saying that the tonal difference is the result of shadows or uneven lighting schemes or bluescreen “spill” (which wouldn’t apply to the first pilot, since the model was shot against a BLACK background).

Multiple shots in multiple episodes/photos, with both the big and small models, all show a distinctly blue-ish tone on both the dorsal and the bolt cover “linear accelerator” on the upper saucer.  References for these versions are spotty, however, and many of these reference images are color-corrected and restored films clips–and the color-correction could easily have eliminated a blue dorsal if the person doing the correcting didn’t know it was there.

Still, this blue-ish color can be seen in still photos, film clips, onscreen, and even in broad daylight, as in the now-famous “delivery” photo.

As my primary resource, I’ve used the original STAR TREK episodes themselves, in several formats. Although film stocks, compositing quality, remastering/color-correction, and other factors vary, I still maintain that the tonal difference of the dorsal (which more often than not looks blue or blue-gray) is consistently there across a wide range of shots and angles, both on DVD and Blu-Ray, from the first model shot in the first pilot to the very last shot of the last episode of the series. It’s not always visible, but it’s visible enough to have convinced me.

And, interestingly, the unaired version of “Where No Man Has Gone Before” seen in the third season’s Blu-Ray release reveals a distinct difference in the tone of the dorsal from the rest of the model. In fact, the 35mm print used for that version’s BD incarnation shows a number of interesting color differences–the uniform shirts look greener, for instance (which makes them closer to their real-life avocado green hue). The weathering is also more apparent in the unaired BD version of the episode than the aired version, due to the different transfer’s color timing, apparently.

So, I stand by my assertion that the second pilot dorsal was, at the very least, painted a different color from the rest of the hull. It appears to be a blue-gray-green-ish color. This is more prominent in composites that are more washed-out and/or don’t skew toward blue tones.

(some of the following links will have to be cut-‘n-pasted into your browser)

The delivery:

11-footer, first pilot:

3-footer, first pilot:

11-footer, second pilot:×03/wherenomanhasgone001.jpg×03/The_Paradise_Syndrome_133.JPG×04/TOS_2x10_MirrorMirror0020-Trekpulse.jpg×04/TOS_2x10_MirrorMirror0021-Trekpulse.jpg

There’s also the distinctly blue-ish (gray-ish? green-ish?) leading edge on the production Enterprise, which makes sense if the dorsal was already blue, and they decided to repaint all but that edge, as an aesthetic choice.

The tone of that stripe on the production dorsal looks suspiciously similar to the tone of the overall dorsal in the pilots.×06/doomsdaymachine_000.jpg×03/changeling0002.jpg×24/The_Ultimate_Computer_156.JPG

And an interesting discussion about all this can be seen here:

So, to sum up, I’m not 100% about all this, but I am sure enough to assert that the dorsal and bolt cover were indeed a blue-ish color in both pilots.

That said, I’m always open to discussion and suggestion, and if better information and/or references come to light, I’ll be happy to amend the relevant portions of this blog to reflect the updated information.

But feel free to paint your models however you want! I get the feeling that many people who argue against the blue dorsal do so because they simply don’t WANT it to be blue. Fine! Paint it however you like! This is supposed to be a FUN hobby!

REVISION–I seem to have been mostly correct. Metallic blue for the first pilot dorsal, a more muted (and flat) pale blue-gray for the second, and green-gray for the stripe on the production dorsal.


The production version of the Enterprise features features a faux navigation light on the top of each engine nacelle–green on the starboard engine, red on the port. There were clearly similar faux lights on the saucer during both pilots.

There may also have been a clear/white faux light on the bottommost “deflector fork” on the ventral secondary hull during the series’ production, but its existence is still unclear.

The question is…were these nacelle/ventral lights ALSO there in the pilots? Or were they added for the production version?

My research doesn’t indicate that they were there during the pilots, but you never do know. Reference materials–especially for the angles needed to see if those lights were there–are few and far between. It’s also hard to tell if these non-functional lights were on the 33-inch model in its original, first-pilot configuration–but that model has the faux saucer lights, like its big sister.

