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 RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS 
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS
The temperature was nearly 60º this afternoon, too bad I had stuff to do. It won't be long now until we'll have steady days like this. We're moving the clocks ahead overnight and it's still Winter for two more weeks. Used to be we changed the clocks later in the year.
My gripe is if we can move around when we change the clocks, why not eliminate changing them altogether? Leave them at Daylight Savings Time and be done with it. We all find changing all the clocks in our homes and cars an annoyance, not to mention losing an hour's sleep. Additionally, we all like the Summer days lasting longer and loathe the 4pm twilight when we set the clocks back in Winter. Is there any use for this outdated ritual? Some states, like Arizona and Hawaii, don't even bother changing their clocks. [/rant]


Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:19 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:23 pm
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Location: milkyway galaxy
 Re: RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS
i agree sir

be done with it!

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Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:07 pm
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Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS
Looks to be a mighty fine weekend to finally put the gloss coat on. Temperatures are supposed to be in the high 60's in the afternoons. Good opportunity to get some yard work in too.


Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:35 am
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Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: The Enterprise Project
I did manage to take advantage of the weather this past weekend and glossed up the model.

Let me first say I don't have a lot of experience using Future with an airbrush and I hope I put enough of a coating on. It takes more to cover a flat paint (like what I am using) than to cover a gloss paint. Overall, I'd say I'm pleased with the results, but there are a few things I did that need to be fixed. A couple of runs need to be removed and a mar on the saucer top.

I was using a blow dryer set on cool between coats. Thinking the top was dry enough, I turned the model over to spray the bottom. I laid the saucer top on a roll of masking tape while I sprayed the bottom. After that dried, I turned the model over, only to discover the roll edge dug into the Future coat and left a circular impression on the saucer top. I'm going to have to wait until the Future coating totally dries (cures?) before I will touch that. It's still sitting in the basement now and I won't touch it until at least Wednesday.

SILVERING
In the meantime, let's focus on the decals, which is why I'm glossing the model over to begin with. Decals cannot go directly over flat paint. If you do that, you'll get what's known as "silvering". This is when air gets trapped under the decal's surface due to the roughness of flat paint. When light hits the trapped air, it reflects back exposing the outline of the carrier film. Very not good.

Here's an example of a decal "Silvering":

Image

Glossing over the flat paint smooths the surface so the decal lays totally flat; no trapped air.


Computers and personal scanner/printers have done so much for the advancement of decals. Aside from allowing people to design and print their very own decals, the simple fact is you no longer have to agonize over ruining decals that come with the model. Used to be if you messed up putting on a decal, there was little recourse. You either tried to salvage the messed up decal, or cannibalize another kit for the same decals. Very rarely did the kit come with spares, especially of the main decals. Now, of course with scanners and printers, you can make as many copies as you feel like with no worry. This is also essential if you buy older kits on eBay or at yard sales. Many times the decals have been exposed to humidity and dampness for years on end. They may look fine, but as soon as they hit water, they disintegrate (I know of this first-hand, unfortunately). As a rule now, as soon as I get decals, I scan a high resolution copy into my computer, just in case.

Here is a copy of the decals that come with this re-released kit. It is one of the things most improved of the kit:

Image

It is vastly improved over the decals that used to come with the kit:

Image

Among the improvements are: corrected fonts, proper angle for the main "NCC-1701" on the saucer, many, many extra decals for all around the ship that were never included before, window decals, decals for the "Pilot Version" Enterprise, and decals for the "evil" Enterprise featured in the classic episode "Mirror, Mirror".

I, of course, also purchased some after-market decals that include a few extra features like more "lit" windows...

Image

...and triangles for the underside of the saucer:

Image


Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:40 pm
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Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: The Enterprise Project
I had three areas around the ship that needed to be fixed before I can apply the decals. The first was the easiest to fix:

Along one of the Nacelles, the Future I airbrushed formed some minor drips.

Image

A quick light sanding followed by another light coat of Future takes care of this.

