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TOS Style U.S.S. Kelvin (REDUX) - DONE!


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This is a project that is in the very earliest stages - it's a conversion of the 1/1000 Polar Lights U.S.S. Enterprise into my interpretation of what a TOS (Original Series) style U.S.S. Kelvin would have looked like. For anyone not familiar with the U.S.S. Kelvin - this is the ship that is featured in the opening scense of the reimagined Star Trek film that was released this past May.

 

To do this conversion, I am not using any third party products or any scratch built components - everything you see is fabircated from parts included in the kit. What I decided to do was to mount the secondary hull above the saucer section and the single nacelle below. The pylon connecting the secondary hull and the saucer was actually fabricated from one of the nacelle pylons - the kit parts are not hollow inside, so this made a perfect situation where I would assemble the two halves of the pylon, then use a razor saw to cut and shape the neck.

 

I wanted to reverse the orientation of the secondary hull in relation to the surface of the saucer section - obviously, you can't do this with the as-is orientation fo the shuttle bay. What I did was assemble the entire secondary hull, then used a razor saw to cut off the final 2 or so inches from the shuttle bay back. This part was then turned 180 degrees, glued, filled, sanded, filled, sanded, filled.... (you get the idea) until I had a smooth transition on this part of the hull.

 

There is still quite a bit of gap filling that needs to be done where the dorsal pylon meets the saucer and where the ventral pylon meets the nacelle - I'm doing this essentially in layers with thick CA. It looks ugly now, but it will smooth out and blend nicely.

 

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More to come as the project progresses...

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COOL! Interesting configuration Dude, keep the updates coming! :smiley20:
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Nice work so far - I'm looking forward to seeing the finished project!

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I've made a little more progress on this project, though it has really turned into more of a 'can it be done' type thing thatn what I would consider a display worthy model. Between my sheet of JT Graphics kitbasher decals and the kit-supplied decals, I didn't have a 'K' necessary to spell 'Kelvin'. Instead I just went with 'Endeavour' for the ship name as that is one of my favorite names for any type of vessel.

 

The decals are a mix of the kit-supplied markings and the JT Graphics marking. Unfortunately, there was damage to the 'N' in the registry of the JT Graphics Endeavour markings - I with I had had the presence of mind to run them over with another flat coat pripr to using them... oh well, next time, I'll know better - this time, I'll have to try some "Sharpie Magic" before the next coat of Future.

 

Either way, I'm mildly please with the progress, though it's still pretty rough. I still need to do more work on the upper and lower sensor domes - I didn't realize until I had put the firs coat of Future on there that I had inadvertently sanded a flat area into the lower sensor dome. Additonally, I'm probably going to replace the bridge with one from the spares box as well.... Until then, a little more decaling for windows, impulse deck, and some other details.

 

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Looks good to me!

 

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So, in the process of this whole build, the nearly finished product magically flew off the workbench and across the room..... (what's that old internet addage? "EPIC FAIL"?)

 

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Essentially, I was unhappy with the results - specifically the finish and some of the errors I made in shaping certain parts. So, learning from what I did incorrectly the first time, I actually started the project over. I also got several inquiries as to how I was engineering some of the parts, so in rebooting this, I will also include some progress pictures with instructions if anyone cares to follow suit. Additionally, the initial gimmick to this was to use no outside parts (minus decals) to make the conversion - that will no longer be the case as I learned from the previous incarnation of this process.

 

I'll be posting build photos later this evening - if the completed project is worthy, I might even submit it to the Journal (barring, of course any run-ins with the wall across the room)

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As promised, some pictures from this project I've restarted. As I mentioned before, this time I decided to make use of outsourced materials in the interest of more sound construction.

 

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I began by sawing off the interconecting dorsal neck on both halves of the secondary hull - on the first go-round, I didnt perform this step until after I had assembled the hull halves, which resulted in a slightly crooked neck... With the way I did it this time, it allowed me to get a cut that was more flush with the surface of the secondary hull halves.

