STAGE 74

 Return to the BUILD


“Link another portion of the upper and lower saucers and then bring an impressive part of the battle section together.

NOTE: I will be presenting TWO different paths to build this Enterprise D partwork model. This is because after Stage 58, I completely tore my own model down and started on my Model Remodel journey. However, I have access to a second Enterprise D partwork that is being built in stock form, so I can show both methods here.

  • The normal BUILD section below will show the ‘stock’ way of installing the parts with any tips and tricks I find along the way.
  • The new MODEL REMODEL section will describe the changes I made during this stage including any painting, lighting, electronics, wiring, etc.

Contents


Parts

NOTE: The parts picture here incorrectly shows two Battle Section Rear Lights. The text list is correct, we receive only one.

Materials: All of the non-electrical parts in this stage are plastic.

Build


Assembling Deck Panel L3-08

Step A

Carefully remove eleven (11) Escape Pod Covers from their sprues and fit them into the back of Deck Panel L3-08, as shown.

As in Stage 61 with these outer lower panels, I shaved off the two tiny bumps on the top and bottom with my hobby knife. This allows them to seat a bit deeper and more uniformly. While not shown here, I still recommend using pieces of black electrical tape or aluminum tape to seal in these Escape Pod Cover to prevent light leak:

Fit Reflector Panel L3-01-08-09 to the back of Deck Panel L3-08 as shown, then secure this Reflector into place with two (2) AM screws.

This is your friendly reminder to try using 3-in-One Oil on all screws going into metal:

Fit Outer Frame L4-07 to Deck Panel L3-08 aligning the pins and posts to the matching holes, orienting it as shown:

Then, secure the Outer Frame into place with two (2) IM screws:

Fitting Deck Panel L3-08

Step B

Retrieve your Saucer assembly from the previous stage and place it upside down on a soft surface. Fit this Deck Panel L3-08 assembly to the Lower Skeleton, as shown:

As with all of the Outer Panels, there is a groove along the inside of the Outer Panel that needs to ‘pop’ onto the rim of the upper Deck Panel here:

Secure this Deck Panel L3-08 to the Lower Skeleton with two (2) FM screws, as shown:

If this Panel fitment is satisfactory, press the two pins of the Escape Pod Screw Cover into the matching holes at this location of the Panel.

This Screw Cover should be installed so the red line is closer to the edge of the saucer. However, I do not actually install these as I may need to get to this screw later on. It may be difficult to remove these Screw Covers once installed and I can always install them at the very end of the build:

Fitting More Battle Section Windows

Step C

Retrieve your Battle Section Rear assembly from Stage 71 and your Battle Section Rear Windows Right from the previous stage. Fit the Rear Windows Right inside the Battle Section, as shown:

Cover the Rear Windows Right with the Battle Section Rear Reflector Right, aligning the screw holes as shown:

Slide the LEDs of a Battle Section Rear Lights cable (the shorter one) into these notches of the Reflector, as shown.

To keep the Windows/Reflector in place and make the LEDs install a bit easier, I loosely started all four (4) of the BP screws in these holes. Make sure these LEDs are fully seated and captured by the small pin inside each notch:

Secure the Reflector/Windows to the Battle Section Rear with four (4) BP screws:

Route the wires of both Rear Lights cables towards the front of the Battle Section Rear and tape them down using the two Stickers.

I feel like the supplied Stickers are not all that sticky. Therefore, I used pieces of electrical tape here instead:

Connecting the Nacelle Pylons to the Battle Section Rear

Step D

Retrieve your Nacelle Bracket Upper Panel assembly from Stage 69 and turn it upside down. Fit the two LEDs on the end of the Navigation Lights cable (the longer one) into these matching locations of the Upper Panel.

First, I gently bent the leads of each LED on the end of the Navigation Lights cable as shown:

Then, I aligned one of the LEDs to its matching location on the inside of the Nacelle Bracket Upper Panel. While holding this LED in place, I gently bent the other lead down inside the center post, as shown:

I repeated this process to fit the second LED of the Navigation Lights cable into place, as shown:

Retrieve your Nacelle Pylon Skeleton assembly from Stage 68 and turn it upside down. Fit the Upper Panel up into the Skeleton.

There are six short posts on the inside of the Upper Panel that are designed to be pressed into matching holes in the Skeleton, as shown:

Make sure these posts are seated as best you can. There should be no gaps or uneven edges between the Upper Panel and the Nacelle Pylon Panels:

Next, fit the Battle Section Rear to this top location of the two previous assemblies, aligning it into place as shown.

