AMT 1/2500 Cadet Series USS Enterprise NCC 1701 (4)

There is such a thing as getting ahead of yourself, rushing on regardless of the consequences and I fell foul of this attitude with my latest build. I'm normally a figure man, so I suppose most of the problems I have encountered since my last post have been caused by my lack of experience in building vehicles of any description. As I said in my first post on this blog, though, I'm in no way professing to being an expert model maker and instead am charting my adventures and misadventures in the field, and there is nothing like a few setbacks to advance the learning process.
 
Everything had been going swimmingly with my Enterprise build, I had painted some of the extra details, red and grey on the nacelles, copper on the deflector, etc; but then it came time to start applying the decals. As can be seen the first of these (above), the iconic name and registration number on the upper hull, went on fine. However, when it came time to start applying the other transfers to the secondary hull and neck pylon I encountered a major problem, i.e., the raised window details on the plastic and the decals which I supposed would marry to them, did not ! Moreover, you could not fit the decals over them cleanly. After a copious amount of swearing, I had to float the first of the decals off, back onto its backing sheet and leave it there for several days, hoping that it would still be useable when I had sorted the problem out (thankfully, it was). The only way to do that, unfortunately, was to mess up all my good work and spend several frustrating days buffing back the windows on the hulls (the underside of the upper hull also had a few too) and filing back the frayed edges of the remaining paint to make a smooth surface. I spent an entire afternoon doing the latter, but my hard work payed off and after carefully undercoating the now bare plastic with thinned enamel, I resprayed the hull in the pale grey mix described in earlier posts. The result was, I'm pleased to say, pretty good.

 
Buffing back the raised window details.

Ditto

After the respray...

...not too bad

One problem solved, but others were waiting. The removed decal was still good to go after being revived with some Decal Sol, though it did tear and required some reassembly on the model, though this happened with a couple of the decals straight off the backing sheet, so I can't really blame it on the mauling it had undergone. A coat of Decal Set moulded it into shape and the process continued with the other transfers I applied, to the neck pylon and nacelles. I left these to set overnight. Then I encountered problem number two, silvering.

 
Silvering is caused by air getting trapped under a decal as it is applied, giving the area a silvery sheen like fish scales. Apparently (I have since discovered) the best way to prevent this effect is to apply the decal on top of a gloss varnish. Being a figure builder, silvering is a minor problem that is usually solved with a little paint and matt varnish, but that would not do here. However, after painting the decal-led areas with a gloss varnish and then after drying coating the hull with Army Painter Anti-Shine, the problem is not so apparent.
 
A gloss varnish.
Cadet Series USS Enterprise
More decals and Anti-Shine

Cadet Series USS Enterprise

Cadet Series USS Enterprise

So, from something of a breeze to start with, my first USS Enterprise build is becoming a make-do-and-mend project. But, hopefully when I've finished the rest of the decals and done some tidying up the finished result won't look too shabby.

2 comments:

  1. Nice blog, found you looking for a miniart review as I am getting back into model making after a 20 year break!

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  2. Thanks, I've been neglecting my blog, due to being seriously busy at work since New Year but I hope to get another post done sometime soon. As to Miniart figures they're fun (the 1/16 kits, anyhow)I just wish they would make more. Enjoy.

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