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Discussion Starter #1
I've been working on this for about a week now; parts for a Dreadnought laid out. DN parts are from VA Miniatures, B/C Deck, Lower sensor array, main deflector dish, warp engine front intakes and assorted small parts from DLM. Split impulse deck and Bridge module from PNT.

Various modifications completed before today; today's work was the puttying of the random wood-grain like patterning the model picked up from it's second release onwards. It will take some time to remove the patterning. LOTS of puttying. I am aware that the conversion does not address that the secondary hull will be 1/2" too short in this scale, but I am not going to fix that with this model.

I've decided to forgo a saucer shuttlebay and lower saucer deflector array for this model. Consider it an "as designed" early build, if you will. The only concession to the lack of saucer mods is the split impulse deck; a stock Refit impulse engine would get in the way of the extended dorsal that supports the third engine.
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Here's a challenge: The Franz Joseph TOS dreadnought has a larger secondary hull. I'd love to see somebody enlarge the refit hull accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I nominate John for that challenge!! :wave:

The Refit secondary hull is so full of compound curves, I wonder if a whole new hull would have to be sculpted! I just can't see a plug for the existing hull working, but I could easily be wrong.
 

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If I could figger out how to do it, I'd have done it already! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Puttying continues... sanding stages next. I'm just tearing through my tube of Bondo! Saucer top nearly done; maybe 5% left. One side of all three engines done and the secondary hull should be all done.

And... I found that the box actually contains a SECOND DN conversion and kit to use it on.... looks like I was mix 'n matching parts. The resin conversion kit was going to get the saucer shuttlebay and lower saucer deflector dish... the other kit - using the SFSM vac-form conversion kit was going to go "as designed/drawn" in it's simplest form.

Time to rethink my build. And get another tube of putty. :freak:
 

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Here's a challenge: The Franz Joseph TOS dreadnought has a larger secondary hull. I'd love to see somebody enlarge the refit hull accordingly.
It's not too difficult, really... just "sandwich and fill."



That's the Ertl kit, btw...

This took two secondary hulls, assembled and "sliced" into sections. I glued the slices together, and used white Milliput over the entire surface, in several applications. As you see it here, the secondary hull is finished, but the dorsal is barely started.

FYI, this started out life as the SFSM vac-form kit, but in the end none of the vac-form elements except the dorsal remained... and even that was dramatically re-created (I ended up creating a whole new surface for it, again using white Milliput.) The dorsal is actually nearly solid plastic... with the "skin" on top of that, and then the milliput eventually applied over the skin (which never quite looked "right").

I based my stuff on the dreadnought comparison blueprint poster from the early '80s... with the Federation(uprated), and also with the Ascension class (the Belknap-based smaller dreadnought). The aft-facing torpedo tubes, for example, come from there.

I noticed that your resin pylon/fin has phasers on it... this wasn't the case on the poster... the secondary hull had the same basic phaser array as the Enterprise. Though it's not hard to imagine a similar or modified ship having them there...

The Federation (uprated) also did not have the split impulse deck, though it does sort of make sense if you have a dorsal extension as this ship does...
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
CLBrown, I like the rear-firing torpedo tubes you did there! It's not a feature I'm going to add to my Refit DN models. Another acquaintance built his DN using the SFSM kit and also added rear tubes.

The pylon-mounted phasers are a feature of the resin kit. Certainly not a feature of the SFSM kit. This will just highlight the differences between both ships; the SFSM-modded kit will resemble the "as built/designed" plans (Federation Reference Series is my source) and the other- with the saucer-mounted deflector dish, saucer-mounted shuttlebay, split impulse deck, extra phasers- will a "fully-tricked out" type of ship. And she will be a later version, but I haven't decided which name/number she'll carry yet.

Also appreciate seeing how your extended hull turned out as well. But I'm still not going to add that length to mine; not since I've discovered I've doubled my DN workload and it's an incredible amount of work just to eliminate that darned patterning.

The kit using the SFSM kit will not get the split impulse deck; the one using the VA Miniatures kit will. Both models will get the better B/C decks, one using the DLM version and the other getting the PNT version.

I can get USS Federation decals for one model, but the other model will most likely get markings from the PNT Movie-era generic decal sheet at this point in time. There just aren't any other ready-to-use sheets available out there.
 

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CLBrown, I like the rear-firing torpedo tubes you did there! It's not a feature I'm going to add to my Refit DN models. Another acquaintance built his DN using the SFSM kit and also added rear tubes.

The pylon-mounted phasers are a feature of the resin kit. Certainly not a feature of the SFSM kit. This will just highlight the differences between both ships; the SFSM-modded kit will resemble the "as built/designed" plans (Federation Reference Series is my source) and the other- with the saucer-mounted deflector dish, saucer-mounted shuttlebay, split impulse deck, extra phasers- will a "fully-tricked out" type of ship. And she will be a later version, but I haven't decided which name/number she'll carry yet.

