Returning Soon……Quite Soon

Posted April 13, 2012 by disillusionist40
Categories: Uncategorized



Posted January 16, 2011 by disillusionist40
Categories: Uncategorized

Hi There!  Remember me?…..You know, that guy that’s building model starships in his basement (wow, that sounds bad).  No, not that other guy.  Me!!!!!  Disillusionist!

Ok, enough silliness.  After an extended absence, I’ve finally returned.  Did you wonder what happened to me?  I did.  Truth be told,  I’ve had a whole host of distractions keeping me from making the progress I need to be making on these models.  Everything from job commitments, to knee surgery, to helping family members move.  It seemed like there was always something that “had” to be done.  Those things, coupled with a laser engraving business that took off way faster than I ever expected, have kept me away from the workbench.  But, finally I’M BACK!   And this time I intend to stick around to the finish.  I’ve cleaned and reorganized my long neglected workshop in a major way, and am ready to get things rolling once again!  Plus, there’s something really big lurking  just over the horizon, 8ft. big to be specific, so I’m going to have to finish some things up to make some space.

Just for general info.  After some discussion with my client, we’ve decided to forgo the “Raytheon Effect” internal spotlighting on Build 2.  We were both concerned that it just wouldn’t look good shining through all those layers of paint used for the base coat and aztec patterns.  But what to use in its place?   There must be some solution.  Well, why not just do what the original VFX technicians did while filming TMP?  Apply them externally.  Well, sans the dental mirrors anyway.  Our solution is to build spotlights  into the stand, which will include arms, or beams that will extend out over the ship, shining lights down onto the upper hull registry  and nacelles.  Frankly, I’m pretty excited about this as I think the ship will look much more “cinematic” in the end.  Plus, it makes the assembly and painting of the model itself significantly easier and quicker.

Now, where were we all those months ago?  As I recall, I had posted a picture of the photoetch rec dec with some backlighing.  Well, it’s installed and wired up to the saucer now.

Here’s what it looks like with the lights on.  Pretty much what I wanted…an impression of something being there behind those windows.

and here it is in the dark.  ooohhhh….ahhhhh  (I know, it’s not that impressive)

Since I’ve been concentrating on the saucer, I figured I’d go ahead and get the VIP lounge installed.  As you’ll recall my lovely wife had painted up a bunch of little 1/350 figures to populate the internal spaces of the model.  Honestly, I’ve been scared to death of touching them.  They’re incredibly small, and incredibly fragile.  I knew if I damaged any of them, she’d put a serious hurting on me.  But, it had to be done, so I waited until she was asleep one day, and quietly started gluing them in place.  Luckily I was successful.  A couple of them took super glue baths, but they recovered.  So,  here’s the VIP lounge, complete with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy peering out the windows into the inky blackness of interstellar space…along with an Andorian with monkey arms.

Note the fiberoptics extending from the bottom.  Those are for spotlights in the lounge floor that illuminate the pictures on the wall, as well as the lounge in general.

The lounge was installed into the upper saucer and the lighting tested.  I tried several times, but just couldn’t get a good picture that does it justice.  It really does look much better in person.

Once I had the VIP lounge installed, I realized I needed a lighting solution for both the B/C deck windows, and the portholes on the bottom of the saucer.  I remembered I had these 10mm LED’s that are supposed to have an omnidirectional light pattern.  They have some sort of yellowish phosphorescent coating that allows them to glow all over.   I pulled one out and hooked it up to my super overkill LED testing station.

Looks good to me.

I rigged up two of them to a piece of 1/8″ acrylic.  One facing up, and one facing down.

That ought to cover it.

Now, with that out of the way I turned my attention to finishing up the ship’s arboretum.  Just add some crew and a ceiling is essentially all it needs.



a bit of masking for the ceiling

and some pretty blue paint

I still need to add the cloud decals to the ceiling.  Once that’s accomplished, the arboretum will be ready to be installed in the secondary hull.

Hey! Remember the hangar deck?  Well, it’s finally all coming together now.

I'm not sure what he's doing here. Waving off an incoming shuttle maybe? Or maybe he's king of the world..just a dyslexic one.