 

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With the neck removed, dry fit the secondary hull halves. I used a circle template placed around the entire assembly, leveled it, and made my cutting mark. The reason I did this was so that I could reverse the secondary hull in relation to the saucer section - to accomplish that, I obviously needed to rotate of the shuttle bay by 180 degrees... Again, my mistake in my first attempt at the conversion was in eyeballing the cut on both hull halves which resulted in the need for quite a bit of gap filling and ultimately, an asymatrical hull once everything was said and done...

 

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With the cuts for the reversal of the shuttlebay made, I went ahead and assembled the forward and rear halves of the hull - once dry, I ran them both over 200 grit sandpaper to ensure a fit that would be flat against each other. To make up for the material that was lost in both the cutting and the sanding of the parts, I used .6mm sheet stryrene as a spacer between the forward and rear sections of the hull - once assembled, trimmed, and sanded, the transistion between the two was nearly perfect...

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With the cuts for the reversal of the shuttlebay made, I went ahead and assembled the forward and rear halves of the hull - once dry, I ran them both over 200 grit sandpaper to ensure a fit that would be flat against each other. To make up for the material that was lost in both the cutting and the sanding of the parts, I used .6mm sheet stryrene as a spacer between the forward and rear sections of the hull - once assembled, trimmed, and sanded, the transistion between the two was nearly perfect...

 

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The next problem to tackle was the pylon I plan to use in connecting the upper saucer section to the secondary hull - in my previous try at this, I used the kit supplied pylons with a little bit of shaping and cutting. This time, I decided to use sheet styrene - 4 pieces of .6mm sheet styrene laminated together with ambiweld, then cut and shaped to suit...

 

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By using the sheet styrene, it gave me a little more leeway in terms of height of the upper pylon and a little more thickness to work with in shaping. Additionally, I wanted to make the transition between the secondary hull and the upper pylon a little more graceful. For that, I cut off a small sliver of the "neck" (remember, the neck was originally removed from the secondary hull halves) and blended it into the secondary hull whenre it will be mated to the upper pylon.

 

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This is all I have for now. More pictures to follow as I progress...

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Nice in-progress photos!

 

Dennis

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A little more progress was made this evening - I mated the secondary hull to the saucer section via the upper pylon - since I used 4 sheets of .6mm sheet styrene, it gave me quite a bit more leeway in terms of shaping and having a manageable gap to fill....

 

Before...

 

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After...

 

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The next item on the agenda is to mate the 'neck' (removed form the secondary hull halves at the beginning of the project) to the nacelle. On the first attempt at this conversion, I made the mistake of sawing off the neck after I had cemented the secondary hull halves together, resulting in an uneven cut. This time, I was able to achieve a \n even cut, thus making for less of a gap where the neck meets the nacelle...

 

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The real challenge, oddly enough will be to eliminate the gap where the neck meets the saucer - this doesnt require any scratch building or shaping as the neck natrually fits into the saucer when the kit is built out of the box, but since it's a snap together kit, the fit isn't great....

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Jeez, I turn away to attend to something else, look back, and you've started all over again! :smiley22:

 

Doing a project several times, in different ways, is a great learning tool. I wouldn't have called it an "Epic Fail" however, and I've always used the term "Epic Faillure", which it wasn't.

 

Yes, that magical "force", which flings uncooperative models into solid objects, has materialized in my Studio on occasion, weird isn't it? :unsure:

 

Your determination to get this done to your expectations, is admirable. Easy does it.............

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I was impressed with the first attempt, even more so now that you have started over completely. I'll be sure to check back for more progress. Thanks for sharing.

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I haven't made quite as mnuch progress in the past few days as I'd hoped, but I have gotten as far as mating the nacelle and pylon to the underside of the saucer section. I also added a few pieces of strip styrene here and there for detail and strategic seam / gap coverage. The next steps will be to fill some more gaps, paint the inner portion of the bussard collector, and primer the entire piece - hopefully I'll be able to get some of that done tomorrow...

