UK modeller building 1/350th refit

New to the forum? Tell us a little about yourself and what you collect here.
NFI
Erratic Ensign
Erratic Ensign
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:20 am

UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by NFI » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:44 pm

Hello all. I'm a British modeller based in Wales, about half way through a very protracted build of the Polar Lights 1/350th Refit Enterprise.

I bought the kit about seven years ago, and for much of that time it's been up in the attic. Every time I opened the box I recoiled in horror at the size of the thing. I'd had the Aurora Enterprise as a kid (only for a few months before one of the nacelles snapped off, if I remember) and fancied something similar, but I don't think I quite grasped what I was biting off. Although I like to build model aircraft in 1/48th and 1/24th scale, I've never really tackled anything as big as the Polar Lights kit, or with as many internal details. And my main modelling focus is railways, particularly building brass and white metal steam locomotives, quite a step away from a 35 inch long starship.

My intention was to do build it more or less out of the box, without it becoming any kind of epic project. I wasn't intending to put lights in it or add any after-market bits, since it was meant to be a nice, approachable side-project, to act as a bit of a change of pace from locomotives. To start with, I decided that masking all those windows was going to be a major pain, so I decided not to install the glazing parts, but to add them later from the outside once the model was painted and decaled, using one of those PVA-type glazing products.

I started building the saucer section.

Then when I mentioned the project, someone asked me if I was going to light it, and after I said no, they said it would be a shame not to. That's when I discovered some of those amazing builds on the internet. OK, so let's put lights in it! That meant stripping down the partially assembled saucer, breaking glued joints where possible, and that point I decided I might as well use the kit glazing anyway. Then I had a chance conversation in a model shop and learned that there are some nice etched brass parts to add extra detail to the shuttle bay, etc. OK, so let's order those!

Then I discovered a relatively inexpensive LED lighting kit on ebay, and I ordered that as well. All of a sudden, what had started as a quickie project was turning into a bit of a monster. And I quickly discovered that once this thing is on your modelling bench, there isn't much room for anything else! For a while I could still get the partially worked-on parts back in the box, but not any longer, so the rush is on to get it done and dusted now.
enterprise1.jpg
enterprise2.jpg
Hopefully these images show up - they seem to work in the preview window.

This is the progress so far, with the saucer section lit up and with the light-blocking almost done. I'd have to say that light-blocking is by far the most tedious part of the project, in that I seem to have gone through endless pots of Revell matte black in the process. I'm just about ready to seal up the secondary hull and start working out how to mate all the parts together. The one thing that I've found beneficial from railway modelling is that the soldering's no problem, and locomotives sometimes need quite a bit of internal wiring too, so that feels like reasonably familiar ground, keeping tabs on wiring colours, common returns etc. LEDS are also used in model railway applications, especially with digital control and so on.

I gather it's generally considered better to paint and decal the sections individually? Has anyone any experience on building the whole thing as a single unit, then finishing it off? For some reason that appeals to me more than finishing the individual parts, perhaps because I'm concerned about light-blocking the joints.

All seems to be going OK so far, anyway. My only slight concern is that I'm not 100% convinced that the neck is sitting exactly square-on to the saucer. I keep checking it with rulers, etc, and it looks bang-on, but my eye keeps insisting that there's a very slight lean to one side. I'll need to keep a careful watch on that when I attach the saucer/neck to the secondary hull, as I want it all sitting square and parallel, as it should be.

I must say that when I bought this kit, I'd have chosen the original Enterprise any day, except Polar Lights hadn't put out their 1/350th kit for the earlier version at the time. But having spent so long with the Refit, I've really come to appreciate its lines and proportions.

best,

Al

User avatar
MEATLOAFr
Resolute Rear Admiral (UH)
Resolute Rear Admiral (UH)
Posts: 2092
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:46 pm
Location: Southern Texas - Corpus Area

Re: UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by MEATLOAFr » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:36 am

best of luck, have one of those sitting in the stash for "someday"
If the world ends tomorrow, it's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!

Custom Decals, and Vinyl Cutting services available
E-Mail direct to my [USERNAME] @ GMAIL account for Decals & Vinyl services

User avatar
Kremin
Charismatic Commander
Charismatic Commander
Posts: 425
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:26 am
Location: North East England

Re: UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by Kremin » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:14 am

It is a beast of a kit but beautiful non the less, welcome aboard

User avatar
Moongrim
Fatidical Fleet Admiral (CW)
Fatidical Fleet Admiral (CW)
Posts: 4962
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:36 pm
Location: West of Eugene Oregon.

Re: UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by Moongrim » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:52 pm

When I did mine- I did the sections individually. I just don't have what it takes to do it whole kit and kaboodle.
There are Times, Sir, when men of good Conscience cannot blindly follow orders. You acknowledge their sentience, but ignore their personal liberties and freedoms. Order a man to hand over his child to the state? Not while I"m captain.
- J.L.Picard.

