Sunday, May 20, 2012

Painting the Enterprise Bridge, or PGMS Cutaway Starship Photo-etch Set, Part 5

Since last time, I decided I didn't like how the navigation/helm console in the kit part isn't undercut. (You may have noticed it's supported only in the center, so the ends hang out over the helmsman's and navigator's legs.) The captain's chair also needed to be undercut, as it sits on a swivel pedestal. It would have been easier to fix this right at the beginning, and it was very risky to do it now with all the added detail, but it seemed necessary. I hollowed out these parts using both a Dremel tool on its lowest speed with a #80 carbide bit, and various x-acto blades, then puttied it. The whole time I was looking at it through a jeweler's loupe that kept falling out of my eye socket. Luckily, the procedure didn't damage any of the added detail, and the shapes of the console and chair are somewhat more accurate now.

Also, the main viewer and all the port side viewscreens were open holes, so I superglued bits of sheet styrene in back of them.
Then it was time to paint! Yay! That's the fun part. Well, in this case, it's also the most frustrating part. Imagine you've just built the AMT Enterprise bridge set and now you're going to paint it, but to make things challenging, you have to paint it from across the room looking through binoculars, using a long-handled brush so big you could paint the captain's chair with one stroke. I used various colors I had in stock, including Polly Scale RLM 65 for the chairs (like most hobby paints, it's not faithful to the Luftwaffe color, but it's about perfect here).

There's still need for touch-up and a bit more detailing, then it's time to add figures. I have a fret of Gold Medal Models 1/700 scale sailors that you may have spotted lying next to the bridge in previous posts. Some of them will be bent into seated positions and others left standing, then they'll get their Starfleet uniforms painted on and get superglued in place.

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