Monday, 30 June 2014

Trek Modelling 101: Warp Engines and Body Building


Last time we covered building the saucer on the AMT USS Enterprise and now we're going to move on to the warp nacelles.

Bear in mind since there are two of these so you will repeat the same steps for both. With building the nacelles you will notice the supports are already attached and lining everything up can be tricky that is where your clamps and rubber band come in real handy. 

First you will need to dry fit basically put the two halves together without glue and see if any adjustment is needed; if not you are good to glue. I recommend trimming the fitting pegs off and lining it up by hand and eye, after which tape them together and glue a little bit at a time just remember you want everything lined up squared and true. 

From there it's back to sanding again and here is a tip - while sanding a round surface be sure to sand back and forth as to not sand flat spots on the nacelles as they are supposed to be round in shape. After your first time sanding, shoot some of your handy primer on it to see if you need to putty and sand. 

Here's a tip from a friend of mine (maybe you have heard of him his name is Trekworks) for when applying putty to seam. Take two pieces of tape and lay them parallel to the seam, then take your putty and use your finger to smear it onto the seam.  Let the putty dry, remove the tape and there is your putty line for sanding all nice and neat! 

Since this kit is pretty old you will need to putty, sand, prime and repeat a couple of times until your seams are all gone. From there you just need to put it to the side and wait for the engineering section which we'll be covering now...

Secondary Moves


The Engineering section is arguably the worst piece of this kit. It has five pieces but it's the sides where the seams are that will have you screaming. 

First thing you want to do is glue the top section of the engineering hull which is in two pieces but the important thing here is the line up of the two halves so do several dry fittings first and when you are satisfied then glue. 

From there, glue the seam underneath as well to provide extra reinforcement I would also recommend taking some strip styrene and gluing it to the joint for extra extra reinforcement as this seam is known to bust time and time again. Then sand that seam smooth. 

It will take a while and you know you are done is when you take your pinky finger and run it over the surface it is smooth no stair step. Then it’s the gluing of the shuttle bay door which is really simple so just line it up and glue in place, allowing it to dry. 

Now come the time to attach the bottom to the top and this is where the nightmare comes in. 

As you are dry fitting you will notice huge seams down both sides where the top meets the bottom. Try to line it up as best you can and when you get it where you like it glue the parts together. Next comes the hard part as you will be sanding, puttying and priming several times until that seam is smooth.  When you finish, use the pinky test as described above and from there it is the front of the engineering section again as before. Line it up, glue it in place and with more puttying and sanding that ends the engineering hull.

Next time we'll be painting and detailing. Until then Get out of here and build something.

You can catch up on all Chris' modelling tips and techniques by clicking back through the Trek Modelling 101 Archive and if that's not enough, check out the Google+ Sci-Fi Fans and Modelers' United Community