I wanted to post a full on blog post for the kitbash process for this model. I’ve documented the build to display the different stages of the model to illustrate my process. I have never been that great at kitbashing so this was challenging build to get out of the box so to speak. I have set out a few goals for the post:
- Organize and showcase the different steps on the build.
- Show the process for others interested in trying this project
- Work through trouble spots and try new methods for model work over the last year
- Enjoy the finished product.
With that, enjoy the post.
Gathering the victims for sacrifice:
As many of you surely felt, as soon as I saw the Enterprise on season 2 of Discovery, I knew I had to have a model of her in my favorite scale of 1/1000. I spent more time than I’d care to admit analyzing if I could effectively make the ship by bashing these two lovely kits above. After dreading the initial startup, I broke the ship into manageable parts: saucer, engineering, nacelles. I figured that I could scratch or modify the additional sections to make an approximate replica.
After looking at the two saucers, I decided the refit had the size and detail I was wanting for the ship. I took that and the pylons from the refit kit, while the nacelles and secondary hull were taken from the TOS kit. I then completed a rough layout to get the sizing in my head. I wanted to match the profile shots from my reference photos.
After confirming and measuring my pylon locations. I removed the TOS nacelle struts and filled in the location on the hull. I pinned and glued the pylons in place.
After letting the parts dry for a day. I worked on putting some detail on the hull. I had initially thought I was going to leave the TOS shuttle bay intact but after playing around with the fitting I noticed I could get the refit bay on and would be able to putty and sand down the refit bay to get a long after section like in the show. I used some styrene to create the bottom portion of the bay and add a few panel details to the secondary hull and nacelles. I also used the extra production bridge to make the sensor dome look more TOS.
At this point, I hit the piece with a quick shot of primer to see how I was doing. I also began the putty work around the pylons and shuttle bay.
With the base secondary hull in line, I needed to figure out the impulse deck. This is the biggest change on the shows version of the Enterprise and if the model were to get it right, I would need it in there. I determined if I could get the offset in the rear saucer, I could use a combination of decals and styrene to flesh it out in the top.
I had some extra clear nacelle pieces from the nx-01 and used those for the impulse deck. It wasn’t perfect but it fit the bill. I used styrene to build out the rest of the impulse deck with putty to seal and blend it to the hull. after I was satisfied with the construction, I hit it with another primer coat.
I moved forward after another week of not looking at the ship. I wanted to have fresh eyes on it for the next part. I felt satisfied that the ship matched my profiles and it would be recognizable. The next stage was to determine paint and decal schemes.
I went with my go-to hull color for federation vessels, testors gull grey. I used a gunmetal from Tamiya, ts-42, for the trim pieces. I was lucky enough to find another pair of cooling fins from another TOS and added them to the lower section of the nacelles. It was a nice touch and nod to the source as I had elected to stay with the kits endcaps. With the paint done, I came to a crossroad. I wanted to add some weathering, but I wasn’t sure how it would come through. I’ve had mixed success with trek ships. I decided to go for it, figuring I could manage another success.
I will have to rely on my description as the photos either did not save or the bottle of wine erases them. The hull was too dark! I tried to rescue the attempt and after clearing off a more than enough charcoal for 3 ships, the ship went into mothballs for another week.
After steeling myself to take another crack at the ship with decals. I felt myself getting back into the grove. With the decals and clear coat. I was able to give a weather, but detailed, hull panel view. With the detail decals, I was able to hide or distract some of the more critical defects and get back on track.
I had decided to go with an unorthodox registry and pattern. I figured this is a “what-if” vessel and I wanted to have fun with it! Again, I let my guard down and almost came into another disaster. After a great decal session, I went to clear coat to seal, and I did not account for the humidity in Massachusetts that day! I woke up to find a nice frosty constitution class vessel!
Again, I worried that this ship would find an honored place on that “shelf” we all have, the one where doomed vessels go to sleep. But, I figured I’d do so research to try and remedy this glazed donut. I used a combination of alcohol and water with q-tips and cotton balls to polish and clear out the haze.
After my latest misstep, I was able to round third for the home stretch. I was able to apply the rest of the decals without incident and clear out any lingering glaze. On the final construction piece, I altered the deflector to have a prong system with a donated s-foil.
After finishing the last clear coat, I took some time to reflect before her photo shoot. The model retained the elegance of the TOS and refit, while giving it a modern appearance. I think the disco version is the best version of the constitution class. It has the fast lines of the refit and jjprise, but still fits into the prime universe look.
Thank you again for reading through this build journal. It was a tough challenge but I encourage anyone to try to recreate the vessel! It was a great challenge to stretch my skills and was able to turn out a great display piece!