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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 28 May 2010 at 7:02am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Greg, I'm more like a hardcore Trek model collector, than builder these days (no real free time, which is kinda a good thing given the economy)!   I do plan to get back into it with the 1/1000 kits (easily fit those on my crowded shelves).

Just did an inventory of my still-in-the-box Trek kits (alot of my built stuff didn't survive a move, and gave-away many unbuilt AMT/Ertl ones after a layoff years ago).  Still have an AMT/Ertl Enterprise 1701-B kit, 2 of the Bandai USS Enterprise prepainted & lightable Refit kits, one Bandai 1701-A kit, one Bandai 1701-E, and plenty of the Round2/Polar Lights 1/1000 TOS and Refits (not even touching the NX-01).  Still, those are far outnumbered by the anime models I've got stored away...

Just sent ya an email!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 02 June 2010 at 4:19pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Been working on my 1/1000 1701-A. Hopefully, Round2 will offer those supplemental decals soon to cover some of the more subtle differences between the Refit and A.

I'm also really kinda liking the idea of Round2 reissuing the 1/1000 Ertl Excelsior--hopefully with improved tooling and decals.

That kit (which I built--poorly--when I was a kid) has a whole bunch of problems, and accurizing it is a mjor undertaking for any dedicated modeler. There are some aftermarket parts and decals out there for it, though.

 

I have a certain fondness for the Excelsior, you see. Before everyone jumps on me, allow me to explain--

I'm talking about the STAR TREK III Excelsior, the one designed as a joke. The ship was intended (within the story) to be Bigger! and Better! than good old Enterprise, but the reaction from our heroes (and many fans) was, "That's the future? No, thanks."

As a ridiculously oversized, overdetailed, Japanese-inspired (which is how ILM designer/modelmaker Bill George has desciribed it) "replacement" for the Enterprise, the design is great! And, after all the hype and buildup, the ship is ineffectual at capturing the battered, trusty Enterprise, thanks to Scotty's sabotage.

Of course, some (apparently even Harve Bennett) thought that our heroes would be given Excelsior in future films, or an Excelsior-class ship named Enterprise. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

However, TNG did establish that the Excelsior-class design was still in service nearly a century later, with nary a Constitution-class in sight. I'd chalk that up to time and budget issues. And an Excelsior-class Enterprise-B appeared in the conference room of 1701-D, a notion which was later confirmed in GENERATIONS (In a rather shocking turnaround, the design was now admired by Scotty--perhaps only because the name Enterprise graced its hull?).

Later on, due to the plot of STAR TREK VI including Sulu's Captaincy, he needed a ship. I personally think that Excelsior was chosen for budget and time reasons, and so the design was fully "legitimized" with that film.

And, pretty much since then, the Excelsior design has been embraced by a good many fans, despite having been intended as, well, a JOKE.

Anyhoo, I think I'd enjoy modeling the jokey NX-2000 version for ST III in the same scale as my 1/1000 ships, to provide a nice design contrast, and for the challenge.



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 02 June 2010 at 6:37pm
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 02 June 2010 at 6:30pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

My aftermarket resin replacement bridge part for the 1/1000 Refit arrived today!  I'm no expert when it comes to accurate detail comparisions between the Round 2 kit and the filming miniature, but it's nice to now have a molded bridge docking port that was missing from the original piece.  And that ugly Officers Lounge plug is gone too!

I may have to save this for Refit #3, since it requires careful removing of the entire molded bridge superstructure from the upper saucer section part.

Speaking of the Excelsior, I've still have one of the old FASA Star Trek gaming miniatures (in desperate need of Space Dock)!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 02 June 2010 at 6:36pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Glad that you like the replacement part, Bill. I've got two on the way, myself!
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 02 June 2010 at 6:52pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Both opaque, or are you going for one lighted version?

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 02 June 2010 at 7:20pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Opaque.

I'm not skilled/crazy enough to try lighting a model that small! Also, I've never lit a model!

If I were to light a model, it would definitely be the 1/350 kit, which is ideal for superdetailing and lighting. The gold standard is the TrekModeler stuff, with the lighting kit that can switch from impulse to warp mode, which just blows my mind.

http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=233891

http://www.youtube.com/user/TrekModeler#p/u

 

For my builds, I'm going to do NCC-1701-A (specifically, the ST VI version), as a test run, then the Refit. I'll use the stock decals for the "A", and the aztec painting masks and photoetch upgrades for the Refit, with pearlescent paints.

I also plan on doing the "A" in the normal post-TMP impulse mode--blue deflector dish, "lit" impulse engines, and powered-down warp nacelles.

For the Refit, I'll do it in warp mode--blue deflector dish, powered-down impulse engines, "lit" inboard nacelles.

