Sovereign Replicas USS Enterprise NCC 1701-E 1/650th Scale
Apologies for the long delay chaps and chapesses, real life just will not take the hint and go bother someone else for a change. Still 'nuff said about that...onward!
The Shiny And Sticky Gear.
Okedoke then folks, much of the foiling lark has been completed and below are pics of the main saucer section top being pretty much a done deal in the reflective dept. We'll stick with this part as I don't want to bore you silly just yet, gimmie time though.
Now you will note that entire interior is not covered and for those still awake, i'll explain why.
The interior surface is most certainly not like an injection moulded kit as I have said before and with that in mind, some areas are just too thick to properly cover.
That said it's not an impossible deal just means that exterior paintwork will have to take care of some of the light bleed. I could dive in with a grinding bit and clean it all out but that would also mean going through a fair amount of the fiberglass cloth that gives it the strength it will need and may compromise the structural integrity...
sorry i'm coming over all geek techno babble here ain't I.
Bottom line is it's a compromise deal and to be honest, I can live with/work around it so not anything to get my panties in a bunch about. The close ups to follow are just examples of how many damn windows there are on this bugger and a quick looksee as to how it will be with that light stuff behind it.
Like I said the rest of the parts are like this so with that pretty much sorted, on to the first of the lighting thing...
Ah, the Red, White And Blue...
Lights That Is.
To begin with, from what I can make out each nacelle has three small lights. One at the top and bottom at the rear and one on top near the front end of the nacelle. Here again is where material thickness reared it's not too thin head so a bit of drilling action was applied here. So then, parts laid out and ready to have some violence done unto them.
A fine hole of about 1.2mm drilled from the outside in just to get a pilot hole going, then a 3mm drill bit from the inside carefully done, a dab of black paint to first assist the light stopper and finally
a going over with the redoubtable foil tape done in pretty much the same manner as
the nav/strobe light holes on my last Refit Enterprise malarkey.
Once dealt with, time for the foiling on the top inside of the nacelle and fitting of the LED's
for the previously mentioned light thingies with a dab of the ever helpful epoxy putty
just to keep them from trying to run away.
OK, not too shabby so far, on to the next bit...
Now as seems to be the current 'fashion' with the newer starfleet ships, at least newer in terms of recent movies and tv stuff, the warp nacelles have a large blue glowing area somewhere or another on the engines.
The Sovereign Class being no exception so the question was how to perpetrate this with the minimum of fuss.
One day while getting my usual several bucket loads of LED's ordered up I came across one item. The said item was 5mm blue LED's, 18 of pre-assembled on a flexible strip that you could cut and the things would still light up and it was preset for 12v. Interesting I thought so bought a couple and this is what they do look like and how they look with a 9v battery connected...
Not bad, not bad at all. Now the LED's be wired up as such that you have cutting lines printed on then and they run in groups of three.
I really didn't think that the full 18 would be needed so out with the slicing implement,
a swift hack along the marked line and done, most cool.
Now then, the strips come with some wired plastic plugs that go into the sockets on the strip
so it makes that easier but to avoid unwanted shadows I just lifted the plastic socket bits off the strip and cut the prongs I wouldn't be using...
Leaving two prongs roughly in the center of the strip to solder wiring on to.
Rightyho then, that done, Time to get them into one of my infamous lightbox contraptions and into place.
So to the bits needed. The LED strip (obviously) some thin card, wider at the front end and both sides skinned with foil tape, the long edges folded along the length first upward to form a side wall and the remainder folded down to sit against the nacelle inside walls. In section it looks something like this...
And finally, a strip of thin white card.
The LED strip is glued to the white card strip for insulation of the electrical circuit and then that is in turn glued to the lightbox base.
Wires run through holes in the bottom right next to the two pins, soldered and the inevitable test with one of many 9v batteries I have laying about the place.
Zero shabbyness so that was placed into position, foiled in with a front and back plate, foiled card added and...
Oooh I like it!
Next up for the lighting lark is the bussard ramscoops.. or the red sorta pulsating things at the front of the engines... you gotta admit 'Bussard ramscoops' sounds cooler though even if that isn't quite the right term and don't care if it isn't really.
Where was i?
Oh yes. Now the on-screen effect was sort of like a lava going uphill sort of thing, can't explain it better really but anyways. Go watch the movie and you may see what i'm blabbering about.
At this time, a splendid gentleman by the name of James Wesley Roberts Jr. comes to the rescue with some very nice modules he developed which go a long, long way to recreating that look.
These are said units already affixed to my foiled card.
Neat lil' beasties aren't they. These were wedged into position behind the ramscoops and closed in with more foiled card after being insulated to the max.
After that there was just a clear up, wires soldered on, insulated,
some epoxy steel glue liberally spread about for final light bleed stoppage
and to keep everything in place and finally, a hole cut into the nacelle bottom for all the wiring to lay about straggly like untill it's all assembled and fixed to the pylon.
Yeah I know your curious as to how the lighting looks so here's a short, somewhat poor quality movie, 1.8Mb AVI 22 seconds long by the way...
And that people is the proverbial it for this update.
Some gluing and cursing has to take place next. I'll be trying to concentrate on this gal for a while as she's been sitting on my bench for longer than is reasonably acceptable.
See you lot next time around, Go easy troops and troopettes !