Also appreciate seeing how your extended hull turned out as well. But I'm still not going to add that length to mine; not since I've discovered I've doubled my DN workload and it's an incredible amount of work just to eliminate that darned patterning.

The kit using the SFSM kit will not get the split impulse deck; the one using the VA Miniatures kit will. Both models will get the better B/C decks, one using the DLM version and the other getting the PNT version.

I can get USS Federation decals for one model, but the other model will most likely get markings from the PNT Movie-era generic decal sheet at this point in time. There just aren't any other ready-to-use sheets available out there.
Well, the SFSM "kit" was a massive disappointment to me, unlike most of their other items (I love their Grissom, and their TOS Romulan, for example).

I ended up making my own bridge, because the vac-form bridge they provided had an incorrect shape, and the detail was very soft. I used an Ertl bridge as the basis, but rebuilt the entire aft end using sheet styrene.

They ignored the dramatically-enlarged B/C deck superstructure that the dreadnought-type ships were supposed to have, so I ended up doing this enhancement in very much the same fashion... sandwich-and-fill, again using white Milliput. I actually created a "rib" structure from the B/C-deck superstructure I'd removed from my Monoceros-class Scout, and using that as a general "shape guide" I sculpted the B/C deck region. Here it is, compared to the stock kit. It's subtle, but it makes a HUGE difference, to me.



(FYI, the enlarged structure was supposedly to support a "fleet operations center" just below the bridge, since the concept for the dreadnoughts was that, in wartime, they'd be the central vessels in fleet actions. The ship would be under the command of a captain, on the bridge... but the whole fleet would be under the command of a commodore or an admiral, in the fleet operations center on B and/or C deck. I, personally, envision this as being a bit larger than the bridge, two-tiered and still circular, to allow the fleet admiral, at the center, to see all the fleet-operations workstations in a circle around him, on both tiers. He, and his senior staff, would be in a "mid-between-decks" podium in the center of the room, with a big holographic "tactical map" at the very center.)

FYI, here's the poster-blueprint I was talking about earlier, which is my primary reference for this ship. Other references come from books like the "magazine," Starship Design" (most notably) and so forth. There were quite a few very high-quality ref books of this type made back in the 80s, pre-TNG (when Paramount "reasserted" their total dominance over all Trek-related publishing, and shut down most of the fan-publishing world).

 

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Discussion Starter #15
I never noticed the extra large B/C deck housing! It's in my Fed. Ref. Series drawing of the Refit DN, I just didn't make the connection!

I'll be darned!

Not too sure if I'll change that yet. I'm still way too early in the the project x2 to decide on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've sorted out the various pieces for each DN. The one shown in the first picture has had the lower saucer swapped out for one I had already installed the lower saucer deflector housing (a PNT part) - it needs to be secured in one corner better then the whole thing gets puttied. I've also changed that beautiful DLM lower saucer sensor housing to the PNT Abbe-type, which could be considered more having in common with the TOS style lower sensor array.

Pictures of the lower saucer will be coming later, in a few days.

The upper saucer has been almost completely puttied and is being sanded. What's left to be puttied will wait till I get the new DLM B/C deck in place. Thanks to CLBrown, I now know that this is still wrong. However... with *2* DNs on the table now, I just am not going to change it. Justification: The AMT kit is wrong, anyway! (man, that's pathetic!)

Modifications to the 2nd DN - which really wasn't intended to be covered here - have been started. I'll have to reinforce the vac pieces quite a bit to withstand the work and the stresses they will have to deal with later in an assembled state. A buddy of mine modified the dorsal to fit around the stock AMT dorsal, thereby fixing that whole strength/support issue.

Definitely not being covered here was last night's discovery of missing pieces for my through-deck conversion. How much was missing? Everything below the saucer. I was nearly driving myself nuts trying to figure out where that box got to!!!
 

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I've sorted out the various pieces for each DN. The one shown in the first picture has had the lower saucer swapped out for one I had already installed the lower saucer deflector housing (a PNT part) - it needs to be secured in one corner better then the whole thing gets puttied. I've also changed that beautiful DLM lower saucer sensor housing to the PNT Abbe-type, which could be considered more having in common with the TOS style lower sensor array.

Pictures of the lower saucer will be coming later, in a few days.

The upper saucer has been almost completely puttied and is being sanded. What's left to be puttied will wait till I get the new DLM B/C deck in place. Thanks to CLBrown, I now know that this is still wrong. However... with *2* DNs on the table now, I just am not going to change it. Justification: The AMT kit is wrong, anyway! (man, that's pathetic!)

Modifications to the 2nd DN - which really wasn't intended to be covered here - have been started. I'll have to reinforce the vac pieces quite a bit to withstand the work and the stresses they will have to deal with later in an assembled state. A buddy of mine modified the dorsal to fit around the stock AMT dorsal, thereby fixing that whole strength/support issue.

