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Discussion Starter #1
It begins.


On a whim, tonight, I broke out my 1/350 TOS Enterprise kit, and
began washing the parts to clean off mold release.

Now, I still have a lot of other projects in the pipe, but, I felt that it's time to start on this. I'd like it to be completed by Sept. 8, 2016. And, with the elaborate plans I have, it's gonna take time. Need to start working on ideas for the display base/case, and planning out the electronics.


First things first. Will I show off the interiors (Bridge, hangar deck), or
stick with a purely exterior model? Replace the Round 2 kit's nacelle
motors? Gotta start making some decisions.

The base and electronics are the hard part, here. For starters, I'm not the most electronics-savvy.

I'm armed with a 3-ring binder full of tips, tricks, and reference materials, the weathering decals (though I'll likely use pastel chalks), the R2 and Paragrafix photoetch, and the R2 light kit. Been preparing for this for years, really.


My goals:

* Extreme attention to accuracy in detailing and weathering patterns. Possibly penciled gridlines, unless I can devise a way to fill/preshade the engraved grids so as to provide a very subtle look.

* Quieting/replacing the fan motors, and accurately replicating the lighting effects.

* A nice display base/case, with a backlit STAR TREK logo, and separate control buttons for the lights and engine motors (so that the lights can be run without the engine fans running all the time).

* Installing a speaker and USB sound module into the base, so as to play sound effects and/or "Enterprise flyby" music cues taken from La-La-Land's complete TOS soundtrack collection.

* Moving the pcbs into the base, in case they fail. I'm leery about installing them into the model itself. I should be able to use a pin connector to attach the model to the base, right? Any suggestions for a good one?


So...first things first. Any thoughts from the experts on the electronics feasibility of what I plan? I haven't tested the Round 2 electronics, yet. Are the flasher blink rates reasonably accurate? Would separating the motor function from the lights with its own switch be a problem?

Any suggestions for alternate/aftermarket electronics, or a display case big enough to fit this girl?

I'm gonna need help figuring out the electronics portion of this project, guys!


Slow and steady wins the race. I'm not jumping head-first into this (yet), but it's time to start working on it. (*deep breath*)
 

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What kind of liquid did you use to wash off the mold release from the
parts of your 1/350 enterprise kit,and where can I get it?
 

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If you want to run the motors separate from the lights with a switch in the base you'll need a 4-pin connector at minimum. 2 contacts for the lights and 2 to run the motors. There's plenty of space to run 4 wires up each nacelle strut so that's not an issue. As far as blink rates using the R2 lighting kit, they seem to be one second on, one second off. This applies to the strobes at the aft end of the secondary hull too although I went a different route (no choice really since the PC board socket for those blinkers didn't work) and mine blink much faster.

I'm going to enjoy following your progress. You do superior work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What kind of liquid did you use to wash off the mold release from the
parts of your 1/350 enterprise kit,and where can I get it?
Just filled a wash basin (and a few bowls for the small parts) with standard dishwashing detergent, let the parts soak for a while, then rinsed and scrubbed them down.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you want to run the motors separate from the lights with a switch in the base you'll need a 4-pin connector at minimum. 2 contacts for the lights and 2 to run the motors. There's plenty of space to run 4 wires up each nacelle strut so that's not an issue. As far as blink rates using the R2 lighting kit, they seem to be one second on, one second off. This applies to the strobes at the aft end of the secondary hull too although I went a different route (no choice really since the PC board socket for those blinkers didn't work) and mine blink much faster.

I'm going to enjoy following your progress. You do superior work.

Not as good as yours, my friend! I just wing it. Research and planning is 70% of the work! and that's my strong area. Actual technique and build-cleanliness are areas I constantly fudge my way through. And, considering that electronics are a huge blind spot for me, I'm more than a bit apprehensive.

But, hey, that's why it's called a "challenge"!


Next step--light-blocking the interiors (with silver, then gloss white), examining the R2 light kit, and test-fitting the window inserts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are you thinking about putting some random colors/shapes off set behind the windows to give them some depth?


My plan is to replicate--as exactly as possible, with minimal idealization (aside from things like symmetrical windows on the port side)--the specific appearance of the studio model as it appeared during the production run of the series. So, no aztecing, no lit impulse engines, no detail/shadowcasters behind the windows (aside from the colored windows and the mesh in the dorsal pylon).
 

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What about the smoked window inserts? I get the impression that they'll need to be light-blocked, too.
The smoked inserts? I glued them in with 5-minute epoxy (won't harm your paint) then covered them with adhesive-backed aluminum mylar. Went all the way out and overlapped the edge too. The edge of the insert will transmit light if it's not blocked.
 