I considered doing an impulse-mode TMP version, with the amber deflector dish and glowing red impulse crystal, but I prefer the warp-mode look with the blue dish and illuminated nacelles.



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 02 June 2010 at 7:37pm
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 07 June 2010 at 12:10pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Hey Greg, I take it you've already seen this aftermarket correction kit pre-order for the 1/1000 Excelsior / Enterprise-B? 

http://www.starshipmodeler.biz/shop/index.cfm?fuseaction=pro duct.display&product_ID=1525&ParentCat=38

I'm kinda tempted since I already have the -B, and hated the way the neck parts are molded.

Edit - Hmmm... Seems a bit old for a pre-order...



Edited by Bill Mimbu on 07 June 2010 at 2:59pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 07 June 2010 at 12:43pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Yep. But I'll hold off until such time as Round2 reissues the kit, I think. I'm wondering if some of the aftermarket aztec decals will fit the aftermarket lower saucer, too.

 

Also, I'm thrilled that Acreation Models is now offering full aztec and strongback replacement decals for the TMP Refit and 1701-A, and will also soon be offering alternate registries and other goodies! I've already ordered one set of each aztec upgrade set. I still plan on painting my TMP model's aztecs, but the corrected strongbacks and sensor bands are too good to pass up on!

http://www.acreationmodels.com/decals.asp#PL1000REFIT



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 07 June 2010 at 12:44pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 June 2010 at 6:57pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

That 1/350 TMP model build from Trekmodeler is done, complete with detailed aztec paint and internal lights.

(*drool*)

http://s16.photobucket.com/albums/b31/trekmodeler/Star%20Tre k%20TMP%20USS%20ENTERPRISE/



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 08 June 2010 at 7:01pm
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 08 June 2010 at 9:47pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I went ahead and ordered the -A aztec upgrade decals from Acreation (I assume we don't need to order the -A strongback decals since that's apparently already in the set).

I had previously ordered an aftermarket -A strongback & registry decals from the Starship Modeler Store for the Refit kit, but they ended up being a rather inferior printing job compared to the ones supplied with the model.  The strong back decals were a bit too TMP green for the -A as well.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 June 2010 at 10:01pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

My story exactly, Bill.

Mind you, though--the strongback correction decals from SSM are INTENDED to be TMP-style, hence the strong green tint.

The strongback pattern changed slightly when the model was repainted for ST IV.

The kit, which is supposed to represent the Refit, actually features some detailing and colors that are closer to the "A". In the case of the strongback, the kit decals have the "A" pattern, but are colored with a greenish TMP tint. Hence the aftermarket SSM decals, which feature the TMP pattern and a stronger green tint.

If you compare Acreation's sample images, you can see the difference in the patterns, obvious color difference aside.

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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 09 June 2010 at 6:14am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Let me guess, "JDecaLs"?  It wouldn't be so bad if the red coloring used in that set didn't appear like it was printed on a bad inkjet...  Not very crisp linework like kit's decals.  Yes, I did compare Acreation sample with the SSM one... World of a difference.  Thanks for the link!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 June 2010 at 10:21pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Received the aftermarket bridges. Sweet!

By the way, Bill, I've got two thread at SSM covering my work with the TOS ship and the Refit/A--sort of R & D/build threads. If you haven't checked 'em out already (I get the impression you're a member of that forum), please feel free! We've had some interesting discoveries and discussions there!

 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 June 2010 at 2:09pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Installed the aftermarket bridge! A sweet little piece--it makes the whole model look better, thanks to the corrected shape and size.
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 10 June 2010 at 2:15pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Cool, Greg!  Is much need for any filling/sanding post op?

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 June 2010 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Not too much, if you're careful during the removal and installation. Removing the old bridge (I didn't even need a drill!), installing the new one, and adding a coat or two of putty took less than an hour!

I'd post a photo or two, but Photobucket is acting up today.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 June 2010 at 5:48pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Here we go:

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 June 2010 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Sweet! Acreation now has accurate/additional registry and window decals available for the 1/1000 Refit!

http://www.acreationmodels.com/decals.asp#PL1000REFIT

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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 12 June 2010 at 10:13pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Here we go:

***

Cool!  Almost enough to make me buy another one, but I've already got enough stuff from Acreation on the way already (including the new registry decals, thanks again for the heads-up!).

BTW, have there been any aftermarket decal dealers doing the JB version of the Romulan D-7 markings yet (from Romulans :Schism, with the raptor head profile on the side of the command pod)?  I've got a few of those PL 1/1000 Klingon D-7 kits, and I plan to do one of them as that version.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 13 June 2010 at 1:55am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Not that I know of. There are some TAS style Romulan D-7 markings out there, however.

