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High Priest of the NCC-1701-E
5,173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Spindrift from Land of the Giants-Now with Finished Pics and Video!

This is my current project, the small palm-sized Spindrift from...

Box Art...

I have the larger Polar Lights kit too but from everything I've seen ands read this tiny kit is actually more accurate than it's larger cousin.

First thing I did was to fold and glue up the paper interiors for the passenger and pilot cabins.
A squirt here and there with 3-IN-1 craft glue did the trick...

I plan on lighting this little jewel so the interior was sprayed with flat black enamel for light blocking followed by Tamiya white surface primer for even illumination.
Adhesive foil was taped to the upper engine compartment for good measure...

I drilled out the holes in the engine exhaust and intake grills with a pinvise. Tedious work but not all that difficult.
I used progressively smaller bits for the holes along the rim of the indented grills.
I then applied a coat of Testors Italian Red with a brush.
I'll mask off the grills later and paint around them with International Orange (per the kit instructions) which looks to be pretty close to the screen color...


High Priest of the NCC-1701-E
5,173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Moving right along...

Red bits for gluing behind the grills were cut from clear sheet syrene and sprayed with Testors transparent Candy Apple Red...

Looks pretty good with just room light shinig thru from the backside...

I did the same thing for the grill under the upper dome after drilling the holes out...

The shelves under the passenger windows seen above were Evergreen strips I glued into place. The paper passenger cabin wood-grain counters will slide in and be glued to them with 3-IN-1 glue.

Wiring for the LEDs will pass thru this brass tube I glued into the lower hull with CA. The original slot for the kit stand was then packed with AVES. Another longer brass tube will fit inside this tube eventually for mounting to the base which will be a custom job and will house a 9 volt battery.


High Priest of the NCC-1701-E
5,173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Here are the front windows glued in place.
The windows werea clear part so I applied small narrow strips of adhessive foil to the inside of the frames for light blocking.
The pilot cabin was glued in place with 3-IN-1 GLUE.

So tiny but so cool...

Test fitting with the passenger cabin. It's too far forward in this pic.
I'll have to slide it back a touch.
This will make for a tight fit with the engine LEDs...

That's all the pics for now.
My lighting scheme will involve a collection of white and red LEDs.
I figure one white LED mounted forward to shine down above the pilot's cabin and one just behind it to illuminate the passenger cabin.
Light from these LEDs should hopefully be enough to illuninate the dome in the ceiling; if not, I may have to add a red LED facing upward under the dome grill.
This would than be covered underneath with adhesive foil to prevent light leakage into the interior.
In the engine compartment will be a white (or red) LED in the center shining downward from above with two smaller red LEDs facing rearward in front of each engine exhaust grill.
Facing forward behind the rear cabin "reactor" wall and shared between the two paisley shaped intake grills will be one self-flashing red LED to give the intakes that pulsing effect.
I'm trying to keep the LED count to no more than 6 if I can.

Anyway, thanks for reading along.

Comments welcome!


High Priest of the NCC-1701-E
5,173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Today's update...

I want to backlight the rear reactor wall in the passenger cabin so I took tiny square and straight strips of aluminum foil tape and laid them on the backside of the wall for the hexagonal framework light blocking...

The paper is thin enough to allow the light to shine thru quite nicely...

Work was started on the base.

Using my dremel I carved out a compartment for the battery and slots for the wiring to the DC power jack and slide switch.
The power jack will allow me to plug in a matching DC power plug.
5 minute epoxy holds the power jack and wiring in place...

The mounting tube with it's DC power plug.
I decided on this arrangement since there wasn't enough clearance inside the model with the paper interior in place to have the power jack mounted inside it.
As it is, there was barely enough room to pass 2 wires under the floor of the passenger cabin into the rear of the model.
The model will be glued to the mounting tube and having the power plug on the bottom of the mounting tube will allow me to still be able to unplug the model from the base...

For the light test I installed a 5 MM white LED in the Spindrift's ceiling under the dome grill. One 1100mcd LED can light up both cabins as well as the external dome...

