Friday, May 18, 2012

Tiny Enterprise Bridge Gets Eentsy Weentsy Chairs, or PGMS Cutaway Starship Photo-etch Set, Part 4

All right, I've done it! Since last time, I made ten Burke chairs at approximately 1/700 scale (to go with the PE figures that will also be on the Cutaway Enterprise bridge, chosen to match the height of the turbolift door). And they're installed. Once they're carefully painted, Lts. Uhura and Sulu, Ens. Chekov, and Mr. Spock will all have places to sit. (Ever notice Scotty doesn't sit much when he's on the bridge? That guy has ants in his pants!) This pic makes me notice something, though. That captain's chair looks like a loveseat! ("Yeoman Rand! Report to the bridge, and bring some Saurian brandy!")

This was my second attempt to make these chairs. Earlier this week I tried hollowing out the end of a piece of Evergreen .060" angle using a micro carbide bit in the collet of my Dremel. It looked pretty good, but when I cut it off it flew like a tiddlywink into the nether regions of oblivion. Duh.

Before making more, I consulted a reference. has lots of pictures with scale cards in most of the photos. I realized there's a chair off in oblivion that's too big for the bridge. (In fact, .060" angle would be an excellent choice for a 1:700 scale model of Bull's concrete couch on Night Court.) I made more by shaving down some more .060" angle so it approximated .039" (the scale height of the seatback) by .030" (the horizontal distance from the top of the seat back to the front edge of the seat). I shaved it into the profile I wanted and stuck it to a piece of tape alongside a metal rule with 1/32" graduations. Using an x-acto knife with a chisel blade, I cut it into 1/32" slices (close enough to the scale width of .030"). Each of these I then cut again with the chisel blade to form the taper of the seat back.

I was not going to try to make the cruciform pedestal bases, but did put seat posts where the seats would be by drilling holes through the deck with a #80 bit and sticking a strand of fine copper wire (.008" diameter) dipped in superglue and protruding about .021" (a scale 15", the height of the seat pedestal). Each seat was held with a pointy tweezer (and saliva), then dipped in superglue and placed on its pedestal. Sounds easy, so I must be lying! It was one of those cases where one must not let the frustration of one's efforts cause one to feel frustration. I expect I'll have to follow that philosophy when trying to paint these seats, which will be in the next post.


  1. Did I see 1/700 figures? Haha :D

  2. Yep. Gold Medal Models 1/700 sailors.

  3. Hi I'm Building the Enterprise A 1:350 scale, can you please tell me where I can purchase this bridge, & do you know of a cost please as it would be really appreciated.

    1. This $28.95 PE set is made by ParaGrafix ( but is for the cutaway TOS Enterprise, which is approximately 1:500 scale. It's not made for the 1:350 Refit/1701A. He also makes a $37.95 PE set for that but with no bridge. You can't see into the bridge on the Refit, though that would be cool.