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Discussion Starter #1
I'm dusting off my old FJ blueprints and I'm thinking of building this ship since the 18"er's dimensions fit with the re-release pretty well.



The rest of this post is FYI.

Memory Alpha said:
NCC-1700 has never been seen or named in any Star Trek production. The registry number was first seen in "Court Martial" and was associated with a Constitution-class vessel via a schematic in "Datalore". The Star Trek Encyclopedia names this ship the USS Constitution, and states that it is the prototype of the Constitution-class. The Making of Star Trek listed the Constitution as one of fourteen starship names established by the production staff in 1968, but did not identify it by class or registry.

Diagrams seen on monitors of any Constitution-class ship after TOS show a drawing by Franz Joseph of the ship being labeled "NCC-1700". (The Star Trek II and III appearances were scanned from pages of the Star Fleet Technical Manual, for instance.) The complete original drawing (unseen and/or illegible on-screen) in the Star Fleet Technical Manual bears the label "Constitution class" in the accompanying text.

Subtle differences between the depictions of NCC-1700 in the Franz Joseph drawings used, and that of NCC-1701 in TOS: "The Enterprise Incident" lead to the conclusion that there exist some minor design differences between the two ships. The TOS Enterprise had different dimensions than the Franz Joseph Constitution, as Joseph's drawing had bulkier nacelles and different curves on the saucer and primary hull. Joseph's depiction of the Constitution also featured external phaser mounts and other technical details the original Enterprise model lacked. This is not fully evident in the episodes themselves, though, and it is unclear whether the production staff actually intended that such differences exist. Because ships are typically built over a period of years, it is not at all uncommon for individual members of a class of ships to have differences, even visible ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A while ago one of the Hobby Talk members sent me a large ammount of old 18"er's. Recently, I looked through my big collection of Star Trek 18"er's and discovered that this person had begun some work on building one of these kits to match the FJ Blueprints. However, there were only a few holes drilled in the primary hull for the additional phasers and some blobs of brown putty on the 4 intercoolers as well as the 2 inner intercoolers were sanded smooth.

So carring on in this tradition, I just spent a few hours scribing in the lower saucer grid lines.



This is the beginings of my Franz Joseph U.S.S. Constitution using the 1973 edition of the Star Trek Blueprints.

I used a compass , knife and 1/4" masking tape to scribe in the grid that appears underneath the saucer. I never want to do this again! :D



After all the lines were scribed in the bottom of the saucer, I noticed that my scribing tool skidded off in a few places. Also, the windows, molded on rings, and 3 indentations had to be removed.

More to come in the future! :D
 

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Scribing in ALL the deflector lines as per the Tech Manual specs?!?! That's crazy and I'd never what to do that myself! LOL!

That's really dedicated, Trevor.... even if it's only for the Constitution!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
It wasn't actually that hard...just time consuming.

First, I drilled a small hole in the center of the saucer. Then I spun 6 circles starting from the center of the group of windows and working my way outward until I ended up at the outer rim of the saucer before it flattens out. Then I removed the raised rings, but kept the holes and windows for reference. Afterwords, I scribed in the lines using the "Points" that come in any geometry set (They look like a compass with two metal points on them instead of 1 metal point and a pencil.)

I kept the raised grid on top and lined up my tape to the center hole I drilled in for the compass. That gave me a reference for the bisecting lines. Then I just followed the tape with an Atlas Snap Saw and moved and sawed along the tape for each line. After this, I removed the windows and filled the holes and any place where the saw went off the tape line.

Now I just have to sand out the putty and rescribe the flawed lines. This whole project took me less than 2 hours, and part of that time was spent packing up my baby and taking her to get her mother at the grocery store.

I also have to fill those two phaser holes and redrill them a few cm's down from where they are now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Time for an update!


I put the model in my Star Trek Jig for a quick look at how my saucer grid scribing lines up with the grid scribing on the neck. Everything looks really good, but there is still some work to do on the engines and saucer.


A close-up. See how the neck and saucer scribed lines line up. Those two wierd angle lines at the front of the neck are also suppose to be there at those wierd angles. I debated leaving this area unscribed, but then deduced that those lines should be in there.



Here's the scribe lines that run across the secondary hull and connect the Warp Drive support pylons.



Here's the rear intercoolers. Note how the front and rear ends look the same and how they have no grid underneath them like the kit supplied part. They also lack those 5 raised lines on the sides. This is how Franz Joseph drew them on the 1973 Blueprints. There's also two pins that stick out of the front and rear of these intercoolers that still have to be added, but I will do that when I glue these pieces to the engine. These new intercoolers were modified from the kit supplied parts with my hobby knofe and files.

Also note that the square box rear intercooler on the side of the engine has been filed flat at the top. I took out the factory "Roll" from the top and bottom sides of the box. AMT did this so they could remove the engine from the mold.

That's it for now. Hopefully I'll be finished this model soon.

Next thing I wonder is how to paint it. The only markings that are the same on this ship from the TV production ships are the side pennants, numbers, and the undersaucer red 1/3 circles. Any suggestions?
 

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Have you considered using JTG's USS Constitution decals? They should have all the same markings you're looking for on the decal sheet- I think. Except that the Blueprint markings used Microgamma fonts, not the TOS style that the JTG decals have. Years ago, I collected the Microgamma dry transfers in the sizes and types recommended by Paul M. Newitt's "Star Fleet Assembly Manual 3".