 

In the same vein, I've been kinda tempted to do an NX-0002 build, with a bare hull plating effect, and the extra, "clunkier" engine details.

I also think that the Fortune and Ventura would make excellent kits or scratchbuilds in the 1/1000 scale.

 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 16 June 2010 at 9:00pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Been working steadily on my 1701-A, to kill the time while I wait for the decals to arrive.

I have a tendency to be impatient with these things, primarily when it comes to painting--the step I like the least.

That aside, this is a great little model.

It's very interesting to set it (even in its unfinished condition) alongside my finished "Cage" Enterprise and compare the two designs. Comparing schematics is one thing, but having two 3-D models in the same scale is something else. It's gotten me thinking about the two designs, and how they evolved.

The redesign of the Enterprise for ST: TMP went through several steps:

http://www.ottens.co.uk/forgottentrek/tmp_1.php

 

1. The Ralph MacQuarrie "Star Destroyer-prise" designs from the aborted PLANET OF THE TITANS movie, which were totally scrapped.

2. Matt Jefferies was then brought back to redesign the ship for the PHASE II television series.

Even in his 1960s artwork, Jefferies was never beholden to the exact contours of his own prior drawings or the TOS filming models. As such, his Enterprise was always somewhat in flux.

The PHASE II design stays in line with that. Jefferies figured that only the engines and pylons would be the only major components to change during a refit. Otherwise, the changes he made were mostly cosmetic (like visible docking ports on the secondary hull and the torpedo tubes at the base of the dorsal). The other countour changes were merely a bit of artistic license on his part.

http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/lcars/jefferies-phase-II.php

http://www.trekweb.com/images/stories/4b91286e8141f-1.jpg

 

And, of course, work began on a model, which was scrapped when the second TV series was abandoned.

http://www.ottens.co.uk/forgottentrek/images/TMP/mattjeffrie sconc.jpg

 

3. When work began on ST: TMP, other artists revised Jefferies' design, primarily by reworking the details--the overall shape of the redesign remained mostly the same. And, of course, a ton of extra detailing was added, including the gorgeous and complex aztec pattern. It was also around this time when art started creeping up behind the functionality of TREK's designs--and functionality would eventually be superceded in favor of flashy, superdetailed ships.

The 8-foot model was built by Magicam, and the earliest finished version featured additional red pinstriping, some different markings, and simpler bridge/lower sensor array designs. This version was used for numerous publicity photos, the comic adaptation, and toys.

http://www.ottens.co.uk/forgottentrek/images/TMP/constrefita ndrewprobert.jpg

The model was revised into its finished form when Doug Trumbull came aboard and devised the model's self-illuminating spotlights.

 

Anyhoo, I kinda wish the PHASE II model had been completed, since it's an interesting transitional step between TOS and TMP.

And, comparing my models, I do think it's more than conceivable that the "refit" is still the same ship from TOS. While many of the countours are different, it's easy to say that certain areas were "beefed up" structurally, while others were completely replaced. Comparing the two, some lines of the dorsal, secondary hull, and saucer are very close--enough to say that a good portion of the ship's spaceframe could have been retained and/or enhanced during the rebuild.

Additionally, the seemingly high level of surface detail comes primarily from the aztec panel pattern and the markings. If one were to paint the model a single color, and used markings similar to TOS, I think the ship's basic design and skin texture would be revealed as not quite so "busy" as some people think--unlike the later iterations, which are bursting with extraneous greeblies. I think the refit's design carries the same overall spirit as the original ship--sleek and fairly simple--, something that can't be said about later versions.

Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness ranting...I'm just pumped about how well this new project is going!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 June 2010 at 3:21pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

My 1701-A is coming along nicely. Still waiting to receive the aftermarket decals--in the meantime, I've been filling seams and priming. Here's where we're at:

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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 23 June 2010 at 6:59pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I've been following the Star Trek / Acreation thread over at the Starship Modeler forum, and still waiting for my decals as well (confirmed that the first batch of aztecs was paid for, nothing yet about the new registry markings).

She's looking good, Greg!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 June 2010 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Almost ready for decals--but they've yet to arrive, so it'll be the Waiting Game for a while.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 June 2010 at 10:04pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Looiks like Round2 is re-releasing the Enterprise-B, and that the Excelsior molds were permanently altered to make the "B" back in the 90s.

http://www.round2models.com/models/star-trek/enterprise-b

 

As previously stated, I like the Excelsior because it's supposed to be an over-designed parody of the Enterprise (and works well on that level in TSFS), but the "B" holds no interest for me (except maybe for the challenge of the build).

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