Yep, that's Scotty standing at the rear overseeing the action.

And all sealed up with the ceiling in place.



Now I just need to get the illumination in place and hooked up, then get the whole thing sealed up against light leaks.

Let’s see, what else?  Oh yeah.  The planetary sensor array.  Wow, that thing has been a serious thorn in my side!  It’s been in putty and sand hell for quite some time now.  Thanks to the miracle that is Aves,  It’s finally starting to shape up and I’m really close to being able to attach it permanently to the lower saucer half.  Here are a couple of pictures just to show how it’s been going.


Some wax paper to keep things from sticking to the saucer.

Slather the putty on. Sand....repeat.

Ok, I think that about covers things for now.  I should be back in few days with another update.  I’ve been doing some experiments with laser etching acrylic to eliminate hot spots in the nacelle grills with some interesting results. With any luck, I’ll have some interesting pictures to share.  See you next time!


Every Starship Needs A Crew

Posted September 6, 2010 by disillusionist40
Categories: Uncategorized

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the crew of the starship Enterprise!

They're miniscule, but you'll see them if you look closely.

We even have an Andorian officer!

Kirk is now sporting a new toupee

All the credit here goes to my lovely wife, Betsy.  She’s a stickler for detail and reworked these several times until she was satisfied.  Personally, I’m thrilled with her work, and I think they’ll add an impressive bit of realism to the interior parts of the model.  Now I just need to place them in the appropriate locations without damaging them and putting myself in the doghouse!!

Thanks Betsy!

Things To Come

Posted August 26, 2010 by disillusionist40
Categories: Uncategorized

Just a little sample of  things coming very soon.

The Arrays Are Here!

Posted July 19, 2010 by disillusionist40
Categories: Uncategorized

Hello all,

Thought I’d share some pictures of the castings I had made of the planetary sensor array a while back.  I’m pretty happy with the outcome!

bag o' sensors!

My biggest concern was that they wouldn’t conform well to the contour of the saucer bottom.  I tried to make it fit as closely as possible with the master, but was still a little nervous.  The arrays were cast in solid resin, so I needed to start by hollowing one out.  So, out came the dremel and a dust mask.  One giant dust cloud later, the deed was done.

One solid chunk of resin

One not so solid chunk of resin

Now I could finally test fit the piece on the bottom of the saucer.

Whew! It fits!

Next I needed to add some clear parts for the spotlights.  Originally I considered adding the spots by cutting and drilling  the resin “walls” molded into the castings.  But, decided to replace them with solid pieces of acrylic instead.  The areas that don’t illuminate can be light-blocked later.

I still have some sanding to do on the front spotlight and need to add the other three, but I think it’s going to work out well.

And now for something completely different.  Here are a few pictures of how I accomplished the impulse engine lighting.

Acrylic housing for LED's


Diffuser in Place

And the final result....which I think I may have already posted.

And here’s something even more completely different!  An arboretum!


And how about a VIP lounge as well (still a work in progress)

colers subject to change : )

The silver walls were cut and etched with the laser (of course!)

And eventually these little guys will be hanging out in the lounge…..I can’t believe she actually named them.

They're tiny. Even with the macro lens.

And here’s something completely off the wall different.  I recently started a new job.  I’m working for a company that builds industrial controls.  Here’s where I’ve been spending the last few weeks.  Doesn’t it look like fun?  Believe it or not, this cabinet will end up controlling a jet engine.

Until next time!

The Impulse Crystal

Posted June 6, 2010 by disillusionist40
Categories: Uncategorized

Thought I’d post a few pictures of the painting and installation of the impulse crystal.  Nothing too exciting, but something to look at nevertheless.

Hey! That quarter is two years older than me!

This fellow will glow in either blue......

or orange!

Updates are Coming!

Posted June 2, 2010 by disillusionist40
Categories: Uncategorized

Really, they are!

I’ve been doing a lot of wiring and soldering of LED’s of late.  Nothing all that photoworthy I guess.  I should hopefully have something substantial update-wise  for you real soon!