Hobbyist Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I finally got some time to work on this a little before the holidays. After weeks of research and collecting as many reference photos as I could find, I stopped procrastinating and started cutting some plastic. I didn't get as much done as I had hoped but I thought I'd share what I've got so far.

A couple notes first. I am an ambitious modeler that really doesn't have the skills to back up my vision (I rarely ever finish a kit) and pretty much everything I do is trial and error. I am also rather impatient and sometimes get frustrated with the process. Both negatives in this hobby of ours. I'm not one for measuring out this piece or that but kind of eyeball it and go for a "that looks about right" approach. So keep that in mind if you undertake any of my ideas. A little extra time and care could produce some nice results.

Also, I don't have a digital camera so I'm stuck with my cell phone.

But this is a project I am excited about and hope to finish. So with that said here's where I'm at.

So in getting started, the first thing I wanted to tackle was the secondary hull. I started with the top deck piece. From pics of the studio model, I believe the hull bows out a bit more than the kits hull. So I added 1mm strip to each side, starting from about the center of the neck to the center of the shuttlebay control tower. These strips were then lightly sanded at the leading and trailing edges to match the curvature of the hull on this piece. Thus "bowing" out the middle of the hull a bit more here.
If you look closely you should be able to see the white strip on the left side in this pic:
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo.jpg

Once those pieces were glued on I flipped the piece over and began working on the extra "step" between the deck and the lower hull.

Pic of the studio mode (the blue stripe)l:
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/photo3-1.jpg

I added 2mm strip along the edge of the hull on both sides starting from
where I added the strips above and followed the new curve along the hull. At about the neck indent on top, I began to gradually curve the strip inward until it formed the lip and then reversed this for the opposite side. (I eyeballed this for the most part so there may be some cleanup necessary later but for now it turned out pretty well) This also added the extra depth needed in this area:
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo5.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo4.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo3.jpg

I began working on the lower sec. hull next. I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to tackle this. The kit part is too shallow compared with the studio model. It lacks the "pregnant" look. I collected some ideas from other board members and in the end went with a combination of all the suggestions I got. I needed to add 1mm strip to the top edges to account for the extra width I gave to the top deck. From there I just started experimenting, working my way down the hull following the contours. What I ended up with was the entire belly of the hull covered in 1mm strip styrene stopping just beneath the deflector well and continuing up each side. The front of the hull, from the top of the deflector well up, was then sanded slightly to steepen it's angle to the deck. Putty was then applied and smoothed on and I got to work sanding everything smooth. The end result was a more stubby, bottom heavy hull but still has that smooth, graceful slope:
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo-2.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo-3.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo-4.jpg

Here it is with the deck attached:
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo1.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo2.jpg

You'll notice that the deflector well has been covered over. The shape of the well on the kit is inaccurate. While experimenting with correcting the shape I got a little carried away and wound up with an extremely large, extremely disfigured hole. But a little plastic and a little putty and we're fixed right up.

Some observations about the secondary hull. While the ERTL kit was definitely lacking in depth along the belly i.e. the pregnant look, it appears to me that the shape of the deflector well (squat, smushed triangle) and the 2 blue panels running underneath the well play much more into that look than just more depth. I don't know, maybe a trick of the eye? From a side perspective, the hull is still pretty sleek but look at it from a front or quarter view and it looks very bulbous. I don't know how accurate that is, it was just something that occurred to me while building.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Update #2

Ok, here are the pics:

I have the pylons glued back onto the base and it's looking a little bit better. If only because they hide a little of the uneven areas. I still need to add some strip styrene to the connection points on top to replace the detail that was lost when I removed them. But you can see where I added the extra depth under the pylons. The kit part was flush with the bottom pylon which is inaccurate for the studio model. However, looking at the pics I think I may have added a bit too much. May need to sand down the bottom a bit.
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo-1.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo1-1.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo11.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo2-1.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo4-1.jpg

I've also started on adding the extra length to the rear fins. This is an ugly shot but I threw it in anyway. Once blended, these will need to be trimmed down a bit.
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo5-1.jpg

Here is the sec. hull with the new cutout for the deflector well. As I mentioned earlier it's a bit off center and a rough cut but I think you can get the idea of what I was going for. It's more triangular and squat from the front (which IMO matches the studio model much better) and egg shaped from underneath. Again, I think this also helps in emphasizing the bulbous belly more.
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo6-1.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo7.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo8.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo9.jpg

As always comments, criticism, suggestions appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Hey I have one of these sitting in the box on my AWB (awaiting build) shelf! I will follow your build with much interest! Looks promising so far! :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
Dang, that is looking nice.

What are you using for reference? I don't remember there being much out there. A long time ago, there was a sci-fi store in Irving TX that had one of the Lunar Models kits, the only kit available at the time. I always liked the NX version better.

I would like to follow this build.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys! I also liked the NX better. I was originally going to build her as the NX but I have settled on the NCC version. With all the other mods I want to do I don't want to bog myself down with any extra. If she turns out alright, I'll use what I learned from this build and build another with the NX conversions.

