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Discussion Starter #101
Really great build! I'm working on the same model at the moment. I see we're both using fiber optics for the blinkers. I'm wondering how you're gluing seams together like the ones around the nacelles without melting the fibers. I've tried a lot of things and have yet to be able to use styrene glue with out the fiber breaking. I've been reduced to using 2 part 10min epoxy on those areas which I find has a little give and definitely doesn't leave a completely gapless bond.
if a blinker lies on a seam (like the aft ends of the nacelles or the blinker under the secondary. hull) that will be glued with styrene cement I will drill a hole thru a short piece of small diameter styrene rod and feed the fiber thru the hole. Then I take a small round file and make a half circle in each half of the kit part opposite each other where the tube will be glued in. That way the styrene cement is glued to the styrene tube and not the fiber. A small drop of CA is enough to hold the fiber in place inside the tube: 5 minute epoxy works too.
 

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Discussion Starter #102
Deflector trench reworking...

Now I have a concave trench with a transition zone from a flat to a curved roof (or floor depending on your viewing angle).
Adding the strips along the rim helped re-establish the edge and gave me something to putty up to:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Final Trench Mods
by Steve J, on Flickr

Did some more work on the back wall around the deflector dish:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Back Wall
by Steve J, on Flickr

So I spent a couple of days off and on trying to improve what I just did to the deflector trench.
The curvature of the sidewalls transitioning from a flat area in front of the dish to a curved area behind the yacht is rather complex.
In my case it was too flat behind the yacht and the sidewalls were curved the wrong way, at least from what I could see in the CGI images.
They needed to be concave not convex.
So I carved and sanded away most of what I had done until the sidewalls were angled but flat then added strip
styrene around the rim with a slight overhang to putty up to using AVES. I'm happy now:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP-Transition Zone
by Steve J, on Flickr

The original stern strongback photorp launcher had turned into a lump due to all the Mister Surfacer and primer
I’d brushed on it so I dug it out of the trench and made a new one that more closely resembles the one shown in the CGI images.
I also installed the homemade resin cast nacelle strut phaser strips top and bottom along the trailing edge:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Reworked Photorp Launcher
by Steve J, on Flickr

Am I nuts or do I see two heads in this image?
The front ends of the nacelles look like old men wearing tall, conical red, white, and dark grey crowns atop their heads.
There is even what looks like a round blue stone on each of their brows.
You can see eyes, noses, and mouths making an "Oh" sound; this being the hole for the nacelle cover grill locator pin which will be glued on later.
Anyway... I brushed liquid mask over the flashing and other running lights.
Pointed up any areas of Mister Surfacer or putty getting rid of any crapola that would not appear on the exterior of a “real” starship.

Masking is done! On to the pointing up/priming stage:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Two Old Men - Dorsal Ready for Priming
by Steve J, on Flickr

A light coat of Mister Surfacer this time on the single photon torpedo launcher and spine.
Also the strut phaser strips got some Perfect Plastic Putty to fill in the tiny gaps around the edge:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Photorp Launcher Primed
by Steve J, on Flickr

Took some time to meticulously go over the exterior and clean off any residue of glue, primer paste, or putty.
Also wiped her down with a rag soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol to eliminate any oils or stains.
Lastly, finished masking the formation and running lights with liquid mask. Ready for priming I think:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Ventral Ready for Priming
by Steve J, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #104
Components for powering the display base for lighting:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Base Wiring Up
by Steve J, on Flickr

After drilling a hole thru the wooden base, wires from the aluminum display tube are fed into a slot routed out in the underside of the base for soldering to the power jack:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Display Base
by Steve J, on Flickr

12V DC power is plugged in and the ship lights up as it should. She’s fully masked. One more going over with the alcohol wipe and she gets primed:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Light Check with Base
by Steve J, on Flickr

Before final alcohol cleanup I have her a close inspection with the magnifier headset. I was glad I did as I found a few small spots that needed carving or more cleanup, mostly dried putty in the margins. Stuff a digItal camera would notice:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Pointing Her Up
by Steve J, on Flickr

Got these at Michaels craft store years ago and forgot about them. Found them and they worked great! I could not have done some of the smaller parts and detail work without them:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Magnifying Headset
by Steve J, on Flickr

Parts with detail I don’t want getting buried under the primer coat are brushed with liquid mask.
Looking at all the crap still on the surface before final cleanup... it’s truly amazing how many sins a good coat of primer will cover up:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Liquid Masking
by Steve J, on Flickr

I don’t want the primer coat to cover up all the detailing on the stern spine Photorp launcher so I gave it a coat of liquid mask. It will probably be brushed with the final color at the end just before decaling begins:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Liquid Masking
by Steve J, on Flickr

Next... reworking the aft ends of the nacelles. Looks like I spoke too soon about being finished with correcting hull details and inaccuracies.
 

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if a blinker lies on a seam (like the aft ends of the nacelles or the blinker under the secondary. hull) that will be glued with styrene cement I will drill a hole thru a short piece of small diameter styrene rod and feed the fiber thru the hole. Then I take a small round file and make a half circle in each half of the kit part opposite each other where the tube will be glued in. That way the styrene cement is glued to the styrene tube and not the fiber. A small drop of CA is enough to hold the fiber in place inside the tube: 5 minute epoxy works too.
That's interesting, because I've found that just the fumes of styrene glue will snap a fiber optic. I will give this a try in future projects, though. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #106
That's interesting, because I've found that just the fumes of styrene glue will snap a fiber optic. I will give this a try in future projects, though. Thanks.
Well I tend to use thicker fiber strands that are less likely to melt. Plus I only use a small amount. For the really thin fiber I use epoxy.
 

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Discussion Starter #107 (Edited)
I finished reworking the aft ends of the nacelles. Now have to look at the framing around the bussard collectors and decide if I need to do any rework there (sigh).

Reworking the aft ends of the nacelles...

So this what I’m shooting for:


Nemesis E - CGI Image - Aft Upper Nacelle Detail
by Steve J, on Flickr

This is how rough they looked AFTER cleanup. This will get the same rebuild treatment as the other side...


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Reworking the Aft Nacelles
by Steve J, on Flickr

Scribed plastic sheet will replace the grills on the aft ends of each nacelle. I’ll build a new frame around and on top of the new grill sections:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Reworking the Aft Nacelles
by Steve J, on Flickr

After removal of old grills and gluing in a new grooved styrene grill piece. I’ll lay styrene strips around the edge of the grill section to complete the rework:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Reworking the Aft Nacelles
by Steve J, on Flickr

After laying on styrene strips the framing of the port grills is complete. Note that the sides of the nacelles gently slope upward so the grill openings are not straight sided trapezoids either. I noticed this in the CGI images:


USS Enterprise E - Nemesis-WIP- Accurize and Cleanup Fore and Aft Nacelles
by Steve J, on Flickr
 

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This is a tough model to light, thanks for showing us how it's done! My biggest gripe about this kit is the small scale for the subject. I would have preferred something around 1/700 or so to get better detail resolution, but that would probably have driven the retail price up (would also put it out of scale with most other Trek kits but I could live with that!). Awesome work here.
 
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