Star Trek: TMP Punch-Out Bridge Book

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by bgt01, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    So, a while ago I was cruising the Internet looking at Star Trek merchandising from The Motion Picture era when I discovered this book. It’s a paper model of the TMP Enterprise bridge that measures 15” when assembled. I immediately became obsessed with getting one. They became available 2-3 at a time on eBay, but they were often in the $30-90 range. Also, I wanted to build the model, so I looked for a copy that was pretty haggard at the spine so I wouldn’t feel bad about pulling it apart. In the end, I bought three books (two for back up), picked the worst cover and got to work.

    This book was designed by Tor Lokvig and is nicely put together. However, it is the illustrations by Chuck Murphy that steal the show. He did an amazing job capturing the actual look and feel of the TMP era bridge. It is incredibly accurate to the set piece. Most parts are spot-on. Some match the original bridge blueprints that changed by the time the pieces were actually built. I’ve always liked the look of the TMP bridge the best. Except for the fact it needed a little more color, it’s clean look and smooth lines always worked for me.

    I didn’t want to push the parts our and risk damaging them, so I took some extra care. First, I cut the spine of the book to separate all the pages. Then, I used my X-acto to cut the parts away from the sheet. Next, I used my precision scissors to trim away any excess paper from the edges. Finally, I edge colored all the parts as needed. I kept all the scrap in case I needed any small patch pieces.

    Although my goal was to build this model as-is, I didn’t adhere to the original tab-and-slot method. I had these as a child and they always wound up with big folds, creases or tears from trying to get the pieces together. So, I used my “advanced” paper modeling skills with glue to create a better and stronger model. The instructions are very clear and I’ll only mention the parts I deviated from.

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  2. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    CHAIRS

    All the chairs are the same except or Kirk’s chair, which is blue. For assembly, I skipped all the tabs. I glued where the armrests come together on the bottom, then glued that whole part to the bottom of the chair. I also glued the flaps on the chair back in place, as well as where the chair back and base folds over. Since the bottom was now glued, I folded the gray flaps for the top of the chair stand toward the center and glued them to the bottom of the chair.

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  3. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    WEAPONS STATION

    With all these parts, I used a ruler to help fold parts along the scores. The weapons station has a curved upper section, so I used a dowel rod to curl the part. I inserted the bottom tab of the curved section and glued it from behind. I edge glued the rest of the part in place

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  4. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    CONSOLES AND HELM

    The two long pieces are the science consoles on each side of Spock’s chair. I glued the flaps in place.

    All the stand-up consoles fold back on the themselves. They will insert through slots in the walls. I made sure to trim off any white edges where the die cut was off and edge color the parts.

    The helm is the most intricate fold, but it isn’t difficult. Again, I skipped trying to insert tabs and glued everything in place. Once assembled, the ends of the helm are open and look funny. I used some scrap of the same color to close them up.

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  5. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    COMMAND DECK

    This is the raised deck section containing the helm and Kirk’s chair. I assembled and glued the bottom deck section but it was very weak. To keep it flat and add some stability, I cut sections of foam core and chip board to make some internal supports. The upper section just has Kirk’s chair to hold, so I skipped the supports. Then, everything was glued into its final position.

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  6. spaceagent-9

    spaceagent-9 Right Hand Man and Confidant Moderator

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    i have heard of people requesting this, good job finding it and posting a build!!
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  7. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    This looks very interesting! I did not know that such a paper model was available. I'd love to see the result side-by-side with the other ST bridges. :) What scale is it?
  8. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    It is a cool little model. And it looks a 1000x better than the plastic Mego playset! It's a shame the refit bridge didn't get any love as a proper toy or plastic model, but this one is really neat. By my math, it's somewhere near 1/25 scale. It says it builds to just over 15 inches.
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  9. ASC Mclaren

    ASC Mclaren Member

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    This is so cool, I'm got to get one of these!
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  10. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    It's too small for you..! ;)
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  11. ASC Mclaren

    ASC Mclaren Member

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    1:25 to 1:18, no problem :D Oh, I have two on the way :D
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
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  12. blueyeppoon

    blueyeppoon Member

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    This show was my first love and the bridge is going together great!

    Mike
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  13. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    LOWER DECK

    The lower deck comes in 4 interlocking pie pieces. I thought about trimming them flush and edge gluing them, but decided to stick with the instructions and keep the original “feel.” I did modify the interlocking tabs by cutting the curved edges off that provide the “lock.” This let the tab slide straight through with no creasing, then I glued it in place. I went back and did a little gluing at the overlaps on the parts to keep the floor flat. Then, I pushed up all the riser supports.

    To make sure the model stayed flat and secure I used spray adhesive to mount it on a extra-thick piece of flat cardboard I got from work. I’ll come up with something to make it a more presentable display base.

    To strengthen the floor, I cut pieces of foam core to the height of the riser supports. I glued them into “T” shapes and glued them to the riser supports and the center of the rear flap.

    Next, I assembled the stair and glued the bottom of the slots for support. Then, I placed them in their slots on the riser ring and glued them in place.

    The riser ring covers the gap between the two deck levels. You’ll see that 3 of the riser supports are black with letters on the edges. These supports connect the ring sections. Do NOT glue the ring sections to each other like the picture here. Luckily, I only had mine taped together, so I could get them apart to attach them correctly. Instead of slotting the ring ends on the riser supports, I glued mine into position.

