Construction Log: 1/1400 Scale Enterprise A

When I had finished my Phobos class and Miranda class rebuilds, I set them down next to my existing Enterprise A kit and looked at the grouping.  I have to admit my lips twisted in mild distaste at the sight of my old Enterprise A compared to her newer shinier display mates.  So with a little sigh of consternation, I resigned myself to the simple fact that I was going to have to rebuild all my Movie-era ships over the coming months.  And the Enterprise A was next.  We’ve already covered the OOB review of a new Starcrafts Enterprise in an earlier post, so let’s just get down to business here!

 

The first thing that needed to be done was a little bubble filling.  The primary hull and warp engines assemblies were darn near perfect, with just some minor sanding to clean them up.  The secondary hull had a few issues that I had to address.  There was a single subsurface bubble near the back above the shuttlebay, a little crack on the rim of the deflector dish, and some minor rescribing on the grid lines where I removed my mold seam.

Once that was done, I got down to the primer coat.  Of course a little sanding and re-primering was needed to make sure those wee error spots on the secondary hull were gone.  Then it was time to look at the engines.

Since I’ve owned a copy of this model before, I knew that the biggest difficulty about displaying it is the weakness between the secondary hull and the warp engines.  The alignment tab that Starcrafts provides is decent, but doesn’t hold up if the ship gets jostled or knocked around any.  And God help you if you move houses and don’t pack it properly.  So, to combat that problem (and the slight nacelle droop I had in my original kit) I broke out some thin brass sheet and rod.  I used a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel and shaped the brass sheet to match the scribed lines on the nacelle pylons, then laminated them against the model with CA cement.  Then I made pins for the pylons with brass rod and carefully made mating holes in the secondary hull, being sure the alignment was perfect.  These pins may not look like much, but all they need to do is add “shock support” to the finished piece….and I’ve learned from experience that it doesn’t take much extra brass reinforcement to make a really strong joint.

Once the brass was done, I shot the model with a coat of Krylon flat white.  Then I assembled the warp engines to the secondary hull.  I used a slower set thicker CA for this joint to help add a little extra strength.  You could also use a tiny bit of 2-part epoxy if you choose.

You can see here that I still have a little cleanup to do on the side grid lines.  The brass is looking good, but I don’t really want to see it so well defined on the final model…so we’re going to have to smooth that ridge out.

Here’s where I’ll stop for today.  I used Acrylic putty to smooth out the joint between brass and resin for those strips, and I went in and filled the pylon/secondary hull joint with the same white putty.  I’ll let this dry, then sand everything smooth and apply another thin coat of paint tonight.  If all goes well, I’ll be moving on to gloss coating the kit in prep for decals tomorrow night!

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