Bench Update: Bonnie progress

Moving along! My LEDs came in so I started working with them in the kit. It looks like I might need to make some diffusers because the angle of the LED doesn’t quite play nice with how much room is inside the hull. The only spots I will have to carve out are going to be along the inside of the saucer rim for the 3mm flashing LEDs.

I began the nacelle assemblies beginning with the piping. There are 8x of the shorter pipes and 2x of the longer, which are for the inner nacelle pieces. The difference in length is only a few mm so pay attention! The longer ones are also a mm or 2 taller. Another thing to note is that the pipes to pop right it, they require a very minimal amount of sanding on either side of the post. But once they are in, boy do they look cool! The endcaps each have shaped post that fits in the end of each nacelle. Remember to place them right side up though (longer edge on top!). I accidentally did one upside down so I had to hack it off (hence some of the chipping on the nacelle halves…). While the pieces fit together pretty nicely I will need to go back in and do a little touch up on the seams. Very minimal. But again, this is a case where design specs were seamless and something was lost in translation from file-to-print-to-pull. Also, I added some silver leafing paint to the inside of the nacelle to make the clear part glow a little brighter…as I’m opting for a single blue 5mm LED for each.

On that note, I applied MicroMask to all the clear parts but even after some scrubbing it pooled up. Once it was completely dry I went back in and masked with Elmer’s glue and it will work just as well. As I mentioned, I will need to use a diffuser in some areas, specifically the inside of the Bussards, sensor + bridge pieces. I will probably just cut a styrofoam peanut to fit and see how it looks. The next post will have those experiments…

On to the pylons. They were designed with top + bottom pieces to allow for lighting and for the most part they are pretty rigid when glued together. For peace of mind I added some 1/16″ brass rod to either side of the opening. Again, it’s not that I’m worried about eventual drooping at all, but I’d rather have them in place just in case the model gets bumped hard or something. Those would be the most likely areas to snap. Fitting-into-the-nacelle-wise, they needed a touch of sanding to fit but they are quite snug and sturdy joints.

The windows will be a bit tricky to make square…I drilled out three hole per window to make cleanup as streamlined as possible. I actually have a 1x3mm rectangular file that will fit perfectly. One thing to pay attention to is the angle of drilling/filing on the larger window blocks because the “top” of the window will line right up with the interior ceiling of the hull. With the bottom windows I had to remove a section of the interlocking lip because otherwise they would be blocked. Also, the lip itself on the upper hull is a fraction of a mm too tall so I shaved it down by about half it’s height. So that slight seam shown in the previous post will be negligible. I will also be doing a little bit of sanding on the lip outside of that to get more of a square/flush fit.

I also like the fact that Eric has been including bases in his kits. They are made by Matt at LaserFire creations and are a really nice addition compared to the chunky resin bases of others. In fact, I’m using an old Alliance Models base underneath the DQ one to house the 9v battery so it will be hidden. 🙂

On the 2500 side, I’ve primed her, base white coated her and pearl white coated her. I will be doing some detail painting before applying the Future coat and decals.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

(2500 pics)

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