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As Trekkriffic noted, the PL light kit doesn't quite get the running lights right and the strobes for the secondary hull are completely off (it's the same rate for both). I built this little add on to plug into the Pl board to fix the running lights while providing blink rate options, including the secondary hull strobe rate.

http://youtu.be/2ndWyKt7BOs?list=UUI2sKEjlHafqmcpsZ0rxbmA

The warp engines are going to be more tricky if you want to make the 5 blinkers more random. For the engines, Trekkriffic has the best solution with a DC motor - I'm working on using steppers which should be more quiet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As Trekkriffic noted, the PL light kit doesn't quite get the running lights right and the strobes for the secondary hull are completely off (it's the same rate for both). I built this little add on to plug into the Pl board to fix the running lights while providing blink rate options, including the secondary hull strobe rate.

http://youtu.be/2ndWyKt7BOs?list=UUI2sKEjlHafqmcpsZ0rxbmA

The warp engines are going to be more tricky if you want to make the 5 blinkers more random. For the engines, Trekkriffic has the best solution with a DC motor - I'm working on using steppers which should be more quiet.
Hmmm. I haven't done a lot of research on the blink rates. I get the impression that non-fast-moving/speciality shots (such as the footage shot for "Space Seed") are close to the real-time rates, as opposed to the sped-up/slowed-down footage so often used, elsewhere.

Any more info on your add-on, Ross? Or, are there any aftermarket boards out there which provide more accurate rates?

I'll have to re-read Steve's build thread for info on the motors. I see that Tenacontrols is also offering a set of motors. Anyone here try them?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Applied Perfect Plastic Putty to the etched markings on the upper rear of the B/C deck structure.

Filled the six misplaced window holes on the lower saucer with Aves. When that cures, I'll apply PPP, then sand flush, then use the Aztec Dummy templates to redrill the holes in the correct positions.

Started test-fitting the window inserts. Not a terrible fit, although there's some warpage. Cutting the inserts into multiple pieces will help with the fit, I think. I'm also wondering if I shouldn't frost the clear inserts from the rear.
 

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Hmmm. I haven't done a lot of research on the blink rates. I get the impression that non-fast-moving/speciality shots (such as the footage shot for "Space Seed") are close to the real-time rates, as opposed to the sped-up/slowed-down footage so often used, elsewhere.

Any more info on your add-on, Ross? Or, are there any aftermarket boards out there which provide more accurate rates?

I'll have to re-read Steve's build thread for info on the motors. I see that Tenacontrols is also offering a set of motors. Anyone here try them?
Trek Ace here provided a lot of info, then I went and watched a bunch of episodes and did the timings myself (being careful to exclude shots where they had been sped up or slowed down). Here's what I have:

The TOS E running lights flash at a base timing of 1-1/2 sec (36 frames) on, 1/2 sec (12 frames) off.

Alternate is 1/2 sec on, 1.5 sec off (reverse of above).

In "The Corbomite Maneuver", the lights were on for 18 frames and off for 20

For the 2nd pilot, the lights were on for 1 sec and off for 2/3 sec (Trek Ace)(http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showpost.php?p=4515070&postcount=10)

Last mode is a strobe: 0.02 sec on, 0.5 sec off

>> These modes are available via a momentary button on the board

I was going to sell this board through a friend who was starting up his own model kit business but that hasn't panned out. I've sold 10 or either at WonderFest or through members here.
 

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Filled the six misplaced window holes on the lower saucer with Aves. When that cures, I'll apply PPP, then sand flush, then use the Aztec Dummy templates to redrill the holes in the correct positions.
I used the Aztec Dummy templates to redrill the 3 holes but note that he doesn't replicate the curvature of the saucer - all three holes on his template are in a line, so you'll have to be careful to ensure they end up in an arc.

Started test-fitting the window inserts. Not a terrible fit, although there's some warpage. Cutting the inserts into multiple pieces will help with the fit, I think. I'm also wondering if I shouldn't frost the clear inserts from the rear.
I did exactly that and it really does help with getting them in flush. I sanded the back of the clear inserts with rough sandpaper to frost them a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I used the Aztec Dummy templates to redrill the 3 holes but note that he doesn't replicate the curvature of the saucer - all three holes on his template are in a line, so you'll have to be careful to ensure they end up in an arc.

A quick glance at the Orbital Drydock templates (which I also have) shows that they're in an arc, so I guess I'll be using them, instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Some random thoughts:

* Been thinking about those pesky gridlines. Fortunately, I have two spare lower saucers to experiment with. I think it may be possible to flush-fill the lines with a dark putty after the priming/basecoat phase, then mist the basecoat over that. Essentially, it would be preshading with putty.

The etched gridlines are a valuable tool for aligning the markings, after all. Eliminating them in favor of a (likely) imperfect, penciled grid might throw things off. At the very least, drawing those concentric rings onto such a large surface will be tricky. Even moreso if the entire model is assembled at that stage. Hmmm.


* Still debating on whether or not to bother with the interiors. Ideally, I'd like this to serve as a nice, pristine display piece, carefully protected inside a case. Having, say a removable Bridge dome and hangar doors to show off the interiors would make the model more toylike, and would also be impractical, since the case would have to be removed whenever I'd want to show off those features. Additionally, the interior Bridge set had an opaque ceiling, so I'd tend to stick to the fictional reality of the design (the "Cage" zoom-in notwithstanding).


Been browsing around for a potential source for a display case. The base would need to accommodate the electronics and such. As long as Laserfire Creations is still in the game, I need to start thinking about what I want to do in terms of a plaque. Also looking for a nice speaker setup for the music/sounds.

As noted, planning out the electronics will be the hardest part of this.
 
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