Build Log: Part 1
Well, here we go! I bought this kit some six or seven years ago when I moved to England, thinking I’d be living alone and have time and space to put it together, but in the end I realized I couldn’t do it justice. So it’s been sitting in my various closets for a long while as I moved around, and until I moved to Hamburg I just didn’t have the space to accomplish the job.
I present: the Polar Lights kit #4204, the 1:350th scale USS Enterprise.
Well, I’ve got the space now – and I decided if I can pull off a detailed WW2 model like the E25 or the Priest, it’s time to pull out the stops and do the BIG DOG at last.
I’ll put together an unboxing video shortly, to give you some ideas of what I’m dealing with parts-wise (I think it actually has fewer parts than the Priest kit did, so from an assembly point of view it will probably be easier). In this section I’m going to give you a run-down on what my plans are for how I’ll approach the build, and start talking about the tools and extra accessories I’m going to use.
First – the plan:
My goal is to make this the 1701 using the lighting plan from “Wrath of Khan”, and as much good detail as I can yank from “The Motion Picture.” I’m will treat this as several separate model kits, each one with its own needs, and then put all the parts together to make the master assembly. Those parts will be:
- shuttle bay – including shuttles, work pods, lighting, etc.
- arboretum – very lightweight effort, not a lot of cutting needed, but it’ll get dressing similar to how I do my bases for “Flames of War” infantry, so it’ll look nice
- warp engines – I’ve got some underbody lighting kits for automobiles that generate UV / Purple, so I’ll see if those will work as light sources for the warp engines; if not, I’ll have to source out some purple LED tape. Also some floodlights, and anti-collision strobes, so in the end there will be three separate circuits leading into these (warp on/off, anti-collision timer, and main power on/off)
- main deflector – mostly this is going to be about getting the lighting right, with warp on and impulse on changes between amber and blue
- neck and torpedo launcher – still not sure if I’m going to include a torp-launch cycle here, but the neck overall will need attention to get the interior lighting right and to make sure it can support the full weight of the saucer
- officer’s lounge – this will be a small sub-assembly that is seen through the windows behind the bridge; it’ll need lighting and dressing
- rec deck – similar to the o’lounge
- saucer with impulse engines – big and from what I’ve seen has some fit issues, so there’ll be a lot of putty-sand-putty-sand, etc. Also, several lighting schemes will be needed here – main power for the interior window-lighting, navigational lights cycling, impulse engine on/off, and anti-collision strobes too
- secondary hull – this is where everything will come together, and will need its own circuits for main power (interior lighting), and anti-collision strobes; this one is going to have a tight fit for some parts, and as well will need some shaving away for photo-etch stuff; it will also need some reinforcing on the connector where the main rod connects to the base – there’ll be a lot of weight here, and I don’t want just a single plastic plate being the load-bearing spot
- base – the ship will sit on this, and I intend to run the four circuits down into it to enable me to control them from the base; the circuit control board will live in here
- circuit board – this is going to be a big first for me, I’m going to build the control circuit board myself, using either an Arduino board or, perhaps, using an Arduino board to program an ATTiny chip which I will then solder into a separate board to control the various on-off-fade circuits, and possibly to put in an MP3 player with speakers
I’ve already started chewing into the shuttle bay and arboretum, so I’ll drop in some pics of that after the unboxing video.