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



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I love the smell of MicroSol in the early evening

Smells Like...
DECALING!

Oh yes indeedly!!

Okedoke then folks, it's that time at long bleedin' last where this girl gets her colours on.
Now first things first, a note or three...

These decals are very nicely printed items, pretty crisp and clean, thin too.

By saying thin I mean bloody thin which oddly enough is a good thing but as the instructions point out,
some care must be taken in their handling.
Now to the up/downside of these beasties.

First and most important, the carrier film is one continuous sheet so each one
requires some very close trimming before the soak in water and apply action takes place.
This can be a pain as it's is a fair bit time consuming cutting
the wee buggers out but that's how it be.

Secondly, the colours are not solid.
That is to say no white backing was used so the surface colour it's being
laid on can show through, this particular bit of info was brought to my attention by
a fellow maniac who had already built one of these long 'fore
I got me mitts on one so thanks Lou...again.

The associated problems with base colour we will come to as we go on.
This is a combo upside/downside issue but that how it be.
Enough waffle...onward!

All surfaces that decals were applied to were first given a lick over
with a 50/50 mix of MicroSol decal softener and water then a brush over of MicroSol neat once decals are in place.
They wrinkle up a fair bit but just left alone,
they flatten out and all is well.

More or less working from tail to nose first we have the underside
of the fantail and belly section of the secondary hull...


Nice.
Then onto the nacelles.
One thing here and the only time it happened, one of the red stripe decals cracked
and broke up like mad on me but a little gentle nudging,
some Tamiya clear red with an 0/5 brush and all was well once more.
Also applied the pennant and stripe decal to the secondary hull.




So far so good.

Now we come to the base colour thing.
The lifeboat decals, of which there are a few, are a light buff sorta colour but
as said before they have no white backing so the
trick here is to paint a backing colour on.
So, first the decal was cut from the sheet and placed on the model dry,
a thin pencil line was drawn round the decal.


Then masking tape was laid on the lines covering them so making the area to be painted about
1/2mm smaller all round to prevent unwanted bright lines around the decal.


Some very light grey acrylic was hand painted on and the tape removed.


Then when paint was dry, the decal was laid on.


Sorted.
The lifeboat section you can just about see on the dark belly decal area was treated in much the same way.


Now more than once you will come across things that a decal has to fit round,
the four rectangular areas in the center of the pic are one lot of such areas.
The black bits at the back end of the rectangles stick up by about 3mm.
Since the carrier film covers the whole decal these bits can be tricky but not impossible.
Most likely several ways to deal with this, here's mine...
The area on the decal that whatever it may be has to come through is lightly cut around,
no need to go right through the backing paper,
just cut through the film.

Soak as normal then before sliding off onto the model,
get your best pair of fine point tweezers and lift off the area you previously cut,
discard scrap film and carry on as normal.


Now the decals do not always completely cover the raised areas they are on so they
can either be painted round the edge or left alone.
I opted to chicken out and just left them as is,
besides, matching paint to decal colour is one long winded affair
and i've never made it look right to my satisfaction in all these years so why give meself the grief.
The only foolproof way around this I can see it to paint all the areas that decals
would be used on...I didn't feel brave enough for that either...so sue me :)

Well the same sort of deal took place on the rest of the model,
some more painting and so on to fill in the few gaps that the decals didn't cover
like phaser strips on the top and bottom of the saucer etc and
so on yaddayadda but the end result is as follows.
















There are more than a few tiny decals for the ends and along where the phaser strips are, these were left untill last.




And at this point all there is left is to let all decals settle and dry off,
a coat or two of acrylic matt varnish and the build of the main model will be a done deal.
Next up is the base and the wiring but that for the next update coz me be done for now.

So you merry lot go easy and see ya for the next round of fun in the hellhole.



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