02 June 2016

U.S.S. Enterprise Refit Restoration, Part 3

Back in January, in my previous progress report, I had attempted to sand down as much of this AMT/ERTL Enterprise kit's brick-like "panelling" texture, and filled gaps and seam lines with Bondo. It went fairly well, and the faint remainder shouldn't bother me too much in the end.


The saucer section had some major gaps along the rim joining the top and bottom halves, but a fresh application of cement and lots of clamping fixed most of it.


The primer phase revealed not only remaining gaps that still needed filling (expected, since the first primer application is usually where these shortcomings are made apparent), but also the rough texture left behind by my sanding of the bricky panels. I was fairly aggressive with my sanding, so it was no surprise. Luckily, this roughness was dealt with easily later on...


I love Lou Dalmaso's term as it's sort of a lighthearted way of complaining about the gaps left when two parts don't fit together perfectly (which is pretty normal).

Ugly joins.

This nastiness on the impulse engines was the result of a sloppy and aggressive application of Bondo. Sanding it down fixed much of it.

Slight gaposis.

The gaps revealed by the primer were fairly slight, but enough to need another filling.

Horrible pitting.

I had glued the kit-provided base to the lower hull back in 1992 when I first built this Enterprise, and removing it had some nasty effects. More filling is required.


I like Bondo for filling gaps and seam lines, but I wanted to see what this Tamiya putty was like, so the next round of filling was exclusively this white putty. I used a toothpick to apply it and it went on very well.


Once cured, the Tamiya putty was very easy to sand down. I used 400 grit paper for that and then went over the entire ship with it to smooth down the roughness left from my previous body-wide sanding, and that worked very well; the ship is now smooth all over. However, this sanding phase revealed my second round of filling wasn't quite enough and a third round is needed.

After sanding, I rinsed off the dust and, once the putty cures, I'll re-apply some more putty, then sand again, then re-prime to see if there is still any gaposis left. I'll fill a fourth time, but that's all the patience I have in me for this project; remember: this is a very old kit.

The next round of filling and sanding will look pretty much like this entire progress report, so the next phase I'll be actually posting is the assembly of the warp pylons to the engineering hull (using glue but installing metal rods to avoid sagging) and attaching the saucer section (using just glue) to the neck. Then I have to fill those seam lines...

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