Ralph McQuarrie's U.S.S. Enterprise

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by johnmiic, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. johnmiic

    johnmiic New Member

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    Ralph McQuarrie was asked to give his impressions of what an updated Enterprise might look like for the 1979, Star Trek - The Motion Picture. This is an attempt to re-create one of his concept models using foam board. I was bored with working on the Micronauts ships and wanted to try something different. Tho it's not as curvy as many of the Enterprise designs it does have some charm to it with it's angular shape.

    1st attempt at the secondary hull.

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    Some gaps in the secondary hull. I'll need to fix that on the next one. A bit much separation from the triangular section to the rectangular section. I do like the overall shape tho. That's bit rough but can be fixed.

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    Many more photos here-even if you don't have a facebook account you should be able to view the album as it's set for public viewing:

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/set=a.10208022940719626.1073741860.1481906333&type=1&l=32a30fdfaf

    More to come...
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  2. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator

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    Very interesting! I'm following closely. :)
  3. johnmiic

    johnmiic New Member

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    Here are shots of the second attempt. Unfortunately the starboard side wall slipped while gluing. Even so I like the angle on it better. The fwd deflector dish seems a bit too thick tho.

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    The top of the secondary hull is 1 part. I scored the foam board in the center and bent it downwards to give it a slope. It seemed more stable and stronger than the previous attempt. The engine pylons could slope a bit more fwd. maybe.

    Would like to duplicate that angle from the mistake on the starboard side on another attempt.

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    OK so it's not "The Enterprise" we all know but the angles on this thing are really good.

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    Errggghh. Can see some sloppiness of glue on the underside seam there. The wash-boarding pattern on the top of the hull came out nice in this version. If you space the lines wrong your eyes tend to play tricks on you and it looks funny.

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    Many more photos here-even if you don't have a facebook account you should be able to view the album as it's set for public viewing:

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/set=a.10208022940719626.1073741860.1481906333&type=1&l=32a30fdfaf
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  4. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

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    G0od beginning, you really need to get a square, and an adjustable one, to make these things symmetrical. Nice thing with foam board is that before you paint it, you can slice a "off' piece almost all the way through, and readjust it with thick glue, or two part Epoxy. I would suggest two part Epoxy to fill that gaps, as it sands excellently, and is machinable. I have drilled and tapped treads in "Kwik Steel" for repairing carburetors.

    I like this, it has the beginnings of a nice model, and crosses over into the possibility of being a toy, as it is so robust!! :)
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  5. johnmiic

    johnmiic New Member

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    I've been using Hot Glue and a Hot Glue Gun on my foam board works. There is other foam board glue you can use but it takes longer and my patience isn't too good.
  6. spaceagent-9

    spaceagent-9 Right Hand Man and Confidant

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    keep going dude, lets see what you got going in your head, this is a rare model and needs to be put out there, I also did one, I called it the Copernicus in the resources under my name. are you going to light it up I hope?
  7. johnmiic

    johnmiic New Member

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    I have no aptitude for electronics so I won't light it up. It would probably catch fire with my luck, lol.
    If I want to save this I might cut into it and save the side and bottom parts. Maybe correct the mistakes. I keep starting over and it gets tiring re-making the whole secondary hull.
  8. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

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    I am a certified licensed Electronic Technician in the State of Connecticut, and can show you how to very easily light up models,in many different ways . After one or two projects, and using a couple of online LED calculator sites I refer to, that have built in LED usage calculators, (you punch in how many LED's your using, and it displays a schematic and list of the parts you need), you will be able to "bang out" solid circuits, and light up your models like Christmas trees!! (or less :) )


    I think you should think about using foam board for frame formers and think about a project skinning ships with 110 lb. card stock. I can teach you that too. :)
    johnmiic likes this.
  9. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    This is great! I am fascinated by all the "lost" Star Trek stuff. And I love the "what if" of concept art. I'm glad this didn't replace the Enterprise we know and love, but it's fun to dig into this design. It's on my wish list to try and scratch build my own version of this so I'll be watching yours closely.
    johnmiic likes this.
  10. johnmiic

    johnmiic New Member

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    I would love to learn how to light models and I may just take yoou up on your offer but it's going to have to wait until I have a stable, full time job again.
  11. johnmiic

    johnmiic New Member

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    Not entirely happy with the second attempt at the secondary hull, I went to my 3rd attempt. Tho I haven't done it to this model yet I'm confident I can go back and cut open the earlier attempts and modify the hulls to correct mistakes in their shape. I did this on variants for the Micronauts prototype and will probably get around to it on these models. I prefer not to keep starting over from scratch but sometimes that's how you learn.

    The third version secondary hull:

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    I noticed on photos of the concept models there is something more complex going on in those triangular side-walls. I haven't quite figured it out yet but it's similar to the shape of the side area on the Buck Rogers Hawkship/Warhawk.

