Posts Tagged ‘models


U.S.S. Hobb Creek pt. 4




Gonna call her done, for now. Decals are on, a layer of flat clear has been applied, and the last few details have been painted on. All the windows have been hand painted in either flat white, or gloss black, depending on whether they lit, or not. Aztec panels were painted on in gloss, to provide an effect like the refit Enterprise filming model had, instead of the mottled diseased look that most newer Trek ships have. The decals have been done to reflect late 24th century practices, so the side markings are similar to Voyager’s with the larger lettering and registry instead of the sip’s name. I also left the red outline off the ship’s name on the saucer, for the same reason. The escape pods are similar to what’s on the Nova class, just because I like their look. The decals were made at 1200DPI, which nearly choked Paint Shop Pro 9. It doesn’t like doing vectors that large, and all the text was done as vectors. Other graphics were scraped from various corners of the web, and modified as needed.








The aztecing, being done in clear, is subtle enough that it doesn’t show up well in pictures.  That last picture was taken specifically to show it off. It’s most visible on the saucer, but it is everywhere on the ship. The only parts of the hull I didn’t paint it on, are the colored sections on the engineering hull. Those are decals made from graphics I found a while back on the Starship Modeller website. I gray scaled them, so that my base colors would show through. The patterns are surprisingly crisp, but subtle, and hard to capture on camera. Or, I’m just horrible at taking pictures. I suspect it’s that last one.


The background image in the picture at the top of this entry is from


USS Hobb Creek pt. 3

Guess who’s back, back again…. Sorry. I’ll stop, now.


Anyway. Seems I neglected to post the last few things I got finished on the Hobb Creek model. I cut some .010″ thick styrene sheet to make phaser strips. There’s two on top of the saucer, two more on the bottom, one on the bottom of the secondary hull, and one on each side of the shuttle bay area. The styrene was cut into straight strips, and worked into curves into it before being glued down.

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Since I’m doing this as a 24th century ship, I went with a darker base color than the refit Enterprise had. It’s also a nice call back to the original series ship. I went with Model Master Jet Exhaust for the phaser strips, since it looks closest to the strips on the filming models, of anything I have. I suppose black or Tamiya Gunmetal would have worked too, given how they always looked on screen.


The warp grills, deflector crystal, and main deflector were painted white, and thinned down light blue paint was used to create a glow effect. The main deflector recieved some extra attention with a darker shade of blue around the outer edge. The Bussard collectors were painted with Model master Italian Red, which, as red paint goes, is pretty orange. If I was building a General Lee model, this would be my first choice. (unless I was doing the movie version) Unfortunately, I bought this paint for a Ferrari model….  On top of the Italian red, I painted yellow “Kirby dots” to try to create the impression of a chaotic looking energy field inside. There’s no real cannon example of this, unless you count the random blinking lights in the filming model from TOS, which has since been retconned into kind of spinamajig. I just think it would look neat, on screen. Over the red orange and yellow, I painted transparent red.


The other details were painted, mostly by going off photos of the refit Enterprise filming model.

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And, I just realized I never took any pictures of it, with the glowy bits painted…. Brilliant.


Moving right along…. I’ve gotten started on making the image file to print the decals from. I’m still in the phase of making sure things are sized and shaped right. I’ll get the red outlines on the saucer name and registry decals once I’m finished with the test fitting. Since I’m still in the test fitting stage, I’m printing things out on regular printer paper. Final decals will will be printed on clear paper. Once the decals are down, and sealed unter a layer of flat clear coat, I plan on painting the Aztec paneling on with gloss clear. I have never liked the ILM style of Aztecing, that they started with the Reliant. It makes no sense why every panel on the ship would be painted a slightly different shade than every surrounding panel. The refit Enterprise model had it right, giving the impression of light reflecting differently off the panels, as they wrapped around all the ship’s compound curves.