Cozmo, is that your NX above? I'd be interested in hearing how you made the NX parts for your kit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
I don't know.....i mcan't help but think, with a model this small, all the time consuming acurizations are a bit null and viod......

Rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
Cozmo, is that your NX above? I'd be interested in hearing how you made the NX parts for your kit.
I did it so long ago that I don't remember what I did.

The only part that was special was the dome at the rear of the primary hull (it was a cap from a proto-type Igloo drink dispenser). the rest was a cut up sphere and a lot of strip and sheet styrene.

I don't know.....i mcan't help but think, with a model this small, all the time consuming acurizations are a bit null and viod......

Rich
Its the pleasure of the job. And being able to share with those who know just what was involved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Wow, haven't updated this for a while. I was able to pick up another excelsior kit and a E-B for ridiculously low prices and decided to turn this particular build into the NX configuration. I've been working on the new excel kit and the E-B to bring them to the point of this kit and finding time to do so has not been easy. but I did get some work down on turning this into the NX

So I started looking around for some dome shaped pieces for the bridge and the impulse dome. The parts box came up empty and I didn't have much luck until I wandered into a craft store.

Googly eyes - 12 mm pack of 30 for $1.60

They looked to be about the right size so I picked them up.

I dremeled off the kits bridge and the raised ring around it and placed the googly eye on the kit. Heres what it looks like:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo2-2.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo3-2.jpg

Pretty good if I say so myself. As a bonus, the impulse dome and the bridge are roughly the same size so I'll be using one of these as well for that but with some styrene strips added for the support beams. I've just started on the impulse deck so there isn't much to see.

For the rounded wall behind the bridge on the studio model I've found that the cap to a stick of chapstick is just the right size and has the correct curve. I tried using some styrene strips but was having trouble getting the curvature correct. I'll take some more pics once I have this completed.

For the dome at the rear of the secondary hull (Shuttlebay) I found a couple options. In addition to the 12 mm googly eyes I also bough a 2 pack of 30 mm googly eyes. These looked okay but the top of the plastic was dented in and the circumference looked a bit small. The shape was spot on however. So that is an option for some of you out there with a little work. Plus they were cheap. Second option I found was the deflector dome from a lights and sound Ertl refit kit. The blue tinted one. I added some 1 mm styrene to the underside and sanded down the lip to follow the curve of the dome and dry fitted it in place with the shuttlebay cover.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo-5.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo1-2.jpg
(the 30mm googly eye is in the background of these pics)

Again, I think it looks pretty good. The framework still needs to be added but I think I found a really good starting point.

I'm still working on getting the E-B and the NCC up to speed with this one and work has been slow but I wanted to share what I've been working on. Here's a pic of the NCC with the aftermarket bridge that comes with the saucer/neck kit here in the SSM store. Its a great piece:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/photo7-1.jpg

As always, comments and suggestions appreciated.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,134 Posts
Very cool! If only we could get a kit with an either-or option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Alright, well, it's been a while. The last couple of months have been really busy and I haven't had as much time to model as I'd like but I did get a little work done on the secondary hull.

When I left you all last, I had glued 1mm strips around the bottom of the sec. hull increasing it's size and bringing me closer to the look of the studio model. But still something wasn't right. The forward slope was still too sharp. It needed to be a bit more blunt. I also realized I could probably go a bit deeper on the hull itself.

I applied .5mm strips to the hull the same way as before stopping roughly around the center of the deflector hole. From there I added small strips of 1mm styrene vertically up to the nose of the sec. hull.
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/IMG_0667.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/IMG_0669.jpg

Once that was in place I slathered bondo all over it and sanded smooth. Twice. I still have a bit more to smooth out but it's starting to take shape.

I then traced the trailing edges of the hull on paper and transfered those to .3mm styrene. Cut it to shape and glued it to the hull.
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/IMG_0679.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/IMG_0678.jpg

I still need to putty and smooth everything together but that's where I'm at right now. Here's a comparison between a stock kit hull and mine. (stock kit on bottom and right)
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/IMG_0687.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/IMG_0686.jpg

Another quick correction I've started is adding raised strips to the engineering/sensor platform on the upper deck.
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/IMG_0683.jpg
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae32/JMK_album/Excelsior Build/IMG_0685.jpg

As always, comments and suggestions appreciated. My hope (if there is enough interest) is to eventually have the hull and deck cast and offered as kits. Since Ertl saw fit to permanently alter the tooling to produce the E-B, there isn't much hope for an accurate Excelsior kit anytime soon. So I'm asking for any critiques, suggestions, etc. to hopefully produce a kit people would want and be happy with.

Thanks for looking. I'll try harder to keep the updates more frequent.

A couple extra pics. I wanted to throw some white paint on it to see what it might look like. I was sick of looking at primer grey. Still more work to do but getting closer.




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I've misplaced my neck piece. Once I find it again I'll go back and correct the curve on the plates.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top