USS Excelsior, 1/2500 scale from Gizmotron Models. This was a neat little kit that turned out well despite a couple of (hopefully discreet) screwups on my part. The kit came with pretty comprehensive decals, so the only painting I did was on the bridge and planetary sensor domes (top and bottom of the saucer), the impulse engines, the “neck,” and the big cove at the rear of the secondary hull. The smaller size made the decal application go a little quicker, but a couple of sessions squinting at the things gave me a nice insistent headache.
It came with alternate parts (impulse crystal and aft “lounge”) for either the NX configuration (as seen originally in Star Trek III) or the updated design seen in Star Trek VI. I decided to build it in NX-2000 (a/k/a “The Great Experiment”) mode because other Excelsior models hadn’t given me that option, and because that’s what Admiral Kirk commanded in DC’s Star Trek comic from 1984-86 (i.e., when DC had to have something to publish between ST3 and ST4). It’s the only non-Enterprise in my 1/2500 fleet, but it fits in just fine.
#wonderwoman #thesimpsons #excellent
1/1400 Sovereign-class USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-E. This is Alliance’s resin kit with Acreation’s First Contact-style aztec panel decals. The stand is made from a coathanger.
I built this kit to replace my old AMT/ERTL model, which was damaged when its display-case shelf collapsed. That won’t be an issue with this kit (although the nacelle struts are more delicate than they might look). Because it’s so heavy, it’ll go on the bottom level of the case.
I didn’t notice it until I started the decal process (which took at least 12 hours), and this is no fault of either manufacturer, but the Acreation decals are apparently made for the original styrene kit (and, I suspect, its reissue), so they don’t exactly fit the Alliance kit’s contours. I therefore had to trim here and add there to fill out all the right areas. At some point I intend to do the Nemesis version — with its own set of differently-shaded Acreation aztecs and an aftermarket parts pack for the styrene kit — so this turned out to be good practice for that. I’m still pretty pleased with this Enterprise-E, of course.
1960s Batmobile (more precisely, the Batmobile of 1968), 1/24 scale with a die-cast body from Johnny Lightning. It’s the companion to JL’s die-cast 1950s Batmobile (a/k/a the Batmobile of 1950).
This kit is so well-engineered, many of the parts fit together practically without glue. The major assemblies (interior, engine/undercarriage, body) are held together with screws, which also helps with the fit. Interior color scheme is about the same as the other Batmobiles. Apparently I can’t get away from pale blue/grays and chrome/steel highlights, although the brown seats are something of a carryover from the Whirly-Bats. There’s only so much you can do with a gloss black car that’s meant to carry one guy in gray/blue/black and another in red/yellow/green.
Since I now have Batmobiles from the ’50s through the ’80s, this will be my last one for a while. I’m not a huge fan of the TV or movie cars (gasp!) and I have a good bit of Star Trek models to finish.
1970s Batmobile, an homage to the “low-profile” days of the early ’70s. The kit is a 1:24 Revell Aerovette, built straight from the box. The actual Aerovette was a Corvette concept car from 1973 with a mid-engine design and gull wings. The “nondescript” Batmobile also had gull wings, but that’s about all it shares design-wise with the Aerovette. Still, I thought the Aerovette looked like a pretty good precursor to the sports-car Batmobiles of the early ’70s — the hood is basically its own Bat-head — and figured a simple blue-and-black paint job would suit it nicely. I did go back and forth on whether to paint the pop-up headlights some shade of yellow or gold, but in the end basic gloss black prevailed.
Otherwise, I painted a bat-emblem on the steering wheel, tried to give the instrument panel an appropriately gadget-y look, and (after the glosscoat wiped out my Sharpie work) made a “special diplomatic license plate” with our label-maker. Batman’s diplomatic credentials could easily come from the Justice League’s relationship with the UN, so he gets DP-JLA/1. (The Arrowcar was probably DP-JLA/2.)
Once again, Horizon’s 1980s Batmobile makes an appearance so you can compare scale and style.
Classic Galactica, new from Moebius Models. This was a fairly easy kit to build and paint (and I built it straight out of the box), but it was clearly designed to be tricked out with lights and other details. My only quibble is with the nameplate font, which seems like it should be a little thinner. Still, there’s lots of detail and it’s not hard to make it look pretty good otherwise (if I do say so myself).