We want to make sure this is fully seated in the Upper Panel, along both of these edges…

… and especially at the rear near the photon torpedo launcher opening:

Finally, secure the Battle Section Rear to the Skeleton from below with four (4) EP screws, capturing the Upper Panel in place.

Make sure the long Navigation Lights cable we installed in this stage is running above (inside) the Battle Section Rear, as shown. We want these screws to be as tight as we comfortable feel making them – they are short and going into plastic, so be careful not to strip them out:

That step ends this stage of the stock build. Below you will find the details on what I changed in this stage as part of my Model Remodel.

Model Remodel


Fitting Deck Panel L3-08

  • The Escape Pod Covers were sealed in from behind with aluminum tape
  • While fitting this Deck Panel, I used a strip of aluminum tape along the inner seam to prevent light leak

Fitting More Battle Section Windows

I processed this Battle Section Rear Windows and Battle Section Rear Reflector in the same way as the left side:

  • The ‘windows’ of the Battle Section Rear Windows Right were cut off and then sanded, leaving a smooth panel. The back of this panel was then lightly airbrushed with white paint to diffuse light:

  • The Reflector was soaked in 70% Isopropyl Alcohol to remove the silver paint, painted white on the inside, and was then installed normally:

Connecting the Nacelle Pylons to the Battle Section Rear

As with my saucer navigation lights, I did not want to use white LEDs shining through a colored lens. Therefore, I used two 2x3x4mm Square LEDs from eBay (one red for port/left and one green for starboard/right) to create my own, bending the leads to fit as shown:

The leads closer to the center of the Upper Panel were each covered with thin heat-shrink tubing to prevent shorts:

Three inches (3″) of 2- wire red/black 26 AWG cable was then soldered to the LED leads, red for positive (+), black for negative (-) and the connections wrapped in heat-shrink tubing.

TIP: The longer lead on an LED is almost always the positive (anode) side:

I used a green Sharpie to mark the starboard side assembly (green LED) so I could tell which is which:

I then created the red/port side LED assembly in the same way:

At the ends of the negative leads, I soldered on a ¼ watt Resistor150Ω on the red side, 330Ω on the green side. I wanted these to be of the same brightness and match the values used for the navigation lights on the back of my ‘cobra neck’. Both connections were covered in heat-shrink tubing:

The two positive leads were then soldered together and connected to the positive wire of a new 5″ piece of 2-wire cable. Again, the connection was protected within heat-shrink tubing:

The two free ends of the Resistors were then attached to the negative wire of the same 5″ cable and wrapped in heat-shrink tubing:

I ran a quick test by connecting this circuit up to 5 VDC and everything works as expected:

Just for identification purposes, I put some green electrical tape on the 5″ cable so I could tell what these wires were for. After this, the LEDs were installed to the Upper Panel in the same way as stock:

Rear Photon Torpedo Launcher

I debated whether or not this could or should be done, but decided to give it a shot anyway. First, I drilled out a small hole where the rear torpedo launcher opening is in the Battle Section Rear. I created this using a Pin Vise Drill and with a drill bit the same size as the front launcher hole:

This recessed area should really be darker than the hull, so I painted it with a dark grey Artistro Acrylic Paint Pen:

To diffuse the LED light I planned on using, I glued a small piece of sanded plastic sheet to the inside of the hole:

I soldered up another 2x3x4mm Square LED (this one in orange) using about 6″ of the 2-wire cable and another ¼ watt 150Ω Resistor:

A quick test with 5 VDC and we have light!

I placed the head of this LED inside the Battle Section Rear, behind my diffuser and pointing out the hole. I secured the LED into place with a small blob of Blu-Tack. The wires were then fastened down with a small strip of aluminum tape:

Another quick test of the LED in it’s new home and I think it came out fantastic! This rear LED will be wired in parallel to the front Torpedo Launcher LED so they both ‘fire’ in unison. We can’t see both at the same time, so I think this will work well:

Here is the result of our Model Remodel changes in this stage:

Thoughts


While the stock build of this stage was fairly straightforward, my modified version was a lot more work! In either case, we now have built most of the beautiful aft section of our Enterprise D!

Next Up


Stage 75 – Deck Panel L3-07, Outer Panel L3-06-07, Escape Pod Covers, Battle Section Front Panel

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