The second area is along the top of the saucer where I laid the model down on a roll of masking tape, thinking the Future was dry enough. The rings left were buffed out and a light coat of Future was applied.

ImageImage


The last area was more troublesome. What suspiciously looks like a thumb print on the underside of the secondary hull has marred the Future coating. This could only have happened by handling the model without a glove and the oil from my thumb interfered with the Future that was later applied. I tried to handle the model with gloves or a cloth at all times during this crucial period when any finger print or dust could ruin the finish. Apparently, I wasn't careful enough.

Image

First, I tried the simplest thing and buffed the area with a cloth, hoping that would do it. It didn't. Next, I tried to lightly sand the area with some 1500 grit paper hoping I could remove the Future layer and recoat.. This worked, but unfortunately, it also removed some of the paint as well. Sigh. Oh well, perhaps I can get away with brushing on some touch-up paint and try to blend it with the surrounding paint. No luck....

Image

I ended up having to get out the airbrush and mix up literally a half dozen drops of paint with some thinner to spray this small area, but as you can see after I did and put a layer of Future over it, you can't tell where the blemish was.

NOW I can decal the ship!

An interesting dilemma regarding the decals has just occurred to me...After the decals are all applied, I will coat them all in a layer of Future to seal them. Then, after all the weathering is complete, I'll apply a dull coat to the entire ship to remove the overall shine--except I WANT the window decals to remain glossy! How will I keep the windows glossy? Trying to mask each window would be very difficult to do! If I wait to put on the window decals AFTER the dull coat is applied, all the windows will silver over.


I'll have to mull this over...


Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:54 pm
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Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: The Enterprise Project
I've been slowly applying some of the decals and I thought I'd show you how it's progressing...

Image

Image

Image

The Impulse exhaust decals are of my own design...thought they came out pretty cool



Here's a good example of why I scan my decals into the computer just in case:

Image

What I did was so foolish, I don't know what I was thinking. I mistakenly used the Solvaset as a wetting agent before laying down the decal. Normally I use the much less potent Microset or even plain water to wet the place the decal will go. This makes sliding the decal into its proper place easier. Solvaset is only to be used after the decal is in place and ready snuggle down. As you can see here, the Solvaset not only destroyed the decal, it turned the Future coating white! I'll have to remove the decal and see if another coating of Future will turn it back to clear. If not, Windex can be used to dissolve the Future away and I can re-apply it. As for the decal, I had to send away for more blank decal paper and when that gets here, I'll print a replacement.


Tue May 20, 2014 8:30 pm
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 Re: RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS
the level of work you're putting into this is amazing.

its like you're building a model for a movie.

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Wed May 21, 2014 4:44 am
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Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS
Thanks, astroal

It may seem amazing to someone who has a passing interest in modelling, but if you were to visit a place like Hobbytalk and see what some of those guys do over there, your mouth would hit the floor--my mouth hits the floor! I'm not even bothering to install lights in my build, but over there most of them install lights, motors--you name it. Stuff you'd see in a movie model.

I have barely adequate skills; they have mad skills.


Sat May 24, 2014 12:43 pm
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 Re: RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS
wow

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Sat May 24, 2014 1:00 pm
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Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS
Just to finish my thought... Yeah, I modified my model by adding accurate after-market parts--the guys over at Hobbytalk actually CREATE their own accurate parts, or sometimes scratch build entire models, and they're better than commercial kits.

Here's an example: There's one guy who's building a 1/10 scale TOS Enterprise bridge--from scratch. He started out building just one station using a 3D printer, but has expanded to do the entire bridge. It will have all the panels and buttons lit, sound effects and of course the main viewer will work!

http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=367418

Just look through the pictures there (an prepare for your jaw hitting the floor when you see how amazingly it progresses to a full accurate working bridge).


Sat May 24, 2014 1:44 pm
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Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: The Enterprise Project
Hey look! An update!
It's getting tough to sit inside and work on the ship when the weather is really nice now. I like to spend less time indoors on the computer and whatnot, if I can help it. I am working on it sporadically and I admit I am spending less time on it now, even though it's so close to being finished.