Scale is listed as 1/4105, which is 1.6 times bigger than all my 1/2500 Trek starships. Hot Wheels recently put out an Abramsverse Enterprise in what appears to be a comparable scale, so I’ve included it as well. Reminds me of all those Enterprise vs. Star Destroyer arguments….
Whirly-Bats! These were part of Horizon Models’ mid-1990s Batman line, done in 1/24 scale. Overall I decided on a ’50s-style paint job, with gloss black for the body, a couple of chrome highlights, and some bright-colored switches on the instrument panel. (The orange rotors on Robin’s copter are an homage to the old Corgi Bat-Copter. Plus, they’re probably more safety-conscious than Batman’s blue rotors.)
However, the lean Batman and Robin figures weren’t exactly Dick Sprang-influenced, so I painted them in more of a ’70s/’80s scheme. I used some putty to give Robin a thicker head of hair (again, more ’70s) and cut up a paper clip to give Batman some utility-belt capsules. To show that the humble Whirly-Bat spans the decades, I have posed the Dynamic Duo in front of both the 1/24 Batmobile of 1950 (made by Playing Mantis/Johnny Lightning) and Horizon’s 1/24 ’80s Batmobile).
You may also notice that I couldn’t quite get the figures’ control sticks to fit on the instrument panel. I rationalize this by saying they’re more like wireless controllers: if you can play a Wii, you can fly a Whirly-Bat!
Yes, this stunning diagram was done in Microsoft Paint! It’s my take on USS Inaieu, from Diane Duane’s excellent Trek novel My Enemy, My Ally. Duane described Inaieu in relation to the Constitution-class Enterprise (naturally), with a primary hull three times as large, four double-sized nacelles, and a secondary hull a mile long and a quarter-mile in diameter. My drawing tries to be faithful to that, but the mile-long secondary hull really throws off the proportions to which I’d become accustomed. Thus, the “fantail” cuts, which preserve diameter and length requirements without just making the secondary hull a big cylinder.
Ultimately I’d like to turn this into a 1/2500 model kit, which is about as small as I could go and still have it fit reasonably on my shelf. Even at 1/2500 scale, an Inaieu model would be over two feet long, which would make it the Super Star Destroyer of the Federation, almost regardless of era. (At 2250 feet long, the Sovereign-class Enterprise is less than half of Inaieu's length.)
There’s a lot more to do. The bridge is only a little bigger than its Constitution-class counterpart, in order to make the scale more apparent. Likewise, the other elements of a Federation starship probably won’t be super-sized — there just may be more of them. These include shuttlebays, navigational deflector(s), and windows for about 100 decks.
One other design element has to do with nacelle placement. I decided to put the nacelles in the middle of the ship both to break it up horizontally and so that an enemy couldn’t just blast through whatever hardware was connecting it to the stern. However, I’m also concerned about the effects of those intersecting warp fields. I’ll probably end up putting a big open space between the two sets of nacelles, so the nacelle pylons help connect the forward secondary hull to the aft secondary hull, but I may need to get out some paper and a pencil to see how that will look.
Thanks to the intervention of Real Life, things have been a little quiet on the modeling front. In fact, I am trying to figure out the next model to finish. Here’s what’s currently in progress:
— 1/24 Horizon Whirly-Bats! These shouldn’t take long, once they’re cleaned up and assembled. There are no decals and the painting is pretty straightforward. I have one each for Batman and Robin.
— 1/1000 USS Columbia, NCC-621. This requires a little more painting, but it’s almost ready for the decals. The problem will be printing my own decals, which will be a first for me.
— 1/650 USS Constitution, NCC-1700. This still needs some assembly, and it’ll also require printing some custom decals. However, I may do it first, because its decals won’t be as specialized as Columbia's.
— 1/1400 Enterprise, NCC-1701-E. This is Alliance’s resin kit, bought to replace my AMT/ERTL kit which was critically damaged in a display-case accident. It needs to be painted and decaled.
There are some others, but those are at the head of the line. In the meantime, I will try to get some other photos up soon. Thanks for your patience.