You may notice I removed the strips under the passenger cabin windows that I'd installed previously.
I was having too many fit issues with the paper interior fitting too snug and warping the paper so instead I glued Evergreen angle brackets underneath
the wood-grain paper counters on the sides of the passenger cabin to make them more rigid.

Light test with the power switched on and the mounting tube inserted thru a hole in the base and into the power jack underneath...

Next up will be cutting styrene sheet to the oval shape of the base and cutting out a door for the battery compartment.
Then I'll laminate the styrene to the bottom of the base covering up the wiring slots, etc.
I had to do it this way since I couldn't carve the battery compartment deep enough to have the door panel be recessed into the wooden base; the wood just wasn't thick enough for that.
Then it'll be time for gluing the model to the brass mounting tube and wiring up the rest of the LEDs in the engine compartment.

Thanks for reading!


High Priest of the NCC-1701-E
5,173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Got a bit more done since the start of my long holiday...

Tracing the shape of the base onto a sheet of .040 styrene I layed down some Dymo label tape where the battery compartment door would be...

Usng scribing tools and the tape as a guide I managed to cut out the door without incident.
Then I used my flexi ruler to guide me as I scribed out the oval along the pencil lines.
I then applied a liberal amount of Elmer's white glue to the underside of the base and clamped the styrene to the base and let dry while I continued working on the Spindrift.

Here's the base with the styrene glued to the bottom after the clamps were removed...not bad...

It's not pictured but the battery door is held in place with some small machine screws I got at the local ACE hardware store.

On to the Spindrift...

I wanted to hide the wiring from the ceiling LED so I stuck some strips of white reflective tape over them...

Then I glued the passenger cabin in place using some good old 3-IN-1 craft glue.
You can see the wires poking out from underneath...

These are the LEDs glued into position in the back of the engine compartment.
Clear styrene sheet was used to mount the LEDs into position directly in front of the engine exhaust ports.
I used 4400mcd white LEDs from Radio Shack which give off a lot of light, enough to light up the whole compartment and then some.
The rear facing LEDs were painted with Testors Italian Red enamel...

Here they are lit up after soldering the wire leads. I used 330 ohm resistors in a parallel circuit...

Another angle on the LEDs. The center forward-faciong LED is a red blinker...

View from the rear showing the engine glow...

When I put the upper engine hull piece in place it really lit the rear exhaust and front intake vents up nicely with the light pulsating from the red flasher.
Fortunately, none of the red glow from the rear engine lights affected the pure white light in the passenger and pilot cabins as I feared might happen.


High Priest of the NCC-1701-E
5,173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After sealing up the hull I puttied with AVES Apoxie Scuplt, sanded any rough spots smooth (of which there were hardly any) then applied Tamiya Basic type polyester putty to really smooth out the seams.
After about an hour I sanded down to about 600 grit and brushed on some Mr Surfacer 1000 just for a little overkill.
Then I masked the remaining windows, dome grill, and engine vents with Tamiya tape afterwhich I brushed the edges with Future to prevent paint bleed...

Here she is with the tailfin glued on with Tenax liquid cement...

Here she is now with a good spray of grey Tamiya fine surface primer.
Look Ma! No seams or scratches!

I'll let her dry overnight and airbrush her with Testors International Orange tomorrow.

Thanks for reading along!


High Priest of the NCC-1701-E
5,173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Spindrift, the Sunkist orange of rocket transports!

Gave her an airbrushing of International Orange today. Very shiny!
Just a small speck in front of the starboard passenger window; otherwise, a perfectly smooth finish...

I should be able to pcik off that speck with my dental pick tool.
Then I'll give her one more light coat of orange.
Then let her sit for 4-5 days to cure.

3,230 Posts
Wonderful work!
But lordy, don't pick at the speck... wet sand with 1200 or higher grit wet or dry paper.. if you don't break through the color you can polish it out.

You were going to add more paint any way..give it a very gentle color sand. I love Tamiya paint, and you can really make your kit sing..just do some color sanding.

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