I have applied some more decals, including the replacement decal I made for the one I royally messed up. Amazingly, after removing the wrecked decal, all I needed to do is to restore the Future's finish was to apply more Future. The cloudiness immediately disappeared.

Image

Image

Under the Nacelle, both sides:

Image


Decals on the underside of the secondary hull. I never knew these even existed all the years growing up watching Trek. The underside was rarely, if ever, shown on screen. Goes to show you there was a lot more detail on this ship than you could pick up on a typical 70's TV screen, plus the fact that the multi passes the opticals went through to put the ship in space with a planet would wash out much of the detail.

Image

You'll notice the circular decal doesn't quite look right:

Image

That's because something as minor as a single stray strand of cat fur managed to find its way under the decal and cause all kinds of havoc. It was impossible to see the strand when the decal was wet, but once the decal snuggled down, the outline of the strand really stood out. It should have been an easy procedure to lance the decal, remove the strand, and touch up with some Solvaset to make the decal snuggle down again. Of course, nothing is ever easy and while I managed to remove the strand, I also removed bits of the decal too. The more I tried to fix it, the worse it got. Well, it reached that point where it is beyond help, so it's time to print up a replacement....sigh.


Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:51 am
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 Re: RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS
stupid cat hair!

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Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:15 pm
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 Re: The Enterprise Project
As I went to make the replacement decal for the circle, I did a test printing on regular paper. I usually do this to make sure that everything is good before going ahead and using the decal paper (a lot cheaper to replace paper than to waste decal paper). The decals came out an odd yellow-orange color, much darker than the decal:

Image

I tried a few more tests to make sure the ink was okay and it still came out off-color. I'm thinking those ultra thin red lines in the yellow circle are creating havoc with the printer, so I went ahead and redid the decal over putting a solid yellow in the circle:

Image

This did the trick. I just added a bit of white paint for under the circle to make it appear brighter, and judging by the 11 footer that used to hang in the Smithsonian, it looks fairly close

Image

Image

I also added the decals to both Nacelles

Image

Image

Not a lot of decals left to apply before the weathering--just a few on the secondary hull and the two on the top of the saucer: the "U.S.S. Enterprise" and the giant "NCC-1701" (which I'm sort of dreading to do because all sorts of bad things happen when dealing with large decals).


Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:47 pm
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 Re: RE-ACQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND...OF SORTS
good luck. looks great so far!

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Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:33 pm
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Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: The Enterprise Project
Much to my surprise, those large decals for the top of the saucer went on very smoothly and easily! (big sigh)
I used very thin hobby tape as guides to center the decals on the saucer:

Image

Image

The two side pennants were a little difficult to apply as the thin part of both decals broke off when applied, but they were easy to slide into place once the main part was on, and the split is undetectable:

Image

The last decals to be applied before the weathering, are tiny hull markers that go along the bottom of the secondary hull. Here is an enlarged picture so you can see them clearly:

Image

In order to line up the decal placement and be sure they are symmetrical, a dot from a white ink pen serves as a placeholder:

Image

Image

This worked out great!

And the ink was easily removed with a spot of Windex:

Image

The rest of the decals are windows and lights. These will be applied after all the weathering is done. You don't want weathered windows!

What begins now is probably the most creative aspect to this build: weathering. You can really give a model a distinctive and personal touch by weathering, especially on heavily weathered things like armor and military aircraft; armor most of all. Armored vehicles in combat are heavily abused and you can go bananas with the amount of wear & tear you want to show. Of course, a starship is an entirely different animal and would never show that much weathering, or even the amount a commercial jet would show. There are, however, things to weather to make the ship look more real and less toy-like.

Shadow and hi-light are two very important aspects of weathering that can bring life to a bland surface and make the details pop. I'll be using these two techniques. Stay tuned!


Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:57 pm
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