Return to the BUILD
“Join up two sections of saucer decking before adding more intricate details to the battle section neck assembly.“
Materials: While the Screw Cover I and Transporter Emitter Pad are metal, the rest of the non-electrical parts in this stage are plastic.
Assembling and Installing Deck Panel U3-05
Carefully remove eighteen (18) Clear Windows and thirteen (13) Dark Windows from their sprues and fit them into the back of Deck Panel U3-05, as shown.
Reminder: I sanded all of these windows down already. See The Windows page for more details:
As before, I used pieces of black electrical tape behind the Dark Windows to reduce light leak:
Just for fun, I also colored the backs of a few Clear Windows with my Yellow and Turquoise Brush Sharpies to add a little color variety:
Fit Reflector Panel U3-05-A onto the back of Deck Panel U3-05, as shown:
Slide the two LEDs of the Deck Panel Lights cable into these notches of the Reflector Panel, as shown:
Secure this Reflector Panel to the Deck Panel with three (3) BP screws:
To prepare this panel for installation into the skeleton, I gently bent the leads of these two LEDs vertical, as shown:
Retrieve your Upper Skeleton assembly from the previous stage and thread the Deck Panel Light cable of this new panel up through this opening, as shown.
If you haven’t noticed, I find it easier to fit the Deck Panels with everything upside down:
Position this Deck Panel onto the Upper Skeleton between Deck Panel U3-04 and Deck Panel U3-06.
In order for Deck Panel U3-05 to fit between the neighboring panels, I found it easier to temporarily loosen this screw on Deck Panel U3-04 so the edge of Deck Panel U3-05 can slide underneath it, as shown:
As I positioned this panel onto the skeleton, I needed to gently guide the yellow/black wires of the LED from the adjacent Deck Panel U3-06 into this cutout in the notch of this panel, as shown:
With these wires routed as shown, my Deck Panel U3-05 sat quite flush to the skeleton:
Secure Deck Panel U3-05 into place with two (2) CP screws:
We can test these new window lights by connecting the new Deck Panel Lights cable to the PCB and Battery Box:
Hiding the External Screws
Retrieve your Battle Neck Section from the previous stage. Remove the backing paper from the Transport Emitter Pad and fit it into this matching recess of the Left Ventral Neck Panel.
UPDATE March 2022: After a recent trip to see the real 6-foot studio model in person, I realize these Transporter Pads are the correct color already. I have since stopped adding this wash to them and removed it from those pads already washed. I will leave this mod here for those who still wish to do it.
As with my previous Transporter Emitter Pads, I painted this one with Vallejo Game Wash – Sepia to give it some golden depth, then lightly wiped across the ridges with a damp cloth to expose the lighter original color:
Since I will likely update the lighting of this Battle Neck Section, I need to be able to disassemble it later on. Therefore, I did not actually stick this Transporter Emitter Pad into place here. However, I did test fit it in the recess (picture below) and noticed that it fits better if we slightly bend it:
Remove the backing paper from the Screw Cover I and fit it into this matching recess of the Left Ventral Neck Panel.
For the same reason I just stated above, I did not stick this cover in place here either. However, I did test fit it in the recess (picture below) and noticed that this Screw Cover I needs to be gently bent a little to fit flush against the panel:
Next, press the pins of Screw Cover II and Screw Cover III into the matching holes at these locations on the Left Ventral Neck Panel.
Again, for the same reason I stated above, I did not press these two Screw Covers all the way in on my model. This picture is for reference on where the covers are supposed to be installed:
Finally, press one Screw Cover IV and one Secondary Tractor Beam Emitter into these holes at the rear of the Left Ventral Neck Panel.
These parts are quite different – the Screw Covers IV (42J) are thicker than the Secondary Tractor Beam Emitters (42K). We only need one of each in this step, so the other is a spare just in case your carpet eats one:
The thicker Screw Cover IV fits into the screw hole closer to the center of the neck and the thinner Secondary Tractor Beam Emitter fits into the screw hole closer to the outer edge. Both covers have and angled shape and the thicker edge of each one should be facing the center of the neck.
Slight technical canon correction here: This is not the Secondary Tractor Beam Emitter – I feel the part should have just been called ‘Screw Cover V’. The Secondary Tractor Beam Emitter on this section of the hull was typically located above the forward photon torpedo launcher along the neck spine (and it is not visible on our partwork model).
Again, to allow for later disassembly, I did not fully install these two covers yet. However, this picture depicts where they should be installed:
Installation of this Deck Panel connected our forward hull panels to the small section of starboard rear panels. I really enjoy seeing the saucer take its iconic shape with every stage! We have also learned how the screws on the ventral (bottom) surface of our Enterprise D will be hidden. I just shy away from any ‘permanent’ steps so I can open up the model later on. If I decide not to change anything, I can always add these external detail parts at any time down the road.
Stage 43 – Deck Panel U2-02, Windows/Lights, Transporter Emitter Pads, Screw Covers, Secondary Tractor Beam Emitters