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Building a Bridge to the 23rd Century (TOS USS Enterprise)
My 1st attempt to build the Command Bridge kit by AMT happened in 1995.
As impressive as the sculpt of William Shatner as Cpt James T. Kirk by Andrea Miniatures. This all metal 54mm figure needs a all new base to command a Federation Starship from.
The first items to get set up is all new station wall castings.
• The monitors and status screens were all opened up.
• The screens and monitors were retooled with a steps in back to accept clear plastic with decals or graphics. This will fit the forward a bit more...more authentic.
• A 4th section was made for the Half Station...That is still in the RTV molds
The first section I decided to work on is the Engineering Station... Just off to the left of the Turbolift Doors.
A computer flat bed scanner helped me make some art from the clear countertop castings.
This art helps me mark where I could cut out holes to let the light shine trough. The usefull tool in this situation is a Dremel Motertool with some inexpensive End Mill/Drill Bits from Harbor Freight Tools
I start out with pilot holes...Then start cutting sideways. Cleaner edges are refined with a file.
The casting flash is removed and a series of clear frosted plastic squares and rectangles was cut from template mylar plastic found in craft stores.This test shows how light behaves with frosted plastic sheets.
Later I will scan them clear parts and draw up a cutting template to fit to the opened up wall castings. Or as a pattern to be cut by a laser.
A test fit of the countertop clear cast panel.
Test Fit of the clear cast panel. Double sided tape holds it in place temporary
When I put lighting any type of model.... A coating of black is sprayed onto the back side. Then followed up with a gloss white.
The next step...I may actually get to glue something!
The McMaster set of TOS Enterprise Bridge Plans locates a viewer/ scanner hood at the Engineering station.
A square is cut out. Now made ready for the hood casting.
Scanner hood in place. Then set aside to paint and glue on later.
Now I feel confident enough to glue on the clear cast countertop.
I make sure the countertop is sitting flush at the front edge of the wall casting. It is tacked with CA glue and checked for alignment. Then a final glue up with CA to fill in seams and allowed to "wick" in-between the gray wall and clear resin parts.
What a wonderful project. About 10 years ago I cut out all the screens, etc from a pair of AMT kits that I'd fitted together, and got no farther than that. I'll watch this with great interest and pleasure. Thanks!!
Those look wonderful, Don... though I have to admit, I've been seriously considering buying the translucent backlight panels (available on CultTVMan's site). I'm curious what you think about those?
I have an AMT bridge... well, technically, TWO of them (to give me enough stuff to built the entire bridge, not just one side). I have Thomas Sasser's old Bridge detail set (bought through Lunar Models back in the day). My main reason for never finishing it was... well, there are actually two items. First, figuring out the best way to backlight, and second, figuring out an "exterior dome" setup for the model.
I have some very fine metal photoetch screen (bought from Eduard a few years ago) to make the lower-tier vent panels. I'm guessing you plan to do something similar? And I bought some stuff at Michaels a couple of years ago... some textured, clear colored film with swirly patterns... to do the above-console light panels.
Having decided to use the stuff I found recently on CultTVMan, my main "who knows?" issue remains the outside of the model. I just can't handle having those consoles exposed like that... it makes me cringe! Am I the only one bugged by that?
EDIT 2: I decided to check out that figure... and all I can say is "wow." This sculptor is talented! There's a lot of stuff on that site, but here are the three "Trek-based" ones he has... they're really tremendously impressive, I think. But, at 54mm, doesn't that make the bridge out of scale to this figure?
This is looking really great. I also have had multiples of this kit for many years with the intention of doing exactly what you're working on. Your work is definitely inspiring. Looking forward to more updates.
Ah, I love how nice the internet has made things... you can find ANYTHING. Of course, in just a few more months, the world is going to collapse and we'll all be living in Mad Max world, so enjoy it while you can!
I decided to take a moment to look for potential bridge exterior housings... and came across this site, which seems to be ideal for doing what I'm looking to do eventually. Thought it might be relevant to this topic as well...
I received the parts I ordered for my prototype a couple days ago. Everything looks great. The parts are beautifully cast and are much easier to work with than the original thick styrene parts. The upgraded details such as helm/navigation station, view screen and burke style chairs are excellent.
I have pinned all of the wall sections up for the 360 degree Bridge.