REVISION–The faux lights were there in the pilots, and the one on the bottom secondary hull was actually a rounded bolt head that was painted the main hull color.

Changes From Pilot 1 to Pilot 2

Posted in Second Pilot on October 15, 2010 by gregk1

Here is a detailed photostudy of the specific changes made to the 11-foot Enterprise model for the second pilot.  My own models are used in the photos because:

A) I’d rather not use others’ reference photos without permission.

B) It’s easier to take photos of my own models using blueprint-type angles so as to provide a more direct comparison.

All of the annotations in the photos below reflect the REAL 11-foot model. I’ve also “x”ed out some of the windows that were not on the model for the second pilot, but appear on mine for idealization/aesthetic reasons.

The photos are organized so that the first pilot model is diplayed from one angle, then the second pilot model (with notes on the changes) is shown right beneath it from the same angle. Enjoy!

(click to enlarge)






Second Pilot Enterprise–Finished!

Posted in Second Pilot on October 7, 2010 by gregk1

Here’s my completed second pilot Enterprise model. This build was much easier and quicker than the first pilot model, which, as noted, was a major learning curve.

Enjoy the photos, and feel free to use them as reference for your own builds!

Decals and Details, Part Deux

Posted in Second Pilot on October 7, 2010 by gregk1

After your model has been glosscoated, you can apply the kit’s waterslide decals. It’s helpful to have a spare decal sheet or two handy, and they can be purchased directly from Round 2.

Here are a few tips which will allow for a more accurate second pilot model, since the stock decals have a few problems, particularly in terms of the window patterns.

* The kit’s instruction sheet essentially says to apply a mix of first pilot and production-style window decals in order to depict the second pilot version, but this isn’t quite right. To accurately depict the second pilot model’s unique window pattern (which was a mix of illuminated windows and painted, faux windows), one must mix and match decals elements–this can be very tedious and difficult work, but the results are very worthwhile!

* Decal # 36 can still be used for the windows on the saucer bow, but you might want to trim them apart so that you don’t have to worry about fitting decal film over the protruding navigation light.

* For the rear saucer edge, trim off the lower rows of round windows from decal # 35A and 34A.

* For the front saucer edge, trim off the round windows (as well as the lower rectangular windows) from decal # 33C and 33B, leaving two sets of four rectangular windows on each.

* For the B/C deck structure on the upper saucer, trim the round windows from decal # 25A and 26A, leaving two sets of four rectangular windows on each.

* On the saucer underside, trim the black rectangular window from decal # 29A and replace it with a spare white one. Also, trim off all of the round windows, and remove the TINY black text that’s directly underneath the gray rectangular marking.

* If you’re using decal # 28A instead of # 28, trim off all of the round windows.

* Trim the round windows and the rectangular black window on the far left side from decal # 30B. Also remove the TINY black text that’s directly underneath the gray rectangular marking.

* Next to each of the lower navigation lights (at 4:00 and 7:00), add two round, white windows. The easiest way to do this is to use a few spare # 36A decals, trimming out the individual windows. The kit’s stock decals (# 32) feature windows that are too small/inaccurate.

Here’s a photo of my completed model which you can use as reference for matching up the proper window elements:

On the starboard dorsal, create the following pattern from mixing and matching decal elements, then do the same for the starboard side (if you want symmetrical patterns)…

(From top to bottom, row by row, left-to-right):

Top row: Five black rectangular windows.

Row 2: Round/black, rectangular/black, round/black.

Row 3:  Five white rectangular.

Row 4: Round/white, rectangle/white, rectangle/white, round/white.

Row 5 (bottom): Rectangle/black, rectangle/white.

Here’s more photo reference, with each row of windows separated by a green line:

For the starboard side secondary hull,  create the following pattern from mixing and matching decal elements, then do the same for the starboard side (if you want symmetrical patterns)…

Top row: Rectangular/black.

Row 2: Round/black, rectangle/white, rectangle/white, rectangle/white, rectangle/white, round/white.

Row 3: Rectangle/white, rectangle/white, round/white, LONG rectangle/black, round/white, rectangle/white.

