Sovereign Replicas USS Enterprise NCC 1701-E
1/650th Scale

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I do believe it's coming up for the get serious time...

A Tale Of Masks And General Mucking About.
Not Necessarily In That Order Either.

Right then troops and troopettes,
back with not so much a vengeance but more a need to mask and spray.
For those of you with me on our last less than interesting installment,
you'll recall that we are on the brink of giving this gal her colours
and for those that can't be bothered to go back and look,
this may confuse you slightly but you'll fit right in with the rest of us.

So no problem there methinks.

Ok, last time I mentioned some slight surface defects.
Well the bulk of these are what I call 'pinheads'
These are tiny little beads of resin that mostly seem to occur where the mould is very thin in section
or undercuts on the master and tiny air bubbles sometimes become trapped in the rubber.
Resin seeps into these and comes out on the casting as said 'pinheads'...

With me so far?...


Sometimes, even with heavily de-gassed rubber moulds it happens so I call it par for the course.
Now with clear epoxy castings,
it's rather difficult to see all the lil' buggers until you slap some paint on,
and like magic, two of them show up like this.

Now these wee devils were here and there but not too difficult to remove with,
in this case one of my handy-dandy dental picks.

A gentle run along the line of the undercut, two quiet snapping sounds and the buggers be gone.

Now sometimes they be gone easily and sometimes not,
just depends on the circumstances of how they are formed but there you have it.
So, all other surface defects given a stern talking to and
now we really get into the fun bit!...
well it may be an odd usage of the word 'fun' but it will have to suffice for now.

Ok, last time I said that the much yakked about but never seen painting masks had arrived,
well they had and just in the nick of time.
Sort of like the cavalry but no cavalry I know is thin, canary yellow,
pre-cut and self adhesive but I digress.
Anyways, arrive they did and a very nice bit of kit they are too.
More than a few large sheets, here's one now...

Well not that impressive on first look until you get some light across it.

Nice eh?

Likewise for the smaller sheet with all the window masks.

Very nice, problem is I've already masked the windows so the only way I
was going to remove the stuff I'd cut and applied already was at gunpoint and even then
I'd have to think about it.
So these little beauties will go into the spare mask pile to be
dragged out when I find a use for them...
and I will at some point I think I can guarantee.

A Tad Rough Around The Edges

Now thing is about the self-etching primer I'm using,
it's lovely stuff and the only primer that you should ever use on epoxy castings/mouldings to be honest,
sticks like mad and bullet hard when cured but cures to a bit of a rough finish.
Sort of like a piece of 800 grit wet and dry roughness level.
So for the sake of trying my best to get a decent paint finish it needs a bit of a smoothing over.

I really didn't want to have to get out the wet & dry to
go all over this thing so decided to try a wee trick that may be old hat to some but seems to work ok for me.
What I use is one of these.

Yes, thine eyes do not deceive you,
That is a common, sponge backed pan scouring pad.
A fresh one is given a quick rub against a brick wall somewhere just to work it,
smooth it a little bit and shake off the loose fibers then the
primer is given a goodly going over with the results looking like this.

Mmmm, satiny smooth!
Well, onto the first part of the masking and I'm judging the primer colour to be about
right for a base medium grey so selecting the sheets with the appropriate words
duly scribbled upon them like 'Starboard Saucer Top'
and so on, off we go.

As good a start as it's going to get so this kind of fun will be continued until I
get the first layout on the ship done for what will be the lightest grey areas.
So that's it for now gang, more updates to come most likely by the
end of the week if not sooner.

Untill then, as always my friends, go easy!

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