Definitely not being covered here was last night's discovery of missing pieces for my through-deck conversion. How much was missing? Everything below the saucer. I was nearly driving myself nuts trying to figure out where that box got to!!!
Well, re: the B/C deck structure... just make it a ship which is not on the "list" and maybe treat it as a similar, but different, class. While the "Federation-class (uprated) Dreadnought" has the "fleet command center" there, it also has the enlarged secondary hull (with dual m/am reactors).

The ship you're building is SIMILAR to that, but has a smaller secondary hull (only one reactor), a smaller B/C deck superstructure (no fleet command center), a split impulse deck, and some different weapons hardpoints. It's clearly not the same class of ship.

Maybe the ship you're building is a "fast cruiser" rather than a "dreadnought?"

After all, "Dreadnought" does NOT mean "three engines." And there's no reason that a three-engine ship need be called a "dreadnought."

Personally, I never thought that the "Ascension-class Dreadnought" (with the "fleet command" functions but with much lower total power output) really qualified as a dreadnought, anyway. I'd have called that a "command cruiser," personally.

FYI, "Dreadnought" is a real naval term, and is really a subcategory of the "battleship" category. In general terms, a "dreadnought" is just a battleship with all the guns of equal (and large) sizes, rather than the distributed range of sizes "conventional" battleships usually carry. In other words, it's the "big guns" battleship, and (in real naval terms, again) was thus typically the centerpiece of a large fleet, relying on the supporting fleet to provide the smaller-weapons support, defending against smaller threats which it would be unable to defend itself adequately against. And yes, this would then TYPICALLY have been the HQ ship of that fleet.

In TREK terms, I always assumed that the extra engine was there to allow the very heavy ship to keep up with the rest of her fleet and to not maneuver like a sow in mud. The ship would be heavier, in large part, due to a much increased power generation system. That system, in turn, would permit the ship to fire highest-power weaponry at a nearly continuous-fire rate for long periods of time... in other words, making her the long-range-big-guns ship at the center of a fleet, much like the REAL "dreadnought" type ships would be.

Of course, this is all fictitious, so your mileage may vary... but I just choose to relate the "real world" definitions" to the "trek world definition" as closely as possible.

And as a result, I think your ship is likely not a "dreadnought" at all... but likely serves some other (albeit not totally dissimilar) combat role.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
With all due respect - your points are all absolutely correct - (and I am aware of the info on the original HMS Dreadnought) this still doesn't really change too much for me at all in regards to my eventual naming of these vessels. Chalk it up to "personal canon", if you will...! ;)

While I by no means have had access to everything in the way of blueprints, just about every blueprint I've ever did see has always referred to 3-engined ships as "dreadnoughts". And 4-engined ships were designated "battleships".... until The Next Generation happened and changed everything.

In order to have a *proper* Refit DN, you do need more than just the extra engines. But the conversions available - by comparison - are cheap compared to actually doing the work necessary to enlarging the sections of the ship's hull... like you did. Even AW Studio's eventual Dreadnought conversion for the 1350 Refit isn't going to do much more than what the SFSM or VA Miniatures conversions did for the AMT Refit.

Your points are well taken and I thank you for your input. I'm still not changing my mind about what to refer to this ship class. :tongue: :D
 

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I never noticed the extra large B/C deck housing! It's in my Fed. Ref. Series drawing of the Refit DN, I just didn't make the connection!

I'll be darned!
You're getting old, Barry! We discussed that a couple times in the past. I think the consensus between the two of us was that it just wouldn't be too terribly feasible w/o a major re-work of the upper saucer and B/C deck area.
Not too sure if I'll change that yet. I'm still way too early in the the project x2 to decide on that.
What did you do w/that extended secondary hull you had worked on at one point in the past? Also, didn't you have a saucer you were working on w/the PNT Abbe-style lower saucer mounted nav deflector?

Regardless, been too long since we last talked. I need to fix that, methinks....
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Hi, Jeff!

I never noticed the enlarged B/C decks even some 20 odd years ago!! Although in retrospect, I think I noticed that the section didn't seem to look right in the top view and I simply never made the connection. Embarrassingly enough, I am not recalling our conversations on the enlarged B/C decks right now.. but we most likely did; there was very little of the AMT kit left undiscussed.

As far as that enlarged secondary hull went.. it was never mine; it belonged to a good friend of mine although in the interests of full disclosure, he gave up everything in that scale last year and I was the recipient of all of those pieces. I have NO idea where that hull went. All I recall about it aside from it's larger size, it has no real internal reinforcement and needs some major stiffening. Something I'm not sure how to go about.. but until it's found, it's all a moot point, isn't it? ;)

Some things have changed for me in the (literal) "talk" aspects that you don't know about. PM me first, okay? :wave:
 
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