USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

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USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by Griffworks » Mon May 28, 2018 5:26 am

This is yet another kitbash of another fan design. It’s the USS Dominion, NCC-2115, a refit Federation-class dreadnought. It’s based off the design by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt, aka Franz Joseph Designs. The original design was based off the TOS Enterprise design ethos and was first seen in the “Star Fleet Technical Manual” which was originally published in 1975.
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Image from Starship Schematics Database.
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My well-worn copy of Starship Design.

The first Refit/Uprated version I saw was in the fan published “magazine” titled “Starship Design”, published in 1984 by Todd Guenther and Michael Morrissette, under the “company” name of Star Station Aurora. The magazine is also where we first see the Decatur- and Belknap-class of ships.

For my build, as I’m often wont to do, I’ve modified the basic design a bit to make it a minor variant on the original design. For this build, I’ve used “Assension" (sic) nacelles from Federation Models, which I call LN-68 Mod 3 nacelles.
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Considering which of the "Assension" (sic) dreadnought nacelles to use. I ended up using the one in the middle, and modified it to have a flush vent on the sides. The vents were taken from a spare pair of Refit pylons, carefully cut out. I shaped everything to get a tight fit, tho still had to do some puttying. At the bottom of the pic is a standard Assenssion dreadnought nacelle, in the middle is my modified, at the top is a not-terribly-well-cast standard Refit style dreadnought nacelle.

I eventually went ahead and cleaned up the standard Refit style nacelle at the top while taking a short break from house chores, as I figured I'd have to do it eventually anyhow. No time like the present!

I also added split impulse engines, and aft pair of photorp tubes under the shuttlebay, and used the connecting dorsal (“neck”) from the FedMods Heavy Destroyer conversion kit and used it to give this battlewagon three forward firing photorp tubes. I scratchbuilt the lower warp nacelle pylon, making it ever so slightly thicker than it probably should have been. It’s as thick as the Refit kits pylons at their widest point, so its not totally out of reason. I also modified the B/C deck parts, widening them. One last thing I intend to add is a pair of MEGA!phasers outboard of the area where the lower pylons and nacelles meet. It’s similar to the Ingram-class space control ship position, for those familiar with that design.

For the secondary hull, I chopped up two Round 2 Refit kit parts, cutting the first just aft of the lower deflector grid line where the four single-mount phaser emitters are located, and cutting the second hull just forward of the same grid area. To come to this “formula”, I sized and printed a line drawing to 1/1000 scale that I found online and decided that the length difference of the version from “Starship Design” was 1.5cm in length. Works out perfectly, regardless, if only to my Mark I Eyeballs. And it’s been putty, sand, primer, putty, sand, primer, lather/rinse/repeat ever since!
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Sizing it up, as best I can.

****Quick Note - if you want an extended secondary hull for a similar build - such as a BALSON-class command cruiser - , instead of sending money to a certain aftermarket resin producer who will happily - and QUICKLY! - take your money, then make you wait MONTHS TO A YEAR, as well as treat you exceedingly rudely - or just ignore your email - if you inquire about your back order or just ask what sort of lead time if you were to place an order with him, DON’T!

Save your money and the high blood pressure of dealing with someone like that and build it yourself! It’s not as hard as you think! ;) ****

It took me a while to decide which bridge I’d go with. I had considered adding a sensor array to the area where a bridge is normally mounted, as the TOS version didn’t have a bridge on the upper saucer. So, I looked at a traditional TMP Era dreadnought bridge, standard Refit/Reliant bridge, an Excelsior/E-B bridge, an Abbe-class bridge (borrowed from an Abbe kit), and two different style of sensor arrays - one from an R2 Reliant and one from the Heavy Destroyer conversion kit - which is very similar to the Refit/Reliant, tho has the more tapered look seen in the movies.

The build progressed well until I hit a small snag - I wanted to add MEGA!phasers to the build, intending to do them as I did with a 1/537 scale dreadnought build some years ago. The problem was that I lacked spare MEGA!phaser emitters and wanted to very likely add an Abbe-class bridge, I decided to make molds of various parts of which I wanted to be able to make copies on demand. I’m using Smooth-On Mold Max 40, which is a 10:1, Part A to Part B ratio mix. It would appear that I botched mixing the Part B hardener by not adding quite enough. Nearly 48hrs later and it’s still not fully cured. In the past, I’ve usually used 1:1 mix rubber, which I should prolly consider sticking to.

Anyhow, I eventually got the parts I wanted molded so I could make my MEGA!phaser emitters.

Eventually, I also scratchbuilt two different bridges - pics to follow. One was my own version of the standard TMP Era dreadnought bridge, the other was a three dock-port bridge - that I nicknamed the tri-port. The former is simply a Reliant bridge that's slightly modified, with a bit of styrene added to the aft in a sort of triangle, obscuring the flat aft surface. I hand-drilled docking ports on the port and starboard sides, backing them with sheet stock inside.

The tri-port is similar, but I added some sheet stock directly aft with a minimal taper, then gave it the third docking port directly aft. I've also made molds of this one and cast copies.

Base coat is my standard Tamiya rattlecan TS-27 Matte White. I’ve already got a set of custom decals made by a friend, since I've cast those extra parts, I can start Dominion towards being finished. I'm at the point of needing to do detail painting, tho that has somewhat stalled for me, unfortunately.

More in-depth build pics to follow!

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Re: USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by novahobbies » Mon May 28, 2018 3:41 pm

Man does that look sweet! You know that's making me want to pull my 1400 scale out.

Also, glad to see another well-worn copy of Starship Design! I'm on my second copy, and it's pretty beat up.

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Re: USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by Griffworks » Tue May 29, 2018 6:28 am

Next step in the construction!

