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  #1  
Old 09-12-2017, 11:47 PM
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Paragon Paragon is offline
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Detail Sovereign-class WIP

I started this build about a week and a half ago, though I'd been planning on starting ever since I replaced my printer back in May. I'm using Zosho's Version 2 of the Enterprise-E (downloaded way back when he was still offering it), and spending a lot of time adding extra details to it. I chose this version of the ship partly because I have already built it, and my previous build is aging poorly, but also because I believe this version works better with my objective, since a lot of the parts of the kit are designed to minimize unnatural breaks in surface detail.

So far, I have entirely constructed the secondary hull (though I'm re-doing the shuttlebay now), and the entire bottom of the saucer.

Detail elements and techniques to achieve them being used for this build so far:

1 - Windows are inset. One of the first decisions I made was that all windows needed to be surface detail. I have actually done this once before when constructing my USS Durandal a third time, by using a very small flathead screwdriver to press them into the stock. I have found that the paper accepts the imprinted details more easily when applied against a cutting mat, that allows a little give.

2 - Escape pods are surface detail. I also decided early on that I wanted to add individual escape pods. This is simply achieved by gluing an inset backing behind each, and then affixing individually cut tops. Unfortunately I discovered through reference photos that on the studio model the escape pods are completely flush with the hull and are not raised details! Oh well, I like the way it looks, and I've already started digging that grave, so I might as well finish it!

3 - Raised panels are cut out individually and glued to the surface. Physical, not printed detail is the paramount focus for this build, so any panels that are raised or recessed on the studio model are done likewise for this build.

4 - Surface detail broken up by necessary seams for construction have been reconstituted into contiguous surface panel parts. This is especially true for the secondary hull, where the complex curves require a very segmented construction that results in seams through what are supposed to be large panels. Luckily, almost all instances of this involves raised details that can be combined and printed separately, then glued on after the original design has achieved the correct shape.

5 - Surface panel lines are pressed in for further physical detail. I actually had a lot of trouble figuring out a good way to do this at first. I started with a lightly applied pocket knife, but the size of the blade made tip control very difficult. Next I tried a guitar pick, but the plastic wasn't precise enough, and it was hard to make corners without a fine point to start the panel line. Eventually I realized a very simple and effective solution was to take a #11 blade and simply dull it against a sharpening stone, making the edge completely flat. This solved all my problems very well, especially since obviously using the x-acto is second nature at this point for me as I'm sure it is for most of you.

6 - Functional systems are emphasized. Really, this is just an extension of recessing or raising surface detail with layers, but I'm paying special attention to important ship systems. Phaser arrays are raised, torpedo launchers are inset (especially the two below the deflector that I never realized were present before), RCS thrusters are raised, airlocks and impulse engines are inset.

7 - All appropriate edges will be colored. A few years back I found a very nice set of fine, felt-tipped markers in six shades of gray (the brand is Tombow, if anyone is interested, and yes, I highly recommend them), and have been using them to color the edges of all my starship models. Dark gray works very well for phasers, and the lightest gray works for almost every other panel. I also have some old prismacolor markers that I'm using for the (relatively few) edges that have color instead of gray.

Unfortunately the one thing I'm not doing is lighting it. Part of this is due to a sort of paper purist approach that I feel like using for this model. Another part of the reason is a sort of perfectionist perspective; if I'm going to light any part of a starship, I'm going to light all the parts, and at this scale that is simply not possible for the ship's windows. This will have to wait for my third build of the Sovereign!

In the past I really put an emphasis on speedy builds of models, because I was impatient and wanted things done now! This time my approach is to do it right. I'm not as impatient as I used to be, and I believe now is a good time to challenge myself.

In the first four pictures here I show the saucer bottom detail, as well as the individual (and insanely tiny) escape pods:
Attached Thumbnails
Detail Sovereign-class WIP-21743764_736397489670_4462162695524199305_o.jpg   Detail Sovereign-class WIP-21728827_736397509630_1311336403228125511_o.jpg   Detail Sovereign-class WIP-21728357_736397569510_4973064710999121553_n.jpg   Detail Sovereign-class WIP-21761587_736397614420_1870908729740986604_n.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2017, 11:52 PM
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Paragon Paragon is offline
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The next four images are focused on the pressed-in detail, both the windows using the screwdriver, and the panel lines using the dull knife. Hopefully you can see in the final photo how the detail stands out against the light.
Attached Thumbnails
Detail Sovereign-class WIP-21743738_736397649350_6837038133429611592_o.jpg   Detail Sovereign-class WIP-21752728_736397679290_5801795265144401250_o.jpg   Detail Sovereign-class WIP-21762451_736397539570_655513322358106121_o.jpg   Detail Sovereign-class WIP-21740806_736397709230_7916854331454267454_o.jpg  
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:03 AM
snowmanX snowmanX is online now
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Looking great! And a nice read- clearly setting out your build objectives. I got some great detailing ideas from your post too.
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2017, 09:53 AM
Enterpriser10 Enterpriser10 is offline
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"Details make perfection and perfection is not a detail." - Michelangelo.

Congratulations, Paragon!!
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:16 AM
Revell-Fan Revell-Fan is offline
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Oh yeah, keep it comin'!
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:51 PM
rifleman rifleman is offline
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pleases more photos looking good
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:16 PM
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wideride wideride is offline
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Fantastic! The detail work makes the model "POP"! You do very nice work, indeed.
George
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  #8  
Old 09-14-2017, 06:36 PM
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spaceagent-9 spaceagent-9 is offline
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Man I love this! Great detail work. You really set a standard! Have you tried a metal hobby tube bent into the shape of the life boats to press into the sheet? I like what you did there better tho! This enterprise would be one of my favorites if it had an excelsior type neck. Again, great work on such a small model, you really are showing what can be done!
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