User avatar
NCC1966
Crafty Commodore
Crafty Commodore
Posts: 1281
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 6:20 pm
Location: Brasil, SP

Re: UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by NCC1966 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:40 pm

NFI wrote:And I quickly discovered that once this thing is on your modelling bench, there isn't much room for anything else!
That's why I sold my kit a couple months after to buy it! :lol:

When I first got aware of this release I said to myself "Oh my Goodness, I MUST have this!" just to notice how clumsy it was after it arrive. I even remember to have felt a bit embarrassed for a few seconds holding that enormous box while my wife looked at me with a WTF face...

:oops:

Long story short, being unable to figure out a place to put such a "monster" as you said I concluded that the best option was to give it a warmer home. Today I have in the stash a copy of its smaller sister (an old 1/537 kit) to build someday. I built one of these several years ago and even being smaller it still looks big for me!

Anyway, best of luck trying to fix the saucer tilt and finish this gem. Your lighting job is excellent! And, before I forget, welcome aboard!

:)
Thanks,

Yan.

User avatar
el gato
Fatidical Fleet Admiral
Fatidical Fleet Admiral
Posts: 5935
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:41 pm
Location: In a land whose boundaries are that of imagination

Re: UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by el gato » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:48 pm

Like others, mine is in the stash, not having been seen since I first did the cursory sprue-fondle when I got mine in the mail. Since you have a question on the build itself, you may want to ask it in the 1/350 forum if you haven't already. In terms of keeping the parts reasonably straight, CulTVman used to sell a frame for the 350 Refit. It doesn't look like it's listed now but it may pop back up in the future (not that this tidbit helps you with your build now)

Nevertheless, I popped in to say welcome to the modeling boards!
RogueWolf wrote:I've sacrificed many dozens (maybe even hundreds) of gummy bears to the dark modeling gods to grant me my wish... but I fear my offerings only amuse them, not appease them.

NFI
Erratic Ensign
Erratic Ensign
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:20 am

Re: UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by NFI » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:08 pm

Thanks for the continued warm welcome, all - much appreciated.

I had a blitz on the Enterprise over the last few weeks, helped by the slightly warmer weather which means it's easier to do a bit of outdoor spraying.
1701a.jpg
1701b.jpg
1701c.jpg
1701d.jpg
I decided to paint and finish the sections individually, up to a point, and once I got the Aztec decals on the saucer, it gave me the impetus to crack on with the engineering hull and pylons.

I was a bit concerned about how easy the Aztec decals would go on, but other than a few minor tears, I found them pretty nice to use. I suppose it had helped that I'd built a few large aircraft kits recently, as a way of getting some experience with big decals.

The saucer, neck and engineering section are now fixed together. I took it carefully and let the whole thing set overnight, propped up with books, to make sure the saucer was nice and level, and thankfully there turned out to be no "issues" with it leaning to one side, as I'd feared. I think it was just an optical illusion.

I have to thank Polar Lights/Round 2 for very kindly sending me a pdf of the decal sheet, as I'd lost my own. I was able to do all the decals with my laptop on the modelling bench, zooming in and out of whatever bit I was working on.

The nacelles are just loosely clipped into place at the moment, to get a feel for how the whole ship will look. I still have to paint and decal them, and then it's the home straight!

User avatar
Moongrim
Fatidical Fleet Admiral (CW)
Fatidical Fleet Admiral (CW)
Posts: 4962
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:36 pm
Location: West of Eugene Oregon.

Re: UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by Moongrim » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:01 pm

Excellent work on the azteking details. And the strongback looks seamless. 8-)
There are Times, Sir, when men of good Conscience cannot blindly follow orders. You acknowledge their sentience, but ignore their personal liberties and freedoms. Order a man to hand over his child to the state? Not while I"m captain.
- J.L.Picard.

User avatar
NCC1966
Crafty Commodore
Crafty Commodore
Posts: 1281
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 6:20 pm
Location: Brasil, SP

Re: UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by NCC1966 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:03 pm

Getting great!

:)
Thanks,

Yan.

NFI
Erratic Ensign
Erratic Ensign
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:20 am

Re: UK modeller building 1/350th refit

Post by NFI » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:36 pm

I used about gallon of Micro Sol and Micro Set on the strongback in particular, and had to !!!!!!!! and slit a lot of wrinkles until they lay flat ... it's not perfect even now, though, but good enough given the finish achieved elsewhere, which is OK but far from perfect in some areas. If it looks good from 3 feet away on my office cabinet, though, I'll be happy.

Post Reply

Return to “Introductions”