Painting: I don't have my blueprints handy but unless I'm way off base here, I think the external colour is supposed to be white. Depends on how strict you want to go... My own plan for when I do this ship is to go with grey colour and TOS style markings; exactly the same as the TOS Enterprise is shown.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I probably will just use the name/numbers from the new kit. I'm not going to try and 100% match FJ's font, just the construction.
 

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Trevor,

I always wish everybody success with their modeling, but somehow I even more concerned about your project. So I found a web site that has a free download of the Microgramma Extended font: http://www.font-zone.com/download.php?fid=3873. This was the "official Star Fleet" lettering, acording to Franz Joseph. You could use the downloaded font to make your own 'accurate' decals for your starship.

Q'aplaa!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)


Here's the font Franz Joseph used for the 1973 Blueprinted Constitution Class Starships. This was the "Official Star Fleet" lettering, acording to Franz Joseph.

I only had this little strip of decal film left, so I had to tape it to the paper and hope that it would go through the printer. Luckily, it did.

The font is called Microgramma Extended font: http://www.font-zone.com/download.php?fid=3873
(Thanx go to Mark McGovern of Hobby Talk for finding me this link.)

I discovered that you can't use 1700 without the "Hook" at the top of the "1". Instead, I used a capital "i" to get I700, which matches the tech drawings.

The top four "NCC-1700" go on the engines and under the saucer, The larger letters go on top of the saucer and the large "O" and "U.S.S. CONSTITUTION" go under the secondary hull where on the ENTERPRISE would be the Square, Circle, Rectangle, etc.

Now I'm excited to paint the ship and decal it!
 

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Way to go, indeed!! Nice one, Mark! Trevor, you've really appeared to have hit the lettering right on!

Assuming I don't run out of the various generic aftermarket sheets of TOS markings for the "12 ships of the Fleet" (actually 14!) I'll use my Microgamma dry transfers for a ship or so. If for no other reason but to try it myself!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just wish I had enough Decal paper so that I didn't have to break up "Constitution". That's going to be hard to piece back.

Now here's two new pics of the bottom of the saucer with primer paint and impulse engines applied :




You can still see the depressions in the bottom of the saucer. I think the putty is absorbing some of the paint. I hope the second coat of primer will hide them.

Also, looking at FJ's impuse engines, I notice that the two lines on the outer shell aren't there and that he uses the second pilot's :Mini-light" arrangement.
 

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Any further progress, Trevor?

I found my blueprints and my SFAM 3. This is the info from SFAM 3 (page 44) included regarding using the Tech Manual style of lettering:

NCC number, topside primary hull: Microgamma Extended, 36 pt.
Ship name saucer topside, NCC numerals saucer underside: Microgamma Extended 12 pt.
Ship name, underside secondary hull: Microgamma Extended 8 pt.
Identification numerals nacelle outboard: Microgamma Extended 16 pt. (Eurostyle Extended can be substituted).

I would guess that at the time, the correct font in that point size may not have been available in Microgamma Extended, hence the substitution note.

There is some additional info on dry transfer stock numbers (presumably for the above) but of course this was long before the advent of computer decal printing options. In the mid-70's, computers were still huge lumbering beasts barely capable only of rudimentary text display. Or certainly not capable of the finer nuances of printing needed.

While this info is old and dated in many ways, I still consider this book to be a valuable resource even with the quantity and quality of info currently available that in just about every way surpasses the information in this book! I like it because it's specific to the AMT kit. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm still working on the ship, but it's still in the Primer/fill stage. I'm trying to find all the little imperfections before I begin painting the final coats.

I wish I had your font sizes before I printed them on my last sheet of decal paper. Well, I guess the letters will just have to be a bit bigger.
 

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Are decal paper sheets that hard to get, Trevor? Odd, if so. Calgary has some of the best-stocked hobby stores I've ever come across. I realize that decal paper may be more of a niche item as most hobbyists would prefer the kit or even aftermarket decals, but no one has blank decal sheet? Even with your own store, it may not be practical to have much in the way of that, but if you did stock it... you could've just bought it from yourself! LOL!

Edit: What font size did you print out the "O" that will go on the bottom of the secondary hull? That was one thing that wasn't covered in the SFAM 3 manual. Just curious!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
It's not that I couldn't buy more Decal paper...it's just that I had some at home that I wanted to use up instead of going out to buy another sheet....especially at 11:30 at night. :D

One day I hope to stock Decal Film and Bare Metal Foil, Brass Tubing, Balsa Wood and Aluminum, but I have to wait on those for a while.

I used 23 point for the motors, name and under the saucer,
52 point for the top of the saucer,
12 point for the name underneath,

And the "o" is Copperplate Gothic Light at 55 Point. (I guessed on that one. I might have to make another somehow.)

I measured up my Microgamma numbers with the height of the current Star Trek numbers done in the USAF font. I just hope that I didn't make them too big to fit on the 18"er.

In other news...I found my Star Trek Sound Effects cassette tape that I bought in the 1980's. That should help me with these builds. I might even get back to building my 1991 edition Bridge model. :D
 
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