Decals Decals Decals!

Well, it has been a year since I started on this build. At times I did have to drag myself around to get to it (especially when it came to making the masks, ugh!) but it has all been worth it. The model is complete and ready to go to the client, but I need to get this updated first. This will be a 2 part blog post, with this one outlining the final steps of finishing, and the second post will contain the completed pictures.

First off, last post we ended with the gloss coat. So the next step was… DECALS! And this sucker has a lot of decals, and they were SO thick. I used a noticeable amount of Micro-Sol to get them to snuggle down to the model… and there are lots and lots of lifeboats. So other than decals, these first few pictures don’t show much… just steps.
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I keep forgetting to update this…

So I have a confession to make. I have been posting more or the progress of the model on Facebook than I have here. It is just easier to post an update there, answer questions, get feedback, etc. So I keep forgetting that I need to update this blog. So much has been done since the last post on here that there is no way I can get into details about all of it, but I can give some basic rundowns.

When I was last posting, I was finishing the main Aztec painting. Since that time, the following has happened, and I will briefly go over each bit:

  1. The blend coat was added. This pulled all the main ztec colors together, and cut down on the starkness.
  2. Phaser strips were all painted, as well as the hangar bay doors and impulse engines.
  3. Missing windows were added to the engineering hull rim edges, and neck.
  4. Added the missing rim windows to the saucer.
  5. Removed all the masking for the nacelles and deflector, and painted the yellows.
  6. Opened up all of the windows on the entire ship.
  7. Sealed the entire model with a gloss coat.

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Wow… I guess I need to update…

Wow… so apparently I really fail at keeping things updated when I get into the heat of building. Last update I posted saw me complete the aztec paint on the engineering hull. Since that time I have got a bit more done, redone stuff, did more, and again redo stuff. I’m not going to go into heavy detail, this is more or less going to be a catch-up post.

So I moved onto the saucer section. Got the masks all applied, and got the aztec pattern all painted. I also did the nacelles at the same time. I made it easier on myself by first doing the bridge/hanger decks first, because of the way the curves of the hull were, made it easier to keep the tape down if I did the painting that way.

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From one tedious task to another….

So when I last posted, I had started on the task of cutting out all 11 sheets of masks that I had printed out. Well I can now say that I am completely done cutting out all the masks….

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That is what 11 sheets of hand cut masks look like. To recap, I took scans of the decal sheets that came with the kit, arranged them in such a way that they would print and fit onto 7″x9″ Tamiya Yellow Tape sheets, and printed them on my inkjet printer. Each sheet was then sealed with dullcoat so that the ink would not smear, and then I set about to cut them all out.

I went through 3-4 sharp #11 hobby blades while doing this, because the sharp blade made cutting easier. I had to be careful and not apply too much pressure, because I wanted to only cut the tape, not the backing paper. Small shapes and lines were much more difficult that larger ones, and there were some lines I simply couldn’t cut out because they were so small, but I cut out about 98% of them.

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I’m still here!

Yes, I know I have not updated in a while, but that is because there is not much to update!

At this point in the build, all construction is completed, and I have moved onto the masks, which have been printed out onto sheets of Tamiya yellow tape…

 

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That is 11 sheets of masks there… all to be cut out by hand. And carefully, so as to not cut through the paper backing, just the tape part!

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It takes a lot of patience and tenacity…. but so far the Engineering hull/Stardrive section is completed.
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Now to move onto the saucer. I estimate a couple more weeks of cutting masks, then I can get to the application phase, followed by painting… ALMOST THERE!