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    The shape of this is terrific. I'm really loving the thinner deflector dish nose on this attempt. Tho it wouldn't be accurate I have plans for a deflector dish cover piece for the front. This is not 100% accurate to the concept model anyway and after the initial construction I would like to take the design further.

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    The new aft section. This is the hangar door and 2 dark recesses areas from the concept model. The darker areas seem to hide piping and wiring detail; something common on McQuarrie/Star Wars/ILM models. Also the hangar bay door is similar to what appears on the Reliant from Star Trek II; also designed by ILM.

    I used a piece of silver foam board for the main hangar deck door and black-on-white foam board for the side areas. Greeblies can still be added to the dark areas.

    My camera allows for some really close-up photography so couldn't resist leaning in real close like on the original series.

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    Many more photos here-even if you don't have a facebook account you should be able to view the album as it's set for public viewing:

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/set=a.10208022940719626.1073741860.1481906333&type=1&l=32a30fdfaf
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
    Revell-Fan and bgt01 like this.
  12. johnmiic

    johnmiic New Member

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    Now we get down to business; adding a saucer section. I had a smaller circle drawn up but it seemed too small. This is a larger one. The grid lines are mostly decorative and not entirely accurate. I had planned a separate circle be cut to attempt the curved upper and lower hulls but got lazy and just used this one.

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    The foam-board used for the saucer sections was bought by my brother who can't remember where he got it. It differs from the material I usually buy in that it's really el-cheapo foam board. I can peel the paper off it really easy, so I peeled one side off, (interior). I bent it to the shape of the curved primary hull and glued it in place. I just don't have enough of it to do a complete saucer. I'm looking around to try and find out where he got it.

    You can see the planning that went into the saucer mounting point here. It's still a little "off" as the saucer dips a bit forward. I still have to fix it. I'm not happy with the overlap technique for gluing the pizza-pie sections in place. I think on the next attempt I will shave enough foam off the underside of the pizza section wedges evenly and have the seams meet on the curved rib and glue it in place. I think I can avoid the raised seams that way.

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    From what I can tell in the few pics that appear of this concept model, the top of the hangar doors appear pointed, (but do they actually point aft-wards? Maybe they just point upwards?), yet the bottom is flat or straight across with a landing ledge. Of course this wouldn't seem to work. The two parts won't match up-will they? Welllllll, perhaps it's not what the model really has or I'm just missing an important picture-piece of the puzzle but the foam board does bend enough to fit a cover part for the aft hangar deck doors area. It gives an odd shape but it is do-able and adds a bit to the mystique of this model.

    Tho radically different in design, when I look at it like this, it still is the Enterprise. Perhaps just an Enterprise from an alternate reality. More photos appear in the gallery.

    [​IMG]

    Many more photos here-even if you don't have a facebook account you should be able to view the album as it's set for public viewing:

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/set=a.10208022940719626.1073741860.1481906333&type=1&l=32a30fdfaf
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
    Revell-Fan, bgt01, starbuck and 2 others like this.
  13. spaceagent-9

    spaceagent-9 Right Hand Man and Confidant

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    i like the secondary hull angles, very star trek Romulan tholian looking!!!! so far so good!
    johnmiic likes this.
  14. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

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    Without doing anything to your saucer section, you can improve the panel lines immensely by following the panel lines in such a manner that you cut the up to different shapes that can be glued right over your present saucer, covering the stronger panels lines, turning them into creases. The pictures below explain what I mean. This kind of greebling really makes a model "pop". ;)


    Sau2.jpg Sau1.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  15. johnmiic

    johnmiic New Member

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    That is a very good idea. I had not thought of that! I still need to find where my brother bought the foam board he gave me. It is very different from what most places carry and the foam really takes the curves well. I am scouring the local neighborhood.
  16. johnmiic

    johnmiic New Member

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    And now...The Nacelles! I took the photos at night because they make the model look like it's in space.

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    I scored the foam board on the side that would not be seen with a 45 degree angle mat cutter. Then I carefully rolled and wound it into a circular, tube shape. It barely wanted to roll when it got to the tapered edge of the rear of the nacelle.

    Starboard side might be sagging a bit more.

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    That saucer looks like it could be made bigger now, lol.

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    When all assembled this model is as big as the old ST-TMP movie enterprise; about 2 ft. long.

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    Many more photos here-even if you don't have a facebook account you should be able to view the album as it's set for public viewing:

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/set=a.10208022940719626.1073741860.1481906333&type=1&l=32a30fdfaf
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  17. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

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    All images in the Gallery have been deleted as tey did not follow the forum rules. Build threads are to be posted in the forum. Only finished works are to be posted in the gallery.