Row 4: Rectangle/black, rectangle/black, round/black, rectangle/black, rectangle/black, rectangle/white.

And here’s the appropriate photo reference:

Of course, since the port side of the real model was unfinished and never shown on-camera, one must decide how to handle the weathering and window patterns for that side. I chose to make the window patterns essentially symmetrical and slightly idealized for my model.

However, if you wish to depict the 11-foot model as it was in reality (although some creative license will still be needed for the portside dorsal and secondary hull’s window patterns), then do the following:

* On decal # 33B, trim away all but the two innermost rectangular windows (upper row).

* On decal # 25B, trim away all but the two forwardmost rectangular windows (upper row) .

* Use decal # 28 instead of # 28A on the lower saucer.

So, now that we’re done with the windows, here are some tips for the rest of the decals and details…

* The triangular markings on the underside of the saucer in the first pilot were dark gray pinstriped outlines, with no fill color and no raised rib at the base of each triangle. I used PNT’s aftermarket triangle decals for my models, carefully trimming out the medium gray fill color. One could also create custom decals for this detail, as well.

* The stock kit decals (# 5) depict two rectangular yellow boxes with red outlines on either side of the bridge dome. This is incorrect–the second pilot model appears to have had illuminated panels/windows cut into the dome, as opposed to the kit’s markings. These can be simulated by trimming two spare # 4 decals to the same size and shape as the incorrect decal # 5.

REVISION–The jury’s still out on this one. The 1/350 kit’s decals depict these areas as pale yellow rectangles, without the red borders, but I still think they may have been illuminated cutouts. Do what you feel is best!

REVISION–The red pinstripe around the Bridge dome as seen in the first pilot appears to have been changed to a gray one (rather than being eliminated) for the second pilot.

* For those who choose to discard the stock rear nacelle endcaps and their molded-in grilles, the best way to represent the painted detailing is with custom decals. I created artwork from scratch based on careful study of second pilot-era reference materials, then scaled the art down and printed it on clear decal paper. I present that art here for anyone who wishes to do the same:

The faux red/green lights on the upper saucer (at 3:00 and 9:00) survived from the first pilot to the production version, and the larger, blinking white lights were added right next to them for the second pilot. The faux lights on the lower saucer (3:00 and 9:00) were removed, and the white blinker lights installed at 4:00 and 7:00.

To simulate the tiny faux lights, I applied two small drops of Micro Krystal Kleer with a toothpick to the appropriate spots on the upper saucer. When they dried, I then painted them with red (portside) and green (starboard side).

When all is said and done, you’ll probably want to seal your decals on the model with dullcote, which will also give the model the correct flat finish. Again, be sure to mask off the front nacelle domes and leave them glossy (something I forgot to do for my first pilot model). Also, be sure to use a good decal setting agent and kill those air bubbles under the decals–my models’ decals have suffered from some “silvering”, although I’m getting better at applying the decals each time, and thus minimizing this problem.

Second Pilot Painting and Weathering

Posted in Second Pilot on October 7, 2010 by gregk1

(In the interests of thoroughness and ease of reference, much of this information is repeated from the first pilot section of this blog, with a few key changes.)

Once you’ve constructed your model to your satisfaction, you’ll probably want to paint it, since the stock kit wouldn’t look too great without those detail colors!

The base color of the Enterprise has been a topic of great debate for many years. Due to varying film stocks, optical composites, and TV reception/video transfers, the ship has looked gray, white, silver, blue, and green over the years.

After much research, the color of the original 11-foot miniature was pretty much pinned down several years ago–it was a gray-green-ish color.

Of course, feel free to paint your model any color you wish! But, for those seeking accuracy to the original, there are a number of choices. Since my 1/1000 scale kit would require a lighter color than the original used for the 11-footer (due to the smaller scale, the “real” color would look too dark), I chose Testors Flat Gull Gray (# 1730).

This is my preferred color for the 1/1000 scale model, since it has a nice light green-gray look, but also appears to be different shades of gray under different lighting conditions.