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  14. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    RAISED DECK

    The raised deck is also made from 4 interlocking pieces. I used the same method to assemble this as the lower deck. I also cut off the tabs on the gray section that are for securing the deck to the slots in the base. I glued these in place as I worked my way around.

    When I got to the last section I had a problem. Somewhere my pieces were off. I don’t know for sure if it was the way the parts were cut or if I assembled the floor slightly out of whack, but the tabs and slots didn’t line up. I could also see the floor didn’t line up exactly with the riser ring. There should be a slight overhang of the deck above the riser, but on one side the deck was flush with the ring and on the other it had a significant lip. I decided to wait to put on the last piece.

    I moved on to the railings. The were simple, a little fragile. To keep from crushing them, I cut sections of bamboo skewers to length, colored them with silver Sharpie and glued them to the center of the rail post. I used my X-acto to make the railing slots in the floor a little longer to give myself some leeway and avoid forcing the railings in and possibly twisting or tearing them.

    Next, I glued 3 of the 4 railings in, along with Spock’s consoles and chair, and Chekov’s weapons station.

    Time to figure out the last deck piece. The best way to assemble it was to use the line up the tab toward Spock’s station, then cut off the tab toward the view screen and glue the deck in place. This caused the outer edges to not line up exactly, and I had to trim a little off the front to get the deck edges to line up, but it worked OK.

    Finally, I glued the other 2 chairs in place.

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  15. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    WALL SECTIONS

    The walls don’t need much. Just insert the consoles in the appropriate place. I used Super Glue gel to lock the consoles in position at a slight downward angle.

    The turbo lift doors are a little tricky. I folded the door openings and the door housings as instructed. But, if you use the tabs and slots you’ll likely get a loose door that doesn’t line up well. I inserted the wall tabs and then glued where the tan wall meets the turbo lift door to avoid having a big seam. Then, I glued the turbo lift housing at the top instead of using the slot and tab. This made for a tighter housing, and the slot and tab weren’t lining up well to begin with. The doors simply sit the the little pocket you’ve made.

    The gray flap at the base of the turbo lift housing goes over the edge of the tan wall opening. I glued mine in place. I had the port side housing a little off when I glued the wall edges, which angled the whole door down a little. Pay attention to the fit if you decide to use glue like I did. The starboard door came out perfect.

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  16. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    WALL ASSEMBLY

    The walls are designed as three sections with tabs that lock into slots on the bottom. I cut those off because I was gluing them in place. Also, since I’d already had the trouble with the floor not coming together right I figured I’d have the same problem with the walls. Plus, those big sections were hard to handle. To avoid that, I cut each wall section apart and glued each wall individually to the bottom of the base. For the elevator walls, I used a craft stick to hold the wall base in place while the glue set. The area was too narrow to get my fingers in. (I’m only using one hand in the pic because I’m holding the camera) I let these dry overnight to make sure they were secure before I had to bend the walls in for final assembly.

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  17. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    CEILING RING

    The ceiling ring assembly mirrored the floor and walls. I cut off the tabs and glued everything into position. Where I could I ran a bead of glue along the fold where the ring meets the wall at the top to help hold things together. Since this model was not designed with laser-straight precision in mind, there are some small gaps and tight fits no matter how you build it. But with a little creative trimming and gluing you can minimize the rougher fitting parts.

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  18. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    COMPLETED BRIDGE

    Welcome aboard the bridge of U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701. No bloody “A,” “B,” “C” or “D.” I think this is a really nice model that looks really good when complete, especially if you spend a little extra time on the parts and how they fit. A little trimming and edge coloring really cuts out that “ragged” look that these punch-out models have. And using glue avoided having tabs sticking awkwardly out of the walls. But, even if you built this just like the book says, you’d still have a nice model. It’s the only model of the refit Enterprise bridge ever made, and I’m really glad it’s as good as it is. And if you wanted, you could modify it to be the ST: WOK or ST: TSFS bridge.

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  19. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    STAR TREK FIGURES AND … THE FUTURE

    The model comes with punch-out figures for Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Decker and Ilia. They are made with “wings” on the side to stand the figures up. They don’t work very well and look really goofy. I modified mine by cutting off the wings (see Decker), cutting circles out of thick clear styrene from old packaging material, and gluing the figures in the center of the circles. This makes them look less clunky and the clear plastic is way less obvious. I made some additional figures using screen caps from the movie and the Internet (see probe Ilia, robed Spock, Rand and regular Ilia). I’ve got some more I’ll make later and add to the Gallery section.

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  20. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    THERE ARE ALWAYS POSSIBILITIES…OF A MEGO VARIETY

    About a year ago, I managed to buy a set of the Mego 3.75” figures of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Decker and Ilia for cheap. I remember when these were new and stores couldn’t give them away. I understood that because they were boring and didn’t look that good. But now nostalgia has kicked in and since the price was right I got them for my display shelf. While thinking of ways to display these, I got the bridge book and thought it would look great next to these figures. But, there is a big size difference between the two and that got me to thinking how cool it would have been to have this model scaled up as a play set for these figures. If you know me, you know where this is going…so keep your hailing frequencies open.

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