Long time no post, I know. Just a comment here and there for years now. It's hard to be an electronic-lights-and-sounds-ship-nerd these days!
Well, in summer 2020, my brother pointed out a special offer on an Ender 3 3D printer, and I leapt at it, having wanted one ever since they were invented. I checked reviews and it's a well-regarded machine, so I bit the bullet.
My first instinct was to print a 1:1 First Contact Phaser Rifle (Picard's phallic monstrosity, of course), but that proved a little too ambitious and was quickly back-burnered. Next, I started on a TR-580 First Contact/Late DS9/Late Voyager "chisel head" Tricorder. I bloody love those things and have never been able to afford the collectable replicas. That one is tabled for the last few months, despite several prototypes having been produced, as I needed something a little less electronically complex:
Enter Star Trek: Lower Decks.
A few of you may remember what a low opinion I hold of Star Trek created in the 21st century. Enterprise was a bull in a china shop when it came to canon history, and Discovery is a photon torpedo. Picard is a massive step in the right direction and I enjoyed most of it, but that finale was just piss-poor.
Imagine my surprise when the annoying try-hard comedy cartoon blossomed within a handful of episodes into the Star Trek series I had been waiting for!!!
I could gush about the production design and level of tender love for the TNG era exuded by every facet of the show, but suffice to say I was pleased. The protagonist ship started out looking a like the love-child of a Galaxy class and a zimmer frame, but I grew to love its lovable awkardness.
And I wanted one.
One in-scale with the DST Enterprise-D.
And I had a 3D printer...
So, over the course of about 5 months now, I have been painstakingly modifying a model by David Metlesits (which he made as a "live action version") to better match the version seen on screen in the show. The changes I have made are profligate, and too numerous to list, but I've learned a whole hell of a lot about how to use Blender.
I've also learned a lot about product design and how to think mechanically in 3D so that pieces snap snugly together and wires can run through pylons and LEDs have mounting brackets, and bits that need to show light through are thin enough for that to happen.
I've been obsessed.
I've also learned how to make my own decals and how to do simple hull patterns in Photoshop.
So now - pictures. This is not complet yet, and I'll have to re-do a lot of the decals as they came out a bit weak and got battered in the application, and some of the paint leaked under the masking tape etc, etc, so this is thoroughly WIP... but behold!
(exceeded image post limit - will reply with more...)
I'm particularly happy with the stand - it has a feature I always thought Playmates missed a trick on: it snaps into the battery cover slot, but it has a slot for the battery cover on the underside of the base, so you can stow the "flight" cover in there and never lose it!