Sunday, June 04, 2006

Is there room for improvement?

I started the weekend working on the cockpit. I really want to light the cockpit to give the ship a better sense of scale. Plus, it would look sweet. From the look of it, the cockpit is a little more cramped than it would be at 1:1 scale. Despite this, it looks really nice once the canopy is on. It is going to be a huge challenge to add illumination which may require recasting the parts in clear resin. More on that later.
While I formulate a plan of attack for the cockpit, I decided to move on to customizing some other aspects of the Fine Molds kit. The panels/plates of the upper and lower hulls are molded in on the kit. At the outer edge, notch depressions are present but are not fully cut as they are on the studio scale model. Using a square file I quickly zipped through the thin styrene completing the lower hull. Let me say that this definately makes a huge improvement! In the photos below you can compare the upper and lower hull edges.
The upper and lower hulls are nearly 100% complete. I'm debating on what to do with the 6 exhaust ports at the rear of the upper hull. Ideally, I'd like to cut the holes out and add the small fan details below the surface. However, I'm concerned that I won't be able to find mesh grills to cover them that look right. The photo etched grills I've seen look nice but they don't seem fine enough for this scale.
Finally, here's the two halves of the hull together. You can really see the difference that those notches make on the edge.
I have begun testing LEDs for the lighting of the ship. And I'm starting to take stock of just how many LEDs this kit will require as well as what type of power source it will require. With any luck, I'll be able to power all the lights with a single 9V battery by wiring the LEDs up in parallel.


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