I used rattlecans for my models–although an airbrush would be preferable–with the details masked and hand-painted.

So, this would be the base color–apply to to the entire model (after primering), except for the clear upper and lower saucers domes and the clear navigation lights on the saucer and secondary hull–unless you want to paint them opaque white for a “lit” effect.

Here are the additional detail paint colors:

* In the second pilot, the upper and lower saucer’s navigation domes were illuminated. You can either leave the domes clear (by masking them off during painting), or paint them white (as I did) to simulate a “lit” effect. You may also wish to paint the navigation lights white, or leave them clear (as I did). Please note that in the second pilot, ALL of the navigation lights (the five blinkers on the saucer and the big one above the hangar deck) appear to have been white/clear–there were apparently no big red/green lights on the real model at this stage.

* The kit instructions call for two colors (Testors Dark Ghost Gray # 1741 and Gunship Gray # 1723) to be used for the highlights on the nacelles. My research indicates that only one shade of medium gray was used on the original model for the first and second pilots.

To that end, I used Dark Ghost Gray for all of the following areas:

* The two corrugated, rectangular vents on either side of the rear of each nacelle. On the 11-footer, these were actually hull-colored, with a darker gray in the recesses. However, painting them a darker gray helps with the scale effect.

* The inboard nacelle “channels” (but not the intercoolers, which are the base color). Recently, it was discovered that only the center portions of the channels (not the sloping top/bottom sections) were painted a darker gray than the hull color on the 11-foot model.

* The two intercoolers on the rear of each nacelle and on the inner trench should be two-toned–hull color for the main body (to the edges of the raised ribs), and a very light, almost-white gray from the curved front/rear ends.

* The T-shaped panels on the underside of each nacelle.

* The louvered rings just aft of the front nacelle domes. REVISION–On the 11-footer, these were actually hull-colored, but shadows and weathering made them look darker. Painting them helps with the scale effect.

As for the nacelle domes themselves, they were opaque in both pilots, and painted with a reddish-brown color. The antenna spikes are painted gold.

I’ve found that a good color for the domes is a 70-30 or so mix of Testors Dark Red # 1204 and Rust # 1185.

Be sure to leave the domes glossy, as well, if you’re planning on sealing the decals with dullcote at the end of the build.

Also, the rear nacelle endcaps were the base/hull color in the both pilots.

* In both pilots, the main sensor/deflector dish–and the rings behind it, at the forward end of the secondary hull–were painted a deep copper-rust color. My preferred choice for this area is a 60-40 mix of Testors Copper # 1151 and Rust # 1185. The antenna spike should be painted silver or chrome.

* The entire connecting dorsal and the “linear accelerator” on the upper saucer (part # 42 on the kit) appear to have been painted a blue-ish color for the first pilot, and the dorsal seems to have had a glossy look to it. For the second pilot, it appears that this color is more subdued, or perhaps was merely dulled-down. The impulse engine housing (kit part 3) is a very light gray color–almost white.

For my build, I mixed some Light Blue (# 1208) with the base color (Flat Gull Gray).

While the first pilot version of the Enterprise was heavily weathered, the second pilot revisions appear to have eliminated most of it. However, some key areas of weathering remained (such as a rust-colored streak underneath the pennant on the starboard secondary hull, which appears on all three versions of the model). There are a few distinct blotches of rust, green, and gray on the nacelles, secondary hull, and lower saucer, as well as what appear to be some very slight streaks on the outer edge of the upper saucer (presumably leftover weathering from the first pilot showing though a light application of the hull color).

The original model was subtly discolored with patches and streaks of green, rusty brown, and gray/black. The weathering on my model was done with ground-up pastel chalks–green, rusty brown, gray, and black. This version’s weathering is much more subtle, and didn’t require nearly as much work as the first pilot versions did.

The trick to the weathering is to take it slow–study your reference material, add in the most obvious streaks and color blotches, then just eyeball the rest (without overdoing it). Feel free to use the photos of my models that I’ll be posting as a guide for your own weathering!

After painting and weathering, apply a gloss coat to seal everything down and prepare for decaling.