The secondary hull was a beast to build, lemmetellya! Mostly due to the putty, sand, fill, sand, fill, sand... Which wears you down over time. Just when you thought you had it looking gooood, you discover that you missed something or it's completely flat and should have a bit of a curve. :(

Dominion001.JPG
Cuttin' up the parts. I first fully assembled and glued each of the hulls I intended to use. Next, I cut the two different secondary hulls at different points. The first I cut right on the deflector mark on the bottom of the hull. The second I cut right at the beginning of that deflector line on the bottom of the hull. I took it slow and was careful to watch how the cuts were proceeding.

It took a bit of finagling, but I eventually get the hull sections lined up and glued together. That was after about four false starts, tho, in which I had to carefully re-break the sections in order to avoid cracks appearing.
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I measured my success by comparing my Federation secondary hull to that of an Enterprise-class (what I call the Refit). I wasn't so concerned about anything other than other than lining up the deflector grids and making sure there was no cant/bend in the hull at the join points.
Dominion006.JPG
Next, I had to decide how to proceed with the connecting dorsal ("neck"). Did I want to add an aft facing photorp tube - or set of tubes - to the dorsal. I decided that the answer was "no", as I got the idea to add them elsewhere, which will be covered later in this post. What I did decide, tho, was to use different photorp tubes. Some of the images I found at Starship Schematics Database showed larger tubes with a grand total of THREE tubes facing forward in the traditional spot. Since the Federation Models Heavy Destroyer dorsal has an oversized photorp deck area, I gave adding those three tubes a try, utilizing two of the extra phtorp decks taken from the UGH! Models Federation Bird-of-Prey (heretofore referred to as the Peregrine-class) model kit. The above pic shows the results.
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Here I'm filling the holes created by my not using the connecting dorsal from the Refit kit. I decided to cannibalize some of the sprue from the kit itself, cutting and sanding to fit, where necessary. I then glued then in place, puttied around the holes where needed, and then sanded it all down.
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Next came adding the aft firing photorp deck/tubes. This decision was based off of something that John Payne had done with some of the technical call outs for his Alexander-class dreadnought, Caesar, NCC-2577.
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John's USS Caesar, NCC-2577, side view from his technical sheets.

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Putty, sand, fill, sand, fill, sand... This went on for prolly 12 to 15 hours just for the secondary hull - and I still didn't get it perfectly done before adding the other sub-assemblies. It was rather frustrating!



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Re: USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by ProfArturo » Tue May 29, 2018 9:25 pm

This is something I'm finding at the moment - knowing when to stop is the hardest part. When is it good enough, when one more fill and one more rub could have it even better?

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Re: USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by Griffworks » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:34 pm

Yeah, it was driving me nuts with this build. Except that I really DID need to get this or that issue sanded out of the hull. I eventually got it to where I could tolerate it. I know the flaws are there, they're just not nearly as bad as they were! And I just wasn't going to spend any more time on it.
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Re: USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by Griffworks » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:42 am

While I was letting different layers of putty to fully cure on the aft photorp tube outer hull, I moved on to the pylons for the secondary hull.
Dominion014.JPG
First, I printed out, to the necessary size, a section of a 3-view drawing I found on Starship Schematics Database so I could use it as a starting point. I then got some sheet stock approximately the width I needed and eyeballed how wide I needed it to be, which I figured to be roughly the mid-point of each nacelle.
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I then drew - poorly! - in an attempt to get the areas I wanted to trace and pop out marked properly. I prolly shouldn't use crayon....
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I then marked out where on the secondary hull where I wanted to cut and then sand down for the hull attachment point.
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Not the best of pics for this, but this shows two things - one the work as it's ongoing for the aft photorp tube in profile, and the other is the mating point for the secondary hull. I would use a Sharpie every so often so that I could more easily see where I was in depth for the sanding I was doing.
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I cut out the flush vent sections of a Refit pair of pylons, and "grafted" them into the cutouts on the Dominion pylons. I had originally planned to use some Evergreen V-groove sheet stock of appropriate thickness/depth of the "v's", then got to thinking about just using a pair of Refit pylons I had previously assembled. I've several extra, so figured "why not?", with worst case scenario being I ruined them and had to cut out some V-groove stock....
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I used some brass rod from K+S Precision Metals. I cut it to length, sanded the ends to get rid of any rough surface, then glued all into place. I was a bit worried about droopage, plus wanted to have a bit of a bow to the center of the pylons.

More to come!

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Re: USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by Griffworks » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:59 am

And while glue and putty were all fully curing on those subassemblies.... :shock:

I decided to expand the B/C deck area, to be more in keeping with the line drawings in my OP. I just eyeballed it, not trying to figure how to measure it for exacting precision.
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I first removed the B/C deck off of a Refit primary hull. I next sliced that part down the middle, then cut up some sheet stock - couldn't tell you for sure
Dominion035.JPG
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Putty and sand, putty and sand....
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Re: USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by MEATLOAFr » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:09 pm

Griffworks wrote:Putty and sand, putty and sand....
and curse, then putty & sand again :lol:
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Re: USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by Griffworks » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:25 am

Lots of cursing and wet sanding!
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Re: USS Dominion, NCC-2115 - Federation-class Dreadnought *PIC HEAVY*

Post by Griffworks » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:22 am

At some point during construction, I dropped the secondary hull and cracked it. It turned out to be a Sad/Glad moment because while I was sad I cracked the hull, it gave me the opportunity to fix the way I had joined the "neck", as it was slightly off kilter. Not bad enough that most would have likely caught it, but it was driving! me! cray-zee! :evil:
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:cry:

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I made 'er all More Gooder! :mrgreen:

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