Yes, the registry is ridiculously improbable. Obviously, I don’t subscribe to the notion that only Enterprise keeps the same registry, with each succeeding ship. The NX is only because she’s a technology tester. I actually prefer a proper NCC registry, but it just doesn’t work with this ship’s back story of being a test bed for bleeding edge, experimental technology.


USS Hobb Creek pt2

After one failed attempt, I successfully modified a saucer, with a new Exeter style superstructure. The first attempt failed, because I made it way too big. Most of the ship’s parts are in place now, but the saucer is currently on only by a friction fit. Took this picture on the Infinitely Variable Diorama, so it’s much clearer than the previous pictures are.


This time, I made the superstructure only slightly wider than the existing B deck blister. I made it by cutting off the bridge, and grinding down the top of the B deck. I cut the top of the new superstructure out of thin sheet styrene. (.o20″ inch thick, I believe) A small piece of thicker styrene was glued in to hold the back of the superstructure roof in place. Before the setting the new “B deck roof” in place, I cut a hole in it for the bridge module. The bridge was from another saucer casting. Part of the B deck from the donor saucer was left on the bottom of the bridge, the same thickness as the sheet styrene. I originally tried cutting this extra material off, so I could glue the bridge directly to the styrene. I ruined that first bridge in the attempt. The bridge was glued to the filed down B deck with Goop (can’t seem to fin Shoe Goo locally) so that I could move it around a little, and make sure it was properly centered on the saucer. Doing it that way also made it easier to get the top of the superstructure lined up properly. Any gaps around the bridge were filled in with Fixit Sculpt, at the same time I filled in the sides of the superstructure with the same. A cut down deflector crystal, taken from the donor saucer, was glued in place on the back of the new superstructure. Since I wanted it to sit level on an angled surface, it was easier to just file it down thin enough to sit on top of the the new superstructure. I drilled a small divot where it would go, to give the Goop some place to go. Once the deflector crystal was where I wanted it, and the Goop had cured, I put a little superglue around the base of it to hold it in place. A little bit of Fixit sculpt was worked in around it, as well, to fill in any remaining gaps. I scribed a few lines into the top of the new superstructure, to break up the other wise featureless surface. After that, the modified saucer was placed into the lower half of the mold I’d made, and a new upper half was made.

At this point, the nacelle struts have been reinforced with piano wire, and the wire has been sculpted over with Fixit Sculpt. The struts and nacelles have been glued in place, and the seams have been filled with more Fixit Sculpt. I’ve added the angled side fins to the nacelles. There’s a little bit of cleaning up I still need to do around the joints where the struts hit the hull and nacelles, and the saucer has a couple of minor blemishes to fix. Then, I’ll glue the saucer permanently in place, and clean up that juncture. After that, it’s paint and decals. I’ve already tracked down the fonts I need to make markings appropriate for a ship in service in the late 24th century. I’m not thrilled with the way the font handles the outlines around the letters, but it’s not difficult to work around.

I can’t seem to resist creating back stories around the things I create.  The ship itself doesn’t have much of a story, other than having previously been the U.S.S. Whitfield, before being retired and then relegated to the bone yard. The crew however, is where the real story lies. It involves a spacial anomaly, time dilation, and a 23rd century ship finding itself in the 24th century mirror universe. I hope to eventually build the original Hobb Creek. That one is a design entirely my own, but using TOS Constitution parts. I’ll probably have to scratch build that one’s engineering hull, since it’s a four nacelle design. I mention this, because with the mirror universe involved, there is another Hobb Creek.


This one will have a few spotting differences from its Federation counterpart. Current plan is for completely different nacelles. The impulse engines will be closer in design to the Exeter class from Star Trek Online, as well.


Small Update

Been a while, I know. I kind of got sucked into Warframe, for the past couple a three weeks.


