OK, Back to the Saucer - Construction and Lightblocking
and the Deflector lit up
First lighting the deflector: First the back side was sanded with 400 grit to matte finish the rear of the clear dome. I used liquid mask to mask the outer slot lights along the deflector ring and also to mask the back side of the dome just in case. The show through dividers were first painted white and then black for light masking. The front stripes were hand painted with white only as a bit of color should bleed through them per the screenshots. After some further masking with painters tape I painted the outer ring with aluminum and the inner its pale blue color. After the painting was finished I used acrylic clear flat coat to dull both the front and rear sides of the dome so that it was nicely translucent rather than clear. At this point things look like this. Things are tilted as the clear part is just loosely set into a spare rear housing.
Now how to light this as I want both the soft orange rosy glow as well as the primary blue glow. My approach was to place a flat topped 5mm warm white LED in the center of the dish of the rear piece. I then painted it with a combination of Burnt Sienna and clear red to get the proper tone. Since this meant the center position was occupied I placed (4) 3 mm Blue LEDS equally spaced around the center LED. These are also flat topped and have been sprayed with several coats of clear blue. This is what it looks like.
Now would it work?? Here is the dish with the copper color at full intensity ( and the camera makes it look more intense than it is by eye. And now with the blue lights at full on. Mind you the blue is a slightly deeper and more clear blue than the camera picked up.
So far I like the way this is looking. I will probably try a slight experiment with some pale blue paint on the inside of the reflecting dome to see if that edges things slightly more towards the exact powered down look. My only gripe is that the difference in plastic thicknesses adds just a little bit of shading to the outer edges of the deflector dish that these photos emphasize even more than is evident when you are looking at it.
Now on to the Main Saucer
I have been really impressed with Ratheon's light blocking techniques and I will be using them in my build. I also have not wanted to loose the alignment tabs if you will that the kit has for keeping the upper and lower saucer dome pieces in place. Unfortunately the more I looked at things the more I became convinced that those internal posts (even my new ones) had to go. For the lower dome I glued some .060x.080 strip onto the inside of the slant walls. This would act as the key. They before removing my posts, I one at a time removed a post and carved out the material of the main saucer piece up to where the wall would glue inn place. The final step was to smear some vaseline onto the inside of the saucer dome to prevent the apoxie sculpt from sticking and then to build a ridge of apoxi sculpt on the inside around the keying piece. When I was done all of the posts were eliminated, and the saucer was cut out allowing easy access for light blocking and lighting. And from my point of view I still had keying posts to make assembly and alignment simple. For those who have been following along this means you can use this process to remove the original posts and avoid my interim (make new posts) step. Here are the keying surfaces of the lower saucer dome area.
One other feature to note. The raised rectangles around the phaser bumps are NOT supposed to be there. To eliminate them I carefully sanded down the area around the bumps flush with the main hull. You can see the results above. With a little care it works quite well.
On the upper saucer I recommend a slightly different procedure. I found I had to raise the window slots by .020 to match the studio model. Once I did this the original plastic pieces would not work. I then cut some 0.015 clear strips and bent them into curves and glued them in place as windows. Now we come to a slight annoyance. I had wanted to glue the bridge dome in place and then add the back plate with the docking port. Won't work. The walls of the bridge dome are slanting inwards and prevent you from sliding it in place. SO be warned the back plate must be light blocked and glued to the bridge dome before the dome is assembled to the saucer. Here is the saucer B-C deck area ready for assembly of the dome. Once the dome is on I will cut out the last of the posts and support plastic to open it up for lighting.
My next step is the glue up of the saucer edge pieces. The spacer and alignment tabs I put in place on the upper and lower saucer pieces make this a lot easier to glue up properly. I am also using Raytheon's suggestion of toothpicks to keep pressure on while gluing while at the same time keeping the tape away form the glue seam. This really works well!
Here is a representative section. I found 5 pressure points per section worked very well.
After Glue Up
And a detail of the rec room wall with its balcony, stanchions and railingsThis area of wall was thoroughly light blocked before assembly. The other sections will be attended to now that the perimeter is glued in place.
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