 

I'd still like to go with the original premise of this project, which was to build a TOS style 'Kelvin' - as of yet, I've been unable to get all of the letters necessary to complete that name. I'm at the point now where I have begun working on my own set of markings in Adobe Illustrator to get printed on decal paper - the only problem is that the Microgramma Medium Extended font (used in Franz Joseph's Starfleet Tech Manual) I want to use does not contain the correct style of the number '1'...

 

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Keep going Mike!

I thought the first one looked good. Can't wait to see the "new" one.

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Looks like a good coupling to the Primary Hull, well done! There are sites that sell very nice decals which allow you to designate a Starship in any letters, and numbers, all in the proper font style and scale your looking for.

 

Federation Models has various sets available for all sorts of different kits. I believe Starship Modeler's store has many as well. There is also JT Graphics, and many others.

 

If you do a Google search for "Star Trek decal vendors", or something like that, you should get plenty of sites.

 

However, if you can create ones your happy with, for less money, that sounds good too! :smiley20:

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Looks like a good coupling to the Primary Hull, well done! There are sites that sell very nice decals which allow you to designate a Starship in any letters, and numbers, all in the proper font style and scale your looking for.

 

Federation Models has various sets available for all sorts of different kits. I believe Starship Modeler's store has many as well. There is also JT Graphics, and many others.

 

If you do a Google search for "Star Trek decal vendors", or something like that, you should get plenty of sites.

 

However, if you can create ones your happy with, for less money, that sounds good too! :smiley20:

 

I know that Fereration Models used to let you purchase JT Graphics Decals with an option to specify your own name and registry option, however I do not see that option on their site anymore. I've also looked at the JT Graphics Website and his links for decals appear to be broken....

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I know that Fereration Models used to let you purchase JT Graphics Decals with an option to specify your own name and registry option, however I do not see that option on their site anymore. I've also looked at the JT Graphics Website and his links for decals appear to be broken....

 

 

I wasn't aware of that Mike, that's unfortunate. Perhaps Jim Botaitis, at JBots, would still have his version. I'd pop off a quick e-mail to JT, and see "what's up" on that, was a good seller for him. Wonder why it would stop being so, with Trek so in the lime-light at this time :smiley25:

 

Just trying to help, home-made decals are usually rather thick, and unwieldly. I stopped using the "do it yourself" decal kits some years ago, perhaps they are better nowadays.

 

Back to the "Smurf-Cave", gotta get to work this morning..................I'll check back in later.

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the only problem is that the Microgramma Medium Extended font (used in Franz Joseph's Starfleet Tech Manual) I want to use does not contain the correct style of the number '1'...

 

 

What's wrong with this?

Just use an "I" (not "i") instead of the "1"

 

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What's wrong with this?

Just use an "I" (not "i") instead of the "1"

 

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I thought about doing that, but I still wanted a small tag on the '1' - the standard '1' has a tag that is way too long.... I might go with the 'l' instead - I'm assuming what you did was in Cad, correct?

 

I went ahead and did mine in Adobe Illustrator, though even though I'm using Microgramma Med. it still looks heavier than what you have. I'll have to keep playing around with the stroke weight until I get what I want....

 

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I thought about doing that, but I still wanted a small tag on the '1' - the standard '1' has a tag that is way too long.... I might go with the 'l' instead - I'm assuming what you did was in Cad, correct?

 

I don't understand you wanting the 'tag' on the 1. The studio model of Enterprise used just a line for the 1701 on the top, bottoms, sides, etc.

 

Let em know. Cad can explode the text, and I can make a tag of any length you need.

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I don't understand you wanting the 'tag' on the 1. The studio model of Enterprise used just a line for the 1701 on the top, bottoms, sides, etc.

 

Let em know. Cad can explode the text, and I can make a tag of any length you need.

 

I don't know why I wanted a tag either - I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I thought that for ship numbers there was a small tag in the SFTM, but after going back and checking it, I was dead wrong... That's good now, because I can go ahead and finish designing my decals!

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Nice logical thinking James, that was a great suggestion!

 

Now we can see this most interesting project progress, very cool guys! :smiley20:

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