Anyway. I finished the engraving on the underside of the little Enterprise saucer. The first part of the mold I’m making off of that is curing, as I type this. I’ve been having trouble with the second parts of my molds sticking to the first parts, when I make them. Either my rubber to rubber mold release has gone off, or I’m doing something wrong. Honestly, I’ve always had trouble with the edges sticking, but never like this. Most of the keys to keep the nacelle mold halves aligned tore, when I first separated those. I’m using some of the left over rubber from the saucer mold to patch that up.


The engineering hull and nacelle strut molds are ready to go, however. I did pour of those, mostly to make sure my resin was still good. It is, and both parts came out, with no air bubbles that I saw. Unfortunately, I didn’t mix enough resin for the hull pour. That’ll have to be poured, again. Not a problem. I make molds so I can make multiples of these parts. The resin I’m using is kind of flexible, especially in thin parts. I’m worried that the nacelle struts won’t be able to actually support the weight of the nacelles. If that’s the case, I should be able to use some thin piano wire to reinforce the struts.


I have yet to accurize the original kit nacelles, so it’ll still be a while, before I can make an Enterprise. However, my main goal was always to make my “test bed” ship, the U.S.S. Hobb Creek. That’s why I made that Exeter style nacelle. My hope is to have the Hobb Creek well on its way to completion, by the end of the week. Of course, to paraphrase Jayne Cobb, what I plan, and what takes place ain’t ever exactly been similar.


Having these molds, will also give me the parts I need to make another ship from the same project the Hobb Creek is supposed to be part of. The U.S.S. Serling is a Decatur class ship, with modifications similar to the Hobb Creek’s. Far as I can tell, the Decatur class is a fan design, but it’s mostly a Constitution kitbash. The front of the Dacatur’s engineering hull is shaped a little different, But I think I can pull it off. The project is supposed to have two other ships (the Miskatonic and the Ellison) but one of those is a Miranda class, and the other is a Soyuz. Without a Miranda model for a base, I can’t make either of those.


Nacelle and Stuff

After last week’s disaster, I have that Exeter style nacelle in presentable shape.


Speaking of its shape, I’ve realized that the lower/inner of the two shroud like shapes on it doesn’t come up quite as high as it should. It should be domed up a little higher. Doing that, will mean that I’ll have to resculpt part of the upper/outer shroud. *shrugs* I already had to sculpt part of the Bussard collector, despite having originally shaped it out of styrene. In fact, that’s the third collector I made. The first one was too short (front to back) and after I got the second made to the proper length, I realized that it was too thin. The third one looked fine, until I started sculpting the shrouds. Then, I realized that it was still too thin. So the upper half of it wound up being sculpted. Anyway, even with the extra sculpting it still needs, it doesn’t really need much more work. Then, I can screw it up by adding parts to create a sprue and venting, for mold making. The black sections in the picture are thin styrene sheet, that I used to build out from the part that’s supposed to be recessed. That recessed area is made from scribed styrene to give the horizontal lines that the nacelles have there. I need to add one more narrow strip to each side, at the back. The recessed parts aren’t supposed to extend all the way to the back


Work continues on the Enterprise, too. I’ve finally got the deflector grid lines where I want them. They’re not quite perfect, mostly due to me rescribing some of them two or three times.  I’ve also added recessed docking ports to the sides of the engineering hull, the sides of the torpedo blister on the neck, and the back of the bridge module, on the saucer. Got the shuttle bay doors sculpted, too. Their shape in the original kit was pretty far off from the filming model. I only scribed in about half the lines in the doors, because the lines between on the filming model are thinner. It looks like each segment is made of two panels. Those other panel lines are just too fine to be seen at this scale. I’ve been trying to make the impulse engine assembly on the back of the saucer more accurate, and now I just need to finish cleaning up the top of the neck, just under the saucer.


I’ve said in the past that the model has been broken down into subassemblies, but my pictures always show it intact. The saucer is one piece. as is the engineering hull and neck. The nacelle pylons and the section of engineering hull between them is the last piece. That last one is the only one that’s basically the same as it was in the original kit. They all stay together by friction, more or less.



December 2019
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