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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to build an Enterprise E that I just got from Hobby Lobby. Haven't tried anything like this in a long time. Now that I have alot of time on my hands (laid-off), I think I'll give it a try. I saw where people were cutting out the windows & lighting the kits. I have a dremel style tool. What attachments would any of you recommend to do this with. Also, what would you recommend to fill the window with. I'm guessing it would be best to drill first and then paint, right?
This is my first post, sorry if the questions are lame.
 

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If the windows are recessed on the kit, I recommend using a Dremel to grind away (patiently) from the inside of the hull rather than drilling from the outside. Eventually, if you slow down when you get close, you'll break through and the resulting hole will match the shape of the recessed window. Very little cleanup is required.

It helps to have a bright light behind the hull to backlight the process. The light, seen through the hull plastic from the outside, will get brighter as the plastic gets thinner, and it will guide your progress.

I did it on the Ent-D and it worked like a charm. Of course, the thing will need to be lightblocked with black paint since the hull has divots on the inside, changing its thickness in spots and allowing light to come through around the windows.

As for filling, I used "Pour-on" on the Smoothie, but I might use Microscale Krystal Klear or white glue on the Ent-D. And yes, make the holes before painting.

I hope that helps, and no, the questions are not lame at all. :thumbsup:
 

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I just drilled 437 windows in my 1/1400 EE! All with a pinvise. I drilled a hole in the top and bottom of the window. I then used the same bit in a back and forth motion to cut thru bar between the top and bottom holes. This created my rectangular window. Cleanup was done with the tip of an Xacto. I tried the Dremel and just about melted a hole in my E and that was on the lowest setting!

http://www.starshipmodeler.net/talk/viewtopic.php?t=79349
 

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Hmm ... I have a variable-speed Dremel, too. I went lightly to avoid melting.

(I just didn't trust my ability to cut and trim every hole consistently.) :)
 

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I used my Dremel with a micro drill bit and drilled 1 to 4 holes per window. The I used a brand new (so it was very sharp and still had a good point on it) Exacto knife blade to finish opening up the windows. All I remember about the ordeal was there were between 300 and 500 holes on just the upper saucer.
 

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I did about the same but first using a ball shaped bit thinned the plastic behind the windows. Then when drilling didn't take much to punch through and cut with the knife. When all was done, painted, decals and sealed I used some Krystal Clear and filled the windows. Must admit though, did not cut all, painted some to show the lights were off in some of the rooms.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Think I'll try this method. It seems to use a little bit of what the others have recommended. I also like the idea of blacking out some windows instead of cutting them. You dont realise how many windows this thing has until your about to start cutting them out. Thank for all the great adivice.
 

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The best solution for drilling out windows on the E or any model is what works for you and what your comfortable with. I tried the Dremel and then cutting, but wound up just doing the pinvise method. There is no right or wrong way to open windows.

Oh, and the number of 437 windows is only about two thirds opened up. I left about one third to be undrilled and unlit! The EE has a lot of windows!
 

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I haven't tried this on the 1701E but during another project where I needed long next gen style windows, I tried poking a hot, bladed screwdriver through the plastic from the back to the front - that way, all the excess plastic ends up on the reverse side.

Wouldn't be so good for lots of windows side by side as the plastic would be too thin between windows.

Steve
 

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You guys have just led me to think of another way: drill from the front without touching the edges of the window, then for cleanup, grind from the back with a small bit until the recessed window outline appears.

It makes for less grinding, and allows you to see the bit from the front. A drill press would be ideal for the drilling, but a clever jig would probably be needed to hold the part.

Of course, I haven't tried this.
 

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I got the 1/1400 model....man the windows are so small, I think I might just make little round windows and screw the rectangles.
Oh the horror!
:freak::rolleyes::p
 

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I got the 1/1400 model....man the windows are so small, I think I might just make little round windows and screw the rectangles.
Oh the horror!
:freak::rolleyes::p

I don't blame you. There are a lot of little windows on there! I just drilled all the windows on my NSEA Protector (hull and command deck). That was a little easier than the EE!
 

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I got the 1/1400 model....man the windows are so small, I think I might just make little round windows and screw the rectangles.
Oh the horror!
:freak::rolleyes::p
This is the way I have made the rectangle windows on Enterprise models. It works but you will want to practice on a spare sheet of plastic to get the speed of heating and pressing down. If you go to a sewing store you can find larger needles that will work on ships up to the 18" Enterprise.

Get a needle with the eye a little smaller than the window you want and jab it into a small dowel so the eye is sticking out.

Heat the eye end in a candle flame till it's hot enough to melt through the plastic, then quickly push it through the spot you want the window.

You will get a rectangle shaped hole that with a little cleaning will give you the window you need.
 

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I knew someone had an idea....after saying I was a pro at limber holes...well thats a large Seaview...this little bugger had me thinking?
I will try the needle and heat method.
Thanks
PS practice first on another piece...
:thumbsup:

I will be back.
:wave:
 
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