Restoring AMT-Ertl's U.S.S. Enterprise Kit


    Reworking gave me the opportunity to further improve the accuracy of the model. More detail was added to the secondary hull using Evergreen scribed sheet styrene. The first time around, this detail was represented by a striped decal from the Estes flying kit. This piece was missing from the big model during my first trip to the Smithsonian. 
   Also added were bigger domes for the Rear Engine Caps made from leftover vacuformed warp drive domes. The inset shows the kit's molded domes. On the big model, each engine cap was made entirely of solid wood and  the domes were painted light gray. I liked the way the translucent plastic looked and left the domes un-painted.
  The Estes flying Enterprise kit was a rarity when I bought it just for the decals two years earlier. This time around, I would use an aftermarket decal sheet with the proper markings made by Decalex. The sheet includes all of the numbers and letters in their correct typeface and the Starfleet pennants seen on the secondary hull and warp nacelles. Also on the sheet are the many stripes and shapes noticable on the studio model and even the windows in their correct locations.
   While many of the Decalex markings were used, some were replaced with markings airbrushed onto decal film. Doing this instead of airbrushing them directly onto the model would help avoid positioning problems. The T-shape and rectangle at right were replaced with the airbrushed markings above them.

   Some of the markings, as before, were photocopied onto decal film. The shapes in the top-left corner were made with dry-transfer striping. The NCC-1701 markings were made as spares after damaging one of the Decalex decals. The blue marking was added to the photo to illustrate scale.

   While the windows on the Decalex sheet were in the correct positions, I wasn't happy with the way they looked. Some were just a little too big and the edges and corners weren't as sharp as I would have liked them to be. Once again, I used the Woodland Scenics dry transfer striping and made my own window decals.

    As final additions to the model, the button in the middle of the lower saucer dome (left) was added using a small piece of styrene from my spare parts box. This part was missing from the studio model when I first photographed it and so was missing from this model the first time around.

 A pair of tiny red lights was also added to the Bridge (right). These were simply 3/4 inch long strands of optical fiber which were lit by the bridge bulb with Tamiya Clear Red paint on the inside end.

   Finally, another spare warp dome vacuform was trimmed to about a half-inch in diameter and glued over the existing bridge dome. The larger dome is more accurate to the big model.

    Four more light mist coats of Tamiya clear were sprayed on, sanding lightly with 1800 grit sanding film between each coat. As before, the clear coat was thinned with a mix of alcohol and water to prevent any stressing on any of the old paint beneath. Finally a coat of clear mixed with Flat Base was lightly airbrushed on which gave the model a satin finish and went on without any drama.

   The model was finished . . . again.


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chapter 4
chapter 5
chapter 6
chapter 7
